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 Post subject: Re: Retrobike Touring.
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:46 pm 
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: 1748
Location: Doncaster
Utter perfection and exactly why I created this thread. Many MANY thanks for what is one of the best written reports I've seen. The standard has now been set.

Well done that man.


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 Post subject: Re: Retrobike Touring.
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:40 pm 
GOLD | PoTM | Rider | rBOTM
GOLD | PoTM | Rider | rBOTM
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Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:26 pm
Posts: 22801
Location: 54 Festive Road Winchcombe GLOUCS Yarp...
Thank you.

Further to this I've got an even thicker heavier mat and to compensate, replaced my pots and burner with titanium. I've also invested in a very light inflatable pillow and 3 season down sleeping bag. This means kit total is a kilo lighter despite the new mat. Also a new head torch. I could go further with the weight saving but it's diminishing returns.


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 Post subject: Re: Retrobike Touring.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:55 pm 
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: 1748
Location: Doncaster
Has anyone dared go for a tour overt the winter period?


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 Post subject: Re: Retrobike Touring.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:21 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2013 2:57 pm
Posts: 1645
Location: Porto / Plymouth
Yes, I did a 3 day tour along the Camino de Santiago in mid December. Probably not as cold or wet as December in the UK, though, so perhaps it doesn't really count.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:09 am 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:51 am
Posts: 390
Location: Bolton
Glad this thread has resurfaced, I'm still planning on doing a little tour this year and love looking at the reports posted here for guidance and inspiration.

Still deciding whether to do on a more "road" tour on this;

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Trek touring.jpg
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Or a mtb tour on this (albeit with some knobblies on it);

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Cannondale.jpg
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I'm thinking MTB tour though, as the roads are too busy to enjoy the ride most of the time.

Anyone on here toured the Forest of Bowland or the Yorkshire Dales? I'm thinking of starting from Clitheroe.


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 Post subject: Re: Retrobike Touring.
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:37 pm 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 1:55 pm
Posts: 9193
Location: New Forest, UK
A couple of weeks ago I managed to combine a business trip to Belgium with a tour: Eurostar from St.Pancras to Lille then ride 55 miles to Ghent, do my day's work the following day, then ride back to Lille.
Eurostar was brilliant: I had booked my bike with EuroDispatch to go on the same train as me for £30 - they even had a workstand and washbasin for dismantling and boxing up. Likewise at the other end there was another workstand.
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Arriving in Lille there were really nice segregated bike paths out of the city, then along the side of the Schelde to Ghent. Unfortunately it was a headwind all the way.

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Friday saw me turn the opposite way, back to Ghent - and the wind had turned round also! So 55 miles back bashing into the wind...
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This time I went alongside the Leie:
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Navigation is very easy, using the Knooppunkt node system - like a giant dot-to-dot. Map here:
http://www.fietsroute.org/cycle-node-planner
All you have to do is look out for these signs:
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Most of the routes are traffic-free, a great example of how perfect cycling can be. I'll be back!

Finally, thank you to Upper Crust in Waterloo for a waste-free way of serving me tea which allowed me enough hands free to get through the barriers onto the platform for the train home!!!
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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 9:55 am 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:51 am
Posts: 390
Location: Bolton
Awesome!


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 Post subject: Re: Retrobike Touring.
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:01 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 10:40 pm
Posts: 4107
Location: The Royal Society of Insobriety
Took the weekend to do a S48O with some friends as a test for our week in the Highlands in September, the idea being to go from my house in SW London on Saturday morning to Fairlight Cove near Hastings, and back again.

We set off an hour late and got into the rhythm of plodding through the traffic to get us to Orpington where my route via OS maps started, this was always going to be the most unpleasant part so we rewarded ourselves with some coffee and cake in Orpington. Despite still being within the M25 the roads started to get a little quieter once we headed South and although I had planned the route fairly carefully it became clear that I should have also spent a little time looking at the pink contour lines - it was hilly from the start.

We crossed the M25 after Knockholt along the first of many unsurfaced roads/bridleway sections we had planned and headed down over Ide hill and towards another fun little section of bridleway that looped around Bough Beech reservoir. We then aimed South West and past a number of Public Houses I had identified as being suitable lunch spots, having made fairly good time we forlornly skipped past the delightful looking Inn at Smarts Hill and settled for the equally as delightful Crown Inn at Groombridge. A fish finger sandwich and pint of Lemonade hit the spot.

After lunch we went West through Whitehill wood and and joined the road again to Wadhurst, changed maps at Shover's Green we made our way to Burwash after which we had intended to get access to an unpaved road that runs for 3 miles alongside a conveyor belt built to carry Gypsum. Unfortunately we couldn't find the entrance to the road, it might possibly have been along a furiously overgrown path that was not passable on or even with a bicycle. Feeling a little deflated we decided to try and find the Bridleway I had marked up as Plan B on the route that sat a little further South. Joining this we coasted off road on a lovely hard-packed smooth downhill section for about a mile before we linked up with another Bridleway which had clearly been used by a lot of horses before the dirt had sun-hardened! This rutted, bumpy route continued for about two and a half headset-loosening, bar-bag-drooping miles before we got out onto a road and re-calibrated our bones.

