Epic UK Ride

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
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Millhouse
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Re: Epic UK Ride

Postby Millhouse » 3 Apr 2012, 5:36pm

Just to add a little bit extra re wifi.
Many pubs now have WiFi and will often have power points. What more could you as for, surfing the web with a pint of real ale in your hand!
Re your comment about campsites not having WiFi, you will find that many do, you may have to pay for access.
Your trip sounds fantastic.
My Dad died a year before my last trip around England. I found his memory a constant source of encouragement and although I felt sad, at times, that I couldn't share my journey with him I knew that he would have loved hearing about my trip and that always spured me on when I was feeling a bit low.
Have a fantastic adventure.
Regards
Millhouse

mcallaghan
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Re: Epic UK Ride

Postby mcallaghan » 4 Apr 2012, 5:21pm

Thanks Millhouse. I plan on staying away from McD's and will find myself in some pretty rural locations, which is why I was wondering on what the UK/Ireland is like in regards to WiFi spots. The last time I was in Europe (Camping) was in 2003 and I can't recall seeing anything about Wifi etc at the time.

My dads memory is what is pushing me through training right now. The weather is on the verge of cooperating - still 2 weeks left of the Ski Season up here, but warm enough weather to start riding. Of course, 'flat' is a relative term out here, and the flatest route I found is a 10 mile roundtrip involving 1500 ft of climbing. Not exactly a 'baby' ride to get back into things.

I am looking more at Mid-August now as my start date, as I need to find work out here during the summer and most jobs run through September.

mcallaghan
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Re: Epic UK Ride

Postby mcallaghan » 7 Apr 2012, 4:13pm

My LHT has finally arrived! Going to pick it up in a few days. Slight problem with the front rank rubbing against the Quick Release. Certainly looks pretty though. So I now have all the gear assembled for my trip.

One issue is looking up tour routes. The one for Around Ireland that I've found...well, the directions don't match up with the roads at all. I havent heard a reply from CTC about it yet so question for you all - should I just 'wing it' and plot my own, or does anyone know of a semi-decent route to use?

mcallaghan
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Re: Epic UK Ride

Postby mcallaghan » 23 Apr 2012, 5:51pm

Ok, so things are shaping up a bit more now that my Uncle is communicating with me. It seems like we shall be doing the LEJOG via B&B's in ~12 - 14 days. At the end of the LEJOG (which may or may not be supported at this time) I will head to Stranraer and take a ferry to Larne (just N of Belfast). So a question for you all - I will be taking a ferry from Dublin to Holyhead to get back to the UK and do the Lon Las Cymru, but which direction should I travel around Ireland? My original plans had be going from Dublin to the South. However, if I head South from Larne and do a loop, it will add on a few extra days of cycling (essentially retracing my steps from Larne to Dublin). However, if I head North, then I don't quite complete the circuit, as I miss the Larne to Dublin stretch. Any suggestions?

mcallaghan
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Re: Epic UK Ride

Postby mcallaghan » 29 Jun 2012, 4:58pm

My trip is now official. Booked my flight - will be arriving Aug 14th in the UK, with plans to start the LEJOG segment that coming weekend with my Uncle. Looks like my cousin will be driving a van (not sure if that means Camper Van or just car) so we will be supported. I'll be in the UK for a bout a month (actually, 40 odd days) which gives me some rest days after the LEJOG before embarking on the Wales and Ireland segments (with the luxury of not being in a rush to get to Point A to Point B. Allows time for unseen circumstances and extra rest days or Points of Interest as needed.

I'll be bringing my small laptop with me, I think, in order to keep in contact with the rest of the world when WiFi presents itself (and to update my blog). Still a bit nervous about doing Wales and Ireland Solo. Still working out the final course for Ireland. Also need to figure out if I want to do Wales beforehand or after (can take a train from Uncles home to Holyhead, then ferry to Dublin in one day....or take Train to Cardiff, do my cycling, then catch a train on return trip from Holyhead...) so many options still to consider.

Also - fenders - I can't recall having them on my last Touring Bike (but I might just not be able to remember them) and have not gotten them for my current touring bike. I expect to be rained on during my trip (it may not have rained here in 2 months, but the UK is quite wet right now by all accounts) so am thinking it might be wise to find some fenders that fit under my racks. Suggestions?

bealer
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Joined: 1 Apr 2010, 1:16pm

Re: Epic UK Ride

Postby bealer » 1 Jul 2012, 11:40pm

SKS Chromoplastics 40mm are the standard mud guards used by a lot of tourers. They're definitely worth having, just keeps all the muck off you and your bike for an additional 500g.

Wales is fine for touring. If you're going around the outskirts, it can be a bit main roadie as there's really only one road that follows the coast, but there are opportunities to get off it. I found the best bit of cycling I've ever done there, just north of Swansea going into the Brecon National Park.

Image

The A4069 to Llangadog, awesome. Tarmac was a 10 (out of 10).

mcallaghan
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Re: Epic UK Ride

Postby mcallaghan » 2 Jul 2012, 3:12am

I'm planning on following the Sustrans route for the Lon Las Cymru from Holyhead to Cardiff. I think I may make a detour to go near Snowdon (possible take a day off to hike it) but otherwise plan on following the Sustrans Maps I have for the ride.

Ireland is a whole different story of course and the hardest part to plan right now.

mcallaghan
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Re: Epic UK Ride

Postby mcallaghan » 4 Jul 2012, 10:57pm

Change of plans slightly.

LEJOG route has been confirmed with Uncle.

