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Updated: 2 hours 16 min ago

Re: Scottish weather has me freaked out!

17 August 2015 - 2:36pm
Even in bad years you can luck out.
I had the first two weeks in June for Oban/Uists/Harris/Lewis/Skye/Oban. The weather to start with was horrid so I took my time getting to Oban (arrive Weds evening), and mostly had good weather - a bit windy the first 4 or 5 days, & hot sun thereafter. The late start meant I didn't get to do Lewis, but last time I was there it was horrid in the Uists so I just whizzed through, and nice in Lewis.

Re: North Sea route Germany

17 August 2015 - 2:15pm
Can you tell me roughly how many miles /km from Hook of Holland to Cuxhaven? I'm planning on doing a trip from Hook to Copenhagen via Puttgarten to Rodby in September. Just wondering how you have been finding your trip along the North Sea Route and if I should consider it ( presumably fewer navigation issues) or perhaps further inland avoiding the castal meanderings?
Hope you are still enjoying / have enjoyed your cycle tour.
Thanks!

Re: Scottish weather has me freaked out!

17 August 2015 - 1:45pm
Sitting in a Care Home(Dunroamin!) in a semi circle, would any of us swop our plastic covered easy-up chairs for those blowy wet holidays spent in Scotland...you bet we would! Oxygen++ Cycle riding++ Good views++ The open road++ Decent legs++ Let us count our blessings while we got 'em. Well,this is what I try to say to myself when I'm having a bad trip and it's raining!!

Re: Wales: Lost Tour details

17 August 2015 - 12:57pm
Thanks for the information, Richard, that will come in handy for me - I plan to go from Chepstow anyway, but I don't really want to off-road even though my Croix de Fer with 32 mm tyres would be ok. Perhaps I'll try some faster roads to get back.

Re: Wales: Lost Tour details

17 August 2015 - 12:07pm
martin113 wrote:I have been put off the Lon Las Cymru by tales of impossibly rough tracks, gates which you have to lift your bike over and general unsuitability of some of it for road touring bikes. I tour on a light tourer with 28 mm tires and light amounts of baggage and stories that the trail is only suitable for mountain bikes or hybrids have really put me off. Anyone who has done it have any thoughts?

Start from (or head to) Chepstow rather than Cardiff: that way you'll miss out the Taff Trail, which is the major off-road section.

Follow the A470 between Newbridge and Llanwrthwl, not the Old Coach Road track.

Take care on the descent (heading north, or the ascent if heading south) between Corris and Dolgellau.

From Machynlleth to Porthmadog, don't be tempted onto the NCN 82 alternative route on a road bike, but stick to NCN 8.

With all that in mind you should be ok on skinny tyres.

Re: Help to plan a route : Inverness to Didcot

17 August 2015 - 12:06pm
Seanyb1512 wrote: Any help would be much appreciated. It's difficult to understand the nature of the help you require unless you give a more detailed request. The trip you plan is quite straightforward.

Re: Scottish weather has me freaked out!

17 August 2015 - 11:29am
Last 2 1\2 weeks in the inner & Outer Hebrides.... Camping.... Wet, wet, wet & wet with a good dose of cold air would be a fair description... But it was fine otherwise, the magic and friendliness abounds everywhere... One hotelier on asking if we can camp in the front garden said here, use this room for showers, in fact you just sleep in it, free gratis!... Needless to say our (3) dinner and drink tab was appropriate... Just waiting for the night ferry to Holland, the last 4 days in Essex have been wall to wall sun...

Re: european bike express

17 August 2015 - 11:23am
I've used them once and will again, as comfortable as 20+ hours on a coach will ever be and good friendly service. The convenience of being collected/dropped of 8 miles from home and knowing the bike is secure far outweighs any other consideration.

robgul wrote: I would imagine that they have a contingency plan (possibly insurance based?) should there be a breakdown that stops the bus.
Rob

The back up plan according to their website is to keep a spare bus and trailer at the depot in case of a breakdown that stops the bus, though they say this has never been used.
Item 12
http://www.bike-express.co.uk/Booking_Conditions

Re: Wales: Lost Tour details

17 August 2015 - 10:53am
I was like "hey that sounds like the tour I did! I don't remember posting it here though!"

Didn't though I did do Holyhead to Bristol earlier in the year & there was a lot of GOAPing (Getting off and push ing!)

