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Life's adventures

Category: Cycling Touring (page 1 of 3)

information on Cycle touring and bikepacking

Mallorca A Joy To Ride

Spain’s Mallorca is a joy to cycle with friends. A long weekend break in the North of Mallorca proved to be a wonderful break from the rain a cold of London.  I landed in Palma and transferred to Port de Pollença.

My group had already arrived and were already saddling up for a ride out. Some had brought their own bikes but most of us and rented bikes from Pro Cycle which is a stones throw from our hotel.

The bikes had been arranged by Mallorca Cycling Tours  Who guided us on our weekend break. Their knowledge of the island is great and really made our beak enjoyable. They also made sure that everyone rode to their levels.

The weather was just right and even in October suncream wouldn’t of gone a miss. All in all the weekend was a great break and I would highly recommend a cheeky break in Mallorca.

 

Day 4 Bedarieux to Lourdes by Train 170 miles

Welcome to Episode 7  Day 4 Bedarieux to Lourdes by Train.

The previous days riding left me battered bruised. I woke up and looked out of the smelly rooms bedroom window. The weather looked grey. The mountains in the distance were covered by dark grey clouds filled to the brim with water. My exit plan was in full swing. Get the train to warm climbs. Head north west to Toulouse or Lourdes better still. I arrived at the station at 8am. Were is the ticket office. A sign on the window says, open at 9.30 am. I looked around not knowing what to do. Then from now where a women showed up. She clearly worked there. I asked how I buy a ticket. Billette I asked in my made up French. She pointed to a machine. This is where my problem began. Listen to my podcast to find out more.

 

Take less than you think.

So how much stuff do I need to take on a bicycle tour. The simple question is, as little as possible. On my last trip I took too much and regretted it, and on this trip  i’ve done it again. I really didn’t plan this well. I’ve take stuff that I wont even use. The only things that I find a must is electronics. Stuff like laptops or iPads and a mobile phone. With these simple tools you can plan stuff ahead and I feel safe knowing that I can make a call for help. Other stuff like clothing can be purchased on route.

The other question you need to ask is what is the terrain going to be like. Hilly, gravel roads and weather conditions. All these things play a part in working out what you need to take. I think I would of taken 50% less and saved my self and of heavy hauling.  We’re learn from our mistakes and I learning fast now.

Camping or staying in Hotels / hostels. This trip in the south of France, camping is proving to be a problem. There are limited places to tent camp and the cost is about 20 euros per night. If you consider that you first have to find a place to camp, which might be hit or miss and when you do find a place. You will need about an hour to set your self up. This all means that you have to start looking for a place at around mid afternoon.

If on the other hand you want to stay in hostels or hotels, you can travel lighter which means faster, or high climbs and travel for longer because there is very little setting up. The cost is about double or triple than camping but at least you get a warm shower and a soft bed at night. Next time I’m going to travel light and see how that works out. Also if you are in main land Europe hotels . Hostels are a lot easier to find than camp site especially in city’s.

 

 

 

Day 3 Montpellier to Bedarieux 55 miles over the Espinouse Mountains

Welcome to Episode 7  Day 3  Montpellier to Bedarieux, 55 miles.

This was a hard day. In fact very hard. I didn’t expect this to be so tough. The mountain just didn’t stop coming and this was in part because of the Garmin Touring plus route choice. It just loves to take you on the scenic route.  When I finally got to Bedarieux I was disappointed. There seems to be a lot of poverty around and I think it attracts a lot of immigrate workers. The place looks iron down and doesn’t have that rustic french feel to it.

In view of a few days climbing mountains Ive decided to get on a train out of here. Listen to the podcast for the full sp.

 

 

Day 2 Nimes to Montpellier 45 miles

Welcome to Episode 6  Day 2 Nimes to Montpellier

Today was a lazy day. Taking full advantage of a nice soft large bed before a long days ride.

Crepe

Crepe pitstop

Today’s ride took me thru Le Vidourle with it’s lovely water fall where i stopped for a crepe filled with nuttella and an expresso. The waterfall is at Villetelle.  I continued on to Lansargues while making my way to Montgpellier. Finally called it a day in a campsite call Eden. Im finding a lot of campsite dont infact like people with tents. Found one in the end with part services open. No food availible so had to make do with noodles.

 

 

Camping site cooking

Day 1 Crillion Le Brave to Nimes 70 Miles

Welcome to Episode 5 The Day after Mount Ventoux

Today was the first day of my ride home to back to the uk. Coming off the back of riding Mont Ventoux, Today was going to be hard. Having said that I still managed to put in a solid 70 miles and ended my day in Nimes. Had to stump up the cost of a hotel as all the camping sites were full or didn’t like my face. To tell you the truth in was probably for the best as my body needed a nice bath to relax and a good bed to sleep in.

The beating of Mount Ventoux is a was eased by the help of the Mario, James, Christian and Phillip. We all conquered the Mountain and got home save and sound. This will be my fifth time climbing Ventoux and I think it his year was the hardest due to a few extras pounds.  This ride home will kick start my dreams of a slender body in to gear.

I”ll sign off now will a photo montage of the last few days.

Do You really Need All That Stuff She Said….

Portable power

Power monkey solar charger

solar power to mains power

Boys and their toys. Any excuse to buy a new bit of new kit. To be honest you don’t need it at all but some things are just nice to have. And for me, one of these things is power… Yes, power. Power in the form of electricity. On my last trip, I was always looking for ways to keep my phone and tablet alive. I felt connected and safe in the  Knowledge that I had my phone with me.

Anker Powercore 20100

Power on demand

 

I purchased the power monkey solar charger for my last trip and it worked ok. I tried charging it up by solar whilst riding but the constant movement of the bike prevented it charging properly.  If you were on a rest day in a sunny spot I’m sure it would charge up fine. The good thing was you can charge it up by the mains.

Although the power monkey solar extreme was good it still left me needing additional power. So for this trip, I’ve gone and purchased an Anker power cord 20100. I’m told this can recharge my phone up to eight times and also power my IPad and Garmin.

A Little Bit More Kit

I’m not taking a dedicated camera but will my iPhone X Instead. and for the blogging and general communications ill use the iPad Pro with Smart Keyboard.

Garmin Touring plus

Get me home, please

Tracking My Trip

Last of all in the Garmin touring plus which I purchased from eBay For £100. It’s a basic bike GPS and ill use it for basic navigation and to record my route. Not sure if I’m going able to update my route day by day but try.