Every one who is seriously considering going on a long bicycle journey does or will wonder about his/her ride at one point.
Can I set off on a "normal" bike ? or Will I need to purchase a special touring bike ? Is a used Mountainbike good enough? Should the frame be made of aluminum or steel? Is a 425 millimeter chainstay long enough and a 90 millimeter stem short enough?
Will I need lights or even a dynamo-hub ? What gears/shifters should I choose to pedal around the world ? Shimano LX, XT or Rohloff gear-hub ? Are V-brakes good enough or should I choose hydraulic brakes? What kind of saddle for my delicate behind? How strong should the racks be to carry my gear ? Should be pedals be broad or narrow to fit my shoes ? Shall I get shoes that click onto the pedal itself ?
Is the handlebar comfortable enough to hold onto it for some 8-9 hours every day ?
Which rims resist best on rough roads and nevertheless be reasonable light weight? Which tire should I choose to best avoid punctures? Will I need fenders to keep me and the luggage dry ? Would a kick-stand come in handy ? Should the inner tubes be with car- or Schrader valves ? Will I need four panniers or could I fit my stuff in two maybe ?
And after you have made up your mind about all the points above for a fortnight you still have not found an answer to the question - where to buy such a bike ? and which bike-shop can give me the best deal for my (little) money and nevertheless offers a good after-sales service?
Luckily I had some spare time to think about all that - but somehow I still haven´t found the answer to the hardest question of all ...
WHICH COLOR SHOULD THE BIKE BE ?
Hace unos días
ví a la luna,
llena y reluciente
Las calles de Odessa
llenas de neblina
que casí se podía palpar
Los arboles en las avenidas
como sentinelas gigantes
Peatones como sombras
Ha llegado la Navidad
. . .
Here is to freedom and friendship, to family. Here is to adventure and passion, to luck, to joy and hospitality. To the rain in our face and to the wind in our hair. To the mountains and valleys, to the sea and to the sky. To Love. To life.
Here is to everybody who shared some of the above with me this last year - be it brother, mother, father, friend, stranger, fellow traveler, host or guest.
Without your passion, helping hand and warm support, this trip would NOT happen.
Thank You !
Merry Christmas !
Last night around 1:56 h in the morning, the earth shook in southern Serbia.
The epicentre was about 110 km north west of my location, near the town of Kraljevo and its magnitude reportedly reached 5.6 on the Richter scale, killing two people and injuring about 50 others .
Only being considered a MODERATE earthquake (which can "cause major damage to poorly constructed buildings over small regions. At most slight damage to well-designed buildings) it nevertheless killed two people and injured about 50 others .
At the moment of the quake I was playing a computer game with my friend Nikola, at first I thought a truck shook the floor ... but there was no sound of a heavy vehicle nearby and the floor did not stop shaking. As we ran out of the building my heart was racing - we have been right in the center of town, surrounded by high buildings.
Local media report that no aftershocks are being expected.
After two weeks stay at Nikolas (my couchsurfing host in Nis, southern Serbia) , I managed to make a "getaway" from a bunch of new friends, a cozy bed and full fridge and ride on towards Macedonia.
The last couple of days I spent playing around with my fotos, trying to creat some HDR (High Dynamic Range) shots. Here are the latest examples. Do you like them ?
Wild camping in Serbia
Around the end of July, in Berlin, I met fellow cycle traveller Tom Kevill-Davies, also known as the Hungry Cyclist.
His book about his two and a half years journey through the Americas in search of the perfect meal is a delightful read for anyone who loves food and/or cycle-touring. His latest adventure lead Tom to Asia where he traveled the length of the Mekong river looking for new recipes, good food and local produce.
I could not resist to get in touch with him after I stumbled upon a flyer anouncing one of his talks in Berlin - a day later we took off on a bike-ride around the city in search for delicacies like the famous Curry-Wurst...
While having desert at the Kleine Eiszeit ice-cream parlour in Prenzlauer Berg we had a moment to spare for a short interview.
To listen to what the Hungry Cyclist has to say about food and cycling and his latest journey - please click on the audio player below. Enjoy !
Podcast interview with the Hungry Cyclist (11mins 22 sec).
Curry Wurst anyone ?