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Updated: 1 hour 34 min ago

Re: St Malo to Narbonne

26 December 2014 - 1:13pm
We cycle-camped from Somerset to Narbonne last June, via Caen (port of Ouisterham). We had a great time, despite the weather, which was pretty wet and chilly at times.

I kept a journal, and the link is here, if you are interested:-

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=S ... 13782&v=Jc

Good luck, and enjoy your adventure.

Brian & Annie

Re: Jan to May Riding?

26 December 2014 - 12:33pm
Hi,

Having delayed booking my flights and subsequently seen them shoot up over the last few days, I've now had to change my plans to another destination (limited budget). I've today booked cheap flights into Lanzarote and out of Fuerteventura, with the intention of catching the ferry a few days in and island hopping, before flying out of Fuerteventura.

I am hoping to camp the entire route, so would love to hear if anyone has been successful in doing this trip before and if anyone has recommended routes throughout?

Thank you

Re: Cycle Touring in Japan

25 December 2014 - 10:52pm
Great write up, thanks for taking the time. It's a country I'd love to tour.

Re: TOURING 2015

25 December 2014 - 2:46pm
I'm toying with the idea of a camping tour of the north of England with my wife and 16 year old daughter in August. A few years ago we did "the Way of the Roses" and liked it, so I'm thinking of a sort of double sea to sea circular tour taking in Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cumbria, etc. Obviously lots of hills, but I would want to build in flatter sections for variety. Any recommendations?

Re: Favourite country?

25 December 2014 - 10:26am
And the winner is the UK with 3 votes, followed by France Germany and Cuba all with 2 votes. We are cycling through Laos at the moment, but despite the beautiful scenery warm temperatures and the sunshine we are missing the UK.
http://www.cycling-nomads.com/

Re: Cycle Touring in Japan

25 December 2014 - 10:17am
We loved Japan our favorite country so far. I learnt a bit of basic Japanese as particularily in the North it is rare to meet anyone speaking any English. We cycled from Hokkaido down to the western
tip of Honshu in just over 2 months starting at the end of August. We camped most of the time. You need to pick your eason carefully because the summer is hot and very humid. It was getting cold in the mountains already at the end of October. http://www.cycling-nomads.com/japan-is-number-one/

Re: A few photo's from Kyrgyzstan

25 December 2014 - 8:18am
Very impressive and inspiring!

Re: A few photo's from Kyrgyzstan

25 December 2014 - 2:48am
matt2matt2002 wrote:Great pictures.
I hope to do the Pamir Highway next summer.
Any tips?
Any blog I can read on your trip?
Thanks
Matt

Hi Matt and a merry chrimbo.

I backed out from riding the Pamir due to time of year, my next blog-post explains all - it’s at http://www.wallisonwheels.net. I’ll certainly return there for a 2-3 week trip in 2016 but with suspension forks fitted on my bike.

(I’m presently in Vientian, Laos capital. Due to visa time constraint through China I’m now a country behind my normal writing so presently drafting the post about Kyrgyzstan, should be ready in a day or two – enjoy.


Graham wrote:Impressive !

PS. Is Sary Tash as bad as others report it to be ??

I called it Scary Trash, It’s hardly the place for a pub-crawl or honey moon as there’s little there, just a ram-shackle of homes and tin sheds! but the surrounding scenery is obviously awesome, I waited a day there for the Chinese borders to re-open as they’d been closed for 9 days so was rather lucky timing for me.

Re: North to south of france ?

24 December 2014 - 11:27pm
I've ridden up and down France a few times, and the campsites will all be shut in winter. Yes, you can wild camp; so long as you follow the wild camping 'rules' and remember it's not the same as 'camping in the wild'. It's actually easier in winter, as there are fewer people wandering about. If you've never wild camped before, then I'm not sure winter is the best time to learn. Although desperation is a good motivator for learning

I've done a few winter tours (Scotland and Norway) with more challenging weather than France. Lack of day light is not such a big deal, but a dynamo light is common sense (rather than battery power). Lack of daylight does mean you won't see anything a lot of the time, which does get a bit monotinous. Though it depends on your motivation for the trip.

The main thing to try and combat is being wet and sleeping out, which means cold; you'll either get rained on, or sweat build-up during the day. This means you'll probably end up with a wet sleeping bag, after a day or so, and if you're panniers are Ortleibs then you're wet clothes will make everything else wet. Comfort and morale-wise, keeping your hands and feet warm will make things seem better. Fashioning some sort of equivilent to bar-muffs (we use them on the motorbikes) is a good idea; waterproof gloves always tend to get damp inside. I use large over-mitts, but they were expensive. also, a synthetic sleeping bag rather than a down sleeping bag.

I'd suggest going out near to home for a couple of nights first, just to see what it's like sleeping out in winter. it's not for everyone... You might also want to look for hostels, perhaps every second night in a hostel to dry out and warm up? Trains in France are easy with a bike too, if you wanted to skip to somewhere further south.

