Saturday, September 24, 2011

Bicycle Touring Essentials - Choosing correct gear for your next global expedition

 Preparing for a trip across China. What do you really need to bring for a summer expedition? Minus the Joe Rocket Kevlar-reinforced bomber jacket, this was the essential kit list (clothing, sleeping bag, thermarest, camera soft carrying case, cycling SPD shoes, Goretex jacket and pants).
 Photo in infrared. Sorting out the expedition equipment list. Bike (Kona Explosif) Trailer (Bob Ibex Suspension Plus) did not complete the mission. A bike build continued until 9 hours before the launch.
Medical supplies (top center, gauze, alcohol, antibiotics -topical and oral, razors, baby moisturizing wipes -essential for remote locations, camping without water resupply, straps, gum, WD40, power supply (Toshiba 13" notebook computer), duct/gaffer tape, Brunton 25w solar charging panel, bungees
 Compressed gas stoves (butane/LPG) were left behind in Korea, I used rubbing alcohol purchased from local pharmacies with a MSR multi-fuel camp stove.
 Electronics: two external hard drives (a) 750GB portable LG (b) 1TB Seagate GoFlex. Toilet paper (:, electronic adapters, cable locks, personal safety alarms, AC/DC power converter for use with Solar 25w charging blanket, headphones/mp3, audio recorder, plus adapter (I would add at power bar for China*)
 More essential kit from IDEAS foundation, touque/hat, MSR water filtration, MSR stoves, MSR fuel bottles, Arteryx Goretex shell outer jacket - Thanks IDEAS!
For sale in Korea, this equipment is perfect for another expedition -somewhere outside China!
Most important kit, the family that loves you before you leave, while you're away and when you return home
Two little characters, Sierra P and Min Jae P - Love you guys!
Trying out the new gun! Sony Handycam HDR-XR550V 240GB video/film camera + H20 housing!
Can you take a bike box on an expedition (sea to land start, Incheon, Korea-Tianjin, China) NO! Unless you take a flight to the starting point, then YES!
Shin armor essential for downhill mountain biking, not expedition bicycle touring. 
Tilley endurables hat was helpful keeping cover off days. The Topeak Alien II is an important bicycle tool, it is versatile, lacking only pliers for tackling bigger projects. MSR fuel bottles important ONLY IF COOKING! 
This setup has the Ortlieb Ultimate Large handlebar bag (German technology -low tech, amazing!) and Manfrotto Magic Arm and Super Clamp combination for video use.
Manfrotto's Super clamp/Magic Arm is heavy and intended for smooth road use only!
Gear is important for bicycle touring, what to bring is an important amateur question. After sorting it out after launch, you'll know exactly what you'll need and what non-essential kit needs to be shipped back.
Essential kit: backback, GPS, MSR water filtration microfilter, Lowepro SLR camera bag for all accessible camera/phone/chargers in daily usage), Helmet and light (I chose Cygolite Expilion 250 lumen USB charged) 
Perfect setup for expedition filming and exploring (frame isn't suitable due to steel flex)
If it doesn't work, fix it. If it works, don't touch it! Replacing the wrong bicycle is essential before a long ride!
 Once everything gets organized at home, you'll know what you'll need for the long road.
 My finished product looked like this. I never owned a touring bicycle before. This is it!
 If everything is balanced, front and rear pannier racks are essential (weight balanced). The rear wheel should be solid builds (I went with Bontrager Race Disc wheelsets built by the TREK company).
 My forks are 2008 Fox Racing Shox 32 Float RL, adjustable is essentially the best element of my bike!
 I met Haligul, a local nurse in Toksun and she invited me to her village for water resupply (I filtered the roadway aqua duct instead with the MSR filter)
 The bicycle touring bug can bite you anytime, and it's impossible to lose the feeling (:
 Camping inside the Tian Shan Mountains, a highlight of the expedition.
 Dry clay tiles of Earth.
 Soft steps on an amazing place to be!
 Hair is styled by overnight camping in the Tian Shan Mountain desert
 Simple life. The right touring bike attached to your tent for a little extra security.
 Signs in Arabic/Chinese Pinying
 This is the G312. Next stop is the highway toilets (Pass! The smell will kill you!)
 Balanced right. I found using a recycled 10000km frame best.
 If you essential bicycle touring kit is organized right, it should pack into this fit.
 I was happy to finally have the "bicycle touring" feeling, took a lifetime to get here!
 Water resupply was crucial along the G312, good luck reaching the Taklamakan Desert otherwise. The Taklamakan Desert had irrigation water available for drinking, nothing outside the desert south of the Tian Shan Mountains on the long haul G312 to Luntai, a few truck stops on the roadside was all!
 Panniers by Ortlieb (Germany). Bicycle touring made PRO.
 Attach your LOGOS everywhere to be noticed, and prevent BIKE THEFT
Cycling in western China over the next 47 days... To be continued...

