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Messages - Galloper

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General Discussion / Re: bike security while sleeping
« on: April 15, 2010, 06:49:31 am »
I saw a rape alarm a while ago which had a pull cord.   If you secure that to the frame and attach the cord to a loop around a tree or bush, anyone moving it is going to set it off.   It was quite small but very loud.   Not sure where you'd get one but would at least warn you.

General Discussion / Re: LA cycle it or take a lft past it?
« on: April 13, 2010, 07:22:58 am »
Hi Tony, I've just (about 3 weeks ago) ridden from Malibu to San Diego and enjoyed it, lots of nice paths and only a few busy bits.   Took me three days of fairly easy riding.   Motels are quite pricey and there aren't too may camp sites.   In fact, one camp site in Mission Bay wanted $44 for a small tent.   San Clemente has one relatively cheap motel but for everywhere else, expect >$60

Gear Talk / Re: Salsa Fargo - Lemon of the year!
« on: April 13, 2010, 07:07:27 am »
I bought the bike from Topanga Creek Bicycles and they were extremely helpful, I lost something on the deal but was able to get up and running on a Surly LHT the same day which is pretty good service by any standard.

As regards to the fault, yes, I agree, there was certainly a fault but whether it was a bent frame or forks I couldn't say.   As to whether that is not uncommon, in my personal experience over far too many bikes  :) I have never experienced a similar failing.   As a keen motorcyclist I know it happens with motorbikes too and it's generally a design fault rather than a manufacturing problem and usually sorted with a steering damper.

One of my main concerns is that I've had no response  from Salsa which is always a bad sign, either of disinterest or of something more deep rooted.

Gear Talk / Re: Bicycles for off-road riding
« on: April 11, 2010, 02:36:55 pm »
Don't buy a Salsa Fargo...   I recently bought one and when loaded up for touring it proved dangerously unsafe.   I informed Salsa of this but they have chosen not to reply from which you may draw your own conclusions!

You don't mention a budget but a Koga Miyata World Traveler will take you anywhere you want to go.   If you can get hold of one in the USA a Dawes Karakum might be just about perfect for your needs.   It comes with 700 X 38 wheels/tyres, Deore kit, comfy trekking bars and full racks and fenders.   I've used mine on plenty of tracks and trails and it copes extremely well.   Check out, I think they will ship worldwide

Gear Talk / Re: Salsa Fargo - Lemon of the year!
« on: April 11, 2010, 02:25:33 pm »
I had a set of Altura Orkney 34 L panniers on the front and a set of 56's on the back with an Ortlieb bar bag and an Ortlieb tube on the rear carrier.   As mentioned, this is my standard long tour set up which I've used on various other bikes without problems.

I was in the unfortunate situation of having flown in from the UK with a long tour in front of me so didn't really have the time to start exploring engineering solutions so it was very much a case of throwing it back at the supplier and swapping to a bike that worked.   In any case it is the responsibility of the manufacturer to ensure the frame is to specification and all surfaces correctly faced and prepared before shipping.

At one point, at about 10 mph, the damn thing nearly spat me off which was when I decided I had to change it for a bike that was safe and fit for purpose.

Needless to say I won't ever be buying another Salsa.

Gear Talk / Salsa Fargo - Lemon of the year!
« on: April 08, 2010, 08:48:32 am »
I recently bought a Salsa Fargo for use on an extended tour.   What a big mistake!   The bike was fine unloaded but as soon as I loaded it up it turned into a dangerously unstable bike, with the front wheel shimmying violently.   With the guys from the bike shop, I tried every trick in the book, changing the handlebar height, varying the front to rear weight ratio, changing the load.   Nothing made any difference, it was too dangerous to ride.   Eventually I gave up and swapped it for a Surly LHT which was a joy to ride.   The Surly, my Dawes Karakum and an elderly Claud Butler all handled the same load with ease which had the Salsa wobbling all over the road.

My advice to anyone considering buying a Salsa Fargo for full on touring is: Don't!   Oh!   And don't expect any response from Salsa if you do tell them of the problem.

