From the Archive: Cycle Touring and Expedition Notes
Before going cycle touring I did some preparation right from the reasons behind why I was going, through to the equipment I would need.
Why do I want to do a big adventure?
- Promote alternative existence
- Philosophy, perception of space, time
- Be truthful about aims.
- Show respect to locals, schools, customs, authorities.
- Clear aims, end outcomes
- Minimise environmental impact.
How am I going to raise funds?
- Rejection is great. Learn from mistakes. Say thank you.
- Plan and budget lots of small targets.
Who is going to be in the expedition team?
- Extremes heat acclimatisation
- Altitude diamox
- Tick Borne Encephalitus
- Bugs permethrin, don’t sleep on the ground
- Diahoerra sip fluids, control vomiting Stemetil, imodium, phosphate, diaralyte, tinidazole
- Altitude sickness
How are we going to communicate with others with a language barrier?
- Magic letter
- Globe with route
- Thankyou letters
- Contact book
- Permission - British council, Embassy, High Commission.
Where are we going to go?
South East Asia
- Singapore -> Flores
- Bangkok -> Hanoi -> Laos -> China
- Bangkok -> Cambodia -> Saigon
- Laos -> Phnom Penh -> Mekong
- Lombok -> Mataram -> Sengiggi
- South Banyunangi -> Bali
- Singapore -> Jakarta -> Java -> Surabaya -> Mount Bromo (volcanoes, mountains, rainforests)
- Pulag Maduraa
- Chennai to Bangkok
- Lake Toba
Sulawesi + Sumatra
- Chiang Khong / Huau
- Xai border crossing
- Great food
- Cheap accoms
- Mountains Tak Mae Sot
- Tak Bai
- Surat -> Thani
- Hua Hin
- Beaches Gulf of Thailand
- Penang -> Alok Setar -> Sadao -> Krabi -> Ranong
- Bangkok -> Cambodia
- Taklamakan desert to mountains
- Aksai Chin plateau
- Mt Khailash, Lake Manasarovar, Mt Goria Mandhata
- Trans-Himalaya -> Gangdise Mountain range
- Tanggula Pass
- Transation from high plateau to lowlands sub tropical Nepal
- Ranu Valley
- Namche Barwa regions
- Riwoque pass area
Non existent roads. Nomad people that live in Gers. Carry spare water (sterilize water).
- Heihe to Tengchong
Climate / Seasons
- Nov march
- March - May
May -> Aug
Aug -> Nove
Late summer / autumn
- dangerous floods , land slides
- Right next to Hong Kong
- Isolate beach, furthest tip of Shenzhen
- Most common way to get around is by bike
- Famous rice terraces
Dongcheng, Donguan, Guangdong (province)
- Filled with expats who have started their own businesses
- Best place in Dongguan to stay / live
- Has different parks and small mountains nearby to do day trips
- Largest province in Southern China
- A lot of expats.
- Has great transportation but more inland so not the cheapest to travel from.
- West of China (Southwest)
- A lot of mountains nearby to explore
What will we need?
- Duct tape
- Cable ties
- Piece of leather
- Aluminium tube
Universal sink plug
“Nelise” tourist map
Rohloff (maintenance free, change gears when stationary)
Buy good quality expensive clothing
Notebook computer (Skype, internet, website update, sort photos)
Bicycle cape (also serves as picnic cloth)
Headtorch (rechargeable, light weight)
Tinder from pencil sharpener
Who can give us help and advice?
Astrid Domingo Molyneux
- Eat where the locals eat (cheaper, more fun) (Astrid Domingo Molyneux - www.cyclingfullcircle.com)
- Captivate, articulate, educate, reactivate
- Get out there, exploring as a tool, call to action
- Think small rather than big
- Build on previous research
- Stay enthusiastic / keen and be flexible
- Avoid bears with cubs
- Keep up wind
- Light a fire
- Never leave food out
- Black bear fights vigorously
- If brown bear attacks play dead
- Don’t open your mouth without the facts
- Keep feet dry 8 out of 24 hours
- Look up and down when setting up shelter for deadfall and patternation of leaves (flooding), animal runs (roost), too close to water, valley bottom (cold sink),
- Leave itinerary with trustworthy person
- Kevlar tyres
- Ridgeback 604 mountain bike
- Fit bicycle accessories of the highest quality (cassette, chain, rings, pannier racks)
- Dawes super galaxy
- Good bike is tough, rugged, low gear ratios, wide tyres with plenty of tread, low centre of gravity
- Remember to take a chain tool, crank remover, cassette remover, spare tyre, inner tube, puncture repair kit, patches, glue, brake blocks, gear cables, spokes, light oil for chain, waterproof grease
- Richard’s bicycle book by Richard Ballantine
- Karrimor Icelandic panniers
- Top bag / rucksack good for on / off the bike
- Cannondale front bag for map, camera, altimeter, compass, notebook, tape recorder, vango Zephyr tent, optimus stove (plus back up bottle)
- Medical kit
- Money belt
- Avoid headwinds
- Drink regularly
- Carry sugar, salt, dried milk, tea, coffee, porridge oats, raisins, dried soups.
- Use a toothbrush to clean chain
- In an emergency: wire, string, dental floss, nuts, tin, gaffa tape
Accross Continents (www.acrosscontinents.org)
- Fix a date to leave
- Brutal budget
- Train yourself in skills you are missing
- Buy the best gear
- Leave time to sort out visas
- Research the weatehr
- Keep passport with you at all times
- Magic letter your intentions translated into local language
- Do a trial run first if time allows
- Serrendipity: don’t fret over the unknown, you will learn to cope- by relaxed about it an keep a sense of humour.
- Medical handbook for mountaineers - Peter Steele
- Bicycle Expeditions by Paul Vickers