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Discussion Starter #1
Hi.

I am a ‘newbie’, and was wondering if I could ask you all for a little advice.

First though, what my Transalp means to me….

Last year, my marriage broke up, I met a new woman, who turned out to be the love of my life, the ‘One’. She got pregnant, with my Son. My only Son.

I owned a software company, employing 15 programmers, which paid me very well. It ran into a bit of a problem though and ended up going bust, and being wound up.

I had money invested in it, and had accumulated quite a lot of personal debt, not least because of the many 10’s of thousands I had somehow ended up giving to ‘the love of my life’.

So, inevitably, I ended up being made personally bankrupt also.

Strangely, the love of my life then told me to f off and wouldn’t let me see my newborn Son.

Over the following year I sank into the biggest deepest pit of despair that you can imagine. I really think I lost my mind for a few months.

Gradually though, one manages to overcome upset, by searching for good things in life I think.

Since I very first saw the Transalp, many many years ago, I fell in love with it.

I didn’t know what the specs were, I didn’t really care. I fell in love with it for what it represented. Freedom.

So, last weekend, having finally been discharged from bankruptcy, and having squirreled money away from whatever sources presented themselves, I finally got one. 03, 9500 miles on the clock, absolutely standard.

And I love it. It is what I thought it would be.

So, back to the question….

Now that I am starting to see the good in life again, it seems to me that the very best thing I could do for myself is to get on my Transalp and take myself away from this grey and miserable weather and head in to Europe – Spain maybe !!!!

As you can probably imagine, money is not plentiful in my life, so was wondering what you would all recommend as being the essentials for touring. eBay is a godsend, but I don’t want to waste my money.

I am thinking of camping – I have never done it before. What is the minimum I need.

Would you recommend leathers or textile clothing for touring around Spain ?

Would the best arrangement be 2 side panniers, letting me strap the tent etc. on the back ?

Are crash bars worth the money ?

So many questions. I anyone has any advice, I would be so grateful.

It was great to find this site, and I hope to contribute a lot in the future.

All the best to you all

Emile
 

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2 bikes = twice as happy
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Wow, what a first post, I think it was the chinese who have a saying "may you live in interesting times" You have ceratinly had your fill of that in past year, still Welcome to the site Emile.

I wouldn't worry too much about getting the perfect set up for bike or camping - there's loads on this site about panniers, camping gear, and bike clothing. Everyone has their opinions and there is no definitive answer. So, just get what you can, what you think you will like and what you can afford. If later you don't like it or think you see something better then get the new thing when you can.

FWIW I prefer leather in summer, textile in winter. Have panniers and waterproof roll bag stapped to rack/seat, but sometimes use a topbox instead depending on how much I am taking (the topbox is when I am taking less). Tent - any middling quality two man tent will do, get a Thermarest though - well worth it, and a 2 or 3 season synthetic sleeping bag. In France or Spain don't take cooking stuff, its not much more to eat out. Crash bars are like an insurance policy and only worth the money when you drop the bike.

Hope you enjoy.:iconbiggrin:
 

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Hope you're over the worst and things will continue to get better for you.... the black pit is a horrible place to be. At least the Transalp won't dump you when things get tough ;) Re-discovered camping myself last year and never looked back - love it! Just got medium priced kit to try first and so far it's been fine. With Austin on the clothing front - leather trousers in summer (what summer??) and Richa textile gear for winter/wet summer!
 

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Golam Rosewater
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Welcome to the forum,

seems you've learned the hard way................


.......there's nothing more dependable than a Transalp ;)
 

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'Emile' is obviously looking for a group Ahhhhhh!!!:rolleyes:

I think you tend to make your own luck - I suspect Emile's TA will expire before he gets to the end of the road!
 

