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Messages - Galloper

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« 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 :)

International / Re: CYCLE EUROPE 2010
« on: December 06, 2009, 06:47:55 am »

There's lots of great cycling in Europe.   Have a look at this site for information.   The Eurovelo link will give you lots of information about the longer routes.   One of my favorites is the Loire.   It's great cycling, lovely scenery, plenty of campsites and lots of interesting towns.

I'd also suggest you join the Youth Hostel Association, good for inexpensive accommodation.   For the UK, check out

They can provide maps of a number of really good cycling routes.   I particularly recommend the Rievers Route and the C to C.

In Germany, as mentioned above, there are some excellent routes.   I haven't tried them (yet) but the Rhine and Danube routes are supposed to be excellent.

You will find drivers in Europe are generally considerate to cyclists and in many cases, downright friendly.   The only exceptions seems to be Spanish truckers!

You'll have a great time.   

I know it might sound a bit daft but I always try and carry some cake then when I stop for the evening, the routine goes: tent up, sleeping bag out to air, kit stowed away and then a large mug of tea and a slice of cake.   A wonderful way to relax before getting a shower, swim or whatever's available.  Then it's time for dinner.

By the way, what's PB?

Gear Talk / Re: The Best Touring Bikes/Frames (and other parts, as well)
« on: December 05, 2009, 02:42:42 pm »
Not sure what the availability is in the USA but Dawes make very good touring bike with a good range.

In terms of panniers, have a look at Carradice.   They produce a great range of kit, panniers, bar bags saddle bags etc.   And they're totally different from the usual  Ortleib, Arkel etc.

And if they're good enough for Josie Dew...

Best of luck with the new venture.   

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