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Re: Touring in Norway

28 May 2015 - 11:44am
Or ferry to Balestrand and take RV 13 north to FV610, take that west across to RV 57, and south on RV 57 using ferries, in a couple of spots. Then to the E39 Nordlandsbrua (which has a side path for cyclists) and then the coastal roads down to Bergen (there is one tunnel that doesn't allow cyclists, but there is also a signposted alternative). I haven't done that route, but if the OP isn't palnning to do the west coast otherwise, that might be a good way to get the flavour of it.

Re: Crossing the river Rance St Malo

28 May 2015 - 11:27am
I certainly wouldn't fancy trying to board the one on the right with my (always too heavily loaded) bike!! Although from what I read some of the ferries around the UK are often not much bigger.

Re: Touring in Norway

28 May 2015 - 11:05am
Vorpal wrote:I still think that the Numedal route is the best way up to the mountains. http://www.cyclingnorway.no/en/thenumedalcycleroute/2/
If you don't want to use Rallarvegen from there, either take the train, or cut back towards Ål and take route 50 to Aurland, then follow in reverse the route described above for Flåm to Aurland. There are some tunnels on that route. I believe that cycling is permitted in all of them. But I haven't done that route. I've only gone over Aurlandsfjell. That's what I was going to ask my colleague about. I'm certain, though that if you have any problems with the tunnels, there will be an alternative, like the bus, or an old road. For example, I'm sure that cycling is allowed in Geitryggtunnelen, but you can take the old road, instead, and even though it's longer, it's probably a nicer route.
Or Rallarvegen then ferry Flåm - Leikanger cycle west along Sognefjord take the ferry Dragsvik/Hella - Vangsnes and take the Rv13 over Vikafjellet to Voss... I haven't checked tunnels for that bit of Sognefjord.

Re: Touring in Norway

28 May 2015 - 10:53am
syklist wrote:I thought that that was my picture for a moment
You had a sunnier day

Re: Touring in Norway

28 May 2015 - 10:53am
I still think that the Numedal route is the best way up to the mountains. http://www.cyclingnorway.no/en/thenumedalcycleroute/2/
If you don't want to use Rallarvegen from there, either take the train, or cut back towards Ål and take route 50 to Aurland, then follow in reverse the route described above for Flåm to Aurland. There are some tunnels on that route. I believe that cycling is permitted in all of them. But I haven't done that route. I've only gone over Aurlandsfjell. That's what I was going to ask my colleague about. I'm certain, though that if you have any problems with the tunnels, there will be an alternative, like the bus, or an old road. For example, I'm sure that cycling is allowed in Geitryggtunnelen, but you can take the old road, instead, and even though it's longer, it's probably a nicer route.

Re: Road bike or mountain bike?

28 May 2015 - 10:38am
My experience was that a touring bike was 50% faster than a mtb.

The key issue is toughness; as a shakedown taking the weaker bike might help clear this up. That said tourers in general are tougher than road bikes so my experience may not be valid.

Re: Crossing the river Rance St Malo

28 May 2015 - 10:34am
6315128153_73ba0de64b_z.jpgShall we assume its the vessel on the left?!

Re: Touring in Norway

28 May 2015 - 10:34am
syklist wrote:You can cycle up over from Flåm to Lærdalsøyri, it is a big climb but nice apparently. From Lærdalsøyri you need to take a bus to the Manheller - Fodnes ferry and beyond. There are two tunnels, one on each side of the ferry both of which are closed to cyclists. The other alternatives are, as I mentioned earlier, to take the ferry Flåm - Leikanger, or cycle the E16/Rv52 to get somewhere else. Note that the E16/Rv52 is the busiest of the East/West routes. You can stay on quieter roads for most of the way between Lærdalsøyri and the junction with the Rv52.
That's a nice route. It is a big climb, but nice. And lots of cyclists do it.

There is Stegestein https://www.visitflam.com/en/sightseein ... viewpoint/ which is a nice spot for a rest. At the top of the steepest part.

