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Oxford to Istanbul (First Timer!)

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Oxford to Istanbul (First Timer!)

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Old 03-26-08, 06:18 AM
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adamstudentbum
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Oxford to Istanbul (First Timer!)

planning to cycle from Oxford to Istanbul this summer but this is my first time doing this sort of thing.

planning to do it on my Giant SCR 3 '07 as i can't afford to get a proper tourer and hoping that there is tarmac all the way.

going to camp along the way a lot. (a proper poor student!)

really after advice on ;

equipment
places to go
places to sleep
customs
what need to be modified on my bike
everything!

any comments/advice much appreciated
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Old 03-26-08, 07:30 AM
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xilios
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For a route I would recomend you sail to Holland where you can get on the Rhine all the way to its source then follow the Danube to the black sea.
For equipment and other tips check out my page, link below.
And good luck it will be a very nice ride.
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Old 03-26-08, 08:52 AM
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Roughstuff
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Originally Posted by adamstudentbum View Post
planning to cycle from Oxford to Istanbul this summer but this is my first time doing this sort of thing.

planning to do it on my Giant SCR 3 '07 as i can't afford to get a proper tourer and hoping that there is tarmac all the way.

going to camp along the way a lot. (a proper poor student!)

I went right down the Balkan coast on my world tour, crossing in from eastern Austria. I found plenty of campsites, some wild camping areas, and modest priced rooms along the way.

I have some text and photos at....

http://www.cyclingscholar.com/wheninrome.html


Hope it helps.


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Old 03-26-08, 10:54 AM
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Just a thought, but when I was at Cambridge there was plenty of money from both the colleges and the university for student societies and clubs. Our mountaineering club had a budget well in excess of 1k pounds P.A., allowing us to buy equipment and hire cars for trips to scotland/wales etc. Now, I know that Oxford is a second rate institution , but perhaps you could procure funding for a push-cycle tourist club? You would likely need a couple of members, which shouldn't be difficult in the UK. Also, what is your college? It is likely that you could get a personal travel grant from college if you justified the trip academically; i.e. to study the bicycling infrastructure of europe or something...

get creative, and have an excellent trip.
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Old 03-26-08, 12:52 PM
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elduderino12
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Hey

I am also riding to Istanbul, set off on June 8th. As for planning a route I shall do most of it once on the road (gives you something to do once camp is set up) granted I do have a rough idea of where I am going but I like to make it up as i go. There is only so much you can plan from the comfort of your own home.

I camped alot on my last tour and had no trouble finding campgrounds along the way. On the off chance I couldn't find a campground, again I had no trouble finding an empty field out of the way. Just pitch up late and leave early, taking your rubbish with you.

Some 'puncture proof' tyres would probably be on my essential purchases list. Schwalbe Marathon Plus' etc along with a good saddle Brooks B17 and some waterproofs.
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Old 03-27-08, 12:34 AM
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Originally Posted by xilios View Post
For a route I would recommend you sail to Holland where you can get on the Rhine all the way to Lake Konstanz then follow the Danube to the Black Sea.
+100 You can get the maps from Esterbauer Bikeline. The books themselves are in German, but the maps are indispensable.

Your bike will do the job fine. How wide are the tires? How old are you, and when are you going?
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Old 03-28-08, 03:13 AM
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i dunno what you know about the stuff already...
asking 1 word questions about huge categories ...
thats hard to asnwer...

i did xilios's route, it was ok.

so i'll give one word answers that i think will help

equipment - cheap
places to go - southeasttillistanbul
places to sleep - everywhere
customs - noproblem (thats two words)
what need to be modified on my bike -whatsyourbikelikefirstofallyouneedtobemorespecificyouimnotgod
everything! - dontwearunderwear

cummon

describe yourself, describe what you know and its going to be a lot easier to help.
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Old 03-30-08, 05:26 AM
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adamstudentbum
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to answer the question which you guys are asking me here we go:

it's my first time doing anything like this but can't wait to get going, just got to get this semester of uni over with (i've realised at the age of 20 that uni is not education it's now just a convenient excuse to so that i can plan adventures/trips in the holidays!)

been looking at maps for the past few days and starting to settle on some kind of route which goes as follows;

oxford, dover, calais, brussels, cologne, prague, prague, brno, vienna, bratislavia, budapest, timisoara, sofia, istanbul. These are the major places but could change depending on reccomendation etc. plus i know there are some big gaps inbetween some of the place but with the intention of doing some good camping and getting away from the hussle and bussle of the big places.