General Discussion / Re: Southern Tier, Section 2 B=New Mexico
« on: April 03, 2010, 06:57:46 pm »
There's a Best Value Motel in Claypool just west of Globe on the right hand side just after a Walmart which is quite reasonable.   When you get to Safford, the Paradise Inn, between Thatcher and Safford is also quite well priced.

You can make good time up the valley to Safford as long as you've got a following wind :)

Routes / Re: Mexican excursion from Southern Tier
« on: April 03, 2010, 06:45:24 pm »
From local news it seems to be a place to be avoided.   The news in Arizona is full of reports of the killing of a local rancher and shootings of US citizens on the Mexican side.

General Discussion / Re: Passing other tourist riders
« on: February 28, 2010, 07:37:25 am »
Ooh!   Stop and talk to me, I'm starting the Southern Tier in about 10 days time. (West to East)   I'm the tall handsome Irisihman,   OK, 2 out of 3  ;D

General Discussion / Re: Folding Bikes
« on: February 28, 2010, 07:33:59 am »
Don't forget the tweed plus fours  :)

General Discussion / Re: My Idea
« on: February 28, 2010, 07:30:38 am »
I recommend reading any of Josie Dew's books on her cycling adventures.   She's ridden most places, includia ride across America and will give you a lot of laughs and a lot of useful advice.

Have fun

General Discussion / Re: Folding Bikes
« on: February 26, 2010, 05:48:05 am »
Depends how neat you want it to fold.   Something like the Dahon Cadenza is quite good but doesn't fold too small.

The best is a Brompton.   I've had mine about a year and am always surprised at how versatile it is.   It folds up into quite a small package, it's robust and well made and handles everything including some quite bumpy cycle paths.   It takes about half a mile to get used to the steering which initially feels very twitchy but once you're used to it it's fine.

Being a small wheeler, they accelerate very well and there are plenty of options to choose from.   Evans Cycles stock them and if you're a CTC member you'll get discount.   The only thing I don't like is that tor the front bag, you need a special mount which is supplied separately. 

General Discussion / Re: Fly a bicycle Sweden-US-Sweden
« on: February 21, 2010, 06:18:23 am »
I've looked into the costs of doing something similar.   A fairly substantial bike bag, which offers a good level of protection costs £70 here in the UK.   The extra cost of shipping on British Airways, one way from London to Los Angeles was £32 and the same again from Miami back to London.

You could probably get a local bike shop to box it up for you quite cheaply if you didn't want to use a bike bag.

There's a very good guide on this site on preparing a bike for travel if you choose to do it yourself.

I wouldn't worry too much about parts, most transmission, wheels and running gear is pretty much universal these days.   Perhaps you have hub gears and dynamo?   Again, most parts are fairly readily available and even if the worst comes to the worst, I'm sure you could get anything you need sent overnight from Sweden.

If you are worried about it, there are plenty of very good bikes available quite cheaply which will do a very good job of getting you to Washington.

Have fun


for lots of information.   There are quite a few youth hostels in Germany so worth while joining for cheap friendly accommodation.   Other than that, look for Gastattes (bars) with a "Fremdenzimmer" sign.   The rooms are generally very good and a lot cheaper than hotels.   Plenty of campsites in the more scenic parts.

There's plenty of choice in terms of food, a lot of bars serve food and it's generally very good.   You also get plenty of fast food stands and they're also pretty good.

You'll find lots of information on the normal tourist web sites.   If you're in a town, look for a sign "Verkehrsampt"   It's the tourist office and they will be able to tell you what accommodation is available and book it for you as well.

International / Re: Ride through Germany and Holland
« on: February 07, 2010, 12:00:13 pm »
The ADFC produce an excellent cycling guide to the whole country.   It used to be available free from the Sustrans web site, which is an excellent source of maps and guides.

Yout can also order a copy from their main web site.

If you're planning a cycling trip to Germany, it's well worth having.

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