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Re: Touring luxuries

24 November 2015 - 3:14pm
horizon wrote:By definition though, if it's a luxury it doesn't get taken
Not at all.
Any "nice to have" item that you know isn't essential and that you could do without if necessary is a luxury.
I'd argue that Chat Noir's smartphone falls into that category, though I don't suppose he'd agree, especially if he's one of the 50% of the population that suffer from Nomophobia.

Re: Touring luxuries

24 November 2015 - 3:05pm
Chat Noir wrote:What once was luxury is now easily carried - books, photos, music, radio, all on a smart phone.It's not just the smartphone though, is it?
The phrase "all your eggs in one basket" applies, so if you use the phone GPS all day and the phone battery runs out, you've no music, radio or book in the evening, until you can recharge.
Therefore you'll also need the phone charger, an external battery pack and a charger for that (if you want faster than the USB charge rate).

Re: advice wanted re:Danube - Passau to Vienna/wild camping

24 November 2015 - 12:56pm
The route is generally level but its a big river in a valley. Where the valley is narrow you can end up climbing over bluffs etc. The path may follow the meanders while there is a more direct shortcut.

Also in a narrow valley things you need or want to see are likely to be uphill.

The books listed some free camping places in Germany; can't remember about Austria.

Re: advice wanted re:Danube - Passau to Vienna/wild camping

24 November 2015 - 12:47pm
It's a long time ago now, but I remember once trying to follow an off-road cycle route in Austria and losing it. Taking a convenient ungated/unfenced track to travel the 500m or so back to the road we could see, we went close to a farmhouse, and from the way he waved his fists and chased after us, I guess the farmer wasn't too happy about us cycling along his track.

Re: advice wanted re:Danube - Passau to Vienna/wild camping

24 November 2015 - 11:53am
I don't know if it is strictly illegal to wild camp in Austria, but technically one must have permission to do so. Anyone can use uncultivated open lands and forest in Austria, but to cycle or camp, permission is required.

https://www.bmlfuw.gv.at/forst/wald-ges ... mwald.html

has relevant detail and links to the regulations.

I think people usually get away with it in areas where population is low. I'm not so sure I would try it along the Danube route, without going well off the track.

Re: advice wanted re:Danube - Passau to Vienna/wild camping

24 November 2015 - 11:35am
Thanks for the replies, and I will indeed look more thoroughly through the past topics. I had looked through a couple already but maybe just got a little too excited and posted before reading rest.
The level of traffic by the Danube was one thing I was concerned about re wild camping. I did see something on another site suggesting there were lots of suitable spots though but it didn't elaborate too much. Don't much fancy being hauled off to the station though haha, I'd certainly be careful about trying to find somewhere off the beaten track, just conscious I need somewhere with plenty trees too...
Again, thanks for the replies.

Re: Touring luxuries

24 November 2015 - 10:26am
I keep reading and re-reading this thread and have come to the conclusion that it's nonsensical. In fact even worse, I've come to the conclusion that the CTC Publicity Team, bless their cotton socks, have never actually toured by bicycle - maybe they could come back and put me right on this.

We seem to have reached the point where what is a basic necessity for most people (such as a warm, comfy mattress on which to sleep) is for touring cyclists a luxury. And of course anything that is in fact a "luxury" isn't taken anyway. I suppose it's conceivable that we take one object that we would normally consider "off list" and take it anyway - heart ruling head so to speak. But most things seem pretty de rigueur if they are going to be carried around. Hot water bottle for instance? Box of paints? A violin? An IPad? By definition though, if it's a luxury it doesn't get taken, though I supose you could argue that one person's essential is another's luxury.

I have a deeper suspicion though and that is that this is something to do with a Christmas special, one of those specious articles that offers to help you find a gift for the touring cyclist that has everything. But I'm not one to be churlish so in the spirit of the thread I'm going to suggest ...

a mini Christmas pudding. Ooh, luxury!

Re: 10 big slow cyclists around Geneva...ideas?

24 November 2015 - 9:49am
Thanks everyone so far. We're having a committee meeting in the pub next week so keep them coming. Much appreciated. Ta Nik

Re: advice wanted re:Danube - Passau to Vienna/wild camping

24 November 2015 - 9:06am
I can't find a definitive statement as to whether wild camping is legal in Austria - one website suggests on the basis of nothing that it is "generally discouraged". It is certainly illegal in Germany, and Germany is the kind of country where random passers-by say "you can't do that" for sins as small as parking your car wonkily, and one feels they might even alert the authorities for something as terrible as wild-camping. Nevertheless cycle tourists do wild camp in Germany and mostly get away with it provided they are sufficiently stealthy about it, though a German I met told me he thought England was easier to wild camp. Al Humphreys only got busted by the police for wildcamping in Germany when he made the mistake of camping in an urban park - he was rudely awoken at 5am or something and hauled off to the station. Broadly speaking we can say that Austrians tend to be rather like the Germans, although a bit more relaxed. And there is much more space in Austria to be stealthy about wild camping. Though given the level of traffic on popular cycleways in that region of Europe, you might have to find a way of moving away from it to camp.

Re: phones in USA.

24 November 2015 - 8:55am
If you do use a local US Simm card calls to the UK will cost a bomb, and that phone won't do emails easily, that's why we are recommending Three - 3p a minute to call the UK!


