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Re: Princetown Railway Line

13 May 2015 - 3:34pm
Hi,
Hah that's nothing, you should see the one over the A38 near drumbridges.
I believe that mid devon roadies pushed for this one but will be interesting to see them use it as it involves off road work

Im all for it, and now I wont have to detour to get onto the track down the road on your right behind you by 1/3rd of a mile, good.

Get yourself a MTB you don't know what your missing

At least it looks cheaper than the arty 1.5 mil stuff they push for.

Oh I am all for reinstating railways, but for now this is better than nowt.

Princetown Railway Line

13 May 2015 - 3:23pm
The old line from Yelverton to Princetown was taken up in 1959, and over the years the rail bed has been used for walkers on Dartmoor and these days by cyclists too.

I rode it some years back on my Mercian.
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=18562&start=0
Since then it's been steadily improved, and I was shocked today when I saw this:Princetown Railway Bridge.jpgPersonally, I'd rather they reinstated the railway line, but I suppose this is the next best thing.

The new bridge is over the B3212 from Yelverton to Princetown up Peek Hill. Prior to the bridge, the cyclists and walkers had to clamber up and down steep banks and cross a busy road.

Not open as yet, but it won't be long. No doubt the track will join up with Drake's Trail and the cycle route round Burrator Reservoir from Meavy.

Re: on a budget - New bike or secondhand quandry

13 May 2015 - 2:46pm
Yes - it looks good, but I am in Lymington on the south coast - about as far away as you can get! By the time I costed in getting up there I could buy something very shiny down here!

Re: I need to stay overnight in a Castle HELP!

13 May 2015 - 2:41pm
Spite castel or carbisdale castle in scotland used to belong to SYHA, it looks like from Wikipedia it is now sold
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbisdale_Castle

might be option if it is now independent

Re: on a budget - New bike or secondhand quandry

13 May 2015 - 2:38pm
there is what seems to be a nice Dawes 631 steel Sardar on offer on the for sales section here for £400 ono - up in Scotland though


http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=96623

top tube 55CM down tube 50CM

not sure what size that makes it, maybe too small?

Re: I need to stay overnight in a Castle HELP!

13 May 2015 - 2:25pm
whoof wrote:You could look for a ruined castle turn up late/leave early and wild camp.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_castles_in_England

Hi,

I have that down as an emergency measure if I don't manage to BLAG a night in an occupied one (other than wildlife).

Re: I need to stay overnight in a Castle HELP!

13 May 2015 - 2:13pm
You could look for a ruined castle turn up late/leave early and wild camp.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_castles_in_England

Re: Hebrides tour? Or other Scottish Island tours with young

13 May 2015 - 1:16pm
Thanks again for the advice. I like the sound of the routes with plentycamping/fishing etc and a good pub alwyas goes down well! if I was to say do this route : Arran , claonaig, islay, port askaig and Jura woudl the best way of doing this be via the hopscotch type tickets or individual? does anybody have an idea of miles involved in this kind of route.

on a budget - New bike or secondhand quandry

13 May 2015 - 1:13pm
Hi All

I am hunting for a bike to tour on - I have got a nice road bike (carbon) and a mountain bike, that has on occasions been used for touring, but it is not ideal.

What I want it for: I am looking to mainly do a week of so road touring, with the occasional path, field or track, so I don't need to be able to ride through jungle or over mountain sides, but I do want to leave the black stuff on occasion. I would like the ability to add front panniers, although I do travel quiet light most of the time. I am 6ft 2 and not a whippet, either in physique or inclination.

So the question is with a budget of about £300-500 all in, am I better off going new, where at least the first few trips are likely to be ok, for example I can get Dawes Galaxy AL for £420 or say Revolution Country Traveller '15 For £499 - where I can probably get a deal on other bit and pieces I want, and the right size!

or go second hand - where I know nothing of the bikes history but can find some nice looking bikes. But the sizing is less easy and there is the problem of all the bikes I like being the other end of the country.

Does anyone have any thoughts?

I need to stay overnight in a Castle HELP!

13 May 2015 - 12:58pm
Hi All,

one of the challenges I have been given on my tour is to stay overnight in a Castle of more accurately the challenge was "BLAG A FREE NIGHT IN A CASTLE". I had one offer but they have now had to withdraw due to a wedding, if anyone knows of a castle that would be willing to put me up for free I would be grateful, I am happy to sleep in the Dungeons!

