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Re: What do you do when the going gets tough?

2 September 2015 - 11:40pm
I'll need this thread tomorrow. I'm doing the Coast & Castles. The weather forecast is for 24mph head winds and heavy rain

Re: What do you do when the going gets tough?

2 September 2015 - 9:35pm
does anyone use mantras?

I often just count the pedal strokes up to 10 and then start over. I find if mind is doing that then it can't feel sorry for itself at the same time? works best on long climbs

or sometimes I use a repetitive positive mantra on the down strokes - feeling good, feeling strong, feeling happy, etc

How do you distract your mind from going into a negative spiral?


2 September 2015 - 8:51pm
As far as Portugal is concerned I did this one, unfortunately it's in Italian, though, should you need gpx files just let me know.

Re: Bought the bike!

2 September 2015 - 8:18pm
Thank you so much, I am very grateful for your detailed reply!

There is a lot of top and side clearance so I am sure it will be able to take some big tyres. I am not likely to be riding on anything rougher than b roads and cycle paths - so I think it will be up to the job. I'll tour with both and see which I like best. Prob keep them both anyway...

Re: French trains

2 September 2015 - 8:04pm
Just use www.capitainetrain.com - the prices are the same as on the SNCF website, and you can see whether bikes are allowed on a particular train and whether or not you have to pay for them.

Scenic route to/from Cork

2 September 2015 - 7:31pm
At the end of the month I aim to cycle from Dublin to Cork and back (to do the Ring of Derry).
Looking for suggestions of route / sites worth taking in on the way.
Had thought to go via Waterford? Hope to allow two days for the journey each way - so not too much of a crooked route.
Thanks for any help?

Re: Large Volume 700c slick tyre

2 September 2015 - 7:22pm
Thanks for the advice I'm going to try the schwalbe land cruiser which comes in a good size and has good off road grip. I think it will give me security on wet roads as well.

Re: What do you do when the going gets tough?

2 September 2015 - 5:19pm
Bruce J wrote:We tandemists quite often burst into song towards the end of a long hard day ....... good for team morale and, of course, breathing.

We soloists do that as well. With the advantage that there's no-one around to complain about the racket.

Re: What do you do when the going gets tough?

2 September 2015 - 5:07pm
We tandemists quite often burst into song towards the end of a long hard day ....... good for team morale and, of course, breathing.

Re: Rear lights are driving me mad

2 September 2015 - 4:48pm
martin113 wrote:Audax67 I like the look of that Cateye LD650 but it looks to me as though it will hit the spokes if you mount it horizontally on the seat stay. Yes? Or no?
I have seen someone mount it in line with the seat stay (it will fit in the bracket either way round). Actually, he had two like this, one on each side, and they were very visible even though they were not vertical but followed the angle of the seat stays.

Re: French trains

2 September 2015 - 4:47pm
I had a quick decco at a different timetable and as you can see, there is an indication of which trains you can carry a bike straight on to...ter_2.jpg
BTW CAR means the service is by road - a coach... this isn't uncommon, at least in Brittany.

Re: winter tour

2 September 2015 - 4:43pm
subandean wrote:The Morocco route looks good, my only reservation is the security situation given the general situation in North Africa.
Unlike just about everywhere else in the region, Morocco has had practically no impact from the Arab Spring so I think it is as reasonable to go there as ever. Given the obvious salience of Middle East and North Africa as the nearest winter cycling destinations, and the upheaval of so much of that region, it does stand out. I expect the long-standing problems that can exist if you cycle through the mary-jane growing areas of the Rif mountains may persist, and Tangier is a place to be careful, though perhaps seek some recent advice on that if that is where you want to go. It is a very beautiful country.

But what you do need to think about is whether you can put up with the in-your-face attitude of the local population, who, particularly in more touristed areas, are very uninhibited about asking you insistently for the food in your lunchbox, the money in your wallet, the shirt off your back, and all the pens and sweets you brought to hand out (I hope not) to the children. It really is very difficult eating your packed lunch with a large audience standing at a distance of 2 feet demanding a share. We missed lunch one day because what we thought would be a desert crossing with plenty of open space turned out to be a continuously inhabited valley, and we had a constant troupe of children following us on bicycles, and locals rushing out to beg if ever we slowed down. I thought they would be nice when we mended one child's puncture, but it only lasted 5 minutes. It wasn't just children, one place we sat down in the middle of nowhere to eat our lunch and 6 grown women appeared, as if from behind rocks, to demand our lunch from us: it was difficult repacking an open tin of sardines to cycle off down the road to find somewhere quiet enough to be allowed to eat it. I don't cater for 8 in my packed lunches when out cycling.

