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Updated: 40 min 50 sec ago

Trinity Portable Wind Turbine

43 min 14 sec ago


Trinity portable wind turbine ... 30 cm in height, 15 watt generator, 15,000-mAh lithium-polymer battery pack and two USB ports.

The plastic-bodied Trinity is carried as a 12-inch (30.5-cm) cylinder when not in use. When you want to juice it up, you pull out the turbine's three aluminum legs, and prop it up to catch the wind. The legs can be laid flat to form a pedestal, or partially extended to form a tripod base. And yes, it is waterproof (rated to IPX6), should the wind be accompanied by rain.

As the blades turn, they spin an internal 15-watt generator that in turn charges a 15,000-mAh lithium-polymer battery pack. Using one of two USB ports on the bottom of the unit, you can then plug in your phone (or other device) and charge it. According to Skajaquoda, the Minnesota-based company that's developing the Trinity, one full charge of the battery should allow for four to six phone charges – you can also forgo the battery, and charge your phone directly from the generator.

Source: Gizmag

Andrew

Re: Paper maps!

5 hours 3 min ago
I suppose a lot depends on the sort of roads and routes you will be cycling on. Years ago when I used to cover large (to me) distances, I used to use the 'Barts Motorist Map' series at 1:253 440 (4 miles to the inch) or OS 1:50 000 (1¼ inches to the mile - now marketed as 'Landranger'). Main roads and B roads were a lot more (imho) cycle-friendly and pleasant then and I stuck to them. A route sheet giving me my turns and distances together with the map enabled me to find my way quite easily.

Nowadays, I find main roads much less appealing; I plan my routes with far less discipline and I often take a wrong turn and get lost. Part of this I blame on no longer being able to hold a route in my head after working it out on the map - but I anticipate that this will improve when I obtain a handlebar bag that I can attach a map-case to the top of and follow my route on the map as I go along. I now have a habit of seeking out the more obscure and minor roads/tracks, changing my route on a whim, and I rely on the OS 1:25 000 (2½ inches to the mile) 'Explorer' series.

I have been toying with the idea of using the smartphone (or at least printing out the cue sheet) for routes devised using 'cyclestreets' online - looking at the routes it suggests, I'd be best off using the OS Explorer series with it. If I were to stick to more 'mainstream' routes, I reckon that I would find OS Landranger ample. I haven't looked at anything smaller scale for years.

Just looked at one Landranger sheet that I have - about 25 x 25 miles coverage. An Explorer sheet - about 13½ x 18 miles (I looked at two sheets - one about 13½ x 15½ miles, the other about 13½ x 20 miles).

Hope that this is of some use.

Paper maps!

23 April 2014 - 11:42pm
Hi everyone.

We are looking into doing some day touring and are thinking of purchasing some maps, paper ones that is!

Only thing is the choice out there is pretty impressive and at the same time confusing!

What is everyone else using that is also easy and clear for two beginners?

Obviously I don't want to be carrying a load of maps with me also?

Many thanks

camping gas canisters Belgium and Holland

23 April 2014 - 11:04pm
I am thoroughly confused and maybe I have been searching this forum for too long on this subject. Can anyone tell me what type of gas canisters are likely to be most available in Belgium and Holland, the piercing type, the clip on type or the self sealing type which you screw the stove on to? Thanks.

Re: Route Kidderminster or Droitwich to Meriden

23 April 2014 - 11:03pm
Hi AMC
Hope you have had lots of responses to your query.

If not the following may be of help to you:-

Ludlow - Kidderminster - Meriden is the most direct,
but the A4117 is fast, undulating road with hidden dips & summits.
There are hills at Cleobury Mortimer, Bewdley, Arley, etc. and a major climb at Clee Hill.
Then you have go around or through the Birmingham conurbation to get to Meriden.

Ludlow - Droitwich Spa - Meriden is a longer route, but it should be much more pleasant.
There are quiet routes to Tenbury Wells, then a quiet route which runs south of the River Teme to Stanford, with a steep climb at Stanford Bridge.
Nearer to Droitwich there are limited points where you can cross River Severn, and you have to use a stretch of main road between Holt Fleet and Ombersley.
Then you have the problem of going around or through Redditch.
You could go south of Redditch on Salt Way to Astwood Bank & Studley, then head north-east through Ullenhall, Hockley Heath and Hampton in Arden to Meriden.

I have attached gpx file of a possible route.

I haven't looked at the Sustrans routes, but we were recently touring in the Pennines and some sections were rough and very tough.

