Greetings from Moldova

11.09.2015

Hello and greetings from Moldova! After crossing the Carpathian Ukraine we entered east of Chernivtski the probably most unknown country in Europe. For me, Moldova was a premiere as well! As in Ukraine, our welcome was very warm there. No less than three kilometers beyond the border, where we were under a small bridge seeking for protection against rain, residents gave us two big watermelons. My Note that one was enough, and two were much too heavy, they did not seem to impress. We should simply eat one immediately and take the other one. Phew! That was hard work! Actually, we were not hungry. Try to eat a whole watermelon then… Well, after a certain time, and Magdalena’s support, we have managed it.
To get easier home, we went finally to Romania. We thought it was more uncomplicated to begin the rail journey within the EU. News we had not read for some time, so we were a little surprised by that because of the refugee situation, the international train traffic was interrupted. With regional trains and some perseverance we made it finally to Dresden. More on this below – have fun with the pictures now!

 

 


Lunch break in the Ukraine. Leni is in the process to make new friends …

 

 

One of the better Ukrainian roads.

 

 

One of the worse Ukrainian roads. Loose gravel and 10 percent slope – here we had to push our bike…

 

 

We drive through beautiful Carpathian valleys. On good days, we make around 90 to 100 kilometers. That speaks for the trailer! Magdalena is lying/ sleeping still very happpy in it!

 

 

The forests here seem to be fully FSC certified. Even five smaller national parks exist, the Carpathian beech forests are even a world heritage site!

 

 

Something we have trimmed about: The many crosses with a skull underneath. A brief search revealed: That is probably indicative of an early Christian legend. Accordingly, Adam said to have been buried at Calvary. After the crucifixion of Jesus, the earth shook, and Adams bones got visible.

 

 

But back to the mundane. Dessert! At least in bigger cities or along highways there are restaurants, and when it suited, we liked to rest there. You see why!

 

 

River crossing on Ukrainian Art. These trucks seem genuinely endure everything!

 

 

Pretty, quiet road through the mountains …

 

 

Once at the top! The passes here do not get much higher than 1000 m above sea level. You see – for me there is still a little weight optimization potential :) initial weight was 85 Kg, 77 Kg is the target weight are at tour start in December … Then the Andean passes, also at 5000 m above sea level should be no longer a problem:)

 

 

Emilia has to watch through breastfeeding rather that she keeps her weight, and has sufficient reserves to build muscles. Magdalena, however may increase as much as she wants to … This must so in babies.

 

 

Ukrainian market. Looking for wipes and diapers, we were right here, as well. The shops here are more like a mixture of spirits shop and kiosk …

 

 

Yay! Mud! Finally, we can test the mud throwing behavior of our bike. Result: leaving the fenders at home is okay. And the trailer is optimally protected by the drybag construction … The awning also captures almost everything that is thrown by the trailer towards Magdalena.

 

 

The looks strong after applesauce.

 

 

In Ukraine, there is war. I have wondered before, if it’s okay, though in a different, safe part of the country to take a ‚vacation ‘. Just like I‘ve asked that before Iran, if it’s okay to travel to a country ruled by a cruel dictatorship. In Iran, I have heard many sad stories, and here it is sad to see how many people die in a fight for power, territory and influence. When I drove 2010 on the Crimea, I would not have thought that it was possible that here a few years later once there is war. Now in every major Ukrainian place freshly heaped mounds exist – remembering the dead. Sometimes with a long series of photos. That really touched me, and showed me very clearly how many countless personal fates such a conflict forms – and also how happy we can be in Germany on security, democracy and the rule of law. We should be proud that so many people see this similar, and want to come to us because of our excellent reputation.

 

 

All bridges are painted in the national colors – perhaps to strengthen the national identity – but perhaps also because it is prettier than gray.

 

 

Change of subject. Moldova. One of the mentioned watermelons. The other one is since three hours in our bellies.

 

 

Magdalena gets a real gourmet: She likes to date: bread, desalted fries, bread plait, carrot, cucumber, watermelon, peach, Pizza Edge, nectarine, apple, pastry, potatoes, pasta, rice (and probably still I forgot some more…)

 

 

The team of this tour. For me, the distance between saddle and handlebars is too short. But certain restrictions are to be expected, at a one-fits-all solution. One could still install these extra croissants from Hasebikes, or use a seat post with a larger setback. But on the South American tour, I will indeed take my own touring bike – for the Emilia the Pino fits quite well, however (both as captain and as Stoker).

 

 

The ‚cockpit‘. I‘ve managed to fix a handlebar bag. Then there was still room for three more Lowriders. That was enough for us. The backrest is somewhat annoying. At least pedaling while standing is impossible. The Pino also now has a height measurement suitable tachometer, this time from Sigma (Sigma Sport BC 14:12 Alti). Works well so far!

