Search: Posts Made By: Al Downie
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Forum: Touring
08-04-11, 03:25 AM
Replies: 68
Views: 2,256
Posted By Al Downie

And how pleased they will all be to be proven...

And how pleased they will all be to be proven correct! I'm sure the same expert advice was given to the first men who tried to climb Everest, or to reach the South Pole, blah blah - thank goodness...
Forum: Touring
08-03-11, 09:01 AM
Replies: 68
Views: 2,256
Posted By Al Downie

Regardless of the lad's credentials or whether he...

Regardless of the lad's credentials or whether he eventually succeeds or fails, I have to say I'm completely ashamed to see such disheartening condemnation from so many self-righteous prima donnas....
Forum: Touring
06-15-11, 09:11 AM
Replies: 19
Views: 813
Posted By Al Downie

Yep, no sweat, no reason not to do it. You can...

Yep, no sweat, no reason not to do it. You can make pedalling easier by making sure you keep high pressure in the tyres, but in my experience well-inflated knobbly tyres are more prone to punctures...
Forum: Touring
12-21-10, 02:00 AM
Replies: 4,337
Views: 2,012,628
Posted By Al Downie

Dude that's some awesome footwear! Fixed, wearing...

Dude that's some awesome footwear! Fixed, wearing ill-fitting loafers and a backpack, carting some pots in a shopping basket? Some might say you're doin' it wrong, but I'm impressed. Keep on...
Forum: Touring
12-13-10, 05:26 PM
Replies: 22
Views: 831
Posted By Al Downie

I think a combination of dirty Indian fuel and my...

I think a combination of dirty Indian fuel and my misuse clogged it all up in a way that might need some more determined cleaning than I was able to do in the field! It works perfectly well now, I'm...
Forum: Touring
12-13-10, 03:53 AM
Replies: 22
Views: 831
Posted By Al Downie

Your most embarrassing screw-up on tour?

I needed to buy a whole bunch of new kit for a trip, including a new stove which would work in very cold conditions, and in places where fuel might be dodgy or scarce. I'd spent ages in the shops,...
Forum: Touring
12-12-10, 11:28 AM
Replies: 30
Views: 1,257
Posted By Al Downie

For the sub-$200 budget in question, I'd say a...

For the sub-$200 budget in question, I'd say a used camera in good condition would be worth considering.
Forum: Touring
12-12-10, 09:37 AM
Replies: 30
Views: 1,257
Posted By Al Downie

I use a Canon A650is because: 1) It takes...

I use a Canon A650is because:
1) It takes ordinary AA batteries which are available everywhere
2) It has a 'twistable' LCD screen which is great for shooting at ground level or over people's heads...
Forum: Touring
11-12-10, 09:54 AM
Replies: 61
Views: 4,482
Posted By Al Downie

Lose the Big Dummy and The Bike Friday, keep the...

Lose the Big Dummy and The Bike Friday, keep the Pugsley, Nomad and LHT. Maybe even lob the LHT too.

The Nomad and the Pugsley are without doubt the most versatile of the bunch, and will be...
Forum: Touring
10-18-10, 09:18 AM
Replies: 34
Views: 2,258
Posted By Al Downie

We experimented with kick-stands AND...

We experimented with kick-stands AND click-stands, and ended up throwing them all away and laying the bikes down on the ground. Both devices worked well when the bikes were unladen, but fully laden...
Forum: Touring
10-18-10, 08:13 AM
Replies: 15
Views: 872
Posted By Al Downie

What are the best tyres for base jumping?

What are the best tyres for base jumping?
Forum: Touring
10-15-10, 08:42 AM
Replies: 27
Views: 1,821
Posted By Al Downie

Hiya, I'd go for the 'vanilla' Marathon...

Hiya,

I'd go for the 'vanilla' Marathon Kevlar MTB tyre, in either 1.5" or 1.75" max for road use. Wiggle have them in stock...

Good luck! The preparation for a first tour is as much of an...
Forum: Touring
10-15-10, 08:17 AM
Replies: 27
Views: 1,821
Posted By Al Downie

The slight improvement in comfort that you get...

