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Messages - Galloper

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1
General Discussion / Re: TOURING AFTER COVID
« on: February 04, 2021, 02:31:55 pm »
A further thought, a hardtail emtb, making use of bikepacking gear might be an idea, it would do very well on gravel roads and, with semi slick tires fitted would be reasonable on road.   I mention that because I have a set of semi slicks waiting to go on to an old mtb for use on gravel paths.   Might work for you.

2
General Discussion / Re: TOURING AFTER COVID
« on: February 04, 2021, 02:15:41 pm »
I have been touring on ebikes for some years now, first on a Kalkoff and more recently on a Cube 500 EXC.   I don't know if these are available in the USA, but they both make excellent  touring bikes.   I reckon on doing about 60 miles a day and, providing you manage your battery usage, would expect that to be achievable in most conditions.   They are both more than capable on road and will cope with gravel roads.   Both came with rear racks, suspension forks, fenders and lights.   Specialized have similar bikes in their line up but I haven't ridden one.

A few tips:  buy a bike with an easily removable battery, both of mine can be removed with a key and can then be charged away from the bike, in a motel room, for example.   Some bikes can only be charged with the battery in place.   Buy the largest capacity battery you can, mine are 500 wh and fine but a 625 gives better range.

The latest bikes have low drag motors and are much easier to pedal than earlier models.   On flat terrain if well surfaced, I rarely, if ever, find it necessary to use power.   My only, small, complaint is that, because of the battery, you may only be able to fit one bottle cage.   The suspension forks may make fitting front luggage a bit more difficult.

Prices are UK pounds sterling, Kalkoff (bought in end of season sale) £1500, Cube, £2300 and worth every penny.   I shall fear no hill or headwind, for I have an ebike.  :)

3
Spain has been developing a lot of Greenways in recent years, some of them may be of use in your journey.   This link may help.

http://www.viasverdes.com/

4
General Discussion / Re: First tour in Europe- bike suggestions
« on: July 08, 2019, 02:35:09 pm »
I love Gazelle bikes, I have a town bike which is my go to shopper and general use bike but it's a more basic model than the one shown.   I've never seen the type you mentioned and can't really comment.   One point has occurred to me however, once your off on your tour, if anything goes wrong, you'll have to deal (and Pay) with a local bike shop whereas, with a Decathlon bike, there's a fair chance you can find a local Decathlon store and get if fixed under warranty.   Personally, I would go with the Decathlon bike.   They don't keep every size in stock but if you contact them in advance, will get the bike you want in and have it ready for you to look at, without commitment.

A couple of other thoughts, Hostels in Germany are very good as are those in the Netherlands (Stayok).   Hostels in France can be a bit hit and miss, some are very good and some are used as social housing!

France has a developing network of cycle routes, Tourist Information will stock local guides.   Belgium has a goodly number as well, many of them converted rail paths.   Germany has the best and largest network of long distance paths, many of them traffic free.   The Dutch network is excellent, the coastal route is well worth exploring and the area around Apeldoorn well worth visiting.

Bonne route!

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General Discussion / Re: First tour in Europe- bike suggestions
« on: July 07, 2019, 02:10:32 pm »
Another vote for Decathlon, their kit is generally very good quality and well within your budget.   Have a look at the following and enjoy your journey.

https://www.decathlon.nl/browse/c0-sporten/c1-fietsen/c3-hybride-fiets/_/N-1quqbr8

6
Gear Talk / Re: Jones handlebars
« on: April 22, 2019, 01:45:14 pm »
I bought a Surly Ogre a few years ago which came with Jones loop bars as standard.   From the very first ride, I've loved them and now have them fitted on both tourer and MTBs.   Comfort and control are excellent.   I bought a pair for my son as a Christmas present and he now swears by them as well.   He's wrapped bar tape around the inner and outer loops for more comfort.   

I find that placing my hands on the forward loop gives a surprisingly aero position, useful when riding into a headwind and, of course, you have a lot of additional space for bar mounted kit.

