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Updated: 40 min 33 sec ago

Re: Dilema - mud-guards or wider tyres

8 April 2015 - 10:35pm
Hiya,

probably not amazingly useful to your situation, but I ran 700x38c tyres on my hybrid bike for touring and recently built a new bike intending to go for thinner tyres as I insist on full mudguards with flaps. They save me and save my bike from all the crap and rain etc. I wouldn't go long distance without mudguards it's as simple as that, well I decided to do an experiment I went from 700 x 38c right down to 700 x 28c and i am a fully loaded tourer, I felt just as stable, rolled faster and still had my mudguards..

I would say whatever it takes but keep your mudguards!

Re: How do I get to St Malo from US?

8 April 2015 - 9:59pm
I think the easiest option would be a flight to Charles de Gaulle followed by the train. The train station is right in the airport and there are direct high-speed trains from CDG to Rennes which accept bikes for a 10 euro fee. Journey time to Rennes is about 3 hours, you then get a local (called TER) train on to Saint Malo in about 45 minutes (they are quite regular and bikes are free, no reservation required).

If you book well in advance, tickets will only cost about 35 euros per person plus 10 euros per bike.

I'd recommend booking on https://www.capitainetrain.com - ticket prices are the same as the 'official' SNCF website but it's in English and it's possible to book spaces for the bikes on the TGV. You get a booking reference which you just need to enter into a machine at the station to print your tickets, no credit cards involved.

Re: Would this bike be a suitable entry level tourer

8 April 2015 - 9:48pm
> Well, I hope you find the suspension worth while. I personally think it's probably a waste of time on that bike and for touring in general, but if it helps your neck problem, then good on you.
> One thing I'm pretty certain on and that is if this bike is your first or even second bike, and whilst you think you know what you want now, after a bit of experience riding the bike, you'll almost undoubtedly start to think of improvements required in the next bike
> This is why buying your first few bikes second hand can end up saving you loadsa money as you find out what really meets your needs.
> Anyway, enjoy the bike and maybe in say 6 months time, you could update this post with how you found it in terms of meeting your needs?

Re: Would this bike be a suitable entry level tourer

8 April 2015 - 9:30pm
dakari-mane wrote:
Nothing wrong with hybrids as tourers. Also dirt cheap to pick up.

Agree totally i have a ridgeback adventure.

Re: How do I get to St Malo from US?

8 April 2015 - 9:10pm
Heltor Chasca wrote: In the past I have caught a ferry from Weymouth to St Malo in the Summer.

Unfortunately this route is no longer possible, but you can go from Poole instead. This would have been with Condor Ferries on their Channel Islands - St. Malo service. Their latest boat is too large for Weymouth and no-one wanted to pay to upgrade the harbour facilities.

Getting from Poole to St. Malo may mean a stop in Guernsey or Jersey, no bad thing in itself but does make the journey longer.

Re: Wild camping in England ???

8 April 2015 - 8:49pm
I recall in my youth doing quite a bit of camping in odd places in England. Often neither "wild" nor "stealthy". Quiet and wide roadside verges, edge of a cricket pitch, nice flat bit just off a golf course, and once on a nice big grassy roundabout. I don't recall being complained about at all. (Except in Ireland: which is a different story). Camp late, leave early, leave nothing behind!

Re: How do I get to St Malo from US?

8 April 2015 - 8:43pm
There is a ferry from Portsmouth to St Malo.
My copy of European Rail (and ferry) Timetable (formerly produced by Thomas Cook) doesn't show any ferries from Weymouth now.

There is a small airport at Dinard which is very near to St Malo. You would need to research how to fly there from UK. There might not be flights from Heathrow. Your suggestion of going via Paris seems more likely.

Re: Dilema - mud-guards or wider tyres

8 April 2015 - 8:40pm
I may be unusual but i couldn't tell the difference between 23mm and 25mm gatorskins. I would stick with the mudguards as doing without them will make a very noticeable difference if the weather is at all wet

Re: How do I get to St Malo from US?

8 April 2015 - 8:20pm
Hi Pete. If My memory serves me right: In the past I have caught a ferry from Weymouth to St Malo in the Summer. Weymouth isn't a million miles from LHR. I would imagine you can train it via various stops. OR If you fancy driving 'with a stick' hire a small van and do a one way hire from LHR to Weymouth. I don't think any of the coaches take bikes.

I am about 2 hours inland of Weymouth, near Bath. I could pick you guys up from the train station. You are welcome to camp in my garden. Bell tent and wood burner?

How do I get to St Malo from US?

8 April 2015 - 7:36pm
We would like to do the France En Velo route later in the year, September, say. Here's my challenge: what's the best way to get to St Malo from the US? Fly to LHR or Orly or De Gaulle? Then take trains or what? Is there an airport anywhere near St Malo? There is a ferry from Plymouth to St Malo. I've taken a bike to LHR before and it was a pain getting anywhere from there. Anybody tell me how to get two of us with bikes and paniers from LHR to Plymouth please? We could return from Paris perhaps. Trouble is I'll be with the Mrs and it all HAS to go relatively smoothly.

Re: Has technology changed touring?

8 April 2015 - 7:09pm
The interweb is a mixed blessing. Sometimes the planning gets in the way of the doing.

Re: maps for the west of USA

8 April 2015 - 7:03pm
irc wrote:Nigel Laverick wrote:Can anyone suggest good maps for the west of America - Arizona , Utah , Idaho , Oregon and the Pacific coast. I've costed the American adventure cycling maps but these seem very expensive. Thanks

They are not cheap but are great if you are on those routes. Otherwise I've found in the west that state level maps are usable as there are so few roads. Assuming you are sticking to mainly tarmac. For navigating any urban areas google map printouts are OK.

