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Updated: 1 hour 3 min ago

Re: Isle of Mull or Isle of Skye over five days?

17 July 2015 - 1:37pm
NoodleJam wrote:Thank you for those very useful suggestions.

Now tweaked my route to Mull instead of Skye based on less tourists and hopefully less midges (I will be taking two cans of Smidge and ASSS to keep the pests at bay) with a ride back up to Inverness via a small part of Skye instead.

Part 1
Fort William to Mull and back up to Mallaig
http://ridewithgps.com/routes/9314504

Part 2
Armadale to Inverness
http://ridewithgps.com/routes/9314660

I haven't included the road onto Iona and will play it my ear depending on time, I like the idea of a night on the island after day trippers.

Thanks again.

You're going to have a good time and that route covers loads of ground. If you're only ever going to do one tour of this part of Scotland that's a pretty good route.
But... If at a later date you want to go to the places you missed (Like Iona or Ardnamurchan or North Skye) you end up going over ground you've already covered. I've learnt that I prefer to see more of an area on tour even if that makes it a smaller area. So if it was me doing that tour, I'd finish in Mallaig and spend the mileage saved on the islands.

Re: What do you cycle in?

17 July 2015 - 1:24pm
Standard breathable shorts with loose fit and minimal seams. My current ones are by Rohan. No padding as I find it adds to sweating problems in high temperatures and prefer to let the air flow. Drying padded shorts can be a pain as well. I prefer loose shorts on tour as you can wander around markets, historic sites and sometimes even temples without causing offence.

Re: Bike packing versus conventional touring.

17 July 2015 - 1:19pm
honesty wrote:Heres my Thorn audax. bike is approximately 11.5kg + 5kg of equipment (bags etc.) + 1.5l of water = about 18kg or approx 40lbs

WP_20150210_08_25_28_Pro.jpg



I wonder what the weight difference between that and my Hewitt is? it's off for a respray or I'd weigh it, I suspect it isn't going to be much if built up with similar wheels and tyres and IMO is a more versatile option. For someone 20kg overweight the extra stiffness would probably be an advantage.

Re: Skye to Oban Route

17 July 2015 - 1:17pm
Any contact details for the new ferryman? Prices?

Re: Bike packing versus conventional touring.

17 July 2015 - 1:16pm
Vorpal wrote:I have now hit the tender age of 50 and carry a fair amount of excess weight I'm struggling to enjoy cycling. Hills kill me and anything over 20 miles loaded is a real challenge.

How often do your ride your bike? How far do you go when you ride?

As someone who has been hauling children, plus all the things necessary for trips with children, for the last 9 years or so, I can assure you that a little extra weight doesn't make as much difference as fitness. If you want to go up hills more easily, go up hills a lot, and they will soon become easier.

Even though I was fairly fit, when I moved from a relatively flat place to a relatively hilly one, I had some work to do to get better at climbing.

The hardest hill I ever climbed was the first hill I pedalled up after 2 months off the bike with a broken rib.

To get touring fit.... I can do it on tour, but I need to start with low mileage and work my way up to it. And that's true, however much I am carrying. The difference between credit card touring and fully loaded is probably only about 10 miles per day, if I'm not fit for it.

If I can prepare, I need to ride 4 or 5 days pers week, at least 20 miles each time, and every 3rd ride or so, go longer and longer, and work my way up to my expected daily touring mileage.

Can you commute by bicycle? Or drive / train part way and cycle the rest? Do errands or shopping by bicycle?

Good luck with it. I hope you find your enjoyment in cycling again.

p.s. if you want a new bike, or think that will help, by all means get one. Go out and ride some bikes and see what takes your fancy. But if you think it will get you up the hills more easily, you may be paying for disappointment.

I do often commute but cycling into the centre of Birmingham is terrible, virtually no cycle lanes. It's a disgrace how cities get away with lame cycle provision.

Then again I often complete the whole 8 miles without seeing another cyclist. What does that tell you?

I don't use the Thorn for the commute as a don't think it would last long parked outside of the university. I use either my Gazelle Heavy Duty NL or a Brompton.