To cycle from Flåm you have follow the little road from the quay towards Aurland, and you can pick up the cycle path that parallels the E16. Cyclists are allowed on this part of the E16, and there is a section of about 2 kilometres where the cycle track ends, and there is no place for cyclists to go, except the road. I would try to do this at a quiet time (10:00 am on Monday), and not on Friday or Sunday afternoon. However, I would say this section of the E16 is not too bad, as long as you avoid peak times. Even then, it's just a couple of kilometres, and I would say that most cyclists can cope, even if it's busy. Just before you get to Aurland, there will be a little brown signthat indicates cyclists should turn off. There is a tunnel after this that does not allow cyclists. From Aurland, you have to take FV243 Bjørgavegen. Just keep following the same road across the mountains. It's lovely and desolate up there. And a fairly quiet road. You can camp up there, but be aware that some years, the snow never goes. It's known in Norway as the 'Snøvegen' (translated snowroad). The snow only stays year round on the highest parts, so you can camp a bit lower if it's snowy on the tops, but it may not be much above freezing. I think it's worth riding though for the amazing landscape.

Edited to add: The E16 from Lærdalsøyri can partly be avoided by using parallel cycle tracks and FV (county) roads. However, there a couple of places where it cannot be avoided. I don't think that part of the E16 is too bad, though I would avoid it during peak times, and Friday and Sunday afternoon. Weekenders going to their cabins and things use the road, then, and traffic can be quite heavy. 10:00 - 15:00 on a weekday, or on a summer weekday evening is probably not too bad.

Re: Touring in Norway

28 May 2015 - 10:32am
I thought that that was my picture for a moment 2013_07_27_17-56-23_SP570UZ_P7270916.JPG

Re: Touring in Norway

28 May 2015 - 10:17am
Vorpal wrote:<snip>

In general, I would avoid 'E' roads in the south of Norway. North of Trondheim, they are probably okay (and may be unavoidable) Othwerwise thay are the busiest roads, and in the summer, also have lots of caravans and campers and things like that that people aren't used to driving on narrow roads
+1
The worst near misses I have had were on the E134 between Haukeli and Røldal. One was a flock of four campers on Italian plates on a winding uphill section of the road. The driver of the first camper obviously did not think that there would be cyclists on the road. The camper whizzed past me almost touching my handlebars as I was alongside a jagged rock wall. The second time was coming out of Røldal in the rain when a Russian registered articulated lorry came way too close despite there being no traffic coming in the opposite direction. If I had fallen over I would have rolled a long way down the 45' slope next to the road. Generally Norwegian drivers are better than tourists or other foreign drivers.

<snip>

Vorpal wrote:I would recommend taking the Flåmsbana up to Myrdal at least. The train ride is a little pricey, but rather impressive.
+1

Re: Road bike or mountain bike?

28 May 2015 - 10:16am
and an overnight trip before that to test things out.

Possibly two overnight trips are needed, one for each bike.

I would answer it depends on the style of your trip. If you are after covering a high mileage and want to travel at some speed take the road bike and cut the luggage even finer. If you want a slower, shorter trip with less haste take the MTB.

Even if the actual distance doesnt vary very greatly (15%), the bike suits the style of the trip.

Re: Touring in Norway

28 May 2015 - 8:57am
syklist wrote:There are two cycle routes to avoid the E16 between Bergen and Voss, one goes north of the E16 the other one goes south. One of them is described somewhere on the Cycletourer.co.uk website (the old Army Road??). There is another website with a travelogue of the other route IIRC but I cannot find it at the moment. These alternative routes add a couple of days to your trip.The E16 between Bergen and Voss is know as the "Road of Death" in Norway and is not fun in a car so not being able to cycle on it has to be seen as a plus.



As 'syklist' mentioned it is the Eksingadalen route and our write up is here. Although a longer route it is a lovely scenic route but there is a fair bit of climbing and it is a good pull up to the top of the Nesheimfjellset but it is certainly a much better alternative to the dreadful E16. Most people do it east to west and there used to be a local farmer who offered a taxi service with his tractor and trailer to take riders and bikes up to the top of the Nesheimfjellset from Tiesdal whether he still does this I don't know but the local tourist board would tell you or ask at the Mestad campsite.