Good luck
Kevin

Re: Ah well! B&B it is then!

23 April 2014 - 10:59pm
toekneep wrote:You will know it's a sign of getting old if you still take the tent.

How come?

Best of Africa

23 April 2014 - 10:42pm
Having been clearing photo’s from my tiny Asus net-book for my up & coming tour I’ve placed some of the best photo's from the London - Cape Town tour in my Picasa album - it was difficult keeping it to just 60!!

Enjoy! mark.

https://picasaweb.google.com/1087861078 ... stOfAfrica

Re: mobile phone options for Europe

23 April 2014 - 10:21pm
For France I have just picked up a Joe Mobile SIM. They seem to be the French version of giffgaff and have a package where for 20E a month you get unlimited calls/SMS in france, unlimited calls to UK landlines (+ other countries too) and 3Gb of data.

You can only get a SIM sent to a French address however I found a website posted on the giffgaff forums where a guy in France will send you a SIM to the UK for postage only (currently 1E20).

I took a chance and my SIM turned up a few days later. I will be activating it just before I go to France, as I understand it you can use a UK debit card although now I have double checked and the website does not say this any more. Guess I will find out soon enough!

Not affiliated in any way other than a customer, the link is http://jmsim.eu/.

Re: Shabby small town French hotels

23 April 2014 - 8:46pm
No doubt there are "Shabby small town French hotels" as there are shabby hotels in many countries.
However there are reasonable hotels too. For example there are "Logis Hotels", a collection of about 2,600 independent hotels in rural France. They advertise jointly but the hotels are individually owned and run. Try www.logishotels.com/fr I have used several of them and have almost always been very pleased.
This is recent experience.
There are of course several inexpensive chains of hotels which are very uniform and are sometimes found near motorway junctions and service areas.
Also there are lots of Chambres d'hotes (B&Bs). Try www.gites-de-france.com (but there are other groupings). On that site you have to specify whether you are looking for a gite or B&B.
Like in Britain, you tend to find B&Bs where there are tourist attractions such as the seaside but elsewhere there may be nothing on offer.

Re: A question for the ladies

23 April 2014 - 8:04pm
AMC wrote:Just go - as often as you can while you can - you'll never regret it. Touring alone is lovely, you meet many more people than you do when in a couple or group (sometimes it's hard to get any peace in my experience!) I've been doing it for 30 years, & haven't had any bad experiences apart from the usual weather ups & downs.
AMC, that's just how I feel about cycle touring! Well said!

Re: Surviving Norway?

23 April 2014 - 8:01pm
ahh, cous cous could be a good idea. thanks.

no problem at all with veggie dishes, and yeah, much harder to harm yourself with undercooking

Re: Surviving Norway?

23 April 2014 - 7:56pm
Not pre-cooked but if you can get them both lentils and couscous have good protein. Lentils you can presoak so they cook faster and cous cous can be made with cold water, just stick in flavouring and the cous cous itself and leave for at least 45 minutes. If you have a spare empty water bottle it can be a good temporary cous cous maker =)

Might also be worth looking for vegetarian meat alternatives? Probably won't solve the pre-cooked part but you're at least much less likely to have problems from undercooking it!!

Re: mobile phone options for Europe

23 April 2014 - 7:53pm
bikes4two wrote:randomblue wrote:I thought that at first too, but if you go to this page select EE and put in Germany for example (or France or Spain etc), when you hit enter, on the page for the country you entered there are 3 tabs just under the country name and if you select pay as you go and scroll down a little on the right hand side there are roaming data bundles, including 20MB/£1 over 24 hours, 100MB/£3 over 24 hours or 200MB/£35 over 1 month.



Randomblue - I've re-checked what I THOUGHT I'd looked at and you are correct and I was wrong - my apologies - EE is indeed a good rate for PAYG Data whilst roaming - I'll be getting a SIM card for myself

Ahah no problem! Glad to have found you a better deal My desk job can be super boring with not much to do sometimes so I somewhat sadly fill said time with obsessing over stupid things like this =P I may or may not be using a combination of 5 different SIMs during my 4 months tour this summer as a result... but considering the SIMs themselves are generally free it can only end up saving money so hopefully it'll be worth it! x.X

Surviving Norway?

