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Updated: 1 hour 28 sec ago

Re: Poole(UK) to Santander(Spain) Blog update

31 December 2014 - 10:08am
Looks a brilliant trip and I'm gonna save the reading and lookin at pics till later(it's freezing outside,I got too little to do)

Envy you guys like hell! Now wotholdsmebak is my health,or...the meds I have to take at set times with particular conditions(too constricting,too boring to mention without me having to consider purchase of machine gun)

I'm gonna look at your pics and read your blog and look in wonder.

Give thanks to your genetic inheritance courtesy of mum and dad. We never know what we have till it's taken away

Re: Which Bike do I take?

31 December 2014 - 10:03am
Thanks for the advice everyone. I think I will play it safe and take the steel bike. If I don't need the super low gears then no harm done. Can't wait to get going.

Re: TOURING 2015

31 December 2014 - 2:15am
Slowroad wrote:Mistik-ka wrote:Mrs. M-k and I will be cycling somewhere exotic this spring: BEESTON! Which one? — All five of them, we hope.
Assuming you are coming to the Nottinghamshire Beeston, let us know and we can give you some pointers as to cafes, routes, etc. Lots of varied cyclists and cycling groups in Nott'm!
Splendid — and thanks! Yes, Nott'm (see, you've already helped me with the native dialect) is on the list. It's beginning to look as if we might squeeze in Beeston Regis and Beeston St. Andrew (what's left of it) as well, making seven in total. When our route is a little more certain I'll post a request for planning advice in the vicinity of all the Beestons.

Happy New Year one and all!

Re: TOURING 2015

30 December 2014 - 11:06pm
Mistik-ka wrote:Mrs. M-k and I will be cycling somewhere exotic this spring: BEESTON! Which one? — All five of them, we hope.
Assuming you are coming to the Nottinghamshire Beeston, let us know and we can give you some pointers as to cafes, routes, etc. Lots of varied cyclists and cycling groups in Nott'm!

Re: Which Bike do I take?

30 December 2014 - 8:45pm
What are you used to? How much climbing do you usually do? If you are uncertain enough to be asking on here, the safe option is probably best.

Re: titanium rack - anyone used one?

30 December 2014 - 8:22pm
I've managed to drop a good few kilos off an already light setup by:

Swapping an old worn out 105 groupset for the latest Ultegra
Swapping my sagging leather saddle for a new synthetic one
Swapping my old rack for a ti equivalent
Swapping my panniers for the arkels
A few minor tweaks for Xmas presents - carbon cages, etc

I have a few big tours in the planning and I'm happy with the weight loss

Adventure Show on iPlayer

30 December 2014 - 7:31pm
Take a look at BBC Scotland's Adventure Show (Episode 5 - "Sore in the Saddle") on the iplayer. It's about a Scottish Audax which will tire you out just watching it! I watched it today - Tuesday 30th December - and it is available for another 9 days.

Re: Which Bike do I take?

30 December 2014 - 6:39pm
Massif Central should not be a problem. I toured there several times with a bottom gear of 36x26 saddlebag touring on my 531 tourer. Mind you, I was 45 then so probably more vigorous than now. Given your choice I would take the steel tourer because you will have bail out gears if needed, mudguards of course, and capacity to carry decent waterproofs, tools, food etc.

Re: Brittany - the draining of the Lac de Gueledan

30 December 2014 - 5:54pm
Not wishing to hijack the thread but it may be the particular day/time of the crossing you were hoping to book on. I've already booked a crossing on that route with a bike to see a stage of the TDF. However last year I got more or less the same response when trying to book a return crossing from Bilbao to Portsmouth. In the end I had to use the Santander route.

Re: Brittany - the draining of the Lac de Gueledan

30 December 2014 - 5:50pm
dodger wrote:RichardPH wrote:Slightly off-topic, but the prospect of viewing the drained lake was appealing. Started to plan a trip using Brittany Ferries Portsmouth - St Malo but came across a snag, the cycle spaces on the outbound ferry were full, odd really because they were still taking bookings for the same trip in a car, plus the three bikes we would need to take if necessary.

None of the ferries I've been on have any special arrangements for bikes, and when I asked Brittany Ferries why this was the lady on the phone wasn't sure so she went off and asked. The reply was that it "didn't fit their cost model" or words to that effect. In other words they'd rather I took a car and paid twice as much.

I wrote to their customer complaints but have not received a reply.

Any experience of this from others, also any suggestions for getting their attention?

I have written in the past (2013) to Mr Bevens, whose job I forget, but possibly Commercial director. This was on a similar theme regarding why it costs more to take 4 bikes than if you take a car with 4 bikes and people. He said they were "going to review their pricing structure and were committed to green ideals" etc.etc.
Don't know if they have reviewed it, but it's always been as if bikes are very, very low on their list and only tacked on as an afterthought.
At one stage you could only book 1 bike at a time, even if there was a party of 20!
Can't see what their problem is as there is plenty of space for bikes, especially in odd corners.
Good luck!

