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Updated: 1 hour 4 min ago

Re: Best way to the Alps

2 February 2016 - 2:02pm
Did that run on a bike last summer (albeit 1000cc petrol assisted) and visited a few historic forts along the route - there are lots give it's been a contested border for centuries. There's an IGN map of France showing all the castles & forts which I used as my road map. Forts weren't purpose of the trip, but there were so many on the way. Highlights included the fortified star-fort town of Neuf Brisach - stayed in modest hotel within the walls. Visited Verdun (Fort Douamon) and the cemetry / ossiary in rememberence of one of the most horrific battles in history, and also took in a couple of Maginot Line forts.

Re: Routes near Banbury

2 February 2016 - 1:36pm
This would be a nice little loop
Check out my Route https://ridewithgps.com/routes/12028337

Nice ford to cross at 2.5miles ( usually runs about 6" deep) at 6 miles as you pass through stourton just off the route is the Cotswold distillery and cherington arms hotel.
Another nice pub at 10 miles in todenham village or lots of nice cafes etc in Morton in marsh at 13.5 miles in
There is a short section of the A346 but it's not too bad and allows you to visit the rollright stones at 23 miles in, about after you cross the A3400 there is another cafe at the farm shop on your left. 28 miles in your in Hook Norton village village shops pub and a very old brewery to visit if you have time.

If your planning on extending the route avoid the A429 fosse way, it's very fast but you could cross it at moreton in marsh and head up through batsford and Aston magna, very pretty and some good climbs towards bourbon-on-the-hill ( unsurprisingly) chipping Camden is very nice but possibly a bit far out for you.

Re: d lock for touring?

2 February 2016 - 1:26pm
On the continent usually only take lightweight cables and never had a problem. At night have always found somewhere happy and willing to store securely, sometimes as part of group of 4 or 6, often in basements, kitchen, storerooms, etc. When alone, initially nervous when doing things like shopping but soon relax and unlikely the average bike thief would want to take UK steel bike with panniers – but I accept, there is some risk. At campsites, again, ask to store securely or near tent and awkward access. Going out in the evening on the bike the bigger challenge because no off-putting luggage to deter thieves, but I would choose somewhere I can keep bike in sight or otherwise secure. Locking bikes together, even with lightweight cable, more awkward for potential thieves.

However, in the UK I’m more nervous. On end to end from York last year took Kryptonite Evolution Lite mini 6 (at 737g their lightest). My first night in Derby I managed to drop the key after I’d locked it and had major panic with hotel staff kindly searching the hotel with me until we found it - sitting underneath the bike, complete with coloured tag matching the lock (we have several locks on the go at home)! I used it when stopping to buy food or alternatively asked suitable someone if they’d mind keeping an eye for 2 minutes (eg outside shop with buggy, sitting in car, etc); usually gains positive response, opens conversation and helps maintain faith in people. When I met my partner later in the ride I left the D lock with her and only kept a café lock.

I use this D lock + cable for trips into town, to language classes, or whatever. I did try a cheaper alternative to Pitlocks but found I couldn’t tighten them up sufficiently on the rear wheel to prevent it slipping when under pressure but I think they’re a good idea. D locks provide immediate visual deterrent in the same way that a burglar alarm (real or dummy) might mean potential burglar goes elsewhere but nothing will stop the really determined and well-equipped bike thief. Generally, touring bikes with luggage don’t usually match targets for thefts. Mind you, in 1978 we camped for a night in Galway on a patch of grass near the Spanish Arch (if I remember right) and left panniers on the bikes, ancient single speeds enveloped in a heavy chain. In the morning we found someone had reached in and removed our clothes and proceeded to drop them as they walked back into town – we recovered most items.

Think that’s the last theft we’ve had while cycle touring …

Re: Sri Lanka

2 February 2016 - 12:59pm
Tips of the day.

Number 1:
Take a mosquito net. Fortunately I have one.

Number 2:
Don't leave your bike unattended in a rural area. Mine got 'monkeyed'. The buggers go for anything in plastic bags as they think it is food. I didn't mind them having my peanuts, but not my White Lightning lube. Luckily they got a taste and dropped it.

Re: Great Ocean Road.....

2 February 2016 - 12:48pm
I rode the same routes RedRaliegh and can thoroughly recommend it. Unfortunately the wind was SE, the cold biting one for all the way. I did it in Nov and it should have been westerly, but their winds aren't as predictable as many say.

I managed to stay in hostels and pubs, including a great pub for us winning the rugby world cup.

Like many things Aussie, it is overrated and definitely isn't the greatest ocean road in the world, but pretty good nonetheless.

