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Updated: 52 min 57 sec ago

Re: Basic Pannier Advice

10 April 2015 - 3:13pm
SJS has been selling them for some time, and seems like many people are buying them. I dont think they are very big - 30l the two of them. I doubt they ware water proof but u can put stuff in plastic bags?

Basic Pannier Advice

10 April 2015 - 3:02pm
My Burley Trailer is no more and I am about to do a week long trip with back panniers. I am tentative about this as the trailer always worked well for me. I'm opting for panniers a) the cost and b) don't need all the space this time around as I am on a B&B circuit.
Seems like I can get a pair for £10-20. I don't need fancy and I don't need them to last a lifetime - do I pick a pair and hope for the best, or is there more to it that I am missing?
I appreciate you only get what you pay for, but at this point I am mainly concerned as to a bad decision impacting my cycling.
Looking at these in the first instance.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/PANNIER-BAG-S ... 8130&rt=nc

Many thanks
Helen

Re: Front rack Advice

10 April 2015 - 2:42pm
rannochraider wrote:Plus one for the Surly. Bomproof and offers a variety of heights as well as a solid over wheel platform for over wheel rack bag or case of budweisser . Looks cool as well. Never seen such a well engineered rack. I'll bet the used re sale values are high too.
Buy crap, buy twice.
Buy Surly - buy something useful next time!

Re: Mosquitos/Midges be afraid be very afraid Armageddon

10 April 2015 - 2:32pm
They don't like me

Re: Mosquitos/Midges be afraid be very afraid Armageddon

10 April 2015 - 2:23pm
This^ . Try and find a site exposed to wind and avoid picturesque spots near trees and/or water. Burning a moskil coil by your tent in the evening is very effective at keeping the little blighters at bay, too. They are readily for sale in the highlands.

Re: Mosquitos/Midges be afraid be very afraid Armageddon

10 April 2015 - 1:02pm
DarkNewt wrote:
avoiding watery/wet places to camp (difficult on the coast I reckon)


Try camping right by the sea if you can (just above high-water level would be ideal). This will be possible in many more remote areas of Scotland, and on some commercial campsites. Midges like fresh water, not salt, and on the shore there is sometimes a slight breeze even on a still evening - and even a little wind will reduce or stop midge attacks.

Cheers
John

Re: Mosquitos/Midges be afraid be very afraid Armageddon

10 April 2015 - 12:59pm
dakari-mane wrote:Ah balls. Am planning on going up the west coast of Scotland in the last week of May.

As my preferred cycling attire is shorts & a t-shirt, with my bed being a bivi, it now looks like I'll need to procure an NBC suit.

Disgruntled

thats my preferred cycling attire too - cycle and shorts not NBC suit

Re: Mosquitos/Midges be afraid be very afraid Armageddon

10 April 2015 - 12:48pm
Ah balls. Am planning on going up the west coast of Scotland in the last week of May.

As my preferred cycling attire is shorts & a t-shirt, with my bed being a bivi, it now looks like I'll need to procure an NBC suit.

Disgruntled

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

10 April 2015 - 11:43am
Vorpal wrote:I have taken an unpacked bicycle on the Stansted express. I asked, and they were quite nice about it (perhaps exercising discretion), but their policy states that bicycles must be packed in a bag or box and carried as luggage.
This was true when National Express ran Stansted Express. But now it is run by Dutch cycle-friendly Abellio instead. "Abellio Greater Anglia has committed to a significant programme of investment in cycle facilities across its network, and champions the cause of cycling as a sustainable means to access the railway." Notice, carefully drafted to exclude mention of actually carrying bikes on trains.

The actual policy statements I can find are:
(1) On the Abellio Greater Anglia site:
"Only fully folded bikes that have been flat packed in preparation for air travel can be carried on Stansted Express services at any time."

(2) On the Stansted Express site:
"Please note, large non-folding bikes are not permitted."

Which suggests that they won't carry a full-size bicycle even flat-packed in a box. But your experience, no doubt on one of those utterly empty trains I usually find, is that they can be flexible about it.

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

10 April 2015 - 11:34am
mjr wrote:iviehoff wrote:Since it is now illegal to cycle on the A120 in the immediate vicinity of Stansted, you have to use Dunmow Rd to Takeley and then Parsonage Road to the airport[...]But unfortunately the major M11 junction is not avoidable by any practical route.
Why is the route via Birchanger and NCR16 over the M11, then the cycleway alongside Long Border Road not practical?

