First cycle tour

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

Postby Phileas » 12 May 2016, 6:43pm

In the long term I intend to cycle JOGLE but before I do that I want to get some touring experience so I'm thinking of doing a 3 or 4 day tour starting and returning to Bristol.I'd like to do something scenic and I'm ok with hills.

So I'm wondering if anyone can recommend routes which could form all or part of such a tour. Alternatively could someone point me to online planning resources.

My cycle fitness is excellent from 20+ years of "furious" cycle commuting, but I'm not thinking of doing particularly long stages, I just want get a feel for the logistics of cycle touring.

I would almost certainly stay in b & b - I have plenty of experience here as I do a lot of long distance walking.

andymiller
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Re: First cycle tour

Postby andymiller » 12 May 2016, 7:01pm

NCN West Country Way from say Temple Meads to Chew Magna and on. Train back from say Bridgwater or Taunton?

Go to cycle.travel for maps etc etc

simonhill
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Re: First cycle tour

Postby simonhill » 12 May 2016, 7:28pm

I think part of the fun of any tour is working out the route.

First thing is, is there anywhere you want to go?

Even if not, I'd get something like a good road atlas, roughly work out the sort of distance you want to do and then build a route. You can usually see the smaller roads and also work out where you will get your r&r.

If using maps, OS landranger are good and often available from your local library. They may be too detailed and bulky to carry, but you can use them for planning. They show the national cycle routes, places of interest and have contours - what more could you want.

From Bristol you have got lots of choice and my guess is that you will get a lot more satisfaction out of a route you plan.

Kernowboy
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Re: First cycle tour

Postby Kernowboy » 12 May 2016, 7:31pm

My first cycle camping tour was from Reading to Bristol Temple Meads using NCN 4, taking you in part along the Kennet and Avon canal and the Bath to Bristol cycle path. Plenty of B&B options and nice pubs. Could be done in reverse, dont forget to book your cycle reservation with GWR from next week.

eileithyia
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Re: First cycle tour

Postby eileithyia » 12 May 2016, 7:46pm

As said half the fun is choosing somewhere to go, is there a part of the countryside you like, or want to explore more... then devising routes to get there and back.

Some years ago we started and finished a tour in Bristol, admittedly it was a 2 week trip to Land's End and back but there was plenty of stuff we did that could form a 4 day route ... we went out into the Mendips and on along the coast to places like Watchet and Minehead, back via a more southerly route.

Alternatively you could the train to somewhere further north, Forest of Dean, Wye Valley, Southern Wales... Monmouth area? Or out towards Wiltshire and Dorset.

Check out British Cycle Quest, you get cards for every county, each has 6 questions to be answered by visiting the site by bike.... we have used these on holiday to form a days ride out from a camp site..... you could incorporate them into a mini tour.

Do you have other interests; bird watching, old churches etc... you could make up a tour visiting churches, museums or bird reserves (just a few ideas off the top of my head).
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

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meic
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Re: First cycle tour

Postby meic » 12 May 2016, 7:47pm

Chepstow-Usk-Abergevenny-Brecon keeping off the main roads. Could drop to Cardiff on Route8 (Taff Trail) and then back to Bristol on 47 or 4 but better just to go back roughly the same way you went out.
Go up the Severn in England (Vale of Berkely) on Sustrans, then Newent-Monmouth-Usk-Chepstow.

You could follow Sustrans Route4 or 47 East or West but going West through Newport and Cardiff is more "educational" than scenic.
Yma o Hyd

Phileas
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Joined: 18 Feb 2009, 6:12pm
Location: Bristol

Re: First cycle tour

Postby Phileas » 12 May 2016, 9:39pm

These are all helpful suggestions, thanks all.

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CaptainSlow
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Re: First cycle tour

Postby CaptainSlow » 12 May 2016, 10:25pm

I'd suggest checking out the Avon cycleway circular route, and maybe throwing in an extra bit to include Cheddar and back on the Strawberry line cycle path. Lovely ride.
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TrevA
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Re: First cycle tour

Postby TrevA » 13 May 2016, 12:48pm

Up the Severn and down the Wye, or vice versa. There is a CTC route map for a tour called the Severn Wye Circle (or 7YO), but I think it takes 7 days or more. You could ride so far up one of the rivers, cut across and ride back down the other.
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whoof
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Re: First cycle tour

Postby whoof » 13 May 2016, 2:02pm

The good news is that there's plenty of good riding around Bristol. Can you give some idea of how far you want to ride each day?


Last weekend on Friday I rode from Bristol to Bath for work and in the evening started on the Kennet and Avon Canal at Dundas Aquaduct

http://www.bristol-drones.co.uk/wp-cont ... -1-121.jpg

and then off at Avoncliff through Warminster and on to just outside Salisbury. Saturday took a look a Old Sarum

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/remo ... 60&anchor=

then headed North following the Avon. At LArkhill rode across Salisbury Plain on the military roads and went to the 29 locks of Caen locks at Devises.
http://medias.photodeck.com/5ddd71b0-70 ... xlarge.jpg

The North again through Avebury


http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/remo ... ttomcenter

and stayed the night outside Calne. Sunday, went to Chippenhama and then Lacock before heading back.

http://wiltshireweb.co.uk/wp-content/ga ... ock_20.jpg

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honesty
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Re: First cycle tour

Postby honesty » 13 May 2016, 3:03pm

How many miles a day is your target?

I would suggest getting on a train and cycling back home. The west Country way is lovely for this to Bristol and you could start from Barnstaple for example.

Phileas
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Location: Bristol

Re: First cycle tour

Postby Phileas » 13 May 2016, 4:23pm

Since I've never cycle toured I don't know what distance I'll be comfortable with although fitness shouldn't be an issue.

The purpose of the tour is more to get a general feel for the sorts of issues which arise so I can plan for them. So I'm thinking 60 or 70 miles a day. When I do a walking trip I, I walk more or less continuously and stop for about 15mins max for lunch so I'm used to just plodding on for mile after mile, up and down hills as they arise.

One possible circuit I was looking at is
Bristol - Minehead - Taunton (via Illfracombe/Exmoor) - Salisbury - Bristol

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honesty
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Re: First cycle tour

Postby honesty » 13 May 2016, 8:33pm

That sort of distance I'd be looking to get the train down to Plymouth (mainline, no changes) then cycling up the Devon coast to coast route to Barnstaple, then following the West Country Way from Barnstaple to Bristol.

andymiller
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Re: First cycle tour

Postby andymiller » 14 May 2016, 6:19am

I don't know how long or fast your commute is, but I really wouldn't underestimate how tough and hilly Devon and South Somerset can be. Going over Exmoor was tougher than anything I've ridden in the Alps.

Unless you are regularly doing day rides of 60 to 70 miles I would cut your target mileage. Or do some day rides to test what you can feasibly manage. Also bear in mind that it's not so much what you can do on day one that counts, but whether you can get up and do it again on day two and day three. Planning your route so that you have some bail-out options would be a good idea.

Phileas
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Location: Bristol

Re: First cycle tour

Postby Phileas » 14 May 2016, 7:05am

You could be right about the mileage since I'm only used to short commutes and I may try a loaded day ride beforehand.

However, I would rate my fitness as very good and I'm used to walking for 7+ hours carrying 15+kg on multiple days on e.g. coastal paths which can be rather undulating. So I'm sure I'm capable but that doesn't mean I won't find it unexpectedly challenging.