Cycling Adventures

Perpignan to Port-La-Nouvelle

The 4am alarm clock wasn't pretty, but having driven up to Stansted the night before and stayed at the Radisson Blu, I had little to do other than fall out of bed and into the airport. Despite the Radisson having a rather interesting bar... I was well behaved and had retired to bed by ten…
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Morlaix to Brest

The final ride of the tour. I was a little sad to leave Moraix. Not least because the day began with nearly 1000ft climb, but also because it seemed a genuinely lovely town. The people at the guesthouse were extremely friendly and indeed everyone I had met had been more than happy to help with…
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Saint Brieuc to Morlaix

I have to admit to being a little the worse for wear awaking this morning. The six pints of 1664 and a late night had taken more toll than I'd realised. With the waiter looking askance at me, in my half wakened state I managed to use my coffee cup saucer as a plate and…
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St Malo to Saint Brieuc

Ok, so I'm a couple of days behind on posting stuff to here. Mainly due to the fact that whilst hotels advertise "Free WiFi" there is nothing to say that the wifi then connects to anything like a decent internet connection. In many cases it doesn't and my online time has been fairly limited. I…
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Bayeux – Coutances – St Malo

Waking up in Bayeaux on Sunday to find that the wind had dropped was a pleasure. Everything was quiet. And I do mean everything. France on a Sunday is the most spooky place, coming from a country where Sunday is no longer a special day. The streets are deserted, everything closed. I wolfed down a…
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Caen to Bayeux

Thankfully this morning's ride wasn't intended to be too tough, just out to the coast at Ouisterham and up along the British D-Day beaches before turning inland and heading for Bayeux. It was a slow start after a few too many beers in Caen, but after about five miles of flat cycle paths towards Ouisterham…
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Fécamp to Caen

This was the hardest morning of the ride so far. Setting off into pouring rain and driving wind, I was soaked within about five minutes of a big climb out of Fécamp. There aren't many photos from this morning at all - all I could see was a dirty grey smear for a good few…
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Le Tréport to Fécamp

What a difference the wind makes. Today the wind has dropped significantly and swung around to the east. Temperatures much higher and I was actually able to freewheel some. The previous couple of days have seen me pedalling downhill and only achieving 8mph at times, so strong was the headwind. So good progress today and…
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Boulogne-Sur-Mere to Le Treport 

So much for better weather today. The morning began very much as yesterday left off. Cold and windy. After today I'm starting to get the impression that March is not the time of year for cycle touring in Northern Europe! The day continued in much the same vein as I continue I wasn't able to…
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Dunkirk to Boulogne-Sur-Mere

Today was the first real cycling day of this trip. I thought I was being kind to myself and starting with a nice easy day. That turned out not to be the case. Leaving the hotel in good time after a slightly disappointing breakfast I was optimistic about the days riding. The Yellow weather warning…
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Pre-Trip Preparations

Cycling Technology For this trip I've invested in some new technology to help me along the way. A constant issue on previous trips was how to keep batteries re-charged on navigation and communication devices. I spent a little cash with the good folk at SJS Cycles (St John Street Cycles) and asked them to build…
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The North Coast of France – East to West

Roughly six months on from my last bike adventure and I'm getting itchy feet again. At this time of year most people are booking up package holidays in Torrimolenos, I'm planning a couple of weeks worth of cycling. I seem to be quite good at planning routes now, having done a few of these tours…
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Days 12 & 13 – Cologne to Xanten to Maurik

Day 12 began pleasantly, cycling along the river bank through cologne; The weather was warm, even early in the day, but the riding was pretty easy so not much of an issue so far. The river bank passes behind the famous cathedral which was hit 14 times by bombs during the second world war. It's…
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Day 14 – Maurik to Rotterdam

On leaving the campsite outside Maurik I was soon back up on the dikes, following the river towards Rotterdam. The riverbanks are quite pretty along this stretch, although it is very very flat. And I spotted my first Dutch windmill; Having cycled along the dikes for a few hours, I kind of understand the whole…
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Day 11 – Koblenz to Cologne