Re: Touring in Norway

28 May 2015 - 8:12am
jakobpoffley wrote:I've had a new idea for my route through the south of norway. I thought instead of doing the Rallarsvegen east to west on the way to Bergen i could go on the section of the rallarsvegen from Voss to Flam after Bergen and go further south on the way to bergen. I thought i could do this by mainly following the E134 and going on smaller nearby roads when they are there. Looking at a map it looks like there are roads to go round all the tunnels that are forbidden for cyclists along the route but please let me know if that isn't true. I then though I could go north along the shore of Sorfjorden (I'm not sure whether to go on route 13 on east side or 550 on the west). I'd then follow Hardiangerfjorden till Norheimsund and then go along the smaller roads into Bergen.
Coming back out of Bergen looking at the tunnel map i can't avoid the tunnels on the E16 to Voss so i'd have to go south via Norheimsund. Maybe on the way to bergen i'd go on the south side of Hardangerfjorden so on the way to voss i'm not going down the same roads. I'd then follow the Rallarsvegen to Flam and then i'd like to go over the small mountain pass road to Laerdalsoyri. It looks like a hell of a climb but from google maps it looks absolutely incredible and so much fun so i really want to do it. I'm then not sure what to do when I get to Laerdalsoyri. Is there a ferry taht goes across to Kaupanger or anywhere nearby? My plan would then be to go up Sognefjellet road and beyond.
The E134 is rather busy. You could follow the NSCR down towards Haugesund and then pick up the Rv13/520 to Røldal. Thereafter you can take the old road from Røldal to Odda to avoid a tunnel and make your way up to Voss that way. Røldal north to Odda is nice as is the 13 to Voss we did that in 2008.

There are two cycle routes to avoid the E16 between Bergen and Voss, one goes north of the E16 the other one goes south. One of them is described somewhere on the Cycletourer.co.uk website (the old Army Road??). There is another website with a travelogue of the other route IIRC but I cannot find it at the moment. These alternative routes add a couple of days to your trip.The E16 between Bergen and Voss is know as the "Road of Death" in Norway and is not fun in a car so not being able to cycle on it has to be seen as a plus.

The Rallarvegen West to East is harder work, I have done most of it in both directions. Mainly as you start at 1000 mas in Haugastøl and somewhat lower in Myrdal (830 mas or so). Also the roughest road surfaces are on the Myrdal side of the watershed which means you spend a fair bit of time pushing your laden tourer uphill. It is perfectly do-able but most people go East West. There has been talk of improving sections of the Rallervegen but it is a three year plan and I am not sure when they will start and which bits they plan to do first.

If you want to take the Fv7 via Norheimsund you better have a good head for heights, there being a few sections with "panoramic" views. The road is also a tourist road so it is not up to the standard of other routes, can be full of distracted tourists enjoying the views and is narrow in places. There are some tunnels along the way, unlit if I remember correctly so good lights (preferably automatic hub dynamo powered) are essential.

You can cycle up over from Flåm to Lærdalsøyri, it is a big climb but nice apparently. From Lærdalsøyri you need to take a bus to the Manheller - Fodnes ferry and beyond. There are two tunnels, one on each side of the ferry both of which are closed to cyclists. The other alternatives are, as I mentioned earlier, to take the ferry Flåm - Leikanger, or cycle the E16/Rv52 to get somewhere else. Note that the E16/Rv52 is the busiest of the East/West routes. You can stay on quieter roads for most of the way between Lærdalsøyri and the junction with the Rv52.

jakobpoffley wrote:Could you let me know if there is anything with this route that wouldn't work or you think would be better done differently. This seems to be the most complicated part of the trip so i'm planning most of it now whereas the rest i'm pretty much leaving to decide when i get there. What i plan on doing is marking on tunnels that are forbidden for cyclists with no alternate route on my map in the areas im fairly sure i'll be going through.
The last time we went from Bergen to Voss we simply put our bikes on the train. It made life a lot easier.

Just to remind you, it can get very cold in summer in the Norwegian mountains and there is often little protection from the wind and the rain when you get up above 700 mas. Make sure you take enough warm clothing to see you through a summer storm or a rainy day.

Re: Crossing the river Rance St Malo

28 May 2015 - 8:08am
Good to hear, thank you. May give it a go after all.

Road bike or mountain bike?

28 May 2015 - 7:55am
Hi,

I am planning a short solo tour (up to a week) somewhere in the UK this summer and an overnight trip before that to test things out. As this is my first experience of touring I don't want to get a new bike at this stage, so I have the choice of the bikes I have already.

