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  1. #1
    jur
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    My Birdy bike tour to kangaroo Island warning maaaany pics

    Find it in my signature link, or here.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  2. #2
    Bicycling Gnome
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    Another great adventure there. Tough road surfaces for the most part Jur. Plenty of gears needed I think. Glad that guy with the overturned car didn't swipe you into oblivion.

  3. #3
    Pedal faster not harder.
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    Sweet pics...thanks for sharing

  4. #4
    Car free since 1995 pm124's Avatar
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    Nice! Thanks, Jur.

  5. #5
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    Looks like a great trip!
    ICE B1, Brompton H6, Schwinn Mirada drop-bar vintage mtb

  6. #6
    crazy bike girl msincredible's Avatar
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    Great pictures and comments, thanks for sharing!
    Countries I've ridden in: US, Canada, Ireland, UK, Germany, Netherlands, France, China, Singapore, Malaysia
    States I've ridden in: Illinois, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, California, Nevada, Missouri, Colorado

  7. #7
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    You should approach the Kangaroo Island tourist bureau or a book publisher with that material. It's way better than most books about a tourist destination like that - and if you it was to be a bicycle travel book you could add some chapters on equipment and maintenance and traveling tips.

  8. #8
    PDR
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    Looks like you both had a really good trip.
    I didnít know that Birdy made a trike (check out your 2nd photo).
    And that was an impressive (and healthy) looking tiger snake... I keep a few Australian venomous species here at work, Death Adders & Black Snakes

  9. #9
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    Wonderful!

  10. #10
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    Really enjoyed it, cheers jur.

    Any concluding thoughts on Birdy vs Reach based on this trip? (suspension/load carrying etc)

    T

  11. #11
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Wow, excellent write-up. You are meticulous in your journals!

    Thanks for sharing it with us. I feel like I was there to experience the trip - minus the flies.

  12. #12
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    Oh yes, the Australian flies! Don't they just love to cling on your lips lol...
    Excellent pics, Jur. You live a very picturesque life.

  13. #13
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    That giant ant was scary, as were the flies. I got attacked by some sort of giant ants with huge mandibles last year, and then a month or two later I got attacked by tiny biting ants. I had a bad allergic reaction both times. Then I was bitten by a bee and had an allergic reaction to that too, which I had never had before. I must have been sensitized to insect poisons. I think - hope - it's worn off by now.

  14. #14
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    Jur! great photos and chronicle! Lucky guy to have a girl like Connie ! Roads looked a little rugged, how'd the Reach fair with the 451's? Nice pelican pic's How's the Kangaroo population?

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    Great pictures Ė thanks for sharing. Reminds me of my visit to Gold Coast three months ago. You have such a wonderful nature in Australia. The food & wine were excellent, and people friendly.

  16. #16
    Senior Member badmother's Avatar
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    Great pix. Wish this place was sunny and warm also.

  17. #17
    Senior Member gerald_g's Avatar
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    Great stuff Jur. I just wondered through the Kangaroo Island pics, and wished I was there.

  18. #18
    jur
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    Connie said the Reach was great - she didn't notice there were panniers loaded.

    The Reach with 451s rolled MUCH easier over the gravel roads and especially loose sections. It really made a massive difference. The bigger wheels just sink that much less into a loose surface, and it has 1 3/8" tyres fitted, same width as the Birdy's rear. On the front I had the original 1.5" Birdy tyres. I had lots of trouble to keep up with her in the bad sections and I am a much stronger rider.

    The Birdy, besides the shimmy problem due to front loading and the load being not rigid enough, skittered over the loose surface. I had to fight it for stability, and ride exactly in the middle of the road on the highest point. Any deviation to either side, and it would wander uncontrollably off to the gutter, where the extra loose sand gathers and the wheels completely choke, leaving me with frequent emergency stops to avoid an off. On banked curves I had to carefully steer to the outside to try and keep to the level bit, or at least be able to make the curve without ending in the inside gutter. The Reach had none or very little of these problems. Connie found it as stable as ever.

    We both found the dirt roads a big impediment to enjoying the scenery while riding along. You have to watch where you go all the time so you miss the scenery. It often happened that Connie spoke of a side road or something else that I completely missed.

    On the sealed roads, I also see how the Reach just rolls that much faster than the Birdy. Just 2 days ago, Connie rode with me to work. I pumped the Marathon Plus on the rear to 90psi, and have a Kojak on the front, but she still coasted past me on the downhills. The Reach really is a superb bike.

    On the plus side, I quickly found that if the corrugations weren't to bad, if I kept the speed above 21km/h they would be smoothed out by the suspension just as in a car.

    The suspension was a great plus to have. But even though the Birdy is one of the better folding bikes out there, it isn't the greatest tourer. It was just too unstable. I got used to it though. Next time I may load the front less or not at all if possible. And look at load rigidity, because I found the speed where uncontrollable shimmy set in was different on different days. The backpack over the handle bars probably had its part to play.

    The gear range is adequate for me. I lack low enough gears to be able to spin at low speed in order to be able to ride next to Connie while going up steep hills, but I don't lack strength to climb hills at my own speed. On those hills we usually split up and I wait for her at the top or along the way if it is a long hill.
    Last edited by jur; 01-21-09 at 03:03 PM.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  19. #19
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    Impressive. Pretty serious folding bike hiking. I have to visit Australia one day.

  20. #20
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    Great pictures and commentary!

    Been close, Adelaide, but never toured Kangaroo Island. Sounds like it was a good but challenging tour. Interesting to read your comments about the Reach vs. Birdy wheel size and how they handle loads and native surface roads.

    I still like my Reach but am still trying to find a good way to pack it in an airline-legal suitcase without excessive dis-assembly.

