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Updated: 1 hour 20 min ago

Re: Where is your most Ideal place to go touring?

13 June 2014 - 8:00am
How long is a bit of string?

If I want to go away for 3 or 4 days with minimal hassle then it's East Anglia because its close to home. Easy cycling, good scenery and plenty of camp sites and pubs.

For my long winter tours its usually S E Asia. For me its got everything at a fairly cheap price. Recently I have started heading further east and last year was in Taiwan - that was brilliant for cycle touring. This autumn I am off to Japan. Will include a bit of Malaysia and Thailand at the end as the weather will be too cold in Japan after November.

Time available, accom requirements, budget, etc make 'ideal place to go touring' a very personal thing.

Re: Where is your most Ideal place to go touring?

13 June 2014 - 7:23am
Take good rain gear for the Outer Hebrides!

My favourite? Switzerland. Stunning scenery, you can cycle on a good cycle network and if you follow the valleys its not hilly. Drivers are bike friendly, trains & ferries are set up to carry bikes and you can take the trains up valleys & cycle back down to avoid big hills if you want. Plenty of good camping and sunny warm weather in the summer. The only downside is its not the most exciting food.

Re: Where is your most Ideal place to go touring?

13 June 2014 - 7:17am
South East Asia every time if I could, but off to France for 2.5 weeks on Sunday, so can't moan..

Re: Where is your most Ideal place to go touring?

12 June 2014 - 11:52pm
Yep, going south to north. How much time do you recommend for the Outer Hebrides? About 150 miles from Barra to Stornoway. Going to Ireland as well so can be flexible.

Re: American looking for touring partner/s in UK or just adv

12 June 2014 - 11:12pm
The mountains of Wales are definitely worth a visit, as are the Pennines between Manchester and Sheffield, the Lake District in the North West, the Yorkshire Dales (look up the route of the first stage of the Tour de France), and many other areas.

Travelodges, mentioned above, famously let cyclists keep bikes in their rooms.

CTC touring services should be worth a look. Some are member-only, but are probably available to members of overseas equivalent organisations. It must be worth asking, anyway.

Why not draft a broad route and let people here comment on specifics?

Re: American looking for touring partner/s in UK or just adv

12 June 2014 - 9:46pm
As Keithg said above, don't expect a consensus on which part is best and even within Wales, there will be big debates about North, Mid or South Wales. Of course, North Wales has Edward's castles if you like a bit of history.

Re: Innsbruck to Munich cyle route

12 June 2014 - 9:39pm
For the German part of your trip, take a look at http://www.bayerninfo.de/bike. Presumably you can follow the River from Innsbruck to Germany which is a well established route.

Re: American looking for touring partner/s in UK or just adv

12 June 2014 - 9:24pm
For London Edinburgh, I'd do something similar to the London Edinburgh London route http://www.routeyou.com/en-gb/group/vie ... lel2013.en
From central London, follow the river Lea via the Olympic park to start off. Map at bottom here http://blog.ctc-cambridge.org.uk/2013/0 ... -fast.html

Re: American looking for touring partner/s in UK or just adv

12 June 2014 - 9:13pm
Differences to the USA
1) We don't have shoulders which many USA roads have so you will be with the traffic. Therefore avoid the red coloured A roads and try to use the yellow coloured minor roads (colours on the map)
2) I've seen one motel in the UK and that was shut. Travelodges are the most similar. However we do have B & B 's which are just like the American version. Some pubs do accomodation as well, so try one for true British authenticity
3) The gradients are much steeper than the USA where 8% are the norm for long climbs. There are sections of 25% so bring low gears, but the hills are shorter than the USA
4) Think Pensylvania or parts of New England for the up and downyness
5) Montana for Wales, but steeper roads
6) Dakota for Wiltshire - well prettier than Dakota
7) Take the scenic advise. Please don't fall into the London and Stonehenge trap, you're on a bike where getting inbetween is important, however the Wylie Valley and the Kennet and Avon area connecting are very oretty

Good Luck
Neil

Re: Where is your most Ideal place to go touring?

12 June 2014 - 8:56pm
patpalloon wrote:I'm going there in July. Why May? Is is better weather, quieter?

No evil Scottish midges in May (or not as many)

Innsbruck to Munich cyle route

12 June 2014 - 8:54pm
I'm wanting to cycle from Innsbruck to Munich this summer. Does anyone know where I can get a good route map or guide for easy to moderate cycling.

