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Updated: 2 hours 3 min ago

Re: Maps for cycling in Italy ? - North to South

21 January 2015 - 5:17pm
Yep, Stanfords is where you need to look.

Re: Touring in Norway

21 January 2015 - 4:16pm
Yes, it's possible to use the train for some parts. There are actually 4 stations on or near the upper part of Rallavegen. The steepest part of the path is on switchbacks, and it gets re-gravelled every couple of years. Last autumn it was in good condition, but the year before it was quite rough, and I ended up walking a couple of the switchbacks.

There are plenty of roads in Norway that aren't tarmacked, even in the south of Norway, which is more densely populated (and tends to have better infrastructure) than the north.

Re: Maps for cycling in Italy ? - North to South

21 January 2015 - 2:18pm
As for maps I would thoroughly recommend the Touring Club Italiano maps, they're 1:200,000 and show every back road you could possibly ride down. You might need quite a few for your journey tho!
I've used them a lot when touring Italy by motorcycle and by car.
What's especially good about them is they're waterproof and plasticised so almost indestructible. Great for map reading on a motorbike or cycle.
Check out Stanfords map and travel guide shop in Covent Garden for them. You can order online from their website.
I could spend all day in the shop 'reading' their maps and guides.....
Rod

Re: Cycle Touring Festival Clitheroe

21 January 2015 - 2:08pm
Hi all,

Finally got round to sorting out my own account on here, rather than using my husband's.

Apologies if the price is higher than expected. We thought very carefully about how to price it and £75 is as low as we could get it. Some points I would make:

- It is non-profit and I am organising it on a voluntary basis. If the event fails to break even, it comes out of my own pocket. If it makes a profit, the proceeds will be used for future events. It is a very careful balancing act!

- The focus of the festival is on workshops and talks, unlike other festivals with lots of trade stands and exhibitors (which would be paying to be there) so there aren't a huge number of other sources of income. We had applied for a lottery grant but were refused it - that would have brought the ticket price down significantly. Although I think comparing it to other festivals is a bit futile, the model we were working on is the RGS 'Explore' conference. This costs £75 for the weekend or £55 for one day, with no accommodation or evening meal included.

- Costs cover speaker expenses (no one is being paid to speak but we are covering some travel costs), room hire, camping fees, insurance, catering etc. Catering and camping are actually pretty small costs in comparison to the rest and we are not offering an option without catering or camping due to the nature of the venue.

Laura

Re: Touring in Norway

21 January 2015 - 1:51pm
jakobpoffley wrote:Vorpal wrote:A Dawes Galaxy can almost certainly do the job, but there are some rough sections. If you don't like that sort of thing, it's probably better avoided. If you get to Flåm, take the Flåmsbana train up to see the view, have a picnic lunch, and ride the train back down again
Okay thats good to know. I'll think about it. How long is the route? That train looks incredible!
I seem to recall it took about 30-40 mins to cycle down the road/cycle path parallel to Flambana. The road/cycle path was unpaved at the top, but beautifully smooth, maybe its paved all the way these days. The Flambana costs an arm and a leg to travel on. We got to the top another way entirely, by taking the mainline train to Myrdal from the next station west ('cos there isn't even a footpath connecting these stations), wheeled the bikes about 500-1000m down a footpath to get onto the Rallarvegen cycle track, which involved 1 tricky stile, and then cycled down, which soon becomes a vehicular road.

Norway has the smoothest untarred roads on the planet (though some are bumpier than others, obvs) and cycling them on 32mm tyres is a very reasonable tactic, it's what I did the first time I went there, in fact I was in a group and most of us were on 32mm. More recently I have used 37mm for a little greater comfort, but mainly because that was on the bike that had also been used in some other countries with much worse roads. There aren't very many untarred roads left in Norway.