Additionally if anyone can put me up for a night on my trip round the coast of the UK & Ireland I would be grateful, I am camping most of the way but the occasional wash and a bed would probably stop the locals chasing me down. You can see my route on my blog: thedarknewt.blogspot.co.uk

Many thanks All!

Re: A Sad Day for Google Maps

13 May 2015 - 12:12pm
Psamathe wrote:Interesting idea. I suppose the ideal would be that in addition to a zoom control you have a detail control/slider (except of course on smartphones you tend to use a pinch zoom rather than a slider or +/- buttons). But as you say pre-rendered must be somewhat more constrained. That said, I would have thought the pre-rendered must add things like campsites/supermarkets, etc. more as POIs so they can be "active" and clicking on them pops-up more details (rather than basing a click on a coordinate). As you are probably more aware than me on, MapOut uses vector mapping (rather than pre-rendered) so I guess they have more flexibility. But they also don't have the most powerful processor in the world and if they use it excessively then poor old battery suffers. (I think I was pointed to MapOut by one of your own posts as well).

(I may have got my terminology or understanding completely wrong in which case please fo feel free to correct me - no offence would be taken. I'd be learning stuff anyway).

No correction needed - you're pretty much there!

Making POIs clickable on pre-rendered OSM-based maps is harder, much harder than it ought to be - it's a missing piece in the standard OSM stack and no-one's fixed it (https://github.com/openstreetmap/mod_tile/issues/58 for what it's worth), partly because a lot of the big guys like Mapbox are moving towards client-based vector mapping.

Showing the right amount of information, clearly and attractively, at a given scale is pretty much the traditional art of cartography. Modern web-based cartography tends to sidestep the issue, either by saying "zoom in to see more", or by taking the Google approach, which is to consider the basemap as a neutral, low-detail canvas onto which search results can be superimposed in real time. That, I think, is why the Google basemap is so white and grey these days - Google doesn't really want to show you the roads, they want to show you the results of your search or navigation query.

I'm old-fashioned enough that I think it's still worth getting the basemap right. I do quite a lot of preprocessing in the cycle.travel cartography to that end - for example, there are different cartographical rules for rural areas, small towns and massive cities. But it's a dying art.

Re: A Sad Day for Google Maps

13 May 2015 - 11:58am
jamesgilbert wrote:matt_twam_asi wrote:
Overpass Turbo can do this. I've linked to a query that highlights all campsites on the current map screen, just press Run at the top left. http://overpass-turbo.eu/s/9kn

If the query times out then the search area is too big, try zooming in a bit.

That works very well, thanks!

Now all I need is for the campsite website to be displayed when you click on it (or at least the name); I've found a handful that do but most don't.

Yes, that's the limitation with the crowdsourced nature of OSM, however it does give one a nudge to add info where it is known

Re: Hebrides tour

13 May 2015 - 11:43am
Richy75 wrote: I would consider a shorter trip even just a few islands with a bit of ferry hopping along the way .

Then I'd say stick to the Southern isles. Sail from Oban to Castlebay, maybe ride to Vattersay (causewayed), ride over Barra, ferry to Eriskay, and ride up the spine road across South Uist, Benbeccula and North Uist to Bernaray (all connected by causeways). Then turn back and ride by variations of the route (e.g. other way round N. Uist, coast road instead of inland across Benbeccula), or use the cycle-carrying bus if required, to Lochmaddy (S. Uist) and sail back to Oban.

These southern isles have less hills and a lot less motor traffic than Lewis and Harris.

Cycling Western Sahara and Senegal on a Hase Pino - video

13 May 2015 - 11:39am
May be of interest to anyone heading to West Africa. Just uploaded some footage of the ride through Western Sahara and Senegal on a Hase Pino tandem. We were on our way from northern Spain to The Gambia. Apologies for the poor moving pictures quality - I think it was shot on my phone, but it gives the general idea and is still worth seeing, if only for the Iron Butterfly soundtrack

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJOxR_kWSws&feature=youtu.be

Re: A Sad Day for Google Maps

13 May 2015 - 11:03am
Richard Fairhurst wrote:Psamathe wrote:So clearly some developers do recognise the need for detail at further out zoom levels but I appreciate the conflict between tidy pretty map and functional map providing useful info (plus, what is useful will be very different for different people).

