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Updated: 1 hour 19 min ago

Re: France - channel to the Med (or vice-versa)

30 October 2014 - 7:45pm
I have done twice North to South and three times South to North by different routes. Can't really help you with a preference because I enjoyed every ride. Must agree though the west coast is the least interesting and Aquitaine is very boring. If you do go through there avoid the cycle paths as they are teaming with very slow leisure riders

Re: A new tourer (for a song)

30 October 2014 - 7:42pm
It was a Tortek disc rack and Tortek reflector mudguards. That bike was an excellent tourer, but I have moved on now because the Mrs bought me a Salsa Vaya for my 70th birthday. I still have the rack on the Vaya though.
http://www.wiggle.co.uk/topeak-super-to ... rear-rack/


Re: A new tourer (for a song)

30 October 2014 - 6:51pm
al_yrpal wrote:Hi Matt,

If its a Carrera Subway 2. That's the same bike I have. The only must haves are mudguards and a 'disc' rack and you are in business. The mudguards are easy to fit, you need to make a little plastic spacer on the forks, and use the brazed ons inside the rear stays at the back. I have done several 500 mile tours on mine so far, its been excellent.

Good luck

I really like this idea!!!!

What kind of mudguards and racks are you using with your bike. I cannot seem to find the same mudguards.

Re: Show your touring bikes !!!!

30 October 2014 - 5:19pm
My Thorn Raven Tour

Re: First bike tour with children

30 October 2014 - 4:56pm
The North Wales Coast (NCN 5) is a good choice - plenty of posts about it on this board. Aside from the Bagillt hill section it's mostly flat, lots is traffic-free, and the scenery is suitably impressive - plus plenty of cafes and ice-cream parlours along the way! (And you could skip the hilly bit by taking a train from Prestatyn to Flint.) Should be reasonably easy to get to from Nottingham, especially if you take the little local train from Derby to Crewe then change there for a train to the coast.

I'd second the suggestion of the Kennet & Avon (NCN 4), and you could also try the Cotswold Line (NCN 442) from Worcester to Oxford, though I may be biased.

Re: First bike tour with children

30 October 2014 - 4:43pm
Many thanks for all the superb ideas - I'm very grateful for all the helpful input from so many people, so quickly. I particularly like the idea of the Yorkshire Wolds - we often head up to Scarborough via that way. Am going to look at accomodation options. May also plan a C2C over a week in the summer, though I might source a road bike for my daughter for that.

Re: Show your touring bikes !!!!

30 October 2014 - 4:16pm
Here is my Disc Trucker, in the Burren of Ireland (at least, on the coast) on the way to Doolin.

Will be carry a tent etc next summer on my tour of Wales.

Re: France - channel to the Med (or vice-versa)

30 October 2014 - 3:59pm
I agree keeping more to the east whichever direction I go will be a good idea. Weather is more likely to be lively in the west of France - but of course no guarantee!

Re: Bikes on a plane - box or bag?

30 October 2014 - 3:53pm
I think I am going to get the CTC Bag, myself, for my upcoming trip to Wales next summer.

Airlines are so confusing though. British Airways flys the bike for free, apparently, but the first leg of my flight is on a plane operated by another airline. Does that mean I have to pay their baggage fee? I wish airlines made things far more simpler! Its also not evident whether bikes in a bag are acceptable on the connecting flight - any airline gurus out there?

Avoid the Spanish Gota Fria!

30 October 2014 - 3:36pm
I came back at the end of last week after a trip into Spain of nearly 6 weeks in our campervan. We had a great time but we also experienced some very wet and thundery weather, all the way down to the very tip of Spain. This was I must confess a bit unexpected. We had some very warm weather too but the thunderstorms lasting in one case over 3 hours were memorable.

Exchanging e-mails with someone who has lived in Spain for decades it seems this is not a new phenomena and is known to the Spaniards as a gota fria or "cold drop". It occurs in the autumn along the Spanish Mediterranean coast when moisture from the warm seas ascends into the atmosphere and hits cold air in the upper atmosphere. The storms are worst along the coast but the effects stretch far inland.

I raise this because we met a couple of cyclists on the ferry on the trip to Santander who were planning to cycle across Spain to Cadiz. I can only hope they had better weather than we experienced for the first few weeks of our holiday.

