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Wild camping - helicopter surveillance!

19 July 2014 - 6:07pm
Anyone else experienced the above

Following a flat out, 100 mile plus transit through Somerset, Bristol, Gloucestershire this week (On my return from a week in France), I identified a fairly empty stretch of land in Gloucestershire, a good four miles out of town, a single house out of sight being the only local dwelling within a mile. Noting the fact that the gate to the woodland area obviously hadn't been opened for several months, opted to "wild camp", a good 100 yards into thick woodland.

Being knackered, a quick wash, tent up, ear plugs in and I was "out" for the night, nothing could wake me.

Other than a helicopter hovering directly overhead in the pitch black, the volume sufficient to shake me from sleep. *%&$""% myself, I virtually jumped out of my skin, prior to recognising that it was highly unlikely a private landowner or the state, would descend upon me SAS style . Said helicopter then circled overhead, departing once, twice, prior to returning directly over me on each occasion.

There were no people, human habitations, transport or utility networks for said helicopter to be surveying.

I'm assuming my prone body was identified by infra red techniques (Police, Badger culling?). Any ideas?

Re: Surly Long Haul Trucker or Thorn Sherpa

19 July 2014 - 4:17pm
bikes4two wrote:travelling wrote:I'm quite fortunate in that when I first come over I brought a bike with me and it's recorded on my flight booking/ticket so taking a bike back will not seem unusual

I also used the airline supplied bike box rather than the manufacturers bike box which cost me 15 quid which I still have

in the scheme of things i think it's not likely I will be stopped and charged extra BUT i will have money on me in case that happens

Can't you just take the bike for a muddy/wet ride and dirty it up a tad so that it looks used!
This is an old thread so I guess it hardly matters anyway. In case anybody is reading this thread and thinking they may not have to pay tax/duty, they should be aware that they are committing an offence if they do not declare their purchases to customs upon arrival. I really don't think we should be encouraging tax evasion or any other illegal activity on this forum.. Amongst other things, it really is unfair on UK LBSs who do have to pay taxes and can't compete with goods illicitly brought into the country.

Re: First EVER Tour! (and I'm going RTW)

19 July 2014 - 4:00pm
I'm a Scout at home and this week turned out to be great fun after I spotted a few Scouts on the road and stopped to say hello. This led to me being invited to the Montenegro Scout Jamboree, which was taking place nearby. It was great and I was treated like a celebrity, but it wasnt't all fun and games as there was also some snake hunting and bad news from Iran.

Please have a read of my newest blog on James Vs World - James Goes To Jamboree

http://jamesvsworld.com/2014/07/19/jame ... -jamboree/

Thanks

Re: Norway from the South to Trondheim

19 July 2014 - 2:22pm
Thanks very much for all that information, We do like cycling along the coast and fjords, the only reason for avoiding them was that it seems a very long way to go round the coast (+ I've always wanted to cycle the road that goes by Gausta as we've often skied on it in winter). Going for the first 3 weeks of August and camping - so perhaps should consider leaving Rjukan for another time. I'll get the maps out and have another look at what you are recommending.

Re: Carradry front pannier prob

19 July 2014 - 12:46pm
I found that with their back panniers, bloody annoying!!

Carradry front pannier prob

19 July 2014 - 11:23am
If you detach the hook catch thing from the bottom rail of the bag it's impossible to re-engage the screw as it is too short. After a lot of fiddling about with tweezers, matches, etc I realised that longer screws is the answer. Just a detail, but might save a lot of fiddling about in a wet field somewhere.

Re: Oxford to Pembroke

19 July 2014 - 10:43am
It's mostly the computer's work - I added a via point at Hay, so it went inland rather than over the Severn Bridge and through the Valleys. Other than that, a few little tweaks here and there (e.g. to go via Maisemore rather than the horrid B-road out of Gloucester), but mostly what the route-planner suggested.

You're definitely right about NCN 4 out of Carmarthen... I did that hill once in my life and once was quite enough!

Re: Hokkaido

19 July 2014 - 9:57am
I spent 6 weeks cycling on Hokkaido a few years back - we had a brilliant time.

Get the Touring Mapple http://www.japancycling.org/v2/info/map.shtml

Really useful.

Forget about being able to understand road signs...

Strong winds. Some very long tunnels.

Re: Alaska to Argentinia

19 July 2014 - 6:49am
Jeff Kruys went from Alaska to South America and home again to Canada over a few years.

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?doc_id=1419

Re: Four corners and five Bens

19 July 2014 - 6:15am
Hello folks.
Just an update on my tour.
I have completed most of the top half.
Shetland Orkney Lewis Harris and Skye.
I am now on Eigg for a few days before heading South towards Fort William.
If anyone needs any tips or info. please contact me.
Matt

Re: Majorca Road Cycling

19 July 2014 - 5:45am
GlasgowAl wrote:Just managed to log back in after some time away.

Sincere apologies to those who gave advice!

Velosport cycle hire were perfect, great service and great bikes for what we needed. Trip was excellent, will do it again as soon as possible...

Puerto Pollensa was an ideal base and we loved easier routes along the coast and some trips to Cap de Formentor...

Day ride to Sa Calobra and back the best day I've ever had on the bike - truly amazing, great challenge and a fantastic life experience.

