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Updated: 1 hour 9 min ago

Re: Clothing layers for Touring

18 July 2014 - 8:38am
You def need some new kit. Absolute minimum of 2 shorts and 2 tops. Wash each night and wrap in towel (after you have showered) to remove excess water, to aid drying (think what you will do with damp kit next day if it has not dried overnight)*
A lightweight long sleeved top that can be worn on cool days or double as a top for evening wear.
Spare trousers for evening
Arm and Leg Warmers
Wind/Waterproof Jacket
obviously Socks / Undies
Spare pr lightweight shoes for evening.

* I have attached still wet clothes on saddle bag / pannier the next day if not entirely dry to dry in the breeze but this may not be possible if it is a wet day.

Re: Clothing layers for Touring

17 July 2014 - 11:41pm
I've always taken the wear one and wash one approach. Ie 2 cycle kits. I'd make it one pair of shorts and one of longs and a couple of technical tops but YMMV. Then a thin layer fleece and a thicker jacket fleece, and a waterproof jacket, cycle shoes, socks and gloves has done me on the bike. In luxury years I might take a pair of shorts, sandals and a t shirt for evening wear.

A wooly hat and warm socks doesn't go amiss for chilly campsite mornings or evenings. I've cycled up on the Massif Central in September and through snow in June in the Picos de Europa with this combo and it was fine after warming up from the snow storm in the local bar with a glass of tinto.

Clearly your fleece and cycle shoes can double as a pillow too!

Until I went cycling to the Netherlands where it rained non stop. I got a pair of waterproof trews there and some of those waterproof covers for your cycle shoes. I'm not sure if I'll bother taking these to Brittany in the summer though as mostly a bit of wet isn't too cold, it's persistent cold rain that would make me reach for the full on waterproofs.

Re: Norway from the South to Trondheim

17 July 2014 - 10:55pm
There's not much in Norway that isn't either on a coast or through a tunnel

Tunnels should all have a work-around of some sort. It might be an old road or a bus. Generally speaking, bikes are allowed on buses and trains in Norway, though some routes may require advance booking.

I don't know all of pal's route, but I might suggest from Rjukan, Kongsberg, Hønefoss, north of Oslo to Eidsvoll, Rv 181, Rv24, Rv3, Rv30. From there, there is a choice of all on-road Rv705, then a road along the fjord; or Rv30, then mixed surfaces Fv630, to gravel track to Fv671...

Alternatively, if you want to go to Oslo, Kongsberg, Drammen, Oslo, then north.

Why do you want to avoid coast? If a little coast is okay, you can go up through Vestfold, then Drammen, Kongsberg, Rjukan? Then back and north via one of the alternatives above?

If you haven't found it already, http://www.vegdata.no/2014/06/17/cyclin ... an-tunnels is useful. There is a link 'Link to this vegkart-query'. If you click on it, there is a nice map that shows tunnels, and the status with regard to cyclists. It's also a better map than Google

Re: Norway from the South to Trondheim

17 July 2014 - 9:50pm
It's hard to avoid both coast and E6 all the way, but a possible route might be Kristiansand to Haukeligrend (pretty much due north up the Rv9), then up to Odda (E134 and Rv13), north again up to Voss, and down to the Sognefjord (still on the Rv13). Then things get a bit trickier (given your constraints). One option would be to bear (slightly) west (Fjorde > Stryn or Nordfjordeid > Geiranger), which would get you to the coast at Andalsnes (from where it's a nice run up to the Atlantic Highway; one unavoidable banned tunnel at Kristiansund [you have to take a 15 minute bus ride: bikes taken without problem, though], and the coast road to Trondheim). Another option (from the Sognefjord) would be to head East, over the Sognefjellsvegen (a great road!) to Lom and Dombas; there's then a short stretch on the E6 (though it's marked as a recommended cycle route at that point...) up to Oppdal, at which point you could divert on the Rv70/Rv700 to Meldal and Trondheim. A third option would be to head to Lom from the Sognefjord, but then cut back over to the coast from there (which would save you the E6 stretch, but leave you with the small tunnel problem at Kristiansund...)

