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Messages - Galloper

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General Discussion / Re: Biking San Diego to Pheniox Tire Question
« on: January 24, 2010, 06:52:09 am »
I like the Panaracer Tourguard Pasella.   Fast rolling and, I think, lighter than the Schwalbe.

Routes / Re: Mexican excursion from Southern Tier
« on: January 22, 2010, 06:01:39 am »
Thanks,   I did rather wonder at the paucity of replies, seems that Mexico might be a place to avoid for the time being.


Cheap bikes use Schraeder valves.  The valves are used in other automotive applications like AC.  I believe that the only application for Presta valves is the bicycle world.  You can certainly drill out your rims if you want to go back to Schraeder valves.

There is an adapter to go to Schraeder from Presta.  A word of caution, if you are going to use a gas station air line to inflate your tubes.  The volume of air that comes out may overinflate your tube.  In my high school days, I had a clincher tire ripped off the rim because my momentary contact with the air line was too long.  The tire never worked right after that, and I bought a floor pump after that.

Yes, the point I was trying to make was that the only application for Presta valves is the bicycle world.   Why, I wonder, does no one else use them.   For slim rims, I understand the value of a slim valve setting but Presta valves always strike me as being fragile and more complicated in design and manufacture.

You can specify 26" wheels with a number of companies.   Thorn certainly do them and I think all the main trekking bike companies like Koga use them as well.

On the subject of pumps and tyres, I've always wondered why any touring bikes should use Presta valves when most air lines are set up for Schraeder.   

I'm impressed by that clever use of the valve cap, Tony, I shall tuck that little pearl away for future use.

As above - 26" is generally more available but if you're going into the middle of the bundu, it makes sense to carry basic spares like spokes, a chain link or two and so on.   It's also worth bearing in mind that if the worst comes to the worst, steel can generally be welded in most workshops, aluminum requires a specialist and carbon - forget it!

And it's a really good idea to have TWO pumps!

Glad you're looking forward to it.   These guys can help:

May the road rise up before you!

July and August tend to be the busiest months for tourism and also the best weather but it's like most other places, you can have good weather or bad weather at any time of the year.

When you're looking for somewhere to stay, most of the larger towns have tourist offices who will have a list of Bed and Breakfast places as well as hotels and hostels.   Unlike the USA, B & Bs tend to be relatively cheap.   The tourist offices will generally have a list of prices and will call ahead for you. 

Routes / Mexican excursion from Southern Tier
« on: January 11, 2010, 06:19:21 pm »
I'm planning on riding the Southern Tier west to east in the near future.   Looking at the map, there seem to be one or two roads in Mexico that parallell parts of the Southern Tier.

That started me wondering about doing a loop down into Mexico (as I have never visited that country).   Has anyone got any suggestions about possible routes and advice on cycling there?


Trust yourself and your kit!   You'll have a great time and even if you do find headwinds and long, slow stretches, think about the great stories you'll be able to tell!

And in the unlikely event that something does go wrong, in my experience you'll find that most people are generous and happy to help a stranger in trouble.

General Discussion / Re: bike for TransAm trail
« on: January 07, 2010, 06:48:04 am »
I pretty much agree with all of the above.   Steel frame bikes are generally more shock absorbant and therefore more comfortable.   I use both a steel framed and an alu framed for touring.   The alu bike has a suspension seatpost which balances out the comfort equation.   Not sure about prices in the USA but here in the UK, about $30 would get a fairly decent suspension seat post.   Worth considering.

While most touring bikes have drop handlebars, I've never much favoured them myself.   I prefer either flat bars with some rise or a pair of butterfly (trekking ) bars.   The latter give even more hand positions than drops and generally offer a more upright seating position which I find more comfortable.   This is a matter of personal taste so if you can, try out all the options.

Have fun

Routes / Re: Where in the World to Ride in Early April?
« on: January 03, 2010, 07:22:23 am »
What about Portugal or southern Spain?   Quite nice at that time of year and plenty of tourist facilities.  If you wanted somewhere different, Morocco, there are plent of companies offering guided and supported tours in those parts. 

Have a look at which is the organised tour holidays of the Cyclists Touring club in the UK.   They have a 2 week tour, 10 - 25 April in Spain.

Have fun

General Discussion / Re: Your first long distance tour...
« on: January 03, 2010, 07:12:48 am »
Glenageary to Sandycove.   1/2 a mile, I was 5.   It was kind of scary but very exciting.   And I had jam (jelly) sandwiches.   I still get that same feeling today and I still like jam sandwiches.   

Either my mother was very laid back about letting me go adventuring or she carried out a covert surveillance operation that would shame the CIA.   I rather suspect the latter.

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

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