My other blog about bike related DIY Projects :

Montag, 17. Februar 2014

Videos of the Summer 2013: China, Kyrgyzstan

In case you were wondering what I was doing in 2013's summer:

I was traveling, but not with my bike this time. I had a knee injury and decided to go hiking in Kyrgyzstan  and China for two months.

I missed my bike in Kyrgyzstan and Eastern Tibet. The other destination are better seen by foot.

I made bunch of videos:

I will upload the Eastern Tibet video separately.

Sonntag, 3. November 2013

Mittwoch, 9. Oktober 2013

Bikepacking on the Koralpe, Austria

A few weeks ago, the the weather report predicted some days with perfect weather and I had to pack my bike and go for it.

Montag, 8. Juli 2013

My solution to get USB power during touring

I wanted everything to be as light as possible, because I am into bikepacking (aka. offroad touring) and have to push and carry my bike a lot.

So this is the generator, a very light, but affordable PD8 hub dynamo. I got mine with a mount for disk brakes, in case I need it some day. It weights about 410 gram, which is less than a normal front hub and a side runner dynamo combined. If you twist the spokes like on this frontweel, you won't need to get extra spokes for the hub dynamo. 

The next part is the USB-connector. I got a device which convertes the AC-current from the dynamo to the 5V DC, the USB Standard requires. It's very simple and if you manage to solder two wires together, you can build it. You can harvest the USB connector and the capacitors from old motherboards. 

The charger uses the same principles, as the commercial devices. Hence you might be able to charge all kinds of devices, depending on your riding speed. I would recommend charging a powerbank when you are slow, because many devices need a minimum current to start charging. 
The difference between this device and other solutions is, that it converts the excessive energy into heat. It might theoretically cause trouble at high speeds, but nobody reported any incidents yet. I would recommend to just unplug it, or plug in an energy hungry device. Most of the cyclist won't ever exceed this speed though.

Since I want to save some energy during the day, I have some Powerbanks. A powerbank is just a battery with an USB Port. I built the white one by myself, using two Lithium Batteries and a simple LM317 Voltage regulator. 

After wasting a lot of effort into modifying chargers to charge my camera battery, I got myself a Pixo Universal charger. You can charge pretty much every Lion Battery available.

I modified the charger to charge my Powerbank:
I also built a small USB flashlight. It gives a bright light for about 10 hours.

Samstag, 22. Juni 2013

No bicycle travel this year!

It's final: I won't travel by bicycle this year. I planed an very intense 2-month bikepacking trip with minimal gear to Kyrgyzstan this summer.

A bone bruise in my knee made me give up on that travel. 
Here is how I got it: 
I made a very intense interval workout in winter to get in shape. In the form of my life, I did some long distance cycling. When I did a very long 14 hour ride trough Slovenia my knee started hurting, but I still had to cycle 100 kilometer to get back to Austria. That was 2 months ago, and my knee won't work anytime soon.

Conclusion: Don't do intense sports with the wrong training! 

So what will I do: 
I will use my time and tickets, go to China and travel with public transport and hitchhiking.

Samstag, 6. April 2013

Gata Loops (Manali-Leh Highway)

On this day I am passing the Gata Loops. The Gata Loops are famous group of switchbacks on the Manali Leh highway in the Indian Himalayas.

The road leaves the valley here.There is a very long trail connecting dozens of remote villages though.

There are so many switchbacks, because the steepness of the road is limited by the power of the trucks.

These signs are always hilarious.
After a lot switchback, I passed this structure.

Driven by my curiousity, I decided give it a closer look: 
 I tried to find an explanation for this, but was'nt able to. Some months later back at home, I did some research, and found this blog entry.

After a lot of climbing, the Gata Loop section is over, but the climbing goes on for the entire day.

 After you reach the pass, there is a short downhill and another pass imediatly afterwards. Luckyly there is a small rest tent in the valley between the passes.



The valley between the two passes.

In the late afternoon, I reached the second pass. Nearly every pass on this route is higher than the last one.

Lachlung La

Lachlung La seen from the other side

The last section for today was a relaxing ride through this valley.

An I finally found a nice place to spend the night.

Sonntag, 24. März 2013

First day on the Manali Leh Highway.

After carrying and pushing the bikes for over the  Shingo La, its finally time for some real cycling. The day before, we obtained cash, food and gasoline in Keylong, we are ready to start now. 
(If you are planing you trip: There is no gas station in Keylong, I got lucky to get gas at a workshop)


At first you follow more or less the river, but after Dacia is the first real ascent.

Darcia ist the last permanent settlement. Everything beyond is not accessible in Winter. 

 On the next day, we towards the  first of the 4 upcoming high altitude passes.

 It's pretty easy to climb these flat roads. They were built this way because the trucks can go steeper in this altitude.
 In the early afternoon, we reached the first pass, the Darachlang La.
The view is quite scenic, and could be a trekking route. I initially planed on stopping here when getting back to Leh, and follow this valley which would finally lead me to the Spiti valley. I wasn't able to find out whether, there is a trail or not, so I disposed this plan.

 You can clearly see, that the climate after the pass is very different. It is so dry, that there is hardly any vegetation.
 There are campsites on the roads, where the buses going from Manali to Leh stay overnight. There are also some crazy taxis though, which will do the trip in one stressful day.

  In the evening, I ran out of water, and had to ride for several additional kilometres to finally be able to reach the river.

manali, leh, highway, keylong, bicycle, touring, india, himalayas.