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Updated: 1 hour 36 min ago

Re: Cycling Chester to Bowland

19 May 2015 - 10:14pm
Already being discussed where you had asked the same question here.

Rick.

Re: Short cycle tour to get my reluctant partner into cyclin

19 May 2015 - 10:13pm
Viking Trail comes close to your criteria, possibly a little short. The suggested extension of NCN1 Crab and Winkle Way from Cantebury to pick up RCN18 Oyster Bay Trail between Whitstable and Reculver is a good one.

Re: Getting your bike to Harwich for the ferry

19 May 2015 - 10:12pm
Isn't the simplest one to book on the intercity service online using one of the services that allows you to make bike bookings as part of the booking.

I used to use East Coast but don't know if their system has changed since they were sold off to Virgin as I haven't needed to book trains. The First franchises (such at TransPennine Express) should allow you to do the bookings (you don't have to book any part of the journey on the train company you are doing the booking with). If the bike booking isn't obvious it should be lurking somewhere in the seat reservations section.

If you don't want to do it online the simplest alternative is to go to any staffed rail ticket office and get them to sort it all out for you. The prices should generally all be the same.

Rick.

Re: NCN 82 from Tywyn to Trawsfynydd

19 May 2015 - 10:00pm
Richard Fairhurst wrote:I think the official NCN 82 route has switched to and from Sarn Helen, but yes, don't go over Sarn Helen - it's unrideable. If you have a GPS with an NCN map on then take it, otherwise take a print-out - finding the right track isn't too obvious.

Worth doing, though, it's a great route. I'd probably go for the Landcruisers tbh, but you may be more hardy than me!

Thanks for your input Richard.

Looking to partially dip my toes into mixed terrain stuff - mainly to get off the beaten track without coming unstuck.

Not to mention fancying building up yet another old bike into a multi mode steed

Short cycle tour to get my reluctant partner into cycling!

19 May 2015 - 9:50pm
Hi there,

I started cycle touring last year and absolutely love it! Now I want to spend my holidays doing it, but of course have to take my partner into consideration. He has always said he doesn't like cycling, but since I've got back from a 3 month tour he seems to be more open to the idea. I've mentioned maybe us doing a short, easy cycle tour somewhere. I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations or tips of where to go?
Beautiful scenery is important, or at least interesting places to see on the way, nice pubs etc. Traffic free (at least some of the way) would be great. I reckon 20-30 miles a day. Staying in cheap accommodation. 3-5 days.
Although we love camping, I thought maybe staying in b&bs may be easier for him and less likely for something to go wrong and him hate cycle touring for life! Also, we would have to invest in a larger tent (although I guess the money we save camping instead of b&bs night actually pay for a tent!). I've said I'll carry all the gear so he doesn't have to buy any cycle tour specific stuff.
We are from Norfolk so not too far from Europe, however I'd rather stay in the uk as I've not seen enough of it! But, I am open to ideas.

Has anyone got personal experience of getting their reluctant partner into cycle touring?

Thanks!

Re: NCN 82 from Tywyn to Trawsfynydd

19 May 2015 - 9:19pm
I think the official NCN 82 route has switched to and from Sarn Helen, but yes, don't go over Sarn Helen - it's unrideable. If you have a GPS with an NCN map on then take it, otherwise take a print-out - finding the right track isn't too obvious.

Worth doing, though, it's a great route. I'd probably go for the Landcruisers tbh, but you may be more hardy than me!

Re: NCN 82 from Tywyn to Trawsfynydd

19 May 2015 - 9:14pm
CREPELLO wrote:Hi

I've done both off road sections on a tourer in the past - that being, the hill road up from the Dysynni valley and Coed Y Brenin. Tyres would have been 32 to 35mm section. Just make sure you avoid the old road (Sarn Helen?) west of Moel Ddu, which is very rutted. It's not on a cycle route, but I missed the Route 82 signs (if they were there) in Coed Y Brenin and ended up on this track, which I had to walk. The hill road east of Coed Y Brenin is also an alternative which is nice going.

HTH

Thanks Jerry - info much appreciated

Re: NCN 82 from Tywyn to Trawsfynydd

19 May 2015 - 8:25pm
Hi

I've done both off road sections on a tourer in the past - that being, the hill road up from the Dysynni valley and Coed Y Brenin. Tyres would have been 32 to 35mm section. Just make sure you avoid the old road (Sarn Helen?) west of Moel Ddu, which is very rutted. It's not on a cycle route, but I missed the Route 82 signs (if they were there) in Coed Y Brenin and ended up on this track, which I had to walk. The hill road east of Coed Y Brenin is also an alternative which is nice going.

HTH

Getting your bike to Harwich for the ferry

19 May 2015 - 6:29pm
Since Abellio is run by the Dutch who like to think they are cycle-friendly, there was me thinking it would be relatively straightforward to get our family with bikes to Harwich International for the ferry for the Netherlands. (My wife has already had to swallow the idea that we will have to cycle across central London between stations as it will be too early to be allowed onto the Circle Line, less than ideal with an 8-yr-old.)

But apparently not. The direct ferry special train to Harwich International at 1932 from Liverpool St has 4 non-bookable cycle spaces, so that's a risk, since maybe we are not the only cyclists trying to do this. We could take the 1930 or the 2000 to Manningtree to connect for the local service from M to H. These trains have 6 cycle spaces, but as they are intercity services you have to phone them to book them at least 24 hours in advance. There are also slow trains to Manningtree which require no cycle reservation, but if I took the first slow train to M after the 1932, we would be there too late for the 2245 last check-in time for the 2300 ferry, as it doesn't connect well at Manningtree. I could go earlier, since apparently you can put your bikes on a train from 1830 (the only hint of a relatively cycle friendly policy from this company) but then I'd have to pay peak fares, as off-peak fares are not valid before 1930 on Abellio trains, which, for the family of 3, would add an extra £75 to our journey cost, which is just disproportionate.

