Choosing a Touring Bicycle

Friday, May 25, 2012 0 comments
Bicycle touring is a fun, and unique way to travel and explore your world. You can tour on just about any bike but a dedicated touring rig will make your trip much more enjoyable than riding on some old clunker you just pulled out of the garage. There are a variety of factors to consider when choosing a touring bike, including the type of bike (mountain vs. road), riding position, components, frame construction, and wheel size. The list of options for a touring rig is virtually endless and the final decision comes down to preference and budget.

The first thing to consider is what style of bike to get. You can tour on just about any kind of bike from mountain bikes to road bikes. Some people have even completed cross country tours on single speed "fixie" style track bikes. The most common types of bike for touring are steel road bikes and mountain bikes. If most of your tour will be on paved roads then you will probably want to go with a road bike, if you plan to ride mostly on trails, and dirt of gravel roads, the added durability of a mountain bike will help you get the most out of your tour.

Riding Position is another big consideration when buying a touring bicycle. For longer rides you will want an upright position to keep the weight off of your hands and wrists and to help keep your back from getting sore. Drop bars off multiple hand position options and can be fitted to mountain bike as well as road bikes to create a multifaceted touring rig. Bike with a slightly longer frame will also help smooth out the road and make long days in the saddle more enjoyable.

Touring bikes tend to be ridden many more miles than the average recreational bike. Since a touring rig is used for transportation rather than a spin around a loop trail, the bike tends to be ridden more miles each day and more days in a row than normal recreational bikes. It is important that you have the best components your can afford to avoid the downtime and expense of broken gear. Whether you are going with a mountain bike or a road bike for your touring rig, make sure that you get at least mid range components and shoot for top tear component groups if you have the budget. For mountain bikes, the Shimano Deore line is a good component group, while road bike riders may want to consider the Shimano 105 line or better. In all cases, a triple chain ring up front will ensure smooth spinning up big hills while fully loaded with touring gear.

In addition to getting the proper style of bike you want to pick the right frame construction to get the most out of your tour. While bikes made from a variety of materials can all provide a good touring experience, the most common frame material for touring bikes is steel. Steel offers some important advantages over other frame materials. The increased flexibility of steel makes it comfortable over long days, its strength make it better for carrying the heavy loads associated with touring. Because it is a common material, it is also easy to get repaired should it fail - nearly any welding shop can repair a steel frame whereas you may need to find a specialty shop if your aluminum or titanium frame breaks - and if you break a carbon fiber frame - well, you'll just be off to the bike shop to buy a new rig.

Many bicycle tourists have concerns about wheel size on their rigs. The most common size for modern bike wheels these days is 26 inches for mountain bikes and 700cm for road bikes. Each size is available in a variety of widths as well. When putting together a touring rig, try to get a 26 inch wheel. Your tires and tubes are the one part of the bike that will wear out most often and even in America and Europe there are places where a 26 inch tire will be readily available but asking for a "700 x 32c" will just get you strange looks from the person behind the counter. Get a medium width tire - unless you are going way off road and need something beefier - and get a tread pattern that will match the style of riding you will be doing. Smoother tread for road touring and something with a bit more bite for trail rides.

There are dozens of options when choosing a touring bike, the and the 'right' gear will depend on the type of rider you are, what kind of touring you will be doing, and personal preference. The best way to find the right bike is to go to your local bike shop and try a few out.

Guide to Barcelona Boat and Walking Tours

Sunday, May 20, 2012 1 comments
Walking along the streets of Barcelona and taking in the sights is one of the best ways to explore this idyllic city. Alternatively, tourists can also take a boat ride to gain another unique experience of the city.

While tourists can purchase a map and arrange their own walking tours, they run the risk of getting lost and losing time trying to find their way around. The better option, therefore, is to take the services of walking tour companies, which hire qualified tour guides who can not only direct tourists through the city, but can also provide valuable information regarding its history and architecture. A few of the excellent walking tour companies in Barcelona are Viator Tours, Barcelona Tourist Authority, Antoni Gaudi foot Tours and Walking Planet.

