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Updated: 12 min 9 sec ago

Re: Turin to Bratislava

9 April 2014 - 8:49pm
Thanks for the info. It seems, I could run part of Eurovelo6, get dropped at Chalon, and head for Bratislava, this way. I've a chance of a free lift to Turin , so no need to get out in Italy. well pleased.

Re: dogs

9 April 2014 - 8:47pm
From my own experience if you're chased by a pack of dogs then stop, jump off and make loud aggressive noises. Pack dogs [usually] rely upon pack instinct with sheep-like mentality, if one chases the rest follow. Dogs sense fear, so if you don't show it, and frighten the lead (stronger dog) all the others drop off, and without his dependant pack now following he'll soon stop.

If chased by a solo dog then PEDAL, PEDAL and PEDAL..... or use mace.

This is simply from my own experience, I can not guarantee a bite free tour so use at your own discretion.

Re: Zeeland to Antwerp help please!!!

9 April 2014 - 8:35pm
Thank you very much for all of your help guys!
Just put a set of new tyres on and think I am just about ready to go Just have to plod through a week of work now!

In case anyone is interested I think we are going to go along the coast to Ostende on day 1 and camp there. Then a little ride along the ostende bruges canal day 2 allowing plenty of time to sample those belgian beers i've heard about. break into holland on day three maybe camp near middelburg. and day 4 into Antwerp. Might get the train for the last bit into the city if its busy.

Thanks for the heads up re. compulsory bike lanes!!!!

Re: new tyres?

9 April 2014 - 8:28pm
On my tour to Cape Town I used Schwalbe's ' Marathon Plus' as far as The Gambia, (6500 miles) and then fitted 'Marathon Plus Tour' (better for rougher roads such as Congo!!) for the remainder (7500 miles), only had 1 flat on the tour - in Morocco. Agreed, swap tyres front-back after a few thousand.

On last years London-Athens-London tour again I got 6500 on using the Marathon Plus, and likewise again - just one flat! Needless to say this years choice

Re: Advice needed re: pannier sizes for front rack

9 April 2014 - 8:26pm
Rear bags are typically 20/25 litre, front 10/12 litre each for good reason.

Why would anyone not riding around the world need anything bigger at the front? Its potentially very dangerous to put the bigger size bags at the front - rack capacity, bike handling, steering/control.

If you really need more capacity, buy a trailer.

Re: dogs

9 April 2014 - 8:24pm
ossie wrote:
Recently deceased = karma for dog owners reading that tripe I reckon.
I have just checked my copy. He finishes that section with this: "Many summers ago a little girl who lived down the road from my parent's place was pulled down and killed by three dogs" So not surprising that his attitude is robust.

ossie wrote:France if anyone is interested. The farm dogs which are loose dont usually move an inch and simply arent bothered. Its the ones behind fences that get in a bit of a frenzy, usually running the length of the plot which can be a bit of laugh at times.
Of the three bites I have had the one from the loose French farm dog was the worst .

Re: dogs

9 April 2014 - 8:17pm
only once have I had a canine problem, 2 farm dogs came to see what I was doing (checking the map as it happens) but didn't want me to depart. Shouting, barking and more reasoned chat didn't work (it was in Bavaria, perhaps they didn't understand Anglo Saxon) so I set off only to have them chase me for some distance snapping at my heals. Didn't get properly bitten but a graze on my calf was damned near and did bleed. Not fun especially as I ended up on a dirt track doing a silly speed to 'escape'.

Re: new tyres?

9 April 2014 - 8:11pm
I would expect Marathons to last a lot longer than 2500 miles, I'm sure I've read of them lasting 10,000 miles plus, they are called Marathons for a reason.
Remember that unless you are riding in muddy conditions or on unsealed roads then the tread is not really doing anything in terms of grip.
If I were you I would just swap the front and rear tyres over and get another 2500 miles out of them at least, assuming the sidewalls and bead etc are still ok.

Re: dogs

9 April 2014 - 8:07pm
Garry Booth wrote:The recently deceased bike fixing guru Richard Ballentine had some strong words on dog defence tactics: he was normally a sensible chap and his bike book is excellent. But he loses it a bit with man's best friend.
"If the dog attacks: one defense is aerosol pepper sprays made for this purpose. They have a range of about ten feet and are light enough to clip to your handlebars. A water pistol loaded with a water-amonia solution will also work but is a good deal less convenient. If you have neither of these and can't or won't climb a tree get a stick or a large rock. No? The bicycle pump. Try to ram it down his throat. In any event, don't cower or cover up, because the dog will only chew you to ribbons. Attack. Any small dog can simply be hoisted up by the legs and his brains dashed out. With a big dog you are fighting for your life. If you are weaponless try to tangle him up in your bike and then strangle him. Kicks to the genitals and which break ribs are effective. If you have got a pump or a stick hold it at both ends and offer it up to the dog horizontally. Often the dog will bit the stick/pump and hang on. Immediately lift the dog up and deliver a very solid kick to the gemitals. Follow up with breaking the dogs ribs or crushing its head with a rock. If worst comes to worst ram your entire arm down its throat. He will choke and die. Better your arm than your throat."

Recently deceased = karma for dog owners reading that tripe I reckon.

France if anyone is interested. The farm dogs which are loose dont usually move an inch and simply arent bothered. Its the ones behind fences that get in a bit of a frenzy, usually running the length of the plot which can be a bit of laugh at times.

Re: dogs

9 April 2014 - 6:57pm
Garry Booth wrote:...a very solid kick to the gemitals.

Is that like the family jewels?

Glad I'm spelt with a J!

Will say though, at times on our last trip, I would've tried most anything if it would've stopped the hell-hounds.

Re: dogs

9 April 2014 - 6:04pm
Garry Booth wrote:The recently deceased bike fixing guru Richard Ballentine had some strong words on dog defence tactics: he was normally a sensible chap and his bike book is excellent. But he loses it a bit with man's best friend.
"If the dog attacks: one defense is aerosol pepper sprays made for this purpose. They have a range of about ten feet and are light enough to clip to your handlebars. A water pistol loaded with a water-amonia solution will also work but is a good deal less convenient. If you have neither of these and can't or won't climb a tree get a stick or a large rock. No? The bicycle pump. Try to ram it down his throat. In any event, don't cower or cover up, because the dog will only chew you to ribbons. Attack. Any small dog can simply be hoisted up by the legs and his brains dashed out. With a big dog you are fighting for your life. If you are weaponless try to tangle him up in your bike and then strangle him. Kicks to the genitals and which break ribs are effective. If you have got a pump or a stick hold it at both ends and offer it up to the dog horizontally. Often the dog will bit the stick/pump and hang on. Immediately lift the dog up and deliver a very solid kick to the gemitals. Follow up with breaking the dogs ribs or crushing its head with a rock. If worst comes to worst ram your entire arm down its throat. He will choke and die. Better your arm than your throat."


I am a great fan of Richard B's writing, and was sad when he died last year as it was his books that kept me going through difficult London commuting of the 1980s!

The passage above, I believe, caused some great debate and upset when it was published and I understand it was removed (or rather edited and tempered!) in later editions of Richards Bicycle Book. I never had one of the early editions with the above in it and am interested to have finally read what he originally wrote as I had heard about this passage!!

Mind you I think he had a similar view on motorists too

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