I'll be riding NCN 8 from Cardiff to Holyhead on my solo tour.
Ferry from Holyhead to Dun Laoghire (sp?) where I will embark on my solo Irish Tour.

LEJOG route as planned:


Day start finish distance agg
Thursday 1 16/08/2012 penzance lands end cambourne 35
Friday 2 17/08/2012 cambourne oakhampton 72 107
Saturday 3 18/08/2012 oakhampton Bath 96 203
Sunday 4 19/08/2012 Bath Ludlow 86 289
Monday 5 20/08/2012 Ludlow Willaston 75 364
Tuesday 6 21/08/2012 Willaston Goosnargh 47 411
Wednesday 7 22/08/2012 Goosnargh Cumwhitton 83 494
Thursday 8 23/08/2012 Cumwhitton Glasgow 106 600
Friday 9 24/08/2012 Glasgow Fort william 100 700
Saturday 10 25/08/2012 Fort william Muir of Ord 66.3 766
Sunday 11 26/08/2012 Muir of Ord Tongue 80.6 847
Monday 12 27/08/2012 Tongue JOG Wick 76 923
Tuesday 28/08/2012 Home (Uncles Home)

Staying in B&B's the whole way. Day 5 will be spent with my Great Uncle (never met in person, but have communicated via email). Day 7 will be with a Great Aunt...or maybe she is my Aunts sister? Not sure, but haven't met her either, but my Uncle has made arrangements.

We're still deciding on whether to fly back or take a train. I'd vote for a train as then the bike won't be disassembled for shipping and it will allow me to start my Wales Solo Segment a few days earlier.

I'll be following the Sustrans NCN Route 8, from Cardiff to Holyhead, and am planning on doing it in 3 days (camping each night). For some reason I am looking forward to doing the Lon Las Cymru more then the LEJOG, even though I'll be solo for the first time.

I've roughly plotted out for the first 6 days in Ireland, getting me from Dublin down to Mizen Head, then up to Glasgow (where my Aunt lives - rest day there for me). Thinking of spending a night on Cape Clear Island (strange name) before hitting up Mizen head, but I think that will depend on the Ferry times and whether they'll allow me to take a bike on such ferry (I can't see why not?).

Any comments/suggestions/advice at this point will be much appreciated as things are becoming much more official.

Jon Lucas
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Re: Epic UK Ride

Postby Jon Lucas » 5 Jul 2012, 7:39am

Best of luck with this ride. I live in Bath and see you are coming our way, but unfortunately I'm away on the 18th, otherwise would have suggested meeting up. Your ride from Okehampton (note spelling) that day is long and you should be aware that Bath and the country close by has a lot of very steep hills, particularly if approaching from the south (and also heading out north, which I assume you'll be doing the following day).

You'll enjoy Lon Las Cymru, but I wouldn't stick to it strictly. Most of it is lovely, but it does occasionally take detours up and down off road routes when there is a perfectly reasonable lane that is much shorter and less hilly.

Dun Laoghaire is spelt like this and pronounced 'Lairy'.

Cape Clear Island is actually called Clear island, but everyone tends to refer to it as Cape Clear, which is the peninsula that is Ireland's south-westernmost point. You won't have any problems taking a bike there. I have been there a few times, though not for about 20 years. On one of my trips back from the island I shared the ferry with a man who had three sheep with him. He said he brought them back to the mainland each week to mow his mother's lawn! They were fine on the ferry until just before we reached port, when they all pissed in unison and we had to move quickly!


Edwards
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Re: Epic UK Ride

Postby Edwards » 7 Jul 2012, 7:25am

Unfortunately I can not help you at all about the route. I have enjoyed reading this thread and how things have progressed. I hope the trip goes well just make sure you leave time to enjoy it.

Fenders are totally needed here at the moment. It is that wet the jokes have even turned to ones about Trench Foot.
Keith Edwards
I do not care about spelling and grammar

mcallaghan
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Re: Epic UK Ride

Postby mcallaghan » 7 Jul 2012, 2:44pm

Indeed - my cousin posted a picture to facebook today and the street outside her window looks more like a river, though not nearly as bad as in some parts. I am hoping that things dry out in a month - my bike isn't equipped with floats!

bealer
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Re: Epic UK Ride

Postby bealer » 9 Jul 2012, 12:44am

Route looks great, very similar to what I did. One bit I noticed, you cut across to Fort William, leaving the main road. Did you street view the road? To see what it's like, and I'd imagine it to be quite steep. Just something to check.

mcallaghan
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Re: Epic UK Ride

Postby mcallaghan » 9 Jul 2012, 2:28pm

Nope, but my Uncle has been plotting as well, since the route on a few days is a wee bit different then what I pictured (taking a ferry over to Liverpool, for instance). We'll figure it out.

oldroadrunner
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Re: Epic UK Ride

Postby oldroadrunner » 10 Jul 2012, 12:38am

Your original day 6 route is 60.47 not 47!(Tuesday 6 21/08/2012 Willaston Goosnargh 47 411)
If you take the ferry to Liverpool this will reduce the mileage quite a bit but I don't envy your route Northwards out of Liverpool. Maybe someone local can suggest the best/easiest route but I don't think you will find many quiet country lanes for the first 10 miles out of Liverpool !
I have done a 62 mile route from Chester to Preston that is, for the most part, on quietish roads.Since you will be adding a bit on at the start and end of my route I reckon it would be about 74 miles for you. I can E mail you a GPX track of the route if you wish.
I am only about 6 miles from Goosnargh so should be available to help if you want guidance through Preston.