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Does your bike leave your side?

25 March 2015 - 1:30pm
I have been doing a lot of reading about touring trips and reading a lot of touring journals on crazyguyonabike.com and one of the things I have been wondering is...

If you are away on a round the world trip lets say and are camping every night, where do you keep your bike if you want to go on a walk through a village and take some photos etc or is the bike always by your side?

Travel Insurance North America

25 March 2015 - 11:37am
Hi all,

we're going to do the Great Divide this summer and are looking for recommendations on Travel (Health) Insurance for the trip?

Cheers,

Paul.

Re: First two weeks tour in Europe in June: where?

25 March 2015 - 10:23am
bretonbikes wrote:Lisbon is fabulous - has the feel of a very large village sometimes! adn cycling there would be fine. One word of warning (not to try and put you off) - pick-pockets in the centre and tourist areas are absolutely endemic, shameless and the authorities uninterested. No danger of being mugged or anything nasty - just that expect there to be a hand in your pocket/bag at some time and protect valuables accordingly.

And if someone on a bus or train warns of pickpockets don't immediately reach and check that your valuables are OK - let the theives work out for themselves where to dip!
Also use a lanyard on a camera or phone to dissuade a snatch.

Re: Reducing pannier weight

25 March 2015 - 10:14am
Looks like lots of us assumed you were camping . How long are you hostelling for and when are you going? If you take light, packable clothes and nominal toiletries you could just use a rack bag with small foldout panniers. I have an Altura one and it worked great for a 5 day b&b trip. I wore a small waist pack for wallet, phone and small accessories.

Re: First two weeks tour in Europe in June: where?

25 March 2015 - 9:15am
mschs wrote:I was actually intending to spend a few days in Lisbon (obviously I would start away from the city). Not sure yet if I should do a circular tour (seems easier as I can leave some stuff/the bike box somewhere) or an arguably more interesting Lisbon-Faro itinerary...
By the way does anyone know of any nice lakes/rivers in the area? I wouldn't mind skipping the beach if there are some nicer/quieter spots...

Lisbon is fabulous - has the feel of a very large village sometimes! adn cycling there would be fine. One word of warning (not to try and put you off) - pick-pockets in the centre and tourist areas are absolutely endemic, shameless and the authorities uninterested. No danger of being mugged or anything nasty - just that expect there to be a hand in your pocket/bag at some time and protect valuables accordingly.

Re: Tour of Brittany

25 March 2015 - 9:07am
RichardPH wrote:You could visit lac de Guerledan.. It's a hydro-electric lake that will be drained during the period April-September 2015 for maintenance work on the dam. This will uncover the canals and villages that were drowned when the lake was created back in the 1930s. If you like that kind of thing of course..

Yes it's already nearly empty with canal houses showing and the like - http://www.bretonbikes.com/generalartic ... ledan.html

A few points on what's been written above... Firstly on the coast about half the campsites will be open in May - inland 80%+ will be closed. Have a look here - http://www.bretonbikes.com/generalartic ... rance.html and follow the links to the camping guides etc and that section of the site has all sorts of info on touring the France/Brittany. The important thing is that you must always ring the campsite the morning you set off for it whether it claims to be open or not - because especially inland you may well be the only person on a campsite and the owner - not knowing you are coming - will be absent and everything locked up, this especially for municipal sites. Nothing is worse than cycling 50 miles to a campsite to find it closed and the nearest one 20 miles on...

Weather - likely to be mild, could be hot, prepare (as always in Europe) for rain. As a rough guide it's like a slightly warmer and drier Cornwall - and because the power of the sun is considerably higher sometimes overcast days will be 'burnt off' in a way that in Cornwall you'd be stuck with a grey day - then what rain falls does so at night. But it could chuck with rain for the week;-) Just ignore it you'll have a ball... I note 'wind' being mentioned above and I've seen it mentioned many times before in respect of Brittany. I'm a bit baffled because in 25 years of cycling here it's never struck me as a particularly windy place and because the roads tend to be winding, gently hilly and frequently sheltered by trees and hedges it's better than most parts of France. Granted at the coast it's quite different, but that applies to any coast.

Roads - off anything except red roads you'll find traffic very quiet almost everywhere inland, and drivers cycle-aware. The cyclepaths vary from tarmac, to cinder, to sand, to mud and what in some places I can only describe as rubble;-) I use 38 mm tyres on my heavy tourer and our hire bikes and on some sections you'll be very grateful for them. The road surfaces on the other hand tend to be better than the UK - and with them being so quiet there's little reason to use cyclepaths. With the exception of some sections of the North coast - especially around Plestin-Lannion etc - it's not hilly in the 'Cornish' sense - merely 'rolling' - hills being often long but well graded - usually around 5% and very rarely 10%.

Food - you've just got to eat at the 'Routier' type bar/restaurants - most large villages have one and for £9 you'll have 4-5 courses + wine and coffee - just don't arrive later than 1.00pm and expect to be fed. Ble-noir 'Crepes' or Galetes are not like normal pancakes - they are very delicious and very filling - a must try...

But May is a fabulous time to come - masses of wild flowers - Dawn Chorus you'll learn to hate - everything green and lush. Be flexible. If the weather is bad and it's wet and windy at the coast - cut inland where it's more sheltered and explore the towns, villages and countryside there - in many ways this is the really special part of Brittany especially for cyclists.

