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Thread: Tips and Tricks

  1. #176
    Senior Member Lolly Pop's Avatar
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    If camping in northern Europe in summer, bring an eyemask. It is quite light until after 10.30 pm, and gets light again around 3 am!

  2. #177
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    Quote Originally Posted by David in PA
    I literally signal to them that I AM HERE, up ahead of them. To do this, I simply arc far out into the road and back to the shoulder, and then repeat the process. My movement almost surely catches their eye, and I feel a bit safer.
    You should always ride say a meter out into the road anyway (more or less, depending on if cars are parked alongside, width of road). If you hug the shoulder you're more likely to be unseen and also being far out forces people to pass you or stops them from squeezing by when the road narrows.

    If you have the chance to take a good cycling course, do it. It's helped me greatly cycling in London. Amazing how much better you're treated by cars when you know how to signal properly, where to ride in the road!

  3. #178
    aspiring wannabe hoogie's Avatar
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    duct tape ... the power of the force, there is a light side and dark side and it holds the universe together
    thought for today: "Does my ass look fast on this bike?"

  4. #179
    Left OZ now in Malaysia jibi's Avatar
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    always velcro your gloves together so you do not lose just one

    plus if I am following you I find a pair of gloves.

    Camera film holders, go to your local supermarket which does film processing, they will have a big bin full of them, Very useful for cremes, 5mm bolts, salt, spices,cleats etc etc.

    I always carry a waterproof poncho, I wrap my stove and pans and food in it on top of my trailer so everything is handy. No need to open the big BOB bag, just to have a brew.

    When I decamp everything, poles, pegs etc goes on the poncho so nothing is forgotten.

    and everything is held on the trailer with a luggage net.

    george
    ---------------------------------------------------
    https://sites.google.com/site/imjibi/home

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

  5. #180
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    Wear a peak cap under the helmet when it rains, it keeps the rain out of your eyes.

    Squeeze lemon juice into your water bottle. It flushes out your system.

    Have dirolites at the end of a long journey when touring. It restores the chemicals in the brain to ensure conectivity in the thinking procesess. You wont have that delay in the brain when you walk into the shop thinking what have I come in here for bit...

    Dig a hole in the ground. Put ice cubes in the plastic bag along with your beers wine food. Tie a knot in the bag ensuring ther is air trapped in the bag. Now put another bag over the first one so the knot is now on the opposite end. ensure again air is trapped in the bag. Put it all in another bag and burry in the ground. Everything will be iced chilled till the morning. Fill up water bottles with ice cubes water lemon, you are sorted for the morning.

  6. #181
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    This is known to veteran cyclists, but as you descend very long, very steep hills, stop occassionally to cool your brakes and your rims. The steepest hill I ever descended was in VA on the TransAm Trail as I headed towards Vesuvius, VA. I stopped to cool things off about three times, and didn't have a problem.

    Later that day I spoke with the owner of a local bike shop, and we discussed that very hill. He told me of many cyclists who failed to take proper precautions on the hill, and sometimes paid dearly for it. They lost control of the bike or the hot rim blew the tire out, and ended up with severe injuries, such as a fractured skull or severe lacerations.

  7. #182
    sth
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    I use a light weight down mummy bag when I backpack or cycle tour for the obvious weight and compactability reasons. Trouble with it is that it is generally too warm out for a down bag. Opening it up and using it like a comforter works great: cooler and not confining. I also use a Therma-Rest sleeping pad and I hated the sticky feeling sleeping directly on it. Here's the tip: This year I had a local seamstress that specializes into outdoor clothing make me a sleeve that slides over the inflated Therma-Rest. It is fleece on one side and tough nylon on the other. The fleece side is comfy and cool. I wont sleep without it now.

  8. #183
    Senior Member Lolly Pop's Avatar
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    That is an excellent idea! Thanks for sharing it!

  9. #184
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    I eat a lot of Ramen on tour - plain, with veggies, with chunks of chicken, etc. You're supposed to use 2 cups of water. I've been eyeballing it, but wasn't satisfied with the varied results. I needed a measuring cup. Finally it dawned on me. At home I put a measured cup of water in my bike's clear water bottle. I made a line on the outside with Sharpie to mark one cup. I put another cup in - another line - presto, I have a measuring cup! I'll probably put some more lines on for 1/4 cup, 1/2 cup, etc., although I don't recall ever measuring anything except water for Ramen. It could happen though!