Yep. The challenge with prerendered mapping is that if (say) you show campsites when zoomed out a long way, it looks fine in sparse areas where there aren't too many campsites, but somewhere like the Lake District becomes a forest of little tent symbols such that you can't actually see anything else!

With the mapping I've been developing for the Canal & River Trust, I've been experimenting with "clustering" such that when you're zoomed out, only one mooring site will show up per kilometre, for example - if you look at http://crt.systemed.net/ and zoom in/out you'll see how it works. I'd like to do the same with campsites on cycle.travel, but it's a much bigger dataset and the clustering algorithm is very slow, so it's not trivial.
Interesting idea. I suppose the ideal would be that in addition to a zoom control you have a detail control/slider (except of course on smartphones you tend to use a pinch zoom rather than a slider or +/- buttons). But as you say pre-rendered must be somewhat more constrained. That said, I would have thought the pre-rendered must add things like campsites/supermarkets, etc. more as POIs so they can be "active" and clicking on them pops-up more details (rather than basing a click on a coordinate). As you are probably more aware than me on, MapOut uses vector mapping (rather than pre-rendered) so I guess they have more flexibility. But they also don't have the most powerful processor in the world and if they use it excessively then poor old battery suffers. (I think I was pointed to MapOut by one of your own posts as well).

(I may have got my terminology or understanding completely wrong in which case please fo feel free to correct me - no offence would be taken. I'd be learning stuff anyway).

Ian

Re: Myanmar

13 May 2015 - 10:58am
Hi there,

Myanmar is a country on the move, from autocratic miltilary state to a semi democracy in under 4 years, things are changing on the ground at a very rapid rate. The country is opening up more and more to tourist, and getting off the well beaten Yangoon - Mandalay - Bagan - Inle Circuit is much easier. Unfortunately as mentioned Myanmar is not the cheapest of destinations in SE Asia certainly accommodation wise, in part due to the lack of overall tourist infrastructure combined with the rapid growth of tourist arrivals in the country since opening up.

If flying into Yangon you can now apply for a e visa online which take the hassle out of going to the embassy in Bangkok, if you plan to cycle over the border which is now possible at Mae Sot and one or two other borders, you will have to get a visa before hand. Visa are issued at $30 for a 24 hr turn around, visa are valid for 28 days for date of entry.

Routes that are of interest may be of interest:

Myawaddy - Hpa-an - Mawlamyine - Thaton - Kyaikto (Golden Rock) - Bago - Yangon
It is possible to go south from Mawlamyine to Dawei and Myeik, but some stretches may involve having to take bus/trains depending on officials, this area is newly opened but the roads and infrastructure aren't geared up for tourist, yet. Could possibly cross back into Thailand from Kawthuang. See www.southernmyanmar.com/transportation/cycling-blog/

I cycled through the country Dec 14 from Thailand to India, going from Mae Sot (route mentioned above) to Yangon then a cargo boat from Yangoon to Myuangmya (near Pathien) with my bike and then cycled up the delta Kyuanggon - Hinthada - Pyay - Pakokku - Monywa and then up into Sagiang division to India.

Cycling the central "rice belt" from Yangon to Mandalay would not be advised as it is flat as pancake with not much to see and hot, along with the busiest roads in the country ( car ownership has skyrocketed in recent years)
Cycling from Yangon to Sittwe could be interesting, a bit of delta life then onto the coast and up to Ngapali beach for some R&R then finishing in Mrauk-U for some ancient temple hoping. Bear in mind that this route passes through Rakhine state and has been the site of some pretty horrific ethnic violence between Rohingya Muslims and the Buddhist majority in recent years, though not targeting tourists it could lead to some logistical headaches and access issues.

The Shan state for the most part is off Limits with some exceptions such as the Mandalay to Lashio (part of the historical Burma road) and the roads around and leading to Kalaw, Inle lake & Taunggyi. The NH4 route from Tuanggyi to Kentung / Tachileik (border with northern Thailand is closed to foriegners)

The Chin & Kachin States are now slowly opening up to tourists and would be an adventure to cycle around, but are long distances away from Yangon and will involve transport. It is worth noting that things on the ground are changing every week and month so by the time you get there new areas could be possible to visit.

