April 2011 Bike Touring Newsletter

Hurray! After a year of hard work, we’re proud to announce that our new Bike Touring Survival Guide is here!

>>Learn More & See A Free Preview<<

We’re sure you’re going to love it. It’s 240 pages, packed full of practical bike touring advice.

  • Getting Ready (packing, planning, finding a route)
  • Daily Logistics (navigating, sleeping, eating)
  • The People You Meet (weird questions people ask, accepting hospitality)
  • Staying Connected (staying in touch, gadgets, electricity, internet)
  • Challenges (dogs, traffic, bad weather, staying healthy)
  • Far Away Places (visas, vaccinations, safety, bribes and bargaining)
  • Coming Home (readjustment, getting a job again)
  • Bike & Gear Tips (caring for your bike, tent, stove, sleeping mat, etc)
  • Resources (packing list, recommended equipment)

You get all this in a PDF and Kindle format for just 5 euros (about $7 U.S.). We think that’s pretty good value, and we hope you’ll agree. We’re making this a risk-free offer: if you don’t think the eBook is worth 5 euros, just email us within 30 days and we’ll refund your money.

Want the eBook? You can buy it here.

Bike Touring Survival Guide

The rest of the newsletter comes from tips and information in the Bike Touring Survival Guide.

Tip Of The MonthCleaning Water Bottles

Sometimes you can get some pretty nasty looking mould in your water bottles. This is often caused by putting sugary drinks or juice in the bottle (all that sugar is perfect food for micro-organisms). Only put water in your water bottles if at all possible, or clean them out as soon as possible after you’re finished drinking.

If it’s too late and your bottle is filled with mould, scrub it in hot water with a long-handled brush or put it in the dishwasher. Next, fill the bottle with water and a bit of lemon juice or vinegar and let it sit for a few hours.

You can also fill the bottle with warm water and drop in a denture cleaning tablet or a spoonful of bleach and let it sit a few hours. A denture tablet works especially well when you’re on the road and don’t have access to a dishwasher. It sterilizes the bottle and gets rid of mould stains (you might have to scrub a bit if the stains are really bad). Rinse and enjoy your clean water bottles!

Ortlieb Folding Bowl

Gear We LoveKitchen Sinks

If you’re going on a long trip, a portable kitchen sink might just be your most valued luxury.

These foldable bowls are perfect for doing laundry, for washing dishes or even for washing yourself after a long day on the road. See all the things we use our kitchen sink for.

We use Ortlieb’s 10 Liter folding bowl and we’ve been really impressed with how it’s held up to intense use. For over 3 years, we used it almost daily and it’s still going strong. There are just a few small signs of wear: the sides are a bit saggy (but the bowl still retains its shape) and we had to patch up a small hole along the fold lines with tire patch.

If you’d like to compare with other bowls on the market, it’s worth taking a look at Sea to Summit’s Kitchen Sink, which is also popular with bike tourists we’ve met on the road.

Featured Bike Tourist

Mirjam WoutersMeet Mirjam Wouters. She’s been on the road for the past 10 years, solo.

“I can’t remember a time I didn’t want to ‘go on a adventure’,” she writes on her Cycling Dutch Girl blog.

“As a four-year old I packed a candle and some cheese in a bag and told mum I was away. She never thought I’d leave the street until a stranger rang. She found me 5 km down the main road with my feet in the pond, feeding the fish.”

So far, Mirjam has cycled through Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and Australia, among other places. She’ll back in her home country of the Netherlands in May for a visit, but then it’s back on the road for this cycling nomad.

Mirjam contributed a great photo to the Bike Touring Survival Guide that shows how she carries extra water across long, arid distances in Australia.

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