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Updated: 23 min 57 sec ago

Re: Short cycle tour to get my reluctant partner into cyclin

20 May 2015 - 11:15am
I had a similar issue once, many years ago. I took my reluctant partner on a winter tour in the Yorkshire Dales, it rained nearly all the time, was freezing cold, and a disaster. But we calmed down and tried again. We went on a week's cycle tour in the Scottish highlands (which, perhaps surprisingly, is not very hilly) and conversion occurred.

Re: Getting your bike to Harwich for the ferry

20 May 2015 - 11:11am
axel_knutt wrote:iviehoff wrote:off-peak fares are not valid before 1930 on Abellio trains

Are you sure?

When I wanted to catch a train home using an off-peak ticket I asked the staff on Liverpool Street station how long I had to wait for the end of the peak time, and I was told that I could use any train as peak time only applies in the morning, not the evening. The trains don't have bike spaces, you just bung them in by the door.
The use of evening peak restrictions is a relatively modern innovation, and there are some curiosities due to the inconsistencies of different companies policies.

But it is clear that their conditions do not allow use of off peak tickets in the evening peak.
http://www.abelliogreateranglia.co.uk/t ... conditions
Actually turns out the precise end of off-peak restrictions at Liverpool St is 1834, though the national rail ticket price quoting machine seemed to suggest I couldn't use a 1900 train, possibly because the end-of-peak is 1900 on their trains from Kings Cross, and maybe the ticket offer coding isn't clever enough to distinguish the difference according to departure terminus.

Anyway I've got the bike reservations for 1930, will try to use the 1932 and if it looks bad take the 1930 instead, hopefully there will be enough time for that. It is particularly the fact that it is a Friday before a bank holiday that worries me because I think some trains will be unusually heavily loaded.

Re: Short cycle tour to get my reluctant partner into cyclin

20 May 2015 - 11:03am
Norfolk's beautiful. Could you try some day trips?

Re: route finding in France- maps or new tech

20 May 2015 - 10:49am
Just to add, depending on what type of usb charging device you buy, you don't need to have a battery involved.

When you hub is spinning it creates electricity, the usb device just converts, regulates and smooths it out so that it's useable and won't blow your phone up when you are going down a steep hill!

obviously, you need to be moving for it to work. GPS on a phone is pretty power hungry so i doubt you would be able to charge up a battery at the same time.

You can always just buy a usb rechargeable power pack like

http://www.amazon.co.uk/RAVPower-16000m ... r+bank#Ask

and plug it in to the usb charger when you go not need the GPS or a phone charging, then you can save any electricity that you make pedalling.

Re: Getting your bike to Harwich for the ferry

20 May 2015 - 10:27am
iviehoff wrote:off-peak fares are not valid before 1930 on Abellio trains

Are you sure?

When I wanted to catch a train home using an off-peak ticket I asked the staff on Liverpool Street station how long I had to wait for the end of the peak time, and I was told that I could use any train as peak time only applies in the morning, not the evening. The trains don't have bike spaces, you just bung them in by the door.

Re: route finding in France- maps or new tech

20 May 2015 - 10:24am
Hi,

I have just fitted a usb charging device to my bike cost me £120 all in. I got the Shimano DH 3N72B Dynamo Front Hub and this:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/800mA-BICYCLE ... 0935357198

usb charger of ebay. I did build the wheel myself so I saved a few quid there.

Once you have got that little lot and a smart phone of some sort, you can download co pilot or some sort of mapping app which has the maps stored on the device its self (google maps is internet based so you use data loading them up)

depending on the app you can select bike or walking when putting in destinations (like google) it will then in theory keep you on the smaller roads.

I have only just done this..the charging setup works great, i haven't toured with it yet so i don't know how good it will be, but i will be able to tell you in a few weeks when i cycle to spain.

