Search found 329 matches

by AMC
13 Jun 2008, 12:07am
Forum: Touring & Expedition
Topic: Touring on a shoestring : inspire me please !
Replies: 25
Views: 4189

Just do it - it's only by trying it out on a load of cheap kit that you'll find out what you really want or need for next time. I tour now on a lovely custom built steel tourer with Ortlieb panniers, Tubus racks, lightweight quality tent - all of which I would never be without now - but I only got there by doing mile after mile in my young days on an old 5 speed racer with ancient nylon panniers & an awful lot of bungy cords. Tougher & more innocent then, although I still can't quite believe the distances I covered in the summer months wearing rope soled espadrilles!
by AMC
12 May 2008, 12:55am
Forum: Does anyone know … ?
Topic: What tent?
Replies: 21
Views: 3149

I've been very happy with my Exped Extrem 1 person tent (they claim 2 at a pinch as usual - I wouldn't like to try it!). It's pretty much a (less expensive) copy of the Hilleberg Akto. It has a surprising amount of porch room for kit, & not at all claustrophobic (although I'm not very tall). Really excellent ventilation for hot climates, & in the cold the finely adjustible ventilation keeps you warm with minimum condensation in my experience. In wintry/wet conditions you need to remember to pitch it with the sides right down to the ground or rain will splash up the inner - but pitched appropriately it's performed well in both hot/dry & wet/cold conditions. Whilst the novel one cord pull door is great in the heat, in wet weather it makes it akward to cook just inside the porch (very carefully!) so am considering getting a zip added to make it the perfect tent. After all those years of 1 person coffin A-frames these modern side opening tents are a joy.
by AMC
13 Apr 2008, 11:37pm
Forum: Bikes & Bits – Technical section
Topic: Home made 'Gunk'?
Replies: 5
Views: 844

Home made 'Gunk'?

Anyone got any ideas about making up a bio-degradeable chain cleaning solution? I can't face going back to chucking parrafin/white spirit down the drain or around the garden. I was really impressed with a citrus based one I bought but am simply too tight to keep forking out for it. I keep thinking it must be possible to make one up & am having (slightly disturbing) visions of Jif lemons, Ecover lemon bath cleaner & all sorts, but wondering if using certain substances (especially detergants in washing up liquids) without rinsing them off might harm the chain or cogs. Suggestions & warnings welcome...
by AMC
12 Apr 2008, 12:45pm
Forum: Touring & Expedition
Topic: Porridge, great scoff, but how do you cook yours?
Replies: 47
Views: 7466

I'm a pre-soaker when camping & also a total convert to mashed banana in porridge - a bit of a faff to mash it up in the bowl 1st but it saves adding anything else sweet. Keen to try the cinnamon suggestion now though...
by AMC
15 Mar 2008, 6:44pm
Forum: Bikes & Bits – Technical section
Topic: Bar Bag for touring??
Replies: 6
Views: 1109

I'd second the Ortleib. Waterproof - important if you're valuables & paper items will be in it - & well worth the extra money. It will last pretty much for ever I should think if you intend to use it for a lot of trips. I've got STI's & the cables run fine with my large size (not sure of litreage) bag made of the more flexible fabric (ie not the "classic" material, which is stiffer & may not give around the cables so much.)
by AMC
22 Dec 2007, 11:34pm
Forum: Using the Forum - request help : report difficulties
Topic: Lost reply
Replies: 2
Views: 1194

Thanks for that - I didn't know you could delete a reply or post. Ah well, my partner's keen on swiping the for sale item anyway...
by AMC
22 Dec 2007, 7:06pm
Forum: Using the Forum - request help : report difficulties
Topic: Lost reply
Replies: 2
Views: 1194

Lost reply

I posted a "for sale" on the sales/swaps board, received 2 email links to a reply, but they disappeared - can't find them anywhere. These are the 2 links:

http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?p=70899#70899

http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?p=70919#70919

Having responded to the 1st reply I now look like I'm talking to myself on the board!

Any suggestions as to what might have happened?
by AMC
20 Dec 2007, 6:31pm
Forum: Touring & Expedition
Topic: taking a backpack on a bike tour
Replies: 9
Views: 3013

DaveP wrote:By way of an alternative, I noticed that Ortlieb offer a rucksack converter for their panniers.