Well I hadn't had a puncture for a few days......until very first thing this morning, before I'd even left the campsite. I had locked my bike in a secure cage on the site over night, but by the time I got it back to my pitch to load up, the front was flat. So off…
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Day 10 – Bacharach to Koblenz

Having woken at 5am, the first thing on my mind was a bath. So I leapt out of bed and almost fell over. Somehow in the night my legs had decided that they had had enough. Staggering to the bathroom I managed to run a bath and soaked for a good hour. It was bliss…
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Day 8&9- Karlsruhe to Speyer to Bacharach

As I am way behind on blogging and these two days were fairly uneventful I have combined them into one. The plan for day 8 was to have a fairly easy ride to Speyer, dump the tent and bike at a campsite about a mile outside town and walk back into town for something to…
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Day Seven – Strasbourg to Karlsruhe

Another pretty uneventful day's riding. The ground was pretty flat, chugging along by the river for the most part.  The scenery again was pretty, without being remarkable; I have felt a distinct shift though in the river. Apart from being a lot wider here, from Basel on down to the sea, it is navigable and…
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Day Six – Basel to Strasbourg

Awaking on the campsite to sunshine was quite a novelty after three days of dour weather. I had a good chat with another English cyclist who was heading in the opposite direction to me, swapping advice about what was ahead. He was riding a reclining bike so fearful of the hills to come. I set…
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Day Five – Schaffhausen to Basel

Having fled from the worlds weirdest hostel quite early I hit the road. My plan for the day was to visit the Rheinfall (The largest waterfall in Europe) and then head directly for Basel. The weather was grey and overcast, slight spits of rain in the morning, but nothing too bad. Even from half a…
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Day Four – Konstanz to Schaffhausen

Having made use of the bathtub, yet again, I headed out looking for a bike shop for my poorly bike. She was not in a good state; The new front panniers which I had bought had snapped both sides and were only hanging on by the top clips.  The new rear panniers which I had…
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Day three – Bad Ragaz to Konstanz

I awoke to the sound of rain on my tent at 5am. By 6am it seemed to have cleared away nicely. I swapped onto my last spare tube and I was keen to hit the road, but I had to wait until 9am when the local bike shop opened so that I could grab some…
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Day Two – Carrera to Bad Ragaz

Where to begin with this one! A day of two halves really. The morning was good, waking early on the campsite in the hills I knew I had a bit of a climb ahead, but nothing compared to the Oberalppass the previous day, so I stuck camp and headed out after a healthy breakfast of…
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Day One – Andermatt to Carrera

Ok, so leaving Andermatt, perhaps I should have listened to either the hotelier who commented "Are you ready for the mountain?" Or Google maps which advised that I put my bike on one of the Alpine trains to reach Oberalppass. Being me and being massively over confident I set off to climb the hill by…
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Day Zero – Getting to the start line.

So this was something new for me. My previous cycling tours have started in Margate and the only foreign clime was France - easily accessible from the ferry ports at Dover. This time though, having looked at all possible routes, the only sensible way to get out to Oberalppass and the source of the Rhine…
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2016 – Cycle the Rhine from it’s source to the North Sea

Having roughly planned out a route following the North Sea from Calais to Copenhagen I started researching things I might see and do. As usual, my research took me off down some tangents and suddenly I find myself with a change of plan. EuroVelo route 15 leapt onto my radar. Copenhagen would have to wait.…
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2016 – Calais to Copenhagen

For 2016's bike trip I have been looking at a couple of ideas but finally settled on this one. The distance by Google maps is 834 miles (1342 km) but experience says that in fact this will push up over the 900 mark by the time I've added in a few detours and taken several…
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Nimes to Montpellier

This post is somewhat late, but better late than never. Being the last post from this trip, there are quite a few photos to share... The final leg of cycling and penultimate leg of the trip, from Nimes to Montpellier was a relatively easy 32 miles. Mostly on roads so it only took a couple…
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Viviers to Nimes

