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Old 01-18-05, 07:51 AM   #1
Quickfit
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dag allemaal

Hi all,

I'm a 36 year old male biker of Brussels (Belgium). I like to ride my race bike in summer, and my mountainbike in winter. Both are Trek-bikes.

Last year I discoverd a new passion for me, called touring. For the first time I went on a trip of more than 1000km (650 miles), going from Brussels to the South of France (1200km). It was a delightful experience, and I planned for myself to do such a trip every year. Not only every year, but also longer each time.
So this summer my trip will go from Brussels to the South of Italy (2600km), crossing the Alps. For next year it will be Brussels-Northcape (3600km) and the year after a coast-to-coast in the US (5000km?).
I will always be travelling light, without camping gear etc. I prefer sleeping in small hotels because of the contact with locals, but of course also to enjoy the luxury of a warm bed and good food
For navigation I use a Magellan GPS mounted on the handlebar of my bike.

This site looks very interesting to me because lots of issues concerning touring are dealt with.
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Old 01-18-05, 10:17 AM   #2
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Last year, I met a man whose goal is to ride around, not across, the United States. That is, generally to follow the seacoasts and the borders with Canada and Mexico. Now, that's a journey!
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Old 01-18-05, 12:56 PM   #3
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Welcome. Be interested in hearing more about your tours.
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Old 01-18-05, 01:39 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by lrzipris
Last year, I met a man whose goal is to ride around, not across, the United States. That is, generally to follow the seacoasts and the borders with Canada and Mexico. Now, that's a journey!
Ok, this will be my tour for 2008 then

For my coast-to-coast tour, I already found an interesting site with the "Transamerica trail' (see http://www.adventurecycling.org/routes/transamerica.cfm). Are the routes on this site worth cycling? An interesting feature is that GPS tracks are available, which makes it apparently very easy to follow these tours.
I wish such route tracks were also easily available in Europe, but I could not find them yet... They exist for small tours (inside one European country), but not for longer trips.
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Old 01-18-05, 09:04 PM   #5
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Quickfit:
Goeden dag van Amerika!
Welcome to the forum. I am twice your age and have done a bit of touring but primarily in the USA and a bit in Canada.
The distances in Europe are not quite as staggering as they are here.
My spouse and I are celebrating 30 years as a tandem bicycle team, and yes, we rode single bikes before that. We are not quite as fast as we were and our distances are a bit shorter, but we are still out there pedaling!
Sounds like you have an ambitious schedule!
Tot ziens!
Rudy and Kay/Zona tandem
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Old 01-19-05, 06:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quickfit
Ok, this will be my tour for 2008 then

For my coast-to-coast tour, I already found an interesting site with the "Transamerica trail' (see http://www.adventurecycling.org/routes/transamerica.cfm). Are the routes on this site worth cycling?
I'm not a tourer, so can't help answer your question; you may want to ask on the "touring" forum, where questions about cross-USA routes and related topics are discussed fairly frequently. Do you tour on your "racing" bike?
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Old 01-19-05, 01:55 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by zonatandem
Quickfit:
Goeden dag van Amerika!
Welcome to the forum. I am twice your age and have done a bit of touring but primarily in the USA and a bit in Canada.
The distances in Europe are not quite as staggering as they are here.
My spouse and I are celebrating 30 years as a tandem bicycle team, and yes, we rode single bikes before that. We are not quite as fast as we were and our distances are a bit shorter, but we are still out there pedaling!
Sounds like you have an ambitious schedule!
Tot ziens!
Rudy and Kay/Zona tandem
Hi zonatandem,

I see you know some dutch words, and I am a bit surprised about that. How does it come you know Dutch,... if I may ask?

Your tandem pedaling is very admirable! My dad has your age, and together with my uncle (77 years old) he still makes bike tours in France once a year. They travel each time for a week, and do some 60km on average per day. They sleep in good hotels because the gastronomic aspect of their tours is even important as the cycling itself
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Old 01-19-05, 01:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrzipris
I'm not a tourer, so can't help answer your question; you may want to ask on the "touring" forum, where questions about cross-USA routes and related topics are discussed fairly frequently. Do you tour on your "racing" bike?
Thanks Irzipris, I will do that. My touring is done with my race bike indeed. I'm very used to it, and as a light traveler I don't have any problems to sit in the saddle of the bike for weeks... Next to that, I always take normal asphalted roads, for which my bike is made for.
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Old 01-19-05, 02:46 PM   #9
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and to all,
thanks for the friendly welcome!
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Old 01-20-05, 06:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quickfit
Thanks Irzipris, I will do that. My touring is done with my race bike indeed. I'm very used to it, and as a light traveler I don't have any problems to sit in the saddle of the bike for weeks... Next to that, I always take normal asphalted roads, for which my bike is made for.
I was thinking not about the comfort of your saddle or even the geometry of your road bike, but its suitability for panniers and racks. Although my knowledge is only from what I've read and spoken to people about, a cross-USA trip (especially out West) might take you a bit further away from amenities than a European trip would. Even if you travel light by staying at inns and motels (you might look into hostels for reasonable rooms), you may need to carry some bike-repair gear and a fair amount of clothing, particularly for climate changes. BTW, one friend did such a trip about three years ago, taking two or three months.

BTW, I did know one Dutch word, a term of endearment a Dutch girlfriend used to call me: dwergie. She was much taller than I am.
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Old 01-20-05, 12:37 PM   #11
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Welcome to the forums! You certainly have an ambitious plan set up for touring. In the southwestern part of the US, and to some degree the northern tier of states there are long lonely sections of road where you may not see a single soul for many miles. Prepare well and the journey will be fun. Post pics of your tours!

