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Re: Cycling Canal de Midi accomodation

29 June 2015 - 7:59pm
Thanks to everyone for the helpful information. We will be looking up the recommendations. Looking forward to a great trip even if it does sound a bit bumpy.
Thanks again.
Angela and Colin

Re: Cornish Adventure Scuppered?

29 June 2015 - 7:27pm
RISKS

To laugh is to risk appearing the fool,
To weep is to risk being called sentimental.
To reach out to another is to risk involvement.
To expose feelings is to risk showing your true self.
To place your ideas and your dreams before the crowd is to risk being called naive.
To love is to risk not being loved in return,
To live is to risk dying,
To hope is to risk despair,
To try is to risk failure

But risks must be taken, because the greatest risk in life is to risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing.
He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow or love.
Chained by his certitude, he is a slave; he has forfeited his freedom.
Only the person who risks is truly free.


Often attributed to the poet and thinker, Leo Buscaglia, the real author of this inspirational verse is Janet Rand.

Re: Rent a bike in SF, ride to LA, and drop it off?

29 June 2015 - 4:15pm
I've not gone through the figures in my head but in theory it looks like a service I'd contemplate using.

A Pacific Coast bike trip is on my bucket list and I fully intend doing it next year. I'm a keen cyclist but don't currently own a suitable touring bike, and when I started researching for the trip I looked into local bike hire as an option. In fact what I'm pretty sure I'll end up doing is trading in one of my road bikes for a tourer/winter training bike, with the intention of making touring a bit more of a habit. BUT, if you happen to get the business up and running over the coming months, AND you can facilitate my preferred route of Vancouver to SF rather than SF to LA, maybe we can talk.

Anyway, good luck if you do decide to go ahead with the plan.

Who's got the worst bike, and how far have you ridden it?

29 June 2015 - 4:11pm
There's always discussions on here about the best bike/parts for this and that... but has anyone had just a really cheap bike and made a crazy journey on it?

Life is easier with all the best gear, but lets face it you can tour on pretty much anything

Id be interested to hear a few tales.

Re: Map reading - can anyone do this now?

29 June 2015 - 3:38pm
Recently I had a GPS run out of battery a few miles from my destination, and whilst I had a paper map for most of my ride I did not have one to cover the last bit. I used my nose and a bit of luck to complete the journey, but I felt like a fool for not having all the paper maps I needed. GPS is good, but don't rely on it. It will let you down sometimes.

Re: Map reading - can anyone do this now?

29 June 2015 - 3:29pm
Neilo wrote:Mountain Rescue is often mispercieved as just rescuing people that have fallen off a mountain. In addition to that we are often called to search for missing people in urban and rural areas, for many different reasons, missing walkers, missing elderly people with dementia, people that wish to do them selves harm, missing children, the list is quite long. We are called to help the ambulance service, if the terrain is difficult. We have assisted the fire service with the recovery of casualties from car crashes when the car has ended up in a ravine. Some teams provide assistance during floods.
My team covers roughly the area west of a line drawn from Bridgend to Aberyswyth, but often go further afield to help other teams. So, locals who know the ground, not possible. Calls to places as far afield as Hereford, St Davids, Carmarthen, Newton and Aberystwyth.

I would not use a GPS to guide me, I would use it to navigate, along with a map, compass and all the navigational techniques I have learned over the years.

I am not one of those anti GPS tpyes, but I really do believe that people need to learn how to navigate with a paper map and compass first. I find it quite scary that some people venture into the hills with just a GPS and a route programmed into it to follow, with zero navigational skill. Ignorance is not always bliss, and a GPS is not a shortcut to experience.

Neil

Absolutely. Maritime navigation training emphasises that GPS is an aid to navigation. That means you still have to engage brain and there are other sources of navigational input.

Re: Skye to Oban Route

29 June 2015 - 1:29pm
iviehoff wrote:Arnisdale to Kinloch Hourn ferry ceased running about 4 years ago.

There is quite a steep climb with some loose material underfoot if you go from Corran to Arnisdale by bicycle, so you will probably walk a bit, and it will be a tough push if you have heavy luggage. But if Norman Hodghton (octogenarian editor of the Rough Stuff Journal) can do it (and it wasn't many years ago that he did, and he was never a strong/hard rider), most people can. http://www.bikeroutes.org.uk/trips/trip12.htm

Thanks for the link. My mate is 72, plus we will be on road bikes. The BandB owner in Kinloch Hourn has told me that they get the occasional cyclist through on mountain bikes, but the good news is I've tracked down the new boatman. I'm speaking to him tonight, if all goes well and he wants me to I'll post his details on here, in he mean time if anyone wants them PM me.

Re: Map reading - can anyone do this now?

29 June 2015 - 1:21pm
Even if you work with GPS, I've installed and verified GPS systems on ships you still have to learn mapping theory i.e. datum and projection as simply looking at WGS 84 doesn't do it for more precise positioning.

Personally I prefer paper maps although Mrs Whoof's Garmin has been useful in the past.

Re: Cycling Canal de Midi accomodation

29 June 2015 - 12:55pm
A bit out of date, but a few years ago the following all worked on a three day ride:

1) La Rougeanne (http://www.larougeanne.com)
This one is near Bram, it's a beautiful big old house run by a lovely lady. Quite expensive and plush but if you fancy a comfy bed and a lovely dinner, it's definitely good value.
It's about 5km north of the canal and a short sharp climb into the village.

