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Updated: 1 hour 39 min ago

Re: £1 a day tour completed

24 August 2015 - 8:45am
Well Done You!
Please pass on such tips as you think might be useful for me to live here at home for £1-a-day!

Re: £1 a day tour completed

23 August 2015 - 10:22pm
Congratulations!

Not on FB either and am really intrigued on how this was accomplished, so look forward to learning more on what must be a great story. You must have some good lessons to pass on.

Well done again.

Re: Rotterdam - Rhine - Venice

23 August 2015 - 10:06pm
I definitely wouldn't recommend visiting Venezia in early-August - go out of season it's much nicer - but I think you're overstating the difficulties.

Earlier this month I stayed a couple of nights at the Venezia Village, they didn't seem to have any problem fitting people in. Price was 21€ (for one person) which made it one of the more expensive sites I've stayed at, but this was probably the closest site to Venezia and it was in early August so hardly ridiculously expensive.

There are plenty of decent campsites between Venezia and Slovenia - so please, you're not helping other cyclists with wild exaggerations.

Re: £1 a day tour completed

23 August 2015 - 8:28pm
khain wrote:Well done on finishing!

Is there going to be a book coming out, or even an online diary? I don't use Facebook.

What was the negativity about the trip?

Some people thought it ill-conceived. Some even said it might kill my co-riders. It wasn't and it didn't. And yes, there'll be a book. I just need to cycle the 1600 miles back to the Isle of Man before I can start to write it

Re: Rotterdam - Rhine - Venice

23 August 2015 - 8:22pm
There are more than you can shake a stick at on the eastern shore of the lagoon, and even more at Chioggia. All have excellent links by vaporetto to the Venezia itself (and are ideal for exploring places like Burano and Murano before the crowds arrive).
I think I tried everyone of those 'campsites' and the few that had spaces for a one person tent were ridiculously expensive. They're holiday complexes for caravans rather than campsites. It depends what you're looking for I suppose and near Venice campsites are bound to be expensive. I can't remember if I eventually found something or ended up cycling all the way to Slovenia.

You can't (as in you're not allowed) take your bike into Venezia itself: you're right, it's no place for bikes - although Mestre on the mainland is pretty bike-friendly. EDIT: to avoid giving the wrong impression you can cycle across the causeway as far as the Santa Lucia rail station but that's as far as you can go. You can also take your bike on the vaporetto that goes there - but tat's the only one on which you can take a bike into Venezia.
A local told me it is legal to cycle across - he said he had done it but would never do it again. I took my bike in on the train. I had intended having a quick look around then taking the ferry out but a guide insisted it would be easier taking my bike to St Mark's square for the ferry and that I could cycle in places. He was wrong. Pushing a loaded tourer through Venice is not much fun.

Re: £1 a day tour completed

23 August 2015 - 8:01pm
Well done on finishing!

Is there going to be a book coming out, or even an online diary? I don't use Facebook.

What was the negativity about the trip?

Re: Bayonne to LaRochelle via EV1 - a report

23 August 2015 - 6:56pm
Polite,i,m going to cycle from cean to angers on the La Vélo Francette ,what map did you use.I am intending to just print out bits from the website and use a Michelin 1-200,000 atlas(photocopied pages of anyway)
In what way were the signs terrible?

