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Re: Has anyone ever toured in the winter?

14 October 2014 - 8:56pm
I can't remember what make my gloves are, but they are usually ok barring a couple of really cold days I've had.

Re: Has anyone ever toured in the winter?

14 October 2014 - 8:50pm
phil parker wrote:I've been cycle-camping in Jaunary and February and completed a JOGLE in March. One advantage is you tend to wear all your warm cycle clothing rather than carry it just in case. I use the the Altura water repellent Roubaix bib-tights over bib shorts with over trousers stood by for torrential rain, they dry well enough. Various makes of windproof tops are sufficient, I have a couple of comparatively inexpensive tops that will go to a UK -5 degrees. Windproof skull cap or balaclava in extreme cases (some of my winter mountaineering kit doubles up.). The bike gets filthy pretty quick, so I wash it when I can and lube the chain every 2 or 3 days.

The tent never seems to get dry, but there are plenty of pubs with real fires for drying gear. I use a synthetic chamoise or flannel to dry the inside of the tent when first erected and then do alley other jobs before setting out my sleeping mat and other gear.

Finding enough campsites that are open isn't easy, but hasn't stopped me going anywhere in the UK.

Edit: I use lightweigh down jacket and trousers for non-cycling and a lightweight 4-Season sleeping bag. A couple of hours in the pub for a meal and a drink, an hour with a paperback and lots of sleep!

What do you do for gloves? That's my biggest bugbear. After 10m or so in winter my thumbs disappear. One of the few times I welcome a hill.

Re: Has anyone ever toured in the winter?

14 October 2014 - 8:48pm
eileithyia wrote:ukdodger wrote:eileithyia wrote:PS Leg covering; usually normal winter cycling longs, thicker pair of socks, normal shoes, I have toyed with over shoes but never really found them very satisfactory, but always always have spare dry socks with me.

I've tried everything to keep my feet and legs dry but nothing does. So I gave up trying.

So did I. But I do find cycling longs often dry fairly quickly and start drying out quite a bit between rain showers anyway.

TBH small hotels etc., just did not fit in with the model of the cycling club going off together to a hostel, self cooking etc., plus the price was a major consideration. To be fair while there has been a few bad days that stick in the mind, there are also the glorious sunny crisp days when it is a joy to be out, the last weekend of Jan one year where we had the sunniest Jan weekend on record overnighting at Ironbridge.
Glorious winter days on the Peak District trails before riding back to Cov.
Only a couple of really persistent all day rain sticks in the memory banks, a ride home from Stow hostel, and another one from the Peaks. But as home was the destination it was not such a hardship as all the kit went straight in the wash. On the plus side was always the fun, laughter and camaraderie of being with friends all suffering the same conditions.

Nicely put. I'm hankering to get going. I cycle mostly alone or with the same friends or with charity rides. But the great joy of cycling is as you say the camaraderie. Even cycling alone you meet up with cyclists who stop and chat and charity rides you meet a whole new bunch of people. Doing less and less of that now though as the charities seem to be getting a bit greedy wanting enormous sums raised to take part. When I started £50 was plenty!

Re: Has anyone ever toured in the winter?

14 October 2014 - 8:32pm
I've been cycle-camping in Jaunary and February and completed a JOGLE in March. One advantage is you tend to wear all your warm cycle clothing rather than carry it just in case. I use the the Altura water repellent Roubaix bib-tights over bib shorts with over trousers stood by for torrential rain, they dry well enough. Various makes of windproof tops are sufficient, I have a couple of comparatively inexpensive tops that will go to a UK -5 degrees. Windproof skull cap or balaclava in extreme cases (some of my winter mountaineering kit doubles up.). The bike gets filthy pretty quick, so I wash it when I can and lube the chain every 2 or 3 days.

The tent never seems to get dry, but there are plenty of pubs with real fires for drying gear. I use a synthetic chamoise or flannel to dry the inside of the tent when first erected and then do alley other jobs before setting out my sleeping mat and other gear.

Finding enough campsites that are open isn't easy, but hasn't stopped me going anywhere in the UK.

