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Re: Critiques of routes for touring

Cycling UK Forum - Touring & Expedition - 3 April 2016 - 8:18pm
I think it's too early for people to give me Gloucester --> Leicester advice as my route is changing too much.

However, here are the routes I have so far:

Gloucester to Stratford-Upon-Avon via the Cotswolds: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/dir/Glouc ... .19173!3e1 This has one massive hill up to Cleeve Hill in the Cotswolds, but is otherwise reasonably flat. I've never been to the Cotswolds. This is different from my previous route, and goes nowhere near Tewkesbury.

Here's an 'other side of the Severn' route inspired by BMLBuzz's advice. It was quite hard to avoid A-roads, and there are some bits that are basically diversions to avoid them. Refinement is necessary. I don't know which of these two routes will be the one I do. There does seem to be more hills on this route. It's also ten miles longer. This may not be a bad thing as originally the Gloucester trip was going to be the first time I did 100 miles in one day, but the trip got shorter. This route would make it longer again.
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/dir/Glouc ... .19173!3e1 EDIT: This isn't that hilly. I just noticed the small range between the highest and lowest elevation reached on this route.

From Stratford-Upon-Avon to Leicester, I was thinking of using the Fosse way for easy navigation. There is a big hill, Friz Hill, between S-U-A and the Fosse Way. https://www.google.co.uk/maps/dir/Strat ... 484838!3e1

I wouldn't mind hearing bits of information about these areas. But I'm concerned that if people give me specific advice about a route that I'm still working on (e.g. I've sent emails to organisations and tourist information centres asking questions) then there is a risk that the advice might not get used. I don't want to waste anyone's time.

Re: Which bit of the North Coast 500 in 5-7 Days?

Cycling UK Forum - Touring & Expedition - 3 April 2016 - 8:04pm
I'm doing it in July. Just a word of warning some parts are remote, accommodation is few and far between and some are already booked.

I've found Google maps to be the best place to find accommodation

Re: Dogs on cycle paths - how many where you live?

Cycling UK Forum - On the road - 3 April 2016 - 7:43pm
greyingbeard wrote:I like playful dogs, even the big ones. Ive yet to be so hassled by one that I've had to take control of it and march it back to its owner. Looking forward to it, tbh, provided I dont get bitten, that would not make a good day out.

I love them, others dont. I do see their point of view. Those who dont like them often get anxious and afraid, then situations get confrontational which is unpleasant for all involved. Nothing worse than an anxious over-reactive owner who gets stroppy and ups the ante, transmits her fear straight down the lead etc. Then they start the blaming nonsense. IMHO a lot of owners dont ubderstand how their pets tiny mind works, join in, fught their childrens squabbles etc. There are very few overtly aggressive dogs, but many that will react to their owners feelings.

Best way to behave is to calm oneself down, deep slow breaths as needed, then talk sensibly to people. Easier said than achieved.
Of course, those with a strong dislike of dogs tend to avoid the doggy areas. A mile further on is almost always dog-free.

My dog has only ever shown interest in one person on a bike, and knocked him off - me.
Who can I blame, shout at, and denounce to the authorities ?
Of course, the council, its always their fault, "they should do something about it". Nice soft grass verges to land on please.

When you think that as cyclists we have our lives at risk sharing the road with 1 tonne vehicles (or more) so we have the option to use a shared path. In this case we get bitten, chased, barked at or sometimes run over their defecation. Just today I ran over a dog sh!t and while i was at work a dog p!ssed against our work sign. No apology from the owner.

To be honest dogs are a big problem in many ways, not just while cycling. There are over 9 million of them in the UK.

Over 650 people have to go to A&E every day in England alone due to dog bites. some of these bites cause life changin consequences. All recreational grounds are infected with toxocariasis due to dogs feaces.

Why we got rid of dog licencing i don't know.

