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Updated: 1 hour 52 min ago

Re: Gloucester to west Wales - any suggestions

7 April 2015 - 5:26pm
I would suggest riding to Chepstow, then take NCN 42 (I believe) up and over the Gospel pass, then hop on NCN 8 (South towards Cardiff) until it joins the Celtic Trail. Then I'd take the Celtic Trail West all the way to fishguard. Or at least start looking at those routes to get an idea.

Re: Carrying currency on a tour in Europe

7 April 2015 - 4:57pm
Sweep wrote::D bigjim wrote:My expereince in Germany and Austria is that the small hotels, Zimmer, etc, is they will not accept a card. They have a heart attack when you show a credit card. France or Portugal no problem.
Wny their extreme aversion to cards?

I do know there is a certain preference for cash in italy - you don't have to think too hard to figure out why.

A few possible answers about the preference for cash in Germany: http://qz.com/262595/why-germans-pay-ca ... verything/

Re: Spalding to Fosdyke Bridge

7 April 2015 - 2:35pm
Thought you'd get one quickly Alf's a sound chap.

Re: Wild camping in England ???

7 April 2015 - 1:32pm
Weimarunner wrote:Hi RR, not illegal in Scotland sorry, just England with the possibility of permission wild camping in English national parks. Geographical slip!
The main exception being Dartmoor where you have a statutory right to wild camp on most common land: http://www.dartmoor-npa.gov.uk/__data/a ... ap_309.pdf

Personally, I have never felt any particular need for secrecy in the unfenced upland areas and that is where I do my wild camping. I think I'd always ask if wanting to camp in enclosed fields etc.

Re: Spalding to Fosdyke Bridge

7 April 2015 - 1:29pm
Thanks pete75. I followed your suggestion and got a prompt reply from Alf.

What a fine community this is!

Gloucester to west Wales - any suggestions

7 April 2015 - 1:11pm
Any recommendations for crossing South Wales , starting at Gloucester and ending at Haverfordwest / Fishguard (so I can pick up a train back to Southampton) - I'd be staying as Hostels / B&Bs and would love to ride over Gospel Pass.
Thanks

Re: Hotel or camping during a cycling tour?

7 April 2015 - 12:33pm
I think some people camp because they like camping. It is part of the trip. Others would never camp come what may. Inbetween there are innumeral variations.

I tour almost exclusively long haul for 5 or so months a year, mainly in Asia and almost all of my time is in hotels, guest houses and occasionally hostels (eg in Oz). There are probably 2 main reasons for this, firstly hotels are cheap and plentiful and secondly camping is often not an option (no sites, wild camping difficult, etc).

Personally I wouldn't want to camp as hotels are so much better: security of me; security of gear; personal hygiene (showers, washing clothes, etc); often WiFi; often in town so good for going out; meet people in hotels; experience local culture and food more in hotel than in tent; no need to carry camping gear; and finally a much better place to shelter from a typhoon!

I do occasionally camp in UK or N Europe, but it is as much a camping trip as a cycle tour. Although I enjoy these short trips they remind me how much harder it is and how much extra work is involved in camping. Not least a few extra hours of set up and packing up each day.

Re: Dilema - mud-guards or wider tyres

7 April 2015 - 12:28pm
Ideal excuse to buy a new bike, no?

Re: Wild camping in England ???

7 April 2015 - 11:06am
Weimarunner wrote:That sounds great RR, I'll get myself up there one day.
Wild camping means different things depending where you're touring. In the UK where it's illegal other than at a few national parks a stealthy approach is necessary. I occasionally stay at a camp ground that allows open fires and then I take full advantage of a fire, I don't feel bad about scorching the grass when I'm paying for that privilege.

