Welcome to the November edition of the TravellingTwo bike touring newsletter.
Where has the past month gone? Between planning a December bike trip to Andalucia in southern Spain, writing a book and developing some new features for the blog like this country resource map, we’ve been pretty busy.
We’ve been organising more chances to win gear and other goodies as well, because we know you love contests. Who doesn’t like to win stuff? This month, you can enter to…
Win A DVD of the Ride The Divide Movie!
This month you can read our review to win a DVD of the Ride The Divide movie. It’s a fascinating film about an unsupported mountain bike race along the spine of the Rocky Mountains.
Bike touring along this route is one of our dreams, so we were eager to watch the movie. We’d never go as hard-core as these racers do (they regularly ride 100+ miles a day), but we still came away inspired by Ride The Divide and we think you will too.
Want to win a DVD of Ride The Divide? It’s easy. Here’s how….
1. Read our review
2. Leave a comment telling us what your bike touring dream is.
That’s it! You can enter until Sunday evening. We’ll announce the winners on Monday.
Here’s what’s new on TravellingTwo.com…
- Questions To Ask Bike Touring Partners – Thinking of cycling with a friend? Make sure you ask a few questions first.
- Someone Interviews Us! – Here’s a change of pace; someone decides to interview us about TravellingTwo.com and why we love bike touring so much.
- Bicycle Touring In Corsica – Mark & Maria share tips, advice and experiences from a supported bike tour of the rocky French island of Corsica.
- Winter Bicycle Touring Tips – It’s getting chilly in the northern hemisphere, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop bike touring. Here are our tips for cold-weather cycling.
- Bike Touring Repair Kit – Four things you should definitely carry in your bike touring repair kit.
- A Creative Hub Repair – How to fit a 32-spoke hub to a 36-spoke rim. You never know when it might happen to you on the road!
Tip Of The Month – Apple Pie On The Road
Mmmmm… apple pie! It’s kind of hard to make a real one on the road, but here’s a quick way to make a one-pot version of apple pie. It definitely hits that comfort spot. This is for a 1 person serving. Multiply the recipe to match the size of your group.
- 1 apple
- 3-4 cookies (shortbread or ginger snaps work well)
- 1-2 spoonfuls of sugar or honey
- A bit of cream
- Pinch of cinnamon
1. Peel and core the apple. Cut it into chunks and put in a pot along with 1-2 spoonfuls of water. Turn the stove on (simmering if possible). Let the apple cook down until it starts to get soft. Add the sugar and cinnamon.
2. Crush the cookies. Put them in your serving dish or mug.
3. Pour the apples on top and drizzle over a bit of cream.
Tuck in and enjoy! Use any extra cream in your coffee the next morning, or as a base for a luxurious pasta sauce. For a gourmet version of this recipe, don’t stew the apples. Flambee them in cognac or grand marnier (you can buy mini-bottles at many liquor stores).
Gear We Love – Gore Tex Jackets
When we first took up bike touring, a friend gave us some advice.
“Gore tex, gore tex, gore tex,” he said. It sounded like a mantra, and it kind of is. You certainly don’t have to travel very far in a rain storm to appreciate a good waterproof Gore Tex jacket. They’re not cheap, but in our experience they’re worth every penny (watch for sales because they’re sometimes discounted at the end of the season).
As you can imagine, after a 3-year world bike tour we had totally worn out our old Gore Tex jackets. Last week, Friedel invested in a new jacket, the Alp X SS10 in bright red.
It’s made of the Paclite fabric, and weighs just 200g but don’t let the lightweight nature fool you. A few test runs on rainy days confirms that this jacket more than does the job of keeping you dry and warm. It’s not lined, but with a base layer it’s surprisingly cozy. Ventilation is good as well. A double front zip lets you decide whether to leave one zipper open to allow a breeze in, or close both in extra cold conditions.
There’s just one gripe to mention: the sizing. The XXL size is not so large at all; a UK size 16 (U.S. size 14).
Featured Bike Tourist Blog – Rolling Tales
Emma and Justin are two New Zealanders, heading home after living in London for a few years.
So far, they’ve made it to Turkey and they’re now spending the winter in Istanbul, before continuing their journey in April.
Aside from the usual journals and photos, their blog has some nice features like Where We Sleep – a photo slideshow of all the places a bike tourist might bed down for the night.
There’s also a review of how their gear has held up so far and a map that lets readers submit suggestions of where they should go next. Right now, they’re looking for ideas between Turkey and Southeast Asia.
Check out Rolling Tales. You’ll be glad you did!
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