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Updated: 34 min 22 sec ago

Re: North or south ?

7 December 2014 - 7:11pm
DaleFTW wrote:If I was off on a tour now, I'd be heading into the glorious isolation of the Hebrides and the far North.

I'd be looking at OS Landranger maps and the Mountain Bothy Association website too...

+1 for this suggestion.
The hebrides are great for winter touring, sure it can be a bit blustery, but temperatures are generally not as cold as the mainland.
The Gatliff hostels are always open and you can camp at them if you want to save a few quid, but still get the advantages of the facilities and a warm living area to relax in or wait out the weather.
The north west mainland is also not bad for winter touring if you stick near the coast, and there are a few bothies that can be accessed by bike relatively easily.

Re: North or south ?

7 December 2014 - 6:52pm
Still not really grasping your point? Or is that you don't like it when it gets a widdle bit cold?

The coldest night I've ever spent in a tent was in an April. It's the UK, you can get all four seasons in a day and sub zero temperatures in the summer months.

Re: North or south ?

7 December 2014 - 5:01pm
Flite wrote:Snowing in the North Pennines as well.....

After having been up in the North Pennines today I can confirm. I didn't cycle up but some did and they were covered in snow.

Re: North or south ?

7 December 2014 - 4:50pm
Snowing in the North Pennines as well.....

Re: North or south ?

7 December 2014 - 4:43pm
DaleFTW wrote:If I was off on a tour now, I'd be heading into the glorious isolation of the Hebrides and the far North.


This picture of Scotland today is why I questioned your choice.

Re: North or south ?

7 December 2014 - 4:26pm
Paulatic wrote:DaleFTW wrote:Here you go - http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?doc_id=4867

Notice that was a "Scottish spring" not winter.

Well done?

Re: North or south ?

7 December 2014 - 1:41pm
DaleFTW wrote:Here you go - http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?doc_id=4867

Notice that was a "Scottish spring" not winter.

Re: North or south ?

7 December 2014 - 1:16pm
If I was off on a tour now, I'd be heading into the glorious isolation of the Hebrides and the far North.

I'd be looking at OS Landranger maps and the Mountain Bothy Association website too...

Re: 1980s Raleigh Esprit for tour of Italy?

7 December 2014 - 10:28am
Dudley Manlove wrote:Hrmmm. Not having rode an old vintage bike in the wet before, and having recently bought an old Raleigh 20 off eBay....One damp morning a couple of weeks ago I almost rode the bike down the drive and straight into a busy main road. Instead I rode myself into a wall. Braking on steel rims in the wet is pretty shocking tbh. Even now I've done the commute on it in the wet a few times and am used to making allowances for it, braking long in advance, getting my foot down as required etc, I'm not sure I'd really want to do a lumpy tour on it.
Did people really ride a loaded bike down 40mph+ decents with these brakes in the wet, or simply get off?
All my early cycling was on steel rims - all weathers - 100miles + in a day.
I suppose one just adapted to the braking capacity available. Maybe the brake block compounds of the time (mid fifties) were better suited to steel?

Re: North or south ?

7 December 2014 - 9:33am
Definitely North!

One great thing about touring in Scotland is you can free camp more or less anywhere, which makes life so much easier. I can recommend getting the Gourock-Dunoon Ferry then heading West and North, which means you can miss out the "popular" Loch Lomond area. As to what to take, I would be looking at clothing/gloves/footwear that is wet when warm rather than relying on keeping rain out. For me this means sandals with a choice of merino and/or goretex socks, Buffalo mittens, merino layers.

Re: North or south ?

7 December 2014 - 9:15am
Within the UK, I'd either head for Suffolk/Norfolk or the south coast. Suffolk/Norfolk may not be the warmest place this time of year, but as most of the weather is off the Atlantic, it's one of the driest. Otherwise, I'd consider the south coast, which has the mildest weather in the UK, including more sunshine than most other places.

You may have trouble finding camping, unless you are wild camping. The biggest problem with cycle touring this time of year is that the combination of cold and wet can be deadly, and if you are camping, it can also be hard to get away from. Take more warm things than you think you need, by at least one layer, and take things that will keep you warm, even when wet, such as wool.

Re: North or south ?

