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Re: In an heavy raining day

6 October 2015 - 1:14pm
As usual, the answer is "it depends".

Elements of dependency are convenience of alternatives, ambient temperature, how hard it's raining, if there's sleet in there too, how far I have to go, etc. etc. Which boils down to whether the overcoming of the adversity will leave me with a greater glow than just saying to hell with it and getting out before it gets any worse.

Most of my hobbies involve human-powered travel (as well as cycling, there's ski, foot, canoe and kayak touring), and across the board it's the case that just because I love them most of the time doesn't mean I can't have a bad day at any of them. There's the old saying that there's no such thing as bad weather, just bad equipment, but over the years I've discovered there can be a time limit on that.


Re: North Coast 500 - Scotland???

6 October 2015 - 11:33am
Agreed, but the scenic route via Bonar Bridge, the Struie, Muir of Ord and the Kessock Bridge is 61 miles compared to 41 direct, and he has a train to catch!

Re: North Coast 500 - Scotland???

6 October 2015 - 10:58am
Your Day 9 is somewhat unimaginative and sure to leave you with some less than happy memories of the trip!

Re: North Coast 500 - Scotland???

6 October 2015 - 9:41am
Great to see that route.
It's on my wish list.
May I ask how you made the ' screen grabs' and posted the here?

Re: Trip report - Faro to Porto

6 October 2015 - 9:16am
Nice blog, well written thanks for sharing

Re: Cycling holidays

6 October 2015 - 8:59am
I'd start by identifying the market that you are aiming at.

If it's experienced touring cyclists then they'll probably have their own bikes. If it's people wanting a cycling holiday rather than a cycling tour then the distances, especially in that terrain, might need to be reconsidered. If it's just a holiday that has cycling options then they'll not want to go on roads like that.

The pics that you show look like they are crying out for mountain bikes.....big clearances for the mud, knobbly tyres, etc. MTBers will prefer somewhere with plenty of hills and less mud.

Re: Trip report - Faro to Porto

6 October 2015 - 12:03am
Loved Porto, went to the Primavera Sound music festival there last year and stayed for a few days taking the train up the Douro. The city is full of character, magic. Great place for a budget weekend away.


Re: Trip report - Faro to Porto

5 October 2015 - 10:59pm
> Ah, Portugal - two of us cycled Santiago de Compostela to Lisbon in Sep'14 - a lovely country to tour through
> I'm enjoying reading your blog, but in the name of fairness I wonder if there's a correction you might think of making?
> It's this - you mention entrusting your bikes to Easyjet baggage handlers - that's not the case: you entrust your bikes to the baggage handlers employed by the airport, not the airlines that use them. If you were to leave this blog entry uncorrected you are casting dispersion on Easyjet where they are not deserved
> And my links to Easyjet? None other than I've flown with them and with my bikes in poly bags maybe 5 times and all without incident which is in any case down to the care of the airport baggage handlers, not Easyjet.

Trip report - Faro to Porto

5 October 2015 - 10:03pm
My girlfriend and I just got back from a 350-mile ride in Portugal, from Faro to Porto. We wrote a crazyguy blog that you might find interesting: https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o= ... 16745&v=6v

Riding in Portugal was great and I recommend it wholeheartedly. With only a couple of exceptions the roads were quiet and of a good quality. The scenery was fantastic, especially the rolling plains of the Alentejo where cork trees lined the roads. Food was good and every town has somewhere to stop for a coffee/beer/ice cream if the heat gets too much. Below are some of my favourite photos

Re: North Coast 500 - Scotland???

5 October 2015 - 8:39pm
LollyKat wrote:Day 3 is quite strenuous. We all know about the Bealach but the coast road between Applecross and Sheilaig has lots of short sharp climbs that can get a bit wearing...Absolutely!

Some years ago, I rode from Lochcarron over to Applecross and up the coast via Fearnmore and Shieldaig and Kishorn back to Lochcarron.

It was hard enough over to Applecross but the coast road and back round was even harder.Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 20.38.08.pngScreen Shot 2015-10-05 at 20.38.35.png

Re: North Coast 500 - Scotland???

5 October 2015 - 8:15pm
Sounds great ! and good for camping this time of year ( no midges !!! ) if ever you've camped when they are about you'll appreciate what I mean !! As mentioned elsewhere the north can be a tad windy . but as long as you've got the right gear , September here in Scotland has being the best month of the summer that never was !! by far , good luck !! have a great time.

Re: Cycling holidays

5 October 2015 - 7:24pm
Wow! While others will be along to offer some brilliant technical advice, I would like to offer you my best wishes. I have a background in tourism before I set up a business for something I really love. Horticulture. Now I run a gardening business. I love my work and I equally love the holistic approach I have to take. Sales, marketing, accounts, security, mechanics, dogs body work, etc etc.

