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Updated: 24 min 47 sec ago

Re: Spa Cycles - custom build Long Haul Trucker?

27 September 2015 - 12:22pm
high nm, it isn't that close to where I'll be actually - good places which can build up an LHT aren't that handy, especially in northern parts - so it wouldn't just be a wander in.

I did wander into a place mentioned in this thread, and deliberately at a quiet time, and didn't, at least until I was more assertive, get the best feeling. The shop needed to remind itself of the image it presents on its web site I think.

PWA - thanks for the encouraging perceptions - sounds good - I am not after the smarmy "have a nice day" concept of service.

(as I may have said above I did once have dealings with Spa over a couple of wheels - and as a pretty non techie person did have to take a bit of their time to discuss options - the experience was fine/very good, even when I had t call back later as they had left a spacer out of the shipment.

Re: TI3IT-Thru Italy's 3 Islands Trail

27 September 2015 - 12:10pm
Hi Conrad

Well to a Brit Italian cemeteries are rather interesting - you quite often get examples of a very high quality of statuary as opposed to standard issue angels/broken columns signifying a life interupted etc. Also, the sculptor linked to above very often gives you a feeling that you are looking at the individual, not just a type. Of course the other attraction for a Brit is the insights into social history, the photos (not used in Britain as a general rule and some of them can be rather funny) and, it must be said, plain old kitsch. For Italy is not always home to good taste.

Anyway, no more death.

Very brief comments on the rest of your planned route.

You will enjoy the coast below Teulada - very impressive. I have a particular fondness for the western bits which were, last time I was there a couple of years ago, still a bit scrappy/unimproved - possibly because they are rather close to a large closed area/Nato war games area. Much controvery about that in Sardinia, as there is about Quirra.

I'll leave you to appreciate the beauties of the rest of that coast, though Chia has to be mentioned - massive wonderful beach - quite close to the Forte Village where some nutters spend a heap of money and never leave the place or see much of Sardinia.

Pula further along - I don't like too much - been so "improved" to my eyes that it looks somewhat toy town. But you might like to zip down to the coast to see the ruins at Nora - Roman and pre Roman.

Sarroch - there is a small nuraghe just outside but basically I would peg your nose as you pedal past here. A fair few smells, some of them possibly worrying, from the chemical plant. More controvery.

Caution - the 195 road to Cagliari, often called the Sulcitana, has a bad reputation for accidents. I know of at least one cyclist who has met their end there. Not sure which bits in particular. A quick google of "strada 195 sulcitana incidente" will pull up a few stories no doubt. I have cycled the stretch from Capoterra to Cagliari a few times and it can be a bit worrying, particularly because you can get large lorries coming from the industrial area of Macchieruddu. I generally think Sardinian drivers are pretty good (compared to some bits of Italy) but give some of them a stretch of what they perceive to be an open straight road and the these tosspots don't give a damn about anything. On a bike at the edge of the road you will probably be OK if you take care. And I see that you have a mirror so you will almost always, I think,be able to pull over if one of these nutters (a minority but a significant one) approaches.

More pleasant matters.

As you get almost to Cagliari, there is a turn-off for a little slightly scrappy place called Giorgino which will give you one of the best views of Cagliari as you will be sort of looking at it from the sea. Since you are sailing from Cagliari you may forsake this but it would still be a good first sight of the city - DH Lawrence described it I think as looking like Jerusalem as he approached from this sort of angle, though I'm not sure if he had ever been to Jerusalem.

If you carry on a bit past Giorgino you will maybe discover something particularly interesting but perhaps we better not go there. Let's just say that you discover some interesting things wandering aimlesssly on a bike ......

Hope this is of some use - if you do need to know anything about Cagliari, bike friendly places to pause awhile or whatever do let me know.

Oh - if you ended up short of time whatever and needed to miss the southern coast route, there is an untarmacced but perfectly rideable track/road from Santadi eastwards which cuts through which takes you to the small church of Santa Lucia.That's just above Capoterra and you are then not far from Cagliari. The cantina at Santadi is quite well regarded by the way.

Have fun.

Re: French trains

27 September 2015 - 11:43am
I suspect this is a slightly garbled report of an "accidental" slipup on SNCF's online bookings for Paris-Barcelona trains - see http://www.seat61.com/news.htm#Renfe-SNCF .

Re: French trains

27 September 2015 - 11:11am
Might possibly be true if you're booking through an agency in another country, otherwise I've never heard of this. A solution would be to just use www.capitainetrain.com - the fares are identical to the official SNCF website but it's in English (and bike spaces can be booked easily, when booking is necessary).

