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Re: tablet for touring

20 September 2014 - 12:05pm
Got the new Which mag today. The Hudl is recommended as the best cheap tablet. At only £99 its a bargain.


Re: tablet for touring

20 September 2014 - 11:01am
I got an Asus Fonepad (which is similar to the Nexus) so I didn't need to carry a separate phone. There is a newer model but I've not really investigated it. It does look a bit odd if you use it as a phone up against your ear but you can always use a handsfree to avoid that.


Re: Show your touring bikes !!!!

20 September 2014 - 10:54am
slogfester wrote:Meet Peru (Van Nicholas Pioneer) .... Hasn't been to Peru... yet, but did 4000 km round Europe last year and will soon be off to New Zealand

Nice bike. Where in the Long White Cloud are you planning to ride?


Re: tablet for touring

20 September 2014 - 9:56am
al_yrpal wrote:I quite like using the Kindle on my phone. Its quite useable, but, I don't suppose its available on an iphone?
Yes, I have it on both my iPhone and iPad Mini.

Even better than Kindle is Audible.

Re: tablet for touring

20 September 2014 - 9:31am
I have used either the Ipad or the IPad Mini for touring.

I use it for a series of tasks:

Photos - direct transfer via Wifi
Notes and Emails
Navigation and route planning

Re: tablet for touring

20 September 2014 - 9:28am
al_yrpal wrote:I quite like using the Kindle on my phone. Its quite useable, but, I don't suppose its available on an iphone?


Kindle is supported across the IOS spectrum

Re: tablet for touring

20 September 2014 - 9:16am
On the tablet (not phone) front, the Hudl2 should be due soon.

(The first one was discussed as some length - and with a surprising grumpiness at times for a discussion about electronics - around about last Christmas).

The new one is rumoured to be be bigger more upmarket though.

I hope it isn't too much bigger - I rather liked its small tough-as-a-brick look for touring and was mainly looking forward to it sorting various glitches/the weak GPS etc.

Re: tablet for touring

20 September 2014 - 8:55am
I thought you meant the Moto 4g:http://www.trustedreviews.com/motorola-moto-g_Mobile-Phone_review
I didn't know they'd brought out another new one. It does seem odd that they've dropped 4g on the new one.

The s5 mini is £350 - it's the s5 that is £580. The mini keeps a lot of the features of the s5 eg fingerprint recognition, nfc, heart monitor. And in one respect it's better than the s5. It is water and dust resistant ip67 rated without the need for covers for the usb port.

The new Motorola phones are extremely good value for money. I upgraded my contract for the s5 mini and am paying an extra 290 over 2 years with no up front cost. My only gripe at the moment is I don't actually seem to get 4g anywhere yet, though hopefully this situation will improve!

Re: tablet for touring

20 September 2014 - 8:54am
I quite like using the Kindle on my phone. Its quite useable, but, I don't suppose its available on an iphone?


Re: tablet for touring

20 September 2014 - 8:38am
This year we took two iPhones, my iPad Air, a kindle fire and a power monkey to help charge stuff. For a lightish tablet the iPad Air and case took up a fair amount of space and wasn't light, particularly with the rest of the electronics out included. I would definitely do it differently next time, even with the kids.

If I was travelling without the kids I'd take an ordinary kindle ( less weight than books and long battery life) just for reading and the iPhone for internet access and get a hub charger.

Re: Inverness to Kilmarnock 5 day tour

19 September 2014 - 10:59pm
Job done, 350 miles in 5 days and no rain

Left home on Sunday evening for the 9pm sleeper to inverness which arrived in on time at 8-30 to a chilly but dry Inverness. Took the northerly route to Skye via dingwall and the Cullins(?). Very picturesque country and flat easy riding. Stopped in Strathcarron for a late lunch and. Kyle of. Lochalsh for coffee before arriving at broadfoot YHS after 90 miles. YHS was pretty basic but a good breakfast made up for it.

Second day was a loop to Portree over to the south and back to portree and the Craignure ferry. Quite a hard day and 80 miles chasing a ferry timetable. Scenery on Skye was impressive with big mountains and bleak moors, very beautiful. Over to Mallaig and a very nice B&B to end the day on.

Third day was going to be 80 miles to Oban via FortBill until (over breakfast) i realised i could go down via glenuig, hop on a ferry to Mull (lochaline to fishnish) and then hop back on another ferry from Mull to Oban, only problem was it was 9-30 and the ferry was at 3 and 67 miles away! I decided to go for it and pushed hard through fabulous scenery and two mega passes to climb, what a day! 72 miles. As luck would have it the Oban ferry on Mull was delayed but had a good chat with anither cyclist at the ferry terminal, made it to Oban and a so so B&b by 7pm - very tired

Fourth day was straightforward, oban to lochgilphead, tarbert and the lochranza ferry (60 miles and just one major climb). Lochranza hasnt changed much in 27 years, good b&b and a good meal at the hotel.