More photo's if more were needed:

https://www.facebook.com/daniel.fortnum.3/media_set?set=a.1035678699783395.1073741828.100000238257816&type=3

(though it should be noted my attempts at photography pale in comparison to those above. & mostly involve beer)

Re: european bike express

17 August 2015 - 10:49am
Used it a few times, no complaints. They do their utmost to keep on time. One return journey we got snarled up in traffic around London and the drivers were running out of 'driver hours' so relief drivers were brought further south from the point where they were due to meet us to a more southern motorway services. I think one of the buses had had an issue once but the staff worked very hard to catch back up on schedule.
They do not just operate as a solo operative but they clearly have links and resources to sort out problems.

Food; remember they have limited resources, storage and cooking facilities on the coach so it tends to be microwaveable stuff such jacket tatties with beans, cheese, chilli etc., but if they still do it their Apricot flapjack is to die for......
We always went and got a proper meal on the ferry and just relied on the coach for snacks....
Hint, keep a small wash bag amongst personal affects on the coach, you will feel much better for a wash n brush up and teeth clean after the overnight on the coach...

Re: Wales: Lost Tour details

17 August 2015 - 9:57am
martin113 wrote:I have been put off the Lon Las Cymru by tales of impossibly rough tracks, gates which you have to lift your bike over and general unsuitability of some of it for road touring bikes. I tour on a light tourer with 28 mm tires and light amounts of baggage and stories that the trail is only suitable for mountain bikes or hybrids have really put me off. Anyone who has done it have any thoughts?
Lon Las means Green Lanes and the route does include some, as shown in the picture on Sustrans' page for the route. http://www.sustrans.org.uk/ncn/map/rout ... ymru-north You can always read a map and find a pleasant alternative with tarmac if you want it, keeping the broad outline of the route.

Whether you can ride such routes on 28mm is a matter of state of mind. Some people think it is impossible, but other people do it. I did such things and much worse on a light tourer in my youth: I chose 32mm rather than 28mm, though I knew people who would ride practically anything on 28mm. Perhaps a more rational appraisal is that it is possible but probably a bit uncomfortable for most of us, and maybe requiring a bit more riding skill than many of us would choose to be required to employ.

Re: Help to plan a route : Inverness to Didcot

17 August 2015 - 9:42am
I'm doing Inverness Aberdeen next Sunday/ Monday.

I live in Aberdeen so up by bus Sunday
Youth hostel over night.
Then ride home Monday.

Any use.

Matthew

Re: european bike express

17 August 2015 - 8:56am
I've used the service - convenient, sort of comfortable, very efficient (dead on time at the pick up at Montpellier) - I would imagine that they have a contingency plan (possibly insurance based?) should there be a breakdown that stops the bus.

Rob

Re: european bike express

17 August 2015 - 5:37am
Thanks all

Re: Wales: Lost Tour details

17 August 2015 - 5:20am
I have been put off the Lon Las Cymru by tales of impossibly rough tracks, gates which you have to lift your bike over and general unsuitability of some of it for road touring bikes. I tour on a light tourer with 28 mm tires and light amounts of baggage and stories that the trail is only suitable for mountain bikes or hybrids have really put me off. Anyone who has done it have any thoughts?

Re: european bike express

16 August 2015 - 10:55pm
I've used them 4 times now and have found them very convenient and reliable. And very good value considering they pick up at various points in the UK and includes the ferry. I don't know if they've had many delays since all the problems at Calais. Don't think much of the on board and cuisine though.

Re: european bike express

16 August 2015 - 10:02pm
Used them twice now, the second time being last month. On the way back they had an alternator problem which resulted in not enough power to run the air conditioner properly but they were able to keep going and even managed to improve things slightly by getting the pliers out during a scheduled stop. Expect its fixed properly by now - they do seem to be committed to delivering the service they promise.
External factors can have more impact. We travelled out on a Saturday - and the French strike was only lifted Thursday evening.
We returned on a Monday - later that week migrant activity started to cause severe problems...
Lucky this time!

Re: european bike express

16 August 2015 - 9:48pm
I've used it 13 or 14 times and have never had a significant problem. There have one or two minor delays but they were outside the control of the company.

Re: Help to plan a route : Inverness to Didcot

16 August 2015 - 9:47pm
If you actually bother to look at cycle.travel it shows you hotels and b&bs along the route too…

Al

Re: european bike express

16 August 2015 - 8:49pm
I think both of their buses are a few years old but they seemed to be maintained okay. Obviously there are many reasons for delays some totally unforeseen but the drivers and couriers do their upmost to keep the service running to near schedule. While not being the most comfortable way to travel I find them very convenient and hassle free when travelling with a bike.

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