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Updated: 21 min 32 sec ago

Re: maps for the west of USA

8 April 2015 - 10:35am
My brother had quite a bit of information. I shall try to condense it into something sensible...

1) My brother said a friend of his uses http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/maps/state/all as a first stop for maps for his Garmin

2) the USGS site has a thing where you can click on the map and get a list of all of the maps available for the area. Some areas have quite good, large area maps that can be downloaded as pdf files and printed in a suitable size. This is a bit hit and miss, as the 'good' maps are not available everywhere and/or are dated for some areas.

3) If neither of those provides suitable information, the USGS data can be dowloaded and manipulated with other software. My brother bought a software package, but says there is also shareware around that will do the same thing.

4) the site linked above, gpsfiledepot has a tutorial about how to make Garmin files from map data

5) USGS is creating mountain biking maps in conjunction with the International Mountain Biking Association. There is some news about it on http://nationalmap.gov/ and on various mountin biking sites. I don't know anyone who has used these maps, yet.

Re: Has technology changed touring?

8 April 2015 - 10:31am
I think the biggest change for the better came with the Mountainbike. 30 years ago when I first started cycletouring a bike geared for touring meant a proper touring bike - (and even they were generally too high geared for loaded touring) - but then cheap mountainbikes and hybrids brought sturdy bikes that would do the job. Nowadays £300 will get you a bike that will cope with an extended tour (for me the break point - literally - is that it must use a cassette as freewheel axles are too fragile) - so less than a week on the minimum wage will pay for it.

The next biggest change are cheap tents and sleepingbags - £100 will get you gear that 30 years ago would have cost you three times that in absolute terms - in real terms the cost is probably <20% of what it was back then.

Thanks technology and lots of Chinese working for peanuts.

Re: Touring in Norway

8 April 2015 - 10:12am
It is good news though that it is running. At least it is possible now to take the Rallarvegen down to Flåm and get across the fjord without taking a bus. I will be looking at my summer tour planning again in the light of this.

Re: Touring in Norway

8 April 2015 - 10:04am
syklist wrote:Vorpal wrote:syklist wrote:
Then take the Rallarvegen down to Flåm boat to Leikanger (if it still goes)

As of last season, ferries from Flåm were going to Gudvangen (with additional stops available upon request) and Balestrand/Bergen.

Service on other routes from Flåm has been suspended. A call to Fjord1 or visit their website http://www.fjord1.no/eng/ferry for information about routes. They operate many of the ferries on the west coast.

Are you sure the boat to Leikanger no longer runs? The link below shows a timetable running through 2015.

http://www.fjord1.no/passasjerbat/ruteoversikt-for-passasjerbat/batruter/sogn-og-fjordane/flam-balestrand
They definitiely were not running when I was in Flåm in June or September last year. I think I read something about it (in Norwegian) Maybe the route was run by another company, and lost for a seaon when Fjord1 took over? It seems to me that one of the companies stopped all of their routes in that area last year, but I can't now find what I read about it. Anyway, if it's running, it's a good thing. Maybe that mean some other routes have been reinstated.

Cycling coast of Wales

8 April 2015 - 9:29am
Hi, I am looking at cycling around the coast of wales, from Chepstow to Chester. I am looking for advise on a route as I can find nothing of any use on the internet. My criteria for the ride is that I should stay as close to the coast as possible but not to the point of it making the cycling less enjoyable than it should be.
The only place I have been to in Wales is Snowdonia, for walking, so I am not sure of the quality of the roads. It is difficult to avoid A-roads when trying to stay next to the coast. How heavy is the traffic likely to be on theses?

If anybody has any advice on roads to avoid, must sees etc. that would be great.

Re: Gloucester to west Wales - any suggestions

8 April 2015 - 9:28am
I would avoid the Port Talbot / Swansea section of the Celtic Trail. A lot of it is grim. You are probably better off staying further north until you are past Swansea. Sustrans routes are of limited use in South Wales. They often link areas of industrial decline, created as a regeneration project. They work well for local communities, but they are not ideal for visitors.

Re: Would this bike be a suitable entry level tourer

8 April 2015 - 8:43am
Bicycler wrote:Weight is important but don't overestimate its importance. In a race grammes matter on tour they do not. An 18kg bike may be 30% heavier than a 14kg bike but in practice with a 75kg rider and 15kg load there is only a 4% difference in weight. Nevertheless, that bike is fairly heavy. I would also second Sweep's comments about the suspension. Dynamos and their lights are great bits of kit but maybe superfluous if you don't envisage much night time riding.

Hub dynamos can be very useful. You need to be seen in tunnels, they allow you to use your lighting as "day running lights" in bad weather and you can charge all kinds of electronic equipment from a hub dynamo.

My first tourer was a ukp 200 Halfords hybrid. It is still going strong, albeit with a fair few (expensive) upgrades.

Re: Touring in Norway

8 April 2015 - 8:17am
Vorpal wrote:syklist wrote:
Then take the Rallarvegen down to Flåm boat to Leikanger (if it still goes)

As of last season, ferries from Flåm were going to Gudvangen (with additional stops available upon request) and Balestrand/Bergen.