Probably the next nearest safe-enough winter cycling destination would be Ethiopia - though that is a place where people throw stones at you - and other parts of East Africa - though quite a lot of Kenya is pretty dodgy from a security perspective. Then at 8-10 hours flight you getting to India - core India, not the Himalaya and Sri Lanka. Then at 12 hours flight you've got Mexico & central America, SE Asia. It's really the wrong time of year for S Africa/Namibia - it's their summer.

Re: looking for a companion: BURMA/LAOS or BUENOS AIRES/USHU

2 September 2015 - 4:38pm
If you are on a budget you may want to reconsider Burma. It has become quite expensive since opening up. You have to stay in approved accom which can be expensive.

Might be worth looking at Vietnam which is much cheaper and a great place to cycle. Also Lao and Cambodia are pretty good.

Re: 4 months in South East Asia

2 September 2015 - 4:31pm
I've ridden both routes in Lao and I think the big deciding factor is where do you want to cross from Thailand. Also do you want a few more (tourist type) facilities eg decent food, accommodation and company.

Highway 2 up from Pak Beng is a pleasant road, slowly climbing. I rode it about 10 years ago just after it was paved and it was very interesting as few westerners had passed that way outside of a vehicle. Probably a lot different now. As said before, there is accom half way. I don't know what the route from Thai to Pak Beng is like, you may want to see how easy that bit is. Also that part of N Thailand is pretty wild and remote (for Thailand!) with few facilities, but still doa-able ( I was riding there earlier this year).

Route 3 from Huay Xai to Luan Nam Tha is the main route for tourists and also to and from China, although still very quiet by our standards. The state of the road varies, it has been rebuilt twice and hopefully after proper Chinese construction work is now in good shape. Two accom stops to break journey to LNT. From LNT it is a pleasant side trip ride to Muang Sing on the Chinese border - a bit touristy, but worth an overnight stop.

From LNT to Udom Xai some of the road seems to be permanently under construction. You can do in a day, but I would recommend 2 as there is a big hill en route.

From Pak Mong all the way to Phonsavan the road is paved and a great ride, but plenty of big hills. A detour to Xam Neua for the old wartime govt HQ in the caves at Vieng Xai is recommended. You can bus one way to avoid repeat cycling. This is a tough ride! Be careful of wandering off road in this area as there is lots of UXO (unexploded ordnance).

From Phonsavan some are now taking the new route south to Pakxan, but as Chou said, some of it is rough. The more common route of H7 to H13 is a good ride. I rode 7 above cloud level with the peaks just showing through. H13 all the way to Vientiane is an easy run, mostly downhill as far as Vang Vieng.

Re Thailand:
Don't cycle out of Bkk, get the train. You may want to get it all the way to Chiang Mai as much of central Thailand is flat and tedious to cycle.
Check re entry requirements. You get a 30 day entry card, but many airlines insist on you having a return or onward ticket within the 30 days. Look at the Thai branch of TT for more info.

NB also posted on Lonely Plnet on your bike site, hence some of my references to already mentioned.

Re: What do you do when the going gets tough?

2 September 2015 - 4:00pm
I have no problem in coping with the tough, I just hear my Dad's admonishments when i was a kid about how I gave up to easily. I am stubborn as hell and still love to prove him wrong. i have since gone on to challenge walks all of which I have succeeded within the allowed tine limit. 50 miles walking in 16 hours is tough but I know I can do it now so it will not hold any sway over me.

For me it to have an internal soundtrack going on where I have done it, if that makes sense. Look to goals you can see, if necessary right down to the mark you can actually see ahead of you or to a checkpoint (real or one you have identified on the map). Complete the tough event in these small chunks.

Whatever you are doing I think we have all assumed it is an endurance event of some kind. My first thing to do would be prepare for it through exercise and preparing the kit properly (even down to trial runs at distance with each kit component and change kit as the evidence of these trials shows. Preparation of body, mind and kit. The mind bit is really about studying maps and any information you can get on the challenge. Visualize each bit or section and use those sections as short term goals. Having these smaller chunks firmly set into your mind can mean you are concentrating on the next section and forgetting about the longer event as a whole.

