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56

Oh... where do I even start? I love dogs, I am crazy about them, too. I have 3 labs of my own. I am from a place where street dogs are very abundant. If you don't see any dogs in the next 100 yards, consider yourself lost! :D I am barked at often, chased often, even confronted sometimes. I used to run away before, because it is what a normal guy does. I ...


31

The distinctions are often subtle: The touring bike will of course be slightly more heavily built (generally a steel frame). The touring bike will have a longer wheelbase. You will generally notice that the space between the seat tube and the rear wheel is fairly wide. (The longer wheelbase serves 3 purposes: More stable, smoother ride, better fender ...


23

It's more or less a math question. A way from Athen to London without using a ferry if not absolutely necessary (Canal), it is approximately 3200 kilometers. So if you have an average speed of 15 km/h (mountainbike) or maybe 25 km/h (racing bicycle) it would take approximately 214 respectively 128 hours to cycle the route. As always for such rough ...


19

Get a printed map and look for the 'postal roads'... There are 'postal roads' in Switzerland that are closed to normal cars. These go over some high passes that are just not wide enough for regular traffic. They are called 'postal roads' because only the post bus goes on them. What is amazing about them is the descents - you can ride 'TdF' style without ...


14

Doesn't address your question with regard to maps, but I've found it easier to work from turn-by-turn cue sheets instead. I almost always ride a predetermined route, even if it's just something quickly charted up pre ride. Luxury is of course having access to google maps and being able to print out directions. I print out (or write out, sometimes you have to ...


12

I bring enough to dress small cuts and stop bleeding, at least until 911 could get to me. If you're riding in areas you might not be able to be reached by emergency services, or if you have particular medical issues that need specialty supplies, a kit like this would insufficient. Bandages/band-aids of a few different sizes Gauze -- usually a small roll ...


12

The Canine Aggression FAQs from the RSPCA has some useful general advice about aggressive dogs. If you encounter an aggressive dog while cycling it recommends the following: If you are cycling, dismount and place the bike between you and the dog. This allows you to slowly wheel it far enough away to remount. Do not try to outpace the dog as this may ...


12

Mountain bikes have been pressed into service as touring machines for a long time. Old hardtail mountain bikes make great, bristly touring machines, and they're fun to ride. Tires The first thing you'll want to look at are the tires. Most mountain bikes come with knobby tires for riding on dirt and gravel. A set of slicks or semi-slick tires will decrease ...


12

This may depend on what you enjoy doing. For me, the very act of exercise will stop me being bored, and cycling wins on so many fronts. But if you need to actively do stuff, how about: focus on the weather, on a good day feel the breeze watch the scenery talk to others in your group (I'm less keen on this, as I like a quiet cycle) give yourself challenges, ...


11

Probably what you want is a "hybrid" or "commuter" bike. Flat handlebars (like a mountain bike), smooth road tires (but a bit fatter than on a racing bike), usually the right stuff for mounting a rack and fenders. Go down to your Local Bike Shop and look at what they have. Make sure it's a store that basically just does bicycles, not a department store that ...


11

If you are on an unfamiliar route or completely surprised by an encounter with a chasing dog, you basically have two tried and true options: Sprint Hard: You will likely exit the dogs territorial boundary in just a few seconds (though it will feel a lot longer). Once outside their perceived territory they will give up the chase. Dismount: If the animal is ...


11

A recovery ride is a ride where you go at a very easy pace for 90-120 minutes. The idea of it is to give all those over-worked muscles some gentle exercise so that they don't tighten up, while flooding them with nutrients to help them repair. For people in training, it's a day off to just enjoy riding. I ride with a friend on his recovery ride because ...


11

You should find that on those bikes everything is a bit stronger and heavier than a standard touring bike. Not only are they expected to carry more weight, they're designed to be ridden into places where failures are more difficult to recover from. As well, because they're designed to be ridden off road they'll usually have a lower top tube for better ...


