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Updated: 5 min 52 sec ago

Re: Crossing the High Atlas passes in Morocco

14 January 2015 - 10:04pm
Thank you very much. It looks fantastic.

Reluctantly we've already chickened out and made arrangements to fly to Agadir and then head east via Taroudant to Merzouga and then head north to Fez before catching a bus to Casablanca and turning south down the coast as far as Essaouira and bussing to Marrakech at the end.

Kind regards and once again thank you

Re: Marrakech to the High Atlas - December

14 January 2015 - 6:36pm
Thanks for the comments guys and I hope you enjoy this installment too.


Re: Thailand 2015

14 January 2015 - 3:43pm
Thanks all for you replies and the info you provided, very much appreciated.

Re: Bother - CalMac Summer Timetable Lochboisdale to Mallaig

14 January 2015 - 12:29pm
Last summer we did Mallaig - Armadale - Uig- Harris, then down through the Uists, ferry back from Lochboisdale to Oban. The Island Hopper is good value for this itinerary, Harris not to be missed, and the long sail back from Lochboisdale superb. Downside is cycling against prevailing wind in the Uists, and that so much hangs on not missing the early morning Lochboisdale ferry (and it had a mechanical problem the day we wanted to use it).

Re: LLC and Wales Questions

14 January 2015 - 10:16am
mcallaghan wrote:I am assuming this is the route to take?

Yes, that's the right route, if you decide to ride it.

If you need any help, feel free to PM me.

Re: Holland cycle route info

14 January 2015 - 9:07am
Thanks everyone for all the useful info. I have now spent many an internet hour route planning etc. The Dutch cycle system really looks amazing and am really looking forward to experience it and not have to share my riding experience with juggernauts and other road users that hate cyclists! As always this forum is a fantastic way of sharing the wealth of knowledge and willingness to share, that exists in the cycling community

Re: LLC and Wales Questions

13 January 2015 - 10:28pm
So I think if I fly into Manchester, I will take a cab to get into Chester. Will probably be pretty knackered from 15hours of travel so will consider Day 1 to be a rest day, let me get my gear and bike sorted out etc.

I am still 50/50 on Camping Gear. Will save me money on lodging (at least 1/4 the price of a B&B) but then I'd have to also find breakfast everyday, and be carrying that much more gear with me. Decisions, decisions!

Re: LLC and Wales Questions

13 January 2015 - 9:06pm
pwa wrote:Sorry, forget my earlier post. I can no longer find a list of farmers willing to take tents on a casual basis. But you might consider just turning up at a farm in a quiet location and asking. Farmers in mid Wales are generally friendly and helpful people.
Or you can try http://campinmygarden.com/

Cycle Touring Festival Clitheroe

13 January 2015 - 9:06pm
Hi Gary. I'm probably not going to be bike-fit unless I pull my finger out. So long as work etc pans out ok (self employed gardener) I should be able to leave on Friday? Lift share if you are feeling lazy?

I like your blog btw. I spent 20+ years in Southern Africa. I did some decent, unsupported hiking in the Chimanimani mountains and Pungwe valley (Moçambique/Zimbabwe) Stunning. Kind regards, Blair.

Re: Crossing the High Atlas passes in Morocco

13 January 2015 - 8:16pm
I've done the Tizi n Test. It's high but it's not that steep as I recall.I think Marrakesh is at around 400m so you get a bit of a leg up. The descent is long down into the Souss valley, so not that hairy. Pretty spectacular though.

To be honest, there's nothing different about the heights in the High Atlas compared to any other mountains I've been over. You climb up and you roll down. Yes, there are switchbacks and some steepish climbs and drops, but no more than in the Alps.

Re: LLC and Wales Questions

13 January 2015 - 8:07pm
I am assuming this is the route to take?

Re: Cycle Touring Festival Clitheroe

13 January 2015 - 8:07pm
Heltor Chasca wrote:
I'm hoping to come along as I've never been to Yorkshire. Exciting. Best of luck...hc

Heltor, you riding up? I should be riding up from Wiltshire, wild camping on the way.


Re: Default tourer?

13 January 2015 - 7:42pm
I see that the "longbikeride" chap, who is pro-LHT, has the surname HEWITT

Re: Default tourer?

13 January 2015 - 4:26pm
I have been riding a Thorn Club Tour as a commuter (over dark and dirty country lanes) and a leisure bike for quite a few years. I don't remember when I bought it, but it was when they cost £699! It's gone through a few pairs of wheels and numerous chain rings, and I'm no longer sure how much of it is original, but I still use it as much as I did when it was new.

