Welcome to the October edition of the TravellingTwo bike touring newsletter.
Autumn’s cool breezes are blowing our way here in Europe, and Andrew & I are already dreaming of our next trip; probably sometime in December. We’re leaning strongly towards Corsica, but will it be too cold? There’s also Tunisia or an off-road adventure in Morocco to consider.
Decisions, decisions! If you’ve been to any of these places, or have another idea, we’d love to hear it. Reply to this email, and tell us where you think we should go cycling this winter.
In the meantime, here’s what’s been going on at TravellingTwo headquarters (otherwise known as our little apartment in Holland).
Trying to figure out where to take your next bike tour? Our latest contest might give you some inspiration.
Up for grabs are 5 copies of the biciklo Annual Guide to bicycle touring – worth $28 if you buy it online, but going free to our lucky winners!
Biciklo is a website that allows you to search for companies offering biking holidays. Their professionally produced magazine is packed full of images and stories on both guided and self-guided cycling tours. Mountain biking in Maine, riding in British Columbia’s Gulf Islands and the inaugural journey of the Vuelta Sudamericana are just some of the areas this guide covers. You’ll also find equipment lists for touring, and general bike touring tips.
>> To win your copy of the guide, just tell us one thing you like about TravellingTwo.com by commenting on this page. <<
We’ll announce the winners on Monday.
- Tire Width – Does it make a difference to the load you can carry, or how smooth your ride is? A mechanic gives us his opinion.
- Dutch Cyclist Photographs – This weekend we photographed Dutch cyclists. Take a look at what we saw on the bike paths!
- Heinz Stücke: The Interview – A transcript of our interview with Heinz Stücke; the world’s most travelled bike tourist. Thanks to Jesse, a kind reader who typed it all out!
- Bicycle Touring Around America – Alan & Morrigan spent almost a year riding 11,000 miles around the United States of America.
- Making Pizza On A Bike Tour – That’s right, pizza! It’s not as hard as you might think. This video shows how we make one of our favourite treats while camping. Just mix water and flour…
- Riding the Pacific Coast Highway – Dan tells us about the 2,750km he cycled from the Canadian border to Mexico, along the stunning Pacific Ocean coastline.
Tip Of The Month – Grease In A Syringe
The next time you need to grease different parts of your bike, drop by your local pharmacy or hobby shop for a syringe.
Yes, that’s right: a syringe. They’re perfect for filling with grease, to create your own personal “grease gun”.
With a syringe full of grease, you can easily lube up all those ball bearings and other tight spots, without getting your hands dirty.
Note: we’re taking about the plastic syringes here; not the ones with needles! What you want are the syringes normally used to measure and dispense medicine in the correct quantities.
Dave Moulton’s bike blog elaborates on the homemade grease gun.
Gear We Love – Pedals With Spikes
When it comes to pedals, we’ve tried just about everything going: flat pedals, pedals with toe clips, Power Grips and, of course, SPD pedals that you clip in and out of (see more on pedals we’ve tried).
But it was only recently that we had the chance to try pedals with spikes – most commonly used by mountain bikers.
After a few rides on borrowed bikes with these types of pedals, we both agree: they’re our favourite type of pedals so far! And a bit of web surfing shows we’re not the only ones who like spikes..
Pedals with spikes are grippier than normal flat pedals, so in rainy conditions your feet don’t going flying all over the place, and you get more traction during normal cycling too. When you need to stop quickly, there’s no twisting to get your feet out of cleats, cages or straps. For us, they just work.
Is there a downside? Well, let’s just say that if you hit your legs against the pedals when you’re pushing the bike, it’s going to hurt. Ouch!
They won’t be for everyone, but if you feel you haven’t quite found your perfect pedal yet, take a look at pedals with spikes.
We haven’t decided exactly which pair to get yet, but we’re looking at pedals like these, or like these.
Featured Bike Tourist Blog – Yellow Tent Adventures
If you haven’t heard of Willie Weir, you’ve been missing out. Together with his partner Kat, they’ve been biking all over the world for years now.
Willie has also authored a few books on bike touring, and writes for the Adventure Cycling Association. We knew about Willie’s many books, but we didn’t know he and Kat also have a blog!
Currently, Willie and Kat are cycling in Spain, and this excerpt from Kat’s latest post says a lot about the joys of bike touring, even when the weather isn’t ideal:
“Today is my birthday. Today is spent confined to our small 6 x 4 foot little yellow tent as the rains come in trickles to bursts and winds come in gusts. Fortunately I love our little yellow tent. I love small spaces. I love a lazy day doing nothing more strenuous than reading and adjusting my thermarest chair. So rarely do I get the opportunity in life to do nothing and not feel guilty about it.”
For more check out their Yellow Tent Adventures website.
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