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Re: Has anyone ever toured in the winter?

13 October 2014 - 2:57pm
I've done some winter trips in the past, but not recently.

I do ride my bike in the winter, and highly recommend studded tyres for icy or snowy conditions.

I'm afraid that I'm too fond of my luxuries these days to attempt winter cycle camping, though I would happily tour using hostels and hotels.

I quite enjoy going from a long, frosty or snowy bike ride into someplace with a warm fire and a hot meal

The main trick is dressing for the weather. Norwegians say that there is no such things as bad weather, only wrong clothing. There is something to that attitude, and people all over Scandinavia use their bikes through the winter.

Anyplace you can tour in summer, you can tour in winter, except that in mountains, the passes will often close.

Re: Has anyone ever toured in the winter?

13 October 2014 - 2:32pm
When I were a lad -- it was quite normal for us to go away for Christmas and over the new year. By "us" I mean members of my club, usually those in their 20s. We would book one of the youth hostels that was open for the Christmas period and then continue afterwards overnighting in other youth hostels along the way. Consequently we did not have a great deal of choice of where to go for the Christmas period itself. I do not recall any especially miserable times, but I do remember sitting on Exmouth sea front eating pasties on a bright sunny day, and I recall many very frosty mornings. Maybe I am suffering from rose tinted spectacles, or maybe things did not matter so much when away with your friends.

Has anyone ever toured in the winter?

13 October 2014 - 1:32pm
It seems such a shame to mothball your bike for up to seven months. Would love to know if anyone has braved it. If so was it as bad as you thought, did you get soaked or frozen or the flue and where did you go (leaving aside destinations with summery climates)?

Re: Dry bags - a lightweight alternative to panniers

13 October 2014 - 10:14am
I use a large one folded over on the rear rack for touring if the trip involves train travel. I have front panniers as well.
When I'm getting on a train the dry bag is big enough to take all my kit including the panniers.
Because the dry bag has a strap I can have it on my back which leaves my hands free for the unladen bike.
I find this easier when getting into continental train where there are steps to climb.
Never tried it with camping gear- I suppose it depends how much you are carrying.

Re: Berlin to Copenhagen

13 October 2014 - 9:20am
You could just get a plane back - sure that'd be cheaper and certainly quicker than your train/ferry option - especially with folding bikes making it easier.

Re: Dry bags - a lightweight alternative to panniers

13 October 2014 - 9:13am
on the compression issue the thing that springs to mind is tent poles but i also often buy stuff on my trips - books, mugs etc and carry maps and so on - fine in a pannier - even my ultra lights but i'd be very wary if i was strapping in the way mentioned.

I'm a bit OCD about how the bike looks too so the messy look upsets me

Re: Dry bags - a lightweight alternative to panniers

13 October 2014 - 9:08am
These particular Alpkit bags have reinforced strap "mounts" on the side that you thread the straps through.
So in theory you do not even need the strap around the bag. I have hung one of the single strap Airlocks off the back of my seat as a lightweight saddlebag before. Lightweight but not worth it normally because of the slight hassle of getting things in and out being more influential than the weight loss.
No nice little sidepockets either.

Re: Dry bags - a lightweight alternative to panniers

13 October 2014 - 9:01am
Just lying in my hotel room, waiting for the typhoon to pass. So I can think what I wouldn't want squashed in my panniers.

Food, shampoo, tubes eg toothpaste, packets of pills/medicines, computer tablet, etc. Plus all sorts of things that could get bent or broken by being put under pressure from a strap. (I am assuming the straps have to be pulled very tight.)

Re: Show your touring bikes !!!!

13 October 2014 - 9:00am
The new tourer - Focus Mares AX 5.0 DSCN5667tiny.jpg.

Its a work in progress - I've dumped the stock Shimano Tiagra gear set and converted to Campagnolo (some old kit i had laying around which will be replaced with new over the winter.). The Deore disc brakes are terrible so they will be replaced with TRP hydraulic calipers and the Conti City Contacts are not very grippy so the wheels will be reshod quite soon! Tubus rack on the back - for the summer it'll get a Tara front rack too.

Its doubling up as the winter commuter - the SP8 dyno is great although the Axa headlight could do with being a bit brighter.

Re: Dry bags - a lightweight alternative to panniers

13 October 2014 - 8:26am
simonineaston wrote:Sooper8 wrote:...on Alpkit site at moment, in clearance, they have a few dry bags with slight faults at discount price?
Good for trying a few ideas, AKA prototypes, but given their prices are so low anyway...

Yup - exactly my thinking. This was one of those cheap factory seconds.

simonhill wrote: The straps holding the bags on are presumably tightened around the stuff in the bag. This is fine if it is something !like a sleeping bag, but could be problem if it was tensioning around something more fragile, easily damaged or bent.

What delicate items would you take on tour? The only thing I ever have to avoid squashing are pastries and that's only an issue to this fat b****** if I've treated myself to so many they won't fit in my handlebar bag!

simonhill wrote: Just had another thought. Wear points.