It's very exciting even after 10 years so I'm excited for you. THE MOST IMPORTANT piece of advice I can give you is:


Re: In an heavy raining day

5 October 2015 - 7:22pm
mjr wrote:Both military boots with rain channels and wellies(!) work quite well for avoiding wet feet,

I'm well-versed in the virtues of wellies —they were standard wear for springtime when I were a lad. But what are "military boots with rain channels"?

Cycling holidays

5 October 2015 - 6:10pm
I operate tours in Sumatra, Indonesia.

I was thinking about starting some cycling holidays.

I wonder if anyone has any advice?

The starting point is around 120km from the airport, through the city, which is sprawling and hostile. So I would anticipate providing a taxi to the start point, rather than getting people to cycle there.

Main roads often have stretches like this:

And in minor roads, more like this:

What sort of bikes should I provide?

And what kind of logistical support? I had a couple of trips in mind, something like A-B-A, around 40km each way (takes 2 hours by car), one-way non-stop, and the other way stopping at a point of interest on the way, from my base, around three days, and a second trip something like:

Day 1 A - 20km
Day 2 B - 40km
Day 3 C - 50km (through the mountains)
Day 4 D - 40km
Day 5 E - 60km
Day 6 F - 60km
Day 7 G - 60km

I guess people are probably going to be carrying a lot of luggage, so you need a van to go from point to point with their luggage. A spare bike as well?

What kind of bike spec would you look for? I need to buy the bikes, not spend too much money, and have something that will be reasonably durable and suitable for conditions as well as tourists of different sizes.

One (?) guide on bike, per four people, equipped with spares. Plus a driver + van with the baggage.

I was thinking I would run the trip(s) on set dates, with a minimum of two people.

What sort of balance would you make between cycling and other activities? A lot of the local tourist attractions involve fairly strenuous hikes (scrambling up and down hills), which by themselves exhaust the average traveller. But I would assume that people would still want to do these things as well as cycling. Where is the balance?

And what sort of itinerary length would you look for? Is a week about right?

Also what do you do about rain? Generally it rains torrentially sometime between 4 and 6pm, though it's not guaranteed. In the morning/mid-day rain is much less common. This is 12 months a year, but at some times of the year it is wetter, and morning/lunch-time rain is possible. You could obviously seek to avoid those hours (sunset is 6:30pm), but it cuts down the time available.

Re: La velodyssey first timer.

5 October 2015 - 3:57pm
Might be some help with the start

Re: In an heavy raining day

5 October 2015 - 3:24pm
VC = Victoria Cross, awarded for valour in battle.

Re: GPS or maps

5 October 2015 - 2:39pm
Reviving this thread – if anyone's still reading it! – to ask if anyone has any experience of the Memory Maps Adventurer 3000. It appeals to me because it has OS 1:50,000 maps pre-loaded for the whole of the UK, and they happen to be pretty much my favourite. Also, it's just about affordable for someone who's not yet entirely convinced about GPS! But I'd also like to be able to load routes onto it (whatever device I end up with) from eg cycle.travel or ridewithgps and follow them, probably as a line on a map. I'm unlikely to use the GPS device as a route plotter, though doubtless when I'm lost – I mean, when I have been improvising a route! – in an area I'm unfamiliar with, I'll look at to get back to wherever I might think I should want to be.


Re: In an heavy raining day

5 October 2015 - 1:38pm
tyreon wrote:To carry on cycling in heavy rain = depression,anger,divorce...wet feet,no matter what you wear+++(excepting full waterproof trousers etc)
Both military boots with rain channels and wellies(!) work quite well for avoiding wet feet, but aren't ideal for cycling (especially the wellies, which flop back and forth quite a bit) and are quite big to carry when not cycling. Does anyone make cycling-friendly shoes with rain channels or a quick way to dry them off? Or are waterproof trousers onto waterproof overshoes and hope the rain doesn't get in from beneath as good as it gets?

tyreon wrote:I salute and endorse VC's to those who continue to cycle thru the deluge: not sure of your reasoning!
What are VC's?

psmiffy wrote:And sometimes just riding in wild weather fully togged up and immune to the elements can be exhilarating in itself
This, although I've not yet done a multi-day tour, so I've not had to deal with the problem of trying to dry things off for the next day's riding.

Re: Tyre recommendations

5 October 2015 - 1:26pm
pwa wrote:Something designed for ice.

+1 - with studs!

Re: In an heavy raining day

5 October 2015 - 12:04pm
I can't narrow it down to one of those options. It depends on so many factors: camping or staying in some sort of 'solid' accommodation (hotel, b&b, yha, ... )? What's the temperature? Wind? Terrain? How far to the next place? Is there a set next place? And so on...


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