Re: Touring in Norway

21 January 2015 - 12:48pm
Vorpal wrote:cycletourer wrote:Vorpal wrote:
As cycletourer said, main roads in Norway often use tunnels where cyclists are not allowed. In addition to the site linked above, it may be worth checking this one http://www.vegdata.no/2014/06/17/cyclin ... n-tunnels/ This one is off the highways department database, so it doesn't depend on people updating it; information about new tunnels is always good here, but information about older ones is not always available, so check both the site that cycletourer linked, and this one.


I concur with Vorpal that is good to check both the vegkart and our tunnel map as the Statens vegvesen (the Norwegian road authority) do occasionally change whether tunnels are banned to cyclists. We have to rely on cyclists and local Norwegians keeping us informed of any changes. Unfortunately the Vegkart isn't that intuitive to use. To find the tunnel information type 'tunnel' in the search box in the top right and then click tunnel in the search list. This will then bring up the tunnels on the map. By zooming in to the area that you will be travelling through you will see that the tunnels are marked as a green dot on the road. If you click on the dot it will give you a list of the information on the tunnel. In the list look for 'Sykkelforbud:' if it says 'Ja' it is forbidden to cycle through. The advantage to our map is that for planning purposes it is visually easier to see the banned sites as they are marked in red.

The vegvesen map is easier to use if you scroll down the page I linked to 'vegkart-query' and click that. I've tried linking the actual query, it doesn't seem to work. But if you click 'vegkart-query' on the vegvesen page, you get a similar map of Norway that allows you to zoom in and out, and has all tunnels marked with colour codes. If the little circle in the middle of the tunnel is red, it is closed to cyclists. You can also click on the little circle and get all of the information about the tunnel (as described in cycletourer's post).

Thanks vorpal for that information . I have always wondered why the tunnels didn't come out with their colours. It is a shame that when you go direct into the 'vegkart' there isn't a link to the 'vegkart-query' or perhaps I'm I missing something.

Re: LLC and Wales Questions

21 January 2015 - 9:43am
Can't recommend anywhere further down in Mid Wales; it's all great cycling with some nice little towns and villages. For your day on Anglesey, the west coast is some of the most beautiful with wonderful beaches and bays. Can recommend Newborough, Aberffraw, Rhosneigr, Rhoscolyn and the very busy Trearddur Bay. East coast not so good, but the North is rugged, albeit not so accessible. There are also two tidal churches on islands in the Menai Straits, west of Menai Bridge and Porth Cwyfan west of Aberffraw. If it sounds like I love Anglesey and cycling over there, it's because I do. A wonderful place.

Re: Cycle Touring Festival Clitheroe

21 January 2015 - 2:52am
Vantage wrote:Never been to a festival or concert or anything else like that in my life so I did wonder if the price was fair or not. I suppose they (the organisers) might be paying a small fortune for the use of the grounds (they look a bit posh) :
I'd hope not. Waddow Hall has been owned by the Girl Guides for the past century. Even on non-members rates Scout and Guide campsites tend to be amongst the cheapest.

But, as you say, other costs add up.

Re: accommodation

20 January 2015 - 11:54pm
I'd suggest to the op that there are considerable benefits in booking the night before, especially for chains using the Low Cost Airline pricing model, which is probably Travelodge and Premier Inn. Travelodge are willing to juggle rooms to Gnd Floor after you arrive if they can - helpful.

There is also a lot of benefit in having a phone which can do it online. Some places are cheaper that way.

My approach is to have a few known sources of places, and book chains online, but phone up independents and b&bs to talk to a person so I can check things and negotiate. Travelodge is the last resort and I try 2:or 3. They get pricier during the day if there are few spaces. Their overall occupancy last year was 78%.

Smart phones such as the Galaxy Ace can do it and are only about £100 without a contract. That is my spare.

My places stayed since November, all with single occupancy of a nice double or family room and a full English (except at Travelodge).