Which of these would be a better choice for use in the uk mostly on road, but with some use of Sustrans bike trails?

Road bike (Forme Longcliffe 2): Aluminum frame, 700x23 tyres
Mountain bike: Aluminium frame, hard tail, front suspension fork, 26x1.5 tyres (hybrid tyres that I added for commuting before I had the road bike)

I will be camping, but travelling as light as I can (probably about 12kg of stuff) with rear rack and panniers and handlebar bag.

Thanks for you help,

Tim

Re: LLC and Wales Questions

27 May 2015 - 10:37pm
On foot, I have often been one of the last passengers to arrive at the airport. With a bike, I try to be one of the first. I aim for 4 hours before flight departure regardless of regulations, it just eases my nerves. You never know what could go wrong with the bike packing and checking in routine. I've flown with a bike 9 times. Maybe when I've flown 90 times I'll start taking more chances.

Re: LLC and Wales Questions

27 May 2015 - 10:22pm
I am flying United and they simply say that 'some' overseas airports request 3-hrs prior to departure.

My flight is on a Wednesday, which I don't think is a particular busy day for airports (generally). I always like to be early and was planning on 2hours before hand, but I will see what the Taxi people say too.

Re: Touring in Norway

27 May 2015 - 10:19pm
I've been busy doing GCSEs lately so haven't been able to do much planning for my Norway trip but with just over one month before i leave i need to get a few things sorted.

I've had a new idea for my route through the south of norway. I thought instead of doing the Rallarsvegen east to west on the way to Bergen i could go on the section of the rallarsvegen from Voss to Flam after Bergen and go further south on the way to bergen. I thought i could do this by mainly following the E134 and going on smaller nearby roads when they are there. Looking at a map it looks like there are roads to go round all the tunnels that are forbidden for cyclists along the route but please let me know if that isn't true. I then though I could go north along the shore of Sorfjorden (I'm not sure whether to go on route 13 on east side or 550 on the west). I'd then follow Hardiangerfjorden till Norheimsund and then go along the smaller roads into Bergen.
Coming back out of Bergen looking at the tunnel map i can't avoid the tunnels on the E16 to Voss so i'd have to go south via Norheimsund. Maybe on the way to bergen i'd go on the south side of Hardangerfjorden so on the way to voss i'm not going down the same roads. I'd then follow the Rallarsvegen to Flam and then i'd like to go over the small mountain pass road to Laerdalsoyri. It looks like a hell of a climb but from google maps it looks absolutely incredible and so much fun so i really want to do it. I'm then not sure what to do when I get to Laerdalsoyri. Is there a ferry taht goes across to Kaupanger or anywhere nearby? My plan would then be to go up Sognefjellet road and beyond.

Could you let me know if there is anything with this route that wouldn't work or you think would be better done differently. This seems to be the most complicated part of the trip so i'm planning most of it now whereas the rest i'm pretty much leaving to decide when i get there. What i plan on doing is marking on tunnels that are forbidden for cyclists with no alternate route on my map in the areas im fairly sure i'll be going through.

Any further advice would be most welcome.

Re: LLC and Wales Questions

27 May 2015 - 10:01pm
I have been quoted 3h check in for flights to US from Manchester. It can get very busy and I often find I need most of 2h even when travelling light. Given your luggage situation I would get there as early as possible.

Re: Lightweight packable trousers - recommendations please

27 May 2015 - 9:42pm
mnichols wrote:thirdcrank wrote:If you do make it to TKmaxx, keep your mind firmly on what you went in for. You may otherwise come out with all sorts you didn't know you needed till you saw it in there at a bargain price. (I have a pair of Ventile trousers original price £300, to me £10.)

Wow, that's a real bargain. Seems more like a treasure hunt than a jumble sale at those prices
It's a bit of both. They don't do organisation well; you need twice as long to shop there as other places. If it was ever sorted by more than trousers, shirts, etc. the organisations was destroyed by the first two year old let loose in there. Which means if you want a pair of trousers, you practically have to examine every pair of trousers that looks vaguely as if it might be the right type and size. So, the bargains come at the price of a bit of time.

That said, I used to buy all of my socks for long distance walking there. I would pay £2 or 3 for the same socks that were £10 in Blacks or someplace like that.

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