Another gorgeous days riding. If the French could sort out a cricket team and speaking English, I'd move here like a shot. It's a beautiful country. A lot of the morning was cycling through vineyards with a few inclines, but nothing too serious. That all changed around lunchtime with a huge climb, which was hard…
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Tain L’Hermitage to Viviers

This was one of the most beautiful parts of the trip. The riding was a mix of nice hard roads with some very ropey surfaces towards the end. In total the distance worked out to be 47 miles by the time I'd missed a few turns and deviated to explore a little. The morning was…
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Lyon to Thain l’hermitage

Lyon marks the confluence of the rivers Saone and Rhône. It is a gorgeous city and one I thoroughly intend to return to and explore properly without the time constraints I had on this occasion. On leaving Lyon I transfered my river allegiance to the Rhône, saying goodbye to the Saone. Leaving Lyon in itself…
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Chalon Sur Saone to Macon and on to Lyon

Ok, so the ride down to Macon was an easy one, according to the wisdom of Google maps. Make of that what you will, needless to say the bike is getting seriously fed up with gravel and boulders, but is hanging together admirably. However, the kind of scenery more than made up for it and…
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Chaumont to Villegusien-le-Lac and on to Chalons Sur Saone

Having spent the morning bumbling around Chaumont's streets, searching out a phone shop and a pharmacy I headed south once more around lunchtime. I had planned a nice easy 40 mile ride down to Villegusien-le-Lac as a rest day. The riding was actually quite tough, badly broken under wheel and hot, very hot. So I…
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Chalons en Champagne to Chaumont

One thing is for sure, I'm not picking an overnight stop which ends in "mont" again..... Chalons en Champagne was a peculiar town at night, as I sat outside a bistro sipping a beverage or two it seemed to be that the town square was the venue for what I can only describe as cruising.…
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Crecy sur Serre to Chalons en Champagne

Been a couple of days riding since I last updated this, so about time I got my finger out! Leaving my hotel in Crecy sur Serre, I suddenly realised why it was called La Tour de Crecy..... This was right outside its front door, but I'd somehow missed it the night before. If you're ever…
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Second day of real cycling – Lens to Crecy Sur Serre

Well yesterday was a challenge, for many reasons. The second day of a trip like this was always going to be difficult. Cycling 70 miles in one day is fine, getting up the next day and getting back on the bike to do it again is slightly unhinged.....However, the morning was great, I had struck…
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Calais to Montpellier – Day 2 – somewhere south of Lens

So this morning I am sat in my tent planning out my route for day 3. I was planning to write this last night, but sleep interrupted my thoughts. My sleep was then interrupted by a hedgehog sneaking under my flysheet and snuffling at the zip to the inner sometime around 2am this morning. He…
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Calais to Montpellier, Day 1

Compared to last years trip, day one has been a huge success. I headed for Dover just before lunchtime, arriving in time for the delayed (left about 2.45) 1.55 sailing on P&O. The only issue I had really was the lack of sign postage for cyclists as you enter the ferry port, so I had…
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Calais to Montpellier Cycling Equipment

One of the lessons I learned on my way to Land's End last year is that the weight and size of everything you are carrying is very important. Whilst a fully loaded and heavy rucksack on your back and fully loaded panniers is fine whilst you are pootling about on the flat, any inclines really…
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Calais to Montpellier Cycling – End to End in France 2015

  Having ridden Margate to Land's End at the back end of last summer, I have been keen to create space for another little trip. Some people have suggested John O'Groats to Land's End (JOGLE), but I feel I've done the Land's End thing for now, so I started looking for a different challenge. JOGLE…
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Samsung Note 4 Review

After a short delay in dispatch dates, my greatly anticipated Samsung Note 4 has arrived. Design The first thing to "Note" about it is that its big. Very big. But weirdly, not that big that it feels unwieldy or cumbersome to use. The clever folk at Samsung seem to have got the balance just right.…
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Penzance to London. Not on a bike.

