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Re: cycling blog help

4 May 2015 - 11:08pm
andrew549 wrote:I'm currently using blogger/blogspot as it free fairly simple to set up and get going, I had a look at wordpress which seems a bit more customisable but it seemed like most things were an extra that you had to pay for as well as some of the features you couldn't seem to do very easily or at all like integrating maps into the post/page.

My fairly basic blog is linked to in my signature to give an idea of what is possible fairly easily.

Thanks Andrew, I went for this one in the end as it seemed simple to set up from my Google account. Now on my signature

Re: Solo Etiquette

4 May 2015 - 10:46pm
My full days in Cardiff are August 1st and 2nd. I head back to Chester on the 3rd (3 hr train ride) where I have the 4th in Chester and fly back to the states on the 5th.

Still lots of planning to do in regards to what to do with my days off.

Re: Maps tips

4 May 2015 - 10:26pm
Thanks for the suggestions guys. Didn't think about the lack of contours on the atlas'. Going to check out that the OS tour again of Scotland tomorrow I think. Those nicolson's maps look good as well, never heard of those before.

Re: cycling blog help

4 May 2015 - 10:08pm
khain wrote:It can depend what you're planning to blog with.

Crazy guy on a bike looks like something from 1997

Keeping a blog on tour can be a bit of a nuisance I've found

The way I look at is, what exposure do you want, if you want your blog to be read by family, friends and a few lurkers then use one of the blogging sites, on Crazyguy I often see bloggers posting links/pumping there blogs.

The good things about site's that have app's, it's easy to add updates, whereas crazyguy is harder, but it's built as a low bandwidth site.

Keeping a Journal/blog is hard work, but for me it's about sharing information, I'm always collecting stuff so providing a journal of my trip is giving back.

Re: Solo Etiquette

4 May 2015 - 10:05pm
mcallaghan wrote:St. Fagans has been recommended to me many times over and is certainly on my list. I have a free Saturday and Sunday in Cardiff. I was hoping to catch a Cardiff City pre-season game (looks like this past year they had a game on the same weekend) but am not counting on it. If there is, that will determine which day I go to St. Fagans. I'll be staying across from the Millennium Stadium too, very close to Cardiff Castle, so I imagine I should be able to find some decent food in that area.

Not sure which weekend you have in mind for visiting Cardiff, but later this year it's the Rugby World Cup and warm-up matches are taking place at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday 8 August and Saturday 5 September. Quite colourful and noisy events.....

Re: Ipswich to Southwold advise

4 May 2015 - 9:48pm
Assuming you can make your way to Melton (out to Kesgrave then up through Woodbridge), then it's quite nice up through

B1084 to Butley, then towards Tunstall, Blaxhall, Snape (Maltings), Friston, Knodishall, Eastbridge, Westleton, Blythburgh, Southwold

Not got a GPX file for this, as it's a mix of routes I have done, but nice riding in that general area and easy to avoid most of the busier roads.

Hope that helps

Chris

Re: Maps tips

4 May 2015 - 9:40pm
1:100,000 is probably best, unfortunately I don't think anyone makes maps this scale. Road atlases are ok but lack contours.

Go for Nicolson 1:250,000 Scotland Road maps 2 & 3.

http://www.nicolsonmaps.com/acatalog/nicolson-tourist-mapping.html

They have contours and should be detailed enough for the areas you're touring in.

OS say Landrangers are for cycle touring but you'd need to carry dozens for a tour of any length.

Re: Solo Etiquette

4 May 2015 - 9:22pm
thirdcrank wrote:Vorpal wrote:There can be regional variations, but pubs aren't quite like in the USA. There's usually a 'bar' (or sometimes 'saloon') side, and a restaurant side. Children aren't allowed in the bar side, but it's often cheaper to order a meal, there. On the restaurant side, the menu may be different, and there is a higher expectation that you will pay a tip to your server. On the bar side, you never have to do this, but you can leave a small tip, if you are particularly happy with the food and service.

