Author Topic: A bit off hiking but can I get some advice please  (Read 369 times)

gunwharfman

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In my quest to decide what I am going to do this month and next, I have now come to the conclusion that on my bucket list I should at least try a cycle trip. My wife thinks I should! For those who do cycle have you any recommendations or advice as to how I keep my feet dry when it's raining, how I keep my head dry (my wife suggests one of her shower caps under my helmet) and is there any real alternative to waterproof trousers or a bike cape? Which is best? I know that my rain skirt will not work, nor my long waterproof coat. Lastly, is it possible to keep my hands dry(ish), if so how? Thanks in advance for your ideas.

gunwharfman

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Re: A bit off hiking but can I get some advice please
« Reply #1 on: 21:24:20, 02/06/19 »
Sorry, forgot to mention. My plan is to go to St Malo then cycle to Domfront and then turn north to Caen. Fare for bike and me is about 100. About 5 days I think and I plan to camp.

astaman

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Re: A bit off hiking but can I get some advice please
« Reply #2 on: 08:12:31, 03/06/19 »
I have always done a bit of cycle touring including some long multi-day trips. Still do a bit but Shetland is a windy place for riding in the winter and the local scene here is centred around time trials rather than touring.


You can get neoprene overshoes in various thicknesses that do work quite well but can be a bit warm in the summer. Waterproof socks actually work better on the bike than they do for walking in my experience. I have used waterproof socks in the past and taken a spare pair of ultra-light shoes for off-bike wear if my cycling shoes are wet. Innov-8 work better for this than for walking in my experience.


There are waterproof covers for bike helmets available from most of the big online shops and probably stocked by your nearest big bike store like Evans. A link:-


https://www.tredz.co.uk/.Altura-Night-Vision-Waterproof-Helmet-Cover_84008.htm?sku=277224&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=google_shopping&gclid=CjwKCAjw583nBRBwEiwA7MKvoGEPo_5Z74FWA4b_T2GMGOlI3-rypKi4CHC1mvwIzMyZSW5Hpx6rehoC3zEQAvD_BwE#


Sorry it's so long - don't know how to prevent that.


There are also things called 'Rainlegs' that I've heard good reports about but never tried. IMO you won't keep dry on a wet day cycling so clothing is about protecting you from the battering effect of the weather and to prevent you from getting too cold and I think they would do this without being too sweaty like overtrousers. I have known people to get old walking waterproofs and cut them off just below the knee because the front of your upper legs and knees take the brunt of the wind speed/rain effect.


https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rainlegs-Black-Waterproof-Protector-Large/dp/B001SEQRCM/ref=asc_df_B001SEQRCM/?tag=googshopuk-21&linkCode=df0&hvadid=311189453731&hvpos=1o2&hvnetw=g&hvrand=14915808312354013619&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1007365&hvtargid=pla-492169438962&psc=1&th=1&psc=1


Care deeply for your bum. Buy decent shorts if you don't already have them and use chamois (bum) cream. If  you're lycra-phobic then you can get cycle touring shorts with either a pad inside or with pants (underwear) that have a pad in them. They have the advantage of being wearable off the bike. Alternatively lycra shorts under lightweight long cycling bottoms are preferred by some. Altura make a pair called Summer Cruisers I think - this is my preferred option but I'm bold enough to wear lycra shorts and let the world deal with my fat rump and stumpy legs - don't see why Mrs Astaman should suffer alone.


Look after the comfort of your points of contact with the bike - feet, hands and bum. If you don't already know it then it's worth wandering around Spa Cycles website - it's the Mecca for cycle touring and pleasingly nerdy too. They are very helpful and knowledgeable. Based in Harrogate if you are close enough to go along it would be worth the trip. St John Street Cycles in Bath are very good too.


https://www.spacycles.co.uk/


https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/


Good luck with it.
« Last Edit: 08:15:36, 03/06/19 by astaman »

gunwharfman

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Re: A bit off hiking but can I get some advice please
« Reply #3 on: 10:12:16, 03/06/19 »
Thank you very much, all my queries answered in one explanation.

