First Tour

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
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Vantage
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First Tour

Postby Vantage » 14 Aug 2014, 5:06pm

Tried. Failed :(
Got as far as Great Budworth from Bolton.
The weather through Leigh beat seven bells out of me and that's when I discovered that my waterproofs weren't waterproof anymore. No biggie. The front panniers soaked up every last drop of rain weighing them down even more and they kept working loose on the rack. No biggie.
Mr Garmin Etrex20 decided today was the day when the first of 6 tracks would magically disappear. This was a slight biggie. I chose another track to Great Budworth as it was on my route anyway and planned on setting the thing to route to the campsite from there. Got to GB, found the campsite and pressed 'Go'. Garmin immediately shut down. Tried again and again it shut down. Tried again and it froze requiring the batteries to be removed to start it again. Another try killed it again. Several more attempts and swearing at it had the same outcome.
Maps and I don't get along due my severe lack of sense of direction (I got lost in the toilets at Heaton Park) so I gave up there and then. Phoned my better half that I was on my way home. Got to Warburton Bridge and lost the will to keep riding (that's never happened before) so when she called to ask where I was and offered to pick me up, I agreed.
My advice?
Get waterproofs that actually work.
Get racks that actually work.
Load tracks onto both the gps and a backup set on a micro SD card.
NEVER EVER EVER EVER update your etrex, as I believe it was fine before Garmin interfered with it.
I'll try again before long.
Bill


“Ride as much or as little, or as long or as short as you feel. But ride.” ~ Eddy Merckx
I am not a cyclist. I am a Dad!

ipswichcycler
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Re: First Tour

Postby ipswichcycler » 14 Aug 2014, 8:47pm

It's all a learning process. It's part of what adds a bit of interest and variety to life. Better luck next time

Vorpal
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Re: First Tour

Postby Vorpal » 14 Aug 2014, 9:05pm

Well done for trying :D

Sorry to hear that you didn't make it so far on the first try.

I'm not sure that there is any such thing as water proofs that actually work. I seem to get wet from inside (sweat & condensation) or wet from the outside, but I don't stay dry. I've more or less given up on staying dry. That said, with decent waterproofs, merely damp is possible for a few hours, at least.

It sounds like a pannier problem, rather than a rack? Or pannier mounting?

I'm sure you'll sort it out :D
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

mercalia
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Re: First Tour

Postby mercalia » 14 Aug 2014, 10:35pm

well I wont cycle in the rain. or start a ride if I think it will. I cant see any fun in it. I dont mind camping in the rain as long as it stops when I want to start riding again. I also dont want to ride the road of bones, I think it called in Siberia like some lady is doing, or camp in 10 foot of snow.

edocaster
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Re: First Tour

Postby edocaster » 14 Aug 2014, 11:12pm

What front rack and which panniers?

bogmyrtle
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Re: First Tour

Postby bogmyrtle » 15 Aug 2014, 12:33am

I would suggest that learning to read a map would be useful. No batteries required.
Also if you pre plan your route and use Streetview, you can see what key junctions look like so you will recognise them when you get there. If you do this you will develop a sense of direction.
A bike does more miles to the banana than a Porsche.

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BeeKeeper
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Re: First Tour

Postby BeeKeeper » 15 Aug 2014, 7:52am

Commiserations to the OP but touring without a map isn't touring, unless you are just using dead reckoning of course. Map reading is not a difficult skill and a sense of direction is not required if you use a compass. Google "learn to read a map" and follow the Ordnance Survey links. OK some of these are designed for children but so what? I am off for a walk today with my new camera and wouldn't dream of not taking an OS map with me.

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pjclinch
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Re: First Tour

Postby pjclinch » 15 Aug 2014, 8:13am

Vorpal wrote:
I'm not sure that there is any such thing as water proofs that actually work. I seem to get wet from inside (sweat & condensation) or wet from the outside, but I don't stay dry. I've more or less given up on staying dry. That said, with decent waterproofs, merely damp is possible for a few hours, at least.


