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Messages - tonythomson

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Gear Talk / Re: Schwalbe Marathon Plus 26 x 1.75 Comments?
« on: January 03, 2013, 10:41:34 am »
Used Continentals to do Southern Tier E to W, replaced due to wear in Texas.

Crossed Australia  on Schwalbe Marathon no punctures and still plenty of wear left in them.  Will stick with Schwalbe from now on although both makes will do the job.

Gear Talk / Re: Backroads maps of the US.
« on: November 25, 2012, 01:03:28 pm »
"Google, in particular, has real problems in the West showing dirt roads that are on private land and have no access.  Google and other mapping websites will even route you down some of them - - which is no fun when you come to a locked gate with a "No Trespassing!" sign on it and a 30 miles detour."

Not just the West I got caught out in Florida, Google maps/cycling took me to a farm with all the "KEEP OUT etc" fortunately for me there were some workers close by who happened to be from Mexico - just as England were about to play them at football (sorry soccer huh) so after a chat about football they took me through the farm/plantation on dirt tracks out the other side and back onto Google's route. So guys I advise you to learn Spanish and call soccer by it's correct name  ;)

Gear Talk / Re: Backroads maps of the US.
« on: November 24, 2012, 08:23:55 am »
Hi Chappers - good advise above(as always on here) I would only add while planning your route check out Rails to Trails as I enjoy combining these traffic free routes on my tours if possible. 

Wherever you think that areas might have too much heavy traffic go to Google maps - choose your points of destination and use the cycle or walking option to print out a route.  Then as said earlier check it out on Google Earth.

Have fun and US is a great place to cycle tour.
Ps we are a bit spoilt in UK with OS maps!!  ;)

Gear Talk / Re: Bushwhacker bags and panniers
« on: November 24, 2012, 08:11:45 am »
Never used this make but the thing that interests me is the shape of the rear pannier - ie sloping top to bottom which suggests that they might be designed more for mountain bikes with shorter chain stays, that way you don't kick the pannier with your heels. Or for use with people who have big feet(me) Whereas I would prefer a touring bike that can accommodate larger capacity bags enabling you to keep your load as low as possible.

I guess that as no one yet has said they have a set, and this forum probably has some of the most experienced touring cyclists arround, then they have probably been rejected or are just so new on the market.

My advise would be to read the many threads on here about panniers and go for a set you think would meet your needs.  Or buy these Bushwackers and let us all know how you get on.

Hi Dan, very interesting list and a mixture of high & low tech.  Def add zip ties one of the most useful items when out on a bike,doing workshop repairs etc.
   What was also interesting for me is that as I never read cycling mags so as far as new innovations I'm a cyclelasaur - even some of my bikes go back to 1800's.  So you have probably saved me months of having to buy these mags and  I particularly liked the spoke repair kit and will add that to my touring list.   
As John pointed out - mirrors are personal choice mine is a flat mirror that Velcro's to the handle bars, easy to remove for shaving, getting grit out of your eye etc.
I would be interested which of your list you would never leave home without on an extended metalled road tour.
From your list the items I would probably never make use of would be the various small bags dotted around he frame, simply because any small items kept in them could easily be accommodated in a handle bar bag and taken with you when you have to leave the bike unattended.  I prefer a few small colour coded nylon bags inside the bar bag so my valuables etc are easily identified.

Routes / Re: Southern Tier in March of 2013
« on: November 22, 2012, 11:48:01 am »
Oh I love a discussion about fenders or better still mud guards and it's the Brits name "mud guards" give you a clue as to why I will always use them.  Like us all we expect and don't worry too much about getting wet.  What I want to avoid is the mud and grot that gets thrown up by my tires or tyres off the road and makes you just so dirty.  Now I know we all get hot and dirty but I personally try to avoid being covered in muck especially if you are wanting a stranger to offer you a bed as with "Warm Showers" etc - but in the end it's what you as an individual are comfortable with.
That's what makes cycling so interesting it meets everyone's needs.

Have fun whether you are muddy and wet or just wet  :)

Routes / Re: Swede going solo from Miami to New Orleans, route suggestion?
« on: November 22, 2012, 11:35:10 am »
My own suggestion would be to go New Orleans to Miami as when I did the Southern T East to West at the same time of year, I met guys flying along while I had to constantly fight the wind.

Secondly to help get off the roads check out "Rails to Trails" as I managed to incorporate several good trails into my route and they were a high light for me. 

And send me an IM as I have a house right on the Florida connector route and if I can help in anyway you would be welcome.  However, it is only a holiday home and not always there.  The offer is also open to any other long distant cyclists also.

Have fun it's a great adventure.

Routes / Re: Calgary to Banff
« on: November 18, 2012, 09:50:27 pm »
I rode Calgary to Banff and it's not all that interesting except to see the mountains getting closer.  if you have the choice of not riding there and spending longer in the Rockies take that because it is wonderful place to cycle.

Routes / Re: Cycling in the U.K.
« on: November 18, 2012, 09:40:01 pm »
Hi very popular ride LEJOG or JOGLE and several routes you can take.  Join the CTC forum and you will find everything you want to know about this ride.

Also they cover all aspects of cycle touring.  Check out SUSTRANS who have marked rcycle route all over the UK

And finally take good wet weather gear  ::) 

General Discussion / Re: Libraries and Touring
« on: October 15, 2012, 01:32:57 pm »
Hi, having done several tours in USA and coming from England, I find your public libraries just great for keeping in touch with family & friends. Checking my business emails, so can continue to tour and run my business is great.  I can update my web site. one of the bonuses is getting to talk to some o the local people including the librarians - lots of good info about the area.

Plus always nice and cool with a cold water tower.

So do I feel bad about using your facilities for free, not really because while touring I actually spend quite a lot of money in restaurants, hotels and local bike shops.

They are a great asset, thanks.

Routes / GAP/CO Canal on a folder ????
« on: October 10, 2012, 04:52:12 pm »
Hi planning to bring my small wheel folder over to ride the GAP and CO Canal.  Any thoughts on possible problems with the surfaces for a small wheeler?

Routes / Ronald Reagan Airport to C&O Canal route
« on: October 03, 2012, 12:39:30 pm »
Hi can anyone give me a good route to get me from RR International Airport to the C&O Canal.  I would prefer not to got through central Washington.  And if there is a hotel along the way even better as not planning to go far after the flight from UK.

Gear Talk / Ori folding bike - anyone have any knowledge/experience
« on: August 28, 2012, 02:43:59 pm »
Hi thinking of buying an Ori bike Mi8 model.
Does anyone have first hand knowledge of these machines and how good are they for touring.

I initially want it to put on the boat but also to use it to fly out and tour.


Gear Talk / Re: Help me accesorize my Surly LHT
« on: August 18, 2012, 03:16:17 am »
Mirrors - you need to see which one suits you, I've always had ones that fix to the bars with Velcro and work well - also can be used for shaving, checking out sore bits that even your best friend wont look at, etc

Gear Talk / Re: Help me accesorize my Surly LHT
« on: August 17, 2012, 02:43:12 pm »
Mirror - it'll save your life.
Very low gearing ratios
Good luck I love my Surly LHT - just about to take into the hills of Wales  ;D

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