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Messages - Galloper

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General Discussion / Re: Trans Am Advice Needed
« on: December 28, 2009, 07:21:34 am »
Just as a matter of interest, I wonder if anyone has advice on shipping via Fedex, UPS etc.   I've spent about half an hour on line this morning and their web sites are so convoluted I gave up.   It seems that the boxed size of a bike doesn't fit into their shipping system.

Any help or comments would be appreciated.

Gear Talk / Re: 2009 Bike Friday New World Tourist vs Dahon Speed TR
« on: December 23, 2009, 10:08:50 am »
Cycling plus did a comparison of a number of folders a few months ago.   The Brompton came out best but given your concern on wheel sizes it may not suit you.   If you go to and dig around you should be able to find all the reviews.

CTC is a good bet for travel insurance but I'm not sure if they do health insurance.   My recommendation is take a trip to your local Insurance Broker and get them to get some quotes for you.   You need to bear in mind that you are indulging in what insurers take as a dangerous sport so it can take a bit of looking around.   I seem to recall I had to pay £120 for a year's cover.

Incidentally, the CTC membership is well worth it.   Companies like Evans and Wiggle give discounts to CTC members.   I reckon on saving my membership fees several times over every year.   You also get a discount on YHA membership.   I know the USA isn't ell provided with hostels but there are some in the bigger cities.

You'll also find that a lot of sites accept the CTC membership card as a camping carnet.

Have fun

« on: December 18, 2009, 06:49:02 am »

I always have an emergency food reserve, maybe something as simple as a small malt loaf, that way, if you get stuck or travel slower than you anticipated, you've got something to fall back on.

Money spent on good kit is money well spent.   I'm a great believer in buying the best you can afford, whether it's bike or camping kit, you won't regret it.

I can't think of anyone other than Edward Enfield who has written specifically about Ireland.   If you wanted general cycling books, Enfield has written several others.   Probably my favorite is Josie Dew who has written seven books and is both funny and inspirational.   A lady called Anne Mustoe has also written a wonderful book about cycling.   

If you do get to Clonmel, I can recommend Kinsella's pub at the west end of town.   (not mine, sadly but Clan loyalty always applies)

Peter Kinsella :)

Gear Talk / Re: cold feet! Recommendations?
« on: December 15, 2009, 05:19:18 am »
I have a pair of North Wave boots, they were quite pricy but with a goretex lining do a good job of keeping my feet reasonably warm and dry.   An alternative is an inexpensive pair of lightweight walking boots with a pair of Sealskinz socks.   Works quite well but you can only use flat pedals.

I must admit, I like the idea of chemical foot warmer pads.

Gear Talk / Re: Bring or buy?
« on: December 12, 2009, 06:59:49 am »
Hi Tony

The plan is Southern Tier as far as the Mississippi then head north to pick up the Transam then continue east to the Atlantic.   I'm planning to start end of Feb, early March.

I live near Durham so pretty pretty much out of reach and any advice or comments gratefully received.

I had a walk around Edinburgh Cycle Co-Op yesterday and was quite taken with the Specialized Sirrus Elite.   It's within budget and quite well specced.   My only concern is that the tyres are fairly slim.   I also had a closer look at the Tricross and that rose rapidly up the list of possibles.

Decisions, decisions! :)

Gear Talk / Re: Bring or buy?
« on: December 11, 2009, 09:20:42 am »
Hi Galloper,
I recently flew Gatwick to Orlando to do ST with my bike, they charged me about $60 - I had all my panniers and bike spares etc with me and decided to buy tent, sleeping bag, clothes etc in USA to help keep the weight down. 

Hi Tony

Thanks for that, just as a matter of interest, who did you fly with?

One of my options is to use my bike bag and then Fed Ex it back to a friend, but it's all extra cost.



Gear Talk / Re: Bring or buy?
« on: December 09, 2009, 03:05:11 pm »
Hmm!   That Nashbar frame looks interesting.   That would chop a lot of weight out of the package I'd need to bring with me.   I also like the fact that it will take 700x38 tyre, lots of comfort there.

Thanks, I shall have to give that some very serious consideration, the build up wouldn't be difficult.

Gear Talk / Re: Bring or buy?
« on: December 09, 2009, 06:56:59 am »
Thanks guys, I'm used to swapping bikes and seem to be able to adapt to anything fairly quickly.   If I go down this route, I'll bring my own stem and saddle which will help.

I take the point about ordering the bike in advance, that's a must do.

I have a cunning plan.   At the back of my mind is the idea that when I finish the trip, I'll rent a cheap storage unit and leave the bike there, coming back for another trip, perhaps up the Atlantic coast or the Blue Ridge, in the fall.

The Sienna might be a European model, the Globe might be the one I'm after.   Anyway, I'm sure I can sort that out via a vendor's web site.


Gear Talk / Re: Trekking Bars?
« on: December 08, 2009, 09:51:28 am »
There's a shop/mail order company in the UK if you can't source them locally

best of luck

Gear Talk / Bring or buy?
« on: December 08, 2009, 08:08:34 am »
I'm planning a cross country trip early next year and my original thought was to bring my bike over from the UK.   I'm now pondering that and thinking about buying a bike in L.A.   Price is a consideration of course but I figure it will cost me about $400 to ship my own bike to and fro. 

I'll need good luggage capacity so must have something that will take panniers front and rear.   The Specialized Sienna has fittings for this as does the Comp version of their cyclocross bike.   Does anyone have any views on these bikes, I've never ridden either model.   

If you have a view on any alternatives, please jump in.  I think I would have to have a limit of $1000 but would like to save on that if it's possible.   All advice gratefully received.



Gear Talk / Re: Trekking Bars?
« on: December 08, 2009, 07:59:16 am »
Not absolutely sure what you mean by trekking bars.  Do you mean butterfly bars?   These are the loop ones you often find on trekking bikes like Koga.   I have a pair of these on my Dawes Karakum and they're great general purpose bars.   They offer a good range of hand positions and excellent control.   

I tend to have my hands on the top section for climbing, on the sides on rough tracks and on the bottoms for cruising.

They're fine on dirt tracks and pave and other than full on MTB'ing work very well

Apart from some of the hills in Kerry, there are few you'll really struggle with.   The Wicklow mountains does have some steep climbs but they're not too long.   If you want to avoid them however, just follow the coast south from Dublin, through Dun Laoghaire and Bray, the coastal area is generally very pleasant and the view of Kiliney Bay is worth it.   You can also head inland up the river valleys.   for example, the River Suir from Waterford up to Clonmel is very pretty.   Likewise, in Cork, you can follow the Blackwater and so on.

I'm feeling quite homesick now :)

Ahh! but it's warm rain in Ireland and there's always a pub nearby :)

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