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Re: touring around france

26 May 2015 - 2:37pm
Hi Stuart

Im going to be camping and using hotels. from st malo i will be heading down towards Bordeaux then over to vontoux to do the 3 times up it in 24 hours, after that up to alps.

looking to do around 100km a day but that can change day by day,im still planning what stuff to take etc etc

kurt.

Re: Lightweight packable trousers - recommendations please

26 May 2015 - 2:29pm
Ray wrote:Rohan do some nice quality ones, but somewhat pricey.

Often worth a look in their "Souk", discontinued colours, lines at a good reduction. See http://www.rohan.co.uk/bargain-travel-and-outdoor-clothes-in-the-souk

Even the standard prices are justifiable if you can wear them as general purpose trews a lot of the time (I use Bags for work, including cycling to it, and get about 10-15 years out of a pair, I've just replaced some Goas wih their newer counterparts after slumming around in them for over a decade).

Pete.

Re: Handlebar bag as security risk

26 May 2015 - 2:27pm
I don't think bar bags pose a bad security risk , but if in a dodgy country doing a moving on tour (I got robbed at gun point in Mexico many years ago on a ctc tour) spread your valuable about. On this occasion I did the standard, wallet with one or tow days local currency, a pile of one dollars with a 10 and a 5 on the front and expired credit cards. You hand this over , they are nervous and they don't have time to look at it in detail generally , so I just lost about £30 , the other couple that got robbed had everything in a bum bag and lost a lot including passports.

Its about accessing the place and the risk .

If I was worried in a country with reliable access to cash points just carry 2 days money and 2 cards hidden say in your shoes

Re: People who have cycled the Pamir Highway...

26 May 2015 - 1:53pm
Hi there,

Nothing that is isn't common sense really,

- ideally camp where you are out of sight (for piece of mind and to stop folks turning up)
- near a water supply
- covered from the elements
- ask local land owners if it is okay to pitch if on someone's land (this would possibly happen on the first bit of the M41 between Kalaikhum and Khorog and the Wakhan, as they are fairly populated in places, and it shouldn't be an issue)
- try to camp lower at attitudes, where possible. Climb High Sleep Low mantra - a general rule of thumb would be to try and only ascend 500m in altitude per day to be on the safe side, this is not always possible and practical, but the lower you sleep the better chance you have of not becoming effected by AMS and altitude related issues, and you will get a better nights sleep certainly as it shouldn't be as cold or exposed to as much of the weather elements.
- try to bury human waste
- leave nothing but foot prints.

Overall The Pamir provides a wealth of amazing secluded & isolated camping opportunities.

Enjoy
Kieran

Re: Handlebar bag as security risk

26 May 2015 - 1:52pm
I live in the UK and for touring I've only been in Western Europe so far but am looking ahead - globally. I am not truly worried but just tried out a bar bag recently and wondering if they are worth sticking with. I've been around a fair bit on foot - so far only the northern hemisphere - and no nothing has happened. As you say, "My valuables tended to be in jeans front pocket or in a pair of hiking shorts in the front zipped pockets on the leg." - yes this is similar to how I have travelled, and yet "The whole idea of walking into town with your bar bag strap across your shoulder and your arm over it like you have a million dollars in diamonds in it just says to me "rob me! Rob me now!!!"" - yes this is exactly what I mean! So a bar bag is perfectly safe if carried without an arm over it?

I did a backpacking trip crossing many countries three years ago, and carried an SLR in its own bag - separately, outside the rucksack, and was very self conscious of it all the way through, I thought it made me stand out as a tourist. People will say you will stand out no matter what, but there is a way of looking more tourist and less tourist.

Sure, body language matters more, but my point with the bar bag, is, it is so convenient to chuck everything in there, that no matter what, if you lose that one bag, you're screwed. I'm not so sure that's a good idea.

Re: Handlebar bag as security risk

26 May 2015 - 1:22pm
Where do you live and where do you tour? Someone mentioned Barcelona and that city is known for pickpockets. However so is London now. I think any big city you are more at risk of pickpockets and snatch artists. That is as true at home (in the UK) as overseas. More exotic locations I do not know but my guess if you had someone pointing a knife or gun at you there is a very good reason to give up you bar bag or other bag no matter what difference the valuables container makes I think the same thing happens, you are deprived of something. My partner got held up by knife to the throat once in South America. I reckon even the secret waist belt would be handed over in such a case.