If you want to make use of the bars for carrying capacity, have a look at the link, Beerbabe will make a bag to order and you can specify the depth.

https://www.beerbabe.co.uk/ourshop/prod_4088637-Jones-HBar-Pack.html

7
Routes / Re: Danube Bike Trail
« on: October 31, 2018, 02:56:06 pm »
I rode some sections between Sigmaringen and Donauschingen 4 years ago and there were stretches that were rough farmtracks.   Further on heading east it improves greatly.   The standard for Germany and Austria is generally very high in terms of well laid and maintained paths so that was a bit of a surprise.   It may well be that that fairly small section has been improved by now.

I'm not familiar with the Austrian rail system but Germany has a very good bike/rail system with lots of trains having bike areas.

There is a very enjoyable book, "Dawdling by the Danube" by Edward Enfield that I'm sure you will find useful and a very pleasant read.

8
Routes / Re: Euro Velo 15 Rhine River Route Source to Sea
« on: July 06, 2018, 01:55:42 pm »
Bikeline do a comprehensive guide in two books.   They are printed on weather proof paper and as well as maps include detailed information on bike shops, accommodation, tourist info and so on.   Downside, it's only available in German.

9
General Discussion / Re: Pedals Recommendation
« on: July 06, 2018, 01:47:13 pm »
I haven't had any problems with the 530s in wet weather but I tend to ride with fairly grippy shoes such as 5 10s if I'm not using a cleated shoe.   By the way, I totally agree with your comment about flat pedals, comfortable and secure, even in snow, I've never had any problems with them.

10
General Discussion / Re: Pedals Recommendation
« on: July 04, 2018, 01:57:49 pm »
Have a look at Shimano PD A530.   These have a flat on one side and a clip on the other.   I've used these for touring and every day use for some years now and like them a lot because of their versatility.  Clipped in they're fine and if you want to ride in shoes without cleats you can do so as well.

11
General Discussion / Re: Bike Store - Rome (Italy)
« on: March 26, 2018, 02:05:09 pm »
Decathlon have a number of stores in Rome and have a good selection of bikes including folders.   Prices and quality are generally good.

https://www.decathlon.it/C-1265130-bici-pieghevoli

12
Routes / Re: July & August to Cycle Europe: Where should I go?
« on: February 21, 2018, 02:00:11 pm »
A route using some of the major European cycle routes:

Start in Amsterdam, flying into Schipol.    Follow North Sea Coastal Route through Holland and Belgium into France  Lots of good beer in Belgium :)   Follow the coastal route into Normandy and Brittany and then south to pick up the Loire cycle route.   It gets prettier as you go along.   Cross the Jura into Germany and head north on the Rhine cycle route then turn off east to follow the Main/Tauber/Altmuhl cycle routes south east before eventually moving on to the Danube Cycle route.   Follow this into Austria and then strike south over the mountains to Venice.   

Goof beer, great food and wonderful scenery.

13
Routes / Re: Traffic Free Trails
« on: February 14, 2018, 03:12:06 pm »
DarrenBnYYC, that traillink site is marvellous, a great way to see lots of potential routes, many thanks.

Iowagriz, that BC ride looks interesting, I've forwarded the link to my son, I suspect we will have a lot to discuss :)

BikeliciousBabe, thank you, the link for RoH and NorPac info is well worth knowing.   Goats Head thorns eh?   Tubeless I think :)

14
Routes / Re: Traffic Free Trails
« on: February 13, 2018, 03:08:19 pm »
John, thanks, the Mickelson trail looks great as does the RoH and although I'm not planning a cross country route, those NFRs look very interesting.   

My thinking at present is to link up as many interesting sections as I can in one area then probably hire a car to move on to the next area and so on.   I've plenty of time to plan it but am already starting to get quite excited about it.

Cheers!

15
Routes / Re: Traffic Free Trails
« on: February 13, 2018, 09:30:55 am »
Thank you all, I'm quite happy riding gravel trails and singletrack so that, I guess gives me plenty of options.   Anything over 50 miles is good but, hopefully, I will be able to link up a series of trails as John Nettles has suggested.   The Katy trail looks promising as do the various canal paths.   I'm also quite taken with visiting Minnesota, lots to explore.

I think I'm going to be very busy on Google maps in the near future.

Thank you again.

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