Edit: I use lightweigh down jacket and trousers for non-cycling and a lightweight 4-Season sleeping bag. A couple of hours in the pub for a meal and a drink, an hour with a paperback and lots of sleep!

Re: Fancy a trip to Germany next year?

14 October 2014 - 8:17pm
Hi,

I have visited Germany quite a lot for tours but on a motorbike just come back in fact.

Not far from Luxemburg is the Eifel mountains and then the Mosel valley. There is a looooooong cycle path along the Mosel which is very flat but also there is an Eifel cycle path that goes along the river Kyll from Trier to the Mosel which is a tad more challenging, its about 80 miles and also follows a railway line so you can pick and choose where you ride to and from or stay along the line.

I stay at this place http://www.mueller-kyllburg.de/english/ its biker, bicycle, walker. canooist etc and also cheap at Euro 37 for B&B with secure parking, tools.

It is typical German, rooms small, clean and functional the thing that always gets to me after a couple of days is smoking in the bar which takes me back to the bad old days in UK pubs (for non smokers)

Its about 40 miles from Luxemburg and same again to the Mosel and trier must be similar too.

Hope that helps,

Paul

Re: Has anyone ever toured in the winter?

14 October 2014 - 7:14pm
ukdodger wrote:eileithyia wrote:PS Leg covering; usually normal winter cycling longs, thicker pair of socks, normal shoes, I have toyed with over shoes but never really found them very satisfactory, but always always have spare dry socks with me.

I've tried everything to keep my feet and legs dry but nothing does. So I gave up trying.

So did I. But I do find cycling longs often dry fairly quickly and start drying out quite a bit between rain showers anyway.

TBH small hotels etc., just did not fit in with the model of the cycling club going off together to a hostel, self cooking etc., plus the price was a major consideration. To be fair while there has been a few bad days that stick in the mind, there are also the glorious sunny crisp days when it is a joy to be out, the last weekend of Jan one year where we had the sunniest Jan weekend on record overnighting at Ironbridge.
Glorious winter days on the Peak District trails before riding back to Cov.
Only a couple of really persistent all day rain sticks in the memory banks, a ride home from Stow hostel, and another one from the Peaks. But as home was the destination it was not such a hardship as all the kit went straight in the wash. On the plus side was always the fun, laughter and camaraderie of being with friends all suffering the same conditions.

Re: Has anyone ever toured in the winter?

14 October 2014 - 5:24pm
CliveyT wrote:tbh cold is just a state of mind- this is (almost) true to life-

+15 C This is as warm as it gets in Finland, so we'll start here. People in Spain wear winter-coats and gloves. The Finns are out in the sun, getting
a tan.

+10 C The French are trying in vain to start their central heating. The Finns plant flowers in their gardens.

+5 C Italian cars won't start, The Finns are cruising in cabriolets.

0 C Distilled water freezes. The water in Vantaa river (in Finland) gets a little thicker.

-5 C People in California almost freeze to death. The Finns have their final barbecue before winter.

-10 C The Brits start the heat in their houses. The Finns start using long sleeves

-20 C The Aussies flee from Mallorca. The Finns end their Midsummer celebrations. Autumn is here.

-30 C People in Greece die from the cold and disappear from the face of the earth. The Finns start drying their laundry indoors.

-40 C Paris starts cracking in the cold. The Finns stand in line at the hotdog stands.

-50 C Polar bears start evacuating the North Pole. The Finnish army postpones their winter survival training awaiting real winter weather.

-60 C Korvatunturi (the home for Santa Claus) freezes. The Finns rent a movie and stay indoors.

-70 C The false Santa moves south. The Finns get frustrated since they can't store their Kossu (Koskenkorva vodka) outdoors. The Finnish army goes out on winter survival training.

-183 C Microbes in food don't survive. The Finnish cows complain that the farmers' hands are cold.

-273 C ALL atom-based movent halts. The Finns start saying "Perkele, it's cold outside today.

-300 C Hell freezes over, Finland wins the Eurovision Song Contest.