Only because I'm unaware of it, and because you can only see the cycle lane connection from the track over the motorway to Long Border Road on the satellite photo, not the map.

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

10 April 2015 - 9:13am
simonhill wrote:I'm sure you can check your luggage all the way through. Just buy your ticket to France not UK.

No, you'll have to collect at Heathrow as there is no way to separate inter-EU baggage from international baggage on the onward flight so it can be handled differently for customs purposes in Paris. And as the baggage hall is after immigration at Heathrow.......

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

10 April 2015 - 9:13am
+1 either for:

CDG (whichever airline works best) +TGV

Or Gatwick+train to Ports mouth and ferry.(although BA flies into Heathrow from Seattle- I've flown that route before but without bike). IF the Heathrow express takes bikes you could easily cycle from Paddington station to Waterloo station which is about 3 miles. of course you could cycle from Heathrow to Waterloo and no doubt someone else can advise on routes as it's very built up around there.

TGV trains vary so call the SNCF people (there's a number for Picadilly in London and I'm sure others). TGV does take full size bikes on some/many services but the numbers are limited. Eg I think sometimes it's only 2bikes per train so well worth booking properly in advance which you must do any way and it's 10 euros per bike.

I'm sure the Gatwick/Portsmouth trains have changed since I took them but theybalways had a guards van for the bikes when I travelled!

Bikes on Ferrys are very easy and Brittany Ferries Does the Portmouth St Malo route- don't know if anyone else does. St Malo is a nice place to get the ferry into, I've done it a few times each way with the bike.

http://www.heathrowairport.com/commuter ... -transport Ps South west trains which is mentioned runs into Portsmouth

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

10 April 2015 - 8:39am
It's only 100k from Heathrow to Portsmouth. A night in an hotel in say Staines, a good sized bike ride to Portsmouth, then an overnight ferry...

Re: Cycling from Suffolk to Paris

10 April 2015 - 8:34am
It could be a lot of ferries. Felixstowe over theDeben, Orwell to Harwich, Harwich to hook... Could be fun!

Re: Cycling from Suffolk to Paris

10 April 2015 - 8:23am
You could get the ferry from Harwich to the hook then head south - I think the Breskins ferry into Belgium is still running for cyclists and foot passengers.
Personally I would take the Gravesend ferry route - and cycle to Dover. There are some relatively quiet routes North of the A2 - although you would have to navigate the Medway towns.
The Dover ferry crossing is much shorter than from Harwich - and probably cheaper. OTOH a cabin on a night crossing from Harwich would leave you in a good position for the start of a tour - and you have some good cycle paths to start with.
Have a nice trip.

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

10 April 2015 - 8:16am
I'm sure you can check your luggage all the way through. Just buy your ticket to France not UK.

Not sure about immigration. You may have to clear in UK or wait till France. As France is Schengen and UK not, there must be provision for in transit transfer. This sort of thing is nothing unusual. I fly through Dubai regularly and just stay in transit.

Also recently flew internationallly into Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur with connecting internal flights.. Cleared immi inside airport in transit and luggage was booked through. It was identified at my final (internal) airport where there was a Customs Officer to clear it.

Re: Front rack Advice

10 April 2015 - 8:10am
I've found Tortec fine. I generally do light touring but I have done camping tours - with a light tent and not with cooking equipment.
Obviously there are stronger racks but they would be over engineered for my purposes.

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

10 April 2015 - 7:15am
Pete Jack wrote:Can I get a flight to CDG from LHR?

Yes, regular BA flights leave from the same terminal.

Re: Front rack Advice

10 April 2015 - 12:35am
Plus one for the Surly. Bomproof and offers a variety of heights as well as a solid over wheel platform for over wheel rack bag or case of budweisser . Looks cool as well. Never seen such a well engineered rack. I'll bet the used re sale values are high too.
Buy crap, buy twice.

Re: Dilema - mud-guards or wider tyres

10 April 2015 - 12:31am
I too world take mudguards if there was a good chance of wet weather.

However, I’d splurge on a pair of properly supple 23 mm tyres. Perhaps something like the Vittoria Open Corsa. Supple tyres make a big difference in comfort compared to tyres designed for puncture resistance or low cost. The 23 mm Durano Plus weighs 340 g. A lightweight tyre may feel radically smoother on coarse tarmac. You would be more likely to get a puncture, but I’d gladly run that risk.

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