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About the Korean-World Author

Brian Perich was an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) lecturer for a decade, father, and adventure cyclist based in South Korea.

Previously, Brian has led Canoe adventures in Quetico Provincial Park, Atikokan, Ontario, Canada (1993/1999); led Grand American camping adventures (2000); lived at Paramahansa Yogananda's SRF Ashram for 5 months (see the film "AWAKE"), formerly worked in titanium welding at Agilent Technologies, formerly worked in Winery industry in Marin County with Kendall Jackson in California; Surfing and Meditation continued for several years in California, British Columbia, South Korea, Yoga training in California 1999-2000.

Between 1994-1998 - Brian completed his own adventures with motorcycles. His motorcycling marathons took him across the United States and central/western Canada, while traveling solo over an astounding 24,000km in 60 days! Brian endured 900 mile/1300km average days in the motorcycle saddle and apparently loved every minute of those adventures.

Today, he has given up motorcycle adventures altogether, but finds an outlet for his enthusiasm in outdoor recreation while bicycle touring and micro-blogging about those experiences on his mountain bikes.

While employed as an English teacher in South Korea, Brian has became an advocate for bicycle touring on his mountain bikes. The Korean-World blog originated from those small adventures in Korea, now expanded to cover his recent trek down the TransMongolian highway to the Gobi Desert, cycling 900km east through the Khentii grasslands and in 2012 crossing Mongolia in 45 days, 2500 kilometers 1553 miles. HimalayasX expedition Brian previously cycled across western China, the Taklamakan Desert, the northern Himalayas of East Turkestan Xinjiang/Uyghur Autonomous Region, the corrugated back roads and mountains of Kham Tibet. Brian successfully completed his 2011 mountain bike expedition with 3200 kilometers / 1988 miles unsupported, on/off road MTB adventure cycling.
Brian has completed his second mountain bike journey, MongoliaX expedition - Crossing Mongolia 2012, an unsupported mountain bike MTB expedition across 2500km of Outer Mongolia from Ulanbaatar to Altai Taven-Bogd National Park bordering China, Russia and Mongolia.

In 2013, as a sequel to a trilogy of cycle tours, Brian enjoyed a more leisure bicycle tour onboard his Koga-Miyata World Traveller seeing the northern tier of the United States and western Canada covering 3400 kilometers / 2000 miles in 30 days. This North American cycle tour was called Totherocktour. Enjoying the adventure of bicycle travel and every great conversation started while traveling on the road - has refueled his inspirations to cycle around the Earth. In 2013, while he cycled solo from the Great Lake State of Michigan, United States to Banff National Park in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. He weaved through local communities and reconnected with friends, family and community after spending almost a decade in Asia.

Brian is now supporting several non-profit foundations through expeditions: IDEAS Foundation of Canada IDEAS is the acronym for Intestinal Disease Education and Awareness Society which supports the IBD community, those suffering from IBD-inflammatory bowel disease, also known as Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis.

The second non-profit foundation is ETE.ORG - Education Through Expeditions, UK which supports educational outreach programs inside schools around the world. ETE connects explorers with students in the classroom, through an interactive online program in development (Beta).

Brian is researching support for a 18000 kilometer bicycle expedition across the Americas: North, Central and South America - ONE -Arctic to Argentina
Please contact him if you are interested in helping out.

Twitter: Cycleagain
Location: Gangneung, Gangwon-do, South Korea or southern Ontario, Canada.

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Brian's friends have also been...Cycling in Korea!

Brian's friends have also been...Cycling in Korea!

Cycling in Korea, Warning: always wear a helmet! (I gave mine to my friend)

Cycling in Korea, Warning: always wear a helmet! (I gave mine to my friend)

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