Category Archives: Biking

Mega bike ride – Day 2 Euston to Whitsable

IMG_3105Today started with a very emotional Sally kissing me goodbye at Kings Cross, after our Pret breakfast. Not sure if the emotion was caused by the £22 single ticket fare to Cambridge (it’s only £15 the other way & the return is only £1 more).

After my previous fiasco navigating out of South London I decided to use the new bike mode in the iPhone Google Maps app. Obviously Google don’t expect you to be on the bike very long as it flattened the battery in less than 2 hours 🙂 and dumped me on the wretched  Route 1 Cycleway, Which sank to new lows today with the multiple kissing gates that aren’t  quite big enough for a touring bike and the keyholes not quite wide enough to take panniers 🙁 Ace design lads! Additionally for a fair stretch its a  very rough pathway and it takes you past the incredibly smelly sewage works.

A very hot & hilly day necessitating many stops at petrol stations to fill up with sugar water at roughly X3 the diesel price and offering considerably less calories. (petrol has 8 MILLION calories per litre).

IMG_5099After 78 miles with quite a bit on very  busy roads, I finally made it to Whitstable a town that loves its oysters and with remarkably few b&b’s. A lovely surprise was a skype call from Oliver, Ren & Stevie

Tomorrow its Dover & the boat ride to Calais.

This is my Strava data for today:

Strava_Ride___Euston_to_Whitstable

 

Black Sea here I come

IMG_3087Today marks my first cycling day in this years marathon ride which, hopefully, will take me to Les Gets to visit my apartment and maybe meet Euan for a walk or two. I  hope to cycle over to Zurich to see my neühew then onto the start of The Danube River at Donoueschlingen, cycling down it’s full length of 2886 km (1,800 miles) to The Black Sea. Not sure what to do then but maybe go down to Istanbul.

The first day was with Sally on her lightweight racer with me lugging two panniers (hastily emptied a bit to allow the saddlebag to fit). Coming to a hill felt like someone was hanging onto the bike the descents are cool although above 22mph it gets a bit of a shake.

Here are the stats (note I’m wearing a Polar bluetooth H7 heart monitor & the bike is now fitted with the Wahoo SC bluetooth cadence & speed monitor all hooked into the iPhone5. Today I used the Strava app.

Strava_Ride___Cambridge_to_Kings_Cross

 

Now for the fish & chips lets hope they cost a bit less than the local PH drinks.

The photos are up on Google+

Les Gets to Cambridge I made it home on my bike!

As most people know by now 🙂 I’m back in Cambridge after my mega bike trip.
I managed to bring my bike back, from my apartment in Les Gets, where I left it after last years ride out there.

To fit in with this years theme I decided to follow the Rhine (from its source near the Oberalppass) to the sea (near Rotterdam with its convenient ferry back to East Anglia). However, to get to the Rhine from Les Gets you have to follow the Rhone to its source as well. I managed to cycle from Les Gets down to Lake Geneva and then up the Rhone valley to Martigny but then decided to hop on the train to Andermatt where my Rhein-Radweg books start.

The overall trip was just under 1100 miles which I did in 14 days at about 10mph, 12 days of which was following The Rhine.

My Dawes Galaxy Tour worked perfectly standing up to the rough off road bits equally well as the super smooth bike paths. The gear ratios are all perfect 🙂 and Thierry adjusted the derailleurs so they clicked through effortlessly. After having it fitted with straight handlebars and click gears last year. This year I added the Altura drylined handlebar bag which worked perfectly. The new handlebar ends were disappointing and led to my rib damage! I need to find the ones like in Holland or that Gail has!

I fell off once with some damage to a rib which is still making me feel as though I’m having a heart attack a week later! However, it is improving.

I didn’t find the Germans or Swiss particularly friendly whilst riding so maybe the next trip will be to France / Spain or maybe New Zealand (A couple on a tandem had just come back from 6 months of touring NZ which they enjoyed).

Here is  a table of all the various blog posts, Everyttail’s and Picasa pictures:-

Day (Link to My Picasa pictures)

Trip Leg (Link to blog post)

Miles (Link to trip on Everytrail)
Moving Time
1 Thursday 8th July 2010
Les Gets to Martigny train to Andermatt 67 5 hr 30min
2 Friday 9th July 2010 Andermatt to Zizers
69 7 hr 40min
3 Saturday 10th July 2010 Zizers to Rorschach
72 6 hr 42min
4 Sunday 11th July 2010 Rorschach to Ellikon
64 6 hr
5 Monday 12th July 2010 Ellikon to Basel
73 7 hr
6 Tuesday 13th July 2010 Basel to Ottenheim-Schwanau
80 7 hr
7 Wednesday 14th July 2010 Ottenheim-Schwanau to Maximillansau 79 8 hr*
8 Thursday 15th July 2010 Maximiliansau to Oppenheim
92 8 hr 15min
9 Friday 16th July 2010 Oppenheim to Spay 69 6 hr 35 min
10 Saturday 17th July 2010 Spay to Cologne (Köln)
77 7 hr
11 Sunday 18th July 2010 Cologne (Köln) – Xanten
94 9 hr
12 Monday 19th July 2010 Xanten to Wijik bij Duurstede
78 8 hr
13 Tuesday 20th July 2010 Wijk bij Duurstede to Hook of Holland
91 8hr 13min
14 Wednesday 21 July 2010
Harwich to Cambridge 68 6hr 3min
Total miles cycled
1072.69 (Everytrail misses Day1 and Day 14)

Thanks to Joost and Chris at GlobalMotion I have a complete Everytrail of The Rhine part of the trip (hang on it takes a while to download):-
Cycling the length of The Rhine at EveryTrail

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Harwich to Cambridge

Before leaving home I had carefully plotted and loaded into my GPS a Harwich to Cambridge route on Bikely, avoiding all towns and main roads.

It proved an excellent route, although one part was down a track, but I was used to that by now!

What a pleasure to have fellow cyclists, passers by etc to smile, wave even say hello! It certainly brightens up your day to have a cheery smile rather than the ‘expressions’ you get in Germany & Switzerland which give you the uneasy feeling that they would mow you down rather than recognize your existence! I think life over there is VERY serious! I cannot say that I felt the same way when cycling in France last year. Although it has to be said the futility of marking cycle lanes on the roads which disappear when you actually need one is extremely frustrating for all road users.

This is a very pretty route if quite hilly, taking me past many of the places I have walked with Sally on the Cambridge Rambling Club walks. In fact I had a lunch break in one of the pubs we have used on our walks!

The ride was 67.6 miles which I cycled in 6hr 3min

Total ridden miles since leaving Les Gets was 1072.69 🙂 No punctures or breakdowns just one painful cracked rib!

Heres my Everytrail off the trip :-

Harwich to Cambridge at EveryTrail

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