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Updated: 59 min 47 sec ago

Re: Touring in Norway

28 May 2015 - 8:12am
jakobpoffley wrote:I've had a new idea for my route through the south of norway. I thought instead of doing the Rallarsvegen east to west on the way to Bergen i could go on the section of the rallarsvegen from Voss to Flam after Bergen and go further south on the way to bergen. I thought i could do this by mainly following the E134 and going on smaller nearby roads when they are there. Looking at a map it looks like there are roads to go round all the tunnels that are forbidden for cyclists along the route but please let me know if that isn't true. I then though I could go north along the shore of Sorfjorden (I'm not sure whether to go on route 13 on east side or 550 on the west). I'd then follow Hardiangerfjorden till Norheimsund and then go along the smaller roads into Bergen.
Coming back out of Bergen looking at the tunnel map i can't avoid the tunnels on the E16 to Voss so i'd have to go south via Norheimsund. Maybe on the way to bergen i'd go on the south side of Hardangerfjorden so on the way to voss i'm not going down the same roads. I'd then follow the Rallarsvegen to Flam and then i'd like to go over the small mountain pass road to Laerdalsoyri. It looks like a hell of a climb but from google maps it looks absolutely incredible and so much fun so i really want to do it. I'm then not sure what to do when I get to Laerdalsoyri. Is there a ferry taht goes across to Kaupanger or anywhere nearby? My plan would then be to go up Sognefjellet road and beyond.
The E134 is rather busy. You could follow the NSCR down towards Haugesund and then pick up the Rv13/520 to Røldal. Thereafter you can take the old road from Røldal to Odda to avoid a tunnel and make your way up to Voss that way. Røldal north to Odda is nice as is the 13 to Voss we did that in 2008.

There are two cycle routes to avoid the E16 between Bergen and Voss, one goes north of the E16 the other one goes south. One of them is described somewhere on the Cycletourer.co.uk website (the old Army Road??). There is another website with a travelogue of the other route IIRC but I cannot find it at the moment. These alternative routes add a couple of days to your trip.The E16 between Bergen and Voss is know as the "Road of Death" in Norway and is not fun in a car so not being able to cycle on it has to be seen as a plus.

The Rallarvegen West to East is harder work, I have done most of it in both directions. Mainly as you start at 1000 mas in Haugastøl and somewhat lower in Myrdal (830 mas or so). Also the roughest road surfaces are on the Myrdal side of the watershed which means you spend a fair bit of time pushing your laden tourer uphill. It is perfectly do-able but most people go East West. There has been talk of improving sections of the Rallervegen but it is a three year plan and I am not sure when they will start and which bits they plan to do first.

If you want to take the Fv7 via Norheimsund you better have a good head for heights, there being a few sections with "panoramic" views. The road is also a tourist road so it is not up to the standard of other routes, can be full of distracted tourists enjoying the views and is narrow in places. There are some tunnels along the way, unlit if I remember correctly so good lights (preferably automatic hub dynamo powered) are essential.

You can cycle up over from Flåm to Lærdalsøyri, it is a big climb but nice apparently. From Lærdalsøyri you need to take a bus to the Manheller - Fodnes ferry and beyond. There are two tunnels, one on each side of the ferry both of which are closed to cyclists. The other alternatives are, as I mentioned earlier, to take the ferry Flåm - Leikanger, or cycle the E16/Rv52 to get somewhere else. Note that the E16/Rv52 is the busiest of the East/West routes. You can stay on quieter roads for most of the way between Lærdalsøyri and the junction with the Rv52.

jakobpoffley wrote:Could you let me know if there is anything with this route that wouldn't work or you think would be better done differently. This seems to be the most complicated part of the trip so i'm planning most of it now whereas the rest i'm pretty much leaving to decide when i get there. What i plan on doing is marking on tunnels that are forbidden for cyclists with no alternate route on my map in the areas im fairly sure i'll be going through.
The last time we went from Bergen to Voss we simply put our bikes on the train. It made life a lot easier.

Just to remind you, it can get very cold in summer in the Norwegian mountains and there is often little protection from the wind and the rain when you get up above 700 mas. Make sure you take enough warm clothing to see you through a summer storm or a rainy day.

Re: Crossing the river Rance St Malo

28 May 2015 - 8:08am
Good to hear, thank you. May give it a go after all.

Road bike or mountain bike?

28 May 2015 - 7:55am
Hi,

I am planning a short solo tour (up to a week) somewhere in the UK this summer and an overnight trip before that to test things out. As this is my first experience of touring I don't want to get a new bike at this stage, so I have the choice of the bikes I have already.

Which of these would be a better choice for use in the uk mostly on road, but with some use of Sustrans bike trails?