2) L'Aur Blan (http://www.aur-blan.com)
In the heart of Le Somail. It was very cheap 4 years ago but the website looks like they've done it up a bit (there was definitely no pool, for instance, which always hikes the price a bit).
Has bike ‘lock-up’ and just down the road we found quite a cool bar (by rural French standards!) to have a couple of beers and a game of pool.
Of all the places we rode through on the Canal, Le Somail was one of my favourites, and definitely somewhere to think about staying.

3) When we got to Sete we stayed here:
Le National (http://www.hotellenational.fr)
Fairly basic but handy for the station and they locked our bikes in a room just behind the hotel reception.

Hope that helps.

Chris

Re: Map reading - can anyone do this now?

29 June 2015 - 11:34am
simonineaston wrote:gottogetfit wrote:...they are my favourite bed time read.When I tell people that, they look at me as if I'm strange and tell me I need to get out more - which is ironic...

I love 'em too. If I have a gripe it's that the 1:50,000 Landranger doesn't generally slide into the back pocket of a short-sleeve cycling jersey. Oddly the centre pocket on long-sleeved jerseys is often big enough. Rode on Saturday and needed a Landranger, managed to fit it in by removing it from it's cardboard outer. Do CTC jerseys account for this - if they do I might buy one!

Re: USA Coast to Coast

29 June 2015 - 11:16am
Hi there, I did the TransAm with Adventure Cycling, the guys who make the maps, as an organised van supported ride. What would you like to know?

http://www.webm8.co.uk/riddler/trans-am-2012.html

Re: Skye to Oban Route

29 June 2015 - 10:06am
Arnisdale to Kinloch Hourn ferry ceased running about 4 years ago.

There is quite a steep climb with some loose material underfoot if you go from Corran to Arnisdale by bicycle, so you will probably walk a bit, and it will be a tough push if you have heavy luggage. But if Norman Hodghton (octogenarian editor of the Rough Stuff Journal) can do it (and it wasn't many years ago that he did, and he was never a strong/hard rider), most people can. http://www.bikeroutes.org.uk/trips/trip12.htm

Re: Cornish Adventure Scuppered?

29 June 2015 - 10:05am
Just been down to Lands End. The roads are no worse than in Dorset or Hampshire. Drivers there are fast but tend to be more 'collision hazard aware' shall we say as they don't want to hit any oncoming traffic. Lots of cyclists and I didn't notice anyone getting close passes as I drove about between day rides.

Re: Cornish Adventure Scuppered?

29 June 2015 - 9:11am
I'm not venturing into marriage guidance, so I'll leave that one.

As for the lanes, I don't know Cornwall very well, but I live in another area with a maze of twisty lanes with high hedges and I believe it provides the safest and most enjoyable kind of cycling there is. I also drive a car on those lanes, and for a driver it is a less pleasant experience. Every corner could reveal an oncoming vehicle that requires you to back up to a passing place. So drivers keep their speed down and show caution. Most avoid the lanes to save time and avoid stress, leaving the lanes fairly quiet.

If you prefer more dangerous cycling, ride in a town!

Re: Map reading - can anyone do this now?

29 June 2015 - 8:59am
I love GPS - Ive owned a handheld GPS ever since they became affordable in the days of selective availability – accurate to around 100m – more than good enough to find where I was on a 50k OS map – the latest incarnation is good enough for me to use to sketch stuff onto 1k and 2k base maps – assuming I get the grid offset right – however Ive never used GPS to navigate myself to anywhere.

Map reading tho is not just about being able to determine where you are at any moment in time, the nature of the terrain or where you are going – by being able to accurately interpret and use maps you are training the spatial map that is stored in part of your brain – by continually updating and refreshing the spatial map you are able to project an image in your mind that tells you which way up the world is and where places are in relation to each other. I fear that within a few decades that there will be a generation that totally relies on GPS information and will not have this ability and are effectively lost if they go outside their home locale – in fact I sure Ive met some already – those who claim poor poor sense of direction – there is no such thing as a sense of direction - unless of course you are pigeon brained - just good navigational skills

Use it or lose it! (the skill, not the GPS jobbie... )

Re: Eurovelo 15 -Amsterdam to Frankfurt

29 June 2015 - 8:49am
Lovely.

Eurovelo 15 -Amsterdam to Frankfurt

29 June 2015 - 8:17am
A short video and some photos from our last trip in Europe.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RizERmzmzG0











Re: Cornish Adventure Scuppered?

29 June 2015 - 6:53am
OP - you could ask pal's wife if she would be happy for you to go on the same break, same venue, without the bikes. Answer might be enlightening.

Re: Map reading - can anyone do this now?

28 June 2015 - 10:59pm
beardy wrote:
Rather like my slide rule (I may even have a set of tables somewhere in a box or at the back of a drawer).

Some years ago I arrived at a smallish campsite in Spain (I think, but it may have been France) and the usual formalities were demanded - passport, address etc (the Spanish are quite particular about this but it may just have been marketing info). Anyway, it was all entered onto a computer. I was disconcerted. This was meant to be camping, not retail high-tech corporatism. Where was the farmer with his grubby cash-in-hand, bits of straw and black pencil on an old notepad?

Same with paper maps IMV.

Re: Cornish Adventure Scuppered?

28 June 2015 - 10:25pm
Wife change required , I think .....
Finished the Ripon Revolution this afternoon and off to cycle in Cornwall at 0630 in the morning ... with my wife ... 4 days of quiet lanes and silly hills ...
and those nice flat bits around Hayle and Penzance ... and the brill café in Penzance harbour ...

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