Make sure you understand your tent and condensation in cold weather. This is a whole minefield of trial and error. For winter nights out, after many cold and wet experiments, I use a waterproof bivvy bag with the addition of a tent outer (single walled, no ground sheet) if it's wet/sub-zero. The driving force for this is simply my attempts to keep the sleeping bag dry (Hillebeg Akto inner suffers from condensation).

suggestions:

one set of clothes for cycling in, assume these will be wet most of the time so choose accordingly.
think how to avoid getting the sleeping bag, and contents of panniers, wet; maybe practice nights out.
download McDonalds locations to your GPS (if you take one), as they have excellent facilities (heat/toilets/wifi/power/coffee) in France.
a strong headlight, powered by a dynamo (doesn't have to be super-expensive).
reflective hi-viz vest is required in France.
think about either bar-muffs or large plastic over-mitts; waterproof gloves that tend to capture sweat will not dry-out overnight.
fire is a no, no. use a small camp stove.

there's a great sense of achievement in winter touring, particularly with camping/sleeping out. if you can survive/enjoy winter touring, then summer touring becomes a breeze and you'll find you need much less kit. I also find that I meet some quite interesting people in winter, out on the road.

Re: A few photo's from Kyrgyzstan

24 December 2014 - 10:55pm
Impressive !

PS. Is Sary Tash as bad as others report it to be ??

Re: titanium rack - anyone used one?

24 December 2014 - 10:25pm
Treated myself to one from rosebikes. If you register first you get £10 off your first order so cost £76 with shipping
Happy Xmas to me
PS: don't tell the wife

Re: TOURING 2015

24 December 2014 - 10:13pm
tim_f wrote:Done a similar camping trip from St Malo to Nice inspired by the same Cycle Skedale holiday that was basis for this book. It is an excellent trip, great sense of satisfaction on cycling over Mount Ventoux.

Ah, thanks, Tim. I've just been booking part of next summer's trip to France with my wife - sadly, not a cyclist - which takes us via Portsmouth - St. Malo, and then down the west side of France. Now to see whether I can sort out a bit of a bike ride later in the summer I've done Ventoux a couple of times, and would love to go again, this time up from Bedoin - you've just added to the sense of anticipation

Re: A few photo's from Kyrgyzstan

24 December 2014 - 10:01pm
Great pictures.
I hope to do the Pamir Highway next summer.
Any tips?
Any blog I can read on your trip?
Thanks
Matt

Re: TOURING 2015

24 December 2014 - 9:53pm
Ray wrote:geocycle wrote:France for me, something loosely based on France en velo route time permitting. Btw if anyone has this route on gpx I'd be grateful. The guide is beautiful and ideal for wet Sunday reading in December. Looks like the route will be St Malo South to Cevennes then head east via Arles to Nice.

I've seen the book in the shops, but never examined it, assuming it was 'just another book about cycling in France'. Just had a quick google, and it looks good - I've put it on my late Xmas presents list!

Maybe some or all of it in 2015?

Done a similar camping trip from St Malo to Nice inspired by the same Cycle Skedale holiday that was basis for this book. It is an excellent trip, great sense of satisfaction on cycling over Mount Ventoux.

Re: titanium rack - anyone used one?

24 December 2014 - 9:12pm
I have an Tubus airey rack. it is stiff looks good and has no paint to get scratched abd resists been warn down by panniers rubbing.
Makes me happy when I look at it. If I was rational I would have an aluminum one from tourtec, you will not be surprised that I have it fitted to one of my titanium bikes.

It could have been designed with more thought the cross member stops a Ortlieb pannier hook fitting at the front end of rails. Not sure if later batches have sorted this. Blurb says best with small panniers but I find it works fine with full size Ortlieb even when pushed far back for heel clearance when used on bike with shortish chainstays.

Re: North to south of france ?

24 December 2014 - 7:46pm
Lack of daylight will be a factor in winter, it will mean spending longish hours in the tent reading or whatever. If wild camping the light escaping from the tent might attract unwanted attention unless the tent is well hidden.

Poor weather goes without saying at that time of year.

But if you want to try it, and assuming your plan was to fly back I would recommend flying out first, ditching the bike packaging, then cycle back for the ferry.

But if you want some winter cycling in better weather the Canary Islands might be a better bet!

Re: titanium rack - anyone used one?

24 December 2014 - 7:40pm
I replaced my Tubus Logo with an Airy ti rack earlier this year as I'm doing more audax than camping these days and I found one at a very good price. It works fine but altho my bike feels slightly lighter when I lift it I'm afraid it makes no practical difference. I'm not sure that it was money well spent!

Re: titanium rack - anyone used one?

24 December 2014 - 6:43pm
Carradice saddlebag/barbag would work well.

Re: titanium rack - anyone used one?

24 December 2014 - 6:24pm
All Tubus racks are lovely, but my initial reaction is why have a rack for CC touring? Plenty of other lighter options.

Re: titanium rack - anyone used one?

24 December 2014 - 6:16pm
We have a Tubus Logo Titan, and are very pleased with it. Not cheap, but worth it for us because its compact size and light weight make it better for packing our S&S tandem rig for transatlantic air travel.

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