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Updated: 52 min 49 sec ago

Re: Bought the bike!

26 August 2015 - 2:29pm
Thanks Pete Jack, I would love to tour more in the US. My first tour was from San Francisco to Santa Barbara in 3 days, which was too much. Couldn't sit for a week. I'd probably buy a 26" LHT over there and bring it back with me. My mom lives in BC so I am hoping to ride from the Okanagan down to So Calif. in the next few years.

So here is a pic of the bike! Sorry it took so long. I need to change the stem so I can ride in a more relaxed position but aside from that, I love it. It's really nippy, I was expecting it to feel more like an old plodder. Maybe it will once it's loaded up. All in all , it's a great quality ride.

Re: Romania

26 August 2015 - 1:47pm
I'm leaving tomorrow to go for the second year in a row, following the Danube up to to Tulcea and the Black Sea on the Ukraine border. We fly to Belgrade and cycle through Serbia and Bulgaria, crossing into Romania at Bechet. Before my first trip, I heard lots of doom and gloom stories about bad drivers, stone-throwing kids, rabid dogs, poor roads, bad food etc etc and not one of them was true. It is a lovely country with lovely people. Yes, it's also cheap but that shouldn't be the only reason to visit. Go for the scenery, the challenge, the culture, and above all the welcome.

Re: Help to plan a route : Inverness to Didcot

26 August 2015 - 1:40pm
Check out my 2016 lejog routes here.....http://ridewithgps.com/users/218007/routes

You could easily reverse the route back from Inverness to severn bridge (about 700 mies) - then cycle to Didcot from there(about 100, maybe a bit less) .... I work in Didcot! Its mainly based on travelodges so its cheap accomodation, and you can keep the bike in the room.... the name of all the stops is on there too if it helps.

You can put that route straight on a gps for turn by turn instructions .... or you can zoom in on each 20 mile stretch, do a screen shot, then email them to yourself and save them all as photos on your phone or print them off.....also print off the turn by turn instructions and you can use it as a hard copy of route. To be honest its very easy to navigate my route -- you are essentially on either the A82, A7 or A49 all the way to Bristol, with diversions on B roads where ever is possible.


I cycled much of that route on my 2014 lejog, I have revised the route to cut out the bits that I really disdnt enjoy ... If you want details of that there is a link to my journal in my signature below. It does follow some fast A roads but nothing that concerned me too much - If you are used to cycling around Oxfordshire it would be nothing too out of the ordinary

Re: VSF Fahrradmanufaktur

26 August 2015 - 1:16pm
pete75 wrote:coffeedrinkerUK wrote:I've admired VSF Fahrradmanufaktur touring and trekking bikes for some time they look amazing. I have seen a couple in use here and they look as if they handle well. The only thing that would put me off them, and I'm not one to get hung up on the weight of a bike normally, but have you seen the weights listed on their web site. I believe they ride fine but try carrying them up two or three stairs or anything like that particularly with a "bit" of luggage attached.

Well would the weight be that different to any other loaded touring bike?

No I don't think it would. My Ti Rohloff touring bike, with rear rack (No Front), dynamo and lights weighs 15.9 kg. I think VSF weights are for the fully eqipped bike, when other quoted weights may be for the basic bike.

Re: VSF Fahrradmanufaktur

26 August 2015 - 12:59pm
coffeedrinkerUK wrote:I've admired VSF Fahrradmanufaktur touring and trekking bikes for some time they look amazing. I have seen a couple in use here and they look as if they handle well. The only thing that would put me off them, and I'm not one to get hung up on the weight of a bike normally, but have you seen the weights listed on their web site. I believe they ride fine but try carrying them up two or three stairs or anything like that particularly with a "bit" of luggage attached.

Well would the weight be that different to any other loaded touring bike? For example the Spa steel tourer weighs 12.8 kg compared to 17.1 for the VSF TX400. Add a front rack, dynohub and lights to the Spa and it would be getting on for 16kg so not much over 1kg in it. With 30kg of luggage the TX400 would weigh 47kg - little over 7 stone and not overly difficult to carry up a few stairs.

Re: VSF Fahrradmanufaktur

26 August 2015 - 12:10pm
I've admired VSF Fahrradmanufaktur touring and trekking bikes for some time they look amazing. I have seen a couple in use here and they look as if they handle well. The only thing that would put me off them, and I'm not one to get hung up on the weight of a bike normally, but have you seen the weights listed on their web site. I believe they ride fine but try carrying them up two or three stairs or anything like that particularly with a "bit" of luggage attached.

Re: Romania

26 August 2015 - 11:35am
I haven't cycled in Romania but have been on a backpacking trip. Transylvania very scenic and pretty and felt safe and friendly. Beware Bucharest, I encountered thieves and pickpockets, some quite brazen!

Re: Romania

26 August 2015 - 10:34am
much of the transport is horse drawn with "roads" to match. Substantial tyres might be a good idea.
Remember the tesco etc horse meat scandal ? The glut of horse meat was created when the Romanian government banned horses from the motorways.
Its not so much "third world" as going back in time 90 years. Cant wait to go. A friend did and hasnt come back, never been happier.

Re: Help to plan a route : Inverness to Didcot

26 August 2015 - 8:53am
Yesterday I rode Inverness to Inverurie, Aberdeen.
116 miles
Av. 10.5 mph.
Just thought I'd throw that in.