The converter is good for carrying a pannier for shortish trips, but loads the weight quite high, & without a waistbelt. I personally wouldn't use it for serious walking. It's also not tiny to carry around when it's off the pannier. When I'm hiking on a bike tour I use a Go Lite lightweight pack which folds down pretty small. (I've just realised that I want to sell one of these as it's too big - I'll just go over to sales & swaps & do that! This really wasn't meant to be an advert, honest!)
by AMC
14 Dec 2007, 6:24pm
Forum: Does anyone know … ?
Topic: Repairs to an Old Dawes Racer
Replies: 27
Views: 3397

They sound cute - I'll think about them when they've gone to a good home (& are grown up & want to attach themselves by the teeth to any rapidly spinning object - bicycles ok but moving car tyres ideal!)
by AMC
14 Dec 2007, 11:01am
Forum: Does anyone know … ?
Topic: Repairs to an Old Dawes Racer
Replies: 27
Views: 3397

Perhaps not - husband would know bike by make, model, year, chainset etc and wife would know bike merely by the colour


Hmmm - whilst it's meant to be a joke I'm not so sure I want to be shoved yet again into the "simple lady why don't you just think about fluffy things & kittens" category. On the other hand, it does sound rather attractive, just thinking about frame colours & little furry animals.....
by AMC
7 Dec 2007, 4:10pm
Forum: Touring & Expedition
Topic: Improvised repairs on tours.
Replies: 21
Views: 3110

[quote="eileithyia"]Don't worry we were also concerned when we knew Met a couple of girls whilst onthis trip and seriously doubted if they could reapair a puncture between them. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.

Anne Mustoe cycled around the world without ever fixing a puncture, never mind anything else. Whilst this thought still fills me with terror (the more self sufficient I am the happier I feel) it worked for her...
by AMC
6 Dec 2007, 10:21pm
Forum: Touring & Expedition
Topic: Black Mountains Cycling
Replies: 5
Views: 1116

If I remember correctly the taff trail from Cardiff to Brecon is tarmaced, although the Merthyr/valleys area is disused train track with the usual complement of broken glass (& fantastically lairy 12 year old boys.) We took very minor tarmaced roads over the hills around Brecon, so I think it would be fine. Perhaps someone without alzheimer's will correct me if I'm wrong though. It was a beautiful route anyway, well worth it.
by AMC
6 Dec 2007, 10:04pm
Forum: Touring & Expedition
Topic: Improvised repairs on tours.
Replies: 21
Views: 3110

Great photo. Is this what's now required for loading onto a National Express coach?
BTW - is that an airnimal? I might think twice about investing in one now...
by AMC
19 Nov 2007, 5:32pm
Forum: Touring & Expedition
Topic: London to Thatcham via Thames, the parks, and the canal
Replies: 7
Views: 1331

The K&A towpath is nice but really very slow - but as already mentioned near to a lot of train stations. Unless you've got bags of time the road route might be better for this section; a little hilly, but very pretty. Have fun - I'll be trying the same thing myself at some point & will be really interested to hear about the route between London & Windsor. Keep us posted!
by AMC
15 Sep 2007, 12:24am
Forum: Touring & Expedition
Topic: Cycle Touring and Malaria Medication - South India
Replies: 12
Views: 2516

I have no experience of India, so I hope this isn't misleading, but I was in Ghana for a few months in 1999, where falciparum malaria is widespread & often fatal. A treatment called Atesunate was popular there, which I'd been told about previously by regular travellers to W Africa. It comes as small white tablets, &, as I understand it, is derived from some kind of wormwood; it is claimed not to produce resistance within the resident mosquito population. It is available over the counter in a number of countries, & I bought some as an emergency back up. Unfortunately I did go down with malaria in a remote area. (Although I didn't take phrophylaxis, this was due, I'm convinced, to a few days lapse in bite prevention; against my will - too complicated to explain here - and much regretted.) However, the atesunate was fast and effective, with no further recurrances in the 8 years since I took it. I know nothing else about this treatment, but it might be worth enquiring into what the local population does about malaria & similar diseases - both with biomedicine and traditional treatments - just to have a better understanding of the situation there in case you do go down with something. I found it especially useful to find out what the particular early symptoms people experienced - it was a great help in a fast (if tentative) diagnosis before I could get to a clinic.