The idea is to two panniers on the back with rest of gear. The LBS had a lot of trouble trying to mount a front rack on my Disc Trucker (even the front fender went on with some tweaking - all to do with the Disc Brakes and how they are mounted). I don't know whether it was the mechanic just not being that good or not (he stopped working at that LBS a few months later I found out) but I am not very mechanically inclined myself so...
My route is essentially going to be the NCN #8 from Cardiff to Holyhead. I've limited distance to 50miles a day (fully loaded) so as to be flexible - will go shorter on days where I am tired, longer on days where I feel good. Within reason, of course. Won't really know until I get started. Doing the Celtic Trail from Fishguard to Swansea before the Lon Las Cymru (mostly coastal, so a warmup before getting into the hills). Looking to get rolling around the 1st of September, so have all summer to #1 get in shape and #2 finalize plans etc.
neat, I would be interested to hear how it goes, how it is getting out of Cardiff and up the coast etc etc.
I havent ridden in Wales, but in car and on foot, I can assure you that it can be bonkers hilly, with 20% climbs fairly common so keep this in mind and keep your load down to a minimum. Not to mention gearing, I dont recall the gearing of the stock LHT, probably a 26 granny and a 32 or 34 rear, so probably around 21 gear inches. I'd recommend a couple of things, 1- to be sure to ride with stuff on your bike as much as you can in hills if you can (you could live in Texas or Florida) and
2- to ask some route advice over on the Brit touring forums, I think it is CTC? Someone else may know, but I figure thats what I would do when and if I plan a trip by bike over there, just to get local advice on roads and such.
Your est. 50mi. 80km per day is probably reasonable, but do be aware that constant ups and downs, especially steep ones, will wear you out, so definitely getting local riding advice for a bike that weighs 65lbs or more would be good to have a better idea of realistic distances given the climbing.
I would even hazard to say that in this terrain, lower gearing would be a bonus.
With the internet, its possible to read about or to see actual routes and grades, so at least this summer you can hopefully ride on similar hills, because in steep stuff, every 5lbs of stuff makes a heck of a diff, and you will be able to see how the stock gearing works for you.
As always, being prepared physically means a more enjoyable trip, pure and simple, and lessens the chance of possible knee issues or whatever that can screw a trip up, especially one you've paid a fair amount of money to fly to.
PS--Oops, just quickly looked at your Touring Blog link, and I see you are not American, and do have a lot of touring experience, so sorry for the simplistic blah blah.
PPS-have to laugh, actually read the beginning of your pages and so saw that you are a Yank, from Co. Well, at least you will have hills to ride on!
And I looked up the CTC forums and sure enough, you have already thought of that. Shall bookmark the discussion for future use.
And yes - already on CTC under the same name, I think. Wouldn't exactly say experienced - Ireland was my first tour since 2003 when I was in MUCH better shape and rode my bike from London to Rome.
The hard thing about where I live is getting in miles - I live at 8,000 ft and no matter which way I go, its pretty much 1000+ ft of climbing in 8 miles. The Maroon Bells, Castle Creek, Independence Pass....all HUGE climbs. I can/will do Maroon Bells and Castle Creek, but thats maybe a 28 mile round trip that leaves me knackered from the 2 - 3000ft elevation gain (and doing so at altitude already makes it hard on the lungs). There is no such thing as FLAT out here, so training my body to get used to doing 30+miles in a day is the hard part.
Have done lots of research but with BikeRouteToaster down for a while, can't check out elevation gains yet.
Do you have a link for that map? I have the LLC Maps (North and South) so was thinking of getting the Celtic Trail version too. Was going to leave the GPS at home this time (won't have to worry about charging it while camping).
I must be mentally challenged, but I can't find a map of Wales on that site. Lots of sections in Wales, but not a complete map of Wales.
Back to the whole Duffel thing (which gets marked in red no matter which way I spell it)...carrying an extra pound of 'stuff' isn't too tempting to be honest. But I suppose I'll have to see if there are any other lightweight Duffel bags that compact small but have greater carrying capacity.
I'd be more inclined to go cheap, tape it up well, and use the money not spent on a nice bag on a small pump like a Road Morph G.
Dont forget that baggage handlers can be rough, thats why I chose our old clapped out duffel bag, same as cheap bags, I didnt worry about it getting ripped or scuffed up badly.
Oh, I thought of your plans when I read a journal recently on CGOAB. The fellow, a Brit, had done a long trip and upon his return by bike into the UK, he commented on the roads and the steepness of the hills etc
Crazy Guy on a Bike is a great source of trip journals, you might want to pop over there and look up stuff of the area you want to go.
No matter what you find, there are some fun reads, especially for us in the winter when we cant ride.
I have checked that site, done a search for Wales, but everything is a few years old and not really on either of the routes I will be doing (though some did cross over them in parts). I actually like hill climbing - the longer the better - its the rolling hills that get me knackered.
That's pretty much my view on hills and climbing. Years ago I did a trip doing a good part of the Pyrenees, then the next summer went down the coast of Oregon and Cali. There were times on the west coast trip the rolling hills and short steep sections seemed just as hard or harder than passes in the Pyrenees, where in general the grades are reasonable, just long.
I'd rather do a 30mile uphill climb up a mountain then a 15mile rolling hill ride. A cycling buddy of mine who road coast-to-coast this summer completely agrees with me too.
Working on devising a training regime for this summer to get me in cycling shape. The difficult part being getting long mileage in here because I am surrounded my Mtns. I do cycle to work everyday during the summer, so that will help a little. But I plan on doing more XC Skiing this weekend (need a lesson) before I start doing that to/from work during rest of winter.
I wouldn't over think training too much, commutes are great, and just try for some gradually longer rides on weekends, in terms of hours actually riding. You've got until sept so just get out there, you've got all summer to get more and more fit..
Last edited by djb; 01-16-14 at 11:42 AM.
Reason: more fit, not ride
My commute is maybe 2 miles, so not exactly building up much of a base there. I figure I can easily add on 10 miles at the end of the day and about 1000ft of climbing....so around 15 miles a day during the weekdays. Use the weekends for gradually longer rides.
Had some cramping issues last summer around the 40mile mark...never happened before and didn't seem to matter much if I had eaten etc.