Cycling UK Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 13 weeks 5 days ago

Re: Normandy Voie Verte.

12 May 2016 - 11:14am
I rode this section as part of the Tour de Manche route. I was on a touring bike with 1.5" tyres and carrying luggage. I had no problems at all during the ride with surfaces. IIRC that section was mainly wide, compacted gravel through woodland with some nice sections along river towpaths.

Re: New Route Planner

12 May 2016 - 11:01am
gobybike wrote:Like Richard, I've been experimenting with electronic route planning too, as I've used electronic maps + hub dynamo charger for my last couple of tours. There's a great Android map called maps.me from Germany, which allows offline browsing and can import routes, but those actual tracks were the problem. I've never been too convinced with autorouting and editing downloading GPX tracks is laborious at best.

So I've come up with a different approach. A interactive tool to plot routes, but which can cope with multi-day trips matched to an accommodation database of campsites & hostels. It's taken ages to put together but still got a few rough edges, but I'd appreciate some feedback if anyone fancies a go.

http://www.gobybike.co.uk

Thanks
Kevin
I think the requirement to register before being able to do anything will discourage people (stopped me completely). Many worry about giving their e-mail address out due to the risks of subsequent unstoppable SPAM (which can and does happen - no reflection on gobybike). Perceived as an even greater risk when a professional looking site offering everything for free (i.e. where do they make their money .. you are the "product" ... and my e-mail address). Also, these days there is a big problem that when you register or create an account on something online, there is rarely an means to delete that registration/account.

Also, as an "unknown quantity" people will like to experiment a bit, check out how well it works and how easy it is before joining (just like people "lurk" before joining a forum).

My own thoughts are that if a site needs accounts/registrations more will be forthcoming if they provide a reasonable level of functionality to all (un-registered, no account, no details). Then for the extra stuff to require an account. e.g. anybody (unregistered, no details) can create a route on-screen (from A to B via C, D, E, etc., dragging/tweaking route, etc. - everything to visualise the route on-screen). But to save that route to pass it to other devices, etc. then require registration/accounts.

If income is sought through advertising you can record visits, unique visits, routes designed, etc. as well as accounts (I'd expect advertisers to be more interested in activity than number of accounts where many have not been used in years). If income is through having/using/selling e-mail addresses ... then that brings us to the SPAM problem.

etc.

Ian

Cycling from England to Japan (and onto India)

12 May 2016 - 10:56am
Hey all. I'm Jamie and I have recently completed a six month tour around Europe as part of my round the world route. I did this on my own as I really do love to travel solo. Having said that, I quite interested to know if anyone else is doing something similar this year......I had to go back to England for a wedding after the tour last summer and decided to stay there for the duration of the winter. I have now set off again and have already cycled through Scandinavia to Estonia where I will be leaving soon and heading south through Eastern Europe and onto Turkey before continuing East. My question thus is if there is anyone out there who is taking a similar route? If so then perhaps we can hook up and cycle some of it together, perhaps not all of it but perhaps some of it. Who knows?

Like I said i am used to travelling solo but i think on a trip such as this, it would be nice to have some company for a part of the way no matter how brief. Well get in touch if you think our routes might connect. Love to hear from you.

The link to my blog is www.afishoutofwater.nl

Many thanks Jamie

Normandy Voie Verte.

12 May 2016 - 10:35am
I'm touring from Caen to Cherbourg via the TDF at MSM in the summer and was wondering has anyone cycled the Voie Verte from Vire- Montain- heading west to Avranches and Mont St Michel?

Any advice on what the surfaces are like? I've ridden the Voie Vertes further north (Coutances-Cherbourg) and they were a bit rough in places. Just wondering if these were any different?

Ta!



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Re: New Route Planner

12 May 2016 - 10:07am
Bmblbzzz wrote:Maybe for cycle.travel you could do something similar to the Mapbox approach but, within the UK, recruit volunteers -- after all, it is a free service to use -- who would investigate notified corrections local to them and confirm or deny them. Of course, this still relies on those volunteers agreeing with you, themselves and others, on some standardised assessment of surface conditions, and on the volume of corrections not exceeding the limits of their free time and energy. It might not be feasible, but if you think it is, I volunteer for my area!
OSM already has its own guidance on surface condition: http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:surface
For the limited number of issues which would be raised by cycle.travel it would be easier just to have them added as map notes in osm where they can be checked by one of the local contributors.
IME Incorrect surface tagging is a much less frequent problem than no surface tagging. The best thing an eager local cyclist can do in this regard is add surface information to local paths open to cyclists, particularly - if short on time - those which differ from what routers will assume from the type of path egs. tarmacked tracks, paths and bridleways or unpaved cycleways.

