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Updated: 41 min 51 sec ago

Re: National Cycle Route 7.

20 October 2015 - 8:00pm
Great, I'll leave it until late Spring then.

I'm not too fond of wild camping. Does anyone have any recommendations on cheap B&B's?

Re: New Zealand Tour

20 October 2015 - 7:49pm
mullinsm wrote:As the nights draw in I'm finding that I'm pining for long days on the bike and don't think I can wait 'till next spring and summer in France to experience the satisfaction of a long tour, so I'm looking at the "swallow option" of flying south.

Singapore airlines will take me from Heathrow to Christchurch for about £1,1000 at the end of January, so I'm thinking of 15 days (probably 10 or 11 cycling when you take off the travelling and jet-lag) around South Island. Does anybody have any suggestions for a route of around 800 miles? I'll be on a road bike so need to avoid gravel roads and tracks. I don't mind a few hills, but would prefer a few days on the flat to get my legs in first and I'm looking to camp wherever possible to keep the cost down and the freedom up.

Anybody with any ideas, suggestions or experience of a similar trip. ?

Is that a price for a return ticket?

Re: Cycle touring insurance

20 October 2015 - 7:28pm
What we need on this thread is a positive comment from someone who made a successful claim.

I have never seen one and so do not bother with insurance on my tours.
I know there have been claims made but they always appear accompanied by hassle and arguments and partial compensation.

Someone please prove me wrong.

Re: 2 weeks cycling hollidays with 4 kids in Europe

20 October 2015 - 6:18pm
Holland, for scenery, good food, majority of people speak some English and are friendly, great cakes and ALL ages of people cycle because the cycle paths and roads are cycle friendly and safe. We are doing a one week tour there in May 2016 after 3 holidays there when we have cycled on day trips

Re: Trip report - Faro to Porto

20 October 2015 - 3:55pm
I really can't say which train company they were. One was a very long slow journey, about 6 hours in a stop everywhere old train. The other was a very modern train that took us into Lisbon main station. We did not pay on that one and got caught out. Details in my blog.
I never paid for the bikes on the Metro.

Re: Cycle touring insurance

20 October 2015 - 3:48pm
BeeKeeper wrote:pwa wrote:Tesco travel insurance covers you when you are cycling as transport, but not racing. I read it carefully and it is pretty clear on that point. So my interpretation is that it covers touring. I'm not sure which countries it is valid for.
The only way to be sure is to ask them. The underwriters might consider cycling as trips to the shops, not knocking off fifty plus miles a day. On the policy I had there was a specific daily mileage limit, but it wasn't something that leapt out at you from the documents.

I did read the relevant details carefully before using Tesco. I'm not recommending Tesco specifically, just pointing out that bog standard travel insurance can provide cover. But yes, if in doubt give them a call to clarify.

Re: Trip report - Faro to Porto

20 October 2015 - 3:37pm
bigjim wrote:Last October we just wheeled our bikes onto trains ond nobody said a thing. We also took them on the Metro in Porto and Lisbon. For the bus we wrapped them in clingfilm and the driver took them on problem. At Lisbon bus station the ticket clerk said we could not take them. We went to inquiries and asked. We were told it was no problem. She phoned the driver and told him to expect the bikes. We just then went back to the ticket counter and bought two tickets not mentioning the bikes.
Onto an Alfa Pendular or Intercidade? That would be interesting.

You can indeed just wheel your bikes onto the metro in Porto and Lisbon, and all rail services other than AP and IC. Though, at least last time I was there, there can be a charge, and I have been fined for not paying it when I decided to risk it as the queue was too long to pay it the proper way and the train was leaving.

Useful information about the bus services. I got no further than the ticket office saying "no".

Re: CTC Poly Bike Bag and Easyjet Questions

20 October 2015 - 3:12pm
I have used the clingfilm method.

AirAsia Saigon to Bangkok, no problem. Then Emirates to UK. They weren't happy and said it was inadequate. I argued that last time I flew with no wrapping, they told me to get it wrapped at bag wrapping. They let me fly.

Unfortunately domestic clingfilm isn't really up to the job and punctures, comes undone, etc. Some of that commercial stuff would do the job, but is much heavier. By chance I was looking at a roll of it only a few hours ago.

Re: Cycle touring insurance

20 October 2015 - 3:06pm
Yes it's always worth checking with the underwriters or at least read the details of the policy wording. I checked with the underwriters for the policy we offer, they called the insurers and confirmed touring is covered. Benefits of sitting next to them though I suppose!

Re: CTC Poly Bike Bag and Easyjet Questions

20 October 2015 - 2:00pm
I thought I'd add to this thread in case it proves useful to anyone
I was using my 1.9 kg unpadded fabric bike bag (£20 from fleabay) as a "floor" to my tent porch area, got chatting to a guy in Siena who had just got back from the supermarket with 5 euros worth of value cling film, his plan was to "wrap" the whole bike at the airport for the flight home, said he's done it a few times without any issues, It's probably a well know way of travelling without a bike bag, but was new to me and seem'd like quite a good idea.

Re: Cycle touring insurance

20 October 2015 - 1:08pm
pwa wrote:Tesco travel insurance covers you when you are cycling as transport, but not racing. I read it carefully and it is pretty clear on that point. So my interpretation is that it covers touring. I'm not sure which countries it is valid for.
The only way to be sure is to ask them. The underwriters might consider cycling as trips to the shops, not knocking off fifty plus miles a day. On the policy I had there was a specific daily mileage limit, but it wasn't something that leapt out at you from the documents.