Re: Touring luxuries

24 November 2015 - 8:21am
I try to travel light on tour and consider everything I take to be essential from my tent to my bed to my cooker. My only luxury is the journey to my destination and home at the end of the trip. If it's long haul I fly business class and stay in a hotel to get over jet lag. My days of hosteling are well and truly over.

Extravagant? Maybe but I convince myself that as I am spending 8 weeks + sleeping in a tent on the floor I need a bit of comfort. On the plus side there's never a problem getting the bike on the plane as it goes as part of my luggage allowance.

Re: advice wanted re:Danube - Passau to Vienna/wild camping

24 November 2015 - 6:56am
There are previous threads about cycling down the Danube.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=97030 has some other threads linked.

If you do a forum search on 'Danube', I'm sure that you will find others.

Re: Cycling holidays

24 November 2015 - 2:24am
So I did an initial survey, it was about 20km each way, of which probably 13km was good surfaced road, but the rest was unsurfaced road as well as a shorter distance of heavily potholed asphalt. The unsurfaced road is large (smooth) stones embedded in the road surface and in some areas loose stones, and several hills (not particularly steep). I was on a borrowed £100 BSO with only one brake and six-speed Shimano revoshifters, which was definitely well short of the job (quite fine on tarmac).

Climbing on the stoney road, and descending on loose gravel (the back of the bike tends to slide away) was a bit outside of my normal comfort zone, but anyway I'm now thinking that the right tool for the job is a proper mountain bike and shorter daily distances on unsurfaced roads, rather than any kind of hybrid.

It seems to point to something like this https://www.bicyclesonline.com.au/2016- ... ntain-bike

Which is pricier than I was anticipating,

Re: phones in USA.

24 November 2015 - 12:11am
Maybe you know this already ... remember that the US doesn't use GSM 900, so a phone from 'Ausland' won't work here unless it had the GSM 850/1900 bands.

I use this cheap and good basic phone (since my old flipphone went thru the laundry): http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss? ... =Nokia+106

It takes a standard sim card, so you ought to be able to use your 'local' one. Plus, the battery lasts over a week! small and great for velo-use.

advice wanted re:Danube - Passau to Vienna/wild camping

23 November 2015 - 8:18pm
Hi all
Just signed up - there appears to be a wealth of information on this board which I look forward to delving into, but to start me off I was hoping for a few pointers regarding a trip a friend and I hope to make next year.
We did a week last year round holland and loved it, and want a similar experience again. It was enough of a challenge for me that I could just make it without wanting to give up! I'm not the fittest, and I don't get out as much as I should, so the flat land was a godsend.

Anyway, looking to do a week next year again and we are considering taking the ferry from newcastle to amsterdam, and a train from there to passau, where we could cycle on to vienna. Have done some reading on this already, but would love some extra input on the following.

1. I'm right in thinking it's all pretty flat on this route?
2. We intend to wild camp for the most part, with hammocks (have recently discovered the joys of a hammock versus a tent, which we used last time). Are there ample spots en route where we could wild camp out of everyone's way, with enough tree-lined areas for scope for stringing hammocks?
3. I'm guessing any spots which are suitable, campfires would be a no-no?

I'm sure to have loads more questions, but these are the three main ones I have for now, so will ease in slowly being my first post...

Many thanks

Re: Touring luxuries

23 November 2015 - 6:57pm
PH wrote:Tough question.
When do you stop considering an item a luxury? The biggest luxury is being on tour, time and distance your own, how much more of a luxury could there be. Then the the most luxurious feelings that come from the essentials, laying awake in the tent listening to the rain, putting dry socks on after a day of soaking feet - If you could bottle those feelings...

totally agree - except the question should be when is something a luxury?

For myself if it gets packed it is an essential.

Re: Touring luxuries

23 November 2015 - 4:00pm

Re: 10 big slow cyclists around Geneva...ideas?

23 November 2015 - 3:54pm
I was going to suggest Annecy too. If you want a challenge, you can go there via a mountain ridge called Saleve, though there is a bit of tedious suburbia to ride through to get to Annemasse at the north end of the ridge. There is also a train to get back if you don't want to ride, or get there even.

Re: 10 big slow cyclists around Geneva...ideas?

23 November 2015 - 1:10pm
I can possibly offer you some advice on where not to go. Last year I rode from Strasbourg to Geneva. We got to the lake from Saint Claude, west through the Parc naturel Haute Jura. This decent down to the lake was reasonably busy with traffic and I wouldn't have enjoyed it much coming up that way.

We rode to Nyon to a campsite that no longer existed and then around the lake to Geneva. I was hoping that we would be riding alongside the lake on a quiet path, instead it was on a main road with a shared foot/cycle-path. Geneva itself was expensive and a little underwhelming. We stayed in the Premier Class Hotel (a cheap chain mainly filled with reps and workmen) just over the border in France next to the airport for a couple of nights and cycled to the lake side for picnics (bought at the Carrefour on the French side) and swimming which was nice.

I've also ridden from the airport through Geneva south to Nice. I found it to be very busy with traffic which I am quite capable of riding in it's just not near the top of my 'enjoyable things to do list'.

On the plus side if you ride South to Lake Annecy this is a nice region and that are some good climbs nearby. There are plenty of campsites around the lake and many of these have chalets to rent. I've never been to this site just did a search for 'camping lake annecy' for an example. In May a chalet to sleep 3-4 71 euros a night


Re: 10 big slow cyclists around Geneva...ideas?

23 November 2015 - 12:19pm
you could head north towards Yverdon les Bains across to Gruyerre then back via Lausanne - nothing too strenuous climb wise




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