That's a good point. Continuous rubbing would probably eat holes through that thin material quite quickly

Re: Motorhome Support

12 October 2014 - 11:35pm
Also a good opportunity to do something more exotic. Something like riding the Western Front, about 500 kms from Switzerland to the coast. Ideal trip for the 2 of you.

I call the van/driver etc my LSU ( logistic support unit) and god bless 'em!

Re: Dry bags - a lightweight alternative to panniers

12 October 2014 - 11:29pm
Just had another thought. Wear points.

There will be small points of contact between bike and bag. Make sure they are well protected. Pipe insulator or something similar will probably do. Check and replace frequently to avoid holes in the bags.

Re: "End of the line for Europe's iconic night trains?"

12 October 2014 - 9:12pm
nirakaro wrote:"Deutsche Bahn has postponed plans to operate through-trains to London, in a move that must be considered a set-back for international rail travel.
DB had been planning to operate high-speed ICE trains from Amsterdam and Frankfurt via Brussels and the Channel Tunnel into London St Pancras.
Indeed, after a delay of several years, DB finally secured permission last summer from the Tunnel authorities. Services were set to start after 2016."
Business Traveller 19/2/14
And part of the reason why it won't apparently start until 2020 is that euro star plans to run direct trains to Amsterdam from late 2016. Could be good for many cyclists in southern England but for me the hull Europoort overnight crossing is best
As night trains had to be used by passengers with cyclists crossing borders for some inexplicable reason I don't see why db and others won't now permit cycles on day time international (and long distance) journeys

Re: finding a suitable route - southwest UK

12 October 2014 - 5:47pm
You might be better off sticking to Somerset as it's much flatter. They're not called the Somerset Levels for nothing

Re: finding a suitable route - southwest UK

12 October 2014 - 5:19pm
Hi Roger, allow me to convert your metric into imperial please.
Sorry, but I can't think in metric.

Single day, 44miles to 62miles ...... let's say that's 45miles to 65miles.
1,000metres is 3,380ft ...... let's call that 3,400ft.

Devon and Cornwall, you need to be thinking in the region of 100ft per mile. Therefore your "limit" of 1,000m = 3,400ft is a rather optimistic to say the least. ie it can't be done.

44miles will be in the region of 4,400ft = 70km - 1,341mtrs ascent
65miles will be in the region of 6,500ft = 100km - 1,981mtrs ascent.

Today, I rode 44miles and did 4,300ft of ascent and thought it was easy.

Re: Motorhome Support

12 October 2014 - 3:05pm
This would be an ideal way of doing LEJOG/JOGLE over 2 or 3 weeks.

See my blog for a route suggestion, though we stayed in B&B's rather than camping.

Other suggestions would be the various side to side routes - C2C, Reivers route, Hadrian's Cycleway, Way of the Roses - these only take 3-4 days but you can string them together to do a there and back again route. Lon Las Cymru and Coast and Castles are others.

Also have a look in the Camping sub-section - particularly Campsite reviews. No reason why you couldn't do a cycle-camping route, overnighting in the Motorhome.

Re: Berlin to Copenhagen

12 October 2014 - 2:40pm
Thanks everyone for all the information and advice re Berlin to Copenhagen - it's really useful for planning. The hotel recommended in Roedvig looks lovely by the way - think I will have earned it by then!

I've added some information below which might help anyone else planning the ride.

I found the following link (after I'd made the initial posting!) which I've added to this resource for completeness.

https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/pag ... 285495&v=j

Transport at beginning/end of the trip is proving fun. Not too bad getting to Berlin with Bromptons on the train. We had been planning to return from Copenhagen to Utrecht on the NightSleeper but Deutscher Bahn have just pulled it (along with some other NightSleeper services as reported elsewhere). Looks like it'll be a long day train ride with several changes rather than the rather elegant solution of a night journey. Will then cycle/train to Europort for ferry back to Hull.

Re: finding a suitable route - southwest UK

12 October 2014 - 1:29pm
Given our plans, it looks like Padstow - St. Austell circular route would be a good option...

finding a suitable route - southwest UK

12 October 2014 - 12:25pm

New to the boards, and new to the UK (from Melbourne Australia).

I've taken a few hours searching the forums and looking at the various route planning websites (bike hike, strava, cycle.travel) but am having some difficulty finding something that's going to work for us.

Looking for a single day, round-trip, roughly 70-100 km total and with limited total elevation (less than 1000m).
We'll be travelling with a car from London through Somerset and Devon to Cornwall (google maps route http://bit.ly/1vYHkiG)

From my initial searching, it seems like Cornwall/Devon and Dartmoor are all pretty hilly. We're not unfit, but it's been a while, and I'll be on a Brompton, with the wife likely on a hired hybrid, so want to keep it fairly easy riding, ideally between smaller towns on quiet(ish) roads.

If anyone could point me in the right direction for some recommended options, I'd be very appreciative!

Cheers, -Jonny


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