Again, apologies for not thanking you for the advice before now.

Mallorca is just the best place to visit for cycling.

Thanks,

Alan

Glad you enjoyed it and glad you well looked after by Velosport....

Alaska to Argentinia

19 July 2014 - 1:21am
I read about this trip in a cycling magazine and the thought of it hasn't left my mind since. I do cycle pretty regularly, but don't have the faintest idea about a trip of this sort of length. I thought people in here might have some useful tips and ideas for me. For instance......

1. Essential kit needed. I have an old EG Bates (reynolds 531 tubing) tourer that I'd love to do it on but it's 30 years old and I am not sure the thin tyres would cope with the different road surfaces! But other than the bike what else do you think I need?
2. Amount of money needed.
3. Best time of year to try and do it (At 80 miles a day it would take about 270 days, so probably closer to a year with stops etc)
4. Skills needed - which bits of the bike am I likely to need to learn to fix? It took me roughly 5 years to successfully sort out a puncture, so this one is a biggy.
5. Any tips on routes, or places I can get tips from?
6. Places to definitely try and avoid?

And pretty much anything else you can think of really. I am pretty clueless, but determined when I get my teeth stuck into something. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Re: Dublin - Larne

18 July 2014 - 8:06pm
Huge thanks to everyone
PS - I am really a long distance walker but I must say that this forum is way way more friendly and helpful than the Long Distance Walkers one

Re: Oxford to Pembroke

18 July 2014 - 7:51pm
I am a "regular" on that route west of Newent and Richard (or his computer) have come up with something that that agrees with local knowledge, I am quite impressed if software worked that out.

There are some minor tweeks that I would/do make to that route.

Firstly I would go through Newent because it is always a good place to get supplies and visit a toilet.
The small B road west of Hereford is so flat and fast (to me from Wales) that I stay on it the whole way to Hay, very few motors to share it with and you fly along. I havent actually tried the minor road that his route uses as the B road is so enjoyable.
At Trecastle I would enter it on the A 40 which is a few unpleasant miles but it does avoid a sod of a hill with a rather infamously aggressive dog on it.
Just before reaching Carmarhen on the B4300, the B4300 isnt! It went swimming in the River Towy. Sustrans has signed up a detour which is quite hilly but preferable to taking the A40 at most times of the day. A bit of the A40 that I normally refuse to use.
I would however leave Carmarthen on the A40 to St Clears as it is mostly cycle path and parallel minor roads, though the much, much slower and harder Sustrans route is probably worth riding once in your life.
I would just skip going through Tenby and go to Lamphrey from Saundersfoot through St Florence.

Those are just minor tweeks and not ones that all others would agree with, apart from that it has picked a route which is pleasingly flat (as flat as you can get in the area, if you follow my tweeks) without sharing the A40 with motors the whole way.

Re: Majorca Road Cycling

18 July 2014 - 7:51pm
Just managed to log back in after some time away.

Sincere apologies to those who gave advice!

Velosport cycle hire were perfect, great service and great bikes for what we needed. Trip was excellent, will do it again as soon as possible...

Puerto Pollensa was an ideal base and we loved easier routes along the coast and some trips to Cap de Formentor...

Day ride to Sa Calobra and back the best day I've ever had on the bike - truly amazing, great challenge and a fantastic life experience.

Again, apologies for not thanking you for the advice before now.

Mallorca is just the best place to visit for cycling.

Thanks,

Alan

Re: Hokkaido

18 July 2014 - 6:26pm
We are heading there next month so keep in touch http://www.cycling-nomads.com

Re: Oxford to Pembroke

18 July 2014 - 5:58pm
Spoilt for choice really - lots of lovely cycling round there.

A lot depends whether you want to stay inland (maybe see a bit of the Brecon Beacons and rural Carmarthenshire), hug the coast, or split the difference and see some of the Welsh Valleys, which despite the reputation have some glorious scenery.

For an inland route, I'd try something like this: http://cycle.travel/map/journey/8129



Lots to see along the way (Gloucester, Hay, Brecon, Laugharne and Tenby) and scenic all the way, apart from the initial stretch to Witney! But getting out of Oxford to the west is always a pain...

Re: Clothing layers for Touring

18 July 2014 - 5:00pm
Too many cake stops and you might reconsider [emoji6]. Feel free to filter whatever's relevant, and have a great trip. You can afford to travel lighter on a B&B tour [emoji3].

Oxford to Pembroke

18 July 2014 - 4:46pm
Hi Folks,
I am currently touring around the Cotswalds by bike and would like to add a visit to Ireland by way of ferry from Pembroke.
Can anyone please recommend a route from Oxford (my current base) to Pembroke?
I can easily handle 50 to 70 miles a day under easy to moderate conditions.

Thank you in advance for your thoughts.

Bill

(PS - this represents a change in plans (Oxford to Holyhead) since I first posted a few weeks ago.)

Re: Gothenburg - Malmo - Copenhagen - Berlin

18 July 2014 - 4:37pm
Excellent.

I've never cycled in Sweden, Denmark or Germany so really looking forward to the trip...we have plenty of time from end of August for about 2 and half weeks so should be good.

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