Re: New Route Planner

12 May 2016 - 8:37am
gobybike wrote:Like Richard, I've been experimenting with electronic route planning too, as I've used electronic maps + hub dynamo charger for my last couple of tours. There's a great Android map called maps.me from Germany, which allows offline browsing and can import routes, but those actual tracks were the problem. I've never been too convinced with autorouting and editing downloading GPX tracks is laborious at best.

So I've come up with a different approach. A interactive tool to plot routes, but which can cope with multi-day trips matched to an accommodation database of campsites & hostels. It's taken ages to put together but still got a few rough edges, but I'd appreciate some feedback if anyone fancies a go.

http://www.gobybike.co.uk

Thanks
Kevin

How is the panning of the map supposed to work? I don't seem to be able to pan the map with any sort of control. More often than not I end up drawing a random line on the map. Also there only seems to be one level of undo which when combined with the above panning results in random lines you can't get rid of. Is there a worked example (maybe a video) of how you would use it to plan a trip? I couldn't find one. Also I'm not a fan of sites that require registration for "all features" what am I missing by not registering? If it is simply not being able to save stuff then that is fine as I just want to try it out, but if other things don't work then I think you will fail to capture users like me.

Also I think you should really start a new thread for this. It seem unfair to hijack the original one which is about another (rival) site.

Re: New Route Planner

12 May 2016 - 8:14am
gobybike wrote:Like Richard, I've been experimenting with electronic route planning too, as I've used electronic maps + hub dynamo charger for my last couple of tours. There's a great Android map called maps.me from Germany, which allows offline browsing and can import routes, but those actual tracks were the problem. I've never been too convinced with autorouting and editing downloading GPX tracks is laborious at best.

So I've come up with a different approach. A interactive tool to plot routes, but which can cope with multi-day trips matched to an accommodation database of campsites & hostels. It's taken ages to put together but still got a few rough edges, but I'd appreciate some feedback if anyone fancies a go.

http://www.gobybike.co.uk

Thanks
Kevin
It's not working for me. The map zoom is unusable; either showing the whole of the British Isles or zooming in very close on random places. No user controllability. Windows 8.1, Opera.

Re: New Route Planner

12 May 2016 - 8:07am
Richard Fairhurst wrote:It's an interesting area - full of promise but difficult to get right!

A few car navigation apps are now letting their users report issues directly to OSM - Navmii, for example - but there's often a signal-to-noise problem: issues get logged on OSM which aren't actually a problem with the OSM data, but with the navigation app not parsing it correctly.

Or you can do what Mapbox do, which is log the issues internally (rather than on OSM) and then get your squadron of paid editors to make the corrections, but that can result in remote editors stomping on correct local data.

And then there's the new version of maps.me, which lets you edit a few things in OSM (mostly POIs) directly from the app. Pro: thousands more people are contributing to OSM overnight, which has to be good. Con: we've had people using it to persistently add Chinese translations to (say) Italian restaurants in Vienna which don't actually have Chinese names.

I'd very much like to do something along these lines, but without falling into any of those traps. I'm tending towards logging the issues externally (i.e. on cycle.travel rather than directly on OSM), but unlike what Mapbox do, making the list public so any OSMers can view it and fix the issues. Lots to think about...

(Incidentally, if you're not aware, you can now log an issue directly on openstreetmap.org without having to edit the data or indeed register; use the little speech bubble icon on the right. It helps if you do register, because then you've clicked the agreement that basically says "I'm not copying from Google Maps" - we can't guarantee that for unregistered users, so can't always take the reports on trust.)
Maybe for cycle.travel you could do something similar to the Mapbox approach but, within the UK, recruit volunteers -- after all, it is a free service to use -- who would investigate notified corrections local to them and confirm or deny them. Of course, this still relies on those volunteers agreeing with you, themselves and others, on some standardised assessment of surface conditions, and on the volume of corrections not exceeding the limits of their free time and energy. It might not be feasible, but if you think it is, I volunteer for my area!

