Cycling Holiday (1 Viewer)

Pedronimus

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Anyone ever been on one. Thinking of going for a long weekend in ireland. Then if that goes ok maybe abroad somewhere. Anyone ever done one? Any suggestions? I suppose I need the following:

1. Bike
2. Small Tent
3. Spare Clothes

Don't fancy paying for b&bs or someone to cart my gear around. It will be a self sufficient endeavour. All advice welcome.
 

ann post

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hurry up. its going to be pissing rain and pitch dark come the end of september.

are ye well able for 25-30+ miles a day, every day?
have you a route laid out??
have you considered combining with bus eireann sort of hopscotch style, or on trains/ferry's to see more stuff??

i'd recommend panniers (saddle bags) rather then a ruck sack, a ruck sack is grand for a few miles or , but it makes you very top heavy, and its very difficult to safely observe the traffic.
if you google about a bit there are a lot handy 'checklists' of shit you should have for a cycling trip.
 

Pedronimus

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No route planned. I am reasonably fit. I'll probably take a train from dublin to wherever I start. to behonest I have no idea where I'm gonna go. I wouldn't use a rucksack. Don't plan on having a sweaty back for days.

I'm just wondering has anyone gone on one. the thing i'm most worried about is traffic on windy roads. remember that walking tour of Ireland Tommy Tiernan did, where he just spent the whole time shitting himself he was gonna get knocked down? That's what I don't want to happen.
 

nofunchee

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cycled the length of france a couple of years ago. pissed rain for the first four weeks out of seven. your fittness matters less on a long journey and if you have time as you can take it easy for the first while. we camped every night bar a couple of nights in cheap hotels to escape the rain and a weekend at a friend's gaff.

1. bike capable of carrying a pannier rack. most people will tour on a bike with large (700c) wheels but you can do it on a mountain bike. make sure it's in good nick, with a full range of gears and get yourself a comfortable saddle. i'm thinking of getting a brooks leather saddle for touring myself. loads of tourers swear by them. though they need breaking in apparently.

2. strong pannier rack and panniers (i would suggest you buy waterproof but heavy duty black sacks do grand). the panniers that clip on either side tend to carry less weight unless you flash the cash so an over the top might be the best option. though the clip on type are much easier if you have to take them on and off.

3. good and light tent. should be less than 3.5 kg really and a decent waterproof grading. look to spend 200+ on this. a sound investment and generally good guarantees on tents of such quality.

4. warm sleeping bag. made the mistake of a cheap sleeping bag myself and it's no fun cycling after waking up in the middle of the night shivering. don't trust camping shop ratings. do research online.

5. consider a front rack for better balance of weight between front and back. consider a basket for handy map/waterproofs/snack storage.

6. get waterproofs.

7. two pairs of light shoes for when one gets wet or cycle in sandals (less sweat, less washing, etc.)

8. learn basic bike maintenance and get some basic tools - puncture repair kit, chain breaker, spanners, allen keys, pump, etc.

9. consider kevlar tyres. i used these on my trip and only got one puncture in 7 weeks. i used schwalbe marathon slick tyres on a mountain bike. they are also way thinner than normal mountain bike tyres and so give less resistance for road use = faster and less effort.

10. water and high energy snacks to get you through energy slumps.

11. pack light - essentials only.

12. patience and a sense of humour.

i would recommend taking the time to set up your bike to fit your shape and size properly to avoid premature fatigue if you haven't done so already. it make so much difference.

also, remember to cycle in an easy gear. i spent seven weeks crunching high gears and ended up with knee trouble. most people cycle in high gears but easy gears increases your fitness and your endurance. it takes only a few days to get used to but start doing it before you go.

for learning about bike set up, touring, mechanics, etc. i would recommend sheldonbrown.com
very comprehensive and easy to understand.

enjoy it man, it's the best way to travel by far.
 

rettucs

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I took the wus option when I did this. Basically, drive where you're going, then cycle around when you get there. You still get to see the place, get your cycling in, but don't have to face the wrath of the main roads.

