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Re: Favourite country?

22 November 2014 - 5:04pm
My small contribution to this thread.

I can recommend Sardinia**

Which until recently the tourist authorities promoted as not just a country (which of course it isn't) but as "like a continent"!!!!

Not in july or august though.

** no i am not part of the international jet/yachting set - far from it.

Re: Favourite country?

22 November 2014 - 5:01pm
smith4188 wrote:Do you have a spare three months next summer?

Possibly - depends on stuff i'm trying to sort in my life.

I must say though that although i am more than willing to live on a basic diet/sand and olive oil or whatever, i am not into the idea of starvation or those quasi macho slogs across deserts.

Are you planning to fuel this trip on beer?

All the best to you and Blackburn.

Re: Favourite country?

22 November 2014 - 4:41pm
Sweep wrote:Now places that have become more mainstream and weekend stag night venues, whereas when i went there folk said "why are you going there sweep, it's so grey".

I like your pioneering somewhat perverse approach - meant in the best possible way.

Long live the weird.


Yes, some of it is grey and ugly, but it's usually ugly in an interesting way. I also got a big buzz out of Albania, Kosovo, Ukraine and Belarus for feeling like I was somewhere not many cyclists find themselves but those places were interesting rather than fun or beautiful. (Actually, that's not entirely true. Kosovo and Albania had some beautiful bits.) I could only recommend them to people who said 'Long live the weird'.

Sweep wrote:Your book highly recommended - got any more trips planned?

Cheers! And yes. Next summer I'm doing a shorter but possibly more challenging ride during which I might actually starve to death. I'm just building the website for it and then I'll announce it after Christmas because I'm looking for a handful of people to come with me. Do you have a spare three months next summer?

Re: Favourite country?

22 November 2014 - 4:31pm
Keep posting those recommendations and i'll get there eventually.

Travelled a bit in my youth in the maybe more accessible communist eastern europe.

Now places that have become more mainstream and weekend stag night venues, whereas when i went there folk said "why are you going there sweep, it's so grey".

I like your pioneering somewhat perverse approach - meant in the best possible way.

Long live the weird.

Your book highly recommended - got any more trips planned?

Re: Gibraltar - Perpignan (France) through Sierra Nevada

22 November 2014 - 4:21pm
The route on the map on the Dutch site starts in Cadiz, which I imagine would be a better starting point (Gibraltar is a toilet). But if you have to start from Gib then I'd avoid the main coast road to Malaga. It's a fast dual carriageway and even though I've seen cyclists on it, it looked terrifying. Better would be to aim directly for Ronda, which is one of the places of the Dutch route anyway.

Also, if you follow that route then you aren't going to be doing the Sierra Nevada (once out of Granada you'll be going north of it). If you want to do the Sierra Nevada properly (and it's worth it), you could drop into Malaga after Ronda, continue along the coast (the coast road isn't too busy east of Malaga) as far as Motril, turn inland to Velez de Benaudalla and then have a nice play in the beautiful mountains.

I also seem to remember the countryside north of Cuenca was great too, although I was a bit farther west than your route.

Have a good trip!

Re: Favourite country?

22 November 2014 - 3:59pm
Eastern Europe, particularly Bosnia, Macedonia and Montenegro. Beautiful scenery, very cheap and nicely weird.

Re: Front lights with a bar bag

21 November 2014 - 11:56pm
Other options include putting a bike light into a side mesh pocket so it points forward. On drop bars it may be possible to use a "rubber band" type mount on the drops so it points the right way.

Re: Front lights with a bar bag

21 November 2014 - 11:17pm
DaleFTW wrote:http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/busch-and-muller-light-bracket-for-fork-crown-254mm-mount-prod22455/

Running a couple of them for a year or so. Why pay more...


I believe this is the same or very very similar item cheaper...http://www.windwave.co.uk/Products.aspx ... D=14455189 Windwave are the UK distributor; there's not many retailers listing this part online but over 1,000 local bike shops buy from Windwave.

Re: Anyone use a trailer ?

21 November 2014 - 10:15pm
AdyJapp wrote:mercalia wrote:Unlike you I didnt have any trouble going fast downhill with my copy, but then I didnt have much choice as the hill in question caught me unawares.

I think you have given us the product name for these tailers - "Yakkalike" ?


I think the main issue is that of the steering obviously being very, very light with everything hanging off the back, and the shear momentum of the weight shoving you downhill, made me keep dabbing the brakes on anything too steep!!

maybe its differnt with a 26" wheel small frame bike like the Dawes 1-Down as I cant say I felt any thing unusual. But then I am also heavy. By the way I have added this thread as a suggestion under "the too good to lose" section as it contains lots of ideas and experiences of these yakalikes and is easier to find then

Re: Front lights with a bar bag

21 November 2014 - 10:03pm
http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/busch-and-mu ... prod22455/

Running a couple of them for a year or so. Why pay more...