RR got there first but I thought I'd missed the referendum that gave independence to Scotland for a moment. Trust me Scotland welcomes wild camping. I have parked my car up by a bridge over a road where the tidal bit ends on a river and pitched for a few days without any problem. Right next to the road on the way to Elgin on Skye IIRC and about 150-200m direct line of sight from the nearest house in neighbouring hamlet. Not one complaint. Amazing views and we got up into the hills a bit too. Relaxing is not the word.

Not tried the naked howling at the moon around a camp fire thing yet but sat around chilling out with mates in Scotland is so easy while camping. Will try the fire thing sometime though.

PS IIRC it is Glenelg the last settlement before the old Skye ferry is a real popular wild camp spot for all sorts from camper vans, caravans, trailer tents, tents, backpackers and cycle campers. They even offer the use of the village hall's shower and bathroom facilities for free. That is about 10-15 minutes walk from the popular sea front camp spots though is on the way to the pub.

Re: Hotel or camping during a cycling tour?

7 April 2015 - 10:52am
Depends. I like camping, but I also like B&Bing. Almost all of my cycling trips have been B&B ones though so I didn't have to carry the camping stuff and could get away with using my lighter audax bike. These were all solo trips though. I would think if I were to going with someone else and we could split the camping load that would be more likely the choice.

Re: Wild camping in England ???

7 April 2015 - 10:46am
Hi RR, not illegal in Scotland sorry, just England with the possibility of permission wild camping in English national parks. Geographical slip!

Re: Wild camping in England ???

7 April 2015 - 10:40am
Weimarunner wrote:That sounds great RR, I'll get myself up there one day.
Wild camping means different things depending where you're touring. In the UK where it's illegal other than at a few national parks a stealthy approach is necessary. I occasionally stay at a camp ground that allows open fires and then I take full advantage of a fire, I don't feel bad about scorching the grass when I'm paying for that privilege.


Hi Bud, Your post is a wee bit misleading. I would hate to think people reading this could be discouraged from touring Scotland because of that so worth setting the record straight. Wild camping is NOT ILLEGAL in Scotland nor is it restricted to national parks. In fact the national parks may be the very areas where you will find restrictions on camping! You are generally quite within your rights to wild camp and light a fire anywhere in Scotland as long as you comply with the few rules which are based on common sense. I would never burn a new fire mark into grass. Like I said earlier, if you approach it with the mind set of 'consider the needs and rights of others and leave no trace' It is quite possible to have a small fire and comply with that view.
Stealth is not required in Scotland. Just enjoy responsibly. I don't know how anyone could be bothered with touring freely all day then resort to hiding in a bush of an evening to get a sleep. I can't see the fun in that at all.

Re: Hotel or camping during a cycling tour?

7 April 2015 - 10:35am
chris_suffolk wrote:Doing Dover - Cape Wrath over the summer, using my road bike, so having kit transported and sleeping in B&B's will suit me fine. Can see the allure of camping, and doing as I please, but then the prospect of cycling all day in poor weather, setting up camp in the rain, and trying to cook etc before repeating the next day puts me off. At least with a B&B I can dry out and get warm each night if the day hasn't been briilliant. Of course touring outside the UK could reduce the chances somewhat.

Don't bet on it! i generally reckon on having 3/4 wet days on each trip - sometimes its more, sometimes its less - worst up till now was a Zurich to Salzburg and return trip all under canvas, 8 wet days/nights out of 18, yes it was miserable at times but the dry 30 degree days just about made it all bearable! I was strapped for cash (due to a faulty cash card!) so i didn't have the option of hotel/b+b, was i glad that european campsites are better equipped than UK ones with campers lounges etc!

Re: Dilema - mud-guards or wider tyres

7 April 2015 - 10:17am
you could go to 25 tyres and fit some Raceblades or similar which would give you more comfort (possibly) and keep you fairly dry
I'd look at Conti Gatorskins which have great puncture protection and wear characteristics - you might even squeeze in the 28mm tyres

Re: Carrying currency on a tour in Europe

7 April 2015 - 10:13am
BeeKeeper wrote:Sweep wrote::D bigjim wrote:My expereince in Germany and Austria is that the small hotels, Zimmer, etc, is they will not accept a card. They have a heart attack when you show a credit card. France or Portugal no problem.
Wny their extreme aversion to cards?