As with all tech in my opinion should be just used as an aid..still need to plan a good route with maps, and you can always buy a paper map on route

Dirt road touring / bike-packing in Crete - info

20 May 2015 - 10:20am
I just came back from a quick trip to Crete for a spot of dirt road touring / bike-packing. It was ace, so thought a quick blog post with stuff on maps, water and other practicalities might be handy for a few folk.. or not, who knows. Great place to ride a bike and just brilliant for off-road touring

https://mikesimagination.wordpress.com/2015/05/20/dirt-road-touring-bike-packing-on-crete/



Re: Short cycle tour to get my reluctant partner into cyclin

20 May 2015 - 10:00am
One other idea, try and get the reluctant partner involved in looking at routes, places to stay etc. If you can narrow down your choices to a few areas, go and find tourist brochures for those areas. There are also lots of pictures of routes to be found on the internet, things like Google Street view can show the scenery along a route.

You could also try a few "one nighters", cycle say 20 miles to a nearby campsite, camp for a night and return the following morning. Good practice (as a couple) for cycling with stuff on your bikes, how to pack/who takes what, working out routines whilst camping setting up/breaking camp, what food to take etc.

Re: Short cycle tour to get my reluctant partner into cyclin

20 May 2015 - 9:43am
My advise for getting a reluctant tourist going would be to bite the bullet and splash some cash: they'll enjoy it much more if the first tour doesn't involve too much roughing it. Maybe even go on an organised tour so that you have support to fall back on (which, no doubt, you won't need but it instils a lot more confidence in the reluctant tourist) and they'll carry your luggage for you so the reluctant tourist will find it less physically hard and can take more luxuries with them. Also, organised tours often find the nicest accommodation. Once the bug has bit you can then start pairing it down to more traditional touring.

On the other hand - it depends on your partner's attitude, they may relish roughing it, being challenged, and doing all the planning of a self led tour. Everyone is different.

Re: Short cycle tour to get my reluctant partner into cyclin

20 May 2015 - 9:39am
I’ve always been a cycle touring fan while Mrs B has always been much less keen. She loves cycling, just not so fond of the idea of minimalist lightweight camping.
So for the past few years I’ve gone way with the kids for a short camping tour each summer. As of last year she decided that she would like to come along too. We intended on a having a couple of weeks in Holland, sometimes staying in the same place for two or three days were there was plenty for the kids. That trip never happened as I ended up being away with work during the holidays, and will be this year too. It is still on the cards for another year though.

Re: Short cycle tour to get my reluctant partner into cyclin

20 May 2015 - 9:28am
I didn't have a reluctant partner but part of the reason we are still cycle touring ten years after our first "long" trip is that we got lucky. We chose to do the Norwegian NSCR (can't remember why for the life of me) and then the "wrong way round" according to normal prevailing winds. We were lucky that the wind decided not to come from the prevailing direction. We also had an unusual amount of fine summer weather and nothing broke on our very cheap bikes. We also had enough understanding of life to be able to look back on the minor setbacks we had and then remember how good the trip was as a whole. We learned from the challenges we experienced along the way which we took with us on the subsequent trips.

My long winded point is that you can plan the ideal trip for your reluctant partner but in the end it the success of the holiday will be partly down to luck and partly down to how well you work together (especially in adversity).

As for a a trip suggestion, you could do a lot worse than pop over the North Sea to Holland. The NSCR coastal route is easy in terms of terrain so not too many physical challenges. From Hoek van Holland to Nieuweschans it is a four day cycle for "normally fit cycle tourers" cycling laden with camping gear. If the wind (your main adversary) is unfavourable when you land then you could take the train to Nieuweschans (by the border with Germany) and start from there. If you run out of time or steam then there are a reasonable number of escape routes by train to get you back to Hoek van Holland. The scenery is not stunning but pleasant enough and has some variation. The route goes through Den Haag and you could plan a "day out" off the route in Amsterdam, or divert via Amsterdam before heading north again.

Re: Short cycle tour to get my reluctant partner into cyclin

20 May 2015 - 9:23am
you ve got back from a 3 MONTH tour? cycle tour? understanding man

Re: Short cycle tour to get my reluctant partner into cyclin

20 May 2015 - 9:13am
If you are in Norfolk, maybe you don't need to go so far from home? The Broads offer some nice, off-road and quiet lane cycling. There are some routes with maps http://www.norfolkbroads.com/explore/cy ... ng-routes/

Or you can try a Sustrans route? http://www.sustrans.org.uk/ncn/routes

The quality of these vary, so if something catches your interest, maybe post on here and someone with local knowledge can tell you how good the route is.

