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Re: Quick poll: Your touring accomm - tent, hostel, hotel?

8 August 2014 - 11:26am
UK wise - Usually 80+ nights a year (Less this year due to various reasons).

I'll always try and camp. Now and again I'll use a hostel, but find them too expensive for what they are. B+Bs/Motel type places are only ever used if I have no other option. Occasionally, I'll use a bothy - the problem being that the bothies you can cycle into are usually the ones that have been abused.

Re: Italy cycle resources?

8 August 2014 - 11:09am
Personally, I prefer using paper maps (and a compass when necessary) but I can see the advantages of a Garmin et al. The 1:25,000 IGM maps cover the Alps, but Kompass do a few 1:50,000 maps for other popular regions like Tuscany. Personally, I think it would be a tedious affair trying to work out a long-distance route linking up strade bianche, as they form a dense network of relatively short routes, but it's easy enough to include bits of them into a tour, e.g. the unpaved sections of the Eroica as an obvious and well-documented example. Riding them on a loaded touring bike might not be everyone's cup of tea, though. They're hard work and slow-going, but when I'm cycle-touring, I'm usually not in a rush to get from A to B.

Re: Getting to Germany with bikes

8 August 2014 - 10:14am
Ron wrote:If you want to go to Bonn anyway, would it not be possible to extend your holiday for a few days and cycle along the Rhine Radweg from the Hook to Bonn? It would be easy from there to catch a day train from Bonn to Koblenz for the start of your Mosel tour.
I may possibly do that, but was worried that perhaps that stretch is a bit too flat / boring / industrial? More research needed!
But I do want to ride the Bonn / Koblenz part (Rhine Gorge) - unless others have done it and find it too busy / over-touristy?

And Johnson, thanks for the info about Bristol/Zurich, that could be a good way to return if I get down that far. I didn't know there was such a service.

Re: Italy cycle resources?

8 August 2014 - 9:22am
Interesting jezrant.

I didn't know that 25,000 maps were generally available - though after your on-the-ground knowledge of them I'll give them a miss - will stick to my TCI/one or two other maps/free tourist maps/GPS/follow the stars.

I can see TCI becoming obsolete pretty soon for anything but as a "get me home" map - as I said above OSM stll has massive gaps in Sardinia but in those areas where the OSM mappers have been out the maps are already far superior to anything you can generally buy.

Best map of Sardinia is German but you still have problems finding many of the very interesting ruins/nuraghe. Besy way to find many is to go online and find folk's GPS-co-ordinated pics.

Time to ride all those strade bianche before they are all properly mapped/invaded I suppose.

If by any chance you have any favourite ones I'd be happy to learn about them, as I'm sure would many other forumites.

Re: Italy cycle resources?

8 August 2014 - 9:08am
On the strade sterrate or so-called strade bianche "white roads" I use more detailed maps than the Touring 1:200,000 and occasionally a compass (!), but even the 1:25,000 maps in Italy are notoriously unreliable (the Swiss and French topographical maps in the Alps, for example, are more accurate and easier to read than the Italian one; you can compare them where they overlap).

Re: Italy cycle resources?

8 August 2014 - 8:39am
Jezrant wrote:n some regions there are quite a lot of little roads like these that are really lovely. In Tuscany, for example, they go through vineyards and olive groves and have very little traffic. But you will quickly get lost trying to navigate on them with a GPS.

Yes I have been on some of those wonderful unmarked roads through olive groves etc in Sardinia jezrant - sometimes by bike and sometimes by car (the original Panda was particularly good for those many many roads the TCI didn't think to mark - quite good ground clearance).

I find the GPS useful as an additional resource for the 3 maps [ ] - more data to balance/mind read.

OSM doesn'r show many many roads in Sardinia but at least I can often see that I am heading towards a marked road or a town/village. Particularly good for me as I have an appalling sense of direction.

(always assuming of course that the road doesn't stop/end up on the edge of a ditch/dry river bed/just lead to a farm/agricultural building)

I have never got to grips with inputting data to OSM but I have the beginning and start of a fair few of these Sardinian roads marked on my GPS so that I can find them again.

I suppose one advantage of all this somewhat poor mapping is that the determined can find some nice quiet places where even a lot of cyclists won't have got to, and a nice olive grove in which to lay your head.

Maybe we should all pray that the TCI continues to thrive/be adopted as the gold/yellow standard.

