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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 6:03 pm 
retrobike rider
retrobike rider
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Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:08 am
Posts: 7871
Location: Nth Somerset, UK
Sounds sensible, thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Retrobike Touring.
PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:35 am 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 1:55 pm
Posts: 9171
Location: New Forest, UK
A lot depends on time of year too - in Spain touring in October I've never bothered, in France in a touristy area with the TdF then booking seemed sense - although there were vacancies on the day.


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 Post subject: Re: Retrobike Touring.
PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:09 am 
GOLD | PoTM | Rider | rBOTM
GOLD | PoTM | Rider | rBOTM
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Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:26 pm
Posts: 22588
Location: 54 Festive Road Winchcombe GLOUCS Yarp...
Just sorting out my annual tour route. Decided to ride from Winchcombe Gloucs (home) to New Quay West Wales over the Brecon Beacons. Unsupported as always, panniers and tent etc, doing my own cooking. Back roads and off road. Maps bought. Should take five days. I have a pass for a week. Then a day messing about along the coast. I've found that most sites are happy for lone cyclists to just turn up. I always ring a couple of weeks in advance to confirm this.

When I've had enough I call the broom wagon and arrange to be collected driven home. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Retrobike Touring.
PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 9:32 am 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:55 am
Posts: 3425
Location: Dorset
The History Man wrote:
Just sorting out my annual tour route. Decided to ride from Winchcombe Gloucs (home) to New Quay West Wales over the Brecon Beacons. Unsupported as always, panniers and tent etc, doing my own cooking. Back roads and off road. Maps bought. Should take five days. I have a pass for a week. Then a day messing about along the coast. I've found that most sites are happy for lone cyclists to just turn up. I always ring a couple of weeks in advance to confirm this.

When I've had enough I call the broom wagon and arrange to be collected driven home. :D


Sound very nice 8)


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 Post subject: Re: Retrobike Touring.
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:24 am 
Lincs, East and South Yorks Deputy AEC
Lincs, East and South Yorks Deputy AEC
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Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2012 11:56 am
Posts: 1717
Location: Doncaster
The History Man wrote:
Just sorting out my annual tour route. Decided to ride from Winchcombe Gloucs (home) to New Quay West Wales over the Brecon Beacons. Unsupported as always, panniers and tent etc, doing my own cooking. Back roads and off road. Maps bought. Should take five days. I have a pass for a week. Then a day messing about along the coast. I've found that most sites are happy for lone cyclists to just turn up. I always ring a couple of weeks in advance to confirm this.

When I've had enough I call the broom wagon and arrange to be collected driven home. :D


Anything to report History Man ?


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 Post subject: Re: Retrobike Touring.
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:56 pm 
GOLD | PoTM | Rider | rBOTM
GOLD | PoTM | Rider | rBOTM
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Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:26 pm
Posts: 22588
Location: 54 Festive Road Winchcombe GLOUCS Yarp...
Well as you asked

Been meaning to write up my little jaunt and tonight's tele visual feast is particularly poor so.........

I changed a bit of kit since last year in favour of a thicker mat and a lot less of everything else. My plan was always to leave on the first sunday of summer and i did.

Day One - Winchcombe to Hoarwithy, 37 miles 1,503ft

A good day to get going on familiar roads. The weight of the bike soon becomes normal if a little tiresome on the lumpier parts but I had all day. Over to Much Marcle without too much stress until I had to stop as a sign caught my eye. Ever had rhubarb cider? Very refreshing. shortly afterwards I was caught in the first storm of the week. Water running down the road, specs impossible. I sheltered for about 20 mins under a polytunnel full of different raspberry hybrids of which many were consumed purely for their sugar content to offset the cider induced lethargy.

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First night was opposite St Catherine's, the local church built with Italian labour and craftsmen. A beautiful evening sitting in the churchyard watching the swifts darting from the tower.

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Day Two - Hoarwithy to Crickhowell, 27 miles 2411ft

A stiff climb out of Hoarwithy through LLanwarne up to the most incredible views. The weather stayed fair for a couple of hours then my luck ran out again. A bit of a slog followed with ups and downs throughout. Crickhowell greeted me with sunshine and a familiar camp site. The first two days were the same as last year as I felt i needed to get 'my eye in' again. Had a walk around the town, reading the local information and enjoying the balmy evening before deciding on dinner.

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Day Three - Crickhowell to past Brecon, 26 miles 840ft

A gentle day along the canal to Brecon before climbing out of the town to my camp. A day for contemplation. Steady riding with beautiful tranquil surroundings. I passed my bench and stopped for the obligatory photo (third visit) before heading on to Brecon Basin. A Thoughtfully restored terminus with al fresco dining and impeccably maintained terraces.

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The ride out of Brecon took me through the town and up a steep residential road where I had my first close pass. So close in fact that the adrenaline rush did me a favour on the rest of the climb. Winding through very minor roads I struggled for the turning for my camping spot taking the wrong left turn down into the river valley. I passed a well kept if large and noisy site with full amenities but the wrong name.

Much too early into the valley

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I went on. The A40 loomed large ahead. rather than ascending I chose the perilous route along the sweeping blind bends of the A road. After a few miles and a couple of orientation stops I turned off the main road and back down towards the river. Having viewed every stop on Google Earth I had a pretty good idea I was in the right place this time. I passed the river and slogged back up the hill to the farmhouse. It was deserted. Eventually I pushed open the top of the stable door at the rear and shouted into the building. I could hear a radio (4) and heard a scuffle. A dog came first followed by a very friendly farmer's wife. Apparently the once had a bit of a camp site but not so much if at all nowadays, but I was welcome to stay down by the river. I paid my £4. We filled my water carrier from the spring before I headed back down with detailed directions and gate descriptions.

