Friday, October 31, 2008

Bike Touring Tibet

I came across this book at MEC a few weeks ago and have enjoyed reading about bike touring in Tibet. I can't vouch for the accuracy of any of the information published in this book, but it seems quite comprehensive and is well written. Although I think tour journals like those at Crazy Guy on a Bike and travelers' forums like the Lonely Planet Thorn Tree are the best places to get up to date information on a touring destination, it's nice to have a hard copy book to read when you aren't near a computer - particularly while touring. Kym McConnell has gone the extra distance by setting up a website with a forum so you can get Tibet specific info updated constantly - that's smart. You get the book plus a website that provides updates...=-)

Tibet is one of those places that fires up my imagination and I'd love to do some exploring there on my bike. Based on reading Kym's book I'll probably get my feet wet riding in India and SE Asia first before I tackle the more challenging political environment in Tibet.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Lazy is MIA

Sorry for the lack of posts. I'm in a cast at the moment so no biking and very limited mobility. I don't want to blog about my foot simply because it gets enough air time in my day to day life the last thing I want to do is spend more time on it. I figured I better at least let you know why I'm not blogging much these days.

I've also been on the road for work the last little while and haven't had regular access to the net or a comfortable workstation. Getting around on crutches while traveling is even less fun than it sounds and quite tiring. For the first time in years I have watched a ton of TV. I don't have one at home, but being tired and unable to get around is a perfect combo when you have a TV close at hand in your hotel room.

I'll be home on Monday and I've got a backlog of items, in particular product reviews, that I should jump on since I've got a lot of time on my hands at home.

I should be back on the bike by the middle of November and I have some fun winter bike trips planned, but I don't want to jinx them so I won't post about future plans until my foot is all better.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Rohloff Geek

You know you are a bike geek when you pack a Rohloff User's Manual in your luggage for some light in flight reading...=-)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Bill's Thorn Comfort Bars

I had the pleasure of meeting up with Bill S [a Bike Forums member] on Friday and check out his lovely Thorn Nomad S&S. It's an impressive bike - very functional and much nicer looking than it appears on the Thorn website. I wish I had an opportunity to test ride it a bit more thoroughly, but that wasn't in the cards. My camera battery was dead so I wasn't able to snap any photos which is a shame.

This sort of encounter is why I love the internet. You get interested in an obscure product from the UK and a few search engines later you are looking at it, test riding it and chatting with someone who lives in your city and owns one.

Bill brought along a set of Thorn comfort bars he wasn't using for me to look at. I was interested in buying them and seeing how I found the shape/hand positions. To my surprise Bill very kindly gave them to me. Thanks Bill!...=-) I'm going to try them out on my winter MTB. They offer quite a bit of rise and more rearward sweep than typical MTB riser bars.

Here is what Thorn's PR spew says:

"The ultimate alloy riser bar for touring. Physio-designed geometry gives great confort levels. Expertly made of 1.8/3.0/1.8mm 2014 double butted Al Alloy. Generous 25.4mm dia centre section for bar bags, lights, computers etc followed by tight bends (to save space). Overall 620mm wide, 50mm rise, 190mm straight grip section each side, 40mm rearward sweep, 100mm straight section in centre, 25.4mm bar clamp. Weight 294g."

You can get them in quite a few different versions:

- alloy black
- alloy silver
- alloy silver [heavy duty version]
- carbon wrapped alloy
- carbon wrapped alloy [heavy duty version]

Thursday, October 09, 2008


5.0 Specs
  • 22 lbs (10 kg) 7000 series aluminium
  • Disc Brakes
  • Black, Skin Wall, Reflective Stripe
  • Alloy Cold Forged SS
  • Four Spider Cast Aluminum
  • Welded AL Mount
  • Internal Rear Hub Freewheel
  • $800 USD
I've been having a weird fascination with the Strida folding bike recently. I know it looks goofy, but...okay there is no but - it does look goofy. I'm still intrigued. If it cost less than $400 I'd buy one just to see what I thought and loan out to friends. Luckily the $800 price tag makes a purchase highly unlikely - too many other bike goodies that I could make better use of once you get within striking distance of $1000.

Eric & Dylan's Lost Coast Trip

Eric and Dylan made it home safe and sound from their Alaskan Lost Coast Trip. They posted some reports and photos here. It's worth a moment to check out their adventure...=-)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Eric & Dan's Indian Bike Tour

Epic Eric and his partner Dan rode the same route as Al & Ulrike and then for good measure they rode back to the start! Click on either of the photos in this post to jump to more pictures from their trip.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Touring the Indian Himalaya

Photo: Al Downie

Ulrike Lange and Alastair Downie cycle
toured in the Indian Himalayas - Leh to Manali via Tso Moriri, Aug/Sept 2008 and have some spectacular photos here as well as a Bike Forums thread here.

I haven't got a lot of details about their trip, but if I can find any I'll update this post and provide the link.