Stopping for some chocolate and a water top-up in the picturesque Seddlescombe we bravely ventured on leaving the sun-drenched beer garden in our wake. As it was only about 5pm and our destination was less than 15 miles away we decided we could afford a stop for a shandy before dinner so we tootled down to Three Oaks and patronised the pub there. The Three Oaks Inn at Three Oaks deserves special mention as one of those pubs I feel like I used to come across frequently when I lived in Leicestershire and Yorkshire, but now never find in London- it is packed to the rafters with stuff, collections of collections, some that seem appropriate, some that appear random, it's a cosy, local, slightly bonkers place and worth a visit. Onwards to dinner at a pub near Pett where the food was unremarkable but the beer was good and the Pub's cat was an overweight but flirty dinner companion, before darkness fell we thought it prudent to get on the road and find somewhere to Bivvy. According to the map and all sign posts we were a mere 2 miles from Fairlight, and the Sea, however we rode for over 30 minutes in what we then thought to be the 'right direction' apparently missing turnings and signs aplenty before we came to the bottom of a nasty long git of a hill that took us up, slowly, darkly to the top of the cliffs. Having suffered up the hill and the light having all but gone we surveyed our surroundings and realised we were by a Council sanctioned picnic spot with toilet facilities (now locked) that could well provide some sheltered and subtle camping spots. Amongst the bunnies and bats we found somewhere away from the paths and set up camp.

In a Bivvy you wake with the dawn, the birds and the sunlight see to that, pulling my hat over my eyes and sleeping with my good ear on the pillow gifted me another hour of sleep but we thought it wise to get up and move on. After we'd made a coffee of course. It was time we saw the sea, so we studied the map, picked a route and free-wheeled our way down a National Cycle route for ten minutes, got a bit lost, talked to some locals and were then informed we could only get down to the sea from there with some hike-a-bike, and then we would be met by the South West coast's most popular nudist beach. Having had no breakfast and only one coffee we could face neither the carrying or the bare flesh. Slugging back up the hill and round the other way we chanced upon a Cafe just opening up, it seemed only right to have breakfast (omelette, toast, coffee, the most calorific cream cheese and chocolate brownie ever produced) and then finally got down to the sea at Pett. The proper thing to do at this point is paddle in the sea, literally get cold feet, regret it and pull your socks on over your sand-spattered feet, which we did.

Having met a lovely couple of Cycle-Tourists coming the other way on the promenade at Pett we decided to go the longer but much flatter route back North via Winchelsea, a five mile detour but hopefully without the elevation we had gained the previous night and lost coming down to the sea. It was pleasant and the sun was starting to blaze through the Sunday morning mist, a bit of sea air taking the edge off. We briefly stopped to look at a Garage sale but as the only thing I wanted was a large teak plant stand we thanked the vendors and moved on, it was not going to fit in the spare side pocket of my saddle bag. A short sharp up to the fortified entrance to Winchelsea set the scene for a gentle potter through one of the prettiest English villages I have ever seen, the half-derelict church and walled graveyard containing Spike Milligan's grave apparently, (we couldn't find it). Perhaps it was a final joke, the other being the legend carved on the tombstone: "I told you I was ill". Sadly we couldn't linger amongst the flowering hedgerows, Oast houses and vernacular Sussex weather-boarded cottages so trundled on to meet up with our previous day's route.

Given the now slightly too-hot sunshine and one of our number's poorly timed cold we had decided not to ride all the way back and instead jump on the train to London at Wadhurst or Royal Tunbridge Wells. For variation we took a slightly different route back up to Wadhurst via Robertsbridge (also delightful) and Etchingham, joining up at Seddlescombe and again, sadly, not having a pint in the beer garden there. We'd missed lunch but as it was Sunday we thought we'd find somewhere, however by the time we had got to the train station at Wadhurst we decided to just jump on the train and get back to London.

All in all a very pleasant ride through parts of the Country I didn't know at all, but would like to explore more of some day, 135 (85 first day, 50 second) miles of cracking weather with friends is tiring but a great way to spend a weekend. I think I nailed the kit though we only used the stove for a coffee in the morning so could have done without, my sleeping bag and new mat will work great for our planned Scotland tour too, though I'll need to adjust my gearing for the Mercian, I was a little under-geared with the Danson.

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The beach at Pett level

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The Danson at Seddlescombe. 8 speed with XT cranks, BB and mechs, Ultegra bar end shifters, Nitto stem, seatpost and Randonneur bars, Shimano 600 brake levers with Dia Compe 985 cantis and 105 hubs laced to Araya rims with 35c Panaracer Pasela Tour Guard folding tyres. Bar bag and saddle bag are Carradice.


Last edited by Rod_Saetan on Mon Jun 11, 2018 7:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:48 pm 
retrobike rider
retrobike rider
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Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:08 am
Posts: 7886
Location: Nth Somerset, UK
Excellent write up of what looked to have been a fun weekend.

Two things to add to your Scotland trip kit list. A midge net (to go over your head) and a spray can of 'Smidge'. Even in September midges can be a real pain.

Worth checking the midge forecast too. https://www.smidgeup.com/midge-forecast/


Last edited by NeilM on Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:42 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 2:27 pm
Posts: 2881
Location: In the Woods. . .
Epic man.
Enjoyed reading this whilst chewing through a bowl of pistachios.
My summers need more of this sort of stuff. Thanks for sharing.


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