Overall if you are planning on flying in & out a combination of cycling and transport looks good, long distance buses will take bikes for a fee & connect the country from Yangon for reasonable fares albeit with long journey times.

The police in some areas were a bit of a pain and we had a constant police tail for a number of days and accommodation that takes foreigns can be hard to find,(certainly in the delta region) so bear this in mind. (Camping would of been possible if desperate but difficult as a lot of land is cultivated and carrying camping kit for using it a few times is just not worth it unless you are on a longer tour, overall camping in SE Asia is just not worth it my opinion.

Notes; ATM machine are now found in most major towns and cities and accept foriegn Visa cards, they dispense Kyat but only to the value of around $200 per withdrawal, slightly harsh as you get a £5 bank fee per withdrawl, however this is major bonus as before you had to bring all your spending money in crisp US dollars to change into Kyat. I would still advise to have an ready supply of crisp / new dollar bills in numerous demonination to spend and change.

It is a good time to see Myanmar during the stages of a country findings its feet & bringing itself into the 21st century with hopefully improved democratic political governance, better human rights and a more stable country without internal conflict. The people, cultures and overall opportunity to access places closed off to the outside world until recently make Myanmar a truly fascinating destination.

Enjoy

K

Re: A Sad Day for Google Maps

13 May 2015 - 10:55am
jamesgilbert wrote:matt_twam_asi wrote:
Overpass Turbo can do this. I've linked to a query that highlights all campsites on the current map screen, just press Run at the top left. http://overpass-turbo.eu/s/9kn

If the query times out then the search area is too big, try zooming in a bit.

That works very well, thanks! :D

Now all I need is for the campsite website to be displayed when you click on it (or at least the name); I've found a handful that do but most don't.
May or may not be relevant to your needs (or others) but is using a Smartphone and interested in campsite locations/contact info on maps, http://www.archiescampings.eu/eng1/ is good. You can download massive lists for Europe (complete, by region of country) as gpx POIs and then load that into you favourite mapping application (e.g.on GoogleEarth on OS X/Windows or whatever you use on your smartphone). Or they provide apps for different mobile devices/smartphones. I've no idea about the apps.

I was pointed to the site by others on this forum. Only does camp sites, not supermarkets, cinemas, etc. And I've not "explored: the list in detail.

Ian

Re: A Sad Day for Google Maps

13 May 2015 - 10:46am
matt_twam_asi wrote:
Overpass Turbo can do this. I've linked to a query that highlights all campsites on the current map screen, just press Run at the top left. http://overpass-turbo.eu/s/9kn

If the query times out then the search area is too big, try zooming in a bit.

That works very well, thanks!

Now all I need is for the campsite website to be displayed when you click on it (or at least the name); I've found a handful that do but most don't.

Re: A Sad Day for Google Maps

13 May 2015 - 10:29am
Psamathe wrote:So clearly some developers do recognise the need for detail at further out zoom levels but I appreciate the conflict between tidy pretty map and functional map providing useful info (plus, what is useful will be very different for different people).

Yep. The challenge with prerendered mapping is that if (say) you show campsites when zoomed out a long way, it looks fine in sparse areas where there aren't too many campsites, but somewhere like the Lake District becomes a forest of little tent symbols such that you can't actually see anything else!

With the mapping I've been developing for the Canal & River Trust, I've been experimenting with "clustering" such that when you're zoomed out, only one mooring site will show up per kilometre, for example - if you look at http://crt.systemed.net/ and zoom in/out you'll see how it works. I'd like to do the same with campsites on cycle.travel, but it's a much bigger dataset and the clustering algorithm is very slow, so it's not trivial.

Re: A Sad Day for Google Maps

13 May 2015 - 10:23am
jamesgilbert wrote:Psamathe wrote:Stick to OpenStreet Map. It contains reference information (like supermarkets and what brand) though probably not as many and not as highlighted ("in your face") as the commercial operators.


I would like to use OpenStreetMap, but I can't find a way to make it display campsites until I've zoomed very far in. Is there any way to do this? At the moment I can only find campsites if I already know where they are, which kind of defeats the purpose...

Overpass Turbo can do this. I've linked to a query that highlights all campsites on the current map screen, just press Run at the top left. http://overpass-turbo.eu/s/9kn

If the query times out then the search area is too big, try zooming in a bit.

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