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First tour - C2C vs TPT

englanderenglander Posts: 232
edited May 2013 in Tour & expedition
I'm on study leave at the moment so I'm planning what follies to get up to over the summer once my exams are finished. For a couple of years now I've been toying with the idea of touring but I've never really got past the "daydreaming about it in my head" stage. That is all to change.

I'd describe myself as a competent rider with a good level of aerobic fitness. I reached the 100mile milestone last summer on a heavy hybrid compared to the snazzy road bike I'm on now, and I'm capable of popping out 3-hour 50 milers pretty much on a whim. However, I've yet to really try back to back long rides, which is what I'd be doing on a tour, of course.

My research has essentially thrown up 2 possibilities:

1. Coast 2 Coast (140 miles, although I'm inclined to do the return journey as well in 4 days)
2. Trans Penine Trail (215 miles, 3 days)

In terms of kit, I've got a trusty 25L backpack, I would acquire a saddle bag, but panniers are a no go after I destructively removed the old ones when I bought this bike 2nd hand (bolts seized, holes threaded etc). My intention would be to camp to keep costs to a minimum. I have toyed with the idea of wild camping, but given that I've never tried it before on a bike and the potential hassle involved, I think it would be safer and easier to stick to camp sites which are cheap enough. I'm running 25mm Gatorskins which have proved themselves on the roads of London so I'd be content with taking them across the north.

I don't want to go too much into logistics at the moment though, because what I really want is some advice on routes. As I say, I've got TPT and C2C on the short list. Are there any other good rides between 210 and 300 miles? I've done a bit of Googling, and one consensus was that C2C was much more scenic and TPT has some "dull" stretches and there was a fair mention of offroad bits which I'd rather not bother with. I'm London based, but I have no objection to training it to somewhere else in the country.

I'm not really sure where else to start!

I'm just hoping that anyone with a bit more experience can indicate whether or not I'm on the right tracks and can maybe share a few of their personal opinions on the aforementioned routes and maybe suggest others worth consideration.

Thanks for reading.
Specialized Allez 2010
Strava

Posts

  • durhamwaspdurhamwasp Posts: 1,238
    North Pennine Cycleway, Way of the Roses and Coast & Castles could be considered, or instead of doing C2C twice, you could come back using Walney to Wear, Hadrians Cycleway or Reivers. Obviously would need a small amount of adaptation to link them together, but not much.
    If you could get a decent sized floating pannier rack off your seatpost it could be an idea, I wouldn't fancy the idea of cycling 200+ miles with a backpack on, personally.
    http://www.snookcycling.wordpress.com - Reports on Cingles du Mont Ventoux, Alpe D'Huez, Galibier, Izoard, Tourmalet, Paris-Roubaix Sportive & Tour of Flanders Sportive, Amstel Gold Xperience, Vosges, C2C, WOTR routes....
  • englanderenglander Posts: 232
    durhamwasp wrote:
    North Pennine Cycleway, Way of the Roses and Coast & Castles could be considered, or instead of doing C2C twice, you could come back using Walney to Wear, Hadrians Cycleway or Reivers. Obviously would need a small amount of adaptation to link them together, but not much.
    If you could get a decent sized floating pannier rack off your seatpost it could be an idea, I wouldn't fancy the idea of cycling 200+ miles with a backpack on, personally.

    That's a good idea: doing C2C one way and another route back - I'll give those a bit of research. My intention would be to get as much stuff into a decent sized saddle pack of some sort, or what you mentioned, and keep the backpack as light as possible, although I think without proper panniers I really do need the additional space afforded by a backpack. Luckily I'm very used to riding with this backpack, and usually pretty heavily loaded, so it wouldn't be a shock to my body in a worst case scenario.
    Specialized Allez 2010
    Strava
  • ronnierocketronnierocket Posts: 172
    Glasgow to Inverness is another good trip, which is about 200 miles I think. You would need to use the train probably but not that big a problem.
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