I have read another paranoid thread on here recently. Not really paranoid but someone fretting about touring security in Western Europe, sounded like in the countryside / small towns too. At the end of the day in most of Western Europe take the same level of precautions you would for equivalent areas. Out in the countryside is less of a risk than major city like London, Barcelona, etc. Do not pat your valuables and above all act naturally. The whole idea of walking into town with your bar bag strap across your shoulder and your arm over it like you have a million dollars in diamonds in it just says to me "rob me! Rob me now!!!". I am not well travelled but I have been in a few cities and places with a bad rep before now. Never been robbed yet. My valuables tended to be in jeans front pocket or in a pair of hiking shorts in the front zipped pockets on the leg. I am aware of stuff around me and have a healthy level of risk awareness I think. I do not stress to the nth degree over a bag looking more interesting to thieves because at the end of the day i believe it is the professional you really have to worry about. They will know if the bar bag is worth nicking as much as a handbag or jacket pocket of some other person. You could be wearing a bumbag or a waist belt under your clothes. They will know it by your demeanour and the way you hold yourself. Can anyone wear a hidden waist security belt without patting their tummy where it is???

If you are truly worried then work out strategies to cope if you do get robbed. How to get a new passport? How to get money without card or other means? Sort that out then perhaps you can stress less about stopping the theft (which I think will happen if it is going to). Just my idea on this. Of course do not be stupid. Take a look at what locals are doing, e.g. barcelona locals wearing rucksacks on the front in their subways. However, I did see a tourist in Ambleside at the weekend with the same way of wearing a sack. That is overkill for the area and marks you out as worth robbing IMHO as much as wearing it the other way around.

Re: Lightweight packable trousers - recommendations please

26 May 2015 - 1:22pm
I've got a couple of very lightweight trousers by Montane and Rohan. I can't remember the model names but they are very light, something around 2000. Now here's the down side - they are pretty fragile and don't even think of touching them with an iron, they disintegrate (done that) and they rip easily if you catch them on something sharp. But they are light!

Re: Handlebar bag as security risk

26 May 2015 - 1:20pm
climo wrote:I asked recently about a soft bag, the kind you would normally carry over your shoulder, with a barbag fixing. It could have a supporting basket like frame which stayed on the bike. Much more comfortable to carry & less like carrying a hat box. Sadly no one knew of any.
I guess a very large barbag / shopping basket with a soft bag in it would work but not as neat. Gap in the market as it would sell to urban short distance cyclists IMO.

What about this Handbag Hugger? It wouldn't fit all handlebars but could well suit urban utility bikes.

Re: Lightweight packable trousers - recommendations please

26 May 2015 - 1:11pm
+1 for Go Outdoors. Got the cheapy ones and they are v light and have removable legs - so both shorts and long trousers the only pair you will need cycle touring.

Re: Handlebar bag as security risk

26 May 2015 - 12:42pm
I am over reacting a bit yes. Good point about body language - patting my wallet and bag is one of my bad habits.

I think a bar bag is closer to a handbag, though I have zero experience of the latter . I don't think it's like a rucksack/backpack - when I go for a walk into town with my backpack, I usually have my keys, wallet and phone in my pockets, I might have valuables in the backpack too, but the point is they are not all in one bag.

kolb wrote:Use a bar bag whilst on the bike. Off the bike I carry the bar bag but put wallet, passport, etc into zipped pockets. But then I wear ordinary shorts whilst touring rather than lycra biking shorts.
- this is better. But I guess you mean the longer off the bike stops, like when you check into a hotel/campsite and go for a walk around town. That makes sense. But what about all the shorter stops?

Re: Lightweight packable trousers - recommendations please

26 May 2015 - 12:03pm
I've got a pair of Peter Storm walking trousers from Millets. Now £15.
http://www.millets.co.uk/mens/078724-pe ... -navy.html

Only weigh 257g with the belt - a full half a kilo less than my jeans and belt.

Not particularly stylish, but then neither am I.