Avoid their holiday periods as cheap accom fills up and beware schoolies, the last week of term when rampant youth take over large swathes of Eastern end of GOR.

I rode into Geelong for one night for a look see, then also took ferry and rode the Mornington.


Re: lighting in Germany

2 February 2016 - 12:04pm
I noticed that it seems to be quite acceptable in Germany, instead of having a bell, just to say 'tingaling' as you come up behind somebody. Eminently sensible.

Re: Routes near Banbury

2 February 2016 - 10:52am
Thanks for the offer. Sibford Gower - Burdrop - Sibford Ferris.

Re: Critiques of routes for touring

2 February 2016 - 9:14am
Annoying Twit wrote:.......................I have looked at routes through Overbury, so I'll go back and look at that again, and avoid the B4080...........

Richard is right about the B4080 - you do get the occasional speeder - but it is really a fairly quiet and pleasant road. I use it often ('cos I live on it!) so I'd certainly use it if it gives you the route you want. All the routes around Bredon Hill are well used by cyclists and local motorists are expecting them. The route around the north of the hill is a nice ride - a couple of short sharp climbs but some views to compensate.

Re: Best way to the Alps

2 February 2016 - 9:02am
I cycled to Geneva via Le Havre a few years ago (starting from here made bypassing Paris easier), and in Burgundy limited hills and traffic by doing about 100 miles along the Burgundy Canal. At that time the towpath on the second half was better for bikes than the first, but I think there were plans for improvements. I also enjoyed ending via the Col de La Faucille, a 1000m climb through the Jura where you end up above Geneva with a magnificent view of the main Alps including Mont Blanc. If you want further info on any of this, email me donaldhirschparis@gmail.com

Re: First European cycle tour suggestions

2 February 2016 - 8:18am
Thanks all. Booked Portsmouth - St Malo over night ferry. Plan is to get train to Nantes then drift up the ev6, taking each day as it comes and finding campsite space where we want to stay with no fixed reservations.

I can imagine the freshly baguettes, coffee's sat in warm riverside café and the half carrafe of wine with lunch now.

Re: New Route Planner

2 February 2016 - 8:05am
Richard Fairhurst wrote:cursing Javascript...
Well, it looks very neat now.


Re: lighting in Germany

2 February 2016 - 7:45am


Re: First European cycle tour suggestions

2 February 2016 - 1:18am
Was, probably still am, a complete newbie to cycle touring... me and the girl did a bit of the velodyssey .. from Nantes to La Rochelle last summer. (Ferry: Plymouth - Roscoff, train from Morlaix to Nantes). It was bliss, no day to day planning required as you can't cycle more than an hour along the route without finding a campsite. We went peak holiday season and never had trouble finding space at a campsite- cost usually about 14euros a night for the two of us. Great food & wine.. some good surfing on the Atlantic coast too..

Re: lighting in Germany

2 February 2016 - 1:04am
There are international conventions about cross-border traffic, and as a foreign visitor you only have to meet the internationally agreed minimum, not the local regulations.
That's a brake, a white front light, a red back light, a rear reflector, and a bell.
It's on the main CTC site somewhere - I can never find the link so I have to google
http://www.ctc.org.uk/cyclists-library/ ... al-traffic

Summary: if you don't have a bell, put one on.


2 February 2016 - 12:21am
I went 4-12th June last year, and had good weather (Oban - Barra - Tarbert - Uig - Mallaig - Ardnamurchan - Mull - Oban).
I should have started 4 days sooner, but I'd been watching the rain radar and weather forecasts and delayed to let it blow through.

Re: touring and flying with hydraulic disc brakes

1 February 2016 - 11:51pm
andymiller wrote:I currently use Avid BB7s with 203mm discs. Which is probably over-kill, but I'm happy.

160's are big enough for a solo.
We have 203's on the tandem and it stops PDQ with an all up weight of 180kgs including the bike and day bag.

Re: useful sources of news concerning western europe

1 February 2016 - 10:38pm
Looks good - thanks!


1 February 2016 - 10:21pm
TrevA wrote:We did the Inner Hebrides last May. I think it rained almost every day and I was in full winter gear most of the time, with Goretex on top in the rain. So long as you dress for the weather, it's not too bad. Can be quite windy but I don't think I saw a single midge.
Last May was unusually bad.

Re: New Route Planner

1 February 2016 - 10:13pm
It is a bug. Or, was! I think I've fixed it now. Thanks for spotting. (exits, cursing Javascript...)


1 February 2016 - 10:12pm
Thanks again for the info, especially for accommodation. I don't want to carry camping gear particularly!
Surely it can't rain every year!!
Maybe the wind could help push us Northward.




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