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FAO Pangolin: London to Edinburgh

RoastieRoastie Posts: 1,968
edited October 2009 in Commuting chat
pangolin wrote:
Any route info would be brilliant. Did you enjoy it?

As promised, details of the route I took. yes, I enjoyed it massively. I rode solo and stayed in youth hostels (which were great). Being a loner I enjoyed the time by myself. It was an incredible experience. It was my first big toyur, bike touring is special because you really get the country under your skin. I found myself in farmers' kitchens drinking tea when all I really wanted was some water from a tap to fill my bottles. I got horrendously lost, and found my way. And I had to abandon my plans which made things even more interesting. Met loads of interesting people. It was great.

Anyways, here is the route:

Day 1: Reading to Stratford
Fairly straightforward easy ride.

Day 2: Stratford to Eyam (Peak District)
This was quite a hard day, a long push with some hard climbs (esp. with fully loaded panniers)

Day 3: Eyam to Malham (Yorkshire Dales)
The hardest day. The relentless ups and downs really took it out of me, as did the headwind. Lunch stop in Hawick made it all worth it.

Day 4: Malham to Keswick
Awesome awesome awesome.

Day 5: Keswick to Kielder
The first part of this route was very nice indeed, but a tyre exploded (from overheating on downhills), so I had to detour to Carlisle to find a new tyre.

Day 6: Kielder to Edinburgh
Relentless rain and floods meant I had to wing it for this route - mostly followed A roads for the last half. Paper maps are essential.

Edit: I used Bikely to make cue sheets (Show > Cue sheet on the menu). These, combined with a simple bike computer work wonders for navigation. Word of warning if you do use mine - there are some lefts and rights that are mixed up! :o

Posts

  • pangolinpangolin Posts: 5,268
    Roastie thanks for the route info that is extremely helpful. Wasn't much looking forward to having to plot such a long bike friendly route..

    As far as the frame goes I am pretty sure now that I'm going to get a kaffenback. All the reviews I've read have been posotive, it seems to do exatly what I need it to do and it's a fair bit cheaper than a lot of the others. I also quite like the colours :D

    What bike computer did you use? At the moment I just have a cateye that tells me speed, time, distance etc. My blackberry has GPS and satnav but dont much fancy getting this out on a regular basis.

    I'll keep this thread updated occasionally with bike build and eventually how the ride goes! It will probably be mid to late Spring but I haven't got an exact date yet. I'm debating extremely lightweight camping rather than youth hostels, using a bivy bag rather than a tent. I may change that plan though.
    Genesis Croix de Fer
    Cube Attain
  • RoastieRoastie Posts: 1,968
    I used a simple Cateye Mity 8. A GPS based unit would probably be better - but I found the Cateye plus good old map reading skills worked a treat. Also no need to charge batteries and the like.

    If you'd like flexibility, camping would be a good bet. Especially if you have a mechanical or just a really hard/easy day it would be nice not to *have* to do the set distance each day - some days I found I had a lot of time to kill while others I was riding pretty late into the eve.

    Let me know if you'd like a hand with the build - I love building bikes!
  • pangolinpangolin Posts: 5,268
    Yeah good point on the batteries. Did you use OS maps?

    Flexibility is one of the main reasons I'm thinking of camping. Just need to work out before I go where I'm allowed to pitch up so I don't get set on by some angry landowner.

    Most stuff I'm gonna swap over from my current bike. Wheels however I may have to invest in. Currently they are Ultegra which is great for not carrying anything, but I think I might need something a bit cheaper/heavier/stronger for touring. I used to have Aksiums which were good till a taxi ruined them, do you reckon those would be OK? Or maybe something like Shimano R500?

    PBK have Aksiums for £120 at the moment so quite tempted by that.

    http://www.probikekit.com/display.php?code=W1034
    Genesis Croix de Fer
    Cube Attain
  • RoastieRoastie Posts: 1,968
    Dave Hinde does very good prices on handbuilts. I'd say CXP22 rims on Tiagra or 105 hubs. Will be similar money to the Aksiums, but use standard bits so are easy to repair if needed. I'm using a set for Cross - early days, but they are strong, and from having tried an Aksium on the bike on the weekend, much quicker too.
  • RoastieRoastie Posts: 1,968
    For maps I photocopied pages from my A-Z Great Britain road atlas - not much detail but good enough to get me out of trouble when I needed it. You really don't want to carry too much weight so copied pages were preferable to a wad of maps.
  • gabriel959gabriel959 Posts: 4,227
    Dave Hinde has got some awful reputation though and I would suggest to stay well clear of him or his shops.

    Those Ultegra wheels should be enough but best combos you can get in handbuilts are:

    Mavic Open Pros with Ultegra hubs
    Mavic CXP33 with Ultegra hubs (if you are on the heavy side)

    The builder is also as important as the parts so go and get someone decent (not Dave Hinde!)
    x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x
    Commuting / Winter rides - Jamis Renegade Expert
    Pootling / Offroad - All-City Macho Man Disc
    Fast rides Cannondale SuperSix Ultegra
  • pangolinpangolin Posts: 5,268
    Dave Hinde does seem to be pretty controversial. There are a few people who've said they got wheels they're very happy with but also lots of very vocal people saying it's terrible service.

    Do you not think my Ultegra ones would be a bit weak for touring with panniers? I don't know to be honest but assumed they would be. Anyone know any good not too expensive wheel bulders they could reccomend if so?
    Genesis Croix de Fer
    Cube Attain
  • gabriel959gabriel959 Posts: 4,227
    see for yourself - he has also got an official complain by Trading Standards

    http://www.bikeradar.com/forum/viewtopi ... e&start=20

    http://www.bikeradar.com/forum/viewtopi ... dave+hinde
    x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x
    Commuting / Winter rides - Jamis Renegade Expert
    Pootling / Offroad - All-City Macho Man Disc
    Fast rides Cannondale SuperSix Ultegra
  • RoastieRoastie Posts: 1,968
    Interesting about Dave Hinde - I'd heard good things.

    Anyhow, we'll see how the cross season goes - so far the wheels have been pretty decent and have stayed true - though I should add that Killboy's wheels have gone slightly out of true in the first few 100km. But then again, he isn't exactly a small chap.
  • pangolinpangolin Posts: 5,268
    Well new frame is on the way! Emailed Planet X to check on frame size and Richard was very helpful. Got back to me quickly and useful info.

    Should arrive next Wednesday - I asked for it to be delayed a bit as I've got a day off then. Will let you know how it is!
    Genesis Croix de Fer
    Cube Attain
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