 

 

Rain driving. The trailer holds pretty well sealed. However, moist gets to stuff on the ground of the trailer. The infant carrier, however, remains completely dry, cause of the strap-construction. I too am now storm safely in my new jacket. I love this jacket already now! It does everything it should – the Marmot Speedlight with GoreTex Pro membrane was a super choice.

 

 

I think that is great! Fountain access for the general public. Most wells, including those of private land are also designed so that they are also accessible from the street. So water was never an issue.

 

 

Shortly before our destination the Schwalbe Marathon has given up. The profile broke away from the carcass. A loud bang caused a forced break. The damaged tire I have somewhat patched, and with the replacement tube we managed in the reduced speed and with very little pressure to get to the nearest bike shop.

 

 

There we have bought this wonderful Michelin tire (Protek Cross). It makes a very good figure – but for the long journey we will use the Mondial Folding tire by Schwalbe. That brings yet another considerable weight saving.

 

 

Now it goes home by train. In Romania, we were told, the entire international traffic in Romania was set. We therefore went by a regional train to West Romania. From there it was suddenly no longer a problem to get to Budapest. From there a direct connection to Dresden exists. The driving time, and the bicycle transport was not a problem. In Budapest itself we had an overnight stay (7:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.). For the period it was worth it not really, to stay somewhere expensive. Therefore we decided to sleep in the train station. The station however closed at 24.00, so we moved to the station forecourt to. It was sad, to be two hundred yards away from people who also want to get to Germany, but who have it way more difficult than we. At the station we met several people, many came just over Serbia. Most came from Afghanistan or Syria, and wanted to go to Germany or Western Europe. I very much hope that the Dublin Convention will soon be replaced by a better solution, and wished that finally secure transit routes from Africa and Asia would be created.

 

 

The last picture of this post: After 45 hours on the train and two very short nights we are short before Dresden! For anyone interested: from eastern Romania, we have spent to Dresden only 80 euros for train tickets (per person, baby was free). Since that, flying is really not an option (when I think about the huge amount of packaging material, the risk of damage to bike and not least to the CO2 balance …).

 

 

Now the Pino deserve a little care, and we deserve some sleep!
Regards!

Jens

 

 

 

 

Greetings from the Czech Republic

13.08.2015

Good Morning,

I‘m sitting right at the river Oder, close to Slovakia, near Ostrava in the Czech Republic and I am pleased to write this blog post with completely self-generated electricity from my hub dynamo! One charge of my loader roughly charges my laptop at about 1/3. That’s about three hours computer runtime! Very nice that it works!

Now enjoy the pictures!


 

 

Livia’s new crankset: In a 140 crank I let cut two more pedal threads. One at 100 mm and the other thread at 120 mm. Thus, the crank can grow. Originally a 114 crankset was mounted – that was still too long for Livia. Currently the 100 mm is just right, her legs do not bend more than 90 degrees … Problematic was also the high pedaling frequency of Emilia, so we have changed the gear ratio. In the front I have now mounted a 46 tooth chainring, now Livia can pedal along relaxed. Works great!

 

 

Somewhere on the Czech / Polish border … Pretty little mountain range with many picturesque villages and very nice people

 

 

My favorite road sign (both up and down :)). I do not know how other Rohloff drivers cope with 40+ teeth in the front. The 35 teeth are very helpful with the entire luggage.

 

 

Magdalena and Livia. Nice if the two deal with each other and Emilia and I sometimes have a quiet moment …

 

 

Around here, everything was full of old equipment from the Second World War. By chance we ended up in our search for a camp site right in front of a large bunker, amazing how long the concrete keeps from that time …

 

 

Two cyclists from Munich. Just at the moment when the two had overtaken me, one of their derailleur cables teared. Unfavorable because it was on the mountainside and also because they did not have a spare cable with them. Luckily I had two spare ones with me. So I was happy to help and quickly changed his cable. I was pleased that I sometimes could go help others, and not only receive help! The two have also been very happy to continue their journey :)

 

 

May I introduce: The women’s team!

 

 

Emilia and Livia – en route to a 1000m pass

 

 

Hooray, the two children are still sleeping! Morning coffee! And a good morning shower – last night it was too wet and cold …

 

 

Arrived, another small mountain pass to nearly 1000 m

 

 

fried vegetables with noodles, afterwards we went to have ice cream …

 

 

Broken spoke at my front wheel. After seven years and many hard trips that’s okay. I‘ll replace the rim before our tour to South America anyways. At home I have at a Schürmann Downhill rim – I will use that probably …

 

 

Magdalena was very jealous that we were able to go swimming in the lake. Therefore, she got also bathed


 

 

 

 

Greetings from Poland

07.08.2015

Hello and greetings from Poland! I am lying in our tent, it is already half past twelve and thanks to a coffee finally I find time and energy to write a few lines. Where should I start?