The slight improvement in comfort that you get from big tyres, comes at a high price - more friction = less speed = more fatigue. Don't use 'em if you don't need 'em.

I *do* have 2" XRs on my...
Forum: Touring
10-15-10, 05:10 AM
Replies: 11
Views: 705
Posted By Al Downie

Blimey. That's a lot of kit! Never mind going up...

Blimey. That's a lot of kit! Never mind going up hills, I'd be a bit frightened of going downhill with that kind of weight on board!
Forum: Touring
10-15-10, 04:14 AM
Replies: 11
Views: 705
Posted By Al Downie

You'll need another small trailer to pull her...

You'll need another small trailer to pull her vacuum cleaner too...
Forum: Touring
10-14-10, 01:36 PM
Replies: 51
Views: 6,189
Posted By Al Downie

Absolutely! 143 miles per day off-road? Blimey.

Absolutely! 143 miles per day off-road? Blimey.
Forum: Touring
10-14-10, 09:54 AM
Replies: 51
Views: 6,189
Posted By Al Downie

Keyword = "sections" It's true if you're...

Keyword = "sections"

It's true if you're dealing with a short obstacle section on a trail, but 35 miles of washboard, fully laden, is a different proposition altogether!
Forum: Touring
10-13-10, 01:51 AM
Replies: 51
Views: 6,189
Posted By Al Downie

The only thing I'd add is that if you're facing...

The only thing I'd add is that if you're facing hard dirt with 'washboard' ripples of sand & mud on top, front shocks are a blessing. That washboard stuff looks trivial at first glance, and if it was...
Forum: Touring
10-12-10, 09:23 AM
Replies: 83
Views: 4,959
Posted By Al Downie

I got a Rohloff on eBay for about half price, and...

I got a Rohloff on eBay for about half price, and it's been great. I also got (on eBay) a fantastic Orange P7 single-speed bike with sliding dropouts which was a snap to convert to Rohloff - Orange...
Forum: Touring
10-12-10, 06:24 AM
Replies: 51
Views: 6,189
Posted By Al Downie

Build it yourself! ...

Build it yourself!

http://www.gurdon.cam.ac.uk/~ad327/pictures/bike-800.jpg (http://www.gurdon.cam.ac.uk/%7Ead327/pictures/bike-800.jpg)

The frame (Orange P7) and Rohloff hub on mine were 2nd...
Forum: Touring
08-27-10, 06:04 AM
Replies: 53
Views: 2,625
Posted By Al Downie

Are we nearly there yet?

Are we nearly there yet?
Forum: Touring
08-05-10, 02:30 AM
Replies: 33
Views: 1,464
Posted By Al Downie

Blimey! That's a proper day out! Well done!

Blimey! That's a proper day out! Well done!
Forum: Touring
08-02-10, 02:31 AM
Replies: 33
Views: 1,464
Posted By Al Downie

On the Manali-Nubra road, there are three passes...

On the Manali-Nubra road, there are three passes which all require more than 2,000m of height gain, all at challenging altitudes:

Rhotang La (going north from Manali), finishing height 3,975m...
Forum: Touring
07-30-10, 07:15 AM
Replies: 53
Views: 4,224
Posted By Al Downie

Truman wrote: "When I wear bike shorts on a...

Truman wrote: "When I wear bike shorts on a Brooks, it's more to do with moisture management"

Blimey! I've only ever experienced a 'moisture' problem when I wear bike shorts, because of the way...
Forum: Touring
07-29-10, 05:20 PM
Replies: 74
Views: 2,757
Posted By Al Downie

+1 for Rohloff - 14 unique gears with regular...

+1 for Rohloff - 14 unique gears with regular increments throughout the range, and you can use a proper chain rather than the super-thin jobs required for a 10sp cassette. And as someone else has...
Forum: Touring
07-28-10, 06:44 AM
Replies: 53
Views: 4,224
Posted By Al Downie

I ride a B17 every day, in everyday clothes, and...

