Any tips for touring on the cheap?

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
Spadger
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Joined: 1 Feb 2017, 4:22pm

Re: Any tips for touring on the cheap?

Postby Spadger » 3 Feb 2017, 4:26pm

Barrenfluffit wrote:The main expense when your moving is food and drink so supermarkets and self catering is your friend.

Buying a good second hand touring bike can be tricky; you have to know a fair bit about what your looking at and even then its a bit of a punt re comfort/fit. Usually its better to look at what you have, stuff like regreasing bearings, new chain, making sure everything lines up and runs smoothly and that the fit is good.
You can get often get drinking water in town squares and graveyards.

While its not essential your level of fitness makes a big difference to your enjoyment (at least initially). A physically a bike tour is about nibbling away and time in the saddle. You should have largely recovered from the riding by the next day. Overdoing it one day and having to take a day off tends to be counter-productive.


Well, i've got my haynes manual on bicycle maintenance - so I shall be giving jeremy farcycle some love.
I'll remember the town squares and graveyards, that's a good top tip.

I've definitely over done it before, we had a bit of a race up the country to get the harwich - hoek van holland ferry.
even after sleeping on the ferry, we only made a short distance before collapsing in a park and sleeping through the afternoon.
which wasted a lot of time.

Spadger
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Re: Any tips for touring on the cheap?

Postby Spadger » 3 Feb 2017, 4:35pm

Morzedec wrote:Hello, some comments on Eurovelo One: whilst in places nothing more than a Tourist Board dream, the route is possible to follow - but be prepared to vary your route rather than slavishly following what at times can be a meandering, wandering journey. Similar to many designated cycling 'routes' in all countries across the World, EV1 has been designed to take the cyclist away from traffic at all times if possible, even if it means disappearing up a muddy track or heading along an urban footpath (in Souce-sur-Erdre, for example). Many rural roads in France are a joy to cycle along, traffic free, for dozens of kilometres on end - you will only encounter traffic when you head into a town to search for supplies.
Wild camp if you wish, but there are also Municipal campsites in many villages that charge next to nothing, so why not support the local economy and leave a few Euros behind you?
If you must wild camp then I'll suggest that you head for the remote countryside and pitch there, rather than being tempted by one of the many aires de picnic that can be found at the edge of villages. Quiet and peaceful places during the daytime, they will get busy later on when the dog walkers come out to let their pet have its nightly crap - and in France, no-one ever picks it up.
To summarise: use EV1 as a guide, but never be afraid to deviate away from it when the 'wanderings' start.
1600 kilometres in a month? - of course you can!
have fun!
This really is part of Eurovelo 1 in Souce-sur-Erdre! - Copy.jpg


I'm definitely planning my route in the knowledge that it wont be exact or without wanderings.
I've found that the best part about going cycling is getting lost and finding a nice little town with a well stocked bar :)
EV1 definitely does look VERY touristy, but that it's signposted and fairly straight forward is a massive bonus.

Spadger
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Re: Any tips for touring on the cheap?

Postby Spadger » 3 Feb 2017, 4:38pm

whoof wrote:One simple way to make touring cost less is do it with someone else. It's cheaper per person for two rather than one to stay in a campsite or room.
Food can also work out cheaper. For instance milk is sold in one litre containers. That's plenty for two people to have an evening cupa plus cereal and a milky coffee in the morning. For one you can end up glugging milk in the morning just to use it up. Also ice creams, multipack magnum style ones are good value from places like Lidl but on your own eating three or more at a single sitting can be a bit excessive.


I could eat that much ice cream in one sitting :D

Hopefully, if she can get the time off, my lovely girlfriend will be accompanying me on the trip.
I'm sure she can help me eat all the ice cream before it melts.

robing
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Re: Any tips for touring on the cheap?

Postby robing » 4 Feb 2017, 10:36am

Spadger wrote:
meic wrote:
How realisticic is it to cover a thousand miles in a month?