To include Rjukan, I suppose that instead of turning West at Haukeligrend, you'd just head East instead (down the Rv362/37). From there, perhaps you could head up Numedalen (Rv40) to Geilo, then over to Gol, then Rv51 up to Eidsbugarden (there's a bit of unsurfaced road on this section, but it's easily manageable on a road bike: less lumpy than some UK tarmac...); boat ride down Lake Bygdin (again: bikes no problem); then back on Rv51 up to Dombas (then as above).

Norway from the South to Trondheim

17 July 2014 - 9:10pm
Trying to plan a route from one of the ferry ports on the South coast of Norway (ferry from Denmark) to Trondheim without going round the coast or using the E6. But every route I try seems to end up on the coast or on the E6 or in a banned tunnel. Does anyone know a way through? Touring bikes so nothing too extreme off road.
To complicate things, I'd really like to call in at Rjukan if possible, though it's looking like I'll have to give up on that.

Re: Clothing layers for Touring

17 July 2014 - 6:26pm
+1 for merino wool layers and buffs. I use Icebreaker layers which aren't cheap, but they've lasted me for years in hot and cold climates. Gilets are also very versatile. Consider layers that can all be worn at once if it's really cold. In case it's helpful, this was my clothes list for a two week camping trip in late April with cold evenings. Regular handwashing and, yes, I was Billy no-mates :

2x vests – 1x merino.
2x merino briefs. 1x padded shorts.
1x sports bra, 1x regular bra.
1x pair of merino hiking socks. 2x pairs of quick drying thinner socks.
2x longsleeve merino tops – 1x thin, 1x slightly thicker.
2x quick drying shirts – 1x used as a towel.
1x quick drying walking trousers.
1x lycra running leggings.
1x lightweight cycling jacket, converts into a light gilet.
1x insulated gilet, can be worn over jacket.
1x pair arm warmers. 1x pair knee warmers.
3x buffs – 1x for my head, 1x as a flannel, 1x for any manner of things.
1x pair cycling mitts. 1x pair wooly gloves.
1x pair Lidl cycling shoes.
1x mac in a sack (not very) waterproof – won't be packed again.

I should have packed:
A wooly hat.
Another pair of light shoes – my feet were permanently wet .

I've since bought:
A Paramo Velez Adventure Light smock – warm, waterproof and worth the money .

Re: New Route Planner

17 July 2014 - 5:09pm

Adding Europe's been more challenging than I thought it would be - the huge amount of data involved has been a bit of a stress on the server. But it's giving me all sorts of ideas for cycling trips...

Re: Clothing layers for Touring

17 July 2014 - 4:31pm
arm and leg warmers from you local 99p shop. I find them useful in winter time & cheap/disposable

Re: Clothing layers for Touring

17 July 2014 - 4:10pm
It's easier to carry multiple light layers that can all be put on at once, if necessary. I would add a thermal base layer (merino, if you can afford it or find a bargain) and a wool jersay or thin wool jumper to the list. And similar layers for the bottom.

What I would take:
two short sleeved tops
arm warmers
thermal base layer top
wool jersey
waterproof top/jacket
three pairs of shorts
1 pair thermal tights
leg warmers
1 pair golf / athletic trousers
1 pair waterproof trousers
at least 3 pairs wool socks
1 buff

In general, I operate by the principle that I should always carry one more layer than I think I need. I might get stuck someplace on a cold, wet day with a mechanical, or I just might want something warm and dry after a cold, wet day.

If you select carefully, it should be possible to take double purpose items. A thin wool jumper and a pair of shower proof golf trousers can be nice enough to go out for a meal in the evening, and warm enough to serve as a spare layer in extreme conditions.

