Sounds a hard trip with living from foraging. I can see how fishing can get you your protein but it is the rest that is difficult. I've heard of similar trips walking but not too many worked out. Good luck (meant in a good way not trying to be negative).
How waterproof is this bag?
Apologies for the delay in replying. There answer is very. I have been out in some serious downpours with this bag and never had any water ingress. The material does get wet but the whole idea is that the wetter it gets, the tighter the fibres press together thus keeping the water out. It works.
BTW, the underslung light bar is useless. If you get one of these, and I highly recommend you do, chuck the light bar away.
looking forward to reading about your exploits. I've read loads of cycle touring books and yours is easily the best one! I'd be up for coming along, but I'm actually doing my own tour the other way from Roses - Gibraltar and then back home through Spain and France so our paths may cross as I'm doing it in May/June! I'll certainly buy you a beer if we do!
About your Kindle, I had one of these early ones with the keyboard and you could get free internet access anywhere at home or abroad via 3G. But Amazon have cottoned on to this and I believe this is no longer available, you can only get online via wifi only. You'd be better off with a cheap 7" tablet. I got the Acer Iconia One from Argos for £90. Great little tablet.
http://www.carradice.co.uk/index.php?pa ... duct_id=18
I have the Carradry version with the underslung bar.
* The bike lights wobbled around like crazy.
* On this large, deep bag model the small Lumicycle light cans rubbed against the mudguard
I just gave up in the end.
Actually, I didn't get on with the Carradice Super C in the end. Just too big, I don't like a bag that takes up the whole of the space in between the drops. And at the angle I had to have it to be clear of the brake/gear cables, the light fittings were no good. So I sold it on Ebay
I've now got the Topeak Compact Tourguide bag http://www.topeak.com/products/bags/Compact_Handlebar_Bag
which is perfect! So small you hardly notice it. Perfect for day rides for your phone, money, snacks etc. And works well as part of a touring set up for your valuables. It's a brilliant design - turns in to a 'fanny pack' or bumbag as we call them.
Play on Pedals delivers training to Onslow Drive children and Reidvale Adventure Playground playworkers
We had a fantastic time working with play workers from Reidvale Adventure Playground Association in Bridgeton and staff and children from the nearby Onslow Drive nursery yesterday.
Over two mornings this week, we trained Instructors to deliver fun and games on bikes. We learnt a lot from each other, including new ideas for warm up games and how to integrate colour play into sessions.
RAPA is a play facility with wonderful spaces, resources and committed staff. We are looking forward to working with them as a new Hero Organisation, enabling children who visit the centre to access the bikes with specialist play staff to facilitate a great learning opportunity for the young people of Glasgow.
On the Italian side as said the north in flat and the Apennines can be very steep. Lucca though should be reachable by heading across Piedmonte and hugging the coast from Genova all the way round to Lucca. This gives the added benefit of going past or through the Portofino peninsula and Cinque Terre
Wetwipes also clean self after mechanical or puncture. In the old days I didn't seem to mind but these days I hate having oil on hands. Also find that wetwipes excellent at getting grease, oil, etc off carpets or clothes, sometimes with additional help of Pedros degreaser. Would hate to think what this does to babies' bottoms but an essential item on any trip.
Sorry to hear that Matt's bike was damaged but at least this one wasn't stolen.
Years ago, I complained about lorries driving on the twisty windy A390 between Gunnislake and Tavistock. Not the lorries particularly, but that they crossed and straddled the double white lines for much of the journey. This is illegal despite their size. If they went very slowly and carefully, they could avoid breaking the law.
When I complained, I got the same reply as you. If the lorries had to NOT cross or straddle the double white lines, it would cause more congestion.
You cannot win.
You might also consider a more westerly route through France (e.g. Dieppe – Paris (through or around!) – Dijon – Rhone valley – Grenoble) then the Frejus as Honesty suggests. Or go over the Lautaret to Briancon, then the pretty, quiet, low col de l’Echelle to Turin. The Agnel is a big beast at over 2700m, highest international road in Europe.
Another possibility – which I’m hoping to do next month – is to go all the way up the Rhine, then into Italy over the St Gotthard, or the Spluga pass (I did that one a couple of years ago, ride of a lifetime!). Still quite a straight line to Lucca.
Once you’re over the Alps, northern Italy’s flat as a pancake. But don’t underestimate the Apennines; They’re not so high, but you’re starting from lower down, so the passes can be just as big as in the Alps. The Cisa pass is a nice ride, if you avoid weekends, when it’s a popular run for motorbikes. The Abetone from Modena is a good bit higher, a reasonably gentle climb IIRC (I did it the other way), and brings you straight down into Lucca. Where you can get a very nice breakfast.
I wonder if Ayrshire to a ferry port will be the hardest bit to find a pleasant route?
Sometimes I will give the chain a proper clean if staying at a YHA or other access to hot water and dishwashing liquid and somewhere to dry the chain.
*For example Pro-gold Prolink but I am dubious as to whether it does much cleaning and the chain wear rate was higher than at home with a vigorous chain cleaning routine.
Cheap 3 in 1 would probably have been as good!
Sad thing is the police couldn't have being less interested if they tried, there were loads of CCTV in the area from businesses and even a council one in the vicinity of his escape route (I know because I checked), however the police couldn't be bothered to do so and failed to even ring me back as promised, didn't send me a letter to state the outcome (or rather they did but couldn't even get my address right!)
Luckily for me I wasn't badly hurt but rear wheel was a write off which was an expensive ceramic Open pro too
Unless you're badly injured the police don't seem to give a flying fig quite frankly.
With regards to cleaning, I cleaned my bike once in 8 weeks on the last trip I did. Mainly becuase I had been through a particularly 'sandy' area and I was worried about the long terms effects of the sand that was plastered to the bike.
If you are camping it depends a bit on access to water/bucket/sponge etc. so sometimes it's a case of if you get the chance to clean your bike don't turn it down!
Finally, yes. Now I'm back I'll be giving the bike a good clean, degrease and service before I set off again.
I think you have to get used to the fact that your bike is going to take some abuse because you can't clean it as often as perhaps you would at home.
There are a number of passes through the Alps. We've personally always driven over the Alps rather than using the tunnels as its nicer (and my parents were cheapskates). We've used the Mont Cenis (Frejus) pass, Grand St. Bernard, Simplon, Gotthard, and Brenner pass (and maybe one or 2 in between, but these are the main ones). Of these I'd say everything but the St Bernard and Frejus are probably too far east for getting to Lucca. Theres a few further west and south in France that I have not experienced, of which the Col Agnel looks nice. My favourite though is the Frejus one, really lovely and generally quite road as most of the traffic is going through the tunnel. saying that the Simplon and Grand St. Bernard are good for the same reason, but the roads of all these passes can be busy leading up to them.
My parents developed a route through France that missed out on most of the toll roads and stuck to good quiet A roads. We'd go from Calais to Reims on the motorway then A roads following the river Marne to Chalons, St Dizier, Joinville, Chaumont, Langres, then across country to Grey, Besancon, Pontarlier, and across Switzerland to the St. Bernard pass. The coincidentally follows the route of Via Francigena pilgrimige route (ish) and there is now a cycle route the length of the Marne.
If you're camping for example, what do you guys do with regards to cleaning and lubing for longer tours ?
Do you just take a rag and lube, and then give the bike a proper clean and degrease when back home ?