Today I am sat on a train. It feels weirdly normal. I am dressed in normal, non cycling clothes (almost miss them) and I am no different to anyone else on the train. Its weird. So the last couple of days have been some of the most amazing I've ever had. Riding from St Austell…
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Penultimate Penzance

The penultimate post from this little adventure. Tonight I am in Penzance, just 11 miles from Land's End. It feels like I've nearly completed my challenge and indeed I arrived here in good time and could have pushed on to my goal this evening. I decided a while back though that I'd like to spend…
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Seaton to Plymouth

As I write, the last of the sunset has just dipped beyond the horizon from a campsite just outside of Plymouth. I've just put away a dinner of soup, bread and local cheese to replenish some of those calories burned up today. And there have been quite a few. Yesterday was Sunday and I'd decided…
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Punctures and Pain

This morning finds me in a b&b in Seaton, Devon. I originally intended to camp last night but only arrived with a small amount of daylight left so ducked into here rather than pitch in the dark. The past two days could not have been more different in terms of riding. Riding from New Milton…
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Across the Isle of Wight and Into Hampshire

Today's mission; cycle the 31 miles to Portsmouth, jump on the fast Cat to Ryde on the Isle of Wight, cycle the 17 miles to Yarmouth, jump on a ferry to Lymington and then cycle the 7 miles to New Milton and crash at my Brother-in-law Steve's house. Completed. Again quite chuffed with this, time…
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Starting to feel a bit real now

This morning after a very hurried beans and corned beef, I hit the road heading for Littlehampton. According to google maps it was 45 miles away using NCR 2. A perfect challenge to up the mileage. It wasn't long before bike maintenance tippd over the half hour I'd figured for it. Everything needed tightening. Including…
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The middle of nowhere

So this is my home for the night. My tiny tent is pitched and ready. It feels like I truly am in the middle of nowhere, yet I'm only a few miles from Eastbourne and just up the road from the world famous town of Polegate. No, I'd never heard of it either. Today's lesson;…
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Nice hotel break

Arrived in Rye spot on time just before lunch. The best thing about that is that its my first stopping point outside of Kent. Actually feels like I've made a little progress instead of just riding around the local area. As I've been through here a few times but never stopped figured I'd stop over…
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End of the first day on the road

Well it's just turned 6pm on the first day of my travels. I would say it has gone reasonably well. My original plan was to take things easy on the first day and just cycle the 25 miles to Dover and stay there for the night. Given that I am a day behind on my…
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Departure Day Take 2

14/09/2014 09:00   OK, so the plan for yesterday was to pick up the bike, quickly slap it together and hit the road. Fail at the first hurdle. Having spent most of the morning chasing after idiots who couldn't comply with simple requests, I then had to drive to Ashford in record time to catch…
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Departure day.

Well today is supposed to be the day of departure. I say supposed to be as things have gotten a lot more complex. The new bike should have been delivered on Wednesday, but City Link failed 3 days running, despite me waiting in until 8 pm last night. So I now have to go and…
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Garmin Edge 810 – GPS – The first of the new toys arrives.

Fairly predictable, being a geek, I have quite obviously used this adventure to "invest" in some new toys. The first of which arrived today. The Garmin Edge 810 Bike GPS Computer. The main reason I chose this particular model is that it has bluetooth sync with a smart phone. This allows it to upload data…
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A little bit of planning……

The discovery of a vague cycle route which runs all the way from Dover in Kent to St Austell in Cornwall and suddenly this became a real possibility. So the route isn't that hard - the only real decision is whether I go though Portsmouth and check south of Southampton to the New forest or add a…
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The Route

So, this is the proposed route.  Pretty much following the National Cycle Route 2 with a few adjustments. The following is taken almost verbatim from the Sustrans website. 1. Dover to Hastings - 52.1 Miles National Route 2 starts or finishes in Dover following a cliff top route to Folkestone and crossing Romney Marsh to…
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