Great detail, so in summary if your from a cold region, one can get used to it, far harder for a person used to a hotter region as indicated above.

Not surprising with the Finns they're soldiers are great winter soldiers.

Re: Has anyone ever toured in the winter?

14 October 2014 - 4:38pm
tbh cold is just a state of mind- this is (almost) true to life-

+15 C This is as warm as it gets in Finland, so we'll start here. People in Spain wear winter-coats and gloves. The Finns are out in the sun, getting
a tan.

+10 C The French are trying in vain to start their central heating. The Finns plant flowers in their gardens.

+5 C Italian cars won't start, The Finns are cruising in cabriolets.

0 C Distilled water freezes. The water in Vantaa river (in Finland) gets a little thicker.

-5 C People in California almost freeze to death. The Finns have their final barbecue before winter.

-10 C The Brits start the heat in their houses. The Finns start using long sleeves

-20 C The Aussies flee from Mallorca. The Finns end their Midsummer celebrations. Autumn is here.

-30 C People in Greece die from the cold and disappear from the face of the earth. The Finns start drying their laundry indoors.

-40 C Paris starts cracking in the cold. The Finns stand in line at the hotdog stands.

-50 C Polar bears start evacuating the North Pole. The Finnish army postpones their winter survival training awaiting real winter weather.

-60 C Korvatunturi (the home for Santa Claus) freezes. The Finns rent a movie and stay indoors.

-70 C The false Santa moves south. The Finns get frustrated since they can't store their Kossu (Koskenkorva vodka) outdoors. The Finnish army goes out on winter survival training.

-183 C Microbes in food don't survive. The Finnish cows complain that the farmers' hands are cold.

-273 C ALL atom-based movent halts. The Finns start saying "Perkele, it's cold outside today.

-300 C Hell freezes over, Finland wins the Eurovision Song Contest.

Northern Greece

14 October 2014 - 1:36pm
So every Easter for the past few years I go on a week's cycle tour with 5 friends, in the past we've been to the Peloponnese, Crete, Portugal (twice) and Andalucia. We average about 50-60 miles a day and travel fairly light staying in hotels, b&bs etc. This year we have decided to return to Greece as the cycling can be superb, its always been good fun, the chances of getting good weather at that time of year are reasonable, and places to stay can be hilariously grotty and memorable - one year we stayed in a hotel that was being redecorated and it was only after we'd paid etc that we realised that all the doors had been removed to paint, in another place an emergency strip light came on in the room at 3am and couldn't be turned off, and in a further place our balcony gave a lovely vista of the largest coal-fired power station in Greece, the hum of which kept us awake half the night.

Anyway I digress, we're flying to Thessaloniki and was wondering if anyone had any tips as to where would be some good places to head - should we be thinking about heading up or down the coast or going inland to Macedonia or Bulgaria or even on to Turkey? What we like are quiet roads, nice scenery, we don't mind mountains and a grotty place to stay is optional.

Rotterdam to Paris

14 October 2014 - 12:54pm
A couple of us are considering a Peterborough to Paris charity ride in the Spring. Peterborough to Harwich looks straighforward, though a really really long day, but has anyone done a good route from Rotterdam/ Hook of Holland to Paris. There seem to be lots of options, especially through Holland & Belgium. Any interesting/ unusual things along the way that we should take in?

Thanks in Anticipation

Jason

Re: finding a suitable route - southwest UK

14 October 2014 - 12:01pm
rogerwilco wrote:Looking for a single day, round-trip, roughly 70-100 km total and with limited total elevation (less than 1000m).
We'll be travelling with a car from London through Somerset and Devon to Cornwall (google maps route http://bit.ly/1vYHkiG)
As you'll be going through Okehampton, have you though of riding parts of the Coast 2 Coast? Not all of it in one day, obviously but there are more ideas on parts in this thread:
http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=89435

There is a route guide for the C2C which give you more ideas on what you'll find there: http://www.sustrans.org.uk/ncn/map/route/devon-coast-to-coast and you can even buy the t-shirt.