Pretty much a fair statement. In sustained/heavy rain you're going to get wet, and no matter what the miraculous claims the marketing for your super-duper-tex jacket say it's pretty much down to physics that you'll get wet to at least some degree. The main tricks are that you don't get cold and wet, and that once you're in the tent/hostel/B&B you've got something dry to put on.

Good waterproofs will keep you dry in lighter rain and they'll reduce the awfulness of the heavy/sustained so they're worth having, but don't assume you'll turn up nicely desiccated.

mercalia wrote:well I wont cycle in the rain. or start a ride if I think it will. I cant see any fun in it.


Well no, but I can see missed deadlines in it. I have 'phoned in to work on one occasion to say sorry I can't be there this morning, I'm over a hundred miles away at the wrong end of Loch Shiel, but I think they'd be miffed if I made a habit of it...

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

Ben@Forest
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Re: First Tour

Postby Ben@Forest » 15 Aug 2014, 9:24am

I agree with those who say you should learn how to read a map. You can go on navigation courses and I bet a day on such a course would cost less than many of the GPS devices out there. Of course a map in the extreme wet can be difficult to use but you can get those outdoor versions which are either laminated or on some type of plasticised material.

axel_knutt
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Re: First Tour

Postby axel_knutt » 15 Aug 2014, 10:31am

I'll go along with what others are saying about waterproofs, it's a misnomer. I regard them a bit like a wetsuit: they keep you warm by trapping a layer of warm water. I don't understand the idea that there's no fun in going out in the rain, once you grasp the nettle and get out there's a great deal of fun in it. Perhaps it helps if you've accepted that waterproofs aren't waterproof, but I don't see how you avoid it unless you can ring up God and book your weather at the same time you book your accommodation. I remember being laughed at by motorists the day I rode from Exeter to Dartington in torrential rain, but it was one of the best rides I've done.

Re navigation, a Mk1 map doesn't crash. I have a walkers GPS, which I'll use to locate a position, but I don't use it to navigate a route, it just isn't worth the palava. I have a map holder made from a Tupperware CD case which is shower proof, if it chucks it down I put the map in a sandwich bag.

Ben@Forest
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Re: First Tour

Postby Ben@Forest » 15 Aug 2014, 10:55am

mercalia wrote:well I wont cycle in the rain. or start a ride if I think it will. I cant see any fun in it. I dont mind camping in the rain as long as it stops when I want to start riding again. I also dont want to ride the road of bones, I think it called in Siberia like some lady is doing, or camp in 10 foot of snow.


Try reading Cycling Home From Siberia by Rob Lilwall. Difficult to believe you could do what he did - and makes whinges about touring in UK or nearly anywhere which is temperate and close to civilisation (and by close I mean less than 50 miles away) look a trifle sad.

Vorpal
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Re: First Tour

Postby Vorpal » 15 Aug 2014, 12:01pm

bogmyrtle wrote:I would suggest that learning to read a map would be useful. No batteries required.
Also if you pre plan your route and use Streetview, you can see what key junctions look like so you will recognise them when you get there. If you do this you will develop a sense of direction.

Not everyone can develop a sense of direction. Some people seem to have a natural sense of direction while others simply can't tell without a compass. But a compass is a handy thing to know how to use.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

Psamathe
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Re: First Tour

Postby Psamathe » 15 Aug 2014, 12:07pm

If it's a question of map reading, OS publish quite a lot of guides on how to map read (and use maps) on their web site.

If it's a sense of direction, then I guess such info would not be much help.

Ian

pal
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Re: First Tour

Postby pal » 15 Aug 2014, 4:38pm

Try reading Cycling Home From Siberia by Rob Lilwall. Difficult to believe you could do what he did - and makes whinges about touring in UK or nearly anywhere which is temperate and close to civilisation (and by close I mean less than 50 miles away) look a trifle sad.