I do know there is a certain preference for cash in italy - you don't have to think too hard to figure out why.
It's a cultural thing in Germany, traditionally cheques were only used for big purchases like a car or house, everything else was cash. It was an attitude which made the country much less susceptible to the credit crunch when it happened.

Over the last few years i've seen this change dramatically - yes some places only take cash (or bank transfer) but many more shops take cards although one or two have issues if its not from a German bank! I try to make sure i have enough cash to cover one nights accomodation just in case.

OTOH in Switzerland you often have to use a card - even for stuff like tram/bus tickets as the machines don't take cash. If they do take cash they will however often accept Euros/Dollars as well as CHF

Re: Dilema - mud-guards or wider tyres

7 April 2015 - 10:00am
If you decide to stick with 23mm try to find a supple variety to give the plushest ride that a 23mm can manage. I'm no expert in 23mm (only go down to 25mm) but in 25 mm I find GP 4 Seasons very supple and fast, and they wear okay.

Re: Practical GPS 101

7 April 2015 - 9:59am
Do you have a late model smartphone, if so, create a route in Garmin Connect with your phone, then download the route into your phone via the Garmin Connect app. If you can create a route with your phone, then you can plan your route on the fly, because phones will transfer routes to the 510, 810 and 1000. I have an iPhone 4s and can't create a route in Garmin connect but the later phones might, or it could be my browser that's struggling.

My mate had the 800, got rid of that when the 810 came out, but that gave trouble so now he's got the 1000 and doesn't think it's much better, screen wise than the 810, even though it's bigger, the resolution aint that great, the smartphones rock in the mapping department, that's why I bought the 510. I regularly turn my 510 off when recording a route, I'll commute to work, turn it off and resume the recording when I ride home. The unit turned it'self off when in my pocket the other day and saved the data, so I had two logs for that day. Charging wise, I take a big battery with me when touring and hiking, but didn't use it on my last tour because I was staying in accommodation along the way, but have used the battery over a five day hike and that charged the Gps which was used day in day out plus the phone which was used for photo's. I just bought a Shimano dyno and AXA lights, that should charge both the GPS and phone, but we'll see.

Re: Wild camping in England ???

7 April 2015 - 9:39am
That sounds great RR, I'll get myself up there one day.
Wild camping means different things depending where you're touring. In the UK where it's illegal other than at a few national parks a stealthy approach is necessary. I occasionally stay at a camp ground that allows open fires and then I take full advantage of a fire, I don't feel bad about scorching the grass when I'm paying for that privilege.

Re: Dilema - mud-guards or wider tyres

7 April 2015 - 9:11am
Stick with mudguards. If it rains for a few consecutive days you will be very uncomfortable, more so than a bit of vibration etc from the narrow tyre.

If you want look at a wider tyre then remember that not all manufacturer's sizes are the same. A 25 in Michelin Pro 4 is very tall when compared to a 25 Continental 4 Seasons. I have cycle camped with both these tyres with no comfort problem due to tyres, so carrying nothing I would not expect you to have any issues.

Dilema - mud-guards or wider tyres

7 April 2015 - 8:52am
I'm cycling Dover to Cape Wrath in the summer on my road bike (supported tour). Currently run 23mm tyres, but it's been suggested 25mm may be more comfortable over that distance (1000 miles in 2 weeks).

Problem is I can't go 25mm and fit my mud-guards as there isn't enough clearance on the frame / brakes. Do I go with existing 23mm and keep the guards, or ditch the guards in favour of 25mm? Going in August, but can't guarentee dry weather / roads even at that time of year

Thoughts, and reasoning, appreciated, thanks

Chris

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