    If you want a change of scenery with lots of chance for rain with great scenery you should come up to my part of the world and we can do a tour of the San Juan islands with a bit of Vancouver Island and the Olympic peninsula thrown in as well. All paved roads and no problem with flys! My wife and I would love to have the excuse to go exploring.

    You and Connie are an inspiration! Hope you have a good summer and get some warmer weather than you had in SA. Still have snow in the parking lot at work here...

  21. #21
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    To get all those beautiful photos in amongst all the vital things you had to do was just outstanding. It takes a certain presence of mind and "willingness" for you both to include "us" in your journey. Thank you both for taking us along in your fantastic trip!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    Connie said the Reach was great - she didn't notice there were panniers loaded.

    The Reach with 451s rolled MUCH easier over the gravel roads and especially loose sections. It really made a massive difference. The bigger wheels just sink that much less into a loose surface, and it has 1 3/8" tyres fitted, same width as the Birdy's rear. On the front I had the original 1.5" Birdy tyres. I had lots of trouble to keep up with her in the bad sections and I am a much stronger rider.

    The Birdy, besides the shimmy problem due to front loading and the load being not rigid enough, skittered over the loose surface. I had to fight it for stability, and ride exactly in the middle of the road on the highest point. Any deviation to either side, and it would wander uncontrollably off to the gutter, where the extra loose sand gathers and the wheels completely choke, leaving me with frequent emergency stops to avoid an off. On banked curves I had to carefully steer to the outside to try and keep to the level bit, or at least be able to make the curve without ending in the inside gutter. The Reach had none or very little of these problems. Connie found it as stable as ever.

    We both found the dirt roads a big impediment to enjoying the scenery while riding along. You have to watch where you go all the time so you miss the scenery. It often happened that Connie spoke of a side road or something else that I completely missed.

    On the sealed roads, I also see how the Reach just rolls that much faster than the Birdy. Just 2 days ago, Connie rode with me to work. I pumped the Marathon Plus on the rear to 90psi, and have a Kojak on the front, but she still coasted past me on the downhills. The Reach really is a superb bike.
    After riding the Birdy and a Reach Trekking back to back for the last few months, I agree with your assessments.. the Reach on 451's is a faster ride, requiring less energy output while maintaining improved stability .. I like 451's a lot, too bad there is not a wider selection of tires ..

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceMetras View Post
    After riding the Birdy and a Reach Trekking back to back for the last few months, I agree with your assessments.. the Reach on 451's is a faster ride, requiring less energy output while maintaining improved stability .. I like 451's a lot, too bad there is not a wider selection of tires ..
    Hey Bruce,

    Which tires do you have on your Birdy? I have the stock R&M tires, but have been considering upgrading to Schwalbe Stelvios. It would be an expensive upgrade though, and I don't want to spend any money on the Birdy until I can get the blasted thing to stop creaking I feel a bit fickle to sell a bike because it creaks, but it really annoys the hell out of me.

    This weekend we rode over the Golden Gate Bridge, which is basically a traffic sewer where you can hardly hear yourself think. Afterwards, my wife asked if that was my bike creaking - yes, she even heard it over the sound of traffic!
    ICE B1, Brompton H6, Schwinn Mirada drop-bar vintage mtb

  24. #24
    jur
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceMetras View Post
    After riding the Birdy and a Reach Trekking back to back for the last few months, I agree with your assessments.. the Reach on 451's is a faster ride, requiring less energy output while maintaining improved stability .. I like 451's a lot, too bad there is not a wider selection of tires ..
    I have settled on 1 3/8" Holy Rollers (Maxxis) with a Slime Liner in the back, and 1 3/8" Intense on the front, both used in BMX racing. I am very pleased with those for all-round performance... the Holy Rollers have an inverted blocky tread which both rolls well on-road and grips off-road. The Intense has very small blocks/bumps and softish sticky rubber (according to the LBS), used for racing on packed sand/clay where the small pattern gives better grip on those surfaces without getting clogged. Anyway those roll better than Kojaks on my Birdy. I have been thinking maybe I'll get a set of 451 Primo Comets for the road but it seems hardly necessary, in view of the excellent results on the Reach of those BMX tyres. Plus they really are dirt cheap.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by yangmusa View Post
    Hey Bruce,

    Which tires do you have on your Birdy? I have the stock R&M tires, but have been considering upgrading to Schwalbe Stelvios. It would be an expensive upgrade though, and I don't want to spend any money on the Birdy until I can get the blasted thing to stop creaking I feel a bit fickle to sell a bike because it creaks, but it really annoys the hell out of me.

    This weekend we rode over the Golden Gate Bridge, which is basically a traffic sewer where you can hardly hear yourself think. Afterwards, my wife asked if that was my bike creaking - yes, she even heard it over the sound of traffic!
    I can imagine the quietness of your wife's TSR Mouton could torque your jaw . I'm running Marathon Racers usually pumped to max figures .. I have an un-mounted set of Stelvios that I was going to mount to a second set of rims but haven't got around to it.. I didn't notice much speed difference with the Racers over the stock tires, but I would expect the Stelvios to roll better, albeit more twitchy .. there is now a Kojack in 355, but I haven't pulled the trigger.. seems like a lot of dough .. have you been able to isolate the creaking? I know you are a tall fellow, maybe you're levering the seatpost (?) .. other obvious creak areas could be bottom bracket/pedals .. I'm assuming it doesn't creak while coasting.. Jur probably has thoughts as he really puts the Birdy through its paces.. other Birdy owners on here might pipe up also.. my bike is pretty quiet, but I'm probably not as hard on it as others.

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