Re: Barbed Wire Trap set on trail in Kent

Cycling UK Forum - MTB - 3 April 2016 - 7:27pm
Lance Dopestrong wrote:reohn2 wrote:Taken to it's logical conclusion it is terrorism

It's then use of unlawful force to achieve a political objective? How does that work?

Depending on the motive it's anything from being a pecker through to attempted murder, but I can't quite see the link with terrorism.

It's an attempt at maiming or murder which is terrorising other users of the path.
Whether that's for political reasons or out of sheer madness is anyone's guess,I dare say those that did it weren't available for comment or prepared to issue a press release

Re: Which bit of the North Coast 500 in 5-7 Days?

Cycling UK Forum - Touring & Expedition - 3 April 2016 - 7:27pm
I just spent a week based in (Fasag) Torridin. Lots of incredible scenery and routes including Isle of Skye, Applecros and of course the Beallach - not for the faint hearted! Lots of very nice and down to earth eateries

Re: Edinburgh hostel - secure bike storage

Cycling UK Forum - Touring & Expedition - 3 April 2016 - 7:21pm
Hope you got accommodation sorted. FYI Edinburgh Waverley station is very central and has bike racks. Pretty safe in there.

Re: My best route so far

Cycling UK Forum - On the road - 3 April 2016 - 7:06pm
Bleedin' gadgets.

And a ride ain't no fun unless you get lost.

Re: A positive thread

Cycling UK Forum - On the road - 3 April 2016 - 6:58pm
Mrs gaz and I took a little pootle out this afternoon to a couple of the local National Trust places .

Lots of other people out riding in the sunshine too.

Re: new(ish) Ortliebs

Cycling UK Forum - Touring & Expedition - 3 April 2016 - 6:48pm
Just put some new inserts into my old style ones (i had them hanging around) and sure enough one of the inserts in particular stays on the rack whenever I pull up on the pannier. Suppose I should be grateful that as yet it is not dropping on the floor. Still a pain picking it off the rack and reinserting it every time.

Still bemused by how a german company could design a critical insert which pushes up into a holder which is itself pulled up.

Re: Would you rather..

Cycling UK Forum - Touring & Expedition - 3 April 2016 - 4:01pm
I don't really like headwinds but it also depends on how strong the wind is, if the sun is out, how far you have to go, what the scenery is like, who you are with, etc, etc.

Riding in a tailwind is usually fun regardless of the other weather conditions. Being blown downwind in a gale in the rain, splashing through puddles can be brilliant.

Saying that, we just rode up N Uist into the wind then ended up riding down Skye into the wind too as it had changed direction. It was still a great ride though.

Re: Hand-Built Wheels - Expectations

Cycling UK Forum - Touring & Expedition - 3 April 2016 - 3:50pm
Thanks for the update. I'm going to be buying a new rear wheel soon. So I'll consider using Hewitt. Either them or Spa.

Re: What should we have in our bunkhouse

Cycling UK Forum - Touring & Expedition - 3 April 2016 - 3:47pm
Pete Jack wrote: And if you do find a tool missing what do you do about it? Chase them down the road? (if you know who inadvertently took it.) Suppose you had a party of ten leaving, Who keeps tabs on the tools then?

My words were fairly deliberate. You can check at a glance, whether you'd want to I don't know - at £50 you could probably buy a new one each year. But if I were borrowing a £50 toolkit I wouldn't resent paying a £20 deposit and making sure everything was present and correct when I returned it - or resent the person who lent me the kit taking a second or two to make sure nothing is missing.

Re: Hand-Built Wheels - Expectations

Cycling UK Forum - Touring & Expedition - 3 April 2016 - 3:39pm
long overdue but thought it decent to finally reply and say actually that the wheels were brilliant.
9 months touring through Asia without a hint of an issue.
In fact my gf managed to get her front wheel stuck in a rut between some planks on a bridge, then proceeded to fall over sideways on the fully loaded bike (30kg ish). I expected the wheel to be pretty badly deformed, but it wasnt and only took a couple of minutes to re-tension the spokes again.
When i heard first-hand some of the stories of other tourers with persistent wheel issues, i was really happy we spent a bit more on having them hand built.
Builder was Hewitt Cycles in the UK. highly recommend!