There's a little informaiton here.... http://www.sirc.org/publik/ptpchap1.html

There's probably enough stuff in that link to start a really long-running thread, but for the benefit of the OP, I'd say that the info about opening times is out-of-date. Putting it at its simplest, boozers can open at any time approved by the local authority. The separation of dining areas is now much less than was once the case, except for places which are very obviously a dining room. ...

One other point I noticed was the issue of paying with plastic. I don't suppose anybody is too keen on accepting a card for a fiver transaction, but I don't think there are many now that won't take plastic, especially for a tab. The only pub I've been in recently which didn't take plastic was the Ship at Low Newton and they put that down to having no phone signal. I fancy they may not take plastic in the Ship in Seahouses but the last time I was in there, there wasn't even a till: the money all went in a drawer.

It must depend on where you go. In Essex and Suffolk the opening hours flexibility seems to have been used mostly to allow night clubs to stay open until 2 am. The pubs I've been in, still have separate rooms for bar/restaurant, and fairly traditional hours. A few are substantially less expensive on the bar side; the other's a bit fancy. Maybe the opening times are dated, but I've been caught out more than once, not being able to get a meal when I wanted one It was few years ago, now, but once when walking long distance, each successive pub I came to from 11 am until 7 pm was closed, until I got to my destination. My tiresome threshold for Boots sandwich+drink+crisps meal deals is quite low. As for paying with cards, yes, it's true that most places take them these days, but there are still some that don't. And there are also a few that always seem to have problems with the card machines, too.

Ipswich to Southwold advise

4 May 2015 - 9:06pm
Good evening all

I am planning a one day ride from Ipswich to Southwold for a small group with mixed ability. Want to try and get in as many nice little villages as possible. (with the odd nice little pub )

Ideally it would be good to try and keep as close to the coast as possible

Just wondering if anyone had any routes they had used before.

Thanks for your time



Charlie

Re: Solo Etiquette

4 May 2015 - 8:19pm
al_yrpal wrote:If you have a bit of time in Cardiff dont miss the Welsh Folk Museum at St Fagans http://www.museumwales.ac.uk/stfagans/, a remarkable institution, particularly the many buildings. Worth a whole day or more. Pontypridd Market on a Wednesday or Saturday morning will give you a real feeling of the valleys. Have fun, but avoid lavabread.

Al

+1 for this. One of the best places of this 'category' I've been to on 4 continents.

As far as solo-eating: I'm lucky in that I'm pretty gregarious so if I 'need' the company I can dip in or if I feel like being solitary, I can do this too. I quite enjoy either.
The only skill I haven't honed yet is how to stop the local regular/drunks giving me free life-coaching sessions! Why me? Reason no. 41 why I NEVER sit at the bar. It happens all around the World. I am a nutter-magnet. It's landed me with free drinks and conversation, but it's also landed me in trouble too![emoji55]

Re: cycling blog help

4 May 2015 - 7:01pm
It can depend what you're planning to blog with.

Wordpress has an app which works pretty well on most smartphones. You can also post by email, though this isn't too easy to set up.

Blogger is a bit easier to customise the look and feel of but Wordpress has more functionality and flexibility.

Crazy guy on a bike looks like something from 1997 (though that might not be a bad thing on tour) and the ads annoy me. Travellers Point is pretty good though I don't know how mobile-friendly it is. Using an existing site means you'll get more page views but there'll be ads on the site.

Keeping a blog on tour can be a bit of a nuisance I've found, particularly if you use a dedicated camera. If you've got a good smartphone and take photos on that the Wordpress app shouldn't be too much hassle.

Re: Maps tips

4 May 2015 - 6:49pm
Don't go buying a Philips Navigator just for that area!!! I have one you can have the pages from. If you pm me with your address, I'll send them 1st class. I already have the stamps so no cost to me whatsoever.

Re: Solo Etiquette

4 May 2015 - 6:07pm
Vorpal wrote:There can be regional variations, but pubs aren't quite like in the USA. There's usually a 'bar' (or sometimes 'saloon') side, and a restaurant side. Children aren't allowed in the bar side, but it's often cheaper to order a meal, there. On the restaurant side, the menu may be different, and there is a higher expectation that you will pay a tip to your server. On the bar side, you never have to do this, but you can leave a small tip, if you are particularly happy with the food and service.