Service on other routes from Flåm has been suspended. A call to Fjord1 or visit their website http://www.fjord1.no/eng/ferry for information about routes. They operate many of the ferries on the west coast.

Are you sure the boat to Leikanger no longer runs? The link below shows a timetable running through 2015.

http://www.fjord1.no/passasjerbat/ruteoversikt-for-passasjerbat/batruter/sogn-og-fjordane/flam-balestrand

Re: maps for the west of USA

8 April 2015 - 1:44am
Individual states have cycling maps that you can get from their tourism departments (you'll have to find these departments yourself but they do exist) and they are usually free. In my limited experience, WA state,they are road maps color coded to show how busy roads are. It's worth a poke around. How much does it cost to get ACA maps in the UK? The Northern Tier set is $147.50, almost exactly £100, plus P & P I suppose. Expensive but they save you an awful lot of work. Think how many OS maps it would take to cover 4256 miles, very roughly the coast of the UK mainland and nobody has sussed out the best route.

Re: Carrying currency on a tour in Europe

8 April 2015 - 1:11am
Under no circumstances take traveler's checks to France. I managed to change some in Dieppe (where BTW banks are open Saturdays closed Mondays) Elsewhere nobody would touch them, not even banks.

Re: Hotel or camping during a cycling tour?

7 April 2015 - 11:49pm
One thing I've found with my tours. The longer the tour, the more I end up staying in hotels!

Re: Spalding to Fosdyke Bridge

7 April 2015 - 10:32pm
mjr wrote:So what state's it in, please?
Alf reported that it's a good road until that last stretch west of Fosdyke Bridge, and that the gated farm road "is rideable and with care you can miss the holes and manage without punctures or damage. You will not be stopped by farm officials on a bike and during the day will probably be open anyway."

Sounds pretty good to me.

Now if the cycling gods will just send sunshine and a following breeze …

Re: Practical GPS 101

7 April 2015 - 9:43pm
tempsperdu wrote:bohrsatom

How long does recharging take using charging device and how long does charging device take to charge?
What is the rating (mAh) of your Anker device and will it provide more than one charge?
I can see myself getting into a world of dynamos and/or solar chargers. I never yet had a map run out of power.

I don't remember how long it took to charge but it wasn't long. An hour to an hour and a half tops.

My Anker device is 15000mAh and if my research is correct the Edge 800/810 has a 1000mAh battery. So allowing for some charge loss due to heat etc you could get 13 or 14 charges from one Anker battery.

Re: Spalding to Fosdyke Bridge

7 April 2015 - 9:15pm
So what state's it in, please?

Re: Gloucester to west Wales - any suggestions

7 April 2015 - 7:46pm
I've just planned a lap of Wales which crosses the Severn Bridge, over the Brecons, round the bottom corner and up the coast

If you are on ridewithgps and send me a friend request you are welcome to view the route. My name on the system is Martin Nichols and my nickname is Martin

Re: Gloucester to west Wales - any suggestions

7 April 2015 - 7:40pm
Thanks, Chepstow's a good idea as I would actually be starting from Stroud. I just used Gloucester as a reference, being the nearest Severn crossing point.

Re: Carrying currency on a tour in Europe

7 April 2015 - 7:37pm
For me touring in europe, US, Oz etc is the same as touring in the UK. I just use ATMs for small amounts of cash and credit cards (although I have also experienced CC problems in small german hotels). This is not the cheapest way of doing it but overall for short trips the cost is not huge IME. i do recommend a european health card.

In rural parts of Africa and Asia the only option is cash which I tend to split up into small stashes. I usually have some USD as well. Cards are still useful in larger towns. In Kenya, transactions via mobile phone are common although you have to create an account which is only worthwhile if you are there for a long time.

Re: Dilema - mud-guards or wider tyres

7 April 2015 - 6:28pm
Thanks for the replies - still undecided. Had a chat with local shop earlier, and they didn't come down one way or the other either

I've a pair of new(ish) Schwelbe Durano Plus in 23mm, which I used in Scotland year before last - don't recall them being uncomfortable, so may go with them and guards I have. They will run down to 85psi, which is quite low for a 23mm, so could be a plan.

Re: Carrying currency on a tour in Europe

7 April 2015 - 5:57pm
I always carry cash, up to about £1000. Beyond that, I use a prepayment card. Been doing that since 1966, never had a problem. Usually keep half in my wallet, half somewhere else. If things look a bit dodgy I'll stick most of it in my underwear.

Re: Practical GPS 101

7 April 2015 - 5:49pm
I have the Garmin 62s. Worked fine for me - I think it gets about 6hrs of continuous use. The big catch, though, is that it uses AA Batteries - which you can find virtually everywhere. I used rechargeable AA batteries. If, for some reason, they ever died on me, it would be rather easy to find fresh AA Batteries to replace them with.

I preloaded my routes and it shows where all the ups and downs are on the roads, along with POI's etc.

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