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  1. #126
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziemas
    ^^^
    If you can't afford the basic minimum of reliable supplies perhaps you should delay your trip until you have enough money.

    You say you work at an outdoors store. You wouldn't spend a winter hiking in Tasmania with a backpack, tent, and sleeping bag from Target, would you?
    Not to encourage a potentially suicidal venture, but I have camped comfortably in Northern US Winter conditions in a Walmart tent and Sleeping bag.....(Bag is good to -20℉)
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

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  2. #127
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    Despite my snide swipe about Zeimas' assertions on Tasmania...

    I can't be bothered reading all of this, because I am stunned by the content of the first and last two pages.

    The best advice the OP could have received is on the first page. That Cave and others have persisted is admirable, but a sheer waste of time. The OP's ambition is way beyond comprehension of what is required. The starting point is the non-existent budget required to adequately equip oneself with a bicycle and required equipment (Target variety or not).

    The world is full of loonies, and unfortunately, it looks like Australia has its fair share of them. The problem here is that if something does go wrong with this plan, and she does die, there will be a lot of finger-pointing at the people who continued to encourage her when it became patently obvious that she just doesn't have a clue.

    My best advice? If you are going in January, Flic, then I suggest you book a bus from Point A to Point Z, and forget the bicycle touring bit entirely. You just are not up to doing it by bicycle.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  3. #128
    Senior Member Flic's Avatar
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    geez dude, what happened to Dream, Dare, Do?

  4. #129
    Senior Member FraAngelico's Avatar
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    this is the same troll from a year or so ago who was planning a similar trip

  5. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flic
    geez dude, what happened to Dream, Dare, Do?
    Yes, dream all you want. You might even have the dare in you, but dare can be borderline stupidity, too. As to the do? No, I don't think so... not because you haven't got the desire, but you just haven't got the wherewithall, on your own admission, to given you an even chance of succeeding. You just don't have a clue about bicycles, let alone cycle touring. You are so confused by all the well-meaning advice here that you've got no hope of sorting it all out by January. And there is that tiny budget you keep referring back to.

    The most famous women cycling expenditioners have had some sort of (extensive) previous cycling experience and knowhow to get them through their adventures, as well as financial resources and a decent bike to start with.

    Tell me... you have the tyres sorted, but what happened with the bike? Schwalbe Marathons work pretty well, but they do need a bike to be able to do it. When are you going to buy the bike? Have you even thought about the air travel with it?

    You definitely need a wake-up call, and real fast.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  6. #131
    Senior Member FraAngelico's Avatar
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    Climbing Everest

    I'm planing to climb Mt Everest. I heard you need oxygen up there so I thought I'd borrow my uncle's scuba tank, what do you think?

    Also do you think my old nike sneakers will do the job, or should I get some new flip flops? They're on sale at the drug store for $1.99.

    Oh and also, I've never climbed more then a sand pile, but I figured what the heck! go for it, right?

  7. #132
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Flic, have a look for BigDan while you're there! We haven't heard from him since he was having passport problems in Damascus in 2005.

    Help! London to Cape Town via the Middle East?

  8. #133
    Senior Member Flic's Avatar
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    Well for those of you who are interested, which may not be many, I got a bike today (not just tyres). So, given I've very obviously worn out my welcome, I'll boot. I'll let those of you who are interested know the website address for my online travel diary before I leave (I'm leaving January 16th, so it will be before that)... Thanks again for all of the advice I've been given, because I'm not a troll, I'm real, and the time you took to write the advice was very very appreciated.

  9. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flic
    Well for those of you who are interested, which may not be many, I got a bike today (not just tyres). So, given I've very obviously worn out my welcome, I'll boot. I'll let those of you who are interested know the website address for my online travel diary before I leave (I'm leaving January 16th, so it will be before that)... Thanks again for all of the advice I've been given, because I'm not a troll, I'm real, and the time you took to write the advice was very very appreciated.
    Well, at least have the courtesy of telling those who proffered their advice what sort of bike you have acquired.