There's a little informaiton here.... http://www.sirc.org/publik/ptpchap1.html

There's probably enough stuff in that link to start a really long-running thread, but for the benefit of the OP, I'd say that the info about opening times is out-of-date. Putting it at its simplest, boozers can open at any time approved by the local authority. The separation of dining areas is now much less than was once the case, except for places which are very obviously a dining room. This dates back to another abolished aspect of the licensing laws which permitted extensions to licensing hours if meals were provided and there was a separate dining area. (A rich source of questions for police promotion exams.) Going on from that, dining areas used to be the most prominent exception to the "nobody under 18" law in pubs (another source of exam questions - other exceptions being licensee's children passing through to private accommodation..... ) Towards the end of the era of the old licensing legislation, "children's rooms" were permitted if they were approved by the Licensing Committee of the local bench. Around here, at least, the only stipulation the magistrates seemed to make was that children's room had to be "no smoking." That seems even stranger now that all pubs are smoke-free. IME, Children have the run of most pubs, especially where grub is a big part of the business.

One other point I noticed was the issue of paying with plastic. I don't suppose anybody is too keen on accepting a card for a fiver transaction, but I don't think there are many now that won't take plastic, especially for a tab. The only pub I've been in recently which didn't take plastic was the Ship at Low Newton and they put that down to having no phone signal. I fancy they may not take plastic in the Ship in Seahouses but the last time I was in there, there wasn't even a till: the money all went in a drawer.

Tour de Isle of Wight - 1-4 May 2015

4 May 2015 - 5:38pm
I've just got back 'across' to the mainland. Although not everywhere on the IOW is my thing I've got to say I really enjoyed myself. 3 great campsites: Kite Hill @ Wooton Bridge, Grange Farm near Brigstone & to top it off nicely Compton Farm @ Compton Down. I had some decent beer, some decent food and messed in at the bikers' rally.

The needles were hiding in the sea fog so I went and watched thousands of Randoneurs hurl themselves ([emoji39]) around the island. The ferries were a breeze and there was a great cycle/car mutuality going on.

I had ZERO chance of seeing a Glanville Fritillary, but damn that gives me a good excuse to go back!

Thanks all for your advice...b

EDIT: I'll be setting up a 'Fans o' the Military Road Club'. That is a cracking road when the wind is behind you, and averaging 973mph while on it, I still have a massive grin on my face.

Re: cycling blog help

4 May 2015 - 5:37pm
theDaveB wrote:
https://farewellburt.wordpress.com

Is a good example of hard to follow tour. I eventually found the first post of the tour but after reading it, there was no way to go to the next post.

Dave

Easily fixed with an "Sticky" intro post along the lines of " To follow the journey from the start click >Here<" and better navigation buttons

Re: cycling blog help

4 May 2015 - 5:35pm
I've tried various blogs over the years, starting with a very crappy MSN one around 2006. There are plenty of free ones out there, some better than others.

In 2009 I tried a Free website hoster and came up with this for my my America trip : http://coast2country.webs.com Its fairly simple to set up and use. Downside is random advertising you have no control over (i.e things like thaibrides.whatever if you happen to have been in Thailand...normal google adds stuff) also found myself wanting to customise more.

Around 2011 I bought my own domain (only costs about 25 quid a year including hosting) so I could customise things more, downside I spent way to many hours trying to make a nice site with Joomla.

Just before Africa in 2011 I converted my site to wordpress (http://www.shanecycles.com/africa/) and wondered why I'd messed around so much before hand, the basic site and themes(website templates/layouts) are pretty, paid fancy themes are quite affordable too, and most problems you bump into there's a plugin to fix it(try not to use too many). Downside, its very popular so you need a good spam filter, settings and regular updates to keep yourself spam and hack free. You do need to put a little time into a wordpress site to get a non standard site but its do-able.

Wordpress do have free website hosting, but I prefer to have my own domain(website) so that its my property and choices, the downside of this of course is that you might need an IT geek friend in the unlikely even it all goes wrong ( needed one when I transferred from Joomla to Wordpress, and also one when I got hacked).