Front lights with a bar bag

21 November 2014 - 8:45pm
I use a bar bag and 'almost' had the same problem. EXCEPT I found my front rack to be a perfect mounting bracket for a headlight. Bar bags and panniers enough for me. Never had the need to load up the top of the front rack. Only thing I've carried on top of up front was a flagon of cider and that was in daylight. Erm...it fell off anyway [emoji31]

Re: Cycling Caen to Nice

21 November 2014 - 8:37pm
Tatanab. U may be right. When I went into Budgets/Avis office the manager there said there was a one way extra of £45. Howsoever,he said he was then and there prepared to dismiss this charge as was his right 'at his discretion'. So,had I wanted to travel from the south of the UK to the top,£30 plus petrol,whereas train journey for that day on demand...£300/400+. And this is without the medication you would need to take to alleviate the stress of booking and taking the train given all the rules and regs that are at the discretion of the rail company,guard etc

I have no idea what a single one-way charge for van hire from Nice would be to northern France. Howsoever,it maybe cheaper than the train fare,and simpler(with less stress?)
An alternative might be to fly home with bike/tandem.

Re: Cycling Caen to Nice

21 November 2014 - 8:24pm
Thanks for all your help. It gives us a few leads to look into. Looks like a one way hire may be the best and cheaper option, if we can get a van that will take our tandem. When we sort out the return journey we will put any information on the blog.

Re: What is the best dynamo hub for touring?

21 November 2014 - 8:15pm
I will be planning and downloading my routes in advance onto a garmin 800. I'll keep my phone on...so that I can take quick snaps, but power hungry functions like GPS, wifi and Bluetooth will be switched off when not in use so should last a day, maybe longer in airplane mode.

My friend will also have a garmin so we could keep one switched off rather than having both switched on, maybe same with the phone.

So backup battery maybe enough?

Re: Anyone use a trailer ?

21 November 2014 - 8:01pm
mercalia wrote:Good to know your mods work well.

AdyJapp " 10 hours on the bike and 90 miles"
I was wondering where you had got to as one of the people with these things who had done some mods
wow.90 miles all in one go? with a trailer? surely not? The very thought is a nightmare.

Given that it was a challenge that I set myself, I was quite pleased with the journey overall. Yes, I pushed myself, and yes, under other circumstances I may have made a shorter day journey. Definitely good with a trailer though, and comparing to being fully loaded with panniers, I 'think' that I prefer this option.
mercalia wrote:Unlike you I didnt have any trouble going fast downhill with my copy, but then I didnt have much choice as the hill in question caught me unawares.

I think you have given us the product name for these tailers - "Yakkalike" ?


I think the main issue is that of the steering obviously being very, very light with everything hanging off the back, and the shear momentum of the weight shoving you downhill, made me keep dabbing the brakes on anything too steep!!

Re: Cycling Caen to Nice

21 November 2014 - 7:23pm
tyreon wrote:This method now interests me,and on a recent trip about,I went into a Budget/Avis rent-a-car office to ask the cost of hiring a car for a one way trip. The cost I was given was £30 a day!That does not include the one way premium of about £100. Use the Avis website and select "return to different location" http://www.avis.co.uk/?cid=GBPPUD000000 ... t/0127584F Europcar offer one way as well, and I have used them in the UK.

Re: Cycling Caen to Nice

21 November 2014 - 7:16pm
Your planned journey could be relatively easy,difficult,or a mix between the two. Sorry to state the obvious.

Given you give the French staff at the rail station 24 hrs notice, I think you wont have too many difficulties booking spaces on the French network system. It goes without saying that the more notice you can give staff the better your chances of securing that reservation,and lowering the fare you pay.

Having said all this,having had the stress of navigating French trains with 'no notice'(just turning up and hoping for the best),wotsabout investigating hiring some car/van that you may drive up thru France then leave at your final destination? I see someone else having done this on this site recently...then someone else asking for details,but getting no reply.
This method now interests me,and on a recent trip about,I went into a Budget/Avis rent-a-car office to ask the cost of hiring a car for a one way trip. The cost I was given was £30 a day! Sure,it wasn't a van,and I wasn't asking in France,and it wasn't summer!! But add on a few quid,get on this thing(computer),and operate it better than I can,and you may be able to hire that van in France,drive it up to the channel to leave it,and all with less hassle(and price?) than going by train. Wotyathink?

If you do manage to get a price,please let me and others know. Though I have managed to get thru France by bike by travelling by train,I have always felt stressed: expectations of finding cycling storage place full? Loading complications? Train changing times too close!

Re: Front lights with a bar bag

21 November 2014 - 7:05pm
Deevoy88 wrote:... did you bend the metal yourself or did you find brackets like that?
... some aluminium junk, a minimum of manual skill and the job is done !

Re: Front lights with a bar bag

21 November 2014 - 6:05pm
ConRAD wrote:Actually I had the same problem and solved it like here below ... is it of any help ?






That is perfect. Did you bend the metal yourself or did you find brackets like that?

Re: Front lights with a bar bag

21 November 2014 - 5:20pm
Actually I had the same problem and solved it like here below ... is it of any help ?




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