Bradford to San Remo Advice?

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
Bantam23
Posts: 1
Joined: 22 Dec 2009, 11:12am

Bradford to San Remo Advice?

Postby Bantam23 » 22 Dec 2009, 11:13am

Hi All,

I am planning on riding from Bradford to Milan in late may next year for charity and was hoping to get some advice from people have done a lot more touring than I (Which is nil at present!).

In terms of fitness I am comfortable that I have enough time to get this up to scratch and there are plenty of threads pointing me in the right direction.

In terms of the trip its self what advice can people give? I will be looking to camp as I go and am under the impression that most french villages have sites so will finding a pitch be as straightforward as it seems?

How do people plan routes? I was going to plan something on somewhere like Bike Route Toaster and then highlight it on paper maps I can take with me? How do you know if there are area's to avoid (I.e. route a to b has much better scenary via c as opposed to d). What should I set up in advance? Anything or can I just book as I go and get up and just ride as far as I want each day?

I was planning on spending around £600 on a bike. Will this be sufficient to ensure the ride is not ruined by a heavy bike struggling to get over the hills etc. What should I look for in a bike.

I will also plan on travelling very light i.e. small tent, 2 changes of cycling gear and a couple of 'normal clothes'. Should I need to take a lot more than I would originally think?

What about fundraising? Does anyone have any pointers about raising a decent amount? I will ask friends and family but that will only get a modest amount. Is it worth writing to companies or phoning them or the local paper (I am fundraising for the Bradford Burns Unit in conjunction with Bradford City F.C so there is a lot of local publicity about it currently etc)

Apologies for the long post, anything at all would be of use. Thanks in advance.

Thanks

Ben

pq
Posts: 1056
Joined: 12 Nov 2007, 11:41pm
Location: St Antonin Noble Val, France
Contact:

Re: Bradford to San Remo Advice?

Postby pq » 22 Dec 2009, 11:39am

Routes - get a French Michelin road atlas with maps at 1:200,000. Look for unclassified wiggly roads as much as possible - if you do that, your ride will be wonderful. You can tear the pages out that you need to take with you.

If you're technically inclined, you could think about getting a cheap GPS. You can plot your route on Google Earth (free) and with a bit of faffing, download it to your GPS. The beauty of that is that you can follow a very complex route on quiet back roads without having to stop at every junction to look at a map. The disadvantage is that it will take a long time to plan your route - but that's time well spent in my experience. It would be a shame to ride across France on main roads and miss most of what is so fantastic about the place.

Think carefully about which ferry crossing you use. I'd particularly avoid Dover/Calais because the riding at both ends is awful. My preferences given your starting point would be Portsmouth to Cherbourg or Caen (Oestreham now) or Newhaven to Dieppe. That'll give you much nicer riding on both sides of the channel.

You need to think about whether you want to tackle the Alps. By the time you get there, you'll be fine to do a pass or two - they're long but not steep. In your shoes I'd do it - you'll love it and it would be a spectacular finale to your ride.
One link to your website is enough. G

BE1
Posts: 120
Joined: 22 May 2009, 10:56pm

Re: Bradford to San Remo Advice?

Postby BE1 » 23 Dec 2009, 8:47pm

Sounds like a great ride, have fun.

For a flattish route, in broad terms follow the rivers Loire then Rhone, nice scenary, great food and wine!

00 should get you a good enough lower spec new tourer (unless prices have gone up again :( ) or a very nice second hand Dawes Galaxy. Harrogate is not too far away so if you can get over to Spa cycles and have a chat with them.

Barrenfluffit
Posts: 797
Joined: 20 Oct 2009, 5:31pm

Re: Bradford to San Remo Advice?

Postby Barrenfluffit » 23 Dec 2009, 9:20pm

Bantam23 wrote:In terms of the trip its self what advice can people give? I will be looking to camp as I go and am under the impression that most french villages have sites so will finding a pitch be as straightforward as it seems?

How do people plan routes? I was going to plan something on somewhere like Bike Route Toaster and then highlight it on paper maps I can take with me?


Its not daily challenge to go as far as you can; you have to get up and do it again every day. Overstretching tends to mean more rest days. Also you need time to sort out domestic details. Campsites are very common in high season but in the shoulders it can be hard finding open ones.

I guestimated a dailly distance then looked for accomodation based on that. I'd plan a couple of days in advance but not much more. Highlighting paper maps worked well for me.

mw3230
Posts: 1162
Joined: 31 May 2007, 11:22pm
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne

Re: Bradford to San Remo Advice?

Postby mw3230 » 24 Dec 2009, 8:07am

Bradford to San Remo doesn't have the same cachet about it as Milan to San Remo but good luck with your venture!
Retired and loving it

sean02ie
Posts: 42
Joined: 12 Jan 2007, 3:32pm

Re: Bradford to San Remo Advice?

Postby sean02ie » 24 Dec 2009, 2:08pm

Seems to me that taking into consideration that you don't have a bike yet and it's your first long distant trip you might be too ambitious. No problem if you have a month to spare but 1000 miles over 2 weeks is tough going. Why not start with a shorter c2c or E2E ireland at 410 mls with cheap air fares is a great trip.
Fundraising well either join a organised charity group where you have to committ to raising a substantial amout which usualy includes your cost. Alternatrivly do as I do run a fun cycle in your community or have a pub quiz. Sorry to be a bit negative, however if you take on the challenge fair play to you and the best of luck,
Sean