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FREE: Our Bike Touring Basics Book

Posted January 17th, 2012

Bike Touring BasicsIt’s here! The second edition of our Bike Touring Basics book is free, and exclusively available to our newsletter subscribers.

Bike Touring Basics answers common questions about planning a first tour, such as:

  • What makes bike touring so wonderful
  • How much it will cost
  • Which bike to buy
  • Where to go for a first tour
  • What to pack
  • The gear we use and recommend

To get your copy, simply fill in your name and email.

When you do, you’ll also receive an extended preview of our Bike Touring Survival Guide and future editions of our monthly newsletter*, with exclusive bike touring tips.

*100% spam free. May inspire you to quit your job and go cycling.

Still not convinced? Here’s a free preview of Bike Touring Basics.

Amazing Video Of A U.S. Bike Tour

Posted January 6th, 2012

Want to be inspired? Check out this fantastic film of a 2,200km cycling tour through the Southwestern U.S. including the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas.

It’s from our bike touring friends friends Dennis & Marijcke, and they’ve also made their GPS tracks and photos available on their website. Happy viewing!

You can find translations for the brief parts of spoken Dutch on Vimeo.

 

Merry Christmas & A Free Poster

Posted December 21st, 2011

As we head into the holiday season, we wanted to take a moment to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas.

It’s been wonderful having you along for the ride, as we’ve shared bike touring information and inspiration in 2011.

Here’s a little Christmas present for each one of you, to say thanks for your support during the year. It’s a free poster that you can download and print out to hang on your wall or fridge.

The image shows some of the things you might want to take on a bicycle tour (a sort of ‘equipment list’ in a different format) and comes from our Bike Touring Survival Guide. Many people have told us that they like it, so we thought we’d make it freely available.

Bike Equipment Poster

Just click on the image to access the full-size graphic, or click here to grab the PDF version.

Season’s greetings, and all the best in 2012!

Posted in Inspiration

Cycling Kyrgyzstan In The Winter: An Amazing Video & Inspiring Words For Your Own Adventure

Posted August 29th, 2011

Jamie & HenryToo often, as a society, we are quick to dismiss things as ‘impossible’ or ‘foolhardy’ – especially when they go against the conventional wisdom of what is ‘smart’ or ‘sensible’ to do.

Start planning a big bike expedition, and you can run up against this attitude quite a lot. So, when we got an email recently from Henry & Jamie, telling us about their recent bicycle tour across mountainous Kyrgyzstan in February – an adventure easily thrown into the ‘foolhardy’ category – we were intrigued.

They sent us a link to the video of their 8 day crossing – a small but intriguing part of their bike tour from the UK to Australia.

“Hopefully the video captures what was at times nothing short of savage, thanks to the Medusa landscape (totally jaw-dropping but with the ability to take your life in an instant…only these beauties turn you to ice not stone), arctic conditions and vodka. I hope it also captures how two happy-go-lucky vagabikers armed with little more than scraggly ‘windbreaker’ beards, a plentiful supply of fetching pink socks, local good-luck hats and an albeit questionable sense of humour succeed in achieving what many deemed impossible.”

Watch. Enjoy. And be sure to read Henry & Jamie’s written impressions of the journey, below the video.

“When we set off from London nearly 16 months ago, we had not really planned on tackling the heavy snowfall, -35C temperatures, blizzards, altitude sickness and 9,000m+ of winding passes that a mid-winter excursion in Krygyzstan so attractively offers, but upon entering Central Asia it became starlingly clear that it was our unavoidable destiny to attempt this (dare I say it) ‘epic’ challenge. There was an understandable absence of support from the cycle touring community (we couldn’t find anyone who had done this before at this time of year, most riders are opting for the warmer southern route through UAE and India), and this helped to induce both dread, fear, but paralleled excitement as the mountains approached.”

Photo courtesy of the Blazing Saddles
Photo courtesy of The Blazing Saddles

“It must be said though that the unbelievably kind hospitality of the Kyrgyz people (who appeared to feel deep pity for us, taking us into their homes on 6 of the nights) and the mystical appearance of an ‘Into the Wild’ style Magic Bus near the top of the desolate third and final pass, made the crossing significantly more bearable. I guess we’ll never know who lives in that bus but if you happen to have found our flyer (we left one inside for you), located an internet connection, speak English, and are therefore possibly reading this…Thank You. Sorry for the dribble patch on the pillow.”

Photo courtesy of The Blazing Saddles
Photo courtesy of The Blazing Saddles

“Aside from being well prepared in terms of kit, having the right attitude when undertaking something like this is extremely important, whether you’re travelling solo or with others. As crazy as it sounds, Jamie and I always tried to laugh in the face of adversity (which reared its ugly head at nearly every corner), and so this made handling the ridiculous situations much easier.”

“What else have we learned from this rather testing adventure? The answer could be an exhaustive one: the importance of listening to warnings but taking them with a healthy pinch of salt; that snow makes a refreshing alternative to toilet paper; that urine acts as a cost effective alternative to de-icer; always packing a plentiful supply of fetching pink socks no matter what the challenge; that getting paralytically drunk on the second morning of a week long physical challenge may be ruddy good fun but not generally considered a good idea….and everything between. However, it could simply be summarised by the immortal words of Jamie King (Nike’s biggest alternative unofficial spokesperson) coined in his infamous Serbian TV Top Gear appearance: Just do it.”

A Reminder: Do What You Love and Do It Often

Posted August 24th, 2011

Sometimes we all need a good reminder of what’s important in life. This poster does it for us.

We’ve just ordered a copy for our wall, but you can also download a free PDF version and stick it on your fridge.

Holstee Manifesto

Posted in Inspiration