A87 from Balmacara to Kyle of Lochalsh and Skye Bridge

17 July 2015 - 1:08pm
I am just about to venture off to Skye from Ratagan and had planned to take the longer route around Loch Druich. However, once we approach The Kyle on A87 I understand the road is busy and there is only a path along a small section. Can anyone comment on whether it really is unwise to go this way, or should we just go for it and plod up Beaulach Ratagan?

Re: Bike packing versus conventional touring.

17 July 2015 - 1:04pm
Yes, I do like the idea of an audax. It seems that you have to always get them to order - not very popular in the high street shops.
A Ribble winter audax 105 looks good value.

Re: What's your top weight saving tip for touring?

17 July 2015 - 12:52pm
Bag drop - Why take the stuff for a full months tour when the conditions are so likely to be different? Plan two lots of kit, take one with you and post the other to a known half way point, send what you don't need back from there. You could even break it down into thirds.
Share - if you're traveling together work out what you can share, both personal and for the bike, repair kits can be weighty maybe a tube each and share everything else.
Clothing - I like to have touring kit that I'm happy to wear on and off the bike, merino stuff is good for this but there's plenty of cheaper alternatives. Layer up, if you're carrying several base layers take ones that fit over each other and mix long and short sleeve, then there's no need for a mid layer. When it gets cold, good windproofs and headgear will make the difference and don't need to be heavy.
Don't try and plan for every possible situation, that's what the credit card is for.

Re: What's your top weight saving tip for touring?

17 July 2015 - 12:48pm
Another alternative is to use Shaving Oil - comes in a much smaller container and you don't use as much.

Re: What's your top weight saving tip for touring?

17 July 2015 - 11:27am
Whilst agreeing with most of Pjclinch's tips, for me padded pants are a must on long trips. And I find beards itchy. And unnecessary. A razor weighs next to nothing, and apart from the soap you have access to already, nothing else is needed.

Re: Bike packing versus conventional touring.

17 July 2015 - 11:07am
that and CSC camera and stuff in the barbag, plus the bagman rack weighs half a kilo etc. Im guessing though that even an ali domane is probably about 9kg so theres about 2.5kg sitting right there. I actually did some photos of the packing if you are interested here http://www.onesti.co.uk/?p=46 Having looked at that it was 5kg in the saddle and a further 2.5kg in the bar. So in total about 20kg for the whole lot including water. or 45lbs.

Yes, the saddle bag is a Nelson. Seemed about perfect size for 4 days B&B touring.

Re: What do you cycle in?

17 July 2015 - 11:03am
Audax67 wrote:Shorts: Assos Fi.Mille S5 or T.équipe_S7. Would like the T.cento_S7 but don't want to take out another mortgage. Any other shorts I've tried have had grievous effects. The S7 series "lycra" seems to have a lot less give than the older series, so I hope they'll last better.

In winter I wear summer shorts under Gore-Tex tights.

Otherwise, whatever wicking fabric I can get, usually my club jerseys, one, two or three at a time depending on temperature, with arm warmers as necessary. Soft Shell jacket for low temperatures, but not if I can get away with a thick long-sleeved wicking jacket. "Breathable" is a damned lie.

Yes, "breathable" means nothing once you have begun to sweat. In warmer climates breathable waterproofs do not get rid of moisture at all.

Re: Bike packing versus conventional touring.

17 July 2015 - 10:57am
honesty wrote:Heres my Thorn audax. bike is approximately 11.5kg + 5kg of equipment (bags etc.) + 1.5l of water = about 18kg or approx 40lbs

WP_20150210_08_25_28_Pro.jpg


What size saddlebag is that? Nelson? The whole set-up looks very neat.

Re: Bike packing versus conventional touring.

17 July 2015 - 10:18am
I would agree, you've a larger saddlebag but probably not many more clothes in there assuming you are carrying tubes and tools in it. I've got my tubes etc in the 2nd bottle cage.
A bit more weight in your saddle too maybe.

Re: Bike packing versus conventional touring.

17 July 2015 - 10:12am
I have now hit the tender age of 50 and carry a fair amount of excess weight I'm struggling to enjoy cycling. Hills kill me and anything over 20 miles loaded is a real challenge.

How often do your ride your bike? How far do you go when you ride?

