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Re: Tour de Isle of Wight - 1-4 May 2015

23 January 2015 - 9:12pm
Heltor Chasca wrote:Picked up my OS map today. Looking forward to it. Anyone know what the weather's doing on that weekend? [emoji274]



From experience

Brilliant weather with sunshine all day
Temperate weather, ideal for cycling
Freezing fog and high winds
Pouring rain
High winds, but otherwise fine


Having doe the Randonnee for a number of years... all of the above are possible

Biking in France (Perpignan - Luxembourg)

23 January 2015 - 9:02pm
Hi everyone!

This summer I'm planning a long trip through Europe, and one of the legs of my trip with be going up through France (in June). I already have a general route plan, it goes something like this:

Perpignan up to St. Ambroix, then head towards Le Puy. Then up to Cluny, from there north to Beaune, then over to Gray and up to Épinal and Nancy, then Metz and finally north to Luxembourg or Trier.

I've found bike routes for that whole path, but I was wondering a few things:

1. Do you have any suggestions for specific areas/roads that you found very cool or scenic? (Ones that are on or near that route)
I hear Le Puy has cool scenery as it is volcanic, but is going up that way better in general than going up more to the east, towards Lyon? Note that I'm not very interested in spending much time in cities, as I've already been to many many french cities (having grown up in Switzerland).

2. Do you have any tips or warnings for biking through France?
I know that France is supposed to be pretty bike-friendly, but one thing I was kind of concerned about was the priorité à droite rule, which sounds a bit dangerous for bikers. Any opinions or advice?
I also know that french drivers are fairly wild, is that usually an issue? Or are there many bike roads without cars?

3. We were planning on camping most of the time, and occasionally getting a hostel. From the maps I have it seems like there a some campgrounds, but not everywhere. I was wondering if you've ever had issues finding camping spots?
On that note, is non-campground camping tolerate in the areas I'll be going?

Thanks for any and all help or advice you can give!

Re: Best deal for Pay-as you-go roaming?

23 January 2015 - 8:41pm
I use T mobile UK PAYG (EE have some thing similar) -

EURO - Internet Travel Booster 200MB
200MB OF DATA TO USE FOR 7 DAYS
200MB
£12
EURO - Internet Travel Booster 500MB
500MB OF DATA TO USE FOR 7 DAYS
500MB
£25

which works out at 6 or 5 pence a MB.

Re: Cycle Touring Festival Clitheroe

23 January 2015 - 8:23pm
An alternative weekend which might appeal more (and is cheaper as it doesn't include meals beyond one breakfast) is the Kirkpatrick Macmillan Rally, 22-25 May.

Note that I have no connection to this at all. I am tempted to go - just not sure about camping!

Tour de Isle of Wight - 1-4 May 2015

23 January 2015 - 8:17pm
pedalsheep wrote:The vast majority of cyclists doing the randonnee just come over for the day - you can start from any of the car ferry ports. There are plenty of campsites on the island and they are unlikely to be too busy in early May.

Are you sure I can't tempt you to the randonnee? Its a lovely relaxed event, almost entirely on quiet roads, run by cyclists for cyclists, no entry fee, lots of refreshment stops doing proper food at cheap prices (proceeds to the local schools or to local charities) and we always order good weather!

[emoji4] I can tell it's a good event based purely on the tone of your post. A fine ambassador you are [emoji56].

My plan is to be a tourist this time round to see the sights and try out my Surly DT so I'll decline your challenge this time. Next year though if there's a 'tank class' for a Surly DTs I'll give you all a run for your money!

I'll chuck some of my beer fund into any kitties I pass too...hc

Cycle Touring Festival Clitheroe

23 January 2015 - 6:54pm
bikepacker wrote:robing wrote:I can't believe people are moaning about the cost. £75 for the weekend including camping and meals seems pretty good value. They've got several speakers lined up. I don't think I'll be able to go unfortunately, but if I could I'd be up there like a shot.

For me it is not good value. The advertised speakers have nothing of interest beyond my own experiences for me to want to take time to listen. The lunches would prevent me doing day rides. That only leaves the cycling there, the actual meeting up with others and the camping. These, which first interested me about the event, would be poor value at £75.

I genuinely wish the organisers well and hope it is a success. I won't be attending despite my initial excitement about the festival. I have my issues about the pricing structure, but that could be personal, regional or my own experience of similar events. I'll leave it at that. Basing it on a Royal Geographic Society event is an interesting way about it even though there has been a recent price-drop by the organisers.