Yes, but... If you set out to cycle home from Siberia, I suppose you sign up for a bit more (unavoidable) discomfort than you might want to experience in a gentle tour through England? That is: cycle touring can cover a range of experiences -- some people find that battling the elements/midges/yaks brings its rewards, others want something a bit more relaxing (and some might want both, depending on their mood). Cycling doesn't have to be an endurance event to be worthwhile, does it...?

Back to the OP's adventures: +1 for the suggestion of using Streetview to help with orientation (I'm a great one for setting out in the wrong direction from train stations, car parks, etc: having a bit of foreknowledge of the landmarks and layout of streets can be very helpful). On waterproofs: I agree that nothing's ever entirely waterproof, though having something which will keep you warm is useful (neoprene shoecovers can be good for that: they don't keep your feet dry in a torrential downpour, but they stop them getting too cold).

For your next tour: how about the Lancashire cycleway? Not too far from you (I think?), very well signposted (in case of further GPS disasters, and/or for help with paper map-reading), and with lots of good rail links on the way round, in case things turn miserable and you need to beat a tactical retreat. Some info here (the Cicerone guidebook is very good, too): http://www.lancashire.gov.uk/corporate/web/?siteid=3732&pageid=42247&e=e

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Vantage
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Re: First Tour

Postby Vantage » 15 Aug 2014, 11:50pm

Hi folks,
Sorry for the late reply, been feeling very low and depressed unsurprisingly.
Thank you for your support and suggestions.
Vorpal, agreed about waterproofs. The coat when new did a terrific job of keeping me dry in all but the worst downpours and perspiration wasn't really a huge issue due to under arm zippers. It's gotten worse over the last year though and yesterday started leaking within the first few raindrops. Useless. Just ordered a can of waterproofing spray :? Who knows, it might work :D
The front panniers are Altura Arran 36's which apart from not being waterproof, have been utterly brilliant since I bought them with the bike 2 1/2 years ago. The problem yesterday (and this is more the racks fault than the panniers) was down to the non horizontal adjustability of the top clips.
image.jpg
No option to move clips closer or further apart

The rack was (it was replaced today) a somewhat modified Axiom Journey DLX.
image.jpg
Very short top bar

The pannier clips just happened to mount at the ends where the corners of the racks top bar start and that prevented the clips engaging properly. I was hoping the central security clip would make up for that issue. Doh! As if.
The rack originally had little 'pips' welded to the top bar to stop panniers sliding off but unfortunately they were located at precisely the same distance apart as the pannier clips so I chopped them off, drilled some holes and stuck a couple Allen bolts in to do the job. That didn't work because due to the clips not being secure, they bounced loose over the bolts and the panniers started sliding off anyway. You couldn't make it up.
The new rack works though. Tried it today :mrgreen:
@ edocaster, rack and panniers as above.
@ bogmyrtle, I can read maps, I can just never figure out where I am on them in unfamiliar areas. Remembering to take the fourth left is only useful if you can remover how many previous lefts you passed, which I never can :) which leads me to...
@ axel-Knutt, using the gps to locate position. Good advice, seriously wish I'd thought of that yesterday. Doh!
@ Ben@Forest, it's on my list of books to read. As they say, one mans molehill is another mans mountain. Depression, anxiety attacks and according to my doc, a coping disorder made yesterday's fly in the soup K2 in size for me :)
@ pal, this tour which I'll be trying again soon (I hope) is only a 215 mile round trip and staying at my dad's halfway and I'm lucky in that I can call on a few family members if I get seriously stuck on the way. Sort of why I chose this route as my first tour really.
Re warm clothing, I was keeping the warm stuff dry so I'd have something to warm up in when I'd dried out a bit. Advice I'd read elsewhere. Not sure if it was good advice though :)
Anyhoo, new front rack fitted, reverted the garmin to an earlier software version and I think I might have found a map holding bar bag that won't foul the STI levers and hopefully getting that next week.
Round 2 coming up :)
Bill


“Ride as much or as little, or as long or as short as you feel. But ride.” ~ Eddy Merckx
I am not a cyclist. I am a Dad!


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