Re: Bayonne to LaRochelle via EV1 - a report

23 August 2015 - 6:39pm
DaveP wrote:You may well feel that this isn't a particularly interesting ride. You could be right - but it was mainly off road, mainly countryside / sea side and very peaceful. It was exactly what we were in the mood for. The terrain was, in places, quite a bit more rugged than we were expecting. It was also a lot warmer than expected. Once away from the Landes forest there wasn't much shade. Taking plenty of water is advised!
My main reason for writing this is that when we were planning I found it quite hard to research. I did come across several references to, and some pictures of, extremely narrow tracks. The one that sticks in mind is still to be found on Google Earth - in at least two locations. It shows about 18" of concrete with a drop off on both sides. This was of concern to me because I was planning to be riding a tandem with a trailer. As it happened the tandem didn't go but I still wanted to use a trailer. I ended up acquiring a Bob Yak to make life easy. I needn't have bothered - it never got narrow enough to make a two wheel trailer unusable although in places, usually near popular beaches, there were regular convoys of French families towing kiddie carriers or repurposed kiddie carriers full of barbeques and deck chairs. If I'd been using my CF I would have felt obliged to ease a wheel off piste. It seems more reasonable then to expect the same of someone with infants or an unstable stack of beach kit on board.
Staying on track takes a little care as much of the route is on forest trails which just aren't going to appear on the usual Michelin road maps and aren’t too visible on Google Earth although road crossings can often be viewed on Streetview. There were lots of little signs but they weren’t always very well sited and we missed more than a few turns. At these moments we were very glad to have gps to hand.
It’s worth pointing out that we followed the route depicted by the gpx files that can be downloaded from the Velodyssee site. The Openfietsmap that I used showed what I presume to be earlier versions. There was at least one occasion when the gpx route took us one way but the physical signage went off in a different direction (near the S E corner of Lac d’Hourtin ). The downloads are for travel from N to S. If you wish to travel the other way - as we did – they need to be corrected. I think it’s safer to ensure that your track goes the appropriate way at roundabouts and then there are one way systems to consider. There’s one as you leave Bayonne and at the other end Chataillon Plage has a one way promenade.
I also found that the downloaded tracks weren’t a good fit to the map features. I spent several hours dragging them into a decent correspondence. When I eventually converted the files and viewed them on Google Earth they matched the photos quite well, giving me a confidence in my work which was justified on the ground.
Nearly all the forest tracks are tarmac surfaced, but some stretches are starting to show their age. The tree roots lift and crack and weathering does the rest. The worst bit was a stretch of about 6km running south from Lacanau. When you pass the beach bar things start to improve. When it’s sunny the dappled shade from the trees makes surface damage very hard to see. There is what could be a tempting downhill (from N to S) I really wouldn’t recommend flying down it. You have been warned!
There were a couple of rather steep sections between Lac de Sanguinet and Biscarosse Plage that had me walking – luggage weight and heat played their part, otherwise probably the toughest bit was where the track emerges from the woods and runs alongside the main road past the Dune de Pyla as you approach Arcachon. Really hilly, reallyreally hot and towards the end of our stage. It was just a grind. Mind you, it’s something to see the sand piled up higher than the tree tops!
There is a section to the North of Lacanau labelled Expert. I think the reason for this is that it is hilly and there are places where there is a steep drop off at the edge of the track. It doesn’t feel exposed because of the trees but there are no guard rails. I wouldn’t take youngsters on their own bikes through that section unless they had the skill and common sense to stay behind me
We took a shortcut through Rochfort. We left the repurposed railway track at St Agnant and went North because we wanted to use the transporter bridge. Recommended! What a delight, and the chap taking the money was a proper enthusiast. I started to tell him that there was one near where I grew up but it had been demolished.” Ahh, Warrington” he said. He was right too! Wonderful. There was a boulangerie as we approached it and a cafe on the town side. A kilometre or so through the streets and you can get back on EV1 near the station.
I think that’s probably enough for now. I hope it will be helpful to anyone considering using this route or parts of it. If you want more detail just ask!

I've just got back, today, from cycling La Vélo Francette (if that's what you're referring to?).

I took it from Nantes to Caen but, I have to say, the signage was terrible. Luckily I had maps but otherwise relying on it would have been disastrous.

The route is potentially fantastic though I'm not a big fan of 'tracky' type routes. Anymore!

Re: winter tour

23 August 2015 - 6:03pm
South Africa, Nambia. Though Nambia is bloody warm in Feb....

Re: £1 a day tour completed

23 August 2015 - 6:00pm
Good stuff! I find that touring is always cheaper than staying at home, never got it down to £1 a day though.

£1 a day tour completed

23 August 2015 - 5:30pm
On Thursday three of us reached Gibraltar on the Ride and Seek 2015 £1 a day tour. We had a fair bit of negativity about the trip but that was good because it was the negativity that spurred on one of our cyclists to come along. At least now I know that, whatever the state of my finances, I'll always be able to tour, because touring can be cheaper than staying at home. Thanks to everyone who followed us on Facebook!

winter tour

23 August 2015 - 4:36pm
Looking for suggestions for winter tour in January or February, somewhere warm. Considering Far East options, maybe Philippines or Indonesia or Cambodia/Thailand. Looking for good scenery and quiet roads. Have read a few CGOB journals but yet to decide.
Suggestions welcomed.

