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Re: LLC and Wales Questions

31 July 2015 - 6:31pm
Well I made it. I was not very fond of the Taff Trail until around 12 miles out of Cardiff. The part that went up through the trees around the reservoir was terrible - logging road more suited to a MTB. It would have been unridable in the rain, I think, so was glad for the sunshine today.

Because of that, I stuck to the roads the rest of the way around the Reservoirs. Including that sharp incline you mention - though I powered through it. It did make me wonder if NCN 8 avoided that down then up bit, but when I saw the turn for NCN 8 taking me back ontro gravel, I told it to sod off..

The Taff Trail was terrible. I to lost in one or two places since the usual fork in the road wasn't marked, had some steep pitches when crossing over the river, and for some reason I had to walk my bike down a long set of stairs despite being on a cycling route. Not to mention more gravel and dirt road more suited to a MTB and a lot of the parts that were paved were really rough or felt like going over speed bumps for miles on end. Things didnt smooth out until about 12 miles from Cardiff.

Also, the gates are terrible. They are either the cattle herding type where you have to slow down only drop-handlebars are narrow enough to fit through, or they are the walking kind, too narrow for a loaded tourer to turn through. I lifted the bike over the lower rung on these (which I think is meant for pedestrians).

Luckily, it was mostly all flat or slightly downhill, so a long day at 55 miles but I made it. I was honestly hoping for a sweeping view of Cardiff or even a view of the castle, but that wasn't the case at all.

Figuring our plans for the weekend now. Quite knackered so dont think I will ride the bike to St Fagans, so will have to see what public transport is like (as an American, I never use public transit so this will be interesting).

Re: Mark Beaumont

31 July 2015 - 6:03pm
It's the dentists you really need to watch out for...

Re: Which maps for Britanny?

31 July 2015 - 5:45pm
simonineaston wrote:Michelin maps show the campsites they recommendOnly the sites that wre in their guide the year the map was published. So probably about 5% of the available sites.

I use very minor roads and like to know just where I am. Hence I favour IGN TOP100 maps. They are 1:100,000 (close to the old Bartholomew's half inch maps we old ones remember) which means I can use forest tracks and all sorts. Index sheet here http://www.themapshop.co.uk/images/Fran ... 20100k.jpg

Re: Which maps for Britanny?

31 July 2015 - 5:31pm
I'd need a bit more info. from you before I commit, like how far you're going and what you need to see on the map. For example, Michelin maps show the campsites they recommend, which will be of no interest to you if you're staying in chambres d'ote or hotels. I'm off to Gourarec where I will be doing 'star tours', and then going up to Paimpol for the music festival, so I'm taking the IGN Top 100 #114, which covers everywhere I'm going on this trip - lucky me!
Others will recommend smaller scale maps - the Michelin 'local' maps at 1:150k are popular.

Which maps for Britanny?

31 July 2015 - 4:44pm
I'll be setting off for a short tour of Britanny in a couple of weeks time. I'm wondering which map to buy. I'm considering the Michelin and the AA road maps. Any recommendations would be much appreciated.

Thank you.

Re: Leeds Liverpool Canel - Shipley to Gargrave

31 July 2015 - 4:44pm
Bicycler wrote:+1 My hybrid (35mm tyres) and I nearly took several swims between Foulridge (on the Lancs/Yorks border) and Skipton in 2012.
I was on 700x35 Marathons, nowhere near knobbly enough for liquid mud. I'd been slithering around all the way from Gargrave to Skipton so I decided to continue on the road after I'd called at Tesco, but by the time I came out of the shop I'd forgotten my decision and got back on the canal. I'd just decided to get off again at the first opportunity when I slipped.

Re: Leeds Liverpool Canel - Shipley to Gargrave

31 July 2015 - 4:28pm
axel_knutt wrote:colin54 wrote:Don't know what it's like beyond Skipton.

Very muddy in 2011 when I slipped and came off. Fortunately I ended up in the bushes instead of the canal.
+1 My hybrid (35mm tyres) and I nearly took several swims between Foulridge (on the Lancs/Yorks border) and Skipton on a rainy day in 2012. It's mostly just grass and mud surface. The most poorly surfaced (but splendidly remote) part of the whole canal. I can't recall the specific Gargrave-Skipton other than that the nicely surfaced towpath through Skipton doesn't extend much beyond the town limits. Once into Yorkshire there are more swing bridges crossing the canal on the level and fewer traditional canal bridges over the canal narrowing the towpath.

Re: Land's End to Stonehenge

31 July 2015 - 4:22pm
From Taunton, I would go: Glastonbury, Shepton Mallet, Frome, Warminster, Chitterne, Shrewton, cycle through Shrewton towards Larkhill / Durrington until you come to the junction for the right turn to Stonehenge. (I've done this route numerous times as it's the way home for me from the SW)

Re: Free bicycle touring eBooks

31 July 2015 - 3:55pm
Enjoyed, as always, fantastic photos and great journalism - thanks!

Mark Beaumont

31 July 2015 - 3:46pm
I loved his article in Cycle magazine but wondered how he could be sure there were no hungry lions among the elephants and giraffes on his route. I don't like being chased by dogs. Lions would put me right off.

