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Updated: 6 hours 41 min ago

Re: What to do with your bike if you need to get back in a h

21 October 2014 - 2:42pm
WarmShowers is always worth a try as well.

Re: Advice for tyre size for touring - 32c OK for off-road?

21 October 2014 - 2:06pm
Generally speaking, you can go more or less anywhere on 32mm tyres. However, the rougher the track and the narrower the tyres, the slower you will be compared to someone with appropriately large tyres. As an example, I was maybe an hour or an hour and a half slower than a companion on the descent from the Pico Veleta towards Capilera (Sierra Nevada, Spain, appox 20km of rough), with me on 700x28 gatorskins and him on 26x1.75. Having said that, unsealed dirt roads can be just as good as tarmac, in the dry at least.

32 or 35 is a normal compromise width

Re: Baggage allowance- max dimensions

21 October 2014 - 1:48pm
I think Lufthansa are one of the unfriendly ones along with Air France/KLM. I just tried to look at Lufthansa's rules and it kept referring me back to the front page. Blxxdy useless, not to mention ongoing strikes.

Pretty sure they will charge for each flight, so not cheap.

Why can't your partner use Emirates? Otherwise I would suggest an Asian airline like Malaysian or Singapore, or maybe Quatar.

Incidentally I fly long haul twice a year and have no problems with Emirates.

Re: What to do with your bike if you need to get back in a h

21 October 2014 - 1:46pm
The other alternative is to beg a cardboard box off a bike shop, and give UPS or someone money to take the bike home for you.
It largely depends on whether/how long it will be before you can return.

Re: Devon - Lynmouth to Exford

21 October 2014 - 1:42pm
You could also set off towards Simonsbath, then take a left to follow the Brendon valley up onto the A39 a half mile or so before the turn off for Exford. Speaking of which, there's a decent track more or less opposite the top of the second (counting from Lynmouth) toll road that avoids the start of the drop down towards Porlock.

However, Simonsbath is the easiest route.

Re: What to do with your bike if you need to get back in a h

21 October 2014 - 1:41pm
I seem to remember something similar being asked a little while ago.

Some suggested a bike shop. My suggestion was to find a local cycling club and see if one of them could look after it for you.

Leaving it anywhere commercial like a hotel or campsite runs the risk that staff may change and then no one knows whose bike it is and it may be binned/sold/borrowed/etc.

Re: Devon - Lynmouth to Exford

21 October 2014 - 12:47pm
Yes, I've done both routes numerous times! (I was in Porlock at the weekend!)

I would go to Simonsbath from Lynmouth - it is a long and steady climb with one challenging steep bit as you turn off the main road left over the moor. There is a nice cafe stop (or a pub) in Simonsbath then another hill outwards with a rolling road into Exford. The other route would entail going up to Contisbury starting off at 25% for a short climb before levelling out at 10 - 15% for a good mile and once you turn off there are some challenging bits from the A30 to Exford!

Either way, it's a good ride. Enjoy!

Re: Baggage allowance- max dimensions

21 October 2014 - 12:15pm
I've only ever taken my bike by plane in Europe. Friends who have done long haul all say their bikes were treated as part of the general baggage allowance and excess charges applied

I would be very careful.

Re: What to do with your bike if you need to get back in a h

21 October 2014 - 11:30am
I know two cyclists who have left them with French campsite owners until they returned. Not at the same time or campsite I would add. One was collected by a friend who was going down that way. The other resumed the tour after a couple of weeks, bike and camping gear were still in the same locked shed when he got back.

What to do with your bike if you need to get back in a hurry

21 October 2014 - 11:20am
I'm planning some longer European tours next year and was wondering what to do with your bike if you had to come home quickly eg for a family emergency? Assuming you don't have a friend or relative abroad that you can leave your bike with, has anyone had any experience of this - ie somewhere safe and secure you could leave your bike and get a flight home?

Devon - Lynmouth to Exford

21 October 2014 - 11:20am
There's no avoiding the fact that Lynmouth is at sea level and Exford is about 275m higher than that. There also appears to be a large piece of Exmoor at 400m between the two. There are two obvious routes that jump out at me. First is along the A39, then turning inland before reaching Porlock. The second is to head straight inland from Lynmouth to Simonsbath. Neither route looks to be particularly easy hill-wise, especially on a touring bike. Does anyone have any experience of which route might be the better option? Or are there other alternatives?

Re: Devon Coast to coast

21 October 2014 - 10:29am
Love this route. I've done it, or bits of it a few times now. I've always done south to north, but this was more to do with being able to get trains down to Plymouth, and the north bit being nearer home so I could just cycle back, but either is good.

Going from south to north (so switch this if you are going the other way)
Plymouth is nice around the citadel and hoe but the bit across to Saltram is not great.
Saltram is lovely but the surface is appalling, and yes just north of Saltram you are signposted to cycle the wrong way down a one way street.

The Plym Valley trail is lovely, just be aware the end of it is currently closed at Clearbrook and you are diverted onto a lane with a really steep hill.clearbrook.jpg

Drakes trail from Yelverton to Tavistock is really nice, there are alternative routes that are a bit faster but I have enjoyed it every time I've ridden it.
From Tavistock to Lydford the current route takes you down through Peter and Mary Tavy. I've not done this, but done the more direct B road past Brentor (St. Michael de Rupe church). The B road is good but I'd suggeset a slightly longer route which is quieter.