Best Western *** on Isle of Wight - £40, but extra night on a group weekend. Bike in room all weekend.
Travelodge, Newport, IOW - £35 Bike in room.
BB Portsmouth, via Cyclists Welcome from CTC - £50 plus £5 for bike stored in lounge. Fee not flagged in advance.
BB somewhere on the South Coast :-; via Cyclists Welcome. £32. Superb. Go find it. Bike in shed. *
Country pub, Derbyshire. £37 reduced from £85 due to lucky booking on same day when room high and dry. Bike actually left in car as a single night trip.
Travelodge central Bath. £52. On December 30th. Bike in room.

When we ran a BB we never accepted same day bookings because they ruined the family routine.

Always ask about the bike accommodation. Can you carry it up 2 flights? Baths are good for bike storage. Portsmouth locked it away within 5 minutes. Assume they had had issues with maintenance in room in the past and oil on carpet.

Ferdinand

* Not telling.

Re: It makes me want to tour there again .....

20 January 2015 - 10:58pm
foxyrider wrote:mercalia wrote: No more charabangs ( wow thats the first time in probably 50 years or so I have used that term, I had to confirm its spelling ).

and you still got it wrong, its actually charabanc as any bus enthusiast will tell you!

I think charabangs is also correct. I am not the only one to use that. do a google. lots. Yours is a French literal? Has nothing to do with what "experts" say it should be! maybe colloguial.

eg http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/rd/733fc845-ffa8-4851-936a-b6a74a72a3be

The Uk govt cant be wrong can it?

On the other hand maybe yes - How do u pronounce Lowestoft - the BBC would have it "Low est toft". No it aint its "Lowesss tirf".( more or less no "t" at end ) And the old english maps support that - "Lestoft". Cultural Imperialism at work. Quite a few places in that part of the world eg how about "Happisburgh" any one? "Haze brr" I think?

Re: Touring in Norway

20 January 2015 - 10:23pm
cycletourer wrote:Vorpal wrote:
As cycletourer said, main roads in Norway often use tunnels where cyclists are not allowed. In addition to the site linked above, it may be worth checking this one http://www.vegdata.no/2014/06/17/cyclin ... n-tunnels/ This one is off the highways department database, so it doesn't depend on people updating it; information about new tunnels is always good here, but information about older ones is not always available, so check both the site that cycletourer linked, and this one.


I concur with Vorpal that is good to check both the vegkart and our tunnel map as the Statens vegvesen (the Norwegian road authority) do occasionally change whether tunnels are banned to cyclists. We have to rely on cyclists and local Norwegians keeping us informed of any changes. Unfortunately the Vegkart isn't that intuitive to use. To find the tunnel information type 'tunnel' in the search box in the top right and then click tunnel in the search list. This will then bring up the tunnels on the map. By zooming in to the area that you will be travelling through you will see that the tunnels are marked as a green dot on the road. If you click on the dot it will give you a list of the information on the tunnel. In the list look for 'Sykkelforbud:' if it says 'Ja' it is forbidden to cycle through. The advantage to our map is that for planning purposes it is visually easier to see the banned sites as they are marked in red.

The vegvesen map is easier to use if you scroll down the page I linked to 'vegkart-query' and click that. I've tried linking the actual query, it doesn't seem to work. But if you click 'vegkart-query' on the vegvesen page, you get a similar map of Norway that allows you to zoom in and out, and has all tunnels marked with colour codes. If the little circle in the middle of the tunnel is red, it is closed to cyclists. You can also click on the little circle and get all of the information about the tunnel (as described in cycletourer's post).

Re: bicycle travellers looking to volunteer around europe

20 January 2015 - 10:21pm
Heltor, I tried to politely explain the guidelines to the Portuguese couple, also explaining that if I was going to work that many hours, I'd not see the area, work far more than the value of food/accommodation, the type of work they were offering had little "experience" value I could offset against the hours and that I'd be better off working an extra week in the UK in my (old) profession which'd give me enough money to tour for a couple of months using backpackers.

