December 2011 Bike Touring Newsletter
Welcome to December’s bike touring newsletter.
A very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to each one of you. We’ve really enjoyed connected with all of you over the past year, and can’t wait to share even more bike touring information and inspiration with you in 2012.
As a small ‘Christmas present’ to all of our readers, here’s a free bike touring poster for you to download.
- Video From A Bike Touring Fair – We recently visited a bike touring fair at Dutch bike maker Vittorio. Here’s what we saw.
- Best Hubs For Touring – Building a touring bike? Here are the hubs we recommend for long tours.
- Cycling In Serbia – Tips and photos from two bike tourists who’ve just been there.
- Rebuilding Our Touring Bikes – The story of how we did it, and the technical specs.
Gear We Love – Stocking Stuffers
Wondering what to put in a fellow cycling nut’s stocking? Here are some ideas that you can make yourself or find easily in local shops.
- Small Packages of Herbs & Spices – When you’re bike touring, tiny 1-2 serving sizes of common flavourings like oregano, basil and cinnamon (great on morning oatmeal) are always appreciated. You could create an entire lightweight spice kit (as featured in our September 2010 newsletter).
- Contact Cards – Grab a picture from their latest trip, add their contact details using Photoshop or another graphics program and then have your local copy shop print a few mini, personalised contact cards to hand out on the next tour.
- High Quality Tent Pegs – Most tents don’t come with good pegs, so splurge on a few high quality pegs. It’s a tent upgrade that almost everyone will appreciate. Even if they already have good pegs, a few spares never hurt!
- Map of Their Dream Location – Even if a dream trip is some time away, it’s a lot of fun to stare at a map and pick out a route so give them a road map of the place they’d most like to go cycling. Look up a few main attractions and mark them on the map with post-it notes for an extra dose of inspiration.
Tip Of The Month – Make Your Own Bike Stand
Where to put all these bikes? We needed a rack, and we didn’t want to spend a lot so we started researching different ways to make our own rack.
There are some very clever solutions out there, and many of them focus on what you can build from parts available at IKEA.
We’ll be posting more details of how we did it on the website. Until then, do have a browse around the IKEA Hackers website and see what other cool bike related ideas you can find.
There’s a fantastic stool that’s made from a Brooks Saddle on top of an IKEA base, and at least 3 other ideas for making your own bike stand for very little money.
Featured Bike Tourist – Two On Four Wheels
We asked our Twitter followers for a bike tourist to feature this month, and that’s how we found Pete & Mary.
They boarded a boat from England to France in July, and haven’t looked back since. Currently they’re in Turkey and they’re heading broadly for ‘the other side of the world’. Where exactly? We’ll have to wait and see!
We particularly enjoyed their recent and comprehensive round up of the equipment they’re using and their accounts of free camping and dog encounters in Greece. After a night of listening to dogs circling their tent, they wrote:
Too lazy (and scared) to get out of the tent, we imagined huge, salivating, vicious beasts ready to tear us to shreds. Emerging from the tent at sunrise we were greeted by two very friendly dogs who just wanted a bit of attention and a bite of our breakfast.
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