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Coast & Castles - Recommended sights & tea shops?

14 April 2015 - 6:24pm
Hi

I'll be doing the Coast and Castles (coast route all the way) at the end of April. I expect that the scenery will be lovely, and fingers crossed for the weather.

I'd really appreciate any recommendations from forum members who have previously done this ride in terms of (a) nice places to visit en route, (b) tea shops and cafes.

Thank you.

Pete

Re: Travel Insurance North America

14 April 2015 - 3:41pm
I always use Snowcard for bike touring in the US although I didn't use them when I did the Divide as I didn't know about them.

Have a look at their website and work out how many days, what level of activity, how much excess and kit you want to insure and it works it out for you. It won't be cheap but worth every penny.

I got knocked off in Florida and was scooped off the road by the Paramedics who looked after my bike for me, saline drips, cat scan, private doctor and all I did was give them my plastic Snowcard card and my passport. The insurers did the rest and even contacted me on my return to make sure I was ok and was there anything I needed. The following year I re insured with them and there was no increase in premium.

I will be using them this year for my extended Southern Tier trip.

Enjoy the GD it is a fantastic trip but do take heed of bear and wild animal warnings.

Re: European Tour Advice?

14 April 2015 - 1:35pm
The main long-distance cycling routes in Germany are on this website: http://www.radnetz-deutschland.de/en/ra ... hland.html But there are lots (and lots) of regional routes, to the point where the signposts can get very confusing. The ADFC maps are generally very useful. I haven't been to that part of Germany, but campsites are fairly cheap - just search for "campingplatz" on google maps.

If you're looking to reduce costs then definitely think about joining WarmShowers. Travelling in a group of 3 can make it a bit harder to find places to stay, but it's still possible. If you have time to host some people before leaving, the positive feedback may increase your chances of finding places.

One country where you should probably try to avoid campsites is Slovenia; maybe I was unlucky but all the campsites I saw were extremely expensive. In rural areas I think wild camping would be quite easy, although it's not officially allowed, and it's best to avoid wild camping in the national parks. Czech campsites can be very basic (and very cheap), but also good fun - lots of people with open campfires drinking beer all night. I helped a neighbour chop some wood and we got invited for hot dogs, beer and cake later in the evening!

Re: Travel Insurance North America

14 April 2015 - 1:22pm
Thanks all. It turns out that Citybond won't cover the Great Divide if there are only two of you travelling!

It certainly pays to check but I was very disappointed by this.

Regards,

Paul.

Re: Dawes Super Galaxy price shock

14 April 2015 - 1:13pm
It works with sofas.
£899 now down to 123 including the cost of the tv advert.
What is the real cost/worth of anything ?

Re: Train carriage - how are bikes secured?

14 April 2015 - 10:54am
mjr wrote:I'm not sure I've ever seen a 125 on the Norwich line. It wouldn't make much sense to put a 125mph diesel on a 100mph electric line (although that wouldn't always stop them!)
mark 3 DVT s but they look like the old intercity 125

Re: Train carriage - how are bikes secured?

14 April 2015 - 10:10am
NUKe wrote:Vorpal wrote:There are several different methods for holding bikes (or not) on trains. On Abellio Greater Anglia, most trains do not have any special place for bikes. You just need to find a wheelchair spot, or use the entry area for the carriage and stay with your bike. It is possible on some trains to stick the front wheel between a vertical hand rail and glass divider such that you don't have to hold it. But you may still need to move it out of the way for people entering and exiting the train.


except the older 125 trains on the Norwich to London line, which use the old mail storage area, just behind the drivers cab as bike storage. This is at the Norwich end of the train.
I've never seen one of those. When I first starting using the trains with my bike, intercity trains on East Anglia still had a guards carriage. In theory, you were supposed to book a bike in advance to use it, but I quickly found out that no one did. They just turned people away when it was full, whether you had booked a bike or not. I only went Witham - Stratford, or vice versa, so I had never had any problems.

Re: Train carriage - how are bikes secured?

14 April 2015 - 10:04am
mjr wrote:Possible pic of a Southeastern bike space at https://www.flickr.com/photos/smsm1/10046338153 from someone who works with cycleipswich.
That's on a Javelin high speed train out of St Pancras. This is clearly an option for OP, but likely more expensive. The SE trains out of Charing Cross/Victoria will not have such generous provision.

