Cycling UK Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 1 year 17 weeks ago

Re: Eurostar and bikes (again!)

3 March 2016 - 10:51am
Lateral thinking - 4 people - 2 fully assembled bikes per train* = take 2 trains (they run every 30 minutes) - with all passengers going together on the same train - and wait for the second train to arrive ... we did this for a group of 13 (when they used to take 8 bikes per train) - painless.

The EuroDespatch people are really helpful and will hold a bike booking while you make the passenger booking.


* it is not a pre-requisite that passengers and bikes travel on the same train - you hand your bike in at St Pancras in the depths of the station and at Gare du Nord collect them about 200 yards up the side of the far left platform.

Re: Eurostar and bikes (again!)

3 March 2016 - 10:05am
Dismantling just requires rotating the handlebars and removing pedals though. Should only take a moment to do.

Re: Hook of Holland to Amsterdam with 9yr old twins

3 March 2016 - 9:57am
We did a similar tour leaving the Hook of Holland and cycling up the Rhine via Amsterdam , Amelsfoort and Arnhem.
The cycling from Hook to Haarlem is all on dedicated cycle paths along the sand dunes: very pleasant indeed (providing it is not windy!) and your two 9 year olds will love it.
We stayed athe Hotel Carillon in Haarlem city centre opposite the cathedral with a huge choice of where to eat in the evening.
The added bonus of staying at the Carillon was the undercover secure cycle garage just 25m round the corner from the hotel in the city centre where you can safely leave your bike overnight. Just beware, if you want to leave early on Sunday, the bike garage does not open early (this is not a problem Monday through to Saturday)

Eurostar and bikes (again!)

3 March 2016 - 9:45am
Four of us are cycling Loire a Velo this summer. The plan is to travel to Paris on Eurostar and then on another train to Nevers to start the tour. Taking bikes on the Nevers train does not seem to be a problem.

I called the Euro Dispatch office and inquired about booking four bikes, to be told "you can only take 2 assembled bikes, the other two have to be dismantled and put in a box. We will supply the boxes."
With fully laden panniers to cope with as well, we are beginning to think the Eurostar option is too much hassle and are now considering taking the ferry from Portsmouth particularly since presumably we will have the same routine on the way home via Gare du Nord.

Question: from your experience, what is the chances we will be able to get away with 4 fully assembled bikes when we turn up for Eurostar or will be required to dismantle 2 of them?

Many Thanks

North Coast 500, Parking in Inverness

2 March 2016 - 10:16pm
Hello Everybody..

Hoping to do The North coast 500 in May & was wondering if anybody knows of a good free parking spot in Inverness ? Look's like the route starts from the Inverness castle area.. If anybody else has done the route & can pass on any good advice, camping, places of interest, Detours worth taking, eating out...etc. Will probably be rough camping mainly, but will use campsites if I need to..

Kind Regards..


Re: Chromebook

2 March 2016 - 8:55pm
I was wondering about applications not specific named programs, obviously many specific programs wont work unless they run in Chrome. Google maps and Osmand run in Chrome. A laptop will be used at the planning stage not in a car or on a bike. Both Google Maps and Osmand can be downloaded onto tablets and phones which are more suitable for navigation.

I would agree that if you have shelled out £'s you might be reluctant to dump your existing software. When I retired from running a small IT company years ago I cleaned up my machine and took all licenced software off replacing it with free stuff except getting a new licence for Photoshop and later Lightroom.

I would agree with that list of the 5% who do professional things Chromebooks arent for professionals they are for average home users looking for inexpensive simplicity. Macs are for Graphic Designers and Photographers, PCs for Engineering Designers and most Architects.

I dont miss the upgrades that constantly grab your Windows PC, the viruses, the malware, the slow boot up and the hours spent recovering from various problems or the expense. Thats what many ordinary users would like to loose like all the Microsoft jokes testify.


Re: Hook of Holland to Amsterdam with 9yr old twins

2 March 2016 - 7:59pm
MartinBrice wrote:MrsHJ wrote:I which maps are you going to take?These are the best maps: ... outes.html
£25 inc postage, the whole country on individual waterproof paper maps at two miles to the inch. All cycle routes shown. Fit in bar bag ma[case.
Clever people, the Dutch.

Ordered. thank you

Re: Chromebook for touring?

2 March 2016 - 7:19pm
al_yrpal wrote:I would be interested to hear what applications you cant find on a Chromebook? ...
Starry Night, DSS, Registax, Lightroom, Astroplanner, MS Word, MS Excel,, etc. FireFox, etc. Basically a Chromebook is a "thin client". It runs a browser. I would suspect from it's architecture that you would not even be able to download offline mapping (though that thought is based on the nature on the architecture and Google's attitude to offline mapping - which might have changed since I last checked)

Sometimes you need more that "something that opens that type of file". At one time I switched from MS Excel to OpenOffice part way through an assessed project (on my Distance Learning degree course) and ploughed on until just before submission I noticed all the graphs had one axis the wrong way round. After some panic I found that whilst OpenOffice will open Excel spreadsheets it is not 100% and did not support the Excel "Invert Axis" setting and instead of warning just ignored it!!

If you are used to existing software, have "investment" in that software (e.g. in time, documents, data, purchase) then whilst there might be other stuff that does something similar it is not always what you want.

Recently I thought rather than pay out to update my very old MS Office I could switch to Apple Pages, Numbers, etc. which I had for free. After all, they open MS Office documents ... except the formatting you get is "not good", not even acceptable. MS put vast amounts of effort into making the MS Office for Windows and MS Office for Mac to display/print/handle documents exactly the same. Other "will open those files" developers don't.