Road bike (Forme Longcliffe 2): Aluminum frame, 700x23 tyres
Mountain bike: Aluminium frame, hard tail, front suspension fork, 26x1.5 tyres (hybrid tyres that I added for commuting before I had the road bike)

I will be camping, but travelling as light as I can (probably about 12kg of stuff) with rear rack and panniers and handlebar bag.

Thanks for you help,

Tim

Re: LLC and Wales Questions

27 May 2015 - 10:37pm
On foot, I have often been one of the last passengers to arrive at the airport. With a bike, I try to be one of the first. I aim for 4 hours before flight departure regardless of regulations, it just eases my nerves. You never know what could go wrong with the bike packing and checking in routine. I've flown with a bike 9 times. Maybe when I've flown 90 times I'll start taking more chances.

Re: LLC and Wales Questions

27 May 2015 - 10:22pm
I am flying United and they simply say that 'some' overseas airports request 3-hrs prior to departure.

My flight is on a Wednesday, which I don't think is a particular busy day for airports (generally). I always like to be early and was planning on 2hours before hand, but I will see what the Taxi people say too.

Re: Touring in Norway

27 May 2015 - 10:19pm
I've been busy doing GCSEs lately so haven't been able to do much planning for my Norway trip but with just over one month before i leave i need to get a few things sorted.

I've had a new idea for my route through the south of norway. I thought instead of doing the Rallarsvegen east to west on the way to Bergen i could go on the section of the rallarsvegen from Voss to Flam after Bergen and go further south on the way to bergen. I thought i could do this by mainly following the E134 and going on smaller nearby roads when they are there. Looking at a map it looks like there are roads to go round all the tunnels that are forbidden for cyclists along the route but please let me know if that isn't true. I then though I could go north along the shore of Sorfjorden (I'm not sure whether to go on route 13 on east side or 550 on the west). I'd then follow Hardiangerfjorden till Norheimsund and then go along the smaller roads into Bergen.
Coming back out of Bergen looking at the tunnel map i can't avoid the tunnels on the E16 to Voss so i'd have to go south via Norheimsund. Maybe on the way to bergen i'd go on the south side of Hardangerfjorden so on the way to voss i'm not going down the same roads. I'd then follow the Rallarsvegen to Flam and then i'd like to go over the small mountain pass road to Laerdalsoyri. It looks like a hell of a climb but from google maps it looks absolutely incredible and so much fun so i really want to do it. I'm then not sure what to do when I get to Laerdalsoyri. Is there a ferry taht goes across to Kaupanger or anywhere nearby? My plan would then be to go up Sognefjellet road and beyond.

Could you let me know if there is anything with this route that wouldn't work or you think would be better done differently. This seems to be the most complicated part of the trip so i'm planning most of it now whereas the rest i'm pretty much leaving to decide when i get there. What i plan on doing is marking on tunnels that are forbidden for cyclists with no alternate route on my map in the areas im fairly sure i'll be going through.

Any further advice would be most welcome.

Re: LLC and Wales Questions

27 May 2015 - 10:01pm
I have been quoted 3h check in for flights to US from Manchester. It can get very busy and I often find I need most of 2h even when travelling light. Given your luggage situation I would get there as early as possible.

Re: Lightweight packable trousers - recommendations please

27 May 2015 - 9:42pm
mnichols wrote:thirdcrank wrote:If you do make it to TKmaxx, keep your mind firmly on what you went in for. You may otherwise come out with all sorts you didn't know you needed till you saw it in there at a bargain price. (I have a pair of Ventile trousers original price £300, to me £10.)

Wow, that's a real bargain. Seems more like a treasure hunt than a jumble sale at those prices
It's a bit of both. They don't do organisation well; you need twice as long to shop there as other places. If it was ever sorted by more than trousers, shirts, etc. the organisations was destroyed by the first two year old let loose in there. Which means if you want a pair of trousers, you practically have to examine every pair of trousers that looks vaguely as if it might be the right type and size. So, the bargains come at the price of a bit of time.

That said, I used to buy all of my socks for long distance walking there. I would pay £2 or 3 for the same socks that were £10 in Blacks or someplace like that.

Re: Lightweight packable trousers - recommendations please

27 May 2015 - 9:34pm
Get a pair of golfing or walking ones from TK Maxx or one of the warehouse type outdoor places; whatever happens to be on sale.

Re: Handlebar bag as security risk

27 May 2015 - 9:32pm
LollyKat wrote:climo wrote:I asked recently about a soft bag, the kind you would normally carry over your shoulder, with a barbag fixing. It could have a supporting basket like frame which stayed on the bike. Much more comfortable to carry & less like carrying a hat box. Sadly no one knew of any.
I guess a very large barbag / shopping basket with a soft bag in it would work but not as neat. Gap in the market as it would sell to urban short distance cyclists IMO.

