A Snowball's Chance In Hell…How To Prepare For A Winter Bicycle Tour

Some would say that there isn't a snowball's chance in hell that they would undertake a winter bicycle tour but for WOW(women on wheels) member Ellen Moseman sees it differently.  Ellen, an English teacher living in China took time away from her preparations for her upcoming winter bicycle tour of central Asia and the Pamir Mountains to answer a few questions for us all about winter bicycle touring.

Are you expecting snow? What kind of tires do you have?

Ellen is expecting blizzards; she has equipped her Soma Saga bicycle with Schwalbe Black Shark folding MTB tires ordered from America and shipped to China. She will also be ready with a stick on board to clear out the snow and ice from between the tires and mudguards and a lightweight tarp to cover her bicycle from the harsh elements while camping.  For gloves, she will wear a pair Pearl Uzumi with mittens over top,  she wishes she had lobster claw gloves but they are too spendy so she is going with what she has got. For more tips on budgeting for your outdoor adventure see No Money, No Honey.

How much money does a winter bicycle tour cost?

On past tours throughout China, Ellen budget ranges about $120 USD a month. She is documenting nomads and religion through a photography project. As a solo female bicycle tourist she is often invited to camp with local families. Emily’s photography work can be found on her excellent website, 2wheels4girls.com. At $4USD a day, with her camera and keen eye for beauty Ellen hopes to be on the road for about 6 months concentrating on the nomadic areas of Kazakhstan.

Girly Girl Gear For Guys Too, What items did you add to the panniers, specifically for winter bicycle touring?

  •  one set 100% merino wool thermals top and bottom
  • one set synthetic thermals top and bottom
  • Stove, MSR whisper lite international bought new for this trip because her alcohol stove doesn’t burn well in colder climates
  • Full extra set of clothes stored in a dry bag to warm up quickly and prevent hypothermia  in wet weather conditions
  • A silk liner for her winter sleeping bag
  • Gortex hiking boots
  • 2 merino wool hats
  • Merino wool balaclava
  • 2 extra pairs of thick outdoor trekking pants
  • Tent, a cheap Chinese made tent that she curses at. Ellen hopes to purchase the storm proof Vaude Hogan Ultralight Argon after selling some photographs of her trip

 What does this winter adventurer dream of doing next?

Ellen has heard rumors that sometimes the NW passage freezes over enough that you could pedal across the frozen ice but she did mention to not tell her fiancé.

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Skalatitude..."When humans and nature are living in harmony there is magic and beauty everywhere"

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