From Ecotopia Biketour Wiki
please type your questions here and get them answered or ask them at our mailing lists -biketour veterans: could you scan around our old websites and wikis, get some FAQ's and dump them here? thanks
- What is biketour?
- answer at page What_bt_is
- Where and when it will happen?
- Who to contact?
- How much does it cost?
- answer at page Costs
contribution by Tiho and Ivan Gregov
- do I need to bring my bike?
- Well if you want to avoid all the things about preparations in hurry, you should. Otherwise the best is if you can contact someone before in the place where you will join Biketour and ask if is possible to find you something. There was a people who bought cheap bikes and later group were always looking back for them.
- how do I transport my bike across europe?
- Sometimes it can be hassle with bike to travel on starting point of Biketour, but it worth to do. Trains, buses, ferries, planes all over the world can accept a bike as a baggage, what you have to do is to pack and protect you bike and other things from damaging. You should pay for it like for two large baggage. Sometimes you will have to dismantle your bike, front or both wheels, just to be easier to put in the baggage area. Also, packing your bike in a cartboarx box (there are special large bike bags available too!) is good advice to avoid the problems!
- What kind of bike do I need?
- The one that you already have. Any kind would do (judging from previous years of Biketour), but with some bikes it will be easier. In ideal case, the most recommended would be bikes invented for traveling: trekking and touring bikes. If you have mountain bike, don't forget to put ROAD TIRES. If you have road (racing) bike, don't forget to put rough tires. This will make your life much easier.
- The one that you already have, from economic side it will the best. Any kind would do (judging from previous years of Biketour), but with some bikes it will be much easier. In ideal case, the most recommended would be bikes invented for traveling: trekking and touring bikes (usually they have 28 inches wheels and thinner tires, but some of the bikes called “hybrid bikes” have 26 inches wheels like mountain bikes but with race kind of frame, more gears, suspensions etc).
- If you have mountain bike, don't forget to put ROAD TIRES, the best are semi-slick tires which you can use as for road also for some easy dirt roads (because sometimes we use roads that don’t have so much traffic, like dirt roads). That makes Biketour much nicer and healthier.
- If you have road (racing) bike, don't forget to put rough tires, as thick as possible. This will make your ride and life much easier.
- No matter which kind of bike you used, you have to know that, if you want to travel without so much stress, best it will be if you to:
- Try to find frame (bike) size that is right size for you (it will be long ride and you have to feel you bike as one part of your body). Sometimes if bike doesn’t fit you, you can expect muscle pain in different areas. Try to ask some more information in your closest bike store. Regarding frame materials of your bike, usually bikes for traveling are made from steel, alloy or titanium (carbon fiber, other combination). Steel (Cr-Mo compound) is the best one for riding on this kind of trips, but it is heaviest one and it is cheapest one. For now the best solution according to the people who like traveling by bike is alloy (7001 type) frame bikes. They are enough stiff and they are lighter for traveling and they are little bit more expensive. The last one material for frames is Titanium, far stiffer, lighter, but very, very expensive (if you have one of those you are lucky and bring one good lock for it).
- Try to find bike with 36 (or more) spokes wheels if it is possible, made from stainless steel spokes (stronger ones) and double frame wheels (they are more stiffer and durable), or if you don’t have that kind of wheels, you could bring, for example, for every hundred km one spoke for your rear wheel (measured by professionals) plus tools for repairing. So if it is trip long 3000km you have to bring 30 spare spokes (1kg more to carry) plus tools for repairing (1kg more). So it’s up to you.
- How many gears? Well far now we notice that people traveled sometimes with just one gear, but if you want to have less painful traveling, you should have at least 18 gears that function. Because sometimes you can expect ascending up to 15% (like it was in Bosnia, Romania…).
- Rack and panniers? Well there are a lot of different kinds of both things. Rack just should be stiff and without ruptures that can hold all things that you should bring with you. If you have front ones is the same situation. Sometimes people made racks from steel for buildings and they carried backpacks on it, and it worked. But it is not so safely for riding with that. Panniers could be normal and waterproof. If you have normal panniers you should keep your things dry with lot of plastic bags or you will bagging other people for some spare close (if you are lucky that they are same size as you are). Waterproof panniers are the best solution but also the most expensive ones. Sometimes you can find on sale some cheap one.