I ride a B17 every day, in everyday clothes, and have toured using the same too. And in my experience, I've found jeans to be more comfortable on the B17 than super-technical, super-expensive,...
Forum: Touring
07-28-10, 02:11 AM
Replies: 60
Views: 2,618
Posted By Al Downie

It depends entirely on the road! I've been on...

It depends entirely on the road! I've been on some roads (if you could call them such) where everything you've described above would be very challenging. Two in particular spring to mind - both with...
Forum: Touring
07-23-10, 08:44 AM
Replies: 48
Views: 10,149
Posted By Al Downie

Mine!! Or get a Thorn Sterling frame and build it...

Mine!! Or get a Thorn Sterling frame and build it up just the way you like it.

I'd love to have a 29er, but they're just too much of a liability of you're going anywhere adventurous (Asia, South...
Forum: Touring
07-19-10, 09:16 AM
Replies: 27
Views: 1,146
Posted By Al Downie

Pardon me if it's an impractical suggestion, but...

Pardon me if it's an impractical suggestion, but can you not leave the car at home and take your bike on a bus or train?
Forum: Touring
07-19-10, 02:39 AM
Replies: 26
Views: 2,327
Posted By Al Downie

I have an Outdoor Designs Race Raider...

I have an Outdoor Designs Race Raider (http://www.outdoorsmagic.com/product-reviews/outdoor-designs-race-raider---first-look/2011.html), a single-skin GoreTex bivvi tent which is great for...
Forum: Touring
07-19-10, 02:19 AM
Replies: 10
Views: 478
Posted By Al Downie

Tubus Logo rack works well with Ortliebs, and has...

Tubus Logo rack works well with Ortliebs, and has low rails which extends pretty far back. Easy. If you go with the 'bags pushed further back' option, it might be an idea to put your heavy stuff in...
Forum: Touring
07-16-10, 04:59 AM
Replies: 21
Views: 654
Posted By Al Downie

Exactly! That's the bit that always screws me up....

Exactly! That's the bit that always screws me up. Right is right unless it's upside down in which case it's wrong. Or left. Or something. I need to eat more fish.
Forum: Touring
07-16-10, 02:25 AM
Replies: 21
Views: 654
Posted By Al Downie

I'd add... take the pedals off and put them back...

I'd add... take the pedals off and put them back on again. Allow more time than you think for this, because you'll almost certainly try to turn one of them the wrong way and, if it's tight in the...
Forum: Touring
07-14-10, 03:02 AM
Replies: 51
Views: 2,076
Posted By Al Downie

I'm not normally much of an environmental...

I'm not normally much of an environmental evangelist, nor am I much of a cook, but I'm moved to say that 2hrs under a grill seems like a very wasteful way to make an egg last a bit longer!
Forum: Touring
07-14-10, 02:41 AM
Replies: 139
Views: 5,412
Posted By Al Downie

Yep. My girlfriend and I once went on a...

Yep. My girlfriend and I once went on a month-long climbing trip around the western states, and all the folk we met assumed that we must have given up our jobs to do it!

I can choose to take...
Forum: Touring
07-14-10, 02:05 AM
Replies: 51
Views: 2,076
Posted By Al Downie

Salami or chorizo - super-calorific, stay edible...

Salami or chorizo - super-calorific, stay edible for ages (good ones are traditionally not refridgerated), and only need some kind of carbohydrate to make a good balanced meal. Great to gnaw on as a...
Forum: Touring
07-13-10, 02:00 AM
Replies: 29
Views: 3,454
Posted By Al Downie

The rear wheel takes most of the 'regular' abuse...

The rear wheel takes most of the 'regular' abuse for sure, but if you're watching the scenery go by and ride straight into a pothole with a sharp edge on the road, the front wheel can take a real...
Forum: Touring
07-12-10, 09:03 AM
Replies: 25
Views: 1,081
Posted By Al Downie

I reckon you'd be better off getting a mountain...