7 December 2014 - 8:42am
Definitely South!
I'd probably go as far as the Sth of France this time of year[emoji3]

Choosing from your options I'd choose the Nth West of England.
Reasons: it can be marginally warmer than the East
Definitely more bolt holes for bad weather than in Scotland.
You'll never be more than a days ride from a station that can whisk you back to Paisley.
Special equipment: take your wellies [emoji3]

North or south ?

7 December 2014 - 4:46am
Hi folks, I'm in the Paisley area just a tad north of Glasgow. I'm new to Cycle touring, very new! Done a we bit of time trialling and a wee bit of 3/4 cat racing but not for a few years. I reckon I could say that I'm pretty unfit hoping to ride into a small degree of fitness during my tour.
I feel the need to 'bug out' for a fortnight or so and have a decent bike and panniers. I also have lots of outdoor clothes and a decent tent.
My question is this, I really love Scotland's West coast and I know it is generally damp but mild 'ish' about now, hoe does it compare with scenic routes into the north west or north east of England at this time of year?

If you were cycle touring these areas right now would you be carrying /wearing/ equipped with anything special ? Would you consider this 'run of the mill' touring or would there be a degree of survival / serious planning skilld required for a trip right now?

Appreciate your opinions
Cheers
Jim

Re: Circuit of the Luberon

6 December 2014 - 6:48pm
The web site mentioned is very helpful.
I did the loop of Luberon in 2009. I used the EBE to Orange and worked my way past Avignon to Cavaillon and went anti clockwise. It's a great route, well sign posted and I did the extra loop above Forcalquier, which I recommend.
Campsites will be open in September it's only towards the end some start closing down. I'm ashamed to say I can't remember the sites I stayed on apart from Beaumont de Pertuis which was a good one, about half a mile out of town down a dip. I did struggle to find one on the hilly loop above Forcalquier but everywhere else was well catered for. I loved the route and those fountains in the middle of each village are a god send.
I combined it with a trip up Mont Ventoux in the second week, go on, you know you want to!!

Re: Off-bike travel shoes recommendation

6 December 2014 - 3:41pm
Keen Newports and a choice of socks depending on the weather. You can pedal in them too if you don't mind riding without cleats, then you only need one pair of shoes.

Off-bike travel shoes recommendation

6 December 2014 - 12:32pm
I'm kitting myself out for a long-term cycle tour and would like recommendations for off-bike footwear. I want footwear for when I park the bike up and spend a day sight-seeing. I'm looking for shoes/boots which are comfortable in all climates, suitable for walking about for hours and not weigh too much in my panniers.

Any suggestions?

Re: 1980s Raleigh Esprit for tour of Italy?

6 December 2014 - 12:24pm
leaf17 wrote:Crikey! Overwhelmed by the quantity and quality of all the responses - thank you so much.
It'll take me several weeks to research all the info you've given me as I'm a complete novice.

If you guys were in my position, what would you do? If I choose to buy a tourer, buying second hand to me seems a no-brainer as 1) obviously cheaper and 2) will hold value far better. Would you agree?

Thanks again,
Jack
Yes, but you can get a poor bargain if you buy something that ends up needing lots of work. If you aren't experienced at maintaining bikes, you either need to buy secondhand from a reputable shop, or get some help from a friend who is knowledgeable.
If I were in your position, and I liked the bike I was riding, I'd upgrade bits on that, as I could, and save the money for the trip, or other things I needed for the trip. If you fall in love with touring, save your money (or get some help from family) and buy a bike for the trip after, or the one after that.

But you will get as many opinions as people on here, so see what others say, do your research and have a think. If you decide to buy something, IMO the Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op tourer is a bit on the heavy side, but probably the best value for money amongst the entry level touring bikes. You might find that you can pick up a bargain if you wait until retail is dead in late January.

Re: 1980s Raleigh Esprit for tour of Italy?

6 December 2014 - 11:59am
Crikey! Overwhelmed by the quantity and quality of all the responses - thank you so much.
It'll take me several weeks to research all the info you've given me as I'm a complete novice.

If you guys were in my position, what would you do? If I choose to buy a tourer, buying second hand to me seems a no-brainer as 1) obviously cheaper and 2) will hold value far better. Would you agree?

Thanks again,
Jack

Re: Uruguay-Brazil-Argentina-Paraguay

6 December 2014 - 11:49am
The trip is over.
The blog is in Italian but should you need any information please don't hesitate to ask, I can easily reply in English.

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