There will come a point that you are at your limit. This limit will be your mind (if it really is tough). IMO that is down to you and how you work. What I mean is you can not make someone truly tough in mind only give them tricks to get by (such as splitting it into smaller targets or goals). At some point it is down to whether you can just keep going, get over the pain, the difficulties in the terrain/weather/other conditions.

The best you can do is expose yourself to these challenges and develop up to cope with the really big events. For example 25 mile challenge walks (piece of urine really but hard for someone who has never walked further than 2 miles round the shops on sales day) then up to 30, 40, 50 and 100 mile walks. Start small to aim big. This can help you become tough enough for the big event.

As far as load carrying goes, why bother? Light kit allows you to carry more food for longer legs but at the end of the day if your kit is 20kg without food you are always battling the kit (walking/backpacking example).

One thing to point out, there is some kind of evidence that people with conditions such as ADHD are better able to cope with extreme conditions/events. I am sure there is a lot to the way the mind works. I have come across people who just have the natural propensity to get on with it no matter what it is. I am kind of like that but I have known people who are more so than me.

One last thing to think about. Get past your tipping point. What I mean is there will be a point when you have invested so much into the challenge that it becomes impossible for you to give up. Well impossible is a bit too strong a word but you get my meaning, you have too much invested in succeeding to be defeated without giving it all. If you do fail after passing this tipping point (and it can happen that you have nothing left to give) then TBH there is no shame.

One last trick to the sectioning of the larger event is to have you mind working out your progress. If you have gone into it all right down to timings then something as simple as working out how far you are into each segment and how you are doing in time wise gives something for your mind to concentrate on. For me it is about working out approximate speed and whether that is fast enough for a mini-goal. Making adjustments on the fly to meet these targets along with the calculations in the head seem to keep me going. Having someone to talk to or music playing through a earphones might help. Basically whatever takes your mind of the trudge and drudgery of the challenge.

Re: What do you do when the going gets tough?

2 September 2015 - 3:43pm
I rip my shirt open and find my inner 'Brian Blessed' (such a dream boat ) and carry on.
Only stopping for a cup of tea or a really nice view

Re: What do you do when the going gets tough?

2 September 2015 - 3:39pm
mental maths.
percentage to go, percentage done, chunk it up break it down, play with the numbers, use the stat which feels most comfortable to my brain. So I might be sayingto myself 40% done, rather than 60% to go you find that calculating the figures in a particular way makes you feel better. work out things like 5% is 3 miles then concentrate on doing another 5% rather than focussing othe the total miles


2 September 2015 - 3:36pm

If you don't have a smart phone wih you (I didn't when I did the Ojos Negros), you can abstract enough info from the website before you go. As Iviehoff says above Michelin are the best for the other routes including minor roads. I don't know anything about satnav but I do remember that Google maps were next to useless - others may differ.

Re: What do you do when the going gets tough?

2 September 2015 - 3:12pm
beardy wrote:The absence of any "get out" tends to work quite well for me. No choice but to carry on going.

The worst case of having to keep on on a cycle tour was at the end of our planned campsite had changed to static caravans only, the next one had shut, and heading on it then started to rain as our legs were past their best, and there was a B&B so we stopped there. That wasn't exactly a hardship.

Worst case of having to keep on on a ski tour was a broken binding in the middle of a Norwegian wilderness with no shelter until we got to the next hut. Could have gone for the impromptu snow hole and survival bags and minimal emergency food, and would have had we got to the probable exhaustion stage, but as it was just keeping on trudging was the better option so that's what we did. I've never been so tired in my life as when we arrived, but when the only option is obviously much worse than keeping going I don't really have a problem with keeping going.

The trick I can't do so well is keeping going when I really don't have to (like coming across that B&B in example 1).

Typical UK/NL cycle touring (where I've toured to date) doesn't result in high death potential if you stop without shelter. Other places may, and that does indeed concentrate the mind wonderfully...


Re: camp site recommendations for Derbyshire

2 September 2015 - 2:57pm
We stayed at common end farm Swinescoe, A small campsite with simple, but good faciltites, toilets and showers and washing up facilites.
fitted my requirements perfectly.
would certainly recommend them and hoping to go back at some point, to do some of the other trails in the area.


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