French trains

27 September 2015 - 9:59am
R4 today,Broadcasting House: Mathew Parris(commentator)spoke of French trains offering fares 2/3 cheaper if journey is booked using native language. You book in English and you pay extra,it is reported. Think I have heard this before some short time back. Anyone any experience?

Re: Spa Cycles - custom build Long Haul Trucker?

27 September 2015 - 8:27am
In my dealings with Spa I have enjoyed doing business with them. They can lack some of the "Have a nice day" polish, but they won't be trying to sell you something they don't believe in.

Re: Spa Cycles - custom build Long Haul Trucker?

27 September 2015 - 12:02am
Sweep, you are only committing to a walk and a look inside a shop, and you say it is handy. I think you are over-researching this.

Re: Crossing the Pyrenees

26 September 2015 - 11:29pm
I cross from Saint Jean Pied de Port in mid June this year. The road was good and the traffic light. It was a solid 1000 metres of climbing according to my Garmin, hard work with camping kit but not too difficult if you have low gears.

The weather was not good with a thunderstorm in the last few miles to the summit. Due to the weather a lot of the walkers were on the road but but they also seemed to be doing fine.

Re: French trains

26 September 2015 - 10:59pm
Ive just finished a 1500 mile tour down Eurovelo 15 and along Eurovelo 6 to Angers whereby I took 3 trains up to St Malo to get the ferry home.

The information desk at Angers planned my route printing out 3 train journeys which were cycle friendly. This was Angers - Nantes, Nantes -Rennes and Rennes - St Malo. The first two trips I simply placed the fully loaded bike in the relevant bike carriage, didnt take off any panniers or the baggage (tent etc)= no one batted an eyelid...it was just a free for all which I thought was great, ticket staff were really chilled.

On the Rennes- St Malo I spotted a TGV leaving an hour earlier than mine, manage to wing it....bluffed the platform inspectors that I had reserved it and got the bike on the TGV onto the #one# bike space. Quick as you like a ticket inspector was onto me but the train had left, he simply smiled, signed my ticket and left me alone...probably not to be recommended

Re: TI3IT-Thru Italy's 3 Islands Trail

26 September 2015 - 8:29pm
Sweep wrote:...
About “deleting” the message, well actually I just re-edited and contextually updated the date of my last post in which I was saying “…surely I’ll investigate”. Sorry if I contributed to generate some confusion.
You know, I’m not connected all the time but, when I can, I always read your tips&hints with a great interest.
BTW, thank you for let me learning new expressions like “sod off” in place of a much more rude and not very elegant equivalent one.
Sincerely I like this type of “participation”, once a while much more dedicated to the place visited rather than to the more usual travel and technical aspects.
Frankly speaking I'm not so much fond of cemeteries though I must confess that when I'm in a foreign country I always pay a visit to the whatsoever cemetery that i encounter on my road ... simply because I reckon that it represents, so far, the other half of the life, but surely I'll have time one day to deepen the subject… I’m not in so much a hurry now!
For the time being let's say that cemeteries represent an excellent place where to park the car when I'm involved with some local cycling trip, good also to get some free drinking water with no one bothering you.
Yes, I do use gps, if you want I can send you the entire pre-planned gpx file, I’m keeping however track everyday of the actual paths.
Don’t forget also my MAIN CONSTRAINT: the ferry Cagliari-Palermo that makes service once a week!!

Re: Editing GPX routes (Solved)

26 September 2015 - 8:08pm
After some searching I have just found 'GPSPrune' http://activityworkshop.net/software/gpsprune/ and used it to tidy up a trip across France, starting with my Strava records. Very easy to use, loads in a GPX, compress the file if required (i.e. remove surplus points), remove and/or move single points (where I went off-piste to go to a supermarket etc), etc. Then easily re-export it. Loads of other features.

Re: CTC Bike Bag on Ryanair

26 September 2015 - 7:45pm
simonhill wrote:Well done hillspecial, I was sceptical that you would get a reply. I was proved wrong.

Me neither Simon with the rather Special surname.

Nice Airport emailed s PDF receipt for the boxes .

Sent it off to EasyJet earlier this week.

No reply as yet. Bet Easyjet thought we would not be able to get hold of a receipt.

Re: Spa Cycles - custom build Long Haul Trucker?

26 September 2015 - 7:33pm
A somewhat negative comment in the comments to this article


Should one worry?