The lessons is - avoid southern Spain on September and October up until about the 15th. You may of course be lucky, but statistically, this is the danger period, especially when the summer starts early as it did this year.

http://spain.angloinfo.com/moving/count ... gota-fria/

Re: Cuba.

30 October 2014 - 10:10am
the bikes we saw in cuba that had been hired were not that good to be honest, mostly mountain bikes, mostly with full suspension and no rack. You know you can take a bike with Virgin for no extra cost, and if you dont want to do the whole assembly thing twice, just give it or sell it to some lucky cuban- you will get plent of offers wherever you go.

Going rate seems to be 100CUC (100USD) for anythin (4 months wage). Not really an earner on a super galaxy so i just gave it away to a guy who commuted a fair way to the school he teaches at.

Only thing is you will need to find a way back to Havana to get the plane back, unless they can make it to Havana themselves

Or donate to


and they will find someone who wants it.

It means you can take any bike you want and you will know what you are riding, and that it has been given a good going over before you set off. And you will have the opportunity to pack the spares you might need.

Just saying.


Re: France - channel to the Med (or vice-versa)

30 October 2014 - 9:48am
The only disadvantage is the slight risk of damaging your bike in transit.

I get two cardboard boxes from the shop and put one inside the other and pad well

If your not cycling out of your front door then google the name and address of a few bike shops near where you will be putting the bike together. If you have an unusual setup look for ones that are most likely to have parts you might need like spokes, or a rear much hanger. Alternatively consider taking the most fragile parts that may not be stocked with you. I keep spokes inside my seat tube, and a rear mech hanger is cheap and light.

Also note their opening hours. Most are shut on Sunday, a lot are shut on Monday and some shut Saturday pm!

All this is just a precaution and more apt if there is a group going. The bigger the group the more likely one of you is to have a problem

Re: France - channel to the Med (or vice-versa)

30 October 2014 - 8:57am
+1 for North to South. Just close the front door behind you and you are immediately on holiday, just bimble down to the Channel ports and then enjoy the whole of France unfolding in front of you as you make your way down to the Med.
Cor....., I'm getting itchy wheels now....!

Re: France - channel to the Med (or vice-versa)

30 October 2014 - 12:10am
+1 South to North in May . I've done South to North in September from Nice and i think that North to South might be a better choice at that time of the year. There's not a lot in it, I've dine North to South in September too. massif Central is likely to be the worst of the weather whichever direction you go in. Ps check the climate when deciding routes as I've remember a very damp may holiday in the Dordogne. You may be better off heading more up the east side of France or it could have just been that we had bad luck.

Re: Insurance

29 October 2014 - 9:55pm
In fairness to insureandgo its not really in the small print. They have a couple of pages of activities laid out in a table. There are a number of columns for things like third party cover, excess, extra cost. You just find your activity and read off the conditions. Clear and simple.

PS I have no connection with insureandgo, but they do sponsor Southend United so obviously a charitable organisation!

Re: France - channel to the Med (or vice-versa)

29 October 2014 - 9:28pm
I'm beginning to think north to south would be a better option. As regards the weather, one just has to accept that it may be bad. No such thing as bad weather, just unsuitable clothing. As far as the problems of getting home again, I will probably not use the bike bus but either fly back or return by train via Paris. Train looks a good option. http://www.seat61 is a mine of helpful information.

Thanks again for all your advice and information. The input from all of you has been a great help.

Re: Cuba.

29 October 2014 - 9:13pm
We toured with Cycle Active in 2013 and hired Specialized Hardrock MTB's. They were well maintained and none of us had any problems apart from a few punctures and one snapped chain that was easily fixed. Worth taking your own spare tubes and a few essential bits (chain link, spare brake and gear cable) with you, as spare parts are unobtainable in Cuba.

Re: Fountains in Italy

29 October 2014 - 8:41pm
This is great, thanks Sweep.

Re: Berlin Bike Hire

29 October 2014 - 7:54pm
We hired from the hotel , many hotels have cycle hire , dutch style , ideal for site seeing. A bit heavy for more than 20 miles a day

Re: Insurance

29 October 2014 - 7:41pm
Check the small print for Insure and GO, it specifically mention no cover for personal accidents when cycle touring, although it does cover you for cycling.!!


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