Now if the job had been litter picking on a topless female only club 18-30 beach, I'd have snapped up their offer.. It wasn't....

That said I still reckon workaways great and will definitely keep using it. The couple in France were so nice they invited me back for a weeks holiday next year and they are now very good friends

Gary
www.longbikeride.co.uk

Re: Cycle Touring Festival Clitheroe

20 January 2015 - 10:20pm
The cost of the event is probably the right price for what's on offer, but as the majority of people attending will be cycle tourists, most of whom will be camping and suspect like myself will prefer to supply and cook their own food , you end up paying for 3 meals you do not need.
I hope the event is a success but fear the above will put a lot of people off which is a shame a I had the dates in my diary

Re: Touring in Norway

20 January 2015 - 10:01pm
Vorpal wrote:
As cycletourer said, main roads in Norway often use tunnels where cyclists are not allowed. In addition to the site linked above, it may be worth checking this one http://www.vegdata.no/2014/06/17/cyclin ... n-tunnels/ This one is off the highways department database, so it doesn't depend on people updating it; information about new tunnels is always good here, but information about older ones is not always available, so check both the site that cycletourer linked, and this one.


I concur with Vorpal that is good to check both the vegkart and our tunnel map as the Statens vegvesen (the Norwegian road authority) do occasionally change whether tunnels are banned to cyclists. We have to rely on cyclists and local Norwegians keeping us informed of any changes. Unfortunately the Vegkart isn't that intuitive to use. To find the tunnel information type 'tunnel' in the search box in the top right and then click tunnel in the search list. This will then bring up the tunnels on the map. By zooming in to the area that you will be travelling through you will see that the tunnels are marked as a green dot on the road. If you click on the dot it will give you a list of the information on the tunnel. In the list look for 'Sykkelforbud:' if it says 'Ja' it is forbidden to cycle through. The advantage to our map is that for planning purposes it is visually easier to see the banned sites as they are marked in red.

beardy wrote:Asking from the viewpoint of somebody who has never flown with a bike, do the luggage weight limits allow you to carry enough kit (including the bike) for four weeks of wild camping?

To add to this. A lot of airlines do charge per item of baggage, for us that would be 4 panniers and a racpac each. We get around this by putting the panniers in a couple of large tote bags which are light enough that we could carry them but we tend to do circular tours so we tend to leave these at an hotel or campsite for pick up on our return.

jakobpoffley wrote:Thank you cycletourer for your reply,

I'd actually already found your website and it has been very helpful. The lofoten isles do look amazing but i'm not sure how i would combine them into the trip. I'd like to think that i'm good at reading maps and i prefer to stick to proper roads than tracks and cycle routes because they always take so much longer. I'm glad the touring can be quite tough becuase i want it to be challenging. Thanks for showing me your tunnel map. I'm sure it will be extremely useful in choosing a more specific route when the time comes. What i'm thinking of maybe doing is starting in oslo then cycling west to Bergen maybe go a bit south. Then cycle up to Tronheim which when looking at flights it seems you can get direct flights to england to get home. Please let me know what you think. Also is it worth trying to visit pulpit rock?

Thanks once again

Oslo through to Bergen and then on to Trondheim is approximately 750 miles. Remember on the mountainous roads in Norway you may not be able to do the same speeds or distance that you may normally do. You may have to use the old roads that go around the banned tunnels these are often a longer distance than the tunnel or they may go over the mountain passes that the tunnels now avoid. There is also the good old Norwegian weather to consider, which is akin to Scottish weather. Therefore have some contingencies planned where you could shorten your route or the potential to get on a bus, train or ferry (the hurtigruten ferry runs the length of the west coast of Norway) to complete your route or else assist you along the way if you look like running out of time.

As far as going along the Ralarvegen you may have to do that or take a southern route as RV7 is currently effectively closed to cyclists due to the Måbøtunnelen being closed to cyclists and the alternative route for cyclists closed due to rockfall. When I recently contacted the Statens Vegvesen they were unclear as to when the rockfall would get cleared and the alternative route opened to cyclists.