Re: New Route Planner

12 May 2016 - 1:05am
meic wrote:I am also Firefox V46.01 and Windows 10 Home 64bit and it works fine for me.
Still not doing it for me. The other factor that could possibly be making a difference is Logitech mouse software.

Rick.

Re: Northern England Road Cycling Tour - any help appreciate

12 May 2016 - 1:02am
Another +1 for the Lancashire Cycleway. I did it in 4 days riding (although only 2 were carrying gear as I live near the southern end of the southern loop.

1st leg I did was the Southern loop from Rivington (near Bolton) clockwise to Whalley - 71 miles of rolling terrain. (I got the train home from Whalley - on the Bolton to Clitheroe line through Blackburn)
2nd leg Train back to Whalley then rode Clockwise round the Northern loop 78 mostly flat miles to Silverdale (a bit of rollling terrain at each end) 1st day then 51 miles, rather hillier but concentrated in the middle third, back to Whalley the next (& train home).
3rd leg Train to Whalley then final 64 miles clockwise to Rivington. This was for me the hardest leg, quite a few hard hills (although I did this final bit after a bit of a gap so fitness - or lack of it - may have been a part of how hard it felt).

You could arrive at Whalley & stay there 2 nights (or more if you plan to stay over at the beginning and/or the end) & possibly leave stuff there.

Day 1 Park (if travelling by car) in Whalley then get the train to, say, Bromley Cross (direct train). Ride round back to Whalley (that would be about 82 miles but mostly relatively easy terrain).
Day 2 Ride remainder of southern loop back to Bromley Cross (~56 miles - so the hardest bit would be shorter) & get train back to Whalley.
Day 3 Whalley to Silverdale on Northern loop (78 miles), stay in Silverdale.
Day 4 Complete Northern loop, Silverdale to Whalley then head home.

You could swap day 2 with day 1 if you wanted the hills out of the way earlier or do it, as I did, after completing the Northern loop. You could do one, or both, loops anticlockwise.

Regards

Rick.

Re: New Route Planner

12 May 2016 - 12:09am
I am also Firefox V46.01 and Windows 10 Home 64bit and it works fine for me.

Re: Has Anyone Toured With a Guitar?

12 May 2016 - 12:07am
I've not toured but I have successfully transported an electric guitar strapped on top of a Carry Freedom City trailer, with associated gubbins stored in the bag underneath. I've also transported it strapped to one side of myCirce Helios tandem, with the cargo rack (mk 1) instead of the stoker seat (a la Surly Big Dummy) with stuff in panniers on the other side. Both options worked OK, the solo & trailer being the slightly lighter option and felt more "normal" bike handling wise.

Rick.

Re: New Route Planner

11 May 2016 - 11:55pm
gobybike wrote:Brilliant, thanks for the feedback.

It does indeed use Open CycleMap and Cyclestreets, although unlike Richard's I don't really see it as a route planner, more a tour planner as it does lots of other stuff. So for now Cyclestreets just fills in the gaps as you plot manually or import a route. Their new API has been imminent for a while, so I am hoping for better results from it.

I've just tested it with Edge, and it worked fine for me, with quite a slow connection. There are a lot of Ajax calls going to both Mapquest & Cyclestreets, although both are supposed to time out if the reply is slow. Strange. Appreciate it if anyone else has a try.
Completely unusable in Firefox (v46.0.1 running on Windows 10 Pro 64 bit). Dragging the map & cursor keys generally did nothing, although one attempt at dragging just gave me a route round the middle of the Irish Sea as it registered as clicks instead! The only way I managed to move around the map is using the rectangle on the bottom right zoomed out map (which is too zoomed out to be able to find anywhere). Got the circling dominoes of doom for several minutes at one point. Not good so far!

Rick.

Re: New Route Planner

11 May 2016 - 6:42pm
Brilliant, thanks for the feedback.

It does indeed use Open CycleMap and Cyclestreets, although unlike Richard's I don't really see it as a route planner, more a tour planner as it does lots of other stuff. So for now Cyclestreets just fills in the gaps as you plot manually or import a route. Their new API has been imminent for a while, so I am hoping for better results from it.