Totally realistic, I did 1100 miles in two weeks in that country and there are plenty who would consider me a dawdler.
An average of 35 miles a day is very achievable. Four hours cycling a day at a quite relaxed pace.

I mostly rough camp, nobody has ever hassled me on public land and those who have caught me on the likes of private club property have not been upset. So long as you LEAVE NO TRACE.
The municipal campsites are very cheap and good places to rough camp when they are closed out of season.
France is especially good for wild camping, especially as you get further South and the population density drops. Consider cooking with a Trangia as meths is sold in most supermarkets at around 1.50 Euros per litre.

I am a great fan of butterfly bars, though I much prefer the less usual style of positioning brakes and gear levers on the outside part of the bars, rather than the bottom section. It requires carefully prising the clamps a bit to get around the curves. Converting straight to butterfly should be quite straightforward requiring new (longer) cables inner and outer and a length of bar sponge handgrip tubing foam. You may find less suitable space available for accessories like speedometers and lights on the bars.

The bit of your bike to get right is the rear wheel, that is the most vulnerable part of it.
All of the rest is comparatively robust, simple or cheap to replace.


it's good to hear that it's all achievable given the time frame, It's hard gauging how long it will all take without very much experience -
google says it'll all 4 days ... I don't trust google.
The municipal campsites sound like a good deal,
is there a website with the locations marked on a map or will they just pop up anywhere and everywhere?

I haven't yet used butterfly handlebars, but they look very comfortable :)


http://www.camping-municipal.org

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Morzedec
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Re: Any tips for touring on the cheap?

Postby Morzedec » 4 Feb 2017, 11:05am

http://www.campingfrance.com/

Almost all the campsites in France, both private and Municipal.

Open one of the interactive maps for the are that you re in, and see what you can find. BEWARE the cost of private campsites the further south -west you travel; the price of some sites along the Atlantic coast will be prohibitive during the high season.

Forget about well-stocked bars and too much ice cream - but drink twice as much water as you think you need. Buy fruit and veg locally, from roadside stalls if you can find them - melons ought to be cheap, and satisfy both hunger and liquid intake.

Quite seriously, if your friend cannot get time to put some miles in before setting out then don't take her - a ride of a thousand miles (and more) is quite normal for many of us, but setting out to cover this sort of distance without the correct preparation is just plain daft. The ride ought to be fun, but it's not just a 'jolly', and for a novice the first couple of days might be really tough so be mentally prepared for some pain.

I'm not saying that you should not do the ride, but am saying that if you are not used to the distance then be completely prepared.

regards,

France is flat .......jpg

mercalia
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Re: Any tips for touring on the cheap?

Postby mercalia » 4 Feb 2017, 1:55pm

exit one girl friend? :lol:

simonhill
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Re: Any tips for touring on the cheap?

Postby simonhill » 4 Feb 2017, 3:33pm

One thing about touring Europe in summer is the long days. Plus you have an extra hour at the end.

If wild camping and leaving early and pitching late, you will have very long days. This may be good, my be not. 14 hours is a real possibility, so covering a reasonable distance can be done without too much effort.

Personally I would favour cheap campsites, when possible, so you can relax without worrying about if you are going to be hassled. Plus of course the showers, loo, etc. They are also somewhere that you can leave your gear and maybe your bike so you can go for a wander.

Saving a few quid every night may not be the most enjoyable way of doing your trip.

My advice to anyone doing a trip is TO THINK. Think how doing this will affect that and how that will affect that. It's amazing how plans fall into place when you think things right through. I believe they call it the holostic approach nowadays, but that's a bit poncey for me.

Enjoy.

Davidwd
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Re: Any tips for touring on the cheap?

Postby Davidwd » 4 Feb 2017, 9:19pm

If you go to Naturist campsites you can wash all your gear out in one load and save on washing costs.......not tried it though! :wink:
and there are lots of Naturist sites in that part of France

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Morzedec
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Re: Any tips for touring on the cheap?

Postby Morzedec » 5 Feb 2017, 11:44am

simonhill wrote:One thing about touring Europe in summer is the long days. Plus you have an extra hour at the end.