I've just changed the layout of my main site and now I'm limited by some automatic features of wordpress that are p3ssing me off(embedded photos are only 500px), but there is a way around, I just have to change the way I show photo's(upload rather than link to my flickr account). I'm sadly not geeky enough to start messing around with code. Current version: http://www.shanecycles.com

Blogging is fun, especially if travelling alone it is a way of sharing your story when there's no one to talk to, the interaction with trip followers is also often fun. Don't get distracted by trying to make money from a blog, its not really worth the effort or you have a sh3t looking site full of crappy adds or articles that have nothing to do with your trips . Keep it slick looking and easy to navigate.

If you're just planning one trip then crazyguyonabike is probably a good choice as its part of a cycling community, or a Facebook fan page with open privacy settings. If you're planning lots more I'd consider getting your own domain.

Good luck and don't get too stressed about it, better to cycle more and blog less in the end

Re: Solo Etiquette

4 May 2015 - 5:18pm
mcallaghan wrote:I'll be staying across from the Millennium Stadium too, very close to Cardiff Castle, so I imagine I should be able to find some decent food in that area. --------------- I'd rather be in the more 'local' parts which are hopefully a bit quieter.That is pretty central. I used to live 20 miles away and if I went into Cardiff it would be early on a Saturday morning when the street cleaners are still cleaning up the mess and debris from the Friday night's antics. Pubs, bars, clubs will open very late on Friday and Saturday nights and like the centre of any large UK city it can be rather ---- "lively".

Re: Solo Etiquette

4 May 2015 - 5:10pm
There can be regional variations, but pubs aren't quite like in the USA. There's usually a 'bar' (or sometimes 'saloon') side, and a restaurant side. Children aren't allowed in the bar side, but it's often cheaper to order a meal, there. On the restaurant side, the menu may be different, and there is a higher expectation that you will pay a tip to your server. On the bar side, you never have to do this, but you can leave a small tip, if you are particularly happy with the food and service.

There's a little informaiton here.... http://www.sirc.org/publik/ptpchap1.html

Re: cycling blog help

4 May 2015 - 5:09pm
maxcherry wrote:Or you can just click the title page/home and it takes you to a list of recent posts.

Yes but thats the problem, you don't want "recent" posts, you want the oldest posts.

https://farewellburt.wordpress.com

Is a good example of hard to follow tour. I eventually found the first post of the tour but after reading it, there was no way to go to the next post.

Dave

Re: Solo Etiquette

4 May 2015 - 5:04pm
Interesting to note.

What passes for a 'Pub' here in the USA, from my experience really, is more like a restaurant with the main focus being around the bar, with the sort of dark colors one might find in a real pub - but there is still a hostess who will seat you (unless you want to eat at the bar, free-for-all in that case) and take your order. The Irish Pub here in town, which just closed, was a nice place to go but the 'English' food they sold wasn't great...and for a place billing itself as 'Irish' I would have expected to see a UK-dominated menu with a few American Favorties, not the other way around. I think they hand Bangers Mash, Shepherds Pie, Fish'n'Chips and maybe one more item.

Luckily, I am not a Veggie - I love me steak too much. St. Fagans has been recommended to me many times over and is certainly on my list. I have a free Saturday and Sunday in Cardiff. I was hoping to catch a Cardiff City pre-season game (looks like this past year they had a game on the same weekend) but am not counting on it. If there is, that will determine which day I go to St. Fagans. I'll be staying across from the Millennium Stadium too, very close to Cardiff Castle, so I imagine I should be able to find some decent food in that area.

Same with my days in Chester. I do remember a pub there - the Cheshire Cat - but I am not sure its located within the City, if its even still around. Its my last memory of Chester from the last time I was there. I try to avoid the Touristy areas though - typically bad service and overprice due to all the people. I'd rather be in the more 'local' parts which are hopefully a bit quieter.

Ironically, I tend to eat a bit earlier than everyone else here state-side for those same reasons - better service (generally) better food (it hasn't been sitting around for nearly as long) and quieter atmospheres. I'm a pretty quick eater, but I suppose that is the benefit of not having to make conversation while you eat.

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