My bike, (http://www.awcycles.co.uk/brands/Ter...046/index.aspx) which i've put over 2000miles on, is standard equipment apart from putting on some continental ultra gatorskin tires. I'm 6ft 5inch and weigh 89kg. i have friends with the same bike and set up who weigh 105kg and the wheels etc have been fine. so i figure i have 15 kilos to play with before needing to get stronger wheels.

planning to set a side a maximum of 125 on upgrading transmission, wheels etc and keeping the current kit as spares. so really can't afford top of the range stuff at all. so if any of you seasoned pro's have any of the kit that you think i need and dont mind not making a profit then let me know!

need to get camping equipment too, tent, sleeping bag and cooking equipment, and can only set aside 120 for this stuff.

ordered a set of front and back panniers giving me a total of 58L to pack everything in but dont plan on usin all of that up at all. i know the wheels are skinny which is why im going to try and spread the load as much as possible.

planning to set off end begining of june or july. figuring it out to do roughly 40 miles a day and giving the trip 2 months (maybe more) to take a couple of days off here and there to enjoy the surroundings.

what do you think? more advice/recommendations on equipment or places to go much welcommed!

ps-no chance of family helping out with expenses as they don't even want me to go on trip!
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Old 03-30-08, 05:35 AM
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ps, forgot to metion appart from new tyres, i also put keo classic pedals on.
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Old 03-30-08, 05:57 AM
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I would say learn about mechanics of a bike if you don't know already, that will save you meny and make you more self relient.

Try freecycle for some stuff like tent and sleeping bags, you may get lucky but do it early as people will start thinking of summer soon and they will go quickly.

Google for stuff like homemade stoves, penny stove e.t.c. Doing something on the cheap means you will have do do some diy and be inventive.

Work* on your parents gently, no yelling and frustration, try and find out if they would let you go to Istanbul on holiday by plane? By a road trip in car, find out what the key to their worry is and try and reasure them. Maybe they would feel better if you said you would phone every x days. It would be a hassel but reducing any potential arguments / stress is worth it IMO. Maybe they my give you a little money to cover the phone call costs as well as it may set their mind at rest. Just an idea.

* When I say work on them I don't mean to get money out of them but just to try and make them less anti the hole idea, make them more suportive set their mindes at rest.
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Old 03-30-08, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by adamstudentbum View Post
been looking at maps for the past few days and starting to settle on some kind of route which goes as follows: ...cologne, prague,...
To get from Cologne to Prague, I would suggest riding down the Rhine till Mainz, then turning up the Main river to Frankfurt (where we can get some beers) and continuing up the Main to the Czech Republic.

Don't sweat the parents. If we really wanted to make our parents happy, we would stay seated on the sofa for the rest of our lives, wearing a helmet and knee pads.

By the way, I can hook you up with some maps.
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Old 04-04-08, 11:51 AM
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adamstudentbum
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hey becnal that sounds awesome!

i've been thinking about the equipment though, i was originally going to use racks and panniers, but i just think i would be overloading the bike, plus to change the carbon forks with chomoly one to take a front rack would cost 70.

but then i have found a cycle shop that would let me rent out a BOB YAK for 75 for 2 months.


also not sure if i should take that bike (giant scr 3 2007) just if anything goes wrong when im 'out there' im not sure how confident i would be getting parts or fixing sti shifters in the middle of no where. plus i was thinking that the alex Da22 34 spoke wheels would not be up to the job which would be additional expenses on an almost maxed out buget already.

so was thinking about getting a steel old road/mountain bike for easy money. which would mean easier maintainence and cheaper parts to buy if anything went bust which i presume would be the opposite with the giant.

the above couple of paragraphs are only me thinking of the possible options/scenarios of would happen and what would i Presume would be the easiest/Cheapest way of sorting things out i could just be tarting ing about but as someone who has walked the walk (or cycle) what options would you take?
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Old 04-04-08, 01:02 PM
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xilios
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A used mountain bike sounds like the best idea, can be repaired and/or replaced easily enough, and you can sell it again when done.
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Old 04-04-08, 01:04 PM
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adamstudentbum
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ps i could just take rear rack and panniers, upgrade rear wheel to a 36 mavic maybe and hope for the best. my tent, sleeping bag and mat weigh in at 4.5kg. which would mean putting limmiting myself to 10-15kg for everything else?

the list of options going through my head are endless! argh!
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Old 04-04-08, 02:24 PM
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There are many options but personaly I like to have four panniers to even out the load. Also having four panniers does not mean you have to fill them all up. On my first tour (alone) I kept my front bags 1/2 to2/3 full because they were easy to get to and I ended up filling the rest with extra water/drinks, food for the day and breakfast the next morning.
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Old 06-03-08, 08:59 PM
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adamstudentbum
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only a couple of weeks before i set off now and can't wait!

but it also means i am at the point of having to sort out the niggling stuff!

biggest issues at the moment are travel insurance for both my well being but also for my bike and camping equipment. im the kind of guy who seems to get into all sorts of interesting situations and predicaments all the time so i know this is an important area to sort out.

bike (dawes 201 EQ '08) worth 250
camping eqipment etc. worth 200
me and my health - priceless

anyone with advice, recommendations, tips of how to take care of this stuff are much welcomed! (bearing in miind the nature of the trip and that it will take 60 days ish)
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