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Bought my camping gear for £75 (tent,stove,mess kit etc) All you need is to be warm, dry, and fed.
Crash bars? Yep, definetly.
I aggree, Leather for hot, textile for cold.
KNOW YOUR BIKE (but not biblically!! you'll just get arrested)
Camera, to take photo's and make the rest of us jealous if you go travellin.

Can be very difficult sometimes to re-boot the human mind, well done on the upgrade.
 

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(Can be very difficult sometimes to re-boot the human mind, well done on the upgrade.)

Welcome,keep the chin up,

Tony K
 

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Welcome to the site, hopefully things will be looking up for you.

There's nothing like packing the bike up for an impromptu trip abroad to liberate the soul, don't plan or worry about it too much just do it.

It can be done fairly cheaply, tent £40, sleeping bag £30, foam roll mat £5 & a change of clothes a waterproof roll bag £10 from Hein Gerricke) or two strapped to the back and some from of map pocket for the tank and away.

Add waterproofs and lightweight riding (vented?) gear.

Nipping onto the Peage in France for free camping in their excellent rest areas.

For security add a top box or solid panniers.

Good luck, Phil
 

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Discussion Starter #10
'Emile' is obviously looking for a group Ahhhhhh!!!:rolleyes:

I think you tend to make your own luck - I suspect Emile's TA will expire before he gets to the end of the road!

LazyRider,

You are a nice person.

I agree. We do make our own luck, and our own misfortune.

Thanks anyway.
 

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Good luck Emile, welcome to the site. Hope things get better for you.
Have a look in the Wiki travel section for more advice on everything and try the search function also. Oh and ignore Lazyrider, he's just got out of bed on the wrong side!:rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you all for your kind comments.

Ahhh ! I wish I had read that most good wiki on 'camping for beginners', before I bared my soul and then proceeded to ask a question that had already been answered....

LazyRider is right though. Reality is something that exists solely within our own mind. Different for us all, different as a consequence of our infiniately varying lives. How we perceive existance does effect our life. It is a hot topic in quantum physics at the moment I believe - observation effects ourcome...

What I also learned though LazyRider, whilst I resided in my dark pit, was that on most occasions, when someone says something nasty to another, it is in fact, more often than not, that person's subconcious trying to make the originator see that characteristic within themsleves. It is called 'projection'.

What I also learned, for sure, is that, for all the good in the world, there is an equal and opposite amount of bad. It is the nature of things. Accepting that truth is what is important.

When, one day LazyRider, you find yourself in your pit, it is what you learn from that experience that will define you as a person from that point on.

Anyway. As I said, I nearly, or possibly did, lose my mind !!!
 

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BABYWIPES!. 12 hours on the bike, no shower, BABYWIPES! Best thing you can throw in your tankbag.
 

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Did camping in france & spain on my TA last summer. A great experience, highly recommended. Best bits were riding over the col d'aubisque at sunset, and long twisty rides around the picos which always take twice as long as planned. I took hillwalking gear for rest days. Had a go at canyoning. Didn't use my stove or pans - eating out is quite cheap. It's good to travel alone - you tend to meet a lot more people as you go. I can't speak a word of spanish but i tried out a bit of french. This year thinking of going more eastwards.

advice: less planning, more dreaming.

bon chance!

/tendays
dad, physics teacher, ex software engineer, never bankrupt
several splits, no divorces!
just allow
 

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It's good to travel alone - you tend to meet a lot more people as you go. I can't speak a word of spanish but i tried out a bit of french. This year thinking of going more eastwards.

/tendays
dad, physics teacher, ex software engineer, never bankrupt
several splits, no divorces!
just allow
I agree about travelling alone. You have to communicate with the 'natives'. Except for the Nordic countries - too cold - over the years I have toured all of Europe + a bit more.
Give Slovakia and the Czech republic a try. Great biking countries.

Barry T
Father of 3, Grandfather of 7, happily married for 47 years, retired and financially independent. My 'pit' came early, as a 5 year old - crawling out of a bombed house - since then everything has been a bonus;)
 
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