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Messages - Galloper

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I thoroughly enjoy cycling in The Netherlands.   Camp sites are fairly common along the coast but a bit rarer away from the holiday resorts.

I'd recommend Michelin maps, they're comprehensive and also show "picturesque" routes.   I'd back Hem up on his comments about route markers, I followed the Nordsee Kuste route a couple of years ago and kept losing it so the map is an essential.

If you're planning on buying a bike over there, you'll have plenty of choice.   The standard "Dutch Bike" will do very well as the equipment includes a rear rack, mudguards (sorry, fenders) and a horse shoe lock.   Cycle paths are everywhere.

General Discussion / Re: I was asked a question today...
« on: March 10, 2011, 06:54:29 am »
I think it was Josie Dew, in one of her books, who discussed the many and varied uses of a cycling cape!

General Discussion / Place names
« on: February 28, 2011, 08:17:20 am »
One of the small pleasures of touring for me is coming across interesting place names.   Here are some of my favourites.   What are yours?

Mavis Enderby.   No, not a woman, a small village in Lincolnshire

Skirl Naked.   In the Cheviots where a group of rievers stopped to dry their plaids after crossing a river on a cattle raid into England and had their piper play reels so they danced to keep warm while their clothes dried.

Bloody Bush Edge.   Where the locals caught up with another rieving clan.

Beer.   A village in Devon

Christmas Pie.   A village in Surrey

Ysbyty Ystwyth.   A village that vowels forgot.  In Wales

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.   Longest place name I've ever visited.

Toller Porcorum.    A village in Dorset, Latin for Valley of the Pigs.   I suspect medieval realtors :)

What Cheer.   Iowa.   Must have been founded by a Geordie :)

Buggers Hollow.   Arkansas, istr.   Didn't stop.

General Discussion / Re: Luxuries
« on: February 26, 2011, 07:54:13 am »
Coffee!   I normally just have a jar of instant but what are the (lightweight) alternatives?   I suppose a simple metal coffee pot on the stove would work although I recall reading an article some years ago which said that coffee made in this way was the worst for you as it brought out all the chemical compounds more strongly.   Any ideas?

Routes / Re: Bike Routes in Tuscany
« on: February 21, 2011, 04:13:58 pm »
The road from Volterra to Massa Maritima is lovely, pretty hilly of course.  I'd also recommend a trip to Castellina in Chianti and Radda in Chianti.

The whole area is lovely so wherever you go, you'll enjoy it.   The Michelin maps are the best, look for the green highlighted routes and pack a low gear :)

General Discussion / Re: Luxuries
« on: February 17, 2011, 08:57:30 am »
Lagavuilen!  Simply the best :)

Although in a pinch a bottle of The Famous Grouse or Jameson's will warm the cockles.

Totally agree with Westinghouse.   One additional comment I'd make is to keep a separate small notebook and make notes of each photo as you shoot it.   Otherwise, if you have lots of photos, it can be difficult to remember the circumstances and even the location of each one.

It's also a good idea to keep a scrapbook for things like park entrance tickets, restaurant bills etc.   Brings the whole thing wonderfully alive later on.

General Discussion / Re: Recommend a bicycle for travelling round the world
« on: February 15, 2011, 06:30:58 am »
Lots of choice.   As you're in the UK, first stop I'd suggest would be SJS cycles

Also have a look at Koga Miyata and Dawes. 

General Discussion / Re: Motorbike riders out there?
« on: February 12, 2011, 09:46:02 am »
Honda Transalp, Kawasaki ZR7S, ZX6R and Royal Enfield Bullet 650

2 x 35,000 mile trips around the USA (all 48 contiguous states).   Longest day ride:  from the Pyrenees through France to the North of England, 1115 miles on a ZX6R.   Who needs a Gold Wing :)

Gear Talk / Re: moving bar end shifters?
« on: February 11, 2011, 09:15:09 am »
Just a thought, if you're thinking of trekking bars, why not fit shifter pods.  Much more convenient to use than down tube shifters.   I fitted trekking bars to my Surly LHT with Shimano shifter pods and SRAM brake levers.   Works very well.

General Discussion / Re: Compact carbs? Do they exist?
« on: February 11, 2011, 09:01:51 am »
Tony, have you read Mark Beaumont's book, "The Man who cycled the world"?   There's a very interesting section on his ride across the Nullarbor.

I'd go for the normal pasta, rice etc.   Once you've cooked it, the water you drain off is still usable.   I recently saw a programme on southern India where clean water is valuable and they mentioned that after cooking their rice, the drained off water was kept for the children.

General Discussion / Re: New to downhill grades
« on: February 10, 2011, 06:39:13 am »
As regards checking rims for heat, I was taught to use the back of your hand and not finger tips.   If the surface is sufficiently hot to burn, it's better to lose a bit of skin on the back of your hand rather than a finger tip!   Ideally you should try and sense the heat before touching.   Spit is good - it sizzles :)

Oh, and by the way, this was on vehicle hubs not bikes :)

The descent from the In-Ko-Pah pass on the ST to Ocatillo is interesting.   I recall passing semis on that descent :)

General Discussion / Re: Luxuries
« on: February 10, 2011, 06:23:56 am »
Eeh Lad!   Tea is an essential.   Nowt better than a cup of Yorkshire tea and a slice of cake at the end of the ride :)

General Discussion / Re: Travel Insurance Q.
« on: February 09, 2011, 07:40:52 am »
Try these guys

General Discussion / Luxuries
« on: February 07, 2011, 06:52:02 am »
I read in an article on touring, many years ago, that one of the keys to a successful trip was having a luxury.   I've always subscribed to that.   By a luxury I mean something non-essential but more something you carry with you which makes the trip more enjoyable.

In recent years I've carried an MP3 player but my big luxury has always been a book or two.   I've recently treated myself to a Kindle and that has just popped to the top of my luxury list.

What do you take?

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