We were all sick, that has caused some turbulence, but now we are doing well again. All exams are written, and we therefore embark on a comprehensive test tour. We want to build stamina (especially Emilia after pregnancy), we want to look at what could become a routine on the long journey, and test our equipment extensively. What is still missing? What does not make sense? Where can something be improved a bit? Is the Brooks really the right saddle for Emilia? How do we get along with the Rohloff, as with the brakes? Is the chain wheel for Livia the right size now?

Moreover, I am happy to report that ASICS will equip us for the South American tour with shoes! On previous trips the Gel Odyssey shoes have proved so much that they should not be missing on my feet and Emilias also on the upcoming trip. They are wonderfully robust and durable (leather!), keep rain away relatively long, have a sufficiently firm sole for pedaling, and provide a lot of grip when the bikes shall be pushed through the terrain. In addition, they are so very comfortable that I can walk around in them for hours.
But back to the tour: From Dresden we head east, along the Polish / Czech border. About the Czech Switzerland, the Jizera Mountains and the Giant Mountains, we continue to Slovakia. We‘ll see where we bike afterwards. I will report. Here are the first photos:

 

 


Our first night – we got away quite late, so we‘ve camped at Pirna on a small estuary on the River Elbe. A spot to recommend! Very romantic :)

 

 

New baggage: 3 superlight titanium cups of Snow Peak. Weigh about 100 g. The practical thing of these cups is that they are stackable, unlike many other titanium cups. AS well, they can be well used as cereal bowls (or later for baby food …)

 

 

Pause! I probably tinker something on the bikes, and Emilia reads the Sams by Paul Maar. Thanks to the ebook reader we have plenty of children’s books in our luggage

 

 

Emilia and Livia on the Pino. To equalizes our driving speed, I have most luggage on my bike. Emilia goes with two light panniers and a handlebar bag, until her physical condition permits more :)

 

 

Breakfast on a wooded hill in Bohemian Switzerland.

 

 

Our pan bread can not be missed on this tour. Here the dough is in preparation …

 

 

Old and handsome Czech Tatra fire truck.

 

 

Magdalena during her beauty sleep. We are already all out and have breakfast. Here we are in the Jizera Mountains. There is a bicycle highway – which is very nice to drive (we had noticed this in spring while hiking there).

 

 

And everywhere there are growing blueberries! There is thanks Livia blueberry cereals!

 

 

Livia and me on this bikeway. Except for a few woodworkers this is also completely free of cars

 

 

In the Giant Mountains. For training purposes, and because it is also quite nice there, we go to some mountain bike routes.

 

 

It was a bit difficult to find a flat campsite. Finally we got to this place where a couple of old snow groomers are parked. Practical: The crane served us as holds for our evening shower (10 L Ortlieb bags)

 

 

Both Rohloff hubs are built in in our bikes! I think I will never drive another system again! We chose 17 teeth rear and 35 in front (stainless steel chainring by Surly). On the steep mountain stages this was a good choice. Up to about 28 km / h we can pedal, with the loaded bikes that’s probably sufficient.

 

 

My packed bike. A big bag could be very well attached to the trailer. Just in off-road areas I have to come up with something better. At Bumps the fender and the bag are touching. Possibly I can load up it less and then lash in an oval shape, so that the distance from the mudguard is greater.

 

 

I in the Giant Mountains, just before the border pass to Poland (about 1200 m above sea level)

 

 

The descent on the Polish side. Was a lot of fun, but the brakes had to work hard here! The MT7 has so far proved successful. Both Emilia and I are very satisfied!

 

 

 

 

 

 

A new era!

16.07.2015

Hello There,

we continue to work diligently on the travel arrangements! So I had, for example on Monday my Spanish course exam – keep your fingers crossed that I did it :) Conveniently, the ECTS points of the course can be used for my Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering.
Still, not all university exams are over, so I‘ll keep this short today: But there is great news! The company Rohloff from Fuldatal will equip us with two of their famous and legendary SPEEDHUB 500/14 hubs! With them a long Biker dream of mine comes true and the chain shifting era comes to an end! I am very pleased and I am very excited about the conversion of the bikes. The advantages of Rohloff are obvious: 14 gears are combined in a hub, it needs only a front chainwheel, a rear sprocket, and the chain itself. By eliminating the derailleur the chain lasts much longer. The hub is very low maintenance, easy to use, extremely durable and also puts extreme loads (climate, terrain, Tandem, luggage) away loose! The MAGURA disc brake can also be mounted. Thanks to the Rohloff team!