Re: Quick poll: Your touring accomm - tent, hostel, hotel?

8 August 2014 - 8:34am
Was just about to tell you about this years camping tour to France.
This year in the UK one week in Wales all B and Bs.
Last year one weekend Devon Coast to Coast 1st night hotel/pub second night YHA hostel.

Re: Canada

8 August 2014 - 8:27am
Sorry in my post I said my mate cycled W to E, I saw him last night and he said it was E to W!. Hence the headwinds.

He did it the 'wrong' way because he wanted to go to a music festival and also end up at a friends place in Vancouver.

My point really was to check the wind. This still holds true. I meet many people who cycle a route based on personal criteria, taking no account of the wind. Many regret it.

Sorry for the confusion.

Re: Quick poll: Your touring accomm - tent, hostel, hotel?

8 August 2014 - 7:57am
In a normal year, I like to get 14 days in at least. I usually stay in a motel on the first night if I travel to the start and on the last night. Rest is in the tent preferably but really depends on the tour.


Re: Italy cycle resources?

7 August 2014 - 9:53pm
GPS usually works fine in Italy on most of the the roads you see on the Touring 1:200,000 maps. Results are much less reliable on the smaller backroads in the countryside, especially the unpaved ones. In some regions there are quite a lot of little roads like these that are really lovely. In Tuscany, for example, they go through vineyards and olive groves and have very little traffic. But you will quickly get lost trying to navigate on them with a GPS.

Re: Quick poll: Your touring accomm - tent, hostel, hotel?

7 August 2014 - 9:03pm
About 20 nights a year, all camping these days. Campsites by preference, but about 10-15% wild if there's nothing nearby.

Re: Camping in Northern Spain

7 August 2014 - 9:00pm
I don't camp in Spain, economically it's pointless and it's too much hassle trying to find a non-RV site. Rooms are available everywhere, even if you cant "see" them, ask and you'll get something, in many tours I've never not got a room in Spain. For 2 travelling I'd expect rooms (with bathrooms, possibly with buffet breakfast, near amenities, bars etc ) to cost no more than camping, probably less, definitely a lot less hassle.

Re: Italy cycle resources?

7 August 2014 - 8:11pm
I'm not sure why people are having problems with GPS? As per my previous post I used a Garmin 800 to Navigate top to bottom (Innsbruck to the Toe then back to Rome), and Venice to Nice (over the top). I did my route planning in advance using ridewithgps.com, downloaded my route to my garmin and followed it everyday

It got my from door to door of all my accommodation stops without any problems including right through the center of some big places like Rome, Florence, Sienna, Modena, Bologna, Merano, Regio, Allesandria,Tirano, Savona, San Remo, etc. I actually tried to avoid Naples but didn't realise how big it was and got caught in the busy suberbs. Cycled around Milan - I was staying directly above and heading directly below but took a wide detour

Re: Camping in Northern Spain

7 August 2014 - 7:35pm
Unfortunately I can't help you but, as it's a ride I'd like to do myself, I would be interested to hear how you get on. Have fun.

Re: Camping in Northern Spain

7 August 2014 - 6:00pm
It's too long ago to rely on my advice but we've camped on route down through Rioja, coming from the Roncevalles pass to Santander. We camped at Haro and at Frias for instance and only did one night in a little hotel up in the Pyrenees. It isn't as common as in France but due to the proximity to the camino there is camping around. We tend to use the Michelin maps which have the little triangle symbol for campsite, I can't remember if that works for Spain but I have downloaded pocket earth ready for our next trip and that marks campsites. I just checked for Haro and for Frias and the camping is still there- . Also camping in Burgos, there is camping in the Picos but it may only be open in July and August. We struggled one year when we travelled in May/June coming up to Santander from the South but I've done Ok by myself in the Picos camping in late August.

As Mark says economically it's not a big deal, so what would you prefer to do?

Re: Cycling/driving/walking holiday, Hebrides, end September

7 August 2014 - 5:58pm
I'm sorry that this totally misses your brief (don't think you could rent it for 2 or 3 days) but it's on our (long) list of places to stay at. Not sure how much you would get done though - I'd be staring at that view all day: Fir Chlis.

Re: Long distance MTB routes in the UK?

7 August 2014 - 5:32pm
The problem with a bothy in November is getting it warm.

Met a lass last November who was walking the Cape Wrath way and she camped next to bothies for this reason ( we were travelling as a group of four and could carry coal).


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