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Updated: 1 hour 41 min ago

Re: Santander - London Jul/Aug 2015

26 March 2015 - 12:43pm
Just an up-date to my initial post. I am able to extend dates to include September, probably better since July/August are
key holiday months in France and elsewhere. Campsites not so busy and maybe less tourist road traffic. On my Lejog
Ride, I cycled 1500 miles in 19 days so guess this tour would be similar with more rest days and time for exploring local
areas. Would be great to hear from others who have done similar tour and any must-see places to visit/include

Re: First two weeks tour in Europe in June: where?

26 March 2015 - 10:00am
neilob wrote:smith4188 wrote: Romania had busy main roads or dirt tracks and not much else.

I absolutely disagree with this broad and misleading statement!! Of course there are busy roads and of course there are dirt tracks but please don't assume there isn't anything else. I've done a lot of touring in my time and seen a lot of places, and Romania is up there with the best. The Carpathians are stunning, the Danube has some of the best scenery ever, the Danube Delta is magical, and the welcoming people make it a wonderful destination. And on top of all that, food and drink are great value as is accommodation. Don't believe everything you read about Romania and Romanians. We're going back again this year. BTW, Serbia is another (unlikely?) destination with great people and great roads. You just need to do a little research first.

By "not much else" I was talking about the roads. It wasn't a statement about Romania in general. Although I found one or two quieter B roads, the vast majority were busy main roads and unpaved tracks. You only have to look at the 1:500000 map of the country. The yellow B-roads are few and far between, which is a shame because they were much more fun. But yes, you're right, Romania is worth a visit, but I didn't enjoy it as much as any of eastern Europe's other countries. That said, Sibiu and Sighisoara were nice.

Re: Tour of Brittany

26 March 2015 - 9:16am
simonineaston wrote:Rain or not, I'm off!
On that subject, a small confession... Up thread, I posted a couple of pictures, pointing out - or so I thought - that there's lots of rainy days in Brittany, indeed, I said confidently,"Looking at the columns for May you can see that (although) Brittany gets almost 2x as many days when it rains...".
Well, what a silly chap I am! When I looked again yesterday, I see it's the other way round. Sorry if I misled anyone.

It's OK - even the French weather forecasters have the same problem - if they're not sure they go to default and put 'rain in Brittany' - many's the time we've had a lovely weekend that was supposed to be wet. There is a court case brought by a hotel against 'Le Meteo' going on for that reason! Last year we had the best weather in France for much of the summer (the South had flooding) but no-one ever mentions it) much the same the year before - Grrr. But really all you can say about Brittany is that generally it's 'moderate' - you don't get massive storms, flash floods, heat waves or blizzards - if you can survive a bit of rain then that's the worst that's ever going to happen...

Re: First two weeks tour in Europe in June: where?

26 March 2015 - 9:12am
smith4188 wrote: Romania had busy main roads or dirt tracks and not much else.

I absolutely disagree with this broad and misleading statement!! Of course there are busy roads and of course there are dirt tracks but please don't assume there isn't anything else. I've done a lot of touring in my time and seen a lot of places, and Romania is up there with the best. The Carpathians are stunning, the Danube has some of the best scenery ever, the Danube Delta is magical, and the welcoming people make it a wonderful destination. And on top of all that, food and drink are great value as is accommodation. Don't believe everything you read about Romania and Romanians. We're going back again this year. BTW, Serbia is another (unlikely?) destination with great people and great roads. You just need to do a little research first.

Re: Tour of Brittany

26 March 2015 - 8:56am
Rain or not, I'm off!
On that subject, a small confession... Up thread, I posted a couple of pictures, pointing out - or so I thought - that there's lots of rainy days in Brittany, indeed, I said confidently,"Looking at the columns for May you can see that (although) Brittany gets almost 2x as many days when it rains...".
Well, what a silly chap I am! When I looked again yesterday, I see it's the other way round. Sorry if I misled anyone.

Re: GPS or maps

26 March 2015 - 5:21am
And I love getting away from all the electronic stuff that dominates our lives.

+1

Re: Tour of Brittany

25 March 2015 - 11:23pm
bretonbikes wrote:simonineaston wrote:OK, BB et al, you've succeeded in persuading me! I'm clicking on my Leave Booking app as we speak!!

If you regret it you can sue;-)

I think you'll have a great time. Brittany is fantastic place for cycling and if you do get 3 days in a row of rain there are always the cheap chain hotels or if you speak a little French go for a chambre d'hôtes for an experience of real Breton hospitality. I have cycled out there at all times of the year and never found the wind to be a problem. You'll be fine.
Julia

Re: GPS or maps

25 March 2015 - 10:56pm
Thank you for all the comments and recommendations. I think that the Etrex 30 looks to be the choice for our trips.
Any recommendations for a mount (preferably a stem mount)?
Thanks

Re: Handlebar bag views and costs

25 March 2015 - 9:57pm
http://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/BAARFRB/ar ... ounted-bag


Just received the above, seems pretty good for the money. The bracket seems fairly solid, comes with a small map case.