Lots of people only take two pairs of shorts touring, but I prefer to take 3. It's best to have clean ones every day & they don't always dry overnight.

A buff is a useful piece of kit because it can be used to keep warm anything form the neck, up.

Re: Clothing layers for Touring

17 July 2014 - 4:04pm
Layers are Your Friend: add for warmth, remove for cooling. Two thin ones more flexible than one thick one.

Windproofing is good on a bike, on a JoGLE you'll generate plenty of heat so insulation is less important than fending off simple wind-chill a lot of the time. While a waterproof is windproof they're also a bit sweaty as tie goes on. A simple windproof is more breathable, and most will see off a shower before you have to get the Battle Armour out.

Make sure everything you have is long enough in the back (I'm assuming a conventional bike, if you're taking it properly comfortably on a 'bent this isn't an issue, and nor are contrived padded trousers).

Never bothered with arm-warmers, I wear long sleeves I can roll up...

Merino wool is a good base layer. Aside from working very well they go a lot further than synthetics before they really honk, which is nice for you and very nice for anyone you're chatting with!


Re: Clothing layers for Touring

17 July 2014 - 3:46pm
Definitely a light fleece cycle jacket is worth adding - the long zip at th efront allows finer control of temperature. If you wash it in Nikwax you can also make it water-repellent, which is handy on drizzly days.
Personally I would be wearing 3/4 length bibs at that time of the year, with a short sleeve jersey plus arm warmers if necessary. A windproof gilet could make a good alternative to the fleece.

Re: Gothenburg - Malmo - Copenhagen - Berlin

17 July 2014 - 2:57pm
Plenty of campsites in northern Germany - i use ACSI eurocamping website to find them although they don't exactly hide along the coast! There is a good site in Lubeck which town is worth a look. Not sure what the fixation with wildcamping on here is all about, many sites offer very low prices for cycle campers. Same in Denmark really but you will need a compulsory camping carnet in Scandinavia - you can buy in advance or at the first campsite you use - its about a fiver (well it was last time i went in 2011).

whether you travel Gedser - Rostock or not will be as much to do with your plans for Denmark - if its a quickish look go Rostock, if you have more time go west and take a look at Hamburg - which has plenty to see and do.

Re: Clothing layers for Touring

17 July 2014 - 2:46pm
arm warmers - converts your short sleeve into long making it multi purpose - you could so the same with legs. I always take a light fleece on tour, great for those cool evenings but also as an extra riding layer if it turns chilly. If you use bibshorts they replace the need for a vest and are more comfortable than having something tied round your middle!

Having said that, unless you want to be Billy no mates by the end, you need some more kit - Lidl have some very serviceable but cheap jerseys and shorts - i've used them myself and they are as good as some stuff costing many times as much.

I'd suggest three sets of gear, ride one, wash/dry one, spare one - obviously you only need one jacket, arm/leg warmers, fleece. You might want to consider some form of lightweight over shoe and some thin fingered gloves - nothing worse than cold hands and feet.

Clothing layers for Touring

17 July 2014 - 2:05pm
It seems odd to be posting this part-way through a heatwave, but I'm doing a JoGLE during the last week of September and first week of October and I suspect it may not be quite as warm then

I'm new to touring and I'm trying to decide what I need to take in terms of clothing layers. I'm usually a fair weather rider (yes, I understand this is out of my control once the tour has started), so I only own 2 cycling tops - a Specialized short-sleeve jersey and an Altura Nevis waterproof jacket. Combinations of these 2 have got me everywhere I've needed to get to so far, but I'm not sure they'll be enough for Scotland in late September. I also have a very light, thin fleece that I've worn for skiing. Never tried it for cycling though. Obviously I'm trying to do this carrying as little weight as possible. What combinations have you found work best in mixed situations like this?