Re: Cycling Glasgow to Isle of Skye

23 August 2015 - 2:14pm
brendography wrote:robing wrote:Why the rush? 2 days is madness.
I like cycling fast through nice scenery, and I'm meeting a friend on Skye, and we're going to be camping, fishing, hiking etc.

Fair enough.

Re: Rotterdam - Rhine - Venice

23 August 2015 - 1:42pm
khain wrote:There are plenty of reasonably priced campsites until you reach the Alps when they become much more expensive. Campsites in northern Italy are awful and overpriced. I think there is only one campsite near Venice so you might need to book ahead. Don't take your bike into Venice. I think it is possible to cycle in but not advisable and it's no place for bikes.

Sounds like you've been unlucky. There are plenty of good-quality and reasonably-priced campsites in northern Italy. Of course there are duds, and it's well worth taking the time to check out sites in advance - but the same is true in other countries. IME (and I've stayed in hundreds of Italian campsites) prices are comparable with campsites with similar facilities in other countries.

Campsites near Venezia: on the mainland there are two campsites near Mestre and, another at Fusina on the mainland but to the south. There are more than you can shake a stick at on the eastern shore of the lagoon, and even more at Chioggia. All have excellent links by vaporetto to the Venezia itself (and are ideal for exploring places like Burano and Murano before the crowds arrive).

There is a big gap north of Venezia until you get to the mountains.

You can't (as in you're not allowed) take your bike into Venezia itself: you're right, it's no place for bikes - although Mestre on the mainland is pretty bike-friendly. EDIT: to avoid giving the wrong impression you can cycle across the causeway as far as the Santa Lucia rail station but that's as far as you can go. You can also take your bike on the vaporetto that goes there - but tat's the only one on which you can take a bike into Venezia.

Re: Rotterdam - Rhine - Venice

23 August 2015 - 9:56am
I've sort of done it, but going the other way.

Following the Rhine is surprisingly complicated in places. It's more of a network of tracks than a single path. GPS with some good mapping software is a definite plus.

There are plenty of reasonably priced campsites until you reach the Alps when they become much more expensive. Campsites in northern Italy are awful and overpriced. I think there is only one campsite near Venice so you might need to book ahead. Don't take your bike into Venice. I think it is possible to cycle in but not advisable and it's no place for bikes.

Re: Rotterdam - Rhine - Venice

22 August 2015 - 11:30pm
Going like a train until outskirts of Cologne. Torrential rain semi darkness, old tram lines in cobbles under water. Wife came off, me shortly afterwards. She 6 days in hosp with slightly broken pelvis. Flight back etc.
Oh well try gain next year but starting from Cologne
We got to a campsite first but as a matter of interest; what happens in an emergency say one of you is taken off in an ambulance and the other is left (exhausted) with two bikes and luggage in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night in pouring rain? Do you get taken care of?

Re: Cycling Glasgow to Isle of Skye

22 August 2015 - 10:21pm
robing wrote:Why the rush? 2 days is madness.
I like cycling fast through nice scenery, and I'm meeting a friend on Skye, and we're going to be camping, fishing, hiking etc.

Re: Cycling Glasgow to Isle of Skye

22 August 2015 - 9:51pm
robing wrote:Why the rush? 2 days is madness.

Looking at you blog I see you did several 70+ mile days with loads of camping gear and some serious climbing.
It's hard to see how you'd consider that sane and Brendan's 177 miles over two days as madness.

Re: Cycling Glasgow to Isle of Skye

22 August 2015 - 9:43pm
brendography wrote:Thanks for the advice guys. I'm fairly keen to avoid ferries, and happy to do extra miles to avoid the busiest roads.

This route I've created looks better I think http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/fullscreen/828351491/ Includes crossing to Corran.
That looks OK to me. Still some main roads but nothing too unpleasant - and the scenery will be good.

My problem is, I look at a route like that and start thinking of all sorts of interesting diversions, so that the planned 2 days becomes 3, or 4, or 5 ...

Re: Cycling Glasgow to Isle of Skye

22 August 2015 - 8:05pm
Why the rush? 2 days is madness.

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