The Ralarvegen is certainly OK to do on most touring bikes including a Dawes Galaxy, but there are a couple of sections after Finse where you might have to get of and walk for a short way, but it is certainly worth that for the scenery.

As far as Pulpit Rock is concerned, personally I haven't been there but from all accounts if the weather is good the views are spectacular.

Re: bicycle travellers looking to volunteer around europe

20 January 2015 - 9:17pm
gplhl wrote:Workaway is worth the fee. I've had my money's worth and some great experiences, especially in France and Rabat. Just be careful of those that look to make you work full time and use it instead of getting employees. The placement should be mutually beneficial. Had one person in Portugal expect me to work 8 hours a day 6 days a week. I erm, declined their placement. It pays to find out what and how much is expected beforehand as some don't stick to the guidelines.

Gary
http://www.longbikeride.co.uk

A worthy post Gary to point out to those starting out their travels. Now I'm 40 I'm more wary. I work for someone every 2 weeks for 3 hours and charge them full rates. I look after the lawns, herbaceous borders and herb garden and sometimes the fruit garden. When in conversation with the landowner about WWOOFERS he mentioned that he would only take on those who would do a full day's work 6 days a week. Fine if you are gainfully employed but when you are young, travelling around the World to take in the sites and sounds that defeats the object. The upshot of it is: in 2 years I've never seen a WWOOFER on their property yet!

Re: Touring in Norway

20 January 2015 - 9:14pm
I've never cycled in Norway but I have motorcycled. If you are camping note that it can get COLD, even in Summer. On our trip at the end of June it was falling to 3C some nights. However all/most campsites have huts of various levels of luxury that you can hire if you need a rest from the wild camping.

The huts are also useful to allow a bit of drying out. Good/excellent waterproofs, even in the height of summer are a must.

Oh, yes, must add, really good insect repellent would be another must. At least full motorcycle leathers, helmet and gloves keep the midges off and you wont be wearing those on your bike.

The fjord are around Bergen would be an excellent, if hilly, place to explore. Can you still get to Bergen from Newcastle by ferry? That might avoid aeroplane hassles.

Re: Touring in Norway

20 January 2015 - 9:12pm
Vorpal wrote:A Dawes Galaxy can almost certainly do the job, but there are some rough sections. If you don't like that sort of thing, it's probably better avoided. If you get to Flåm, take the Flåmsbana train up to see the view, have a picnic lunch, and ride the train back down again
Okay thats good to know. I'll think about it. How long is the route? That train looks incredible!

Re: Cycle Touring Festival Clitheroe

20 January 2015 - 9:10pm
Looks like an excellent line up of speakers, I'm trying to work out if I can make it, I had other plans for that week.
I'm not put off by the price, I'd expect to spend £30-£40 on any weekends camping with a couple of meals. There's a couple of speakers that if appearing locally I'd pay to see, so already I can see how I'd get my monies worth. I'm not sure the comparisons with Mildenhall or York are fair, they're all different.

Re: bicycle travellers looking to volunteer around europe

20 January 2015 - 8:43pm
Workaway is worth the fee. I've had my money's worth and some great experiences, especially in France and Rabat. Just be careful of those that look to make you work full time and use it instead of getting employees. The placement should be mutually beneficial. Had one person in Portugal expect me to work 8 hours a day 6 days a week. I erm, declined their placement. It pays to find out what and how much is expected beforehand as some don't stick to the guidelines.

Gary
www.longbikeride.co.uk

Re: Touring in Norway

20 January 2015 - 8:36pm
A Dawes Galaxy can almost certainly do the job, but there are some rough sections. If you don't like that sort of thing, it's probably better avoided. If you get to Flåm, take the Flåmsbana train up to see the view, have a picnic lunch, and ride the train back down again

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