I reckon you'd be better off getting a mountain bike frame and building your own bike around it, with a long stem to give you the forward room you need on a bike with a low standover height. Some of...
Forum: Touring
07-09-10, 09:46 AM
Replies: 36
Views: 1,520
Posted By Al Downie

I prefer two large, independent panniers with...

I prefer two large, independent panniers with minimal pockets/zips/flaps/compartments, and a couple of straps to secure large items (eg: tent) on top. Simple and robust. For all the little bits and...
Forum: Touring
07-08-10, 05:31 PM
Replies: 8
Views: 495
Posted By Al Downie

A few manufacturers of fizzy drinks in the UK use...

A few manufacturers of fizzy drinks in the UK use 1.5l bottles, and because they're designed to hold liquid at high pressure, they're plenty strong enough for extended use on a tour. My favourite is...
Forum: Touring
07-07-10, 10:16 AM
Replies: 36
Views: 1,520
Posted By Al Downie

I reckon the schedule will be fine, even with...

I reckon the schedule will be fine, even with lots of stops and a good long lunchbreak! Given that you don't have to worry about setting up camp, cooking, striking the camp in the mornings etc, AND...
Forum: Touring
07-07-10, 09:44 AM
Replies: 36
Views: 1,520
Posted By Al Downie

I don't think you have anything to worry about -...

I don't think you have anything to worry about - you've already had a few good days in the saddles so you'd be aware by now if there were any serious discomfort issues. Your schedule doesn't sound...
Forum: Touring
07-07-10, 06:45 AM
Replies: 9
Views: 632
Posted By Al Downie

Have a look at Thorn bicycles/frames...

Have a look at Thorn bicycles/frames (http://www.thorncycles.co.uk/models.html). They're designed with heavy-duty touring in mind, and many have disk mounts fitted along with removeable V-brake...
Forum: Touring
07-07-10, 05:49 AM
Replies: 9
Views: 632
Posted By Al Downie

Here's the very thing! ...

Here's the very thing!

http://0.tqn.com/d/antiques/1/0/_/J/sheepWheels.jpg

Sorry - couldn't resist.
Forum: Touring
07-07-10, 05:21 AM
Replies: 9
Views: 632
Posted By Al Downie

Build it yourself! Buy a frame that suits you,...

Build it yourself! Buy a frame that suits you, then start buying the exact components you need. It's great fun and inspires a lot of confidence for when you're waaaay out in the sticks.

I bought...
Forum: Touring
07-06-10, 12:59 PM
Replies: 10
Views: 559
Posted By Al Downie

Disk brakes would be fine as long as you buy...

Disk brakes would be fine as long as you buy mechanical (eg: Avid BB7) rather than hydraulic, AND take the rotors off the wheels if you're packing the bike onto a plane. Good pads last for ages, are...
Forum: Touring
07-06-10, 07:57 AM
Replies: 8
Views: 1,204
Posted By Al Downie

Your panniers should have come with a few little...

Your panniers should have come with a few little plastic 'shims' which click into the hooks to fit various thicknesses or rack tube - make sure the right ones are fitted, and the pannier can slide...
Forum: Touring
07-06-10, 07:12 AM
Replies: 60
Views: 2,618
Posted By Al Downie

My girlfriend and I once went into a shoe shop,...

My girlfriend and I once went into a shoe shop, and she decided to try on a pair of trainers. She asked the assistant for a pair of size 5, but he wheeled out a contraption and made her stand on it,...
Forum: Touring
07-05-10, 08:08 AM
Replies: 60
Views: 2,618
Posted By Al Downie

Why does everyone keep citing RACING as the...

Why does everyone keep citing RACING as the benchmark of best cycling technique, in the context of a touring forum?? Racing is all about getting from A to B in the fastest possible time - those guys...
Forum: Touring
07-04-10, 04:39 PM
Replies: 60
Views: 2,618
Posted By Al Downie

On my first time out fully laden, I tried to "use...

On my first time out fully laden, I tried to "use gears to maintain a consistent cadence" like the books dictate, and it nearly killed me on the first day. On hills, with a full load, I find it MUCH...
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