As someone who has been hauling children, plus all the things necessary for trips with children, for the last 9 years or so, I can assure you that a little extra weight doesn't make as much difference as fitness. If you want to go up hills more easily, go up hills a lot, and they will soon become easier.

Even though I was fairly fit, when I moved from a relatively flat place to a relatively hilly one, I had some work to do to get better at climbing.

The hardest hill I ever climbed was the first hill I pedalled up after 2 months off the bike with a broken rib.

To get touring fit.... I can do it on tour, but I need to start with low mileage and work my way up to it. And that's true, however much I am carrying. The difference between credit card touring and fully loaded is probably only about 10 miles per day, if I'm not fit for it.

If I can prepare, I need to ride 4 or 5 days pers week, at least 20 miles each time, and every 3rd ride or so, go longer and longer, and work my way up to my expected daily touring mileage.

Can you commute by bicycle? Or drive / train part way and cycle the rest? Do errands or shopping by bicycle?

Good luck with it. I hope you find your enjoyment in cycling again.

p.s. if you want a new bike, or think that will help, by all means get one. Go out and ride some bikes and see what takes your fancy. But if you think it will get you up the hills more easily, you may be paying for disappointment.

Re: Bike packing versus conventional touring.

17 July 2015 - 9:52am
Heres my Thorn audax. bike is approximately 11.5kg + 5kg of equipment (bags etc.) + 1.5l of water = about 18kg or approx 40lbs

WP_20150210_08_25_28_Pro.jpg

Im guessing the difference between this and the domane shown previously is I'm carrying a kilo or so more luggage and there's probably about 1 or 2kg more weight in the bike.

Re: Bike packing versus conventional touring.

17 July 2015 - 9:40am
^^^^^^^^^^^^
I've just taken the Domane route myself with PBP in mind. Topeak Tourguide in front and either a Super C Audax or a Lowsaddle Longflap behind. The LL has more windage, which matters a deal on PBP. I like the shallow drops on the Domane - I find myself riding much further on them than on the deeper drops on my usual Audax bike.

However, the point is that unloaded the Domane is a delight to train on. It's fun: when you push down hard on the pedals the thing flies. I'm a bit overweight as well, and could easily lose the difference in weight between my Audax bike and this, but counter-intuitive as it sounds, the amount of mass you have to shift that isn't your own body does make a difference.

Caveat: the weight limit on a Domane is 100 kilos. Less than that and you're laughing.

Oh: the only thing I don't like is having to carry a 500 cc bottle at the back, but any bike with a sloped crossbar suffers from the same limitation. And I can't find anywhere to put my Road Morph pump. On the bike, that is.

Re: Grenoble 10 days

17 July 2015 - 9:39am
Hello all,

Thanks for the replies. Some notes myself: I ended up heading south west from grenoble through the Vercors region to Die, and then across the col d'ornan to bourg d'oisans. Lovely and not as touristy/lycra clad as the romance valley.

The colporteur campsite is massively overpriced but apart from that great place thanks! I made it up alpe d'huez with all my touring kit in tow like a labouring donkey only to descend again on the road which goes to mizuen which I would highly recommend, beautiful.

If you fancy a break from cycling I took the bus from bourg d'oisans (free, twice a day) and took my bike and some via ferrata kit I rented for €14 to vaujany. There you can climb alongside a waterfall. It was baking hot so still hard work but a nice break from the saddle. Can then roll all the way back to bourg d'oisans.

Cheers

Re: What do you cycle in?

17 July 2015 - 9:15am
Shorts: Assos Fi.Mille S5 or T.équipe_S7. Would like the T.cento_S7 but don't want to take out another mortgage. Any other shorts I've tried have had grievous effects. The S7 series "lycra" seems to have a lot less give than the older series, so I hope they'll last better.

In winter I wear summer shorts under Gore-Tex tights.

Otherwise, whatever wicking fabric I can get, usually my club jerseys, one, two or three at a time depending on temperature, with arm warmers as necessary. Soft Shell jacket for low temperatures, but not if I can get away with a thick long-sleeved wicking jacket. "Breathable" is a damned lie.

Re: What do you cycle in?

17 July 2015 - 8:59am
Lycra for me. And as much padding as possible. Comfy, light, easy to wash in the shower.

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