    And don't worry, Flic, we are *all* interested in your travel diary. Just make sure you keep it up to date so either you can give us the one-finger salute when you get to the end (on the bike, of course), or we can do likewise when you throw the bike aside and take the bus. I'm looking forward to a pretty entertaining eight months.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  10. #135
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    OK, let me get this all straight ...

    1) You've never ridden a bicycle before (or at least very little).
    2) You don't have any idea what can go wrong with a bicycle, or how to fix it.
    3) You've never cycletoured, which involves camping etc., before.
    4) You just bought a bicycle now, on December 19th, and you plan to start your tour on January 16th
    5) You've got three weeks to learn how to ride a bicycle, learn how to fix a bicycle, learn how to set up a tent and use a campstove.
    6) You're planning to do all this alone.
    7) Given all that, you are planning to take a bicycle of questionable durability, complete with all the gear you'll need to survive for 8 months to a place like Africa.


    WHY???????


    Is there something particularly compelling about doing a trip like this through Africa? If you're so compelled, I think you'd be better off going on something like this: http://tourdafrique.com/indextour.htm

    I'm all for adventure, but having done a 3 month tour of Australia (as a VERY experienced cyclist and camper), my first word of advice to anyone, most of all someone who has no experience whatsoever, would be to try a local trip of a week or two first.

  11. #136
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    Good luck Flic! If you don't manage it I for one certainly won't be giving you the one-finger salute, rather I'll say at least you tried (which is more than most advising you here would do it seems).

  12. #137
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amaferanga
    which is more than most advising you here would do it seems.

    I've no problem with the idea of touring Africa by bicycle ... I've had my eye on the Tour d'Afrique for quite a few years ... I just think that the OP could be a bit more prepared for something of the length and challenge that she is planning to attempt.

    For example, if she were planning to do this tour in January 2008, and were planning to spend the next YEAR riding her bicycle, taking practice tours, learning how to fix her bicycle, learning how to pack for a cycletour where she won't be staying in any 5 star resorts every night, learning how to pack her bicycle for her flight, and unpack and rebuild it at the other end ........ and all the little details that go into a cycletour of this nature ...... I think she could do the tour quite comfortably and enjoy herself along the way.

    However, she has admitted that she is too LAZY to even go for a small practice tour. She hasn't ridden a bicycle, doesn't have the first clue how to fix one, and so much more .... and then is planning an 8 month tour on a continent with a vastly different culture than her own. I suppose if she has an amazing sense of adventure and an extremely positive outlook on everything, she could enjoy the tour .... but here are just a few of the difficulties I see her encountering along the way.

    1) Getting the bicycle onto the airplane for the trip over.
    2) Putting the bicycle together again once she arrives. There may be no bicycle shops available to help her out.
    3) Accommodations, food, etc. Does she have any idea how far she can ride on a bicycle? Does she have any idea how far it is between towns where she can get accommodations or food?
    4) Comfort level. If she has never ridden a bicycle (or very little, or a very long time ago), does the bicycle fit? If not, she'll be in agony for the whole tour. Even if it does, she's going to hurt for the first couple weeks till she gets used to riding a bicycle. Riding a bicycle isn't like walking or other sports.
    5) Finances. Does she have a large fund available to get her out of trouble if she gets into it along the way? Like greasing the palms of officials at border crossing, bribes, etc.?


    If she is bound and determined to do this ... fine ... and I would like to see that website!! But, IMO, I just think she could have a much better time if she put a bit more preparation into the whole thing.

  13. #138
    Slowpoach
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    4) You just bought a bicycle now, on December 19th, and you plan to start your tour on January 16th
    Actually, in Australia it is December 20th

    Flic, the odds may be against you, but just try to stay safe and have a great trip. Don't be afraid to catch the bus if things aren't working out - it is about the journey, not the gear.

    I'd love to read your travel diary.

  14. #139
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    I sort of agree with most of what you say Machka, but there's nothing quite like learning from experience. I did. I made mistakes on my first big tour, but I lived to tell the tale. I'm sure it'll be the same for Flic.

    A solo tour across Africa has little in common with the Tour d'Afrique other than they're on the same continent!