And where I had just mentioned MAGURA: The MT7 brakes have reached us! My Patria Terra has already completed the first kilometers with the new brakes. First impressions: fantastic! Retrofitting at Pino had to wait due to time constraints. Beginning on Friday we are traveling for a few days with the bikes (and the new trailer!) – After that a longer report, more impressions from the brakes and pictures of us follow.

Until then,
many greetings
Jens



That is how the hub looks inside – extremely well done precision work!

 

 

By Magura we were also equipped with jerseys – particularly chic: The tailor-made suit with matching hat for Leni! Thanks and regards to Bad Urach :)

 

 

Another new piece of equipment: The Micro Shock suspension pump by Topeak. Weighs only 50 grams! Necessary is such a high-pressure pump, since the singletrailer of tout terrain has an air pressure suspension

 

 

 

 

fleet complete!

06.07.2015

 
Hello There!
After a long wait finally the trailer of tout terrain reached us over the weekend. By that I may announce that the fleet is now fully complete!
On a multi-day tour starting July 17th we will test the trailer – until then we have some uni exams – therefore this update remains a little shorter and ends with images of the new trailer.

 

 

Thats how it looks like. I fixed my backlight to the rear of the trailer and will connect it to my hub dynamo.

 

 

The trailer is mounted at the seatpost – as low as possible – to keep the forces low.

 

 

The trailer is quite narrow! I am looking forward to some off-road testing in ‚Dresdner Heide‘!

 

 

Actually I wanted to build myself a fender holder, because I have a 20″ fender here – but then I liked the solution by tout terrain so much that I prefer to use theirs.

 

 

I am very excited about the air suspension! That is something I had never in my hands before! Up to 17 bar air pressure it needs (depending on the load condition and terrain) – therefore a high pressure suspension pump is on our list
 

 

Four of these quite heavy quick releases tout terrain fitted. Certainly it makes sense if the trailer is to be stored in the car after a day of biking. With us, the configuration however does not change often, I have therefore replaced the parts against regular M6 cylinder head bolts – that brings about 100 g savings!

 

 

 

 

New Equipment!

01.07.2015

Hello there,

I am pleased with some great new pieces of equipment that have recently arrived here! Where it is possible, we are replacing old stuff by even lighter and more compact equipment – after all the Andes are waiting for us, and even without the 30 extra kilos of children they are a certain challenge.

 

This little device here is a true masterpiece. The Forumslader of the latest generation! Powered by the hub dynamo almost 2,000 mAh are to be cached in the batteries. Up to a power of 5 A, devices can operate – both via the two USB outputs, as well as via the 12V output. So my laptop can be charged (good for blog updates! :), the smartphone can be permanently operated with high brightness as a navigation device, camera, ebook reader or headlamp batteries can be recharged.

 

 

And that’s not all! It is even 60 g lighter than his older brother. In addition, all relevant data of the charger can be read out via Bluetooth with an associated app. Plus there is a small USB Boost charger which quickly fills the batteries, just in case an electrical outlet is within reach.

 

 

New in my Tool Cabinet are now the self-adhesive tube patches by Park Tool, which do not require vulcanisation. This saves (admittedly little) weight and volume, but dried tubes are now a thing of the past and the patching is much faster!

 

 

In particular, I am pleased with the new water filter, the MSR HyperFlow! Cascade Designs offers no material sponsorship, but the MSR team was so enthusiastic about our project that they have sold us their equipment a little cheaper. Thanks a lot for this! The hollow fiber filter now replaces my old ceramic filter which was twice heavier and bulkier as well. In addition, the new filter offers a three times as high flow rate (3 L per minute). While the actual capacity is only at 1000 L (in good conditions), a new filter module weighs just 20 g. We take two spare modules with us – that should therefore be sufficient for to the trip.

 

 

So handy the filter is packed, and so small and light are the replacement hollow fiber modules!

 

 

Finally Emilia gets the Truvativ Husselfelt seatpost. Already with the full-length (350 mm), the seatpost is 100 grams lighter than the built in one bye Hase. Another plus: The clamp is infinitely variable – the seat angle can be adjusted uncompromisingly exactly.

 

 

 

 

INDIA TREK goes facebook!

30.06.2015

Hello There!
Starting today, you can find INDIA TREK on Facebook now: facebook.com/indiatrek.blogsport! You will be immediately informed about new blog entries there. Of course as usual the detailed reports appear here.

