Bike around Britain

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
jam_har
Posts: 20
Joined: 25 Apr 2013, 12:21pm

Re: Bike around Britain

Post by jam_har »

Going to take a look at the breakdown cover, or at least bookmark the link for emergencies!

Penfold - thanks, fingers crossed!

Jon L - this will seem very naive but I really hadn't considered the point on cycling on the left and having the sea on your left, and the view being blocked. As I said I'm pretty much committed to going anti-clockwise now, but guess it wouldn't be too hard to reverse the route. Will have a ponder this weekend. Also may be in touch on a couple of points - did you have any security worries ref your kit? I'm slightly concerned about having to carry my panniers everywhere if I do anything off bike, but think I'll ask shops etc if I can just bring my bike in! My route is keeping as close to the coast as possible by the way, and hopefully taking in a few of the Scottish Isles, but that will depend on time.
Jon Lucas
Posts: 314
Joined: 6 Mar 2009, 6:02pm

Re: Bike around Britain

Post by Jon Lucas »

Going clockwise does mean travelling west along the south coast, which means if the wind does come from the south-west, so it can be hard work. My brother lives on the Sussex coast and thought I was mad to go that way, and I did encounter westerly winds the whole way, but just had to accept lower mileages. The views and especially the sound of the sea when the road went along the coast more than made up for it, and the sea sounds and smells were what made the ride so special for me.

Re security - I had 4 panniers and there was no way I could have carried them with me whenever I left the bike, so just had to assume that they would be ok. I usually tried to lock the bike up somewhere visible for a long way off to many people, and never had any problems. I always took my valuables with me of course. There were a couple of palces in the south-west where I decided to walk along the cliff top for a mile or two rather than cycle 600 feet up and back down again, and again of course left my loaded bike behind.

In the Scottish highlands I did a lot of small dead-end very hilly roads and tracks in the middle of nowhere, and as my energy levels were low, I did start to leave 2 or 3 of my panniers behind tucked away somewhere out of sight (or if it was wet in old phone boxes of which there were a few at the time) while I went off, and returned up to an hour later to collect them. I felt pretty nervous doing that, and was always glad to recover them, but again never had any problems.
jam_har
Posts: 20
Joined: 25 Apr 2013, 12:21pm

Re: Bike around Britain

Post by jam_har »

Thanks Jon, reassuring advice. Also taking cable ties to secure panniers to bike when needed, but that won't of course stop someone from rifling through them.
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Sweep
Posts: 6938
Joined: 20 Oct 2011, 4:57pm
Location: London

Re: Bike around Britain

Post by Sweep »

I read this recently:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/One-Man-Bike-Mi ... ike+carter

very good

I did find myselves wondering at times why sex barely crossed his mind being an apparently single guy on a trip since his mind wandered freely but maybe he was trying to keep it as a family read.

Generally excellent.
Sweep
jam_har
Posts: 20
Joined: 25 Apr 2013, 12:21pm

Re: Bike around Britain

Post by jam_har »

Yep, read One Man and His Bike very good read!

I expect my mind will wander in all sorts of directions over the next 3 months :o
jam_har
Posts: 20
Joined: 25 Apr 2013, 12:21pm

Re: Bike around Britain

Post by jam_har »

Thought I'd let you guys know tour going well so far, near Inverness now. You can read at it on my blog - www.bikearoundbritain.com

Just met a great group from the Veterans Cycle Club, great to have a chat.

Wet day today, mind you Scottish weather hasn't been so good really.
ukdodger
Posts: 2992
Joined: 18 Aug 2007, 5:32pm
Location: Sunny Surrey

Re: Bike around Britain

Post by ukdodger »

jam_har wrote:Thought I'd let you guys know tour going well so far, near Inverness now. You can read at it on my blog - http://www.bikearoundbritain.com

Just met a great group from the Veterans Cycle Club, great to have a chat.

Wet day today, mind you Scottish weather hasn't been so good really.



Well done. You seem to have got to Inverness quick.
birchwoody
Posts: 9
Joined: 13 Apr 2013, 8:24pm

Re: Bike around Britain

Post by birchwoody »

Good luck, I will keep an eye on your blog with interest

If you need some guidance on routes in the Lancashire area, particularly Lancaster, Preston and south lancs let me know

There are some good networks of quiet roads and off road tracks which are great for touring. If you want some company drop me a message and ill come and join you, I'm out most weekends riding in that area. Even if its just to get you through Preston. I know from experience that a lot of time can be lost with navigation!

If you intend going through preston and using the guild wheel (new route built last yr to celebrate the 2012 guild) route, its best to do it anti clockwise, there is a steep hill on the left hand side (coming from the north) which would be tricky with panniers! Its flatter and more scenic on the anticlockwise side.

Good luck
jam_har
Posts: 20
Joined: 25 Apr 2013, 12:21pm

Re: Bike around Britain

Post by jam_har »

Thanks Birchwoody, going to be a while until I get around to Preston but will bear in mind. In Inverness at the moment bust blustery morning ride via Fort George and Culloden. Have experienced rain and sleet today, and headwind is fierce. Might cruise down to Loch Ness to camp this evening.
ukdodger
Posts: 2992
Joined: 18 Aug 2007, 5:32pm
Location: Sunny Surrey

Re: Bike around Britain

Post by ukdodger »

jam_har wrote:Thanks Birchwoody, going to be a while until I get around to Preston but will bear in mind. In Inverness at the moment bust blustery morning ride via Fort George and Culloden. Have experienced rain and sleet today, and headwind is fierce. Might cruise down to Loch Ness to camp this evening.


You're camping too. :shock:
jam_har
Posts: 20
Joined: 25 Apr 2013, 12:21pm

Re: Bike around Britain

Post by jam_har »

Yep, wild camping next to Loch Ness tonight, the weather is being a bit melodramatic! In the Dores Inn for a pint at present :D
jam_har
Posts: 20
Joined: 25 Apr 2013, 12:21pm

Re: Bike around Britain

Post by jam_har »

Made it around to Ullapool post great stay at Cape Wrath. Had to get a replacement wheel on Orkney, a Mavic which isn't entirely suitable but limited choice up here. Spokes keep coming loose so becoming an expert at tightening and straightening, hope I don't bust it by over tightening though! Aiming for a bike shop in Portree for a tune up in a coupe of days.

Still going well - www.bikearoundbritain.com
jam_har
Posts: 20
Joined: 25 Apr 2013, 12:21pm

Re: Bike around Britain

Post by jam_har »

Nearing Glasgow now, on rear wheel number three! Still going well having covered around 2700 miles since 01 May. Blog a little behind but will catch up at some point, too busy pedalling!
Starfire
Posts: 194
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 10:50pm
Location: Haverigg, Cumbria.

Re: Bike around Britain

Post by Starfire »

I'm enjoying reading your blog, look forward to each new edition arriving by email to my hotmail account. I hope you have bought a decent wheel this time that is up to the job. Good luck for the rest of your trip and I hope the weather holds out for you.
jam_har
Posts: 20
Joined: 25 Apr 2013, 12:21pm

Re: Bike around Britain

Post by jam_har »

Back in Norwich post completing this tour, after 86 days on the road, covering 5,451 miles. Still got lots of blog updates to come at www.bikearoundbritain.com

It was a fantastic ride. Time to plan the next one!
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