May 2011 Bike Touring Newsletter
The last few weeks have been busy and exciting. We launched our Bike Touring Survival Guide and so far it’s gotten great reviews. Thank you so much to everyone who bought it. You’ve encouraged us to write even more, and helped a lot with the running costs of the website.
In other news, we’ve been nominated as a top bicycle travel blog in the Crank Awards. If you’ve enjoyed our website, would you vote for us? Thanks!
We’ve also been busy planning bike tours. This summer we’re going to explore our backyard: northern England and Holland. Get ready for lots of pictures of the Yorkshire moors and Dutch windmills. If you’ve been to these areas, we’d love to hear your suggestions for where to go. Just reply to this email to send us a message.
Here are all the newest posts on the blog:
- Bike Touring India’s Himalaya Mountains – Christian answers 10 Questions about his recent trip to India’s Himalaya Mountains
- Eurovelo 6 From Switzerland To France – A trip report with lots of helpful tips
- 100 Countries. 100,000km – An interview with epic bike tourist Alvaro Neil
- Optimus Crux Stove – A review of this tiny and ultra-light canister stove.
- Free Bicycle Dictionary – Bike touring terms and phrases, translated into 27 languages!
- Exped Sleeping Mats – The most comfortable night’s sleep we’ve had yet.
Tip Of The Month – Bikes On European Trains
If you’re planning a tour of Europe this summer, you may want to put your bike on a train at some point. This is relatively straight forward for shorter distances but more complicated for longer trips because many high-speed lines require your bike to be in a bag or box.
An easy solution is to take a City Night Line train. These overnight trains run between major European cities and usually have a bike carriage. It costs €12 to put your bike on the train, and tickets can be surprisingly cheap if you book ahead. From Amsterdam, it’s as little as €29 for a seat to destinations including Copenhagen and Munich.
Note: the cheap seats are not comfortable! Unless you can sleep in a straight-up sitting position, spend a bit extra for a bed. We tried the cheap seats on a trip to Denmark and ended up spreading out our sleeping mats on the floor of the bike carriage. This works well as long as the carriage is not too full and the train conductor has a sense of humour.
Gear We Love – Garmin 62CS GPS
We did it. We finally did it. We bought a GPS for bike touring.
The decision was based partly on Tara & Tyler’s excellent experiences with the previous model (the 60CSx).
Andrew also picked this GPS because of its fast processing speed, which means it quickly loads the very detailed maps of Holland (including all the bike paths). The micro SD card slot is another advantage. It allows us to add more memory.
Other GPS options such as the Garmin Oregon 450 were crossed off the short-list, because Andrew didn’t want a touch screen.
Only time will tell how this GPS holds up to the trials of bike touring, but our initial tests close to home are promising. It’s been intuitive to figure out (we haven’t opened the manual) and seems very ruggedly built.
Featured Bike Tourists – Paul & Grace
Paul Jeurissen is a professional photographer who also loves to ride his bike. He met his future wife Grace on a 1981 trip along the Trans-America trail.
Together, they’ve taken many bike and photography trips. Their time on the road totals more than 4 years and is spread across 4 continents. Their latest trip started in 2010 and is a multi-year bike trip around the world.
As they travel, Paul & Grace are publishing inspiring images of cycling on their blog, Bicycling Around The World.
What we really like about the blog is how easy to read it is. Paul & Grace publish quick snapshots of life on the road – not long journal entries – so it’s simple to dip in and out, picking up inspiration and tips along the way.
They also feature guest photographers with great bike touring photos, so if you know of a great cycling photographer, make sure you tell Paul & Grace.
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