In addition, I started to comment on the photos from Pakistan and China (Tour 2008), and added some more pictures:

 
        Karakorum Highway – part 1
        Karakorum Highway – part 2
        Karakorum Highway – part 3
        Karakorum Highway – part 4
        The Taklamakan-Desert

 
Some pictures follow here as well,
kind regards

Jens

 


The weight savings for the coming trip continue: Nearly 80 g brings the reduction of my laptop charging cable (socket to transformer) to a shorter piece and a two pin connector, instead of the big three-pole-one!

 

 

short training tour with the semi-recumbent. Possibly the cranks are still a bit too long for Livia, I will see if I can exchange them for shorter ones

 

 

Wrapping break on the roadside

 

 

 

 

Security issues

26.06.2015

Hello!

Today I will introduce a few new security aspects. First ABUS should be mentioned: The four helmets have arrived by mail, as well as the Bordo combination lock. Livia was allowed to choose the model for her and her sister, and I also had free choice in the ABUS product line. Thanks a lot for this! The Bordo combination lock has already found its place at our Pino – it sits now below the top tube in a nice quiet spot. Thus, it is always ready to hand, and does not disturb while driving.

Furthermore, we have now found a travel insurance which secures the whole family for a very low rate (2.85 € per day). These are the special RK365 Family by HanseMerkur. Incidentally, there is not a lot of insurance companies that take a whole family at once, usually a contract has to be completed for each person – which is then significantly more expensive.
The second insurance concerns our bikes, where fortunately its number continues to increase. Our household is a more student one, with no special valuables, except our bikes (6 in number, and soon 2 trailers). At Allianz everything is now insured around the world, around the clock for only 55, – per year. The household as well, by the way. I think that’s very fair – compared to the cost of other bike insurances (and no, I do not get commission of the Alliance :)!
Actually I do not like insurance companies at all, but there is now a third one: namely, a travel cancellation insurance for our flights. With such a family trip, the sums are quite something higher, and if one of us is now seriously ill, we could also easily take flights later, which of course no one hopes.

That’s it for now, followed by two more pictures and a lot of greetings from Dresden
Jens

 

 


The four ABUS helmets. MTB helmets Hill Bill for Emilia and me, the Super Chilly for Livia and the Hubble in XS for Magdalena

 

 

View of the Pino. 2.5 L of water can be transported attached to the frame now. The new lock is mounted in between. Another new feature is the four-armed Deore crank. The five-armed Hase Bikes crank I found impractical as for example the small mountain chain wheel by MountainGoat is available only in the four-hole version. The NC-17 pedals are already mounted, as well.

 

 

 

 

wet and cold

22.06.2015

Hello,

Unfortunately, the weekend was not the best for a first multi-day round of testing – but so we could test our rainwear. For Livia, who is sitting very exposed in front on the Pino we need definitely a better waterproof jacket. Her BMS Rubber trousers do a good job though – they are really tight, and relatively robust. Emilia and I have now Gore Tex Pro Jackets – they stand all weather conditions and will definitely be taken on the journey. Our rain pants, however, need to be optimized as well. Contrary to hiking it’s really great that the Ortlieb bags keep the equipment totally dry, there we really do not need to worry. Possibly occurring holes can be sealt well with SeamGrip, I have actually discovered one at my back pannier (and quickly repaired it before the tour with the curing accelerator)!

In general we had a lovely time. But very thoughtful made me a situation on Saturday afternoon in the north of Dresden: We have been taking a break at a mall-like center to get some cake. Up to half a liter of water, our supplies were depleted, so I went with our five bottles to the opposite floristry shop (I have assumed that with so many flowers, a water hose is not far). When I asked if I could get some water, the clerk seemed not to have understood my question. I repeated my request, and was then pointed out that it could not comply with my request, since the water supply would cause operating costs. I asked the seller for the price per cubic meter and offered financial compensation – at a height so that the coming inquirers could be supplied as well. The seller gave us, unfortunately, still no water. Then I moved on with my bottle right hand, there was another floristry shop. I thought to myself, a second attempt could not hurt. I was, however, denied water here too, with the reference, the seller could let no one behind the counter. When I asked her if she would not like to fill the bottles by herself, I was told that this was not possible either.

That has made me very sad. Germany is not a country with water shortage, Germany is also not a poor country. Also I would have liked to pay the water and give so much that it even extends to others.
By comparison, I can not remember that I have been rejected anywhere in the world with the simple question for water. Even in countries where water is much worse available, or where people are significantly poorer.

this time a little more thoughtful greetings
Jens

 

 

 
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My bike with Magdalena

 

 

early in the morning… :)

 

 

The family is growing – as well as the camping mats. Magdalena now has its own small Therm-A-Rest. The Prolight S – only 330 g!