If wild camping and leaving early and pitching late, you will have very long days. This may be good, my be not. 14 hours is a real possibility, so covering a reasonable distance can be done without too much effort.

Personally I would favour cheap campsites, when possible, so you can relax without worrying about if you are going to be hassled. Plus of course the showers, loo, etc. They are also somewhere that you can leave your gear and maybe your bike so you can go for a wander.

Saving a few quid every night may not be the most enjoyable way of doing your trip.

My advice to anyone doing a trip is TO THINK. Think how doing this will affect that and how that will affect that. It's amazing how plans fall into place when you think things right through. I believe they call it the holostic approach nowadays, but that's a bit poncey for me.

Enjoy.


What you suggest in your post is practical common sense, there's nothing at all 'holistic' about it - but I'm always amazed that many people (politicians, for example) are unable to do tasks like this.

I agree with you about cheap campsites, and if 'camping sauvage' I head for a site every three days or so - not that I don't wash in the village pump each morning but a hot shower can be fun if shared, which of course saves water and builds relationships.

It must be difficult for the 'first timers' in France, so what seems like the norm for many of us will be a huge adventure for them; so lets hope that our posts enthuse, encourage, and enlighten them.

Pass the soap.

Who needs panniers.jpg

Who needs panniers?

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meic
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Re: Any tips for touring on the cheap?

Postby meic » 5 Feb 2017, 12:17pm

and if 'camping sauvage' I head for a site every three days or so - not that I don't wash in the village pump each morning but a hot shower can be fun if shared, which of course saves water and builds relationships.


I tend to find that I am only near enough to a camping Municipal at the end of the day with that level of frequency.
What I have done is to use their showers during the day as I cycle through towns with them.
The showers are available for a small price (up to half of a night's fee?) though there isnt normally anybody around to collect the money. :mrgreen:
Unfortunately some worked on tokens. :cry:

As my tours are during Easter I prefer to wash during the warm of the day rather than the cold of the night. Cold water pumps are out of the question! Even the draught blowing through the hot showers was bad enough.

I am useless at spoken French, though I can understand a bit of basic written stuff. This may disadvantage me in many respects but it makes it more of a foreign adventure than in the countries were I am more linguistically competent.
Yma o Hyd

robing
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Re: Any tips for touring on the cheap?

Postby robing » 5 Feb 2017, 2:42pm

The forests of the southwest are a great place to wild camp. You can just use the velodyssey. Make sure no -one is watching and then just head in to the forest. 50 yards from the cycle path and you are invisible. The sangliers can be noisy!

Also some campsites even though not municipal do special rates for the velodyssey.

mercalia
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Re: Any tips for touring on the cheap?

Postby mercalia » 5 Feb 2017, 4:37pm

this a bit over kill , carrying firewood for your evening camp?
click to enlarge
whats happening here.jpg
firewood for your evening camp?

Davidwd
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Re: Any tips for touring on the cheap?

Postby Davidwd » 5 Feb 2017, 4:52pm

You could always take your food with you!

https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-NExy4bxvSjk/ ... 1600/1.jpg

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Morzedec
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Re: Any tips for touring on the cheap?

Postby Morzedec » 5 Feb 2017, 5:15pm

mercalia wrote:this a bit over kill , carrying firewood for your evening camp?
click to enlarge
whats happening here.jpg


You would need one of these:

Wood Stove.jpg


Anyone got a Boy Scout, to light me fire?

Brains
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Re: Any tips for touring on the cheap?

Postby Brains » 5 Feb 2017, 5:18pm

I'd start by loading up all your gear, cycling 20 miles to a camp site, spend the night, and then cycle home again via a different route (or if you live in a city, take a train out and then cycle 40 miles or so between two stations)

That will give you the start of the experience.
You will find you have taken way too much equipment, so the following weekend do the same thing with half the gear.

You will then also find out what you need for the bike. Is it good enough as is, or do you need to make changes or even get a new (second hand) bike