No tourist can take in the entire city in just one tour by foot, owing to which walking tour companies have devised different types of tours based on area, attractions of the city and themes. There are, sightseeing walking tours, tours to specific areas of the city and tours designed on specific themes such as food walking tours, wine tasting tours and photo tours by foot. Tourists are even free to consult a walking tour company and design a walking tour to suit their tastes, budget, interests and requirements.

Taking boat tours is one of the most romantic ways of viewing the city's attractions. Usually, boats depart from Portal de la Pau in summer, and adventurous visitors can purchase a one-way ticket and walk the 4 kilometre distance back instead of returning by boat.

Barcelona has several boat tour companies that offer different tours via types of boats such as speedboats, catamarans, motor boats and others on hire. Tourists can rent any boat they are comfortable with and enjoy a boat ride on their own, which will give them an opportunity to experience the city of Barcelona in a unique manner.

Alternatively, visitors can sign up for a luxury boating cruise featuring dinner, musical shows, parties and entrainment. Many boat tour companies offer boat tour services in Barcelona and tourists should make it a point to find out whether the boating service can really give them what they want before purchasing a ticket for a boating tour. For instance, Les Golondrines arranges long and short boating trips and one of its special features is the availability of catamarans with an under-the-water view.

India Tours - Popular Tour Options

Thursday, May 10, 2012 5 comments
India is a diverse country and major tourist destination in the world with lots of tour options. It attracts tourists from different parts of the world with its fascinating tour options with take tourists to the diverse land of the country and lots of attractions like monuments, temples, hill stations, beaches, wildlife sanctuaries & parks, etc. Have a look at some popular tour options available in this country.

Golden Triangle Tour - Golden triangle is one of the most preferred tourist circuits in northern India. It takes tourists to the rich cultural heritage of India covering three historic and historical cities of India. The destinations covered by this fascinating tour are Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. Delhi is the capital city of India. It is a predominant tourist destination with deserving attractions like Red Fort, Qutub Minar, Jama Masjid, Humayun's Tomb, Old Fort, India Gate, Lotus Temple, Birla Temple and Akshardham Temple. Agra is home to world famous monument, the Taj Mahal - one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Agra Fort, Itmad-Ud-Daullah Tomb, Fatehpur Sikri, Buland Darwaza, etc are other attractions of Agra tourism. Jaipur is the state capital of Rajasthan. City Palace, Amber Fort, Jantar Mantar, Hawa Mahal, Albert Hall Museum, etc are attractions of Jaipur city tour. In fact, golden triangle tour is a worth deserting tour option in India.

Rajasthan Tours - Rajasthan is the most colorful and vibrant state of India. It is the largest state of India. It is widely acclaimed for its historical monuments, magnificent forts & palaces, heritage hotels, terrific temples, wildlife parks, desert, sand dunes, etc. Every year a large gathering of tourist from all over the world embark on Rajasthan tours and relish great tourism in this country. Jaipur (the capital city), Udaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Mandawa, Pushkar, Ajmer, Ranthambhore, Sariska, Mount Abu, Kumbhalgarh Fort, etc are prime attractions of Rajasthan tourism.

Himachal Tours - Himachal Pradesh is one of the most beautiful states of India. It is situated in the foothills of majestic Himalayas. It is known among tourists for fascinating hill station tourism. There are many picturesque hill stations in this beautiful Indian state. Every year a large number of tourists embark on India tours to visit Himachal Pradesh and enjoy fascinating hill station tourism and tranquil hill station holidays in the lap of fantastic nature. Shimla (the capital city), Manali, Kullu, Dalhousie, Dharamshala, Kasauli, etc are popular hill stations and tourist destinations you will love to explore on your Himachal tours in India.

Goa tours, Kerala tours, Kashmir tours, Wildlife tours, etc are some other popular tour options of India tours and travels.