Brittany Ferries believe that they make their money from car passengers in cabins. They don't want pedestrians (which is why they allocate most cabins to car passengers) and they don't want cyclists. It's frequently cheaper to take a car and 4 passengers than 4 foot passengers. A friend even offered to go onto the car deck and mark out a car-sized space so that he could get 'vehicle' pricing but they wouldn't have it. I've had this argument with them many times - they are clueless...

Re: Which Bike do I take?

30 December 2014 - 5:49pm
Either bike will do the journey OK. Gearing shouldn't be a big issue; Ventoux isn't that steep (just long!), you're obviously used to riding long distances, and the group pace is unlikely to be a problem for you. Main issue for me would be whether I wanted to risk going without mudguards. There's no guarantee that France, particularly the Massif Central, will be dry in May, and getting soggy day after day would take the edge off the fun.

Re: Brittany - the draining of the Lac de Gueledan

30 December 2014 - 5:39pm
RichardPH wrote:Slightly off-topic, but the prospect of viewing the drained lake was appealing. Started to plan a trip using Brittany Ferries Portsmouth - St Malo but came across a snag, the cycle spaces on the outbound ferry were full, odd really because they were still taking bookings for the same trip in a car, plus the three bikes we would need to take if necessary.

None of the ferries I've been on have any special arrangements for bikes, and when I asked Brittany Ferries why this was the lady on the phone wasn't sure so she went off and asked. The reply was that it "didn't fit their cost model" or words to that effect. In other words they'd rather I took a car and paid twice as much.

I wrote to their customer complaints but have not received a reply.

Any experience of this from others, also any suggestions for getting their attention?

I have written in the past (2013) to Mr Bevens, whose job I forget, but possibly Commercial director. This was on a similar theme regarding why it costs more to take 4 bikes than if you take a car with 4 bikes and people. He said they were "going to review their pricing structure and were committed to green ideals" etc.etc.
Don't know if they have reviewed it, but it's always been as if bikes are very, very low on their list and only tacked on as an afterthought.
At one stage you could only book 1 bike at a time, even if there was a party of 20!
Can't see what their problem is as there is plenty of space for bikes, especially in odd corners.
Good luck!

Re: Which Bike do I take?

30 December 2014 - 5:05pm
how often do you use the 30? I'd take the CF if the answer is 'rare' if its 'regular' you might need the extra gearing.

I know several people who'v done Mt V on 34 x 28 lowest without any big issues, guess it depends how fit you are and how you want to tackle the climbing.

Re: Which Bike do I take?

30 December 2014 - 5:01pm
Surely this is the perfect excuse for a new bike? A trip of that scale, including scaling the mythical ventoux practically requires a new purchase. My suggestion would be something bang on trend, so a titanium road bike with discs, like a Kinesis ATR

Re: Which Bike do I take?

30 December 2014 - 4:57pm
I would take the steel triple as you will have a few get out of trouble gears.

Which Bike do I take?

30 December 2014 - 4:48pm
In May 2015 I am cycling from Caen to Nice with an organised tour. I will not have to carry any luggage other than what I need each day. We will be going over the Massif Centrale and a short detour up some lump called Mont Ventoux en route. The problem I have is which bike to use. I have a choice of carbon road bike, very comfy and this year used to good effect riding Dover to Cape Wrath (except the Cape Wrath bit). Pretty light with compact chainset (50/34) and 12-30 cassette. The second choice is my audax/tourer. Steel 631 frame with triple (48/36/24) and 12-32 cassette. Heavier but just as comfy to ride.

Will I need the extra low gears or would the compact be enough? I could, at a pinch, fit a 12-32 cassette on the CF bike. No need for a postcard. This forum will do for answers

Re: Kyrgyzstan blog-post

30 December 2014 - 4:23pm
Excellent blog.
Well put together, informative and of great interest to me, since I hope to be in that area next May/June

Matt

Re: Brittany - the draining of the Lac de Gueledan

30 December 2014 - 12:03pm
quilkin wrote:MrsHJ wrote:What's the purpose of draining the lake?- aha, just read your link, mechanical repairs.
Apparently it's done every 40 years. I was cycling in Brittany during a very hot August in 1975 and saw this big lake on the map. Ideal for a swim, so I thought, so off I went 20 miles to get to it. You can imagine my feelings when I saw it empty

In theory this will be the last time as they will be installing equipment that will allow the turbines to be maintained without draining the lake as the effect on local water supplies etc causes considerable difficulties.

Re: titanium rack - anyone used one?

30 December 2014 - 11:36am
gplhl wrote:As for weight, touring's not a race. )


You don't say! However that doesn't mean you have to lug around 40kg's of kit - everyone can get some benefit from lighter stuff - if its up to the job which of course it isn't always!

Spending less on kit doesn't give me more time to ride which i'm sure is true for many on here, spending more might make what time we have more enjoyable. Personally i only became interested in how much stuff weighed when i started flying with the bike - a 500 gram saving with a Ti rack (in combination with other stuff of course) could easily save me £60 on a return flight - not just once but many times.

Now if we could just convince Tubus to make a Ti front rack.....

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