What about this Handbag Hugger? It wouldn't fit all handlebars but could well suit urban utility bikes.
Hmmm.. not quite what I had in mind. It looks pretty industrial. Sort of in that direction though, well sort of

Re: Lightweight packable trousers - recommendations please

27 May 2015 - 9:15pm
TrevA wrote:You can get Craghoppers for £15-£20 a pair in TKMax. The RRP is £40. Other places like Yeomans do them for £20-£25 and sometimes cheaper if you buy 2 pairs.
+1

I live in the Craghopper Stretch Pro when touring

They have enough stretch and comfort to be worn with a padded cycle "insert" and also wear in the evening... and if you want there is both a full and 3/4 length in green or black

... ans (sacrilegious though this may be) are far more suitable to cycling then Rohan

Re: Lightweight packable trousers - recommendations please

27 May 2015 - 9:01pm
thirdcrank wrote:If you do make it to TKmaxx, keep your mind firmly on what you went in for. You may otherwise come out with all sorts you didn't know you needed till you saw it in there at a bargain price. (I have a pair of Ventile trousers original price £300, to me £10.)

Wow, that's a real bargain. Seems more like a treasure hunt than a jumble sale at those prices

Re: Crossing the river Rance St Malo

27 May 2015 - 8:52pm
When I used it a few years ago they seemed very used to loaded bikes. I wasn't the only one and it was very little hassle.

Re: London to Paris - Dieppe camping

27 May 2015 - 8:49pm
I camped in Dieppe a couple of years ago. The town is in a big dip so the site I stayed at felt like a bit of a hard fought treck (it was a lovely small site, but I can't remember the name) and I wouldn't fancy it at that time. I'd go with the hostel/hotel option and start afresh the next day. There are plenty of places for a good breakfast.

Re: LLC and Wales Questions

27 May 2015 - 8:40pm
mcallaghan wrote:Also - trying to figure out when to book a taxi to the Manchester Airport. Everything I am reading suggests getting there 3-hours before your flight for an international flight? That seems an awful long time to me, especially given how in the US with our security they only request 2-hours before your flight. So should I am to get their for 8AM for an 11AM departure?
Where are you reading 3 hours? I would have said that 2 hours is probably enough. Manchester isn't a huge airport, but I also haven't flown through there in some years. What does the information from you airline suggest? Check in time is 2 hours ahead?

Security can be slow at British airports. They make frequent changes to the requirements and equipment, and if a couple of people call in sick or something it can mean long queues (lines).

When I fly out of airports that I'm not familiar with, I tend to be rather cautious. I'd rather sit around an airport needlessly than miss a plane because I was stood in a queue.

Re: London to Paris - Dieppe camping

27 May 2015 - 8:18pm
Late arrival in france is not a problem i have arrived at campsites at two in the morning , There is always a way in for cyclists , Receptions are closed and you can pay the the next morning . I have arrived in Le Havre at four in the morning . once your out on the road and in the fresh air tiredness is of no concern . You could aim to spend the first night on the somme see some history on your trip .

Re: LLC and Wales Questions

27 May 2015 - 7:49pm
Also - trying to figure out when to book a taxi to the Manchester Airport. Everything I am reading suggests getting there 3-hours before your flight for an international flight? That seems an awful long time to me, especially given how in the US with our security they only request 2-hours before your flight. So should I am to get their for 8AM for an 11AM departure?

Re: Lon Las Cymru - 4 or 5 days

27 May 2015 - 7:30pm
The bridge was very much closed to all vehicles, pedestrians and bicycles when I was there two weeks ago . I don't know about the trains.

I went around the estuary along the busy trunk road. It added about an extra 8 miles. I'm not aware of any alternative route across.

On the other side of the estuary there's some very strange car convoy system in place along a 3-mile stretch of road. The section of road is open only to one direction of traffic at a time. A works van follows as an escort at the back of the convoy of vehicles. When the van reaches the end of the 3 mile stretch its then the turn of the convoy of vehicles going in the other direction. So on and so forth.

I ignored this and went on my merry way along the stretch of road getting strange looks from vehicles coming the other way. I couldn't see any roadworks in progress or any reason for this bizarre system to be in place. Perhaps I missed it!

Re: Lon Las Cymru - 4 or 5 days

27 May 2015 - 5:40pm
Oh - is that Pont Briwet bridge open to cyclists or did you take the detour (or train?). Nothing I can find online has any recent updates on the status of the bridge.

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