 

 

 

 

 

 

175 days to go!

17.06.2015

 

Hello,

in exactly 175 days we set off to begin our next big trip (Tierra del Fuego)^4 !
I have made various long bike trips in the past. About them I reported until 2008 on my old weblog. The photos there are no longer available, so gradually they will be integrated here on indiatrek.blogsport.de in the category Reisen.The first pictures – some of them never seen before – are online now! They show the crossing of the Himalayas in Pakistan and China on the legendary Karakorum Highway.
Here you can find the photos :
Karakorum Highway – part 1
Karakorum Highway – part 2
Karakorum Highway – part 3

In addition, I am very pleased about that ABUS expands the team of our supporters! The world leader in bicycle safety will equip us for the upcoming journey with a Bordo lock for our tandem, with professional mountain bike helmets for Emilia and me and with modern and cool children helmets for Magdalena and Livia. Thanks a lot for this!

 
This time, just one picture is following – Magdalena nearby the Elbe
See you soon!
Jens
 

 

 

 

This weekend we leave to a first multi-day tour with our tandem – probably the last with the old Burley trailer (where Magdalena feels more and more comfortable) – as tout terrain is already very busy with the production of the new single trailer series!



 

 

 

 

Safe halt!

11.06.2015

 
- For our luggage and the wheels! I am very pleased about that tubus equips us with racks of high-strength steel tubes and MAGURA equips our bikes with hydraulic disc brakes!
tubus has been building bicycle racks made of high strength steel tubes since 20 years. Highest loading capacity at low weight and absolute reliability combined with sophisticated design are the characteristics of all tubus racks. In great products tubus combines top quality with durability. We like to thank the team from Münster for equipping us with the extremely robust carriers Cargo evo and Tara!
MAGURA is well known by every overlander as well. Someone who prepares his bike for a trip around the world, will most probably get a pair of hydraulic brakes made by MAGURA. I myself rely on the company from Bad Urach since 2006. Until 2008 I drove a Julie, followed by eight years with Louise. Now MAGURA supports us with the brake of the latest generation, with its flagship product, the MAGURA MT7. We say thank you very much for that! It’s also great that we drive the same brake system now, both at Pino as well as at my Terra. This means to take with us much less service and consumables parts.

 
As usual, some photos are following – see you soon!
Jens

 

 


The tubus carrier: With only a few hundred grams of weight the cargo loads up to 40 kg baggage. A true packhorse, and just handy when our 10 L water pockets are filled to the brim!

 

 

The MAGURA MT7: I‘m looking forward to the assembly and the first ascents with the MAGURA flagship! For the first time I‘ll be on the road with a four-piston brake. And that at only 375 grams per brake!

 

 

Quite a few inquiries I got concerning my orange Millet raincoat. No wonder, since I wear it for eight years now. It has endured quite a lot. I think it’s great that it was so tough and durable! However, no longer the jacket is completely waterproof, so it was time to get a new jacket now. It should be suitable for hard hiking tours, as well as for the upcoming long bike tour. The Gore Tex Pro material seemed to me to be best suited for this – I finally decided for the Marmot Speed Light Jacket.

 

 

 

 

187 days to go!

05.06.2015

 
And again, there are lots of news about our trip (Tierra del Fuego) ^ 4!
First it should be noted that the departure date is finally determined now. During the Christmas season, more precisely on December 10 th, we will take a flight to Santiago de Chile, and enter for the first time in our lives South American soil about 28 hours later. Due to the flight costs, we will change flights three times – likely that will be my longest flight ever. Since I know Janosch, I also always wanted to go to Panama, and it turned out that we change there now. How exciting! :) We are all eagerly, how Christmas will be celebrated in Chile – and especially exactly where we will spend the 24th of December. We have assured to Livi that Santa definitely drops by on the other side of the globe, and we let him know in advance that we are not as usual in Germany and how exactly our tent looks like from above.

Another novelty is that we will get equipped with super lightweight and durable trekking pedals by the team of NC-17! Two pairs are assembled at the Pino, and one pair goes to my Patria Terra. My bike will be 250 g lighter, afterwards! And since I do not wear click shoes on travel, the NC-17 pedals are perfect to replace the SPD 324 Shimano pedals.

Magdalena already drives the first small trips in a trailer – because for city traffic, we have purchased an old, used Burley Solo trailer. With that one she brings her big sister to kindergarten or goes shopping. So far, she feels very comfortable in there, so I suppose it is also very likely, that she likes the suspension hanger from tout terrain!