I have a pair of waterproofs that only cover my thighs and knees, was given to me a few years ago as a present from Amsterdam. I wear them when I'm whizzing around the city.

richardh1905

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Re: A bit off hiking but can I get some advice please
« Reply #4 on: 08:54:09, 04/06/19 »
Astaman has pretty much said everything (especially about looking after your bum), so not a lot for me to add. You will have to accept that you WILL get wet if you are cycling in the rain for a day. I have a liking for Ron Hill Tracksters/Bikesters, but may be too hot for France in the summer.


One thing to beware of is nerve damage to the hands - I suffered from this after tackling the Bealach na Ba cyclosportive many years ago - I was riding a racing bike with the usual thin bike tape on the handlebars, and only thin gloves with no padding (or possibly no gloves at all - I cannot remember). The temporary nerve damage after 90 miles on mostly minor roads was so bad that I had difficulty wiping my @rse! But it was gone within a week. If you think that this might be an issue then you might want to consider some cycling gloves with gel pads, as worn by mountain bikers.


And enjoy your trip. My daughter and boyfriend have just been up in Orkney and they spent 5 days island hopping on bikes, mostly camping. Sanday, Westray and Hoy. Quite impressed, as she has never done this before.

pdstsp

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Re: A bit off hiking but can I get some advice please
« Reply #5 on: 09:26:24, 04/06/19 »
Morning Reg - some good advice above.


I used to do a lot of long distance touring - I always found w/p trousers a waste of time - just get wet legs, and, if you are wearing lycra this dries incredibly quickly once the rain stops.


Another vote for chamois cream and good quality shorts (which are not cheap) - I used Assos shorts and cream, but they saw me through several 1000+ mile tours, and riding 8,000+ miles per annum with only one saddle sore.  Shorts for cycling are like boots/shoes for walking - the most important bit.


Gloves - I used Altura or Gore but avoided gel gloves as, in my experience, these tended to degrade more quickly. I never bothered with w/p gloves - none work in my experience. And go for a thicker bar tape for comfort.


I never bothered with a w/p helmet cover - I wear a cycling cap under the helmet - as I am follicly challenged I used to get a helmet shaped sun tan on my head!


If you are doing a multi-day trip you will need to think about kit to carry too!  I can let you know what I sued to take and there's a great blog here http://ultralightcycling.blogspot.com/


He's a complete madman but there's plenty of food for thought - he was my inspiration in getting kit to a minimum, though I was never as dedicated as him.


Enjoy


Paul


gunwharfman

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Re: A bit off hiking but can I get some advice please
« Reply #6 on: 10:01:49, 04/06/19 »
Thanks for the additional information. I've just read, skimmed actually, 'ultrlightcycling' I'll read it properly later. My first impression is that his approach is a bit like mine, I don't cook, basic cold foods are fine in between pubs and restaurants, a drink of water is fine in the morning and so on. I've managed to hone my stuff down to a minimum, but not halved my toothbrush yet. I've decided that as my bike trip will be a first for me I'm not going to go into elaborate spending, just buy the minimum required which is specific to cycling and use my hiking stuff as much as possible. I plan to do my trip with a bivi and tarp. I like his idea of stuffing it into a bike water container on the bike frame.

pdstsp

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Re: A bit off hiking but can I get some advice please
« Reply #7 on: 10:10:21, 04/06/19 »
Yes - he makes you think doesn't he.  One of my favourites was when he said he never used soap - he camped on his own so didn't mind how badly he smells and would lick the salt residue left by his sweat from his arms to replace lost salts.  Mad.


Enjoy the trip - any thoughts where you might go yet?

Zizag

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Re: A bit off hiking but can I get some advice please
« Reply #8 on: 15:59:05, 04/06/19 »
Apart from All the Excellent advice already given .


All the gear you need can be obtained at Decathalon cycle department for reasonable prices .


Good Yellow Viz Waterproof Jacket Etc.


I would also advise buy a twin rear pannier  bags for all your equipment .
Also obtain good back and front lights .( "See and be seeing")  spare Inner tubes and Bike tools
Best of luck on your cycle adventure

richardh1905

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Re: A bit off hiking but can I get some advice please
« Reply #9 on: 17:24:38, 04/06/19 »

I don't know how much cycling you do at the moment, gwm, but it would be a good idea to get some miles in beforehand; maybe even a practice overnighter.


And I would not use your water bottle racks for anything other than carrying water - you are going to need it!