The state maps provide litle detail. A marked settlement can be anything from a few buildings to a small town big enough to have a gas station/store. I always carried a couple of days food when off Adventure Cycling maps in the west and kept my water bottles topped up whenever I could. Sound advice

Re: Has technology changed touring?

8 April 2015 - 6:31pm
Personally I think rather than kit (bikes/tents etc) where technology - for me, has changed things is in planning. My first proper tour (as opposed to taking the bike somewhere and doing day rides) was all about guide books, maps, sending faxes to make bookings and so on. Fifteen years later and I have an incredible amount of information at my finger tips, expert advice, booking in just a couple of clicks, expert advice etc, etc. It doesn't mean that I wouldn't have done similar trips without all this IT but I would have been less informed about stuff to see and places to stay.

Bike/equipment technology has affected the kit I/we use for touring, the bikes my parents/grandparents toured on were in their time changing how things were done with new fangled derailleurs instead of hub gears, more cycle specific clothing etc. We have a huge variety of bikes and gear to choose from now, far more than even ten years ago, but we don't need to embrace all the technology to make the trip. What does concern me is the degree that some kit is now considered by a very large percentage of people to be essential - I'm talking GPS devices here, why have we so many people who cannot read road signs, read a map, use basic navigation skills? Its not just cyclists of course. (how many threads on here are about GPS use/routes/charging?) I know people who use their 'satnav' to get to work - along the same route they've used for many years without the damn things. I'm not saying they aren't useful but the reliance on such bits of kit is ridiculous.

Maybe we should start a L'Eroica touring group? We could make up some silly rules about kit to be used and ensure the weather is always horrible (every tale from my parents of touring in the fifties involves some extreme of weather, full hostels, closed b&b's and distances my legs ache from just hearing about!).

the good stuff from my pov;
    wider range gearing
    improved quality of bike parts
    improved quality of camping gear
    better access to the above
    the interweb

These have all improved the touring experience and whilst I can't see much room for weight reduction, I'm sure the performance of materials, indeed new materials will continue to push the boundaries. In another twenty years we could have the same discussion and be lamenting the Goretex, the GPS units etc all of which will have been superceded!

Re: Cycling coast of Wales

8 April 2015 - 6:28pm
mcallaghan wrote:Go to RideWithGPS.com and 'plan' a route. Pull up Wales and view the OSM Cycle map. That highlights all the bike routes.

I am riding Chester to Bangor (the north coast) on NCN 5, which runs along the coast the whole way, so I would suggest that be your route of choice.

NCN5 doesn't run along the whole coast, it climbs a massive hill out of Bagilt up to the top of the Berwyn ridge (I think) then along ridge to Gronant then back to coast, even with the new Talacre extension you'd have about 6 miles of the coast road from Bagilt to Talacre (through Mostyn/Mostyn Dock/Fun ship/Abakhan stretch), this bit doesn't bother me but it freaks lots of people out - mostly the shoddy overtakes by caravanners being the problem.

Re: Cycling coast of Wales

8 April 2015 - 6:09pm
Go to RideWithGPS.com and 'plan' a route. Pull up Wales and view the OSM Cycle map. That highlights all the bike routes.

I am riding Chester to Bangor (the north coast) on NCN 5, which runs along the coast the whole way, so I would suggest that be your route of choice.

Re: Cycling coast of Wales

8 April 2015 - 4:46pm
Much of the North West & North Coast has a Sustrans traffic free route.
There are also several other sections in Mid & West Wales.
Have a look at the Sustrans web site to see details & download.
Enjoy your trip.

Re: maps for the west of USA

8 April 2015 - 3:23pm
Nigel Laverick wrote:Can anyone suggest good maps for the west of America - Arizona , Utah , Idaho , Oregon and the Pacific coast. I've costed the American adventure cycling maps but these seem very expensive. Thanks

They are not cheap but are great if you are on those routes. Otherwise I've found in the west that state level maps are usable as there are so few roads. Assuming you are sticking to mainly tarmac. For navigating any urban areas google map printouts are OK.

The state maps provide litle detail. A marked settlement can be anything from a few buildings to a small town big enough to have a gas station/store. I always carried a couple of days food when off Adventure Cycling maps in the west and kept my water bottles topped up whenever I could.

Re: Gloucester to west Wales - any suggestions

8 April 2015 - 3:15pm
From Gospel Pass I'd keep heading almost due west: Brecon, Llandovery, Prescelli Hills, Fishguard.
I'd recommend staying at the Royal Oak at Rhandirmwyn http://www.theroyaloakinn.co.uk/Site/welcome.html

Re: Trangia in USA

8 April 2015 - 1:28pm
Heet brand in yellow bottles are available at so many gas (petrol) stations and convenience stores.

Re: Wild camping in England ???

8 April 2015 - 1:16pm
Bicycler wrote:Personally, I have never felt any particular need for secrecy in the unfenced upland areas and that is where I do my wild camping. I think I'd always ask if wanting to camp in enclosed fields etc.

+1
I totally agree. In upland areas it's not difficult to find unfenced areas, both on the "tops" and a bit lower down along the sides of lanes and banks of streams. Arriving late, leaving early, making no mess.......and I've never been challenged. There always seems to be a "spot" somewhere.

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