Thanks
Colin

Re: Cylcing the Canal du Midi

12 June 2014 - 8:50pm
PH wrote:The canal from Bordeaux to Toulouse is the Garonne, I cycled it last year and found is excellent, wide smooth tarmac paths for the most part, with just the odd short section of hard pack, nothing rough at all, plenty of locals on road bikes using it. I continued along the Midi from Toulouse and it started in the same style but soon deteriorated into a rough track, I'd had enough of canals by then anyway and continued on the road just re joining the canal where it was the easiest option.
Yes the Garonne is how all canals should be. I rode it in September. We flew down it. The worst bit is the busy part entering Toulouse where all the immigrants shacks line the path.

Re: Where is your most Ideal place to go touring?

12 June 2014 - 8:33pm
patpalloon wrote: Why May? Is is better weather, quieter?

I don't know really, I assume it's a bit quieter outside of school holidays, although it's difficult to imagine it ever being incredibly busy. The machair flowers are meant to be best late May / early June, and it's a good time of year for wildlife, especially birds. July should be fantastic too though!

Re: American looking for touring partner/s in UK or just adv

12 June 2014 - 8:22pm
I would recommend narrowing your tour by thinking about what appeals to you most in the UK, history, culture, cities, mountains or coastline.
I think (as a Scot) that the finest touring is on our west coast (of Scotland) but some might want the quaint rural villages of the Cotswolds or the cathedral cities of Southern England or the flat coastline of Norfolk etc etc. I don't think there's a typical UK but would agree that the Yorkshire and Wales options would be excellent if you felt that Scotland would need a longer holiday (it would, it would!).
Our country roads are great for cycling if you can avoid the main "A roads" which you generally can with a bit of planning.
If you prefer you could use the Sustrans national cycle network as a skeleton to base your tour on. They won't be fast, they won't be always the best quality of pavement but they will be bike tourist friendly and quiet. http://www.sustrans.org.uk/ncn/map
North and central Wales have excellent touring with a big contrast to DC, climatically, scenically and ... culturally!!!
If you want more tips, keep posting, most of us here love to recommend our favourite rides to visitors, just don't expect a concensus!

Re: Digital Mapping - What do you use?

12 June 2014 - 8:18pm
I have the galaxy S4 and use Oruxmaps and openandromaps which I've found works well. It can be a pain in that it seems to pick which place names to show quite randomly at each zoom level, and at first it showed all the places in the database at once which was awful but you can get different mapforge styles which adjust those things so its just a case of finding one that does what you want, of making your own which I didn't have time to look into.

Re: Cylcing the Canal du Midi

12 June 2014 - 7:59pm
The canal from Bordeaux to Toulouse is the Garonne, I cycled it last year and found is excellent, wide smooth tarmac paths for the most part, with just the odd short section of hard pack, nothing rough at all, plenty of locals on road bikes using it. I continued along the Midi from Toulouse and it started in the same style but soon deteriorated into a rough track, I'd had enough of canals by then anyway and continued on the road just re joining the canal where it was the easiest option.

Re: a week on the Romantishe Strasse

12 June 2014 - 7:19pm
I stayed in hotels of which there were plenty.
You can get maps of the route but they can be hard enough to follow. A GPS track is ideal, REALLY!

Re: Where is your most Ideal place to go touring?

12 June 2014 - 7:16pm
patpalloon wrote:jamesgilbert wrote:Outer Hebrides in nice weather in May. Why? Scenery, quiet roads, the sea, a few ferries to break up the cycling, wildlife, a good mix of flat and hilly.

I'm going there in July. Why May? Is is better weather, quieter?

Be sure to go South to North. I did the opposite and was into a galeforce wind the whole way.

Re: American looking for touring partner/s in UK or just adv

12 June 2014 - 7:16pm
Thanks for the tips everyone! I am actually now considering possibly riding to Wales instead? Possibly stop at Stonehenge on my way to/from London? One thing I have noticed is that the country roads in the UK seem extremely narrow (atleast compared to here in the US). They look beautiful but am wondering how bike friendly they are?

Re: Cylcing the Canal du Midi

12 June 2014 - 5:58pm
I did it in September. I hated it. Tree roots and rough gravel. You can't relax. It's also very crowded with day trippers and tourists travelling slowly on MTBs and Hybrids. We just got off it in the end and took to the wonderfully smooth roads. See my blog.

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