Re: What should we have in our bunkhouse

Cycling UK Forum - Touring & Expedition - 3 April 2016 - 3:09pm
andymiller wrote:The toolbox with a place for everything should mean you can check at a glance whether everything is present and correct, just in case anyone absentmindedly forgets to return a tool to the box.

And when it comes to what to put in the vending machine you could include disposable latex gloves, wet wipes, and puncture repair patches. I don't believe this checking will happen. For many years I was a member of a successful caving club and disappearing kit was a perennial problem.That was in a club where your membership had to be approved by a committee without the kind of people who think that because they paid for a room the towels etc. are theirs. And if you do find a tool missing what do you do about it? Chase them down the road? (if you know who inadvertently took it.) Suppose you had a party of ten leaving, Who keeps tabs on the tools then?

I do like the idea about the vending machine

Re: Lowest gear for touring including load-pulling

Cycling UK Forum - Touring & Expedition - 3 April 2016 - 2:55pm
wheel71 wrote: Any lower and I'd fall off.Absolutely.

Some few years ago, my bottom gear was 27" ................... and TBH, I reckon that the lower gears are more difficult. Once or twice, I have (recently) been getting up the hill to home in second gear.

My lowest gear is 22" nowadays and that is only for getting me up the steep hill to get home, but maybe it's too low.

and you thought you had a heavy load?

Cycling UK Forum - On the road - 3 April 2016 - 2:28pm
read this story


I bet not single 32 spoke light weight wheel around

new(ish) Ortliebs

Cycling UK Forum - Touring & Expedition - 3 April 2016 - 2:25pm
Decent tutorial.

As an extra observation, I bought a length of black air hose with the same internal diameter as both racks a couple of years back for the same reason. The colour doesn't detract from the whole rig and air hose is pretty rubbery but tough. I guess it has to be for it's designed function. The panniers are quiet now and the racks aren't being eaten by my Ortliebs anymore. I took the inserts off the bags btw.

Re: Marin muirwoods as a tourer

Cycling UK Forum - Touring & Expedition - 3 April 2016 - 1:58pm
i bought a couple of 1994-edition (i think) steel framed Marin Muirwoods as a way to get a cheap steel frame. replaced all the parts with new stuff.
We rode them on a 9month tour through Asia.

Frames were great... although i managed to snap one chainstay on mine halfway through the tour... though that's probably more a manufacturing defect.

Geometry-wise there's a couple of things to think about (i didnt notice either of these things until i swapped to the Surly Frame [same parts]) halfway through the tour.
* im not really sure why but the handling is quite jittery/noodly under load. particularly if you have a handlebar bag. we had decent headsets and there was no issue of headset play. put the same parts on my surly and the problem just disappeared. this wasnt really apparent when riding without pannier load.
* pedal stroking. maybe the frame was too small for me, but i feel like the seat position was too far behind the bottom bracket... so my pedal stroke was more a push forward rather than down. changing to the surly frame was a weird feeling bcos suddenly i was pushing down again. much more comfortable
* chainstay length. this was short-ish on the muirwoods and luckily i had racks that i could push the panniers an inch or so further back to avoid heel strike. even so it was a bit of problem sometimes.

totally agree with previous poster on upgrading wheels if going for a long tour as they will probably fail under touring loads/abuse.

Re: What should we have in our bunkhouse

Cycling UK Forum - Touring & Expedition - 3 April 2016 - 1:25pm
+1 for the camping option, especially if there are no other campsites within a few miles. You could even consider having a couple of tents for hire when your rooms are full. (These wouldn't need to be very expensive - above the cheapest level, what you pay for in a tent are mainly light weight and ability to withstand wind - neither of which would be important for you, assuming you had a reasonably sheltered camping area.)
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