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Updated: 2 hours 8 min ago

Re: Marrakech to the High Atlas - December (parts 1 -3)

18 January 2015 - 12:04pm
phil parker wrote:Great blogs, as usual; the right amount of narrative to photos with lots of interest, making me jealous and wanting to get out there and start the adventures again!

(what is it about goats in trees?)
Thanks Phil
The goats climb into the Argan trees to eat the argan nuts.

Re: Default tourer?

18 January 2015 - 11:56am
I got a DT for my birthday in December, and have riden it every day. I did lots of research and for the money it is a great bike. I have done various tours LEJOG and coast to coast etc, but the DT is by far the best bike Iv'e ridden. I have already booked a tour of the Isles of MAN In June and I'm looking forwardto going over to Clitheroe for the May bank holidays. The festivel of cycle touring. Hope to see you there.
For the money the Surly does it for me.

Graham.

Re: accommodation

18 January 2015 - 8:34am
During off season, I've gotten the best prices on short notice by just turning up at independent B&B type places and negotiating a room for the night. A couple of times, I stopped at several places that were full up, and ended up taking whatever I could get at whatever people wanted to charge me, but mostly it has worked well. Brits seem less likely to negotiate on price, but I wouldn't say it's a rip off.


Local tourist information can be variable. Some places they are quite good and helpful. Other places, not so much.

accommodation

18 January 2015 - 7:19am
I have to say in answer to your question "or have I got it wrong?" yes you have.

I travel a lot for work and can't think of a hotel chain offering the almost 50% discount you suggest is available the night before. It's true Travelodge and to a lesser extent Premierinn offer some very cheap deals but this is weeks ahead and in places few people want to to be!!

Laterooms.com do have some good deals but often only on the day and it can take ages to find the deal. This site and booking.com increasingly offer a "deal" which is nothing more than the hotel's standard rate. These, and other sites, have become places to advertise and gather information rather than offering a true "deal."

My thoughts would be to look for value for money, visit or contact the local tourist information centre and work from that advice. Value for money is often a better guide than price.

Summer 2014 I rode across France stopping wherever. I didn't make a close record but a decent B&B was in the region of €60/70 which is not far off the prices available in the UK. You mentioned turning up in a city, I feel you will always pay more in an urban location and often for lesser quality.

Clearly it depends on the standard you want but for me B&B to a decent level is going to start around £50 if you're lucky. When I'm working I expect to pay £65/70, at least, for the standard I require.

I suspect your expectations are high, or low in price terms.

Re: Holland cycle route info

17 January 2015 - 11:02pm
....with a unique mapping system. It takes a bit of getting used to but once you've got the hang of it, it's brilliant
I was cycling across the Netherlands last summer (from Germany in the East to Amsterdam) and found the signage good. But sometimes very confusing because the 'knoopunten' numbers only apply to each district, and numbers in adjacent districts aren't always signposted. So I often found myself looking for, say, number 83 and it wasn't mentioned on the signpost. I had to resort to a printed map to find that point 83 was just over a bridge, only 100m away, but in the next district.
Because the numbers are used again separately in each district, I think I ended up going past at least three different points numbered 83!

Re: bicycle travellers looking to volunteer around europe

17 January 2015 - 9:41pm
rualexander wrote:Also

http://www.wwoof.net/

http://www.helpx.net/

+1 for woofing. Great ethical fun. Life affirming stuff...hc

Re: accommodation

17 January 2015 - 7:47pm
Sympathise with your problems, have found B&B's both expensive and reluctant to accept one night stop overs, especially on the weekend.

Despite our advancing years we've decided to rekindle our youth and are investing in a lightweight tent and warm sleeping bags instead.

Re: bicycle travellers looking to volunteer around europe

17 January 2015 - 6:48pm
We've had 'Workaways' staying with us several times and it's a mutually beneficial thing (that's the idea of course!).

Re: Can't get bicycle insurance for less than £50 for a week

17 January 2015 - 5:04pm
try http://www.velosure.co.ukwho specialise in cycle cover.

Re: accommodation

17 January 2015 - 5:02pm
tyreon wrote:Thanks for reply and advice. I know logis or pension or other authorised pension have prices(usually)affixed to the back of the bedroom door detailing authorised prices in said season(sometimes they may be 'negotiable,' depending upon the establishment). Booking: My wife and I now carry a 'tablet':is it 'safe' and practical(read,easy)to book into,say,some chain hotel by this? And,is it safe putting in all credit card details etc? We're always a little nervous about booking this way(for some reason feeling better secured booking using the computer at home).

Thanks for any advice.