As always just get in touch for free advice - the more people I can get over here cycling the more chance there is of cyclists being treated as really important to the area and that benefits us!

Re: Newcastle port to central station - route wanted

25 March 2015 - 12:27am
An alternative would be to follow the cycle paths on N & S side of the dual carriageway coast road (A1058). Not scenic, but gets you from Tynemouth to Newcastle fairly quickly. Pretty flat too.

Re: Reducing pannier weight

25 March 2015 - 12:15am
We're hostelling with the odd hotel so no camping stuff to carry, though my bike isn't touring specific and 13 it's years old:

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All the weight is on the back so I'm trying to keep it to a minimum.

Re: Newcastle port to central station - route wanted

24 March 2015 - 9:24pm
Mark1978 wrote:Horrible riding on the South side compared to Newcastle side. Busy roads mostly.

I think we must be talking about different routes. Route 14, described by Sustrans as "Some short sections along the Tyne are on road but otherwise this whole stretch is a fantastic unbroken traffic-free path."
http://www.sustrans.org.uk/ncn/map/route/route-14

Re: Newcastle port to central station - route wanted

24 March 2015 - 9:11pm
Horrible riding on the South side compared to Newcastle side. Busy roads mostly.

Re: Newcastle port to central station - route wanted

24 March 2015 - 8:55pm
There are NCR routes on both sides of the Tyne, I've enjoyed both but IMO the south shore offers better river views, plus you get to cross over to South Shields on the ferry

Re: Handlebar bag views and costs

24 March 2015 - 7:32pm
The handlebar bag is the most important in a bike tour. The handlebar bag is the most important in a bike tour. I tried it on my bike's skin!!!
I can suggest these:

http://www.karstadtsports.de/Ortlieb-Lenkertasche-Ultimate-4M-blau-schwarz/4292842.html#start=10,
https://www.globetrotter.de/shop/ortlieb-ultimate4-orange-line-119245

they have a good price because are branded by the stores.

Re: From Verona to Munich round trip

24 March 2015 - 6:56pm
I forgot, this is my website: http://cyclingovereurope.blogspot.com

Re: Newcastle port to central station - route wanted

24 March 2015 - 6:23pm
Just follow the Hadrians as everyone says, signage is good as are the surfaces. One thing I couldn't do when we were there was do the Tyne cycle tunnels as they had closed for refurb - so if you wouldn't mind popping under the river and letting me know if they're worth doing that would be fab

Re: Is there an app that replaces a Garmin?

24 March 2015 - 6:00pm
I'm sorry if I misunderstood, I am grateful of rthe advice.

Geoff

Re: Is there an app that replaces a Garmin?

24 March 2015 - 5:58pm
Well of course in an ideal world they would pay me for the honour of using their maps.......

Re: Is there an app that replaces a Garmin?

24 March 2015 - 4:26pm
Psamathe wrote:Trick_Cyclist wrote:Thank you for a helpful discussion. It seems the app I had hoped for doesn't exist. I have a sat-nav app for the car which allows me to upload a country in advance & gives me turn by turn guidance, but of course I can't pre-plan a cycle route on it - although it did rescue us in France as it showed us where we were [not where we thought] when we had no 3G signal. Cheaper maps for Garmin would ease the discomfort o potential purchase.

Geoff

I really don't know why I bothered writing a response outlining two apps that do what you were asking for !!|There are loads of options, but I'll be spending my time answering people who read what people spend their time writing for them.

Ian
Never mind, there will be plenty of folk stumbling across this thread who will find your post helpful. I for one! MapOut is a new one for me, look forward to trying it, Thanks!

Re: Newcastle port to central station - route wanted

24 March 2015 - 3:59pm
Mark1978 wrote:Vorpal wrote:Mark1978 wrote:Yeah that's one part of the C2C route and it goes right to the ferry port. By UK standards some of the best we have (so still terrible, but usable) and tarmac too.
Actually, although some of it is barely adequate pavement type shared use, some is also rather nice, dedicated cycleway, and as good as you are likely to find outside of the Netherlands.

Yup, although can be rather frustrating to ride on as you're constantly having to stop at junctions, cross the road, etc, it's never more than 5 minutes between having to negotiate something.

But that happens in cities everywhere; even in the Netherlands. It's the nature of cities.

Re: Newcastle port to central station - route wanted

24 March 2015 - 3:54pm
Vorpal wrote:Mark1978 wrote:Yeah that's one part of the C2C route and it goes right to the ferry port. By UK standards some of the best we have (so still terrible, but usable) and tarmac too.
Actually, although some of it is barely adequate pavement type shared use, some is also rather nice, dedicated cycleway, and as good as you are likely to find outside of the Netherlands.

Yup, although can be rather frustrating to ride on as you're constantly having to stop at junctions, cross the road, etc, it's never more than 5 minutes between having to negotiate something.

Re: The ultimate battery charger for touring?

24 March 2015 - 3:13pm
I used to carry a 7dayshop separate charger and transformer. The charger was light but the transformer heavy. Last tour I got one of these - about the smallest I could find. Not fast but good enough overnight for two gps and camera batteries. Can also charge a single AA/AAA cell. The front below the display pulls down and the batteries extend below the unit on spring loaded contacts. Small and light, has built in US prongs and adapters for UK continental.

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