Re: Gothenburg - Malmo - Copenhagen - Berlin

17 July 2014 - 12:44pm
I can only really comment on your Question (1), I'm afraid (and then not very fully): from Gothenburg to Malmo, you can follow the (west coast) 'Cykelspåret' (and/or, for some stretches, the 'Ginstleden'): both are good routes, which follow quiet roads (and sometimes cycle-only paths) -- not many hills, but enough to keep things interesting. There are some very nice beaches down this stretch of coast: good for cooling off if the sun's shining! Signage is a bit hit-and-miss, so it's worth having a good map (or GPS): the Swedish version of the CTC sells cycle maps of this region (http://www2.cykelframjandet.org/shop/) (and the local tourist boards also have stuff they can send). If you want to avoid having to take a train to get over the Oresund strait (no bikes allowed on The Bridge...), you could cross over to Denmark at Helsingborg (by ferry), rather than pushing on to Malmo (there's a signed cycle route down from Helsingor to Copenhagen: National Route 9).

From Copenhagen to Berlin, I've only gone the direct route (via Rostock), but I enjoyed it: more good beaches and coastal riding in the Danish part; the German section passes through some nice old Hanseatic towns, and through pleasant forests/lakes. The last bit into Berlin traces some of the line of the old East/West Germany border, too, which is interesting. Again, there's nothing really challenging (in terms of climbs, etc), but it's a good ride nonetheless. The signposting of this route is generally very good, though I was pleased to have the Bikeline guidebook to help trace the route into Central Berlin, which gets a bit fiddly at times.


17 July 2014 - 11:51am
I have been thinking about touring Hokkaido for quite a long time and perhaps next summer (around June time) will be the time to do it. I have found quite a few resources but I am looking for anyone with direct experience of cycling in Hokkaido and perhaps notes of interest from anyone that would like to go along.

Re: New Route Planner

17 July 2014 - 9:53am
I notice that Richard has now included large parts of Europe that can be 'route planned' using ;

Like so:

well done Richard, absolutely excellent

Re: Travel Insurance

17 July 2014 - 12:33am
John Lewis insurance lists cycling as a means of transport in their covered activities. Prices run from about £13 for a week in Europe.

Re: C2C routes by tandem advice....

17 July 2014 - 12:21am
bikes4two wrote:An alternative to consider as a C2C is St David's Head in Wales, to Lowestoft in Norfolk.

440 miles and all road, most of them quiet.

I might have my GPX track somewhere if interested?

It's a bit hilly in places getting out of Wales - I cycle camped solo and found it straight forward enough and I'd do it on our tandem if I could convince Mrs B4t
Although conventional wisdom of prevailing winds favours that direction, I think the St David's Head end is a far more attractive final destination than Lowestoft. That's the way I did it in 2012.


Re: Cycle Touring in the Outer Hebrides - Questions

16 July 2014 - 11:28pm
...simplicity... wrote:Thanks for all the insightful responses as always. To explain a bit more on the bike, I recently toured the Transam on the same bike, so hopefully this should be fine for this! I was a little concerned the route may have gone off road, but I was always have the option of locking the bike off and having a little wander if I do fancy hiking off for the day? While I was in the US I didn't have any issues with leaving my bike about, I would assume the same for the Hebrides?


Just thread skimming apres pub, so appologies if not read anything that's been already covered.

You can tour fine on a road bike. When me and my mate went, we used rigid MTBs with 26x2" semi-slicks and for the most part they were overkill - apart from the odd dirt track. However, most of the off-roading seems to be on Harris and our short impression of the tracks there, was that an unloaded MTB with knobblies was required (but we enjoyed all the messing about and pushing). Unless you like just taking on whatever terrain on a loaded bike and walking if you have to for the hell of it, I'd suggest parking up and going for a hike.

As a side note, the path from the Butt of Lewis heading towards to Stornoway is pure bog and it's tempting to have a punt on a MTB but don't.

I'm not sure on the security situation. It's probably totally fine to leave the bike (like most of the highlands) but there's quite a thru-put of cyclists or whatnot doing from end to end over summer and it shorted my spidersense on this a bit.


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