I went to Gran Canaria in February. Stayed in some tourist shit-hole and had the worst preconceptions of the place, cos of all the sea-sidey type stuff. But, when we cycled back into the island, up into the mountains, it was like entering another world. It was incredible, and a holiday like this is gonna be an annual event for me from now on.

Ireland's roads are not very cyclist friendly. Certainly not going from town to town. If you base yourself somewhere, find out about the routes nearby, then head off around them, that might be a better option (certainly a safer one anyway).

Stay safe man. And enjoy!
 

broken arm

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dunchee makes all the good points. the only thing is you can get really light tents now. 1.5kg etc.

some tougher cyclists just take bivvy tents. not much fun especially if you are with someone else.

the only long cycles i have done in ireland were the west coast (kerry, galway, mayo, parts of donegal etc)
 

Pedronimus

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cheers lads (esp dunchee).

I think at this stage I just need the panniers, a tent and some lycra shorts. I'll attempt somewhere round ireland, probably at the end of next month, when my project finishes.

1.5kg tent?...sounds deadly.
 

ernesto

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dont forget to bring a towel
 

Daisy's Dukes

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Can I take this thread on a wee tangent, but a tangent that may be useful to the original poster.

How does one prevent the old knees from getting fucked up when cycling? I currently cycle about 10km a day Monday to Friday and my knees are really sore. I've been wearing a bandage thing (can't think of the proper word!) but I find it really uncomfortable to cycle in. I'm at the stage now where I'm worrying that I may fuck up my knees for life.
 

broken arm

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Can I take this thread on a wee tangent, but a tangent that may be useful to the original poster.

How does one prevent the old knees from getting fucked up when cycling? I currently cycle about 10km a day Monday to Friday and my knees are really sore. I've been wearing a bandage thing (can't think of the proper word!) but I find it really uncomfortable to cycle in. I'm at the stage now where I'm worrying that I may fuck up my knees for life.


mmmm. could it be the saddle height settings on your bike or frame size?? not sure about this
 

moose

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Can I take this thread on a wee tangent, but a tangent that may be useful to the original poster.

How does one prevent the old knees from getting fucked up when cycling? I currently cycle about 10km a day Monday to Friday and my knees are really sore. I've been wearing a bandage thing (can't think of the proper word!) but I find it really uncomfortable to cycle in. I'm at the stage now where I'm worrying that I may fuck up my knees for life.

mmmm. could it be the saddle height settings on your bike or frame size?? not sure about this

That'll probably affect them but, I think it was mentioned earlier in the thread, you need to cycle in an easy gear rather than pushing hard on the pedals which fucks with your knees a lot.
 

brianoak

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-Saddle Height-probably
-Cleat position/float- this is the most likely cause if you are using clipless pedals.
-Like previously mentioned,you should spin and not grind but honestly grinding wont screw your knees as badly as people are making out.

Jerky easy spinning is just as bad as this will cause impact stress on your knee.Its more to do with the fluidity of your pedal strokes rather than what gear you are pushing.

Do you have an old injury that could be being aggravated?
 

Daisy's Dukes

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Thanks everyone. No old injuries being exacerbated. They are pretty sore at the moment and I'm finding it hard to bend them. The gas thing is they don't really hurt when I am cycling. I suppose I should go into a bike shop and ask for advice as I'm crap at this kind of thing and wouldn't have a clue how much I would need to adjust my saddle by etc. I do favour the harder gears so I guess I'll have to ease up. What's a cleat position/float?:)
 

brianoak

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Re-cleats/float.

Cycling shoes work by having a wedge(cleat) bolted to their underside.This allows you to to lodge your shoes in the pedal and the only way to get out is to move your foot sideways either direction.The ammount of free movement to either side before the pedal disengages is called float.

Typically this can be 0,4,9 and 15 degrees.
Some people need to use a lot of float because their foot rotates sideways as they pedal.If there is no float this can be damaging to the knee.

Obvious question..but do you stretch before and after cycling?This is paramount especially when it gets cold.Try it next time and see if it makes the difference if you dont already.
hope this helps.
 

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