I'm not telling you exactly where I was because it's mine all mine. An absolute treasure. I set up camp and sat by the river completely alone. Dappled sunlight playing on the water, insects whirling above gentle ripples, with the occasional slap of a brown trout tempted into aerial acrobatics by their flight. Alan Bennett and I had another lovely evening until the sound of the gate across the field gained my attention. It was the farmer, impeccably turned out in tweed jacket collar and tie, polished shoes and a huge grin. Once we'd established I'd spoken to his good lady and knew of the incoming storm, due to arrive at about midnight, he told me about his day at market. His ewes had fetched a good price hence his cheerful demeanor. He left me to my dinner preparations as his cattle needed attention and wished me well, again mentioning the storm.

I ate and retired after first availing myself of the facilities of which there were none. As Nick Kershaw sang, In a field by a river there's a hole in the ground. But I strongly suggest you leave it at that.

The storm came. And it was.

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Pagan
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Day Four - Up and over, 28.7 miles 2247ft

The day was delayed by the continuing storm which had briefly woken me during the night. I eventually packed up a sodden tend in high winds and driving rain. Today was the day i had been looking forward to but was unsure as to the sensibility of attempting to ride along an abandoned Roman road across the north moorland of the Brecon Beacons. I battled along the A40 towards my departure point, not wanting to risk getting knocked off in poor visibility on the winding back road above the river on the opposite flank. I reached Trescastle and stopped at a roadside trailer for breakfast and to consider my options. The rain stopped. When would i be here again? What was the worst that could happen? Well I've been there so up I went, through the village up a 20% climb (with a little walking, fully laden remember) and out onto the moors. The road levelled out a little but continued upwards. I eventually reached a cattle grid marking the end of the metalled road and civilisation as far as the eye could see. What was the worst......

I set off along a broad track that hjad been partially restore with loose shale in the deeper ruts. I presume this was ongoing restoration as after a while I was hitting axle deep lakes of muddy water. Steady progress but slow and in a cross wind. I spotted Usk reservoir through the rain, low to my left. You can just make it out here:

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Bizarrely bright but stormy weather. The rain was coming in sideways, I continued on past the outline of a Roman fort, tipping my hat to the poor mediterraneans that must have been billeted here, wondering wtf they were there for as did I. As I started to descend the track turned to polished bare rock requiring total concentration to avoid binning the heavy bike on numerous side slopes and turns. The semi slicks were a little inadequate but called for the balance of a mountain goat which i luckily still possess. Just before the following photo was the scariest part of the ride hence my stopping the gather myself and check my attire. My attention was drawn to a fighter jet approaching from below right at a wonderfully high speed and low altitude. What I failed to anticipate was his partner, to his left and just about to pass directly over my head. I'm sure I felt the wash from his tail pipe as I gracefully lost balance while rigid with fear.

Jet one was down there on my right. Jet two..........

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I descended to LLandovery invincible, touching close to 40mph without a care. Onwards towards Lampeter and the impeccable and well appointed Springwater Lakes.

Day Five - Springwater to Aberaeron, 27miles 1200ft

A482, intermittent rain, sheltering under roadside trees for the worst of it. Head down, get it done. First one to see the sea gets an ice cream. I was meant to head for New Quay but was seduced by the bright coastline and clearer skies straight ahead at Aberaeron. A sublime excited descent into the pretty colourful town. At journey's end on the sea wall I'll admit I welled up and shed a tear. It had been emotional.

The bike was perfect. Not a grumble or complaint. Nothing fell off, broke, bent or even required adjustment. Thanks again Paul.

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That evening, after a monster blowout curry, I took the bike down to the beach where we sat for a couple of hours in occasional light drizzle, waiting for the sun to set on our latest adventure. There were characters along the way I've failed to mention, events too crazy to recount. The bike knows. And that's enough.

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Last edited by The History Man on Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Retrobike Touring.
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:57 pm 
GOLD | PoTM | Rider | rBOTM
GOLD | PoTM | Rider | rBOTM
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Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:26 pm
Posts: 22588
Location: 54 Festive Road Winchcombe GLOUCS Yarp...
Fuel:

The day started with proper coffee and a couple of pastries. I would look for a cooked breakfast later in the morning and was successful on four out of five days. A packet of sandwiches did the job on day one.

I cooked on three evenings having planned to do so on all five but was seduced on a couple of occasions. Next year I go titanium!

Day one, tortellini with roadside tomatoes, onion and garlic with a hint of tabasco.

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Day two, Fish chips, and bucket of curry sauce in the castle grounds, Crickhowell.

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Day three, chipolatas and onions wrapped in finest white. Yum

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Day four,
Rotisserie chicken (cheated a bit there) with stir fried chinese vegetables, chopped garlic and tabasco.

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Day five,
Poppadoms, onion bhajis, chicken jalfrezi, pilau rice, garlic naan washed down with two pints of ice cold kingfisher.

Image

I thought I'd earnt it.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:20 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2009 12:28 pm
Posts: 1143
Location: Almeria, Spain
What a great read, you really get cycle touring.


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 Post subject: Re: Retrobike Touring.
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:42 pm 
GOLD | PoTM | Rider | rBOTM
GOLD | PoTM | Rider | rBOTM
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Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:26 pm
Posts: 22588
Location: 54 Festive Road Winchcombe GLOUCS Yarp...
Thanks. I don't see it as A to B. More as here to there via wherever looks interesting and don't be in so much of a hurry you can't stop or detour.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:02 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Fri May 15, 2015 4:57 pm
Posts: 1755
A lovely read, thank you! 8)


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