  10. #185
    just 5 more miles 5 more's Avatar
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    This has probably been posted but is worth a repeat. Here in Canada, and other countries, we use the Metric system. A fast way to convert to miles is to multiply by 6 and then move the decimal point one place to the left. EX: 6km X 6 is 36. Move the decimal point one place to the left and you have 3.6 miles. It's a lot easier then multipling by .6

  11. #186
    Senior Member eric von zipper's Avatar
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    Not having done it, yet. I'm wondering if anyone has any tips and tricks when it comes to flying with your bike and panniers (front, rear, handle bar). Do you stuff the bike box full with other things...clothes? tent? sleep pad? panniers? and so on. Do you fasten the rear panniers together with something if they are not in the box? the front panniers? Do you check everyting except one pannier and take it on as a carry on? Um...anything else?
    Surly Cross Check, Thorn Sherpa

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    Depends on the airline. Check the exact luggage allowances for your flight. You might have a piece limit, a weight limit or both. You're going to have to figure out how to configure your stuff based on that.

    Definitely plan on the airline opening your bike box and maybe not getting it back together that well. I don't like to stuff a bunch of things in with my bike for this reason. You want to make it easy on the luggage handlers so that they are easy on your bike. Zip tie or tape together any loose stuff inside your bike box to your bike - like the rack pieces, bags of parts, saddle, etc. that you had to remove to get the bike in there. I might put a thermarest or tent in there if I have to, but not a whole bunch of stuff. You don't want the luggage handlers to consider your box a pain in the butt.

    I have a very light weight duffel bag that I put all my panniers and tent etc. into, as my 2nd peice of luggage. I keep the handlebar bag with me as my "purse" and one pannier or stuff sack as carryon, to get it all to fit into the luggage limit. Make sure not to try to carry on anything the airlines don't like as carryon - knives, etc. On the other end I just take out my panniers, and stuff the duffle bag inside, and carry it with me. If you are starting/ending your bike trip at the same place, you might be able to convince a hotel or hostel to hang onto your bike box and duffel bag for the duration of your ride.

    I have used straps to lash my panniers together on other trips, too, instead of the duffel, but they don't stay toghether that well.

    I also shop for food and fuel at my desination, you can get that stuff anywhere, so that helps keep you under the weight limit.

    Have fun...

    Anna
    ...

  13. #188
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    Quote Originally Posted by eric von zipper
    Not having done it, yet. I'm wondering if anyone has any tips and tricks when it comes to flying with your bike and panniers ... Um...anything else?
    put as much gear as possible in the bike-box, sleep-bag, tent, front/rear panniers, etc. they will fit (will take space-time leap engineering, but do-able), another task. h/bar bag is carry-on. always arrive with ample time!
    -another tip:
    join LAB (League of American Bicyclists) or Adventure Cyclery, both present discounts for bicyclists (after you join) and air-cost for inclusion of bike "bikes fly free".
    tour/ride safe,
    tomg

  14. #189
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    Quote Originally Posted by eric von zipper
    Not having done it, yet. I'm wondering if anyone has any tips and tricks when it comes to flying with your bike and panniers ... Um...anything else?
    put as much gear as possible in the bike-box, sleep-bag, tent, front/rear panniers, etc. they will fit (will take space-time leap engineering, but do-able), another task. h/bar bag is carry-on. always arrive with ample time!
    -another tip:
    join LAB (League of American Bicyclists) or Adventure Cyclery, both present discounts for bicyclists (after you join) and air-cost for inclusion of bike "bikes fly free".
    tour/ride safe,
    tomg

  15. #190
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    bf:
    sorry for doublle-post!
    tomg

  16. #191
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    I saw this in A/C. The author suggests two bike boxes. Wheels go in one with 5 gallon bucket lids to cover the wheels and help keep them in place. When asked what is in the boxes, he answered bike parts and was not charged. He hauls them around on one of these little wheeled carts, bungied on. I haven't tried it myself. When I have had to fly ( and I much prefer Amtrak if it is available), I just followed the directions I found on the internet. It worked just fine. I do get a little tight jawed about having to pay a bunch of money to put a box on an airplane when ski equipment, golf clubs, tackle boxes and dead fish fly for free.
    Also, in the tips section, carry the machine screws that attach your clips to your shoes (or better - sandals). If you have an asian store nearby, get something that is called "moo-he", for insect bites and stings as well as other skin irritations. Small tube, great relief.

  17. #192
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    In 2005, my tour ended in Colorado, and I needed to return home to PA (at the time). No one way car rentals were available any where near me. I considered the train, but they told me I couldn't take my bike past Pittsburgh, PA. (Say what?) So, believe it or not, I took the bus from eastern Colorado to the Philly burbs.

