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Cycle Touring Festival 2017

Cycle Touring  Festival 2017
On the late May bank holiday for the past three years, a group of around 200 to 300 people get together to talk about bicycles, listen to engaging stories of amazing cycle touring journeys, learn, eat, sleep, drink a few beers, go cycling and have a bloody good time in the company of like minded people.  It is called the Cycle Touring Festival and I had the pleasure of going this year.  This is what I found.     It was the day before the festival and time had been moving way too fast and I was faced with getting my bicycle and kit ready whilst trying to work from home! I had told myself there would be plenty of time, but as ever that was wishful thinking as I frantically packed my car.  I was leaving later that evening and was picking up another attendee on route, who had...
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Off to have a Cycle Touring Adventure in Dartmoor

Off to have a Cycle Touring Adventure in Dartmoor
  I think of myself as rather fortunate to live in the South West of England. Perfect for cycle touring with being nicely placed in between two awesome National Parks; Dartmoor and Exmoor. With the bits in between filled with endless country roads and superb views from all directions. I have the luxury of heading in any direction for a cracking local ride, and if I want to go further, I hop on the train. And on this occasion, my target was Dartmoor for a couple of days chilled out riding.     Hopping out of bed early, I had that feeling of not being entirely prepared for this trip, which is completely out of character for me. After a busy week at work, I needed to get away for a couple of days, and instead of preparing the night before I did my best to finish my work to...
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Bicycle Touring Local Leaders

Bicycle Touring Local Leaders
I'm very excited to announce a great new service from Cycling Touring Community.  Local Bicycle Touring Leaders.    What is it all about? We are building a network of cyclists, ready to meet up and help other cyclists visiting their local area as part of a cycle tour, or even a simple bike ride. It is about meeting up, going cycling and showing people your local area. The local leader has the opportunity to help, meet new people, have fun, and become part of a bicycle tour. And the visiting cyclist get their own local guide! It is a simple service to use. People register their details and a location nearby (no home or personal addresses), which in turn creates a pin on a map. People visiting the area who want to meet up, Click a Pin on our interactive map, read the details, and if they would like to get...
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Cycling the Baja Divide

Cycling the Baja Divide
Hello and welcome to a guest blog post from Robin Brodsky. Robin went on an awesome bike tour to Baja, California, following the popular Baja Divide route. This blog post tells her story of the highs and the lows of a truly epic cycle ride through the fantastic landscape this part of the world has to offer. This ride is now on my wish list!  Check out https://bajadivide.com/route-details/history/ for more information about the Baja Divide.     Lets get started...     1700 Miles of Bliss and Brutality What a great ride! It was beautiful and it was painful. Some of the road surfaces were so rough, I started having pain at the base of my skull from the vibration. My head felt like my brain was dropped into a blender and my arms like I'd been using a jack hammer all day. That’s when I got off the bike and...
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Discovering Colombia on a Tandem Bicycle Tour

Discovering Colombia on a Tandem Bicycle Tour
Welcome to another Guest Cycle Touring Blog Post. I would like to introduce you to Nathalia & Vincent. A couple from Switzerland who embarked on an wonderful cycling adventure across Columbia in 2016. This brief guest blog post is to show you all the great video they made of their awesome tour. Hope you enjoy and are inspired to make a similar trip!    
    Discover Colombia on a Tandem bike | La Bicicleta Doble ft Carlos Vives & Shakira     Our names are Nathalia & Vincent, we are 29 years old and come from Geneva, Switzerland. Nathalia is half Swiss, half Colombian and we have been together for more than 14 years. In August 2016 we cycled around Colombia with our best friends and spent three amazing months in this marvelous country. The hippest song at the moment was the great song “La Bicicleta” from Carlos...
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Italian Cycling Adventures: Pavia to Mantova by bike via the River Po

Italian Cycling Adventures: Pavia to Mantova by bike via the River Po
It is time for the next instalment from our guest blogger, Alexandre Rotenberg. Alexandre is based in Italy and is a photographer and cycle touring enthusiast. He enjoys exploring the beautiful areas of Italy by bicycle and contacted me about sharing his writing and photography work with the Cycling Touring Community. This is the final post of four from Alexandre. They have all been  enjoyable to read and with all the fantastic photos, you will want to go grab your bicycle straight away and discover these great places Alex has explored! If you would like to see Alexandre's other posts on Cycling Touring Community, check them out. https://www.cyclingtouring.org/blog/entry/cycle-tourism-along-milan-s-canal-navigli-network https://www.cyclingtouring.org/blog/entry/the-journey-is-more-important-than-the-destination https://www.cyclingtouring.org/blog/entry/piedmont-gastronomy-history-and-beautiful-landscapes   Pavia to Mantova by bike via the River Po   Following on from my recent trip to Piedmont, the next route took me eastwards from Pavia to Mantua (170km) along the mainly-asphalted ciclovia del po, which hugs Italy’s longest...
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Piedmont: Gastronomy, History and Beautiful Landscapes

Piedmont: Gastronomy, History and Beautiful Landscapes
It is time for the next installment from our guest blogger, Alexandre Rotenberg. Alexandre is based in Italy and is a photographer and cycle touring enthusiast. He enjoys exploring the beautiful areas of Italy by bicycle and contacted me about sharing his writing and photography work with the Cycling Touring Community. This is the third of four great posts from Alexandre. Yet again, some some fantastic photos from Alexandre's bicycle touring journeys. Hope you enjoy! If you would like to see Alexandre's other posts, check them out. https://www.cyclingtouring.org/blog/entry/cycle-tourism-along-milan-s-canal-navigli-network https://www.cyclingtouring.org/blog/entry/the-journey-is-more-important-than-the-destination   I’ve always had a fascination with the north western Italian region of Piedmont, with its perfect combination of gastronomy, history and beautiful scenery. In fact, the name Piedmont is derived from Latin loosely translated to the foot of the mountains, as its bordered by the snow-covered Alps to the west towards France and to the north towards Switzerland.  During the late...
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Grip, Release, Shuffle, Grip, Release, Drop....

Grip, Release, Shuffle, Grip, Release, Drop....
  Hello and welcome to another guest blog post. This time out author is Kent MacWilliam. I have been in contact with Kent after he sent me an email about his handlebar tape product, Fatwrap Handlebar Tape .  Kent wanted to share his great article about the types of handlebars you can use for bicycle touring. So lets get started. Hope you enjoy!   Grip, release, shuffle, grip, release, drop.... Bike touring can be an endurance test as much as an adventure. Our butts, knees and hands support us as we focus on the glorious scenery.  For comfort, we dial in our clipped pedals, set the seat post height and upgrade our saddle. But what about our hands? So many riders commit to a handlebar set-ups without knowing all the options, and many more never look at the alternatives. This article looks at common and sometimes underused handlebar options, and explains how...
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The Journey is More Important than the Destination

The Journey is More Important than the Destination
It is time for the next guest blog from Alexandre Rotenberg. Alexandre is based in Italy and is a photographer and cycle touring enthusiast. He enjoys exploring the beautiful areas of Italy by bicycle and contacted me about sharing his writing and photography work with the Cycling Touring Community. This is the second of four great posts from Alexandre. There are