Up early today and over lochranza hill to brodick for the ferry to Ardrossan. Rather than head straight to my mums in Kilmarnock i decided to finish with the fairle dalry moor road, another challenging climb, arrived late after 50 miles!

Typing this on the glasgow sleeper back to london

Bike performed perfectly, triple and 30/29 was essential and saddlebag worked well with a couple of dry bags strapped to rack. Baggage weighed in at 6 kilos and i suspect i could pare this down further for next time. I was lucky it didn't rain and weather was very good. I would probably only take one pair of shoes and more cycling jerseys but all in all think i got it just about right.

And i should have brought a map, the garmin and iphone combo worked well but sometimes you cant beat a good old fashioned map!

Re: Whats wrong with Portugal?

19 September 2014 - 10:17pm
I've corrected my post above - it was indeed to Lousa and not to Coimbra that we drove from Castanheira - don't know what I was thinking of, but I'll plead that after a week I was still working out the geography. I still do know the difference though...

It is indeed a great road. I've actually developed a certain vertigo when driving in mountains, which is embarrassing for a cyclist. Comes of living too long in the flat lands, I think. This was high enough to set me off, without being dangerous or challenging as a drive. I did try not to stare down into the valleys! There are barriers where there might be risks, but it's no Alpine pass. Fortunately it doesn't affect my driving, so much as give me cold sweats the night after - very odd. Still wouldn't have missed the route though. You'd see more as a cyclist since, driving, you really should have eyes only for the road, of course. It's quite forested, which limits views somewhat, but there are breaks at points near the top.

I was intrigued by the way that the road follows (while climbing/descending steadily of course) the contours around shoulders and valleys, winding its way up/down without really needing switchbacks.

Re: Whats wrong with Portugal?

19 September 2014 - 9:26pm
Glad you had a good time. The A13 is a very new road - an extension towards Coimbra was only finished earlier this year and in any case no part of it seems to appear on any maps I've seen nor on my GPS maps.

The climb up from Castanheira over towards Lousa (and the descent) is particularly lovely and fairly gentle, if you're ever over again.

The roads are hilariously empty, so much so that it is quite usual to wave and be waved at by any vehicle you encounter. The only problem is that when I was last cycling in the UK I'd forgotten that we don't do that....

Re: Whats wrong with Portugal?

19 September 2014 - 8:39pm
drossall wrote:We're staying for a week near Coimbra next month. I get a day's pass (and a hired MTB of unknown quality) to go off for a day's riding
Just to give my experiences for the record. From what I saw, there's some brilliant touring to be had on quiet roads.

It's pretty much a case of a flattish western coast, with mountains inland. Coimbra is on the edge of the mountains. We were actually a bit south, just off the N17-1 near Espinhal.

The roads in that area are very quiet. Driving, we met something coming the other way from time to time, and something going in our direction almost never. The cycling I did was really quiet too.

This is probably helped by the network of motorways/dual carriageways that have been built recently, and take all the long-distance traffic. Even the nearest of those (A13), however, was very quiet - in early September, we saw another car or two every minute. You need to go onto the A1 Porto-Lisbon road to get levels of traffic that we'd recognise (and of course cyclists wouldn't be on either of these roads). The A13 spends its entire distance in cuttings or on massive viaducts, which gives you some idea of the significant hills in the area.

Going back to cycling, my hired bike turned out to be a ladies' MTBSO. For all sorts of reasons, including the limitations of the bike, I kept my ride to a few miles. I rode first up into the real hills to the east. The N347 to Castanheira de Peira is a really good climb, with an incredibly steady gradient, that goes on for miles to rise to nearly 800m, before (obviously) descending similarly into Castanheira. I only rode part way, not getting above about 450m before turning round and heading for some of the lanes between Espinhal and Penela.

These were again good riding, although I did fail to find my way in one place. I had the Portuguese military maps, ordered from Stanfords. They are close to OS quality, but up to 20 years old, and so show none of the new motorways above. This wouldn't matter, but local lanes have been diverted where they crossed the paths of new roads. Also, what are marked as dry-weather roads can become forest tracks. Hence, I found myself heading off-road with an uncertain map, and turned back instead.

I also had a GPS with open-source mapping, but it wasn't detailed enough. Not sure whether that was my mistake, but it didn't show the dry-weather roads where I got disoriented. Other minor roads were fine (and very quiet again), and I completed my loop happily on an alternative route. Later, we drove the entire route over the mountains to Castanheira, and then turned north over another set of mountains, topped by a row of wind turbines, to Lousa.

