August 2011 Bike Touring Newsletter

This summer has just flown by.

We’ve been on a beer-tasting bike tour around Belgium, we tried out recumbent bikes for the first time, and we made our Bike Touring Survival Guide available in a printed form!

What’s coming up next?

We want to rebuild the bicycles that we took around the world. So far, we’ve stripped the frames of all the parts, and in September we’ll take them to be painted. Then we can build them back up again! We’re going to do some more weekend bike tours, and we’re going to try out more recumbent bikes. They’ve really piqued our interest!

Recent Posts

Here are some of the most popular posts on the blog over the past month:

Tip Of The Month – Earplugs, Foreign Languages and Asking Directions

Short Wave RadioThis month we have several tips to share with you. They’re from followers of the Adventure Cycling Association, who have been leaving tips on a review of our Bike Touring Survival Guide and on the Adventure Cycling Facebook Group in hopes of winning a free copy.

“One of my favorite tips I picked up from my tour of Europe is that when you don’t speak the language enough to read the menu, just ask what the best is. I always had the best food and never had to fret about what to order because they would just point, I would order, and it was always fantastic. It went from being a desperate move in language-confusion to the best way to get the best food they offered!” –David Sassaman

“Pack a small AM/FM/weather radio for evening listening to immerse yourself in local culture and stay abreast of weather conditions.” – Michael Rosenstein

“When asking directions, ask at least three different people, and try to find at least two who give you the same direction. Car-culture people don’t understand that if they give you imprecise directions it could send you miles out of your way!” –Stephen Smith

“When bike-camping in noisy areas (wind, trains, cities, etc) bring and use earplugs – cheap, light. You will sleep a lot better.” –Gary Senula

Do you have a bike touring tip to share? Email us (just hit reply to this email) and we’ll publish the best ones in future newsletters.

Gear We Love – Victorinox Knives

Knives For Bicycle TouringYou might be on a bicycle trip, but that doesn’t mean you can’t cook great food, and part of making meal preparation easy is having the right knife.

For us, a Swiss Army knife has never quite been enough, and so about 5 years ago we invested in two cheap, yet sturdy knives from Victorinox: an 8cm Paring Knife and aSerrated Tomato Knife.

The best thing about these knives is how durable they’ve been. They’ve not only been carried round the world. We use them at home too. Despite this daily use, the only thing we have to do is sharpen the paring knife once every few months.

At home, we do this with a sharpening steel. On the road, we can always find someone to sharpen our knives for us – usually in a hardware store, or sometimes an old-fashioned travelling knife sharpener.

And did we mention that these knives are cheap? We’re talking about $5 U.S. for each knife. That’s all of $1 a year for the time we’ve been using them, and they’ve still got lots of life in them yet.

Featured Bike Tourists – Mike & Karen

2 Wheeled WanderersIt’s always fun to follow a bike tour right from its very beginning, and Mike & Karen are just a few days away from starting out on a 5-year world bicycle tour!

The plan is to start in their hometown of Edmonton, Canada and just keep going, as long as they’re having fun and still have money in the bank.

Their website – Two Wheeled Wanderers – is fairly new, but already there’s some good stuff on it.

Check out their article on how they chose a tentthe cost of building a touring bicycle, and a wilderness first-aid course that they took.

We’re looking forward to following Mike & Karen as they pedal around the world. Good luck guys!


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