If it had been a lighter frame it would probably have met its end several years ago when I was floored by a van at low speed. I rolled, and the bike disappeared under the front of the van. I got up (bruised) and the driver and myself pulled the bike out. The frame was practically unmarked, and everything was working perfectly.

For a commute over hilly terrain and with some poor road surfaces this style of bike is unbeatable, especially when you consider the ability to carry panniers with changes of clothing etc. About the only thing I would change if I were buying today would be the brakes. I would prefer discs to avoid having to replace wheels due to worn rims.

Re: carrying luggage on a carbon road bike

13 January 2015 - 4:14pm
I am always impressed at how little space people can manage with. Even CC touring i need 4 panniers, a handlebar bar bag and the trailer to pull the small generator for in between cafe cups of tea. There's nothing like being able to get the Swan whistling kettle out with the toasted sandwich maker, whilst grooming one's beard.

Re: Default tourer?

13 January 2015 - 1:11pm
I got rid of my Galaxy due to endless ankle pain (still don't know why) and bought a Surly LHT. I didn't believe you could fall in love with a bike, but after one, yes ONE, ride I just love it. I just don't bother riding anything else. I was worried about the weight and the 26" wheels of my 54cm setup, but I needn't have. I get stopped often from people wanting to look at it. Nothing is going to make those big climbs any easier, only me, but for long distance comfort with endless options for customisation I am officially a one bike man.

Re: Thailand 2015

13 January 2015 - 11:39am
I have stayed in the Baan Sabai tens of times and never had a problem. The good safe bike storage is fairly high up my list, but I have always found the place very clean, safe and good value. I pay 350 bhat ( £7) for a double with shared clean bath.

I have just read TripAdvisor and there are lots of negative posts.

I am old school and have been travelling in Asia for over 30 years and don't leave large sums of money in my room, I always carry my (very) valuables with me. Also, it seems that almost all the thefts are from the lockers.

These are flimsy steel lockers and I do think it possible maybe even probable that the night staff may well have stolen the stuff. However, each locker has a pair of loops for your own padlock, but it seems that most people don't use one. I think this is a bit naive, assuming the flimsy lock on the locker to be adequate security for hundreds of dollars.

Most of the reviews do say the place is clean and good value, you just need to take care, like you have to do in any hotel on your travels. It is a budget place and they don't give towels etc in the cheaper rooms. What do people expect? They do give toilet paper and soap.

Having said that, there are hundreds of cheap hotels in Bkk, I just choose to use the Baan Sabai, because I like the place and am happy with the staff and have never had a problem with them. They also take and honour email bookings.

Re routes, etc.. The pedal to Kanchi from Bkk is easy once out of the urban sprawl.

From Kanchi a good onward route is from Kanchi to the Three Pagodas Pass, folowing the route of the (so called) Death Railway. This is a 3 day ride, returning by the same route, so using the bus one way is a good idea. You can get a bus in Kanchi to Sangkhlaburi. From there you can do a half day ride to border before the 3 day ride back to Kanchi.

Edit: The Jolly Frog Backpackers is a great place to stay in Kanchi. Not really a backpackers, but good rooms around a large garden next to River Kwai.

Re: Thailand 2015

12 January 2015 - 11:58pm
I quite enjoyed the " Mae Hong son loop" . A bit steep in places but pretty, it will be all paved by now too.

If coming from the south you'll get a little taste a toerist free zone. By the time you're about ready for fatty food and 7/11 again you'll arrive in Mae hong son

>Poorly written trip report...<

Re: Show your touring bikes !!!!

12 January 2015 - 11:54pm
My Dawes 1-Down

Dawes 1-Down.JPG

May look an ugly duckling but a) the gears 46/36/26 8 speed chainset and 26" wheel size give me performance that suits my limits b) the frame is neither too big or small to carry under my arm and with the small wheels am able to carry over country stiles or through those gated curved ones. The only blot is that the rims brakes dont like muddy tracks as it tends to get onto the side walls and rims c) luggage is kept very low and feels very stable loaded. I bought this bike with 20% off in 1999 (I think) from the YHA Adventure Shop in Covent Garden London ( now gone ) Then it was £649 full price, more than the Galaxy at £599 and was one of the first Dawes bikes I think to have Reynolds 631 main tubes? This was the largest 57cm frame

Re: TOURING 2015

12 January 2015 - 11:48pm
I'm not usually an advocate for jumping on a new bike for a tour, but.

In 2 weeks I''m off to text my new bike on the Southern half of the Trans Andalusia mtb trail in Spain . Its going to be a toughy, 1500km or so in 3 weeks. Then parking my bike up in Alacante so I can use in on weekends while on a course there from march

Now to get back to sewing some new bags together...no pressure


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