'bent Brian
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Old 01-20-05, 02:25 PM   #12
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Hello Quickfit!

My native tongue is Vlaams . . . Born in Brugge in 1932 and emigrated to the US right after WWII. However, after 58 years in tne US, my Flemish/Dutch gets a bit rusty as there is not much use for those languages here.
Het is meer gemakkelijk om alles in 't Engels te doen!

Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/Zonatandem
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Old 01-20-05, 04:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrzipris
I was thinking not about the comfort of your saddle or even the geometry of your road bike, but its suitability for panniers and racks. Although my knowledge is only from what I've read and spoken to people about, a cross-USA trip (especially out West) might take you a bit further away from amenities than a European trip would. Even if you travel light by staying at inns and motels (you might look into hostels for reasonable rooms), you may need to carry some bike-repair gear and a fair amount of clothing, particularly for climate changes. BTW, one friend did such a trip about three years ago, taking two or three months.

BTW, I did know one Dutch word, a term of endearment a Dutch girlfriend used to call me: dwergie. She was much taller than I am.
Well, for my trips in Europe I carry about 8 to 9 kg of gear. I put this gear in 2 bags: 1 rucksack of Deuter specially build for cylcing (with air-system) and with a small volume (14L). In the rucksack I put about 3kg of gear (mostly small stuff I could need underway).
The second bag is a saddlebag of Carradice which is mounted on the saddle pin. It hase a volume of 16L and here I put the rest of my gear (5-6 kg, but it can hold to 10kg). With 8 to 9 kg of gear I carry all the stuff I need: clothes, repair material, etc. Every 3 days I wash my bike-clothes in the bathroom of the hotel, so I need only clothes for 3-4 days.

Concerning places to sleep, I always try to plan them in advance for every night I will stay, and I put them in the GPS. Of course, sometimes I change plans underway, so I also take some kind of hotelguide with me that contains all the hotels of the country I travel in.

When I will travelling the US, I will carefully look at places which are very low populated. In these regions, I will plan not only the places to sleep in advance, but also the places to get some food. I even think to call the shops or motels in advance to be sure they are open the time I will visit them.
Normally I can manage to travel with my bike some 100km (65miles) without having to stop for food or other things (of course if I have loaded some water and food in my bags at the start of the trip).
It would suprise me not the find any place for drink/food in an area wider than 100km in the US... or am I too optimistic?
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Old 01-20-05, 04:26 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by bnet1
Welcome to the forums! You certainly have an ambitious plan set up for touring. In the southwestern part of the US, and to some degree the northern tier of states there are long lonely sections of road where you may not see a single soul for many miles. Prepare well and the journey will be fun. Post pics of your tours!

'bent Brian
thanks for the welcome. As I stated already, good planning is something I bear in mind.

For the pics, you will have to be patient as the next tour is only in June (Italy) and the other tours the years after...
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Old 01-20-05, 04:29 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by zonatandem
Hello Quickfit!

My native tongue is Vlaams . . . Born in Brugge in 1932 and emigrated to the US right after WWII. However, after 58 years in tne US, my Flemish/Dutch gets a bit rusty as there is not much use for those languages here.
Het is meer gemakkelijk om alles in 't Engels te doen!

Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/Zonatandem
Very interesting to know! So you are a "Vlaming"! Vlamingen zitten blijkbaar overal...(Flemish people seem to be everywhere...)
Do you see much native Flemish people in the US?
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Old 01-20-05, 06:04 PM   #16
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Daar zijn niet vele Vlamingen in Amerika. Vroeger jaren waren er nog veel in Detroit, MI en oudere 'boeren' in Canada en in the staten van Iowa, Illinois, Ohio en Indiana.
In 1951 werkte ik voor de "Gazette van Detroit", de eenige Belgse kourant in Amerika, als een drukker.
As Dutch is not the 'lingua franca' of Bike Forum . . . agreed there are Flemish people all over the globe. Met one in Seoul, during the Korean war, he worked for the Red Cross; and some Belgian Paras who tought an American could not understand them! In Osan, created a bit of a stir with members of the 2nd SoutAf Fighter Squadron when I was able to speak SuidAfrikaans . . . . they even made me an honorary squadron member!
So while Dutch/Flemish is not a major language, it does come in handy at times!

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Old 01-21-05, 02:45 PM   #17
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very interesting all the things you have done... I can imagine you can write a book of it!

who knows we will see each other once when I drive the Transam in a few years... I will try to pass Tucson...
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Old 01-21-05, 03:21 PM   #18
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id like to ride across Germany(but start in switzerland and through austria) with my dad... i fig 50km/day would take about 2- 3 weeks. and since we d head from switzerland, itd be downhill pretty much the whole way outta the Alps. now thats a ride
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Old 01-21-05, 05:06 PM   #19
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Quickfit:
I'll most likely still be pedaling by the time get to America, so maybe we will meet.
I have done some freelance writing for magazines, but a book would only bore people.
But life is as interesting as you want to make it and mine certainly has been interesting, at times!
Cycling is still a major part of our life, although we do do it at a bit slower pace and don't do any more centuries and double centuries.
Will be attending a 3-day tandem bicycle rally in Phoenix next month . . . a bit warmer here than in Bruxelles!
Next time you ride past 'manneke pis' doff your cycling cap for us!
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