'Festival' says to me 'outside' and 'doing'. The programme suggests this is a conference (in the FAQs). I'm not one to be cooped up inside listening to speakers, (albeit very esteemed ones) There are enough brilliant blogs, YouTube videos and books out there to fill winter's evenings while winter has her grasp.

When spring arrives, things are different. It's been a rotten cycling winter and by spring I want to be out on my bike, sleeping under canvas eating my own grub and yacking to others round the camp fire. Sorry. I'm a doer. I learn more in the 3 dimensional sense rather than an academic approach. I also quite like a bit of 'retail therapy' at these festivals and chatting to suppliers.[emoji5]️

That's just me and these are my opinions. I'm not out to offend. I just want to put my thoughts out there for the organisers for market research purposes and feedback from a member of their prime-target-market. A simple, bog-standard cyclist.

I care about the future and promotion of cycling whatever guise it takes...hc

Re: Tour de Isle of Wight - 1-4 May 2015

23 January 2015 - 6:49pm
The vast majority of cyclists doing the randonnee just come over for the day - you can start from any of the car ferry ports. There are plenty of campsites on the island and they are unlikely to be too busy in early May.

Are you sure I can't tempt you to the randonnee? Its a lovely relaxed event, almost entirely on quiet roads, run by cyclists for cyclists, no entry fee, lots of refreshment stops doing proper food at cheap prices (proceeds to the local schools or to local charities) and we always order good weather!

Re: Touring in Norway

23 January 2015 - 6:35pm
Vorpal wrote:syklist wrote: ... and local trains to Hirtshals then take the Colorline boat to either Kristansand (start of the Setesdal route) or Larvik (start of the Numedal route, which joins up nicely with the Rallarvegen) or the Fjordline boat to Bergen.

There is a fast ferry (4 hours) from Hirtshals to Larvik, and it is quite reasonably priced (£50 ish) if you can be a little flexible about time and day.

I'll second the suggestion of the Numedal route to Rallarvegen, though there is also at least one reasonable alternative to Numedal, mostly on secondary roads ('B' road equivalents).

I have not checked all the ferry routes on this route suggestion so the route might not be work. Fly into Sandefjord (Oslo Torp) fly out of Trondheim. Follow the Numedalruta to Geilo then cycle to Haugastøl and take the Rallarvegen.

Then take the Rallarvegen down to Flåm boat to Leikanger (if it still goes) then cycle west to Hella. Take the ferry to Dragsvik.
OR
Take the Rallarvegen to Myrdal, train from Myrdal to Upsete and then cycle down to Voss. From Voss follow the Rv 13 over Vikafjellet to Vangsnes and the ferry to Dragsvik. Dragsvik campsite (assuming it is still there) has a some tent pitches with a view over Balestrand.

After Dragsvik follow the Rv 13 over Gaularfjellet to Førde and Naustdal then over a minor road towards Florø. This will only work if an old tunnel we went through in 2008 is still open. Otherwise you might have to cart your bike and bags over a hill. The alternative main road tunnel is closed to cyclists so you would need to take a bus or find an alternative route if the old tunnel is no longer usable. From Florø take the ferry to Smørhamn and then follow National Cycle Route 1 the Coastal Route (overview maps are available) all the way to Trondheim. Fly back from Trondheim airport (careful you take the correct cycle route to the airport as the E6 is closed to cyclists east of Trondheim).

If you have the time when you get to Brattvåg (before Mølde) take the ferry to Ona and spend a night there (assuming the ferries still run).

This would be short of the stated 1100 miles I think but the route takes in a few major climbs plus plenty of minor ones. So enough for you to go at in your four weeks.

One more thing,the Rallarvegen has a short open season sometimes from mid-June to mid-September. Sometimes shorter.

Re: Touring in Norway

23 January 2015 - 6:21pm
Just a quick note re the wild camping thing:

Especially in the fjords it can be tricky to find a flat bit near the road to camp on - when they cut the road into the hillside they thoughtlessly didn't put in facilities for cycle tourists. The other thing is you're meant to camp 100m iirc from the nearest building, but there are usually holiday cottages strung out along the road every 190m or so.

Upshot - be prepared for some less than perfect pitches, and there may be times when you have to camp a bit closer to buildings than you might want.

Re: LLC and Wales Questions

23 January 2015 - 5:44pm
That typically seems to be the case when local government dips its hand in the jar.

I am going to finalize my route in the next few days then I will post it in its entirety here. I'd like to hear thoughts on it at that point along with any suggestions in regards to alterations. Looking to keep things around 40 - 50 miles a day.

Also, any recommendations on places to see in Cardiff?

