Bike around Britain

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
jam_har
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Bike around Britain

Postby jam_har » 25 Apr 2013, 12:31pm

Hi,

Not posted on here before but have found some of the topics useful in preparation for my forthcoming tour.

I'm setting off on 01 May (next Wednesday) to cycle around the coast of Britain in 3 months - you can read about it on my blog:

http://www.bikearoundbritain.com

Think I've got all the kit I need, have planned the route for the most part, and itching to get on the road now. Anyone got any tips? Using my Garmin Edge for navigation and have uploaded routes, but think I'll take a regular map as well - will cut up my road atlas. Also using Power Monkey (solar charger) to re-charge my phone, iPad and Garmin, anyone had any experience of using this in the UK; should be fine as no doubt it'll be 3 months of wonderful sunshine :lol:

Am raising money for the Big C, a Norfolk cancer charity, after a dear friend passed away last year - all donations appreciated - link off blog site.

Maybe meet some of you on the road - looking to average between 65 and 90 miles a day, and camping for the most part; bike pretty heavy with all the kit and handles like a battering ram!

Cheers.

James

JamesE
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Re: Bike around Britain

Postby JamesE » 25 Apr 2013, 2:29pm

Looks excellent. I might pass you going the other way somewhere around Middlesbrough… I'll give you a wave… :D

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Mick F
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Re: Bike around Britain

Postby Mick F » 25 Apr 2013, 3:55pm

I had a thought about doing the ride a year or two ago and had a long thread on here about it.
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=44664

One thing came out loud and clear, and that was to go round clockwise so the sea is on your LEFT. I see you are doing it anti-clockwise. The thing that put me off from doing the circuit was the time it would need.

Good luck and enjoy the trip!
Mick F. Cornwall

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meic
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Re: Bike around Britain

Postby meic » 25 Apr 2013, 4:02pm

Do you have a back-up system for charging your electronics?

I have very little faith in Solar in the UK. You can buy small USB sockets that you plug into mains sockets.
Yma o Hyd

jam_har
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Re: Bike around Britain

Postby jam_har » 25 Apr 2013, 4:12pm

James E - will keep an eye out around Middlesborough!

Mike F - thanks for the link, will take a look later. Pretty much committed to anti-clockwise now. Did think about wind direction but to be honest our weather is so random these days who knows what'll be best. Decided on anticlockwise as read Mike Carter's book an he went that way, plus I want to get up to Scotland first.

Meic - I've got mains adapters for all my devices too so should be okay! Don't trust British sunshine either but apparently this charger will work even when it's overcast.

MickTheCyclist
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Re: Bike around Britain

Postby MickTheCyclist » 25 Apr 2013, 6:41pm

I used my Powermonkey solar charger last summer on tour in Germany and Austria. Plenty of sunshine but even with the solar charging for at least 8 hours per day, it only ever gave me enough to charge my iPhone to half charge each evening. I wouldn't use it again on tour.

ukdodger
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Re: Bike around Britain

Postby ukdodger » 25 Apr 2013, 8:15pm

I'm doing the same starting in July. Not as long as yours I dont think. I've cut out Wales and East Anglia but enough for two months. The only tip I would make is to buy some breakdown insurance. The sort that will come and pick you up. I broke down on an E2E and getting to my hotel was a tricky business and I was lucky to have broken down in a populated area. A breakdown in the Highlands late in the day would have meant calling the emergency services.

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stephenjubb
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Re: Bike around Britain

Postby stephenjubb » 25 Apr 2013, 8:46pm

ukdodger wrote: A breakdown in the Highlands late in the day would have meant calling the emergency services.


do you mean the likes of the AA or RAC etc?

phil parker
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Re: Bike around Britain

Postby phil parker » 25 Apr 2013, 8:54pm

I'm setting off tomorrow to Fort William to do most of the Scottish coast, clockwise, finishing in Perth on the 9th of May. I'll keep an eye out for you if you're that far north by then?

Good Luck!

PS recently finished Mike Carters book - I can see the great inspiration!

jam_har
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Re: Bike around Britain

Postby jam_har » 25 Apr 2013, 11:12pm

Good luck Phil, don't think I'll be quite that far North by then but we'll see. Will be in Newcastle about 07 May and that's not too far away so you never know. Want to take my time through Northumberland, will be a fantastic leg. Need to see if I can spend the night on Lindisfarne.

ukdodger - not thought about breakdown insurance. If I break down in Scotland I'll wild camp and walk out, or more likely phone a friend - thankfully I have a fair few that live up there.

Looks like I might have to see how the PowerMonkey works out. Will be recharging at campsites but wishing I'd gone the dynamo hub route, but the quote I got for it was a little excessive.

theDaveB
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Re: Bike around Britain

Postby theDaveB » 25 Apr 2013, 11:41pm

I want to do this eventually (only got my first touring bike this month). Will defo be following the blog.

Interested how you do things like say you get to Liverpool, do you jump on the ferry cross the Mersey or do you cycle all the to Runcorn to cycle across the bridge ?

If it was me I would be jumping the ferry and sticking to the coast as much as possible.

Dave

jam_har
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Re: Bike around Britain

Postby jam_har » 26 Apr 2013, 12:05am

Likely to be the ferry Dave, will see how adventurous I'm feeling!

Jon Lucas
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Re: Bike around Britain

Postby Jon Lucas » 26 Apr 2013, 9:34am

jam_har wrote:Mike F - thanks for the link, will take a look later. Pretty much committed to anti-clockwise now. Did think about wind direction but to be honest our weather is so random these days who knows what'll be best. Decided on anticlockwise as read Mike Carter's book an he went that way, plus I want to get up to Scotland first.


The reason for cycling clockwise, as far as I'm concerned, is to be able to cycle next to the sea rather than viewing it rhough a heaving mass of lorries. I cycled round the whole coast a few years ago, doing an 8,000 mile ride, so if you want to discuss any aspect, please do contact me. My ride took in every road down to the coast as well as around it.

I think 4-4,500 in 3 months is optimistic. The two aspects of the coast you will soon discover are the wind and hills. The coast is almost always windier than just inland, due to the differential tempertaure between the land and sea. You are right in not assuming wind direction, as in late spring the south-westerlies are at their least dominant, and north-easterlies can often prevail. The hills are noticeably bad because you are always going against the grain of the land, so jumping from one river mouth to the next. Having said that, there are some surprisingly long flat sections.

I would be interested in hearing about what exact route you end up taking. Have often thought that we need a separate thread on this forum for round Britain rides, as there do seem to be many more people aiming to do it now.

Enjoy the trip. For me it was the most wonderful experinece, and taught me a huge amount about this country we live in.

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Penfold
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Re: Bike around Britain

Postby Penfold » 26 Apr 2013, 9:48am

Looks like a great adventure James.

I have bookmarked your blog so will check it out on a regular basis to see how things are progressing.

Looks like the weather Gods may be smiling on you as those freezing winds and single figure temperatures 'appear' to have gone now.

Good luck. 8)
I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything,
I still believe that people are really good at heart.
- Anne Frank

There is a forgotten, nay almost forbidden word, which means more to me than any other. That word is England.
- Winston Churchill

ukdodger
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Re: Bike around Britain

Postby ukdodger » 26 Apr 2013, 10:29am

stephenjubb wrote:
ukdodger wrote: A breakdown in the Highlands late in the day would have meant calling the emergency services.


do you mean the likes of the AA or RAC etc?


Same as but for bikes:

https://www.eta.co.uk/breakdown/bicycle/