23 April 2014 - 7:09pm
Hi,

I arrived at Kristiansand on Monday afternoon, and have since done 250km along towards Stavanger. This has worked out at 4,500m of climbing. Without spending lots of money (relative to the UK), has anyone got any tips on what/where to buy in a 'nutritous' food sense? I've always found it pretty easy to pick up chicken-based sandwiches/meals in the lower parts of Europe (chicken appears to work well for my legs). But it's proving quite difficult in Norway (as it did last time I was here), and I'm struggling to find pre-cooked protien-type foods. Restaurants are out of the question (I'm camping/wild-camping to avoid spending too much). I have a one-pot stove, and have been doing egg noodles with a tin of tuna. Just wondered if anyone had some great insight into eating to keep the legs going ? or the lowest price you ended up paying for something reasonable?

cheers,

Re: mobile phone options for Europe

23 April 2014 - 6:21pm
bikes4two wrote:randomblue wrote:bikes4two wrote:
The above tariff of £1/20Mb is for Pay Monthly accounts, not PAYG. If you are PAYG it is £35 for 200Mb valid for 30 days or £10 for 50Mb valid for 30 days. Link is here - be sure to press the PAY AS YOU GO tab on the web page.temp1.jpg

I thought that at first too, but if you go to this page select EE and put in Germany for example (or France or Spain etc), when you hit enter, on the page for the country you entered there are 3 tabs just under the country name and if you select pay as you go and scroll down a little on the right hand side there are roaming data bundles, including 20MB/£1 over 24 hours, 100MB/£3 over 24 hours or 200MB/£35 over 1 month.



Randomblue - I've re-checked what I THOUGHT I'd looked at and you are correct and I was wrong :oops: - my apologies - EE is indeed a good rate for PAYG Data whilst roaming - I'll be getting a SIM card for myself :) :) :)

Does the EE roaming allow your phone to roam to any provider in France (or other EU country) or have they just cut a deal with a specific carrier. I never really knew what the coverage was like as, whilst I had a "pay monthly" on Orange, I never used the phone so never noticed the coverage. But, if travelling in the UK rural areas there are some providers that would be better than others.

Ian

Re: mobile phone options for Europe

23 April 2014 - 6:05pm
randomblue wrote:bikes4two wrote:
The above tariff of £1/20Mb is for Pay Monthly accounts, not PAYG. If you are PAYG it is £35 for 200Mb valid for 30 days or £10 for 50Mb valid for 30 days. Link is here - be sure to press the PAY AS YOU GO tab on the web page.temp1.jpg

I thought that at first too, but if you go to this page select EE and put in Germany for example (or France or Spain etc), when you hit enter, on the page for the country you entered there are 3 tabs just under the country name and if you select pay as you go and scroll down a little on the right hand side there are roaming data bundles, including 20MB/£1 over 24 hours, 100MB/£3 over 24 hours or 200MB/£35 over 1 month.



Randomblue - I've re-checked what I THOUGHT I'd looked at and you are correct and I was wrong - my apologies - EE is indeed a good rate for PAYG Data whilst roaming - I'll be getting a SIM card for myself

Re: new tyres?

23 April 2014 - 5:15pm
We have been using Marathon Mondials 26 * 1.25 on our touring bikes www.cycling-nomads.com and so far after 9,000kms they have plenty of tread left and should be good for another 9,000 easily. We have had only 1 puncture and they are great on tracks as well as the road. The roads in Turkey have a very coarse surface so we have dropped the pressures to smooth our ride 35psi. Our bikes are fully loaded with front and rear panniers and a tent. They weren't readily available in the UK when we left last year so I ordered them from bike24.de.

Re: Dog trailers

23 April 2014 - 2:37pm
Again no direct experience but...

...Via an early edition of Bicycle Traveller, I had previously come across the Cycling Gypsies, a couple with their two dogs, who have toured extensively - "Along with our two doggy co-pilots we have cycled over 17,000 miles (27,000 km), through 21 countries."

They have a "Biking with Dogs" page with info & links.

Rick

Re: Shabby small town French hotels

23 April 2014 - 12:50pm
Reason was the increasingly stringent regulations

probably explains it , also why B&B are relatively expensive in UK. Once places are listed, they're subject to all sorts of regulations. We have stayed in some potential death traps over the years thinking about it, but have also stayed in some rather wonderful Chambres d'Hotes. I wonder if a some of the bars / cafes' in France still offer accommodation on demand, but just don't advertise it.

Re: mobile phone options for Europe

23 April 2014 - 11:44am
I am going to opt into the Vodafone £3 a day option on my 7 day trip to Brittany. That allows me to use my monthly tariff of 100 minutes, unlimited texts and
1gb of data. If I don't connect on some days the £3 is not charged. I shall take advantage of free WiFi where I can. Can't be bothered with Simms etc

Al

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