Re: Touring in Norway

23 January 2015 - 4:56pm
Vorpal wrote:syklist wrote:It looks like another operator is going to run a similar service. Has anyone else heard about this?

http://www.reginaline.dk/index-uk.htm
They are still looking for investors. Also viewtopic.php?f=16&t=93173&hilit=+ferry

tried contacting them last week - no reply

Re: Touring in Norway

23 January 2015 - 4:00pm
syklist wrote: ... and local trains to Hirtshals then take the Colorline boat to either Kristansand (start of the Setesdal route) or Larvik (start of the Numedal route, which joins up nicely with the Rallarvegen) or the Fjordline boat to Bergen.

There is a fast ferry (4 hours) from Hirtshals to Larvik, and it is quite reasonably priced (£50 ish) if you can be a little flexible about time and day.

I'll second the suggestion of the Numedal route to Rallarvegen, though there is also at least one reasonable alternative to Numedal, mostly on secondary roads ('B' road equivalents).

Re: Touring in Norway

23 January 2015 - 3:52pm
syklist wrote:It looks like another operator is going to run a similar service. Has anyone else heard about this?

http://www.reginaline.dk/index-uk.htm
They are still looking for investors. Also viewtopic.php?f=16&t=93173&hilit=+ferry

Re: Tour de Isle of Wight - 1-4 May 2015

23 January 2015 - 3:46pm
Heltor Chasca wrote:It's been about 17 years since I was last on the IoW. Considering there's possibly going to be 2000+ cyclists doing their randonnée what will the campsites be like?

Play safe and book or throw caution to the wind and wing it? I imagine this little place isn't going to let wild campers get away with it [emoji102]

I've never camped for it but one of the check points is on a campsite at Wootton Bridge and while busy it never seems crowded.

Re: Tour de Isle of Wight - 1-4 May 2015

23 January 2015 - 3:25pm
It's been about 17 years since I was last on the IoW. Considering there's possibly going to be 2000+ cyclists doing their randonnée what will the campsites be like?

Play safe and book or throw caution to the wind and wing it? I imagine this little place isn't going to let wild campers get away with it [emoji102]

Re: Tour de Isle of Wight - 1-4 May 2015

23 January 2015 - 3:13pm
Picked up my OS map today. Looking forward to it. Anyone know what the weather's doing on that weekend? [emoji274]

Re: Cycle Touring Festival Clitheroe

23 January 2015 - 1:57pm
Sweep wrote:Thanks for that, bicycler, i should have checked. I only wondered as I cycled past a year or two ago and at the entrance there was something that looked like a corporate sign.
There is an external link on that site for corporate bookings. I assume that they have third party arrange the letting out of meeting rooms etc.

Re: Touring in Norway

23 January 2015 - 1:35pm
iviehoff wrote:syklist wrote:3) If you want to avoid planes then probably the easiest is to take Harwich Esbjerg
Harwich-Esbjerg has now ceased, so you can't do that any more.

It looks like another operator is going to run a similar service. Has anyone else heard about this?

http://www.reginaline.dk/index-uk.htm

There is the story about Norwegian Seaways starting up a Newcastle - Bergen service. They are still trying to raise capital to get going. One of the main sources of capital was the Offshore Oil industry particularly in Stavanger which is now cutting back a lot due to the low oil prices.

Here is the story in Norgleeze courtesy of our favourite auto translation service.

Re: Touring in Norway

23 January 2015 - 1:19pm
iviehoff wrote:syklist wrote:3) If you want to avoid planes then probably the easiest is to take Harwich Esbjerg
Harwich-Esbjerg has now ceased, so you can't do that any more.

I am obviously not keeping up. When I lived in Utrecht we used the night train service to Copenhagen to start/finish tours in Norway and Scandinavia. I have not been able to find that service on db.de today.

An alternative would be to get to Amsterdam (Harwich - Hoek van Holland or Hull - Rotterdam or Newcastle - Ijmuiden let me know if any of these no longer run) take trains to Denmark... or Germany. It looks like there is a 09:01 from Amsterdam with two changes to the ferry Puttgarden - Rødby Havn where the train takes the ferry with you and end up in Copenhagen. Night boat to Oslo.

I think I'd still be more inclined to go from Amsterdam to Hirtshals by train. Would a bike be covered by an Interrail ticket?

Try the DB website for planning such trips http://www.bahn.de/p_en/view/index.shtml

Re: Touring in Norway

23 January 2015 - 12:57pm
syklist wrote:3) If you want to avoid planes then probably the easiest is to take Harwich Esbjerg
Harwich-Esbjerg has now ceased, so you can't do that any more.

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