( Also since the material is thin you can roll up the legs to above the knee to produce shorts if you have forgotten your cycle clips! )

Re: Stand for fully loaded bike : recommendations?

26 May 2015 - 11:42am
We have a few shop bought stands from single to double leg and none of them worked with my hybrid. The stays were oval and the bolts were often too short as a result. Tried to source the bolts but something just did not work, I wondered whether they were non-standard bolts?

Anyway the replacement for my stolen hybrid may well not take a stand neither. Certainly it is possible to clip the chainstays with my heel as it is so I reckon most frame fixed stands would not work for me. So that leaves the excellent solution, the clickstand. Although I do not like to buy from overseas because duty does annoy me for US sourced stuff. Will you or wont't you get charged and will they use Royal Mail for the UK leg which IIRC they charge for "handling charges". BTW they are off doing the Selkirk route, that is Scotland AFAIK, so no orders being sorted until June.

Re: Handlebar bag as security risk

26 May 2015 - 11:40am
I asked recently about a soft bag, the kind you would normally carry over your shoulder, with a barbag fixing. It could have a supporting basket like frame which stayed on the bike. Much more comfortable to carry & less like carrying a hat box. Sadly no one knew of any.
I guess a very large barbag / shopping basket with a soft bag in it would work but not as neat. Gap in the market as it would sell to urban short distance cyclists IMO.

You could use a pacsafe bag and bodge a bracket to it?? Cut proof off the bike

Re: Stand for fully loaded bike : recommendations?

26 May 2015 - 11:30am
Made this with a fishermans rod rest. It collapses easily and clips to the downtube when not in use with strong elastic bands. It also supports a fully loaded bike on any terrain or surface. Very useful when camping you can prop the bike up and load or unload it in the middle of a field.
https://flic.kr/p/7WyG3h

Al

Re: Stand for fully loaded bike : recommendations?

26 May 2015 - 11:11am
I used a double legged kiskstand fitted under the bottom bracket some years ago (Pletscher I think) whilst touring with 4 panniers on a Dawes Galaxy. Brilliant. EXCEPT: it needed to be so tight that it damaged the frame and I had to remove it.

Re: Lightweight packable trousers - recommendations please

26 May 2015 - 11:00am
Zip-offs are fine if you are going to use them as shorts (though you do end up with rather odd looking two tone trousers!)

I use zip-offs when camping so I can put legs on when I stop to camp (depriving insects of their food supply). When staying in accommodation, I found I only want to wear them as longs. So I just take non-convertible trousers for that as they weigh a little less and pack a little better, and are not two tone.

Re: Fort William - Oban

26 May 2015 - 11:00am
The Ft. Wm. to Ballachulish bit has been covered. Ballachulish to Oban is mixed with some good cycle paths and some useless bits with some road sections. Not as bad as the A82 but depends what you are used to. The A85 Connel to Oban is not nice. There is a pavement from Dunbeg to Oban which while illegal is used by cyclists. There is also a cycle path Dunbeg to Ganavan outside Oban. Personally I take the back road from Connel to Oban which is fairly quiet unless there has been another accident on the A85. The police are now trying to close this road on these occasions as local drivers all try this way and the road gets completely jammed.

Re: Lightweight packable trousers - recommendations please

26 May 2015 - 10:51am
I've got a couple of pairs of zip-offs, one from Mountain Warehouse, and the others are Craphoggers. The MW pair are much thinner and lighter (347g CF 526g).

Re: Shetland

26 May 2015 - 10:47am
Been there several times and recommend it. Warning however do not be too ambitious as it can be very windy and also colder than you expect. On a couple of visits I used winter gear in June. Have a rear led light as it can get very foggy and police are not happy with unlit cyclists on the faster roads in the central area. The visibility can get very bad at times and I would agree that it is dangerous. Generally it is pretty good and conversely can get very hot and sunburn combined with windburn should be guarded against. All the villages have reasonable shops for provisions and as already said the natives are friendly. Go anyway

Re: Lightweight packable trousers - recommendations please

26 May 2015 - 10:46am
+1 for Rohan. I have taken a pair of Rohan Bags for years on tours and they are still going strong. They are light, look reasonable, wash easily, and have zipped pockets for carrying valuables. Not cheap though.

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