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Updated: 14 min 37 sec ago

Re: Do I need front panniers for touring?

21 August 2014 - 12:03am
No-one knows what people carry inside their car boots so I think it a bit unfair if cyclists get singled out for carrying a tiny fraction of what a motorist might do on a camping holiday. I'm not sure why cyclists take such a moral stance on carrying extra bags or walking up a hill: have we not already earned our place in heaven simply by being on a bike at all?

I love the fact that a bike can carry all this stuff and I'm happy to take a rackpack and bar bag in addition to rear and front panniers. As long as I can still push the bike uphill the only thing I leave behind at home is the hair shirt.

Re: Tour to the Continent during Aug Bank Hols wknd- thought

20 August 2014 - 11:35pm
Thanks both for the help. Looking at the maps and ferry times in more detail, you're right the hook of holland destination is a bit far - too many miles and I won't be able to enjoy the trip.

I've therefore decided to change the route to: London->Calais->Roubaix->Bruges->Calais->London

What do you think? also, what is the best site online that will give me a map of bike paths and the best route to take? ridewithgps.com? mapmyride.com?

Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

20 August 2014 - 11:07pm
believe me pushing a bike fully loaded with those cheapo trailers uphill no fun.
One more reason not to use a trailer. maybe you need to look at your rear wheel. For a lot less than the price of a trailer you can have a 40 spoke rear wheel built with a good Marathon tyre that should solve any spoke problem.
I toured once with a big guy your weight. He had four bulging panniers on, barbag etc. Standard Halfords Hybrid. I rode it for a while. It was like a tank. But he had no problems.
This was his outfit.

Re: Do I need front panniers for touring?

20 August 2014 - 11:04pm
The minimal essentials – passport and wallet – are never off my body (except when I’m in the shower). If I feel I’m passing through a dodgy area, they’re in my underwear! Second tier stuff – phone, gps, camera, other small high-value things - in the barbag, never left on the bike. Everything else, I could manage without, or replace if necessary, so I can relax and leave the panniers unattended for a while.

Re: New Route Planner

20 August 2014 - 10:26pm
I'm bringing up an older thread in case Richard is listening:

cycle.travel often struggles to generate a circular route. I thought I was just unlucky with a particular start/end point but for me it seems to be more often than not I get a "Sorry - couldn't find a circular route. Try a different destination or a longer route." message.

Let's say Woking to Dorking (anywhere in those towns) - no luck. Or to Ashtead (so I can try out Bike Beans café).

Is it me, a bug or just the massive difficulties to get an algorithm to find something good?

Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

20 August 2014 - 10:25pm
To answer some questions (can't remember who posted what) -

Am not against panniers but against all that weight on my back wheel as well as me being 17 stone. I thought a trailer would be less strain on the bike. Kept reading about people with broken spokes and replacing back wheels on tour.

Am sure my wife is keen to get rid of me

I didn't take much clothing, what I had on, spare socks, 2 pairs of undies and trainers (I wore sandals).

In the camping shop they told me a sleeping mat is for insulation not comfort. This is sorted now, got a blow up single airbed.

I don't think 40 miles is too much for a trailer but I do agree the hill killed me. After pushing up that hill on every other hill I had to get off and push, I couldn't cycle up without pain.

Will go through my kit tomorrow and list exactly what I had with me.

Dave

Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

20 August 2014 - 10:17pm
bigjim wrote:Back,back in the day. When I were a lad and out on club runs. It was nothing unusual to dismount and push up steep hills Nobody thought anything of it and it never did any of us any harm. To this day on tour, I'll get off and push if it is too much for either me or the bike. This obsession today about never getting off the bike no matter what the cost amazes me.
Get off and push. Big deal.

believe me pushing a bike fully loaded with those cheapo trailers uphill no fun. I was only able to do a short distance at a time then stop for a time. This poor man had a few hours of it, my heart goes out to him. No wonder he was so down.

Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

20 August 2014 - 9:54pm
Back,back in the day. When I were a lad and out on club runs. It was nothing unusual to dismount and push up steep hills Nobody thought anything of it and it never did any of us any harm. To this day on tour, I'll get off and push if it is too much for either me or the bike. This obsession today about never getting off the bike no matter what the cost amazes me.
Get off and push. Big deal.

Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

20 August 2014 - 9:41pm
I reckon getting off and pushing is not a good idea and it could even have been the cause of your problems. It twists your upper body for a start, then you apply a load which can cause all sorts of muscular strains and aches.It can get your legs as well; these have adapted to the cycling motion and not the climbing motion. I've a history of talking a lot of nonsense on this forum , but I guess cycling is still more efficient than walking, even if it means twiddling away in bottom gear?

Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

20 August 2014 - 9:23pm
I think it is his own personal weight that worries him - together with a load of stuff on the rear wheel. I am about his weight and that was my worry also in getting a cheap trailer. Not that he is against panniers.

Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

20 August 2014 - 9:08pm
Looking at your hesitancy to carry luggage on the bike and the comments about the weight of trailers, is it worth trying to find someone local who will lend you a set of panniers for a weekend so you can try it out that way too and see if you find it noticably easier? I'm currently on my first tour, 3 months in with 1 left to go and have used 2 rear panniers plus tent nested between them on the top of the rear rack and have found it to work really well. I have a cargo net (few £) from amazon which means if I do go a bit nuts on food shopping I can just strap it on top, and I can wash clothes each evening and strap them across the back of the bike to dry on the way. It's a really versatile option as you have extra space if necessary. For example I'm currently carrying 2 cheap foam roll mats that I found in a campsite hedge because my self inflating mat has a hole and I don't have access to a bath to find the hole and fix it!

Re: Touring with family - Bike advice needed

20 August 2014 - 7:47pm
See other reply... We used a bike seat, but by the time Andrew was touring at 3-4 he was pedalling a kiddie cranked tandem. But remember children in a seat are closer to you and have some protection from the elements, once on the tandem they are potentially more exposed to the elements and are not pedalling effectively enough to generate their own body heat. Iceland can expanses of little in the way of facilities, so you may have to carry for food more than one day at time, and plan some short days, but there may not be too many playgrounds, only the ones nature supplies.
With regard to a trailer, we had some largish fords to cross, at least one was the width of a motorway with bits of sand bank in it..... We had to zig zag from one to another.

If you have a reasonable length of time, I assume you maybe teachers and have school holidays, remember these go into August, summer is ending by then and I know of one friend who had a first snow storm of the winter arrive in August.

Re: Touring Iceland

20 August 2014 - 7:33pm
We sort of on the ground cycle tour leaders back in 1994, with Dick driving and booking the hostels etc., how they were organised I do not know but some were in schools etc. we took our son who had his 1st birthday on the flight home. He was in a bike seat for the trip, sometimes well wrapped up. The roads may well have changed as more become tarmaced but many are still hard packed surface with loose stone. As time goes by the traffic disperses the loose stuff so you have a cleared hard packed surface to ride, but beware the roads where the stone has been re-distributed across it. This makes for very hard riding. We visited part of the interior and the roads could deteriorate to sand, sometimes there was a fair bit of walking.

Personally I loved the west coast and brieda fjord, we spent half a day on an island while the ferry ploughed its way back and forth. I spent a wonderful afternoon photographing the puffins that came within inches of my feet, am sure children will love it. Likewise the bug bird cliffs along that coast. Visiting the interior, the hot springs, geysers and waterfalls is also a must. Your older child will sure.y love these.
Always remember bikes can be transported on buses.
The Icelandic love children, Andrew was well received wherever we went and accommodated in the hostels.

Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

20 August 2014 - 6:55pm
theDaveB wrote:Been planning my first tour for a long time and finally decided to go for it on Sunday, parents picked me up today and am back home.


My plan was cycle from Runcorn to a campsite between Talacre and Prestatyn (St Mary's). This is about 40 miles door to door via NCN routes.