It seems to be the same as http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B005D4CF6K which gets good reviews.

I doubt it's very waterproof and it's a bit on the small side but it clears my STI gear cables and I can't complain for the price.

Re: Newcastle port to central station - route wanted

25 March 2015 - 7:17pm
PH wrote:There are NCR routes on both sides of the Tyne, I've enjoyed both but IMO the south shore offers better river views, plus you get to cross over to South Shields on the ferry

The ferry is great - sets you down right next to Arbeia Roman fort which is free to go in and there's a little café! I used the south river route to the centre as I wanted to visit Bedes World but I have to admit to finding it very bitty with stretches on poorly surfaced road and in other places quite busy with traffic. I'd stick to the north bank if I revisit with a bike.

Re: Does your bike leave your side?

25 March 2015 - 7:07pm
You have to take a chance at some point. Be sensible, don't flash your kit about, if you leave valuables in the tent keep them away from the door and maybe hidden with the dirty/smelly washing! Camping always involves a high degree of trust, lets face it, any tent can be accessed very easily but on a campsite there are generally a lot of more nickable goods lying about or left in the caravans/campers. I must admit to getting a bit blasé when I'm away in Europe but you need to assess things as you go - an urban site surrounded by social housing will have me taking more care than a rural site ten miles from nowhere.

I've been camping since the mid sixties and neither I nor my family have had anything stolen on a campsite from a tent or caravan - in fact the only recurring item stolen has been ill advisably stored gas bottles from a caravan in storage, you don't do that a second time!

Re: Travel Insurance North America

25 March 2015 - 5:09pm
I thought my travel insurance covered me for touring but it didn't, apparently touring on a bike is regarded as a dangerous activity by some insurers. It wasn't listed on the policy as a dangerous activity but when I asked them the question they said it was. I then changed to AXA who included cover for cycle touring but I can only suggest whichever company you go with make sure you ask them specifically if touring on a bike is included and if they say yes make a note of the date and time of the conversation just in case they quibble later! I may have got this wrong but I am sure I have read the CTC policy doesn't - but that may be a libellous remark and someone will put me firmly right in a moment!

Re: Travel Insurance North America

25 March 2015 - 4:38pm
Are you on a long tour?
Some companies have a limit of just 28 days (most 45/60days) per single trip even on annual insurance, so check the small print if on a long tour.
I think £10M is the minimum recommended for medical cover in USA these days

Re: Does your bike leave your side?

25 March 2015 - 4:27pm
Moonwai wrote:But what about if you have valuables in your panniers like laptop/tablet and camera etc. Have to carry all these things around everywhere you go without your bike?

Depends if you're bothered about them being nicked, if it bothers you then carry them for safety, if not then chance it.

A tablet and camera and perhaps even a netbook? would go in a handlebar bag - but as that's all your eggs in one basket you'd need to be careful...

Re: Does your bike leave your side?

25 March 2015 - 4:19pm
But what about if you have valuables in your panniers like laptop/tablet and camera etc. Have to carry all these things around everywhere you go without your bike?

Re: Does your bike leave your side?

25 March 2015 - 4:15pm
Moonwai wrote: where do you keep your bike if you want to go on a walk through a village and take some photos etc or is the bike always by your side?The same applies when you go to take a shower or into the toilet block. Do you take it with you? The sensible answer is to judge each situation individually. I leave mine locked to something like a tree, or even a hedge or a fence - just to make things difficult. Then, off I go for a shower. The circumstances are surely no different than when you go into a café/bank/museum etc which is often discussed here.

Re: Does your bike leave your side?

25 March 2015 - 3:59pm
depends on the distance from campsite to village i guess, but usually just leave bike behind.... with a lock to prevent opportunist walk off with it... but most rural places it is unlikely a bike would be targetted as they would need to know you are arriving....

Re: Tour of Brittany

25 March 2015 - 3:49pm
simonineaston wrote:OK, BB et al, you've succeeded in persuading me! I'm clicking on my Leave Booking app as we speak!!

If you regret it you can sue;-)

Re: Tour of Brittany

25 March 2015 - 3:32pm
OK, BB et al, you've succeeded in persuading me! I'm clicking on my Leave Booking app as we speak!!

Re: Travel Insurance North America

25 March 2015 - 3:03pm
CTC insurance would be my recommendation. Most other policies tend to be a bit sniffy about adventurous pursuits and may not offer a sufficently lenghty period of cover.

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