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Updated: 1 hour 20 min ago

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

Re: Anyone use a prepaid currency card?

25 August 2015 - 7:26pm
Great. Thanks. I've ordered one

Re: Solar charger or dynamo

25 August 2015 - 5:59pm
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

Re: Anyone use a prepaid currency card?

25 August 2015 - 5:41pm
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.

Re: £1 a day tour completed

25 August 2015 - 1:47pm
horizon wrote:And Tom Allen did his whole trip starting with nothing:

http://tomsbiketrip.com/how-to-go-cycle ... ks-part-1/


And really, having just looked at some of the story, that's what I mean. He is personable and unusual enough to have traded some small services for food or accommodation on his LEJOG. And people will offer such once or twice because it's unusual. They wouldn't be keen if it was happening three times a week. That is not to denigrate what he has done or the way he is doing it - simply that it wouldn't work on a larger scale.

As a for instance I live pretty much on the route of the (walking) Coast to Coast. A couple of years ago I met a couple who were having problems and I offered not only to run them into a local town by car but also to use our lawn to camp on if they wanted it (eventually they turned down both). I was happy to try and help but I wouldn't do it three times a week. That's my point.

Re: CTC Bike Bag on Ryanair

25 August 2015 - 1:32pm
No problems in general with the CTC-type bag on Easyjet, but I recently had a 'discussion' at Inverness airport, where a ground-handling person claimed that my son's bike wouldn't fit through the oversize-luggage scanner. He was asked to 'just drop the saddle using the lever', but a) the bike is an ancient Raleigh Royal with (imperial) bolted seat-tube clamp b) the bike was already wrapped and taped up and c) most of our tools had already been checked-in in hold baggage. This was despite the fact that the same bike had gone through the same airport (Inverness) a few years ago with no problem. We ended up using 'keyhole surgery' to remove the Brooks saddle from the seatpost, letting it drop and float around the bag. This of course left a prominent seatpost in the bag which would have been more of a risk to baggage handlers 'downstream'. The ground-handling bloke did keep going on about 'people in lycra scaring the other passengers' etc so I got the impression he wasn't going to go out of his way to help..... maybe he was one of the many drivers who passed us by a whisker on the A96 between Inverness and the airport - a short but scary ride after a generally problem-free LEJOG. My smaller bike (also a Raleigh Royal) went through with no problems.

Re: £1 a day tour completed

25 August 2015 - 1:22pm
And Tom Allen did his whole trip starting with nothing:

http://tomsbiketrip.com/how-to-go-cycle ... ks-part-1/

Re: £1 a day tour completed

25 August 2015 - 1:17pm
In my younger days I found three ways to cross the channel for free and managed it twice. The first was by hovercraft (remember them?): the driver could take up to five (?) passengers free. I found a car with just the driver and made a polite request. On the second occasion I had hitch-hiked a lorry from France and came over as his "mate" - the second driver always went free. The third nearly happened but didn't quite. I went to Lydd Airport and asked if anyone was crossing the Channel - I was told that one person would definitely have given me a lift in his plane but he had just taken off. I sighed and solaced myself with the fact that the journey to the airport had been in a Mercedes Benz 600.

Nowdays it's all changed: it's the underside of a lorry or the roof of a train. Although there are other ways: my daughter and friend crossed for free recently on the back of a free ticket for a previous Eurostar delay. And what about air miles?

My brother crossed to Norway from Shetland by asking the crew of a fishing boat.

I'm sure there are ways.

Re: £1 a day tour completed

25 August 2015 - 12:57pm
smith4188 wrote:You're right. It didn't include the ferry. Unless you own a yacht, or know someone who does, you aren't crossing the channel for free. And yes we camped in a few farmer's fields but there were no showers or free laundry, and the few times we were gifted a meal we factored into our expenses what our own meal would have cost. The idea was to do it as authentically as possible, not by freeloading. (Not sure why you put that bit in italics as though you'd lifted it from our site.)

Sorry I didn't mean to create that impression, I was trying to paraphrase a typical comment from a 'we did it for free' charity event. And as said I noted you weren't trying to depend on the 'goodness of strangers'. As an approach yours was different - and a lot more hardcore.

Re: £1 a day tour completed

25 August 2015 - 12:41pm
You're right. It didn't include the ferry. Unless you own a yacht, or know someone who does, you aren't crossing the channel for free. And yes we camped in a few farmer's fields but there were no showers or free laundry, and the few times we were gifted a meal we factored into our expenses what our own meal would have cost. The idea was to do it as authentically as possible, not by freeloading. (Not sure why you put that bit in italics as though you'd lifted it from our site.)

Re: £1 a day tour completed

25 August 2015 - 12:27pm
I found the website here:

http://www.rideandseek2015.com/index.php

Interesting stuff but from what I can see the £100.00 they had to play with didn't include their ferry trip from Pompey - St Malo. And though according to their Rules it would have to be included there doesn't appear to have been any bike-related problems which would have cost a bundle (that's looking at facebook).

I was interested to read this because though they weren't depending 'on the goodness of strangers' such trips often seek to demonstrate you can get from A to B with no money. And usually people do it, thanks to free camping, food and showers. But I always wonder if the 'lovely farmer's wife who made us all hotpot and washed our jerseys' would do it 10 times a month if loads of people tried to 'no money' challenge.

Re: winter tour

25 August 2015 - 12:23pm
I'm off to Cuba for 3 weeks Nov/Dec (before the Americans trash it!) You can now fly direct from Manchester £500. Good weather, safe quiet roads, and excellent accommodation in casa particulares (local B&B's)

Re: winter tour

25 August 2015 - 11:45am
I would not be put off by the problems in N Africa. I was slightly nervous last year but never felt threatened once. I'd be more worried in northern Morocco - the south is dominated by Berber arabs that don't appear to have much interest in such matters. Morocco is virtually a police state, and thousands of french tourists head south each winter.

As we have seen recently you could be in Paris or Bangkok and get caught up in something, so I personally wouldn't let put you of southern Morocco. being hit by a truck or car is a far bigger worry when cycle touring IMO
B

Re: winter tour

25 August 2015 - 8:12am
I regularly tour in SE Asia and can definitely recommend it. Great weather at your time, good food and plenty of cheap accommodation so no need to carry heavy camping gear. Cheap flights to Bangkok I paid about £450 last year. Used Emirates who give 30 kgsand take boxed bikes.

If you like hills then head for NW Vietnam and Lao. Central and S Thailand, Cambodia and S Vietnam generally flat.

If you want something very different, but never too far away from comforts, then GO!

Happy to advise more.

Re: Bayonne to LaRochelle via EV1 - a report

24 August 2015 - 10:39pm
Polite wrote:[I've just got back, today, from cycling La Vélo Francette (if that's what you're referring to?).

No its not the same route
you did http://www.lavelofrancette.com/
I did http://www.velodyssey.com/ or at least a section S. of La Rochelle
If you put the two together it looks as though the result might be an interesting loop from the N. coast via La Rochelle and back north.
Its great to have these options, but I have to say I'm hoping to roam the highways on my next trip rather than stick to a track

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