Dave
Like every one has said youve learnt some thing now and will be a bit more careful about routes. After a bit of time to recover I 'm sure you will find the physicality of what you did satisfying. Getting around under your own steam is exciting in this day and age of quick A to B's

40 miles is too much for a heavilly laden trailer. And not up hills of any kind off road!. I think 20 miles tops ( for me ) I have pushed mine up a short steep main road outside Dorking. Surrey - took me 1/2 hour I think with lots of stops. Your stint up the hills was what did it I think. All this silliness u see about BobYaks offroad - I remember seeing a video of same - is nonsense for a burden such as yours. Also I dont think wise to try and go very fast or ride for long lenghts of time without breaks. I remember when I first used my cheapo trailer from just Streatham London to Holmbury St Mary YHA ( about 25 miles) , my legs ached for days and I had to rest ( though that was a good excuse lol ) As for comfort sleeping I think self inflating mats good but should be allowed to lose some air when u lie on them ( so that it isnt a hard plank - real beds mould them selves to your body ? so must allow the self inflating matress to do the same by letting a bit of air out when u lie on it) Also need a decent pillow - Aldi had some cheapo ones recently that do the job well.

Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

20 August 2014 - 6:03pm
Well done. At least you got out there.
Even from my female perspective, I think you took an awful lot of kit for just a few days. A good sleeping mat is the key to a decent night's sleep. Do you really need the trailer?
Anyway, you will go out again and learn from each trip. Enjoy each experience.

Re: Touring Iceland

20 August 2014 - 5:36pm
If you wanted to find out anything about Iceland then Dick Phillips was your man. In the early seventies I bought all my Icelandic maps and his guidebook through him. This article suggests he is still going strong.

Did we cycle there? No, we went across Iceland camping for 2 weeks in the early 70s, in a Unimog 4x4 off road vehicle. A really fascinating country if you are into geology and geography, but quite bleak and extreme in places. Have you heard that this volcano is bubbling away.

Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

20 August 2014 - 3:47pm
Ed81 wrote:I would echo everything said so far.

1. It wasn't a failure; you got out on the bike, rode somewhere and camped.
2. You tested kit and learnt what worked and what didn't.
3. You are planning to do it again after some modifications.

My advice (built up from touring in the UK, Croatia and the Alps but also from mountaineering and hill walking) is to go as light as possible. For some tours I even go as far as cutting my toothbrush in half, not taking underwear for the evenings, not taking a second pare of shoes etc. As far as I am concerned this means that my tours are more enjoyable. Also have you thought about using panniers as opposed to a trailer. I tend to have to use both as I am often towing my daughter but I certainly notice that riding with panniers is far easier.

I also agree that it can take a few days to ride yourself in. How much riding do you do in general? If you could ride a little bit more maybe it would help........

I hope you learn from your experience and get back in the saddle soon.
Agree with all that - though I haven't cut a toothbrush in half yet! Hm, how may bristles do you really need on a toothbrush?
Summer riding you don't need much spare clothing - if you have to wash them do it just before you set off and you can put them on wet - a bit chilly at first but they dry very quickly as soon as you get moving.

Touring Iceland

20 August 2014 - 3:38pm
Hi All and thanks for reading,

My wife and I are planning a tour of Iceland next summer. We are taking our children of 4 and 18 months. We will have 6-7 weeks to spend travelling round but are not too worried about covering huge distances. Before ordering the guide books can anyone suggest places to visit, how easy it is to cycle in Iceland, costs of food and accommodation etc.

If Iceland may be a little ambitious can anyone suggest an adventurous touring destination (we toured Croatia last year covering 1000 km in about 4 1/2 weeks) and have already traveled quite extensively in France. We would also like to avoid long steep climbs if possible.

Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

20 August 2014 - 3:38pm
Cheers, wife has just picked up the 2 I need from the library.
Does that mean that she's keen to see the back of you?

Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

20 August 2014 - 3:37pm
Ed81 wrote:I would echo everything said so far.

1. It wasn't a failure; you got out on the bike, rode somewhere and camped.
2. You tested kit and learnt what worked and what didn't.
3. You are planning to do it again after some modifications.

My advice (built up from touring in the UK, Croatia and the Alps but also from mountaineering and hill walking) is to go as light as possible. For some tours I even go as far as cutting my toothbrush in half, not taking underwear for the evenings, not taking a second pare of shoes etc. As far as I am concerned this means that my tours are more enjoyable. Also have you thought about using panniers as opposed to a trailer. I tend to have to use both as I am often towing my daughter but I certainly notice that riding with panniers is far easier.

I also agree that it can take a few days to ride yourself in. How much riding do you do in general? If you could ride a little bit more maybe it would help........

I hope you learn from your experience and get back in the saddle soon.
+1 Well said and probably phrased more eloquently than I could have done.

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