Re: route finding in France- maps or new tech

20 May 2015 - 9:08am
I just been updating a trip through the US in RideWithGps and went to OSM cycle in France and it's got routes all over the place, not sure what they are but an example is the red routes, V40 & V3 & V42 & LV & EV1 and then you've got dark and light blue routes.

Re: Short cycle tour to get my reluctant partner into cyclin

20 May 2015 - 8:56am
Maybe ride to a specific (non cycling) event, and if you can do the bike bit as transport between points of interest even better. The less it looks like a *bike* tour the better, take a longer trip but have non cycling days (which also helps muscles).

Re: Short cycle tour to get my reluctant partner into cyclin

20 May 2015 - 8:45am
Blimey - carrying all the gear for two - you must be keen to convert him. And if you are doing that I'm not sure you want to be carrying too large a tent, the B&B option may be better, especially if the weather is inclement. For a beginner nothing is worse than being wet-through, having to pitch a tent in pouring rain, wondering about drying clothes, trying to cook something hot under a mean flysheet, etc,etc...

I didn't convert my partner (wife) and though it's a shame in some ways it also means I have the option to do what I want either alone or with like-minded people. At this time of year if I had to do a 30 mile bimble avoiding decent hills when I'd want to being doing 80 miles and putting in some ascent I'd be frustrated. So unless he comes up to doing what you consider decent you may be disappointed. And of course there's always the reverse scenario that he ends up a real roadie and wants to do more miles, more quickly than you can do or want to do!

Re: route finding in France- maps or new tech

20 May 2015 - 8:38am
Speaking as someone who was in the same position as you, until I went down the Satmap Active route, my advice is as follows:
Try using one of the web-based mapping sites for planning, and keep to your paper maps for navigating.
My reasons are simply that you will already have invested heavily in acquiring the necessary skills, you'll be used to using paper maps - and indeed will probably have most of the ones you need - why change a winning formula?
Of course it's possible to switch to GPS-based navigation, but in my view it's a fair old commitment and it took me several years to reluctantly conclude that I needed a fair amount of quite expensive kit (GPS unit, battery / hub dynamo etc.) to pull it off satisfactorily.
The tempting alternative of simply using a smart phone to tell me my location just didn't work for me (summarised simply in one word: rain, but there were loads of other issues, which may not deter you. For example, I camp a lot and found that charging was an issue too..)
Planning sites I like are:
cycle.travel
Xpedition
RidewithGPS
I also use the French equivalent of OS's web site geoportail.gouv.fr, which is good for viewing terrain using IGN map views, which you may be familiar with, depending on your preferences.
Having said all that, I am now all set up to use my chosen GPS navigation system and find it invaluable - I now know exactly where I am, all of the time (not something that has been universally true in the past... ). It has been particularly useful when trying to navigate through towns and cities, not that I like to send too much time doing that when I'm on holiday in France but it does happen. In summary I'm now very happy with a GPS-based navigation system, but still use paper maps, as well as web-based maps, to plan, but that may be something to do with the fact that I was never very good at navigating using paper maps!
Hope that helps!

Re: Short cycle tour to get my reluctant partner into cyclin

20 May 2015 - 8:22am
Beautiful scenery and quiet roads = Dumfries &Galloway [emoji4]
The big mistake I made when trying to get my partner into cycling was;
Not very far (for me) = A long way
It's not a big hill (for me) = Oh no , not another hill.

Re: route finding in France- maps or new tech

20 May 2015 - 6:54am
As far as planning routes is concerned, I use Google Maps if I'm at home and paper maps if I'm already there. A device on your bars is great for following a planned route, but fairly hopeless for actually planning one.

If you just want to see your position on a map then your existing smartphone (assuming you have one) plus a £20 external USB battery plus some sort of bar mount (a Finn is cheap and effective, or if you can get a spare rear cover for your phone you can Sugru a Garmin Edge mount on) is the cheapest option.

route finding in France- maps or new tech

20 May 2015 - 6:12am
We have always used traditional maps when touring in France- but, is it now time to join the 21st century and find some sort of route finding device.
What works well and what doesn't- don't want to spend a fortune - what about charging -we don't have a charging hub on our Dawes Karakums. Thanks for any advice in advance.

beeb

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