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By late
#15090958
I loved backpacking.

But when my knees went bad, I turned to cycling. We used to do a week long cycling vacation every year. One year we rode around Lake Champlain, which was really hard, but had a lot going for it.

What we did mostly was credit card touring. You carry some clothes and stuff, but you stay in hotels, motels and B&B. We did one sagged trip. That was the Italy trip. Most vakays were just us, wife SIL and me. Sagged trips have a sag wagon. You get into trouble, you jump in the van, and they'll whisk you to the next destination. A good company will work hard to make sure the restaurants and places you stay are good. When you roll your own trip, it's the luck of the draw. But we rarely had a problem.

I organised the trips. There was always 2 or 3 days of riding, then a day of rest someplace nice, then a couple more days of riding. I particularly liked Camden, Me and North Conway NH for that. There are some terrific rides in the North Conway area. The restaurants are a bit disappointing, but you can't have everything.

Way back in the 1970s, Consumer Reports wrote a review of bicycles. They said that below a certain price, bikes weren't fun, and would stay in the garage. Above that bikes were a pleasure to ride, and you would make up excuses to go out and ride. That's still true.

$1K is a rough minimum, $2K is a lot better. I know that's a lot, I used to feel the same way. Then bikes made my life a lot better, and I'd skimp on car buying before bike buying. My favorite bike is the Gunnar Sport. It's very expensive, and worth every penny.

If you're going to buy a bike, there are things that help to know. The first thing you want to do is use the best bike shop in your area. A good shop will work with you, they will have rides for beginners.

A lot of adults buy their first bike, as an adult, a size too small. A couple weeks later, they want to lean forward and they can't. Yeah, I know.

When you sit on the bike, if 90 is bolt upright, and 0 degrees is lying flat, you want 50-70 degrees. You want some forward lean, but not a lot.

You don't want a racing bike, for a bunch of reasons. You want relaxed geometry. That can get complicated. Pretty much you want a bike made for fun, that isn't slow. In America, there are way too many racing bikes, and even more that are dog slow. You also want to avoid touring bikes. They are for loaded touring, tents, food, stove, it adds a lot of weight. Without that weight, the bike feels stiff. You don't want a bike for one week a year. So a recreational bike that is lively. Every bike shop will have at least one do it all bike. They used to be called Sport bikes, btw. But they may only have one. You will have to try a few, you want one that feels right. I know, how do you tell. Ideally, there should be a smile on your face, but that may not happen at these prices. What you can is ride for 20 or 30 minutes, make sharp turns, hit a pothole on purpose, get going fast and see how it feels.


A bike with relaxed geometry will be stable most of the time. A racing bike will want to turn even if you don't. You want little holes where you can attach racks. Small packs called panniers will eventually go on your racks. They can hold your clothes on vacation, or groceries any old day. We used to go to yard sales on our bikes.

You want a bike that can take 28c tires and fenders on a 700c wheel. If you are under 5'6" you will want a bike that has 26" or 650b wheels. If you put someone 5'2" like my wife on a bike with 700c wheels, the geometry will be all messed up.

You are going to make mistakes, like leaning your bike against a boulder, or dropping it. Get steel or aluminium, for your first time.



The American lifestyle is a trap. It will give you heart disease and heart attacks and diabetes and a hundred other ills the flesh is heir to. You can avoid most of that with a bicycle. The price suddenly sounds more reasonable, doesn't it.
User avatar
By Odiseizam
#15153994
@late nice to hear there are cyclists on this forum, do You take electrolits coz cramps when touring, magnesium or else i.e. how do You coup with muscle cramps on long distance stages?

... now that point around the price is little too subjective, eg. if taken in account places like east-europe middle-east or asia even less africa then touring with expensive bike is I dont know stupid!? not that You are wrong high couture is high couture, but that wont make the trip, I think its always about the will to explore new places while feeling their breeze ... last time I went asia touring tho half-touring using in places also bus and train jumps simply no one was excited about my hardtail nakamura 500 euro aluminium bike lucky also that I didnt have disc brakes what in middle of nowhere is such relax and joy of wandering without fears that You want need of city service or dragging Yourself constantly around Your bike, tho now thats relic idea [1]

one thing that I havent experince it is tandem riding, also havent went on group rides, but as solo touring I've was unburdened so I could go wherever I like whenever I like, eg. easily accepted as lonely tourist on woofing farms, mountain huts or abandoned places ... its osmehow wonderful to know that there where You have shortcated noone else risk stumbling on minefield, almost as unique adrenaline touring that by all means is risk to life when going sideline from the main roads east and south from europe ... the same goes for eastern europe too, its more than safe, but You'll need signal-gun if wander in wilderness coz here and there its full of bears ...

http://www.build.mk/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=373&PID=160255#160255

https://youtu.be/ThgQLAceAxc
By late
#15154006
Odiseizam wrote:
@late nice to hear there are cyclists on this forum, do You take electrolits coz cramps when touring, magnesium or else i.e. how do You coup with muscle cramps on long distance stages?

