January 2012 Bike Touring Newsletter
Welcome to January’s bike touring newsletter.
We all love a ‘freebie’ and this month we have two super giveaways: bike touring books that will inspire and entertain you.
|#1 - Bike Touring Basics.
The 2nd edition of our popular and free guide to bike touring is complete.
It’s fully updated, with inspiring and practical articles about bike touring. There’s also an overview of all our favourite cycling gear.
We hope you enjoy it, and look forward to hearing your comments.
Thanks, and happy reading!
|#2 - Bicycle Traveler Magazine.
Our friends Grace & Paul have released the latest edition of their Bicycle Traveler magazine!
It’s full of entertaining stories and inspiring photography which will have you dreaming about new destinations and the latest cycling gear.
In addition to these two great books, we also have the regular newsletter for you to enjoy. Happy New Year!
- Dry Bags For Bike Touring - Do you need one, to carry your tent and other camping gear?
- Chorizo & Spinach Pasta - One of our favourite bike touring meals.
- Amazing Video of a U.S. Bike Tour - This video will definitely make you want to explore the Southwestern United States by bicycle!
- 10 Questions: Bike Touring In Tibet - Bob Foster tells his story about riding across Tibet.
- IKEA Bike Stand - The full details on how we built a bike stand out of parts from IKEA.
Gear We Love - Topeak Super Tourist DX Rack
If you’re planning to do a lot of touring, we recommend a top quality luggage rack. But sometimes your budget won’t stretch that far, or you don’t plan to tour enough to justify the cost of the best racks.
We bought two back in 2009, for commuting and light touring. The racks are fairly light (700g) and should fit almost all bikes. They’ve held up admirably on 10-14 day tours of Denmark and Spain, as well as numerous shorter trips and countless grocery store run. We’ve never had to adjust them or fiddle with them. They just work.
The only negative thing we can say is that there’s a bit of paint rubbing off where the bags touch the metal but that’s a problem with almost any rack. For the price (around £30 in the UK or $40 in America), the Topeak Super Tourist DX is excellent value.
Tip Of The Month - Don’t Forget The Spokes!
It’s all too easy to forget the small things when you’re touring but whatever you do, don’t forget the spare spokes.
It’s unlikely you’ll need to use them but if the spokes in your wheel do start to falter, you’ll appreciate being able to make a quick roadside repair. A spare spoke can also come in handy for repairs you wouldn’t normally expect – for example, we’ve used one to reach into tight places when doing field repairs on our MSR Whisperlite stove.
Since spokes are easily bent, store them somewhere safe. Options include taping them to the chainstay, underneath the saddle or putting them inside your handlebars or seat tube.
Not everyone will be comfortable with the mechanics of replacing a spoke, so another option is a temporary replacement such as the Fiberfix. It’s easy to install, and should get you far enough to reach the next bike shop.
Featured Bike Tourist - Cycle Trails Australia
We love websites with practical info – and that’s just what Cycle Trails Australia is all about. The author, GJ Coop, said it started the site because tips for biking through rural Australia were hard to find.
I came up with the idea of a website for off-road, epic trail bike tourers while sitting on my bike somewhere remote in Outback Australia and wondering why I didn’t have much idea where I’d find the next water refill station.
What’s GJ accumulated so far? Information on 16 remote bike routes, for a start, plus a dose of sound advice on the reality of touring in the back country. He notes, for example, the importance of a reliable bike.
It’s a long way between bike shops in remote Australia.OK, you can get tubes and puncture repair kits in many towns even without a specialised bike shop. Anything more complex, a 9 speed chain, spokes, brake pads even, and you may well be out of luck.
GJ is currently working in Alice Springs, and waiting for the west season in northern Australia to finish. Then he’ll be heading for Cape York and down to Melbourne.
Read more on the Cycle Trails Australiawebsite.
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