I'm too old for bad communication and have learned a few lessons.

I'd just walk.

Re: tracking down a jamis aurora elite

26 September 2015 - 4:38pm
How much would B2W knock off a £1000 bike these days? Shopping at Evans, Vitality healthcare (starts at about £20 a month, depending on your stats) offers 50% off retail price, including sale retail prices. Lots of hoops to jump through to get there but, still, an option for some.

I think the OP ought to just go and buy an Edinburgh Bicycle tourer or the discounted ridgeback tourer they have , if it fits, and make the most of our remaining Scottish autumn.

Re: 6 months in Western Europe - complete beginner

26 September 2015 - 4:14pm
Hello, here is the website of two italians going round the world (on the road since july 2014) with Cinelli Hobo.
Good luck for your travel

Crossing the Pyrenees

26 September 2015 - 1:01pm
next year I'm planning to cycle from France to Spain. I will be starting in the Dordogne so have planned to cross the Pyrenees using Roncevalles as its historical and not too difficult (I think!) My main concern is traffic so any experiences or suugeestions for a better route over the Pyrenees at the western end?

Thank you

Re: North Coast 500 - Scotland???

26 September 2015 - 12:41pm
HI All,

Thanks for all your input. With the date getting closer and the weather seemingly looking pretty positive , I've looked into the route a bit more. Would anyone have any extensions or reroutes on the below? It fundamentally follows the advertised route, but has a few queries and diversions:

Day 1
Train into Inverness for late afternoon - will just jump on the bike and try and make it as far as possible before dark - likely to be Beauly. (20)

Day 2
Beauly - Achansheen - Lochcarron. (45)

Day 3
Lochcarron - Apple Cross - Kinlowchewe (59)

Day 4
Kinlowchewe - Gairloch - Ullapool (76)

Day 5
Ullapool - Lochniver - Clashnessie - Kylesku - Scourie - Kinlochbervie (82)

Day 6
Kinlochbervie - Tongue - Melvich - Thorso (73)

Day 7
Thurso - Dunnet - John O G - Wick (55)

Day 8
Wick - Berriedale - Helmsdale - Dornoch (62)

Day 9
Down the A9 to Inverness for the Midday train home.

I realise this is practically identical to the suggested route. But with limited roads (which i like - reduces the likely scenario of me getting lost) - I was hoping some of the locals that have rode the course can suggest 'highlights', tough portions, worthy diversions, good campsites, lunch stops etc... There are plenty of suggestions on the site, but in my experience you can't beat first hand experience on here! Also, with regards to camping, I'm not really planning this too extensively in advance, as I'm under the impression most destinations will have an available campsite every 50 miles or so?

As with most trips, I've just had my map out on the floor mapping the route with a pen - always brings on the excitement!!!!

Thanks in advance for any suggestions you might have.

US - Southern Tier

26 September 2015 - 9:49am

Does anyone have experience of cycling the southern US in the winter? And on using the Adventure Cycling route?

From my research temperatures look moderate for the time of year.



Re: Riding Amsterdam to Stockholm

26 September 2015 - 9:21am
glasgowjim wrote:Thanks vorpal your route is impressive. Did you preplan it in detail or just the main points and alter on route as the humour took you?

It's not actually my route. I found it as posted on the link when I was looking for myself. And I tend to wander a bit, rather than follow exactly what I plan. I marked it out on a paper map, and mostly followed it.

The most extreme variation was at Vånga, where I followed the cycle path onto a minor road and didn't realise my mistake until I the road ended. I met another cyclist not long after who recommended a route the other way round Glan (the lake, there) and a cafe at Svärtinge (Nina's) that was good. My accidental alternative was a bit hiller, and I missed Norrköping, but it was nice. It also looked to have good camping.

Another good place to eat was Kulturhuset Spira in Jönköping.

Re: tracking down a jamis aurora elite

26 September 2015 - 6:55am
Jamis is not a common bike name in the UK, I think they're American and more common in the U.S. It looks to me as if Evans are the main, if not the only, U.K. retailers. There always seem to be a few Jamis bikes on Ebay.

I bought a used Jamis Endura Xenith last year & have been very pleased with it. Unusually for a Carbon Bike it can take full mudguards with good clearance and has fittings to take a rack. Equipped with mudguards and a small carradice saddlebag it's pretty much my do anything bike.

On the Evans site it looks like the Aurora may be a a discontinued model. The Bosa Nova looks to be the next model down in the range and does look to be in stock.


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