Well their anti-social cycle policies mean that I will now have to engage in the anti-social behaviour of booking cycle spaces on a train I don't want to use, just as an insurance policy.

I'm sure most people would have given up and driven there.

Cycling Chester to Bowland

19 May 2015 - 6:00pm
Hi
I am thinking of cycling from Chester to Slaidburn in the Forest of Bowland in a couple of weeks. I wonder if anyone has any idea of the best way to go. I will be on a road bike, so don't want canal tow paths. I would like to avoid main roads where possible, and busy town centres. Any help would be much appreciated.
Thanks

Re: A Sad Day for Google Maps

19 May 2015 - 5:51pm
axel_knutt wrote:I've just noticed that the new Google maps has Cressing Station at the top of Marconi Road in Chelmsford. If you measure the distance from where it's shown to where it belongs, Google says it's 1 min and 56 feet away, instead of about 10 miles.
Seems to be OK now. There must have been a glitch somewhere.

I had been going to say I couldn't see the problem with the new Google Maps. OK there were a few teething problems early on. But then I had to switch browsers temporarily which I sorted problems with Firefox (I think one or more add-ons didn't like the latest version) and was using Internet Exploder. What a difference - majorly slow loading! I'm glad to be back on Firefox where Google Maps seems to be working OK for me, along with other mapping tools I use.

Re: Islabikes Bienn 29 - tourer for a titch?

19 May 2015 - 5:40pm
If you want to come to Brum we have a 26" wheel Mercian Compact drop bared touring bike that if it fits we could sell you for about £200.
It is in nice condition and has touring gears with short cranks to match.
It is suitable for somebody just under 5ft.
Tempting! Thanks. I'm somewhat taller than that though, about 5' 2-3" and haven't got on with drops particularly well in the past - are they quite small? I know manufacturers have adapted drops to cater for smaller hands.

Re: Paneuropa Radweg - France

19 May 2015 - 4:05pm
Thanks, as suspected the signs won't be as lovely as when we did the Rhine last year.

I am planning to map the route using maps.me on an ipod. The ipod has GPS and I bookmark key points on the map. Combined with a pen and piece of paper of the daily route, I hope this works. I've tried to import the paneuropa radweg GPS into maps.me and it's not working so I'm manually bookmarking.

We've done a few long distance cycles, not necessarily on national routes and navigation always seems to be a problem, not getting lost, more the constant stopping to check direction takes so much time!

Re: Islabikes Bienn 29 - tourer for a titch?

19 May 2015 - 1:41pm
See this thread.
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=96933

Unfortunately it fails to answer the question of whether the frame failures that have clearly been reported to them are attributable only to usage extremely beyond design conditions, or whether some frame failures have come from more modest over-loading. There is no question but that for children Islabikes are exceedingly superior bikes. But apparently some people have broken them through misuse.

Bicycler's point is very valid and perhaps you should write to them and ask them. We have got replies to emails we have sent them, though not instantly.

Re: Rack Pack for Tubus Airey

19 May 2015 - 1:20pm
I think Tubus do have something in their 'Racktime' range that is closer to the Tortec Ultralight - i'm sure there was one fitted on the Specialized AWOL we had thru a few weeks ago.

Re: Islabikes Bienn 29 - tourer for a titch?

19 May 2015 - 1:10pm
iviehoff wrote:It's a light alloy frame and I expect 80kg is an legalistic attempt to limit their liability if you break it by pushing it well beyond its capabilities.
Maybe, but it begs the question of why competing (bigger and presumably necessarily legalistic) companies are willing to sell their light alloy framed hybrid and road bikes with a maximum weight 50% higher. It's a big step as a general purpose bike manufacturer to discourage the average man (83.6kg) - or average woman (70.2kg) plus a small shopping load - from riding your adult bikes. I'd need convincing that it was purely one manufacturer being more cautious than their competitors rather than a prioritisation of low weight over strength which might lessen the fatigue resistance and longevity of the frame. Unfortunately individual experiences don't provide enough information to make a decision on something like fatigue life.

Re: Paneuropa Radweg - France

19 May 2015 - 12:31pm
I did the whole of the Paneuropa Radweg in 2013, from Paris to Prague. The first sign I saw on the route was in Germany, just after crossing the Rhine! The route in France is a mixture of canal towpaths (some quite overgrown and rough), quiet roads and the occasional good tarmac cycle path. The route basically follows the Marne river from Paris to Vitry-le-François and then a canal that links the Marne to the Rhine in Strasbourg.

For route-finding we had four 'Top 100' IGN maps (1:100,000 scale), and copied the route from the gpx track on the Paneuropa website onto them with a highlighter.

In general we had no problems except for one part just after Dormans, where the Paneuropa route appears to go up a very steep and muddy mountain bike trail through the vineyards. In a few other places we took nearby small roads to avoid particularly rough sections of canal towpath.

I'd definitely recommend the route, it goes through some interesting places with some varied terrain. For accommodation, the youth hostel in Saverne and the municipal campsite in Bar-le-Duc were both really good. However, it might be hard to follow the route without a fairly detailed map or a GPS.

Re: Rack Pack for Tubus Airey

19 May 2015 - 12:30pm
Okay, maybe the Airy is right for its purpose (panniers), but it would be nice if Tubus would make a light rack with a wide top for rack packs. I have to go to Tortec for that at the moment.

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