Re: Solar charger or dynamo

26 August 2015 - 8:01am
I noticed that Aldi are doing a battery pack for under a tenner. No idea if it is any good, but anyone interested may wish to take a look. On sale from tomorrow, 27/8.

Re: Romania

26 August 2015 - 7:48am
Did a rail/walking trip around the country earlier in the year. The people are 'properly indifferent' to visitors. Sound funny? What I mean is that you're not a centre of attention,unlike perhaps India and which can be annoying++. I do not think you will get stones thrown at you by young men,unlike other countries where out-in-the-bush this can be a past-time. People helpful and interested in you,in the bush 'God-fearing'. Honest. Bit more ++ impoverished than Hungary. Down the south,flat plains. Up north,bush and forest. You'll see plenty of shepherds. Eurovelo 6 goes thru Romania and ends up at Constanta.
Costs are low there.

Strawberry Line Closure

26 August 2015 - 1:26am
The Strawberry Line in North Somerset will be closed for a 2 week period starting next Wednesday 2nd September. There will be a diversion in place during the period of closure and there will be a period where the users of the path will have to share it with large vehicles.

http://www.betterbybike.info/News/straw ... y-closure/

This might not be of interest to all here but LeJog'ers are known to use this path and a girl I know from Twitter chose this route.

Re: camp site recommendations for Derbyshire

25 August 2015 - 11:04pm
Will be interested to hear where you stayed and what you thought of it - always good to hear about good local-ish campsites!

Re: Solar charger or dynamo

25 August 2015 - 10:47pm
Colgrenfell wrote:Each to their own - we used a Portapow 15w 2A solar charger (circa £30) on a recent 2 week tour in France. This charged/topped up an EC Powerbank (3.7V/22500mAh/82.8Wh (circa £15))
Didn't need to go near mains power for the whole trip - charging a couple of iPhones. Also was great for days on the beach! The variable voltage cycling through shade etc, caused iPhones (and presumably Android types as well) to disconnect and subsequently ignore the charger until they were physically disconnected and then reconnected; so a battery which allows trickle charging was necessary. This does reduce efficiency, but not so much that we noticed. A few hours a day on the back of my rack seemed enough to charge the battery.

IMG_3556 (1).jpg

I used the same panel coupled with a portapow 10000mAh battery, one thing I found is that some power packs don't like trickle charging, when the sun is low the battery would discharge into the panel!!. I coupled this with a dynamo charger as well as I had my iPhone running all day for route logging/ navigation and charged my flashing lights,camera and ecigs
One problem I found with the Dynamo set up was during extended climbing I was often going too slow to charge anything off the hub. The ideal setup would be both with perhaps a y cable feeding into one battery, that way you would always have power and hopefully a fully charged battery at the end of the day

The portapow panel has good output, in bright sun it will even charge an iPad directly.

Romania

25 August 2015 - 10:24pm
This is my first topic on here. I'm toying with the idea of doing a cycle tour in Romania, Is it a good place to go i.e. cycle friendly, nice scenery, plenty of places to stay, expensive or cheap. Any comments would be greatly received. Bruce

Re: Anyone use a prepaid currency card?

25 August 2015 - 10:13pm
Ace thanks, I'll load some more money onto it

Re: Anyone use a prepaid currency card?

25 August 2015 - 10:05pm
jiberjaber wrote:Colgrenfell wrote:Hi
We used Caxton as well (having read about it here last year I think) for a 2 week tour in France. Highly recommend it. Good rates and much less worry about fraud.. and you
save a lot of bank charges.

Worth noting that you can't use it to prebook hotels etc as it doesn't allow pre-authorisation.. but for day to day it was great.
So to confirm, I can use it to pay for my hotels when I've stayed there? I'm off in a week or so, so it would be useful to avoid the home bank charges

Yes, you can use it to pay for your hotel or anything else provided you have enough balance in your account.

Re: Solar charger or dynamo

25 August 2015 - 9:58pm
Sounds like a better solution than my Goalzero setup and at a fraction of the price. The secret as you point out with solar is to have a high capacity battery pack which is trickle charged all day long rather than just when your pedaling.

Re: Dynamo front light

25 August 2015 - 9:57pm
I use a supernova light set, not cheap but extremely good quality with a great beam http://supernova-lights.com/en_US/page/e3-pro-dynamo
,for the charging side of things I have a tout Terrain 'the plug3' it replaces the top cap and makes for a very neat solution.
https://cyclingabout.com/review-tout-terrain-the-plug-iii/
Both bits of kit have been on my dummy for 18 months and been faultless, the supernova rear lights are also very neat, tiny but bright.

Re: Anyone use a prepaid currency card?

25 August 2015 - 9:19pm
Colgrenfell wrote:Hi
We used Caxton as well (having read about it here last year I think) for a 2 week tour in France. Highly recommend it. Good rates and much less worry about fraud.. and you
save a lot of bank charges.

Worth noting that you can't use it to prebook hotels etc as it doesn't allow pre-authorisation.. but for day to day it was great.
So to confirm, I can use it to pay for my hotels when I've stayed there? I'm off in a week or so, so it would be useful to avoid the home bank charges

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