... now that point around the price is little too subjective, eg. if taken in account places like east-europe middle-east or asia even less africa then touring with expensive bike is I dont know stupid!? not that You are wrong high couture is high couture, but that wont make the trip, I think its always about the will to explore new places while feeling their breeze ... last time I went asia touring tho half-touring using in places also bus and train jumps simply no one was excited about my hardtail nakamura 500 euro aluminium bike lucky also that I didnt have disc brakes what in middle of nowhere is such relax and joy of wandering without fears that You want need of city service or dragging Yourself constantly around Your bike, tho now thats relic idea

one thing that I havent experince it is tandem riding, also havent went on group rides, but as solo touring I've was unburdened so I could go wherever I like whenever I like, eg. easily accepted as lonely tourist on woofing farms, mountain huts or abandoned places ... its osmehow wonderful to know that there where You have shortcated noone else risk stumbling on minefield, almost as unique adrenaline touring that by all means is risk to life when going sideline from the main roads east and south from europe ... the same goes for eastern europe too, its more than safe, but You'll need signal-gun if wander in wilderness coz here and there its full of bears ...




I didn't use to need magnesium. Now I do, sometimes I get a nasty cramp in the morning. I have had good luck with this stuff:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0083V8RM6/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

We were middle aged when we started doing bike trips, and not in great shape. So mostly we did 30 or 40 miles days, and wanted a nice meal and bed when we were done. It's a lovely way to travel, but if I was younger, a lot younger, I'd prob be more adventurous.
User avatar
By Godstud
#15154037
I am a motorcyclist who identifies as a cyclist... the same as this guy.

Motorcyclist Who Identifies As Bicyclist Sets Cycling World Record
NEW YORK, NY—In an inspiring story from the world of professional cycling, a motorcyclist who identifies as a bicyclist has crushed all the regular bicyclists, setting an unbelievable world record.

In a local qualifying race for the World Road Cycling League, the motorcyclist crushed the previous 100-mile record of 3 hours, 13 minutes with his amazing new score of well under an hour.

Professional motorcycle racer Judd E. Banner, the brave trans-vehicle rider, was allowed to race after he told league organizers he's always felt like a bicyclist in a motorcyclist's body.

"Look, my ride has handlebars, two wheels, and a seat," he told reporters as he accepted a trophy for his incredible time trial. "Just because I've got a little extra hardware, such as an 1170-cc flat-twin engine with 110 horsepower, doesn't mean I have any kind of inherent advantage here."

Banner also said he painted the word "HUFFY" on the side of his bike, ensuring he has no advantage over the bikes that came out of the factory as bicycles.

Some critics say he needs to cut off his motor in order to make the competition fairer, but he quickly called these people bigots, and they were immediately banned from professional cycle racing.

https://babylonbee.com/news/motorcycle- ... ing-record

I do have a bicycle, but I hate cycling alone, and so it's been sitting for a few years.

You have to set aside a lot of time for any cycling trip. You won't get as far as you think you will.
User avatar
By AFAIK
#15154075
I spent 3 months touring Japan on a 1 speed that cost $50 so I disagree on the need to spend big money on a bike. Just make sure it is comfortable to ride and you're good to go. It's definitely worth going to a bike shop to make sure your bike is the right size and set up correctly for you. They're usually willing to show you how to take it apart and put it together, too.
By late
#15154147
Godstud wrote:
You have to set aside a lot of time for any cycling trip. You won't get as far as you think you will.



I went across Italy, from the Adriatic to the Med.

I was hoping to do that here, but things didn't work out.

However, I did at least a dozen cycling vacations in New England. Yes, they took the week, but I enjoyed them a lot more than the other vacations I did in New England.

Every city has cycling groups you can ride with. A lot of bike shops do regular rides. There are (expensive) bike events you can join. And there are cycling vacation companies, where you will be part of a group. I've only done that once, and it was with these guys:

https://ciclismoclassico.com/

Yes, they are expensive, we saved for 5 years to be able to go. It was so worth it.

Edit: You prob don't have a really good bike. Which you need to want to do trips. Mine is a Gunnar Sport, and it is really, really good.
User avatar
By AFAIK
#15154154
Odiseizam wrote:wow going with Fixie on hill routes? in Japan this would be possible only through the highways or?

It wasn't a fixed gear it had 1 gear. Or no gears, I don't know the terminology.
By late
#15154203
AFAIK wrote:
It wasn't a fixed gear it had 1 gear. Or no gears, I don't know the terminology.



Fixed means the crank is locked to the wheels. If the wheel turns, the pedals turn. I think it's dumb.

You prob had a freewheel, meaning the wheel kept turning when you coasted.
User avatar
By Godstud
#15154247
Yes, @Rancid, you can tell gender by what they ride. :p ;)

@late I ride this, and it seems pretty good. It's great in corners!
Image

I don't think that should reflect on my gender though, should it?


