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Tour of Brittany

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 11 March 2015 - 8:59am
A mate and I have a week off work in May and are planning a cycle tour, camping, round Brittany. I am looking for ideas and advice. The ferry lands at St Malo and we have a return ticket a week later.

My initial idea was to use some of the 8 major cycle routes in Brittany to create a clockwise route: head South from St Malo, then head West across the 'middle' in the direction of Brest. Pick up the coast at some point, then head East along the Northern coast back to St Malo.

Not sure what the terrain will be like and, hence, uncertain what type of bike to take, how many miles per day we can expect to cover, and therefore how long a route to plan.

We did Cherbourg to LeHavre a couple of years ago on crappy old mountain bikes overloaded with camping gear. Managed about 40 miles per day on mainly tarmac roads. Great fun!

This time the bikes will be better, the tyres a bit thinner and (hopefully) the luggage a bit lighter. So I was thinking that at 50 miles per day, about a 300 mile circuit would be do-able without too much pain. We were hoping to spend as much time as possible on the coast, so the return was planned along the Northern coast.

Our plans on these types of trip are fairly loose and only a guide, as we tend to 'wing it' if we find somewhere nice. Not sure whether my road bike or the wife's tourer would be the better choice.

Anyone with experience of the area on a bike or suggestions for the trip?

Re: lorry passing too close

CTC Forum - On the road - 11 March 2015 - 8:52am
I often ride further out from the kerb so I have a bit of room to move in if someone does come too close, but it's usually when there's a bad road surface or to discourage drivers chancing it when there's a narrow gap and some ambiguity as to whether they can squeeze past or not. But in this case there wasn't any reason for the guy to pass so close, as I mentioned, the car opposite even moved over to give him space to pull out, which he didn't do.

Anyway, it's got a crime reference number now!

Re: lorry passing too close

CTC Forum - On the road - 11 March 2015 - 6:29am
Raph wrote:Leaving it to the possibility that you might have space to your left isn't a particularly good way to regard road safety. And by the way I didn't have any space to the left, there was a kerb. I could have bunny-hopped it I suppose.

PS just dropped in to the local nick, they said definitely ring 101 and report careless driving.
If you make sure you do have space to the left and use a mirror then you have somewhere to go to if a pass looks likely to be close or worse. Hard to hold your nerve to take a wider line down that road though (as Horizon is suggesting I think) and a dreadful pass. Like mine this is a tipper truck with no side bars, which seems a greater risk, though I do not know if it actually is.

Re: Unique Cycling Tour...Riders Wanted

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 11 March 2015 - 12:03am
smith4188 wrote:Psamathe wrote:When I lived in France, in my area fishing was strictly controlled and pretty well everywhere you had to have a license. In fact I had a river running across my land (which was well big enough to catch decent fish in) and had I wanted to fish in my bit of river running across my land, fishing from my land I would still have needed to go any buy a license.

So if you are fishing, be aware there may be regulations.

Ian

We're sticking to the coast. Sea fishing in France, like the UK, doesn't require a licence. Unfortunately sea fishing requires one in Spain and Portugal and yet, because of the nature of the trip (the fact that you need to get a different licence for each region within both countries by sitting an exam about hunting in the local language), it will be impossible to get one. Wild camping is also illegal in all of these countries. And riding without a helmet in Spain is illegal. I don't mind breaking stupid laws, which all of these are.
Where I was no need to sit an exam for a fishing license (maybe there was a rule but my experience with the French and rules is "rules are meant to be broken" ... and boy did I experience some rules broken (in my favour!!)) - you just pay money. But for La Chasse there were several exams, training, etc.

But I have no idea about different regions.

Ian

Re: Stop!

CTC Forum - On the road - 11 March 2015 - 12:00am
LollyKat wrote:keyboardmonkey wrote:In the interest of balance...

Er, but both facing away from the actual traffic.


Are these set up on bus shelters? If so there may be a regulation / recommendation that they leave the side facing the direction of travel clear, so that bus drivers can see if anyone is waiting there.

Actually, as I took a photograph of the Junctions poster a chap from JCDecaux pulled in to the bus stop and replaced the poster inside the bus shelter with something else (I didn't notice what it was). We had a chuckle about the direction the Safety Tips posters were facing. He said that all six Think! posters had been used locally in the last week or so.

Re: Unique Cycling Tour...Riders Wanted

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 10 March 2015 - 11:45pm
mercalia wrote:Roadkill?

Unlikely. Vin Cox (round-the-world record holder for a while) attempted something like a ten day cycle/forage ride (but without the £1 per day) from Devon to Scotland. He ate roadkill, got sick and had to quit. It's not worth it. And it's his attempt that made me think it would be impossible without the £1.

Re: NCN Routes 62 and 67 on a tandem?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 10 March 2015 - 11:23pm
Thanks both,

gas, I've posted a question on the Sustrans site. I'd ferreted out the map with the Access Controls already — Sigh!

That's an interesting bit of information about management of the TPT, Richard … and not what I'd hoped to hear about surface quality. But it is what it is. I'll devise an on-road alternative and we'll choose when we're en route and have an idea what the weather's been like. Thanks for bringing my attention to the geography.org.uk images — I'm not sure if they'll show me what I'm looking for, but they certainly add another dimension to planning with cycle.travel. I have found it very handy to couple cycle.travel with the street-view function of Google Earth to examine the tandem traps (sorry "Access Points") where the cycle path crosses roads: there will be fewer nasty surprises than on our first tour. We set out on that one with the naive belief that the National Cycle Network would consist of routes that were straightforwardly amenable to cycling.

Re: Stop!

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 March 2015 - 11:10pm
thirdcrank wrote::idea: How about a single poster - in the form of permanent signs - along the lines of the French road signs advising leaving 1.5 metres when overtaking a cyclist? Five feet is a rough imperial equivalent.
Fantastic idea. Now where have I seen one of those before? Here.

I still don't know if this actually adorns some street in Hastings (or elsewhere) or if it was simply put together in photoshop .

Re: Stop!

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 March 2015 - 11:04pm
pwa wrote: ............ some cyclists see themselves as informal road users, or pedestrians on wheels.
Oh but they are, aren't they? Haven't you seen all the new ideas about shared space? Pedestrians are usually shown with cyclists. And what about all the shared pavements? It's not just some cyclists who see themselves as pedestrians on wheels.

Re: Unique Cycling Tour...Riders Wanted

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 10 March 2015 - 11:02pm
Psamathe wrote:When I lived in France, in my area fishing was strictly controlled and pretty well everywhere you had to have a license. In fact I had a river running across my land (which was well big enough to catch decent fish in) and had I wanted to fish in my bit of river running across my land, fishing from my land I would still have needed to go any buy a license.

So if you are fishing, be aware there may be regulations.

Ian

We're sticking to the coast. Sea fishing in France, like the UK, doesn't require a licence. Unfortunately sea fishing requires one in Spain and Portugal and yet, because of the nature of the trip (the fact that you need to get a different licence for each region within both countries by sitting an exam about hunting in the local language), it will be impossible to get one. Wild camping is also illegal in all of these countries. And riding without a helmet in Spain is illegal. I don't mind breaking stupid laws, which all of these are.

Re: Unique Cycling Tour...Riders Wanted

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 10 March 2015 - 10:57pm
When I lived in France, in my area fishing was strictly controlled and pretty well everywhere you had to have a license. In fact I had a river running across my land (which was well big enough to catch decent fish in) and had I wanted to fish in my bit of river running across my land, fishing from my land I would still have needed to go any buy a license.

So if you are fishing, be aware there may be regulations.

Ian

Re: Police stop 4yo pavement cyclist

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 March 2015 - 10:54pm
And whilst the officers were busy threatening and reprimanding the poor child, I wonder how many drivers passed speeding and/or texting ...

Ian

Re: Easier than catching law breaking motorists

CTC Forum - On the road - 10 March 2015 - 10:32pm
Guy951 wrote:Well, she shouldn't have been riding on the path anyway. Footpaths are for parking on.



(Saw this on the news at lunchtime. At least the police have been round to the house to apologise.)

"Safety is our priority and driving on the pavement to park there is illegal.

"However, common sense obviously prevails and in the case of adult motorists who might otherwise have to walk a few yards to their front door, officers should use their discretion and offer the most appropriate advice for the circumstances."

Re: Bordeaux to Narbonne

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 10 March 2015 - 9:52pm
I cycled Carcassonne to Agde, I used the Cicerone book. I used the towpath to Trebes, as previous posts the towpath is rough due to tree roots it is also narrow more like a footpath. I then used the roads looking at the canal when possible, the section from Homps to Le Somail is pretty. I cycled the Canal de Robine as far as Salleles, I then went by road (there was no towpath or it was closed for repair?) to Narbonne.

Re: Unique Cycling Tour...Riders Wanted

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 10 March 2015 - 9:36pm
Heltor Chasca wrote:Heh heh. Good enough library Steven. By hook or by crook I'll find a way to help. I like the charity you are riding for and I've 'wish listed' your book on Amazon. I've challenged myself: If I finish pollarding a little copse I'm doing tomorrow without falling out a tree I'll buy your book by Friday evening. (Useless, late paying clients beside) The reviews are brilliant. Kind regards, Blair.

Thank you. May I suggest taking a couple of mattresses to place around each trunk in case you take a tumble? I'd love another book sale but would hate to think your life depended upon it.

Re: Touring in Denmark

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 10 March 2015 - 9:33pm
I was looking at touring Denmark in June but found out that the Danish school holidays are earlier in June and July

Re: Orange / Vaucluse / Luberon - ideas?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 10 March 2015 - 9:27pm
Orange is worth exploring , Arc de triumph and Roman open air theatre. Heading for the Luberon , Pernes Les Fontaines - Isles sur la Sorgue - Fontaine de Vaucluse-Vanasque.
The Luberon is very busy but being on a bike you can get away from the tourists . Gordes is worth a visit with the photogenic Sananque abbey round the corner. Roussilion and Apt. The southern part Menerbes -Lacoste -Bonnieux -Lourmarin. There is a wonderful ride on top of the ridge near Bonnieux The Route de Petit Luberon it goes west to Cavaillion.
To the north of Mont Ventoux, Vaison la Romaine -Malaucene - Montbrun les Bains -Sault -Gorges de Nesque.
I hope this gives you a few ideas when planning you routes.

Unique Cycling Tour...Riders Wanted

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 10 March 2015 - 9:19pm
Heh heh. Good enough library Steven. By hook or by crook I'll find a way to help. I like the charity you are riding for and I've 'wish listed' your book on Amazon. I've challenged myself: If I finish pollarding a little copse I'm doing tomorrow without falling out a tree I'll buy your book by Friday evening. (Useless, late paying clients beside) The reviews are brilliant. Kind regards, Blair.

Re: wessex ridgeway

CTC Forum - MTB - 10 March 2015 - 9:14pm
Great campsite opposite Champernhayes - summer only but you never know.

http://www.brigsfarmcamping.co.uk/
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