I've just tested it with Edge, and it worked fine for me, with quite a slow connection. There are a lot of Ajax calls going to both Mapquest & Cyclestreets, although both are supposed to time out if the reply is slow. Strange. Appreciate it if anyone else has a try.

Re: Northern England Road Cycling Tour - any help appreciate

11 May 2016 - 4:36pm
There are about four coast to coast routes across the Pennines. If you mark them out on a map (info off the web) together way the Dales Cycleway (excellent) and join up a few loose ends with your own bits you should be able to cobble together something really good. Start with the Coast to Coast and the Way of the Roses, perhaps, and look for ways of joining them to make a circuit.

The Lake District can be a bit too busy with traffic and requires a love of very steep climbs and descents. Make sure you know what you are doing before you venture that way.

Re: Has Anyone Toured With a Guitar?

11 May 2016 - 4:22pm
LollyKat wrote:I wonder if the Dutch have something available off the peg? A Dutch friend told me there is an attachment which will hold a cello on one side of the rear carrier.
I've not found that but did find http://www.fiedler-cases.de/en/fiedler-backpack-system/ which isn't cheap.

I'm sure I've answered this question on another forum recently. Is this the same requester?

Re: New Route Planner

11 May 2016 - 4:19pm
The map/routing page doesn't seem functional for me at the moment. My browser has crashed and I've received "long running script" notifications several times. My browser is Microsoft Edge.
It seems you're using the Opencyclemap maps and Cyclestreets routing. Has the routing algorithm been tweaked or will the routing be the same as that obtained from Cyclestreets?

Re: Rail: To Oban

11 May 2016 - 12:36pm
tyreon wrote:But hold on,that's expecting the trains to take the x2 bikes!? And the site splits up the journey making connecting trains...within minutes? How do I know I will be able to get from one platform to another with x2 loaded bikes wherein 1 platform doesn't have any lift,and the other overhead bridge and 30 steps up,25 steps down? Go to google,search out some platform spy type camera. The logistics of going to tour on Scottish West Coast Islands seems increasingly fraught/costly.

Fitter,younger,more dedicated cyclists will go to the islands for x2/x3 booked weeks, rain or shine. Not me. I go up,x4 days of strong winds with lashing rain,I'm coming home: no wish to rip up £50 notes or a later stay in hospital: exhaustion and double pneumonia.

Your advice,experience?

I would follow what monxton's advice. The sleeper trains are brilliant.

Open returns are always going to be the most expensive option. You could save yorself a lot if you looked at off-peak tickets which can be almost as flexible but a lot cheaper. I'd be tempted to get the cheapest advance fare and then if things go really wrong pay up the extra for new tickets. Check the terms and conditions though - some tickets may well allow you to get a refund (less an admin fee).

There are online booking sites (eg Virgin East Coast, GWR, Chiltern Railways) which let you book the bike places online (assuming that it is possible to reserve places). But get a place on the sleeper train and the rest should be plain sailing.

You should plan your journey to allow enough time for platform changes/delays. I'd avoid any change that leaves you with less than 30 minutes to change trains (OK maybe make that 15 if the alternative is waiting for a very long time).

Mainline stations will have lifts. IIRC the national rail enquiries service website has information on lifts at stations. Otherwise google wheelchair access for the station you are worried about. The worst case is that you may have to take your panniers off the bike and carry it. With two people you can do it in relays.

The biggest problem you may face is the work due to the Queen Street tunnel closure. I'd start a new thread about that - I assume that it would be possible to cycle out of Glasgow and catch the train at a station after the tunnel, but it would be best to get the advice of a local.

You may also be able to get reductions with a senior railcard if you are over 60 (rather than a fifty-something laying it on bit thick).

Re: Northern England Road Cycling Tour - any help appreciate

11 May 2016 - 11:39am
A word of advice: If you haven't toured with weight on the bike before, you may be surprised how much extra effort it takes. 75 miles a day in the lake district on a heavy bike is pretty tough going by most people's standards.

Re: Long touring without front panniers

11 May 2016 - 11:35am
I've toured and camped with two and four pannier set-ups and must confess that It's a struggle to get everything in two bags and a bar bag, but it can be done. A frame bag will obviously give you a bit extra and that would help, but one thing you'll certainly miss is the stability that front panniers give so you might want to try a descent or two before you commit to a long tour.
 
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