Re: Transcontiental Race 2015 anyone following this?

31 July 2015 - 2:41pm
The two time previous winner (Kristof Allegaert) is not riding the Transcontinental this year because he's riding the Moscow-Vladivostok stage race, following the route of the Trans-Siberian Railway. Total length 9195 km with 15 stages of up to 1382 km. Supported, with following cars. Web page here with live tracker, pictures, latest news etc.
They are currently about 40% of the way through the 1380 km stage 12.
Stage 4 (945km) 28 kph / 33 hours 45 minutes time limit on it. It's not clear whether this applies to all stages.

Transcontiental Race 2015 anyone following this?

31 July 2015 - 1:15pm
In its third iteration the race is about 6 days through. It looks absolutely brutal just following it on spot tracker but what an amazing tour and really inspirational.


Re: Camino de Santiago/Way of St James

31 July 2015 - 10:48am
Thanks for the helpful responses.
Looking forward to my ride!

Re: Cycling to Skye from Troon

31 July 2015 - 10:10am
The most straightforward scenic route would be ferry Ardrossan to Arran, ferry Arran to Claonaig, ride up Kintyre to Lochgilphead & Oban, ferry Oban to Mull and Mull (Tobermory) to Ardnamurchan, ride to Mallaig, and ferry to Skye.
It is possible to take a west coastal route from Tarbert to just north of Lochgilphead - there's a reasonable track between Ellary and Kilmory. Mull is worth an explore if you've time.
On Skye, the old road is worth diverting onto from just after Kinloch Lodge to a bit before Broadford, rather than just following the A851 (not that that's busy).

If considering the longer ferry crossings (eg to Islay), bear in mind that there may only be one or two sailings per day, and you can lose quite a lot of time waiting, or that the times may not suit well (eg arrive 8pm, which makes finding a campsite awkward).
The tickets onto and off Mull are available as an "Island hopscotch" package, and it wouldn't surprise me if on & off Arran as the same - check on the Calmac website.

Re: LLC and Wales Questions

31 July 2015 - 9:39am
22camels wrote:I have a feeling these Welsh 25% gradient signs are a slight exaggeration, based on riding up one of them a few weeks ago (the devil's staircase) which registered no higher than 20% on the basic (possibly not very trustworthy) barometric altimeter on my cateye cycle computer .

Hope you enjoy your traverse of the Beacons - it's all more or less downhill after you crest the ridge - and looks like the sun will be out.

I don't trust altimeters on cycle computers. On the Devil's Staircase my ankles (in walking mode) registered a very trustworthy 25%. Between Brecon and Cardiff (at least, on the route I would take) there is just one "get off and walk" incline of about 20% just after the Talybont Reservoir. The NCN8 route across the dam bypasses this. After that the main problems are to do with trying to follow the mish-mash of tracks branded "Taff Trail". Weather today (Friday) set fair.

Re: Free bicycle touring eBooks

31 July 2015 - 8:03am
Read the first one Grace. Thank you for your generosity. I've shared your link too.

Free bicycle touring eBooks

31 July 2015 - 7:51am
I'm on my third one now. Fantastic. I've said it before on this forum, but as a dad with 2 daughters I'm really pro female empowerment. Lots of these articles on World travel are by women. If anyone was ever in doubt about the strength and independence of our young women (and some not so young) then get reading!

I just hope that if my daughters decide to saddle up and disappear over the horizon one day, they might ask their old dad to ride with them just some of the way.

Inspirational. Thank you...b

Re: Cycling to Skye from Troon

31 July 2015 - 1:00am
Or there is the Kintyre Express ferry. Gets you to either Campbelltown or Islay.


Re: LLC and Wales Questions

31 July 2015 - 12:05am
mcallaghan wrote:james01 wrote:Did do a little walkaround town but sore legs require rest, especially with my longest mileage day tomorrow - 60 miles including crossing the Beacons! I am honestly a little worried I won't be able to make it the whole way, given how the legs are starting to feel (sore back especially) but will see how the day fares out. Will be a PITA to sort out the lodging situation if I break early.

In case you read this before you set off...

Following NCN 8, you'll cross the dam of Talybont Reservoir then take the old railway track up the south bank.

When you rejoin the road at the top of the hill, given that you're pushed for time, stay on it past the reservoirs to Pontsticill (where there's a sharp left-hander dropping down below the dam). The two sections of rough track on the official NCN 8 are fun, but they'll wear you out and you've still got all the way to Cardiff to go.

Rejoin the route at Pontsticill and enjoy - it's 35 miles of downhill all the way. Don't get lost in Pontypridd!

Re: Where to stay with bikes in Rutland?

30 July 2015 - 11:50pm
Thanks for that. I stumbled across the discover Rutland site earlier today. Baffles me why all these places insist on making accessing them for anyone coming any distance so expensive.

Having said that, I've paid London prices before now so everything's relative


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