This would be a fine area for touring, with little traffic. I can't speak for the rest of Portugal. Lisbon and Porto had parts well worth visiting, but are busy like cities everywhere. Except where recent roads have changed things, good maps for cycling are available. Road numbering is a bit confusing because there are several systems co-existing. Pedal Portugal was helpful on this.

Hope this helps.

Re: Show your touring bikes !!!!

19 September 2014 - 8:28pm
Meet Peru (Van Nicholas Pioneer)

Hasn't been to Peru... yet, but did 4000 km round Europe last year and will soon be off to New Zealand

Re: tablet for touring

19 September 2014 - 8:27pm
robing wrote:al_yrpal wrote:Buy a Moto G 2nd generation smartphone. Does everthing a tablet does on a 5 inch screen. Only £155. Who needs a tablet?


I think it's actually 4.5". I've just got the S5 mini which is same size as Moto G, better spec.

The second generation Moto G was released this week. It has a 5 inch screen and will soon be upgraded to Android L Googles latest operating system because Google presently owns Motorola. It costs £155 whereas the Samsung S5 Mini costs £579 with a smaller screen. I run my smartphone on 3s 321 PAYG tarrif which is really cheap for European US and Oz touring calls with a £10 add on. Thus I am not paying out an excruciating £25 + for a phone contract that i wont use fully for two years. Here's a review with several mentions of the S5 mini http://www.trustedreviews.com/moto-g-2- ... nes_review

I have a Nexus 7 second generation too, its a great tablet. For touring I personally prefer my Android phone, its smaller and lighter and does everything the tablet does and I recharge it with a Teknet battery many times when I'm camping. It depends if you have good eyesight and can cope with the phones smaller screen.


Re: knee pain and touring

19 September 2014 - 8:01pm
The consultant said it may be down to some trauma, but although we postmen walk into things, trip, miss our footing, go up and down steps/slopes I can't really identify a cause. Repetitive actions could be a cause. As someone has said here maybe we should warm up the joints before rushing out and getting stuck in. I have even fallen off my bike several times, but had no knee or leg injuries - just broken arms and wrists! He said there was a problem of blood supply renewing the damaged/crumbling bone area.

I see the consultant again early October and will get his report then.

Re: knee pain and touring

19 September 2014 - 7:27pm
megilleland wrote:I have had problems with my right knee which was causing pain at the end of January 2014. I put the problem down to being a postman, in and out of a van up to 150 times a day in a rural situation, six days a week - five straight weeks on and then one week off. I cycle a short distance to work and use my bike for leisure purposes very regularly. I have been cycling for 15 years and I am 64.

I thought the pain would wear off, but throughout the following three months it persisted and I had to cancel a cycle tour to northern Spain planned for May. My visit to the doctor resulted in pain killers and later an X-ray which on inspection, the doctor said revealed nothing abnormal. Physiotherapy was recommended and I undertook several sessions which helped slightly. The pain subsided, but came back with a vengence late June and a return to the doctor. It was decided to send me for an MRI scan and the result was sent to my doctor. While at work delivering the post in rural Herefordshire I had a call fom my doctor to say that I was to return to the surgery immediately to pick up a pair of crutches and told to keep weight off the leg for 12 weeks. From the consultant's report I had got a condition called spontaneous osteonecrosis (SPONK) together with a hairline fracture of the knee cap. The article mirrored my complaints exactly.

When I had real pain in my knee with severe swelling of the leg in May, I found using the bike helpful for moving around, the only problem being that when you stopped you didn't put want to put the affected leg down! However as cycling has now been banned by the doctor I have been at home sitting down too much whilst watching the Tour de France and La Vuelta.

I am having another MRI scan to see if the condition is healing or getting worse. I will know the outcome in October. There is little pain in the knee now, which could have been down to the fracture. The year has been a bummer - no cycling, no gardening and all the odd jobs piling up. You don't realise how much you rely on your knees, and I never thought I would be in this position just before retiring and cycling into the sunset. I will let you know the outcome and whether I get a new knee.
Have you (or your medical people) any idea what might have caused your issues ?

And hope recovery is going well.


Re: tablet for touring

19 September 2014 - 7:23pm
In which case the Nexus is a good choice - both the original and the newer one. Having vanilla Android and getting new versions as soon as they're out are both key features in my book.

Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

19 September 2014 - 7:07pm
I've recently tried a mix a water and Pepsi max after reading that Alastair humphries would sometimes mix them. Sounds like it would be horrible but was nice enough. I use 1.5l squash bottles with regular bottle holders.


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