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norwich to Melksham, 1st short tour experience.

STEFANOS4784STEFANOS4784 Posts: 4,109
edited September 2010 in Tour & expedition

Thought i'd offer my experiences on my 1st bash at a pretty short tour.

I went up to Norwich about a week ago with the plan of cycling back to Radstock, spread over 3 days. The plan was; Day 1, Norwich to Cambridge. Day 2, Cambridge to Oxford. Day 3, Oxford to home.

After all the useful advise i got on here (see this thread; ... t=12719629)
i decided to plump for a Axiom Streamliner Road DLX Rack from ... -rack.html
it arrived very quickly (quicker than items ordered from CRC and others, so big thumbs up:))

Anyhoo, i was quite skint so my luggage consisted of;
* Sleeping bag and 2 man tent rolled up in a sausage, attached to the rack with bungees and wrapped in 2 rubble bags (thick bin-liners for waterproofing)

*Lightweight rucksack with mess tin, 3 pasta and sauce sachets 3 supernoodle packs and three packs of angle delight, a lightweight softshell waterproof, a spare jersey, a book, some tealight candle things (small round ones with metal casings),numerous lighters and matches, pump, repair kit and string.

The plan was to basically find woods or wherever to camp as i only had 14 quid to get back.
Day 1 i set out about 3 pm after oversleeping only to be caught in torrential downpours half an hour in, anyway i battled on(well actualy hid in a hedge) and it dried up so i cycled on in the comparative warmth and sunshine and i didn't have to pitch my tent in the rain :) and my clothes were dry-ish by the time i stopped, i made it to Oxford in good time, pitched my tent in wooded area and spent 2 hours lighting a fire with wet wood :roll:

Day 2 was the most horendous headwind i have ever encountered. I must have been almost going backwards at some points. I spent 8 hours cycling and with only phone calls to friends and family as guidance ended up in Buckingham, absolutely nackered but at least dry. Pitched tent etc and all was good.

Day 3 i left Buckingham, no wind, no rain, happy days :) Spent most of the day turning a fairly big gear and making good progress, until i hit Swindon :( Started bucketing down again, decided it would lay off so cycled on...and on....and on. At this point the waterproof had proven its worthlessness and i was soaked through and shivering even though i was working hard, next i got to Calne and the plan was on to Melksham. I missed the turning and ended up in Marlborough (having passed the white horse at avesbury (very nice would i not have been shivering even going up the hills, let alone down) decided at this point to call someone, only to be told i'd gone totally the wrong way. Not happy. I cycled back to Melksham where i called a mate and, luckily, he came to pick me up as i was quite literally on the edge. If he hadn't i would have battled on but the rain and wind was so relentlous that i think i would have had a brake down.

I was disappointed that i made it all that way and then had to 'cheat' but after checking googlemaps i realised by going the wrong way i did more miles than necessary to get home (still a small conselation for having to cheat but meh, still over 100 miles that day!)

In conclusion, don't trust the English weather and don't try and bodge it as it was a bit of a nightmare in the end.

What i would do differently next time? Get the train :wink:

(Only joking, but a few lessons learnt there)

I have some cruddy camera phone piccies i will post later if they are of use to anyone who might be considering the rack i used (i rate it highly but not used it with bags yet-roll on payday :D )


  • bobloboblo Posts: 360
    Two points:

    1. Get a map and learn to navigate. It'll save untold grief.
    2. Learn to spell <sigh>.
  • STEFANOS4784STEFANOS4784 Posts: 4,109
    1. Couldn't afford a map (payday tomorrow though :) )
    2. Stop being pedantic, it makes sense ( i think the pedants irritate me as much as they are irritated by small mistakes and no i wont edit my post so there :P ) :roll: :wink:
  • bobloboblo Posts: 360
    Hmmm, sorry if you think I'm being pedantic. It's just a shame to see ~13 years of compulsory education seemingly having little effect..... I'm not picking on you specifically, it's becoming endemic.

    BTW, you can borrow maps from libraries (at least you could) and there's stacks of mapping available on line. It's worth trying to take something with you just to save the aggro of additional mileage at the end of a long day.
  • well done because as to date I am only a Forum Tourer. Hopefully 2011, I will finally set off on my first touring adventure.
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