:lol:
User avatar
By Odiseizam
#15154482
Godstud wrote:I don't think that should reflect on my gender though, should it? :lol:


as I can see only on Your mindset :) philosophically speaking Your Bike need to reflect just good balance between Your pockets ...

@late Nice info about Italy, do they have special cyclist insurance? also when joining group You are registering only on the go, or one need local club registration? probably its not so loosen so anyone can jump in or out as it like!?
By late
#15155238
Odiseizam wrote:
@late Nice info about Italy, do they have special cyclist insurance? also when joining group You are registering only on the go, or one need local club registration? probably its not so loosen so anyone can jump in or out as it like!?



Italy is one of the best places in the world to ride a bike. One of the reasons why is that cycling is to Italy what baseball is to America. People went out of their way to be nice, because I was on a bike.

I put insurance on my bike. But if you go with a tour company, most people use the bikes the company provides. Shipping is expensive, but I didn't have a choice, I can only ride a bike set up for me.

I am not sure what you mean by cyclist insurance. In any case, I didn't have it, or even know about it.

You don't need to register with a club, or anything else. You want to check what the laws are, in the country you plan to visit, but I am unaware of bicycle licensing, or anything beyond what every tourist needs to have. You should look into the laws governing how you cycle.

Oh, wait, I think I understand the question now. I went with Ciclismo Classico, they are a vacation company. You sign up with them, fork over a ton of money, and then all you have to do is show up. They'll have a van, and your luggage goes in the van. After they drop it off at the next location, they come back. If there is a problem, they fix it. If they can't, you jump in the van, and they take you to the next hotel. It's called a sagged tour. Some companies offer tours with limited support, or no support, they make the travel arrangements, like book your hotel, you are then on your own to get there.
User avatar
By Odiseizam
#15155242
@late I was thinking about any special insurance for cycling accidents

http://travellingtwo.com/resources/insurance-for-bicycle-tours

about drop ins I was referring to joining some group as outsider and pay fee example just for some stage instead taking the whole tour ...

while searching insurance links I've stumbled upon their new project Bicitalia [1][1][1] that will route through historical and natural landmarks from north to south ...

Image
By late
#15155249
Odiseizam wrote:[usermention=41202]

@late[/usermention] I was thinking about any special insurance for cycling accidents



about drop ins I was referring to joining some group as outsider and pay fee example just for some stage instead taking the whole tour ...

while searching insurance links I've stumbled upon their new project Bicitalia



I wouldn't know about any of that.

Sorry I wasn't able to help. Medical bills aren't usually a big problem in Europe. Good luck with your trip.
User avatar
By Godstud
#15155271
I'd love to ride a bike in Italy. For reasons you state, it'd be great. Italy's one of the places I most want to visit. If you ride in Italy, say hello to my friend Enrico, in Milan, for me! :D

We get lots of cyclists in Thailand and they are greeted very warmly, but it's a better place for motorcycles.

Just good travel insurance should be sufficient for bike accidents.
By late
#15155336
Godstud wrote:
I'd love to ride a bike in Italy. For reasons you state, it'd be great. Italy's one of the places I most want to visit.



I've been to Italy twice, close to a month in total.

I loved the bike trip. In general, a bicycle is the best way to experience a place.

So here's my 2 cents. I didn't like Rome, and I wouldn't want to ride there. Venice is very cool, but way too many tourists who have driven up the prices. Which is a shame, every educated person should sit in St Marks square and contemplate it's history over a cup of coffee.

I liked Milan because it is a great place to see exotic sports cars.

For a typical vacation you have to pick a couple areas. That depends on the struggle between spending time in a place, and the desire to hop from place to place so you can take in as much as possible.

The food is excellent in Italy. My bike trip took me to some seriously good restaurants, and I loved that. But most little places will be good. Some will be great. Hell, we got lost one day and ate at a McDonalds. Please understand that I refuse to step inside an American McDonalds. This one was nice. Not great, but adequate.

Here are some areas that interest me. Northern Italy on the Med side, very, very pretty. Northern Italy on the other side, some really hard cycling, but striking, rugged country.
The Adriatic coast for about a 100 miles south of Venice is nice. I don't know it at all well, but I liked what I saw.

I haven't been to Southern Italy, and it looks so very cool. On the Adriatic side is a tiny coastal city that's been in movies, forget the name, but pretty. The boot looks completely different from the rest of Italy, another one of those places I would love to go to. The Southern Med coast I also know nothing about. Sicily gets raves over it's food and really tough cycling.

This is the trip I went on, bike across Italy. It's actually worth it.
https://ciclismoclassico.com/tours/bike-across-italy/

When they say intermediate, that means 60 miles with a mountain in the middle. The first day is one of the toughest, so do your training.

What I always say is that I could suggest a 100 different vacations easily. Suggesting one, now that's tough. Do your homework.

Whatever you like, it's on offer, cycling French wine country, chocolate and pot in the Netherlands. I never made it England, and that's one of my big regrets.

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