Re: Trip report - Faro to Porto

20 October 2015 - 12:59pm
Last October we just wheeled our bikes onto trains ond nobody said a thing. We also took them on the Metro in Porto and Lisbon. For the bus we wrapped them in clingfilm and the driver took them on problem. At Lisbon bus station the ticket clerk said we could not take them. We went to inquiries and asked. We were told it was no problem. She phoned the driver and told him to expect the bikes. We just then went back to the ticket counter and bought two tickets not mentioning the bikes.

Re: Cycle touring insurance

20 October 2015 - 12:37pm
Tesco travel insurance covers you when you are cycling as transport, but not racing. I read it carefully and it is pretty clear on that point. So my interpretation is that it covers touring. I'm not sure which countries it is valid for.

Re: 2 weeks cycling hollidays with 4 kids in Europe

20 October 2015 - 12:34pm
Thanks to this thread we have decided to squeeze an extra week in to do the St Malo to Roscoff trip on that link!

Not camping though, we have two beautiful tents and usually camp for a couple of months a year but they are heavy (a DeWaard and a Tentipi) and there is no way that we want to add a similar quality biking tent to our stash right now. It would involve new sleeping mats and bags as well as a tent. So we are going to stay in B&Bs instead in 2016.

Brittany Ferries don't have a problem with the tandem which is a relief as we have only had it a month and are completely new to taking it anywhere, we haven't bought a rack yet so our rides are all from home. We just pay for three bikes for three people. Shame the winter is approaching really, mind you it is going for a respray in the worst months.

Re: Cycle touring insurance

20 October 2015 - 12:30pm
The company is called JS Insurance. Came up on a Google search. I've had a bit of correspondence with them and they've been quick to respond. There's £100 excess on a few bits of the policy which I can live with. I'm hoping that this policy is the only thing I've bought for this tour that I don't use

Re: Cycle touring insurance

20 October 2015 - 11:55am
b1ke wrote:I contacted the company and they've added a cycle touring endorsement to the policy.
That's good news. The devil is in the fine print with all policies. Can you say who you are with?

Re: Cycle touring insurance

20 October 2015 - 10:53am
I contacted the company and they've added a cycle touring endorsement to the policy.

Re: Trip report - Faro to Porto

20 October 2015 - 9:59am
BeeKeeper wrote:Then I found there is a train linking Porto to Faro.
But what are you going to do with the bike? Although it is theoretically permitted to take bicycles on long distance trains, you will probably in practice find it impossible. There are aeroplanes from Porto to Faro, which may be more feasible.

On the Alfa Pendular trains, which includes the direct Porto-Faro train, the rule is:

Bikes can be transported so long as they are disassembled and properly packed as luggage that is no larger than fits in the luggage rack or under the seats, the space corresponding to the seats you have the right to, maximum one piece of luggage per person. - See more at: https://www.cp.pt/passageiros/en/passen ... 9l4NK.dpuf

The Portuguese are evidently a people who know how to say "no" while appearing to say "yes".

On the Intercidade trains, which includes some occasional slower trains from Porto to Lisboa, and many of the Lisboa to Algarve trains, we have the slightly more promising general rule

Bike transport is limited to the availability of the spaces - seats 15 and 17 in the 2nd class carriages. If these seats are not available only bikes that are disassembled and packed as luggage - See more at: https://www.cp.pt/passageiros/en/passen ... 9l4NK.dpuf

But then when we look at some specific intercidade trains, including the Lisboa to Algarve trains, it's as bad as the Alfa pendular

Beira Alta, Alentejo and Southern line Intercidades - Bikes can be transported so long as they are disassembled and properly packed as luggage that is no larger than fits in the luggage rack or under the seats, the space corresponding to the seats you ave the right to, maximum one piece of luggage per person - See more at: https://www.cp.pt/passageiros/en/passen ... 9l4NK.dpuf

It is straightforward and easy to take your bicycle on local commuter services around Porto and Lisboa, (which can go as far as 100km from town) and on some slow local trains here and there. But basically if you assume it is close to impossible on the long distance services, then you aren't far wrong. Long distance buses won't take your bikes either, unless you similarly disassemble and box them so that it is just unidentifiable luggage, and even then you might find that they just won't take you if you have a lot of luggage - it's the kind of country where someone might try to take a fridge home on the bus, and they clearly have to prevent that, resulting in some rather strict rules on luggage.

Re: New Zealand Tour

20 October 2015 - 9:36am
mullinsm wrote:I'll be on a road bike so need to avoid gravel roads and tracks.
You are missing many of the best bits then.

You don't really get all around the S island in 800 miles. It's 530 miles from Blenheim to Invercargill, straight down the east coast. Ruairidh has described a tour which omits the north, the far south, and also the poplar detour to Milford Sound, and through such omissions may well come in at 800 miles. But it isn't difficult to take a bus if you need to make up some ground. I took transport on 3 occasions during my own 3 week tour of the S Island, just to cover some less interesting long bits.

I don't know how fit you are, but you may find 80 miles a day in NZ hard work, at least if you do it every day. I remember doing some 80 mile days on tarmac, and they were not what I'd want to do every day, and I was young and fit in those days. In particular, it is often very windy in NZ; in the mountains and on the west coast it's often very wet too; and in the deep interior and the NE, where they make all that wine, it's often very hot (the interior of Otago, around Cromwell, is the hottest region of NZ in the summer, they grow stone fruit there too). You will find, though, that for all those big mountains it is not actually very hilly cycling - the roads tend to go gradually up big hills, but not so often steeply up and down lots of little hills, as in the north island, which is actually harder cycling, though there are some local exceptions.

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