Alternatively, there might be a small chance that Mick F is available to hire as a local cycling tour guide!

Re: finding a suitable route - southwest UK

14 October 2014 - 11:49am
robing wrote:You might be better off sticking to Somerset as it's much flatter. They're not called the Somerset Levels for nothing

And it very much depends on the time of year as for the early part of 2014 they were known as the Somerset flood-plains...

Re: Has anyone ever toured in the winter?

14 October 2014 - 11:47am
andrew_s wrote:shane wrote:Luckily Helen loves it and will paint a totally different picture
Since Helen doesn't seem to be around at the moment, here's a link to her blog
2000km from Yakutsk to Magadan, Siberia

Blimey. I'm just a lad..

Re: Has anyone ever toured in the winter?

14 October 2014 - 11:38am
shane wrote:Luckily Helen loves it and will paint a totally different picture
Since Helen doesn't seem to be around at the moment, here's a link to her blog
2000km from Yakutsk to Magadan, Siberia

Re: Has anyone ever toured in the winter?

14 October 2014 - 11:25am
landsurfer wrote:ukdodger wrote:landsurfer wrote:The winter trip to the north of Scotland took 5 days, 1 day was lost to bad weather. We spent it in the tent. With a bottle of scotch. We had planned to visit Cape Wrath but time and the weather was against us.

Very brave and adventurous. Almost a qualifier for the SAS. Dunno how you did it.

All 3 of us are ex RAF Mountain Rescue, all love the cold and snow, if we had the capacity our surf boards would have been with us as well ......

Re: How to carry a guitar on your bicycle

14 October 2014 - 11:19am
A couple of times I've seen a cyclist in Glasgow riding one-handed and holding his guitar, without a case, in the other. Presumably he didn't believe in hand signals. I've even see a skateboarder whizzing down a hill with a guitar on his back -- it was in a soft case but he must have been very sure of his technique. .

I regularly cycle with my violin over my shoulder, but usually only for short distances. Over 5 miles I prefer to put it in a pannier with extra foam - the top sticks out, of course, but an extra bungie secures it to the carrier.

Re: Has anyone ever toured in the winter?

14 October 2014 - 10:54am
ukdodger wrote:landsurfer wrote:The winter trip to the north of Scotland took 5 days, 1 day was lost to bad weather. We spent it in the tent. With a bottle of scotch. We had planned to visit Cape Wrath but time and the weather was against us.

Very brave and adventurous. Almost a qualifier for the SAS. Dunno how you did it.

All 3 of us are ex RAF Mountain Rescue, all love the cold and snow, if we had the capacity our surf boards would have been with us as well ......

Re: Fancy a trip to Germany next year?

14 October 2014 - 10:42am
What do you want to see? Roman remains, motor museums, historic churches, do you enjoy climbing or prefer river trails?

I did a fortnight this summer in north Baden / Bavaria, visited all of the above and more so tell us what you like doing.

Re: Majorca Road Cycling

14 October 2014 - 10:25am
wirral_cyclist wrote:
Brits in a hire car methinks - latest one probably thought you were on wrong side of road...

Wouldn't say so, it was a guy in an open top Merc and he looked Spanish to me. Definitely not hire cars.

Re: Has anyone ever toured in the winter?

14 October 2014 - 9:26am
Vorpal wrote:ukdodger wrote:Here's a medal! how many days were those rides and out of interest what did you use for leg and feet covering? If any
If it's below freezing, lots of things are easier, as Shane rightly points out. It's much easier to dress for cold than wet & cold. Wool tights, plus thermal tights, plus some over trousers on my legs (wind blocking material is essential). On my feet, two pairs of wool socks and (oversized) lined winter boots.

If it's wet and near freezing, I wear thermal tights with waterproof trousers over them, wool socks and hiking boots. If I'm out multiple days in wet & cold, I usually end up with a layer of plastic carrier bag in my boots because even waterproof ones seem to eventually soak through with repeated exposure, and no chance to dry overnight.

VP how does one cycle in fur lined boots lined again with plastic bags?

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