Now a few pictures – regards
Jens

 

 


That’s how the Pino looks like so far. The bottom bracket got exchanged for the kids version, the front boom tube I took out (-300 g!), long curved handlebars for Livia got mounted, 3 quick release axis got exchanged for hexagon axis (~ -100 g), bottle holders got mounted (water capacity = 2.5 L) the lowrider and the large two-legged kick stand got mounted and finally a rear-view mirror was installed. Further modifications follow …

 

 


Magdalena in the Burley – waiting impatient for going on…

 

 

the pedals by NC-17 – 251 g each pair!

 

 

 

the Pino has arrived!

31.05.2015

 

Hello!

Now that the rail strike last weekend did not take place, my trip to Bielefeld had no more obstacles. After 16 hours of train riding the Pino is finally with us in Dresden and is ready to be equipped for the journey: I am going to install a hub dynamo, the pedals are going to be exchanged for a lighter version, there are stable front and rear racks to be mounted, the childrens bottom bracket will be installed, proper headlights, probably a leather saddle for Emilia, the drive unit will be rebuilt suitable for mountains, the large two-legged stand is fitted (and the small one removed), the quick release I exchange against hexagon axis, gravel friendly tires are assembled, plus probably some minor changes. Better pictures than this one follow, after processing the modifications.

Still about four weeks, we wait for the tout terrain trailer with the bent drawbar – until then as usual some pictures of the physical training in Slovakia follow:


This time our destination was Lower Tatra…

 

 

… but bad weather and freezing rain shooed us . After all, the highest night we spent at 1700m

 

 

Leni is getting used to camp…

 

 

Breakfast!

 

 

While we all have waterproof clothing, just Leni has not. So we use an umbrella. That limits us of course to areas of at the most shallow wind – one of the reasons why we moved on the Slovak Paradise ( about 1,000 meters lower )
 

 

thats how hiking paths look like there

 

 

It was fun, particularly because the ladders kept me plus my 25 Kg backpack, even the rusted ones

 

 

The bridges there are all designed for a maximum of five people – we prefer going separately with our backpacks :)
 

 

Nice routes! Just a bit slippery due to the wetness…

 

 

slippery wood, just above a waterfall, we often use 4-point-technique..

 

 

The common Leopard-bug – but relax, it’s going to deal with humans only up tot he age of five…

 

 

… and when there are none within reach, they exceptionally go for deadwood

 


cheers,

Jens

 

 

 

Pino coming soon!

18.05.2015

Hello,
everyone here is very excited: Next Saturday we finally get the Pino semi recumbent!
Due to the proud price of Pinos we have been looking quite a while for used bikes, and have now been able to find one in Bielefeld. Therefore I will spend next Saturday with train traveling. Early in the morning at four I go to Bielefeld, then in the afternoon back again with the weekend ticket.

Afterwards I will make some changes to make the bike fully fit to travel. If by chance someone has a lowrider with the big stand for the Pino to sell, then we would be very interested!
Pictures coming soon then, and once the trailer has arrived from tout terrain, we start the first tours in (almost) complete travel configuration.
As I said, until then we go hiking. This time a few pictures of a four-day tour through the Jizera Mountains in Czech Republic follow.

Many greetings

Jens & family


view to Lausitz

 

 

Livia with her uncle

 

 

Leni relaxing in the evening sun

 

 

Campsite directly on a little rock peak

 

 

: )

 

 

 

 

 

the vessel fleet grows!

21.04.2015

Hello!

There are some news about our trip to South America (Tierra del Fuego) ^ 4! For all who newly enter reading my blog: scroll all the way down for the presentation of our project in greater detail. But now to the trip:

The bicycle and trailer forge tout terrain from Gundelfingen in Breisgau will support us with their great cross-country child carrier, the single trailer! Magdalena will travel in it, docked to my Patria Terra. The special thing about the trailer: It has only one wheel, so it leans in curves and is also not wider than the packed touring bike. Furthermore, it weighs less than 10 kg, puts uneven terrain thanks to 200 mm suspension easily away and is completely waterproof. So just the right trailer for the Andean and Patagonian slopes!
And so it looks – but we are still waiting for a new feature, namely a curved drawbar, so that below the drawbar some more space develops. E.g. to store our tent above the Ortlieb bags.

Approximately end of June the trailer should be delivered, then there will be coming soon first photos and reports of some test tours.

regards
Jens

 

 

 

team completed

15.03.2015

With pleasure I can report that now the youngest participant of our journey, Magdalena, has come into the world!

See you soon, then with further travel preparatory updates
Jens

 

 

 

route plannings!