  15. #140
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    Quote Originally Posted by amaferanga
    Good luck Flic! If you don't manage it I for one certainly won't be giving you the one-finger salute, rather I'll say at least you tried (which is more than most advising you here would do it seems).
    The trouble with this is... it leads fools to do things on a whim that lead to disaster, at a cost to both their families and the community. The newspapers in Australia are rife with rescues of people who are ill-equipped and ill-experienced to do the things they set out to do. Flic should knows only too well the consequences of that in yachting world. No doubt they have been encouraged by the same "at least you tried" mantra.

    And I would strongly suggest that the people who have offered their advice on bicycle touring here have vastly greater experience in bicycle touring through having *tried* and tested every aspect they have discussed.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  16. #141
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    A few other pointers to the OP, many of which have not been mentioned yet:

    1) Here's my packing list: http://www.machka.net/packinglist.htm That will keep me going quite comfortably for any length of tour with Randonneuring events thrown in now and then. You might not need or want everything on there, but I'd recommend looking it over in case there are a few things you might not have thought of.

    2) A cyclist needs to consume 250 calories per hour while riding. One energy bar is 250 calories. You might not be able to bring energy bars into the countries you are travelling into. Some countries have restrictions on food products ... that's something you might want to check into before you go. If you can't bring energy bars with you, or if you run out of them, it would be a good idea to have some awareness of the calorie content of foods so you know you're getting enough to eat.

    3) After a ride, a cyclist needs a good meal ... preferably with a lot of protein. My cycling partner and I did the first three weeks in Australia with very little meat because we were trying to save money. We discovered that we were almost desperate for the protein and for the rest of the tour consumed massive quantities of it ... without gaining any weight. I'm not normally much of a meat eater. I could go a month or more without it when I'm not cycling heavily, but when I am cycling a lot, I need a lot of meat.

    4) Hydration ... a cyclist needs to drink one 750 ml bottle of water every 1 to 1.5 hours depending on weather conditions. Most bottles are 750 mls. If you carry two on your bicycle, count on being able to ride for 3 hours. Yes, you could ride a bit more, but you'll start to be dehydrated ... and that will cause you all sorts of problems. If you think that it could be more than 3 hours between water sources, carry more water!

    5) Money ... I hope you've got lots of it!! Whatever you figure you'll spend per day on a tour ... double that amount. I was misinformed that I could tour Australia on $15/day. It was more like $30/day. I don't know what you're counting on for touring Africa, but if it were me, I'd want at least $50/day available to me. For your 8 month tour, that's $12,000. Why? Because there are always unforeseen expenses.

    6) Night ... there's a very, very good chance you'll end up riding at night at least once. Here's what happens ... you plan to reach a certain town that is only a mere 60 kms away. Turns out the road is a lot hillier or rougher or whatever than expected. Night falls, and the town is still another 10 kms away. How much night riding have you done? Are you comfortable with the idea of cycling in the dark? Do you have lights?

  17. #142
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    10US$ p/day is easily enough for Africa, plus a couple hundred US$ set aside for visas and another couple hundred for emergencies.

    Some days a couple of US$ will be all its possible to spend.

    12000US$ is enough for around 2 years in Africa easily.

    Rowan, if you'd read all the previous posts you'd know that if it does go wrong for Flic then all she'll have to do is jump on a bus!

  18. #143
    Slowpoach
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    A cyclist needs to consume 250 calories per hour while riding.
    Yeah, make sure you eat enough. Can be hard to do, believe it or not, even with good tucker and energy-rich snacks. With hills or headwinds for 6+ hours I need about 4000 calories/day, and still lose weight.

    Some very good points mentioned by Machka.

    (BTW, did you ever find a suitable camp stove?)

  19. #144
    Senior Member Flic's Avatar
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    I wasn't going to write anything else because I thought the thread had run its course... but in response:

    Rowan: I didn't mention the type of bike because I figured it would just give some people further reason to ridicule me, and whilst I'm pretty easy going and don't mind a bit of that, I didn't see the point of inviting it further. The bike is a Black Diamond 2007 Outlook with Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tyres, his name is Edward. I got the bike with the best components that I could. So there you go mate, have a laugh. Please note, I intend on taking public transport for some of this trip. To be honest, I'm not sure why you'd be giving me the one finger salute if it doesn't end up working out. I don't know what I have done to warrant that, or how any of this has affected you.