Re: Train carriage - how are bikes secured?

14 April 2015 - 10:01am
I'm not sure I've ever seen a 125 on the Norwich line. It wouldn't make much sense to put a 125mph diesel on a 100mph electric line (although that wouldn't always stop them!)

Re: Train carriage - how are bikes secured?

14 April 2015 - 9:47am
Vorpal wrote:There are several different methods for holding bikes (or not) on trains. On Abellio Greater Anglia, most trains do not have any special place for bikes. You just need to find a wheelchair spot, or use the entry area for the carriage and stay with your bike. It is possible on some trains to stick the front wheel between a vertical hand rail and glass divider such that you don't have to hold it. But you may still need to move it out of the way for people entering and exiting the train.


except the older 125 trains on the Norwich to London line, which use the old mail storage area, just behind the drivers cab as bike storage. This is at the Norwich end of the train.

Re: Text Only UK Weather Forecasts

14 April 2015 - 9:23am
Could just post whatever they give you, as long as it's not epoch seconds or something awful. Humans are fairly good parsers.

Re: Train carriage - how are bikes secured?

14 April 2015 - 8:22am
Vmlopes wrote:Hanging front wheel hooks on Network South East on the ones I have been on
I thought network south east was history or never really existed outside the railcard. They are all separate companies.

OP - on southeastern services there is a lean space with room for i think 2 bikes secured by a strap which from memory secures with a sort of seatbelt clamp fastener. You would want your carbon dream on the outside i suppose. There will be 1 or 2 of these compartments per train - they are marked on the door. Southeastern is quite liberal on bike carriage OUTSIDE PEAK hours and will let you stand in the central bits of each carriage sith your bike. Pipe lagging seems a bit extreme for a train trip (oh the wonders of carbon) but a couple of bungees might be handy.

Re: Mosquitos/Midges be afraid be very afraid Armageddon

14 April 2015 - 12:00am
I got bitten by mosquitoes badly in south-east England last year. Have never had any problems with them in Scotland though.

But the midges, cleggs and ticks more than make up for it. Overall, ticks are the worst.

Re: Train carriage - how are bikes secured?

13 April 2015 - 11:50pm
And even then there are non-island stations where each line is bidirectional, i.e. trains can (and do) arrive from either direction. Worcester Foregate Street is one.

mjr - good spot, I'd forgotten about the Turbostar prongs!

Re: Text Only UK Weather Forecasts

13 April 2015 - 11:41pm
Psamathe wrote:Just some (small) text at the bottom of the page e.g. "Issued by UK Met Office at 11:07".

Ian

Nice one, thanks. I think I left the time out as it was given in a weird format that was hard to parse but I'll have another look at it.

Re: Touring in Sweden

13 April 2015 - 11:30pm
Make sure you bring a headnet and plenty of repellent to keep off the mosquitoes. They really are very bad in northern Scandinavia during summer. I'm not sure about further south. They won't be so bad near the coast and higher up in the mountains.

Food (and pretty much everything else) costs roughly double what it does in the UK, possibly a bit more in remote areas, though I think the exchange rate might be quite favourable at the moment.

Re: Text Only UK Weather Forecasts

13 April 2015 - 11:07pm
Just some (small) text at the bottom of the page e.g. "Issued by UK Met Office at 11:07".

Ian

Re: Text Only UK Weather Forecasts

13 April 2015 - 10:56pm
Thanks for the feedback. The forecasts come from the Met Office and are updated daily. Showing the last-update date/time is a good idea and I think that info is supplied but not in a very friendly format.

The text forecasts warn of strong winds but unfortunately the direction is often missing. I would need to load in a different dataset for that which would add a fair amount of complexity but would certainly be worthwhile.

Re: Text Only UK Weather Forecasts

13 April 2015 - 10:31pm
Thanks for posting, I have bookmarked your site

Re: Text Only UK Weather Forecasts

13 April 2015 - 10:03pm
You don't say where you are getting your forecasts from (e.g. Met Office, GFS, etc.).

Your forecast pages don't say when the forecast was issued (so if things stopped working as expected you could be using a somewhat out of date forecast).

Ian

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