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Messages - Galloper

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Gear Talk / Re: Trekking bars vs Jones H bar
« on: February 19, 2017, 02:04:20 pm »
I have used trekking bars on a Surly lht for several years and they work very well, they're comfortable and offer a variety of hand positions.   You can also vary the angle which allows you to choose either a more upright or more angled riding position.

I also use Jones loop bars which are, of course, similar to the H bars.   I also find these comfortable and again, they offer a variety of hand positions.   It's a difficult choice but I think for touring use, the trekking bars are better.   For rougher roads and trails, I prefer the Jones.

So, road touring - Trekking.   Bike packing and rough roads - Jones.

International / Re: Loire Cycling
« on: July 17, 2015, 08:21:22 am »
The Loire is one of my favourite cycling destinations,   The main cycle route is:

There are lots of local cycle routes which are generally well signposted.    If you go to any of the local Tourist Information Offices they will be able to provide maps and advice.   I'm sure an internet search will provide information on tour companies but can't comment on any of them as I prefer to make my own tours up as I go along.

Amboise is a very nice town to use as a base, plenty of nice shops and cafes and some really nice cycle routes.   The Chateau Chambord is spectacular and, again, lots of really nice local cycle routes.

Have fun!

International / Re: Biking New Zealand
« on: October 20, 2014, 09:16:09 am »
May I suggest you get hold of a copy of "Long Cloud Ride" by Josie Dew, it will give you a good idea of what to expect.

General Discussion / Re: Toe clips? Clipless? None of the above?
« on: October 20, 2014, 09:13:34 am »
I like Shimano A 530 SPD pedals.   These have a clip on one side and a flat on the other which makes them more versatile that a standard clipless.   

General Discussion / Re: Handlebar Grips
« on: September 25, 2014, 08:42:59 am »
I also have a Trek 7200 but am a little confused, mine came with combined Shimano brake and trigger shifter modules.   It also has an adjustable stem.   When I bought it, the stem was in a horizontal position which left me leaning a bit to far forward for comfort so I rotated it to a more upright and comfortable position.   If your bike has the same stem, you might try that.   I also replaced the original grips with a pair of Specialized comfort grips, very like the Ergon and about a third of the price.   I use these on several bikes and find them very good.   I also added a pair of bar ends which I then fitted with slide on foam grips.   The end result is a very comfortable bike usable in pretty much any environment.

General Discussion / Re: brooks saddle break-in how long
« on: August 03, 2014, 08:34:04 am »
I have several B17s and each one broke in differently.  One was comfy from the outset, one took about 400 miles and another about a 1000.   As to care, I have never used the Brooks dressing, any good leather care product from your local ag store will do just as well.   Probably the best is Connolly Hide food if you can get it.   If it's good enough for Rolls Royce...

General Discussion / Re: Fighting off boredom?
« on: July 04, 2014, 09:50:35 am »
I love, love, love my ebook reader.   It means that I can carry in a light and small package, enough books to keep me happy for months.   

I did a couple of weeks touring last October on my BMC hardtail and thought it made a very good tourer.   Interestingly, it weighs about the same as my Dawes Karakum and the larger tyres and suspension fork make for a comfortable ride.   I was quite surprised at how harsh my LHT felt when I got back on it some weeks later.

International / Re: Looking for partners for York-Edinburgh tour
« on: April 25, 2014, 08:47:09 am »
Not too sure of your route in the early stages but there is an excellent hostel in Helmsley.   If you stop there (or even if you don't) the best route north is to come out of Helmsley and take the B1257 north.   After passing the signs for Rievaulx Abbey take the next left to Hawnby and then follow the road north to Osmotherley.   This is a lovely (but hilly) ride.   There is a hostel in Osmotherley.  I would advise missing out Teeside (Middlesbrough and Stockton) if you can but NCN 1 does cut through them.   If you have the time, I would recommend heading west through Northallerton, Bedale and Richmond and then head north to Durham. (Hostel in Durham)

You can then cut back east and pick up NCN 1which becomes Coast and Castles.   There's a very nice hostel in Alnwick.   As you head north, if time and tides permit, make a sidetrip to Holy Island.  North then to Berwick upon Tweed where there is another excellent hostel.   Not familiar with your route thereafter as I normally head off up the Tweed.

General Discussion / Re: newbie planning Belgium tour
« on: April 24, 2014, 08:23:43 am »
As an alternative, if you decide to buy locally have a look at:

Their bikes are inexpensive and well equipped.   

International / Re: Land End to John O'Groats
« on: February 24, 2014, 09:46:35 am »
I'd suggest flying into London and then train to Penzance.   For the return, cycle along the coast to Thurso (or cycle back down the LEJOG route to Wick), train to Aberdeen and then flight back to London.

If you have time, cycle down the West coast of Scotland (which is absolutely stunning) and fly from Glasgow.

International / Re: Land End to John O'Groats
« on: January 10, 2014, 09:07:23 am »
CTC Cycling Holidays have 2 LEJOGs this year.   17 May - 4 June and 6 - 24 Sep.

Have a look at this:


Don't expect much in the way of internet availability outside the main towns in the Highlands.   In my experience quite a few B&Bs and Youth Hostels have wifi.

Lots of information/discussion here:

No reason why you shouldn't start from Thurso, in my opinion the west coast is truly beautiful and well worth exploring.   The more usual eastern route is pleasant but nowhere near as spectacular.   Heading down the west coast and then through Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway is a cracking ride, avoid Glasgow by using the Hunters Quay or Dunoon Ferry.   Once you cross the border into England you can explore the Lake district which again is stunning.   Gets a bit messy after that but once you get past Liverpool you can head into the Welsh Mountains and have some great riding through Wales before crossing back into England and enjoying the delights of the West Country.

Of course this option is more oriented to leisurely touring rather than the normal LEJOG route but imho it will be far more enjoyable.

General Discussion / Re: hybrid7.2 trek for touring bike?
« on: November 14, 2013, 08:57:57 am »
I carry two panniers and a couple of bottle cages, so enough space for overnight stuff and plenty of space for waterproofs.   In day to day use I just put a small rack bag on the back which is plenty big for snacks and a light jacket.   

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