The Granite way is a fantastic route, and with the connecting section in the middle now in place theres no need to divert round to Bridestowe (there never was actually but thats a different discussion!)
In Okehampton, the hill coming out of the town is really rather steep so be aware.
From Hatherleigh you have 2 options - 1. follow the signposted route round through Sheepwash. This has the benefit of being on quiet lanes. Sheepwash is attractive but there are a few steep hills. 2. Follow the A road up to the start of the Tarka trail. Its a much shorter route, and the start section of the Tarka trail is really rather nice. The down side is the A road can by quite busy and has a really short steep hill in the middle of it. It is significantly shorter though!

The Tarka trail from Petrockstow station through to East Yarde (and a bit past it) isnt the greatest surface but doable, from then on though its tarmac and really rather nice. I found the bit from Instow to barnstaple just seemed to drag but there are places to stop.
From Barnstaple up I haven't cycled (i always struck out to home in Taunton) so cant help you.

Places I've stopped or stayed at (working back down towards Plymouth just to confuse you)
Fremington quay - nice purpose built cafe, can be busy
Bideford station - good cafe on a trail car, no toilets.
Yarde orchard - great food, nice people, good camping/bunkhouse
Okehampton castle - worth a detour to look at if you have the time. Little kiosk on site for drinks and snacks
Lydford gorge - National trust property, so cafe, etc. Worth a wander round if you have the time (same for the castle)
Vieiras cafe in Yelverton - nice coffee and cake, pretty much on the route.
Saltram - National trust again, so the usual.

Hope that helps!

Re: How to carry a guitar on your bicycle

21 October 2014 - 10:22am
AntonioCM wrote:Hey guys!

I was wondering if there are many cycle-tourers out there who carry a guitar or another musical instrument on your bicycle.

I carry a full size guitar with this home-made system:

If you carry an instrument, I would like to know how you carry it on your bike and if you are happy with it.


On my current trip I took the opportunity to learn a new stringed instrument and, partly due to its convenient size, carry a mandolin. It's in a well padded gig bag that seems to absorb shocks well enough and then that goes inside an Ortlieb dry bag attached with two elasticated straps across the rear pannier rack. Works well and I dig mandolin as much as guitar now )

Re: Berlin Bike Hire

21 October 2014 - 9:37am
http://berlin.fattirebiketours.com/page ... ne-rentals

We used this outfit for an organised sightseeing tour (excellent way to see Berlin). They also rent bikes. The city seemed to have loads of bike rental outlets, the going rate was around €8 per day. The standard rental bikes would be hopeless in hilly areas but are fine in flat Berlin. Built-in dynamo lighting was the norm so cycling could be used for evening transport.

Devon Coast to coast

21 October 2014 - 9:03am
New islabike arrives at the end of the week so I think I will take a couple of days off at the end of next week to make a long weekend and take the kids on the Devon coast to coast. They do about 20-25 miles a day and the 8 year old claims not to do hills although he did some in France this summer. Thinking about which direction to go and where to stop. Either way I think we will use Barnstaple as our start or end due to the public transport. We can go up there another time do do the northern loop up to the coast.

Re: Advice for tyre size for touring - 32c OK for off-road?

21 October 2014 - 6:39am
My Fuji Touring bike came with decent 32c 'Vera Citywide' tyres and is fine for a bit of off-road (gravel, towpath, unpaved bike path and even a bit of fire road).

Re: Accomodation in Polenca, Majorca

21 October 2014 - 6:31am
The wifi is variable in quality, after being yesterday, this morning forums such as this and TTF are loading easily, anything with lots of pictures or graphics, ie Facebook or garmin connect won't load properly. Phil reckons there is insufficient bandwidth.

Re: Accomodation in Polenca, Majorca

21 October 2014 - 6:04am
Hey we moan about the wifi, if the bars restaurants and now local govt, can provide excellent free wifi, then so should the hotels. It's a no brainer, decent wifi the clients stay in the hotel spending money in the bar. Need to upload the garmins somehow.
As said the food has improved since March, and the hotel is to be upgraded. But you can do bed n breakfast at the PP, just eating out is expensive every night.

Re: Advice for tyre size for touring - 32c OK for off-road?

20 October 2014 - 11:12pm
what sort of bike are you riding? how much luggage? front and back panniers? bike stability is just as important as tyre choice. tyres can only do so much. make sure you have a good pump so you can adjust pressure regularly. it makes a huge difference to off-road handling for any tyre.

I'm also off to NZ off road and have just purchased some marathon mondial 26 x 2. v. expensive but if they are anything like the other schwalbes I have had (marathon + and supremes), they go a long way with no punctures

Re: Accomodation in Polenca, Majorca

20 October 2014 - 10:33pm
OK I'll stop moaning about the WiFi. We used Bruce's (Pro Cycling) across the road earlier this year. Perhaps the lack of good WiFi in the hotel is just telling us to be more sociable & turn off these ....mobiles. Still set on B&B & finding nicer foot to eat elsewhere in a leisurely manner.


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