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Messages - Galloper

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Routes / Re: cycling Germany
« on: May 21, 2012, 06:23:46 pm »
The German Cycling Federation (ADFC) used to offer an excellent booklet with all major cycle routes by region.   I got a copy free from Sustrans a few years ago, don't know if it's still available but it's an excellent guide.   

General Discussion / Re: Woman riding by herself
« on: January 22, 2012, 08:57:53 am »
Josie Dew and Ann Mustoe have written some wonderful books about their travels, I heartily recommend them to anyone thinking of travelling on their own.   

General Discussion / Re: Insurance for U.S. trip
« on: November 25, 2011, 09:46:08 am »
Cyclists Touring Club would be my recommendation, is the main page.   Lots of resources and plenty of useful discounts.   This is the company that they recommend.

General Discussion / Re: Southern Tier- Travelling from UK - Help
« on: November 09, 2011, 08:33:04 am »
As an afterthought, I enjoyed the ride down the southern part of the Pacific Coast route from LA toSan Diego.   If you feel you have time in hand, try that.   The cycle paths along the beach are fun with the added pleasure of being able to say: "I've been there" when they show up in film or in TV series :)

General Discussion / Re: Southern Tier- Travelling from UK - Help
« on: November 07, 2011, 10:04:03 am »
Did part of it last year but had to fly home early.   I flew BA and got a flexible ticket which meant I could fly in to LA and then get a return flight from Miami 3 months later.   Got it through Thompson Holidays so you should be able to get the same.

Probably a good idea to get in a few days in advance.   It will also help you to acclimatise.   In the past I've included a rental car in the ticket price which helps in the first few days as you're not reliant on taxis etc.  Helps if you get something big enough to carry your bike box and I'd also recommend a Sat Nav.   If you have a Garmin, they're USA map also includes locations of hotels, campgrounds etc.

For somewhere to stay, I usually go for Motel 6, they're generally reasonably priced and the rooms are fine.

Gear Talk / Re: folding bike for touring
« on: November 05, 2011, 10:28:59 am »
I don't know if they're available in the USA but have a look at Moulton bikes.   I haven't ridden one but owners I've spoken to regard them very highly.

Routes / Re: Southern Tier favorite section? Advice needed!
« on: November 04, 2011, 08:56:45 am »
I enjoyed the section from San Diego to Tempe.   Gets a bit steep in paces but nothing you won't be able to cope with.   There's also a pleasant variation in the terrain from the hills around Alpine to the verdant agricultural sections and then the heat of the desert.   

General Discussion / Re: Camp Coffee That Doesn't Suck
« on: October 28, 2011, 07:25:57 am »
No kit required.   Boil some water in your pan, chuck in a handful of coffee and bring back to the boil.   Lift off the flame for a few seconds then repeat twice.   Pour into mug, drink and remember to leave the last half inch or so of liquid in the mug unless you like chewing grains :)   You can also add sugar if required at the first stage.   

This is actually the traditional method of making Turkish coffee although they use a very small copper utensil.

International / Re: Italy
« on: July 22, 2011, 07:14:58 am »
I don't know a particular source but I recommend the Michelin regional series.   They're quite usable for bike touring and highlight scenic routes.   They also identify Michelin rated campsites.   

Regional tourist offices might have cycle route maps. might be helpful

General Discussion / Re: Your top 5 things to take on tour
« on: July 20, 2011, 11:48:46 am »
Another vote for Kindle.   Just come back from a 3 week jolly in France and was really pleased with it.

As regards charging for Garmin, phones etc., I use the shaver sockets in campsite washrooms.

Cooker.   I use a Primus, the pot that came with it has a fast boil heat distributor on it.   Brilliant, boils enough water for a brew faster than you can put the tea/coffee/sugar in the mug!

Yorkshire Tea.   The best, imho!

Soreen Malt Loaf.   (Try it with a sharp cheddar or Wensleydale.   Yum!)

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 :)

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