    Machka: I wouldn't compare what I'm doing with the Tour D'Afrique. Things aren't quite as bad as you think (yeah sure they're close, but not quite as bad!). Thanks for the practical advice you gave me. Nutrition is one thing I do understand. I've only stayed in a 5-star hotel once. Its not something I'm used to... I've slept in a car for 6 months, a tent will be fine. But I have taken note of what you have said and appreciate the effort you made in your comments.

    Amerferanga: I hope you don't hate the bike too much. I hope you like the tyres. Thanks for your support, though I feel bad that you're copping flack from people just for being nice to me. Sorry about that.

    Cave: Thanks for your advice. I was talking to the guy in the bikeshop about carrying water, about putting three bottles on the frame like I have seen in pictures. He said in order to do that I would need just a normal cage to put on the upright part and then some sort of cage that carried two bottles to put on the lower cross bar thing, that I couldn't just attach two cages, one either side (I hope that makes sense). He said he didn't know where I could get a cage that took two water bottles, do you know somewhere in melbourne where i can get one? Or is he wrong? Also, I'm not bringing a camp stove, I don't want to cook.

  20. #145
    Senior Member mudskipper99's Avatar
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    Hi Flic, even though this still doesnt sound like a good idea to me, I wish you luck and I hope everything works out for you. I am excited (and scared) for you. I would love to read your travel diary also. If you dont post the link here, could you send it to me? I will be rooting(is that spelled right?) for you.

    If you have gardian angles, they will be very busy for a while! Be safe!

  21. #146
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan
    Well, at least have the courtesy of telling those who proffered their advice what sort of bike you have acquired.

    And don't worry, Flic, we are *all* interested in your travel diary. Just make sure you keep it up to date so either you can give us the one-finger salute when you get to the end (on the bike, of course), or we can do likewise when you throw the bike aside and take the bus. I'm looking forward to a pretty entertaining eight months.
    Matter of fact, Flic, if you pull off this trip, I encourage you to give us the one finger salute and say "Told ya so!"! Good luck and post a link to your travel diary! I suspect that this will either be one of the best AND worstr experiences of your life. Bona Fortuna and safe travels!
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  22. #147
    Left OZ now in Malaysia jibi's Avatar
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    Flic

    Go and enjoy.
    I will be rooting for you every inch of the way.

    At least you won't be saying for the rest of your life "IF", if only I'd, if it had been, if....

    I am surprised that some people get out of bed in the morning they are so paranoid.

    I have read this thread while wondering, what if I hadn't gone off to do cycle tours 20 years ago, no maps very few words known in foreign languages, not much money, crap bike etc etc.

    We all learn from experience, I hope you have the expereince of your lifetime
    ---------------------------------------------------
    https://sites.google.com/site/imjibi/home

    Photos of present tour of South East Asia
    http://picasaweb.google.com/georgeidf50/southeastasia

  23. #148
    Senior Member Shemp's Avatar
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    1) No, I've not toured Africa, but comparing your safety to that of the western world, including America is absurd. Absurd.
    2) I'm not saying one should always be discouraged from touring Africa, but I do think it's irresponsible for one to encourage someone to cycle-tour for 8 months in Africa with zero cycle-touring experience and zero bicycle mechanical knowledge.
    3) To equate someone else's success with the probability of success here is a bit of a leap. "Dead men tell no tales." Not to say I personally know of anyone who has died, but just because two tourers here have had success in riskier areas, doesn't mean a total novice is likely to succeed. It's one thing to be prepared and experienced, but that is not the case here.

  24. #149
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    Go have a great time: it will be a challenge but you seem to be up for challenges. Keep your '6th Sense' about you to anticipate trouble.

    Machka's advice is sound: The nutrition & hydration are critical for this kind of ride.

    Best of luck & I hope to be able to read your travelogue...
    centexwoody
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  25. #150
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shemp
    1) No, I've not toured Africa, but comparing your safety to that of the western world, including America is absurd. Absurd.
    Don't believe all you read......

    If you really think Africa is THAT dangerous for tourists then you clearly know little about the continent.

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