Probably safer than ATM's - not had my details stolen on't web but have from ATM! One advantage of using a booking site is that you only give the details to one place and not to every tom, richard and harriet! The booking sites will also have contact details for the establishments so you could ring them directly and try to negotiate a deal.

Re: accommodation

17 January 2015 - 4:36pm
Thanks for reply and advice. I know logis or pension or other authorised pension have prices(usually)affixed to the back of the bedroom door detailing authorised prices in said season(sometimes they may be 'negotiable,' depending upon the establishment). Booking: My wife and I now carry a 'tablet':is it 'safe' and practical(read,easy)to book into,say,some chain hotel by this? And,is it safe putting in all credit card details etc? We're always a little nervous about booking this way(for some reason feeling better secured booking using the computer at home).

Thanks for any advice.

Re: Can't get bicycle insurance for less than £50 for a week

17 January 2015 - 2:09pm
I agree with all the other replies. I have my tandem and other the other 5 bikes on the house insurance, 3 listed individually due to the value being over the £500 threshold. Any individual bike up to the value of £500 is covered whether stolen or damaged at home or on holiday on any good respectable insurance company automatically, as its listed as "any individual item up to the value of £500". If the value is above £500 then the insurance company need to know and each individual bike would be listed separately. There was no, or at least very little difference in my premiums for the increase of a few thousand in value. A bit of a late response, but rather than start a new insurance thread I thought I'd ask who you get your house insurance from? We've just had a horrible premium renewal hike & are shopping around (we've got a few bikes & some of them are well over the usual £2k limit) & you sound like you've got a reasonable deal!

Re: accommodation

17 January 2015 - 10:25am
If you avoid the chains and just go for local b & bs you'll be putting money into the local economy instead of into some private equity firm. I know this isn't always the practical answer and we use one chain regularly as a family but I don't think you're going to get them to change their ways- as you say a phone with 3G enabled will help book online for cheaper rates, even on the day, than turning up.

Re: Cycle Touring Festival Clitheroe

17 January 2015 - 10:18am
Ps - not sure what that pic is of.

A rally of middle aged hells angels?

Re: accommodation

17 January 2015 - 10:03am
Rip off Britain again!

Try using a website like Booking.com, you can get some great prices usually without having to pay up front. This is what i do in Europe too, you can get a better deal than just turning up almost every time.

Of course B&B's will charge what they like but its usually fixed for a set calender period, once again in the UK it will generally change depending on demand (school hols etc) but in Europe its more likely to remain the same across the whole summer/winter periods.

We could title this 'Rail Fares' and we could say pretty much the same thing, fares in Europe will be for a journey, not a time of day/event/time of year.

Re: Cycle Touring Festival Clitheroe

17 January 2015 - 9:53am
geocycle wrote:Tour de yorkshire is 1-3 may , so might be a chance to double up. The TdY routes are not announced yet but could get within striking distance of clitheroe.

from the stage towns announced it looks like they are missing the Dales out in favour of east Yorkshire this year with just one Pennine stage that looks set to cover a chunk of Stage 2 of the '14 Grand Depart. Routes should be announced this coming Wednesday.

http://letour.yorkshire.com/

accommodation

17 January 2015 - 9:48am
Touring abroad I just 'turn up' and get pension,logis,zimmer or whatever at(it seems)regular prices. Sure,if I book ahead I might get some better deal at some chain hotel network,but the deal I get on the day doesn't seem to be at great variance to what-might-be-booked-ahead. Not so in the UK tho. Or have I got it wrong? For example,I arrive in X city(in the UK) to book into a chain hotel complex and they seem to charge top-dollar,whereas if I had pre-booked it even a day earlier I would have paid £40pn instead of the £70 they want to charge me. Have I got this wrong,or what?

I am of the old-fashioned school and ageing cyclist: to get a reasonable rate in a UK hotel chain do I have to carry around an i-paid or i-phone and pay by card over this network to get a reasonable rate,or what? I guess to turn-up-on-the-day best value comes from taking the local b+b,if there is one.

What's your experience? Have I a misunderstanding here?

Re: Pedals

17 January 2015 - 9:46am
You are really set on making your trip less enjoyable aren't you? sore feet from wrong shoes/pedals and then no relief when you are off the bike or they are cold and wet! You really should take two pairs of footwear - even if the second pair are lightweight sandals/pool shoes, you could use half and half spd's with a cage on one side so you don't need your cycling shoes to ride.

I can't think of anything more miserable than uncomfortable feet, it could easily wreck your trip.

Re: Pedals

16 January 2015 - 11:28pm
Specialized Touring SPD shoes. Off the bike I wear cheap crocs from Matalan. Less than a fiver and very comfortable.

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