11

There are a lot of question so I will settle on the one in the title. How many years will an current aluminum frame last of a touring bike? Depends: Don't know what aluminum frame Construction is a larger factor than material Don't know the use Use is a larger factor than material Don't know how you are going to care for the bike Care/maintenance is ...


10

As I may have given away in the comments, I'm not a fan of sensory deprivation when you're as vulnerable as you are when you're on a bike. I don't think there are many scenarios where not being able to hear as good as you possibly can is safe on a bike — but you may not agree and safety really isn't the point of this answer. My belief is that when you ...


9

No! Treat yourself to some basic Shimano SPD shoes. Consider getting the pedals too. A popular entry model shoe is the M087 model, shown here with a basic SPD pedal: The Shimano shoes are reasonably wide, the sizes are as per your trainer size, available in EU size increments. The M087 has a ratchet mechanism for doing them up, you can adjust this whilst ...


9

I own a pair of these shoes, and while they are good for "barefoot" style running. I wouldn't want to bike with them except in an emergency. They are very flexible, with a thin sole that you can feel everything through. As such, I would say that they are definitely not fit for touring.


9

My preference is for SPD clipless pedals and "walkable" clipless shoes. But I still have a pair of lightweight "tennis shoes" in my gear for campsite, days off, etc. Another option, if you can still find them, is the old-fashioned "touring" shoes and regular toe straps. "Touring" shoes are (or were) quite walkable, and it's reasonable to walk miles in ...


9

The best kind of saddle for touring is one which you find comfortable. The cut-out is intended to relieve pressure from your soft bits leaving most of your weight on your sit-bones. A very wide saddle might start to rub excessively inside your thigh on a long ride, while one with springs may be too bouncy at higher cadences and waste some of your effort. ...


9

In my experience (week long camping / bike touring trips), I have never thought "Man, I wish I had a chair." I have often thought, "I have packed way too much stuff." There are a few things to consider. You have looked into weight and cost, but there is also space and time considerations. Volume: Do you have space on your rack to put this? How small does ...


8

If you're doing mostly commuting I'd look for strength above light. Go for something with more spokes and with a 3 cross lacing pattern. You want something that is reliable. Of course you weight is a consideration so there is always a trade off between that and durability. Going with something with radial (straight) lacing up front can save weight and ...


8

We can generalize the main areas where one can load weight as such: Front rack vs. Rear Rack High (on top of rack) vs. Low (in panniers) The most commonly accepted points for load distribution are as follows: Keep dense, heavy items low to the ground. The lower you & your bike's center of gravity is, the more easily you can keep yourself upright. ...


8

I have seen some handlebar bags that have a slot for maps on the top. The map pocket is usually clear plastic designed to keep the map dry. (Hopefully this isn't what you meant by "pannier-attached map things" -- I have never heard of/seen those; maybe you were thinking handlebar bags?) There are lots of bags that have this (Google "handlebar bag map ...


8

For cycling across China you want a reliable bike that is unlikely to give you trouble, and which can be repaired with "local" resources if it does. Forget about "lighter" wheels -- you want reliable wheels, and a pound less weight (if that) from a lighter wheel will not make any difference. And I'd stay away from a geared hub, unless you can find one that ...


8

The answer to your question depends heavily on the infrastructure that is available to you, and the highest level of mechanical ability in your party. As another pointed out, you will want at least two pumps, multi-tools, etc. My wife and I do pretty challenging mtb tours with BOB trailers. We generally bring the following (subject to modification ...


8

There is a lot of complete and utter non-sense around Brooks saddles. When it comes to saddles, everything works for somebody and nothing works for everybody. Rule #1. If it's not reasonably comfortable on Day 1, it will never be comfortable. Saddle comfort is about getting the right shape to match your backside, leather saddles like the Brooks will ...


8

There are a couple of reasons. The KISS Principle If anything vital breaks while you're touring and you can't fix it on the spot, you're stranded. You're too far from home to call your mom for a ride. Unless you have a spare for the broken part, your options are some DIY jerry rigging and/or praying that someone with a truck comes by who will carry you and ...



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