    My Tip to you is this: Never, ever, never, ever do that. It was the worst damned experiene of my life. It took TWO days. No, we didn't spend the night somewhere. But I changed buses at least 10 times, which was a hassle beyond words. Making sure that all of my gear and my bike made its way to the next bus was especially stressful and aggravating. The bus stations were dirty, crowded, and disgusting, and full of people begging for money. It was tough getting something decent to eat, almost impossible. Everything was rush and wait. Some of the bus riders became downright stinky. I could go on, but you get the idea.

    A several hour bus ride is no problem, but I will never again take a ride longer than that.

    David in FL

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    i like to maintain the stubble look since i think it's more hygienic (too close a shave and there's a risk of infection, too long and and it's hard to keep the skin clean). i used to bring a small battery-operated razor, but i discovered nail clippers do a great job as well.

  19. #194
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    Wait, you cut your facial hair with nail clippers? Seriously? How?

  20. #195
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmcmiii
    Wait, you cut your facial hair with nail clippers? Seriously? How?
    there's no trick to it. just put the clippers against skin, lift a little, and clip. the second step is obviously the most important. not only do you want to avoid taking a chunk of skin, but since the clippers are probably used to also serve their primary function you wouldn't want to get any of the bacteria/fungus/etc from your hands/feet into a cut. i find it's easier/safer to do by feel and not use a mirror. and i only do this on the face- i use a razor for the neck.

  21. #196
    End of Hard Shoulder
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    are you using scissor-esque clippers??? or th hingey-do ones with the sharp nail-pickey whoozy that swivels out?
    The best shocks are the ones I was born with.

  22. #197
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visionquest
    are you using scissor-esque clippers??? or th hingey-do ones with the sharp nail-pickey whoozy that swivels out?
    i use hinged clippers. scissors seem to much more risky.

  23. #198
    Slowpoach
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    Quote Originally Posted by David in PA
    In 2005, my tour ended in Colorado, and I needed to return home to PA (at the time). No one way car rentals were available any where near me. I considered the train, but they told me I couldn't take my bike past Pittsburgh, PA. (Say what?) So, believe it or not, I took the bus from eastern Colorado to the Philly burbs.

    My Tip to you is this: Never, ever, never, ever do that. It was the worst damned experiene of my life. It took TWO days. No, we didn't spend the night somewhere. But I changed buses at least 10 times, which was a hassle beyond words. Making sure that all of my gear and my bike made its way to the next bus was especially stressful and aggravating. The bus stations were dirty, crowded, and disgusting, and full of people begging for money. It was tough getting something decent to eat, almost impossible. Everything was rush and wait. Some of the bus riders became downright stinky. I could go on, but you get the idea.

    A several hour bus ride is no problem, but I will never again take a ride longer than that.

    David in FL
    Wow, that's really bad. I've only had good experiences travelling by bus in Australia and Greece (although not with a bike there) and it was fine in Vietnam too. Maybe bad coaches are a local problem?

  24. #199
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    Yeah, the bus in the USA is a different thing altogether than other places. I had good bus experiences in NZ and OZ, and horrid in the USA. Unfortunately, in the states the bus is most often used by people who are very poor or have something odd going on - extreme poverty/homeless, drugs, booze - not so much by regular travellers.
    ...

  25. #200
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl
    Unfortunately, in the states the bus is most often used by people who are very poor or have something odd going on - extreme poverty/homeless, drugs, booze - not so much by regular travellers.
    My experience proved this to be very true. At least half a dozen people getting on the bus with me in eastern Colorado had just been let out of prison--literally. The prison guards dropped them off.

    Hey , but one of the former prisoners actually saved my arse. In a busy and rediculously small bus station in Pueblo, where everyone had to change busses and all was bedlam, I inadvertently left my wallet containing all my money and credit cards on the counter, walked away, and then sat down waiting for the announcement that my bus had arrived. Suddenly, a former prisoner walked over to me with my wallet in his hand, held it out to me, and said, "Sir. You left this on the counter."

    I thanked him profusely. It scared me almost losing my wallet, but the experienced was enlightening, further demonstating not to judge anyone by outward appearance.

    Actually, during the course of my long, two-day bus ride, many of the former prisoners proved to have more class and demonstrate more politeness than many of the other bus passengers.

    David in FL
    Last edited by David in PA; 12-20-06 at 08:39 AM.

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