- Suggestion: please, but please check all the things on your bike before you want to go on some trip like this. Frame, brakes, gears, spokes…everything.
- What kind of a bike I DON'T need?
- One that is already broken. New, super cheap from a supermarket (so-called Chinese ones, people from China no offense). Super expensive top-of-the-class bikes. Extremely heavy weight bike. Full suspension downhill bike. Avoid to bring borrowed bike you haven't tried before (or better - if you will borrow the bike, try it before Biketour, mostly to avoid problems with the size of the bike). Remember that you should feel comfortable on your bike, because you will be cycling several hours a day.
- What material do I need for my bike?
- Well first of all you should bring some of the spare parts for your bike. You have to know the weakness of your bike so you can bring important things for it. Firs of all it is: inner tubes and repair kit, one tire (if it is possible), brake shoes, oil for chain, spokes, pump, basic tool for your bike. Other things are highly recommended: lock for bike, helmet for you, rain protection for both, lights (front and rear), sunglasses, hat and water bottles.
- Is there anyone taking care of my bike and reparing my flat tyres?
- Well, there is always somebody that knows more about bike repairing but as we are the group that it is not always in one large group but divided in several small groups and maybe this person would not be in your group. What you should do is to bring your own tools and to ask somebody to show you how to solve some problems that you will have. That how you will learn more about your best friend.
- I heard that you carry everything by bike, how can I do it?
- All you need are RACK and PANNIERS (bike bags) attached to a bike. Two separate panniers are much better that just one big (it is easier to take them off, and we need to do it every day). Second thing is: don't take too much personal stuff. Try to put everything into panniers and check the weight: it shouldn't go over 15kg for 2 panniers together.
- And that you have "trailers". What's that? and will I be able to carry them?
- Well on trailers we are putting all things that Biketour family need. Food, dishes, flyers, music and other equipment, load up to 35kg. We have now 3 or 4 of those for carrying our equipment and one for carrying children. Everybody who have strong will and strong legs could do that, just if his bike is compatible (on most of the new bikes is possible to mount these trailers).
- What should I avoid bringing (bike stuff)?
- Too big and too heavy set of tools, or tools which you can't really use with your bike. Don't take super-strong and heavy locks, moderate locks are just fine.
- what advices would you give me for a safe, easy, cycling during biketour?
- Well as you carry all things by yourself you should count twice what to bring. Not so much clothes but to have everything. Avoid bringing with you: anger, hatefulness, jealousness, xenophobia, grill, meat, guns, bombs, radioactive materials…
- What advices would you give me for a safe, easy, cycling during Biketour?
- Well many things it is up to you, but some tips could not be lion on the path:
- It will be wise if could do your health checking before you are coming to the Biketour, just you to be shore that you will endure all trip by bike. Maybe talk with your doctor about what you will do this summer. You can bring with you some basic medicine, sun protection and hat.
- Bring first aid with you.
- Prepare you bike as much as possible (if you can try it even with full panniers to cycle) and cycle few times before start of Biketour, that how you will avoid pain in the muscles in first days.
- Bring your helmet and wear it almost always
- Bring front and back lights.
- Cycle with the people who cycle same pace as you, or who are more experienced.
- Cycle not on the end of the road but one meter from the end line, that how drivers will notice you before and you will always have more tome and space to run from those who didn’t notice you.
- Learn and use bike signs.
- Bring bike bell or horn, you will need it for many things.
- If you really want to bring alcohol, only use it when you feel cold, but before don't forget that you have to eat a little bit.
- Always have some sweets with you and some worm clothes, you never know where you will astray.
- Bring some instrument and make music all the time and sing.
- Bring one sun for you and people from Biketour and ask wind if he can blow in the back for some time.
- Bring tend with you for two people so you can share with someone and you can make friendships or love or both.
- Bring good mood, smile, song, friend and national recipes for food and drink.