08.02.2015

Like this our route for part 1 of the journey could look like (part 1: December 2015 to April 2016) – pic zooms when clicking.
Starting point would be Santiago de Chile, from north to south along the red line – certainly with some side trips and detours to interesting milestones. Another possibility would be to cover part of the way on Argentinian side. The Andean passages would be exciting! After about 4,000 to 4,500 km, we could have arrived in Ushuaia in the south of Tierra del Fuego. That is probably the most southerly point reachable on bicycles. The direction of travel from north to south is needed because of the mostly from North blowing wind, actually, it would of course be nice to start the entire journey in the south. An intermediate transport will then lead us in April (by bus or by plane possibly) back in the warm north, for example, back again to Santiago, from where the second part of the trip starts (April ’15 to July ’15). The Atacama Desert to go through would be exciting, but the children would see this most likely a little different…

Hints, tips and suggestions on the route are welcome!

Many greetings
Jens

 

 

 

technical innovations!

28.01.2015

Preparations are in full swing, here once some technical, happy reading!

My old netbook, the Asus Eee PC 1000H has endured a lot – from 2008 to today, even the nastiest slopes in Tajikistan could not hurt him. I like him, but in spite of RAM and SSD upgrade it is simply too slow for current applications. Therefore, it was time for a new computer, which should accompany me at the next trip. The requirements were here: Students friendly price, very light and long battery life. Quick, the choice fell on the 11′‘ Acer TravelMate B115-M-41RQ.
Weight: old Asus Eee – 1430 g (without battery charger); Acer TravelMate with SSD – 1,200 g (without battery charger). The battery keeps 7 hours – again the Acer computer surpasses the Eee. Whether the new computer can be loaded by my hub dynamo, I‘ll try and tell!

 

 

Whether children’s books or guides, the eBook Reader Kobo Glo with more than 64 GB of memory, with only 183 g, gives with only one battery charge reading pleasure for several weeks. (Almost) infinite books fit on the memory – let’s see how many children’s books we finish on the trip, I will report. Especially the little dragon Coconut is highly popular! :) For weight reasons we will no longer take paper books or regular guide books with us. If necessary, the Kobo is easily recharged using my charging circuit with the car USB adapter again.
Another new feature is my mobile phone from China! A Xiaomi 1S. I can recommend that one to anyone with the challenge of a restricted budget! Convenient for South America: 2 SIM cards found space in the phone; it can also be loaded via the hub dynamo and serves via Tethering as a hotspot for your laptop. Network access for travel stories from the road should therefore be ensured. Furthermore, it will serve us via offline maps and the built-in GPS receiver as navigation tool – mainly in larger towns. A very pleasant thought, if I remember how I struggled through Chinese megacities in old days…

 

 

And the weight saving continues: The floor pump is great, however, my old Chinese is too heavy (414 g). It got replaced now by the Lezyne Micro Floor HP with only 170 g! Despite the small dimensions, a wide tire is filled quickly; I‘ve tried that already …

 

 

Finally, some robust and simple Headlamps for all kinds of camping activities. 84 g and 79 g (with battery, Petzl TIKKINA and Tikkina²). Burning time: Up to 180 hours!

 

 

 

New journey, increased team!

14.01.2015

Hello! (Or rather Hola !?)

There is a lot of news. In less than a year I start again on a really long, really big bike tour. This time it should go to South America, this time not alone, not in a pair, not in a threesome, but this time in four! In all probability, the team of 2013 increases this March to another person! We‘ll start at about the turn of the year 2015/2016. The team members are Emilia (24), Livia (6) Baby (10 months) and I (29).

The route is hotly debated at the moment. Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego should definitely be there. The wind determines the direction here a little. An interesting option would be to start in Santiago de Chile and then head south up to Ushuaia. There we could load the bikes, go back to the north, and continue the journey until July in northern climes. It is clear that with children no longer daily stages of 120 km or more are driven, but that’s not the goal, anyways.
My Patria Terra will accompany me on this trip again, but with an annex, namely the child carrier for the baby. Here is a single-track hanger just our favorite – details will follow soon. Livia and Emilia have strong love developed for the Hase Pino semi recumbent, and will compete with this. I‘m very excited about the first test trips with the whole team!

Otherwise, the equipment is very classic, and very similar to my previous trips. We will be very self-sufficient on the road, sleeping in a tent, cooking with the petrol stove… Everything will be adjusted a little to the children, for example the folding bowl will serve as baby bathtub. Of course, not only cycling is in the foreground, but our journey will be as well the journey of our children and respond to their needs and desires.
Until the start as usual updates of our travel arrangements follow here. For those who have been waiting for reports from 2013: Shortly before a three-week trek in the Scandinavian Laponia area I broke my right foot, therefore all outdoor activities had to be postponed. The feet goes fortunately quite well again…

Kind regards,
Jens