As said by one Chromebook enthusiast:
I confess that Chromebook isn’t “for everyone”, as Google’s marketing tagline claims. But the list of people least likely to be satisfied is a short one and shrinks with each new Chrome OS update:

    Demanding gamers
    Software developers
    Heavy video producers
    Professional photographers
    Desktop software-dependent software users
    Anyone who can’t maintain a persistent net connection


Re: Norwegian touring.

2 March 2016 - 6:55pm
Never mind internet trolls, silly word for silly people, there are real trolls in Norway. Generally under bridges but also on mountain tops hurling boulders down. Even on a few road signs, watch out !

Re: Chromebook

2 March 2016 - 6:21pm
Check out the Chromebook Pixel C. It's android, a tablet AND has a detachable keyboard.

Re: Norwegian touring.

2 March 2016 - 5:41pm
I think by taking a fairly direct route from Trondheim to Oslo you are missing most of what is best in Norway. The direct and obvious route is that of the E6 road which is the main N-S road in Norway which is to be thoroughly avoided by cyclists, for its heavy traffic and numerous closed tunnels (and they won't be tunnels quiet enough for you to nip through regardless). So it will be a game to avoid that. Also, the E6 follows the broad Gudbrand valley (or Gudbrandsdal) for much of its length, which is the major valley of Norway, with numerous deep tributaries. So trying to get out of that valley puts you in major conflict with the grain of the terrain. You can keep east of it fairly easily, which is missing even more of nice Norway, in a sense, but trying to keep west but parallel to it basically throws the whole idea into a cocked hat because you have to go a long way west, though, sadly, not really far enough... And the high passes which you would like to use to avoid various unpleasantnesses can still be closed at that date.

If you are going for a long route, well you have many alternatives. Tromso to Trondheim, via the islands, is a 3 week tour, much more interesting than the one you suggest. If your aim is to cycle beyond Norway then you can go through the fjords and find the ferry to Jutland (continental Denmark). Many cyclists do find the fjords and mountains between the sea and the route you suggest another major highlight of Norway.

It can still be cold in early June, even in the south. The summer is short in Norway.

Re: Chromebook

2 March 2016 - 5:06pm
Andy, I had a look and there isnt currently anything like that. That said I think Polarr is about 3Mb of code. Polarr has only been around for a year, perhaps they intend adding something at some stage. Its now available for ios, Windows and Android too.

I have heard rumours that Android Apps will all run on Chromebooks at some point which will vastly increase the amount of programs available.


Re: Danube from its source to Budapest

2 March 2016 - 4:15pm
Did this ride several years ago & really enjoyed it.
Flew to Basle & then caught train to Tuttlingen & then started ride from there.

Re: Chromebook

2 March 2016 - 3:54pm
Is there a good photo viewer/sorter that works with RAW images? One of my main uses of PC based lightroom is to download (sometimes hundreds of) RAW images from my camera and then to quickly sort through them and select the ones I want to upload to my public photo storage. Lightroom is very good for this, you can use the rating feature or simply mark photos as a "pick" then you can select all images with a rating above, or select all picks and then convert them to .jpg for upload. I had a quick look at the Polarr app and that does a great job of editing adjusting RAW images but as far as I can tell does not seem to have the selecting/sorting/exporting feature of Lightroom.

Re: Norwegian touring.

2 March 2016 - 2:59pm
Well we did have to find a different route because a ferry was not yet running.

Re: Norwegian touring.

2 March 2016 - 2:54pm
willem jongman wrote:Loved Cycletourer's tunnel website. That should be very useful. I had an Edelux headlight, but that was not nearly bright enough entering tunnels from broad daylight. The road surface in those dark and wet tunnels could be very bad, with huge potholes.
Do not forget that some ferries may not run because of frozen fjords etc. I was quite pleased with my 50 mm Marathon Extreme Tyres, though others managed with Big Apples. Of course, they had the edge on tarmac, but I was happy with the extra grip on gravel roads.
I hope no fjords are frozen in june!

On main roads, tunnels typically have a good road surface and lighting. The worst ones tend to be on cycling / walking routes rather than roads, but they also aren't so long. Generally, the long tunnels should be avoided. They aren't very nice places to cycle. The alternative is invariably, higher, hillier, and incredibly beautiful (but may still be snowy in June).

Re: Norwegian touring.

2 March 2016 - 2:44pm
I have indeed seen nice modern tunnels with good lights and smooth tarmac. However, I have also seen the unlit damp ones with huge potholes.

Re: Chromebook for touring?

2 March 2016 - 2:32pm
jacksonz wrote:Skype???

Yes, you can use Skype and MS Outlook. But to what extent I am not sure. In the world of Google we use Hangouts which does what Skype does and more I am told, and its free. ... romebooks/


Re: Chromebook for touring?

2 March 2016 - 2:00pm

Re: Chromebook for touring?

2 March 2016 - 1:42pm
I would be interested to hear what applications you cant find on a Chromebook?

Although I am not running any Windows software at all I havent found a single thing I cant do yet. Admitedly tbe programs I use arent identical to Windows programs they work fine and do all I need. Basecamp isnt available, but then I dont use Garmins to navigate. Osmand and run fine in Chrome and work well.
If you use your PC to play games you may be disappointed. I dont, so I am not. If you have loads of spreadsheet macros they would have to be rewritten in Scripts which are quite powerful. But the Google Docs and Sheets are fine for non experts

Changing operating systems is a big step but when it offers incredibly inexpensive hassle free mobility and excellent synchronisation between laptop phone and tablet its worth considering for the vast majority who only do pretty basic things with these devices.

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