Cycling UK Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 14 weeks 2 days ago

Re: First cycle tour

14 May 2016 - 7:40am
Can you plan a route that leaves you some alternatives? I don't know that part of the country, but in most places, it's possible to plan for at least a couple of alternatives. If you are going to stay in B&Bs, you could pick one that is 50ish miles away, then plan a route with a scenic loop, perhpas with a tourist destination or a secondary goal? At or near the end is best. Then you can decide on the day if you feel up to the longer route.

I often do that sort of thing (at shorter distances) travelling with kids, because they make the day unpredictable

Re: First cycle tour

14 May 2016 - 7:05am
You could be right about the mileage since I'm only used to short commutes and I may try a loaded day ride beforehand.

However, I would rate my fitness as very good and I'm used to walking for 7+ hours carrying 15+kg on multiple days on e.g. coastal paths which can be rather undulating. So I'm sure I'm capable but that doesn't mean I won't find it unexpectedly challenging.

Re: First cycle tour

14 May 2016 - 6:19am
I don't know how long or fast your commute is, but I really wouldn't underestimate how tough and hilly Devon and South Somerset can be. Going over Exmoor was tougher than anything I've ridden in the Alps.

Unless you are regularly doing day rides of 60 to 70 miles I would cut your target mileage. Or do some day rides to test what you can feasibly manage. Also bear in mind that it's not so much what you can do on day one that counts, but whether you can get up and do it again on day two and day three. Planning your route so that you have some bail-out options would be a good idea.

Re: Lightweight touring - How much can you pack in the bags?

13 May 2016 - 11:10pm
You are right on two counts, Natural Ankling; someone needs to lose weight (thanks for the reminder) and yes, on closer inspection, it is an optical illusion.

Re: Lightweight touring - How much can you pack in the bags?

13 May 2016 - 10:58pm
Hi,
Hah, its an optical illusion

Re: South Downs Way on a touring bike ??

13 May 2016 - 10:42pm
mercalia wrote:The Downs Link at that time was not very well surfaced, I hope it is better now?

Nope.


(OK, I know that the southern part is better now according to Squeaker. Everything else is still hit and miss.)

Re: Lyon to Ljubljana across the Alps: route advice

13 May 2016 - 9:59pm
Wow, thanks everyone for a tonne of useful tips, I'll post my own impressions after the ride! Thanks loads!!!!!!!!!!!!

Re: Lightweight touring - How much can you pack in the bags?

13 May 2016 - 9:46pm
Hmm.......I read it as two separate words, as in saddle is saggy and stem is twisted around. Brookes saddles tend to do that regardless of the riders weight and the bar is actually very curvy which if I hadn't read the story and saw the front facing photo I'd have thought the same.
Some febreeze would make it smell nice too

Re: Lightweight touring - How much can you pack in the bags?

13 May 2016 - 9:32pm
Vantage wrote:NATURAL ANKLING wrote:Hi,
Some one needs to lose weight or limit the stunts.........................saddle stem / other is bent

The bar is just really curved. It's shown properly on the story page of her link.

I thought saddle stem was another word for seat post. Looking at both bikes right now and I see no bend. Maybe I need Mr Sheen, Vantage?

Re: Lightweight touring - How much can you pack in the bags?

13 May 2016 - 9:27pm
NATURAL ANKLING wrote:Hi,
Some one needs to lose weight or limit the stunts.........................saddle stem / other is bent

The bar is just really curved. It's shown properly on the story page of her link.

Re: Lightweight touring - How much can you pack in the bags?

13 May 2016 - 9:26pm
NATURAL ANKLING wrote:Hi,
Some one needs to lose weight or limit the stunts.........................saddle stem / other is bent

Really? Which bike?

Re: Lightweight touring - How much can you pack in the bags?

13 May 2016 - 9:20pm
Hi,
Some one needs to lose weight or limit the stunts.........................saddle stem / other is bent

Re: Has anyone cycled the Camino?

13 May 2016 - 9:15pm
I have been looking at the Camino for 2017. I think the best option for me could be the Portugese route. I think it could be done in a week. I would like to spend a few weeks on the Road, but kids, job etc won't allow it
I haven't done too much research, but it could be possible to get flights into Porto and back from Santiago
Planning for 2017 and we haven't been on our 2016 tour yet!

Re: Lightweight touring - How much can you pack in the bags?

13 May 2016 - 8:37pm
Probly ran out of Mr Sheen.

Re: First cycle tour

13 May 2016 - 8:33pm
That sort of distance I'd be looking to get the train down to Plymouth (mainline, no changes) then cycling up the Devon coast to coast route to Barnstaple, then following the West Country Way from Barnstaple to Bristol.

Re: Looking for companion - Cycling Africa (Cairo to Cape To

13 May 2016 - 7:13pm
I admire the spirit, but also wonder if it's the best option? I've done several +/-1,000 mile bicycle tours in South Africa and Swaziland, and have also traveled to most countries in Africa that are south of the equator. To me, the route you are planning just seems more like hard work than a pleasure. It is do-able of that I agree, but would it be enjoyable? A lot of this route is riding for day after day and seeing very little, e.g the stretch after Malawi will take you through the bottom of Zambia, through Botswana then Namibia. That is 1,000's of miles with very little to see. Botswana for has some great places there like the Okavanga Delta, but you're not going to see that on a bicycle. Maybe, for your 7-8 month rather do something like fly to Cape Town and home from Nairobi? That way you can spend more time off the bike and experience things like the Kruger National Park (also not possible on a bicycle), surfing in Jeffrey's Bay, etc.
The other thing that must not be underestimated when travelling over land in Africa is border posts, and the ability they have to spoil you day, plans, and even holiday. The less borders you cross, the better.
What ever route you choose, I suggest you start in Cape Town and head north. South Africa is the most "first world" of all African countries and the further north you go the more roads, etc get tougher. Still great fun, but you are going to have a culture shock, so rather ease into it.
Good luck what ever route you choose, and let us know how you get on.

Re: South Downs Way on a touring bike ??

13 May 2016 - 7:00pm
tyreon wrote:I may be a bit prissy,but I think this path should be left to walkers. Yes,you can do it on a bike...but I think you'd get more out of it by foot and a rucsac. I don't like to see bikes on this path. I think you can do the Tour of Mont Blanc on a bike,but...I just don't like the machine on what I believe should be a walkers way. I don't know what I can liken my prejudice to? I guess unclassified small country roads visited by cycle tourists,now taken up a covoy of Hummers. All perfectly legal. But right? Having said that(and maybe opening myself to critics?),I also don't want to see horses using walkers paths. I see 4 wheel drives are taking to Greenways these days? Wotsgoingon? Still,I guess if I were younger its the sorta thing I might have considered

As it happens I walked the SDW the week before last. I saw quite a few more cyclists than walkers but it seemed perfectly natural to me. The path appears generally in very good condition with only a few short rutted sections. If it could be shown that cyclists were doing a lot of damage and spoiling things for walkers I might agree with you but the route was designed as a bridleway from the outset.

Now, if I started seeing cycles on e.g. coastal paths I would be properly horrified.

Re: Lightweight touring - How much can you pack in the bags?

13 May 2016 - 6:50pm
just as well u dont use panniers as they would have picked up so much mud you would wonder where the extra weight has come from

Re: Has Anyone Toured With a Guitar?

13 May 2016 - 6:48pm
A car boot, pocket money Ukulele might be more practical? And if you play guitar, you should adapt within about 10 mins

I find the uke can go from 'London Calling' to 'Ain't she Sweet' without too much problem - versatile and light.

Re: South Downs Way on a touring bike ??

13 May 2016 - 6:44pm
andymiller wrote:mercalia wrote:Toffee wrote:Mrs T and I cycled the SDW from Guildford to Shoreham just after Easter as part of our route to Paris.

Ground was quite wet in places and the bikes ended up very muddy but was perfectly doable on touring bike with panniers.

Our bodies were quite a bit shaken at the end and I wouldn't be hurrying to do it again, but it was OK for a one off

Derek
"a bit shaken" was also my experience of the The Downs Link - also a bad headache. I had to then push my bike up a steep track to Truleigh Hill YHA ( was some time ago I might add, never again )

The Downs Link and the South Downs Way are two quite different routes. If you were on the Downs Link and staying at the Truleigh YHA then it would indeed have come as a bit of a nasty shock - but I'm guessing you were on the SDW.

I know the difference. No I came down from London/Guildford on the Downs Link then found a track leading up to Truleigh YHA - was very steep, pushed the bike all the way. I had been looking for a straight line way to get there ( silly me ) When staying at the YHA I did go on the SDW a bit east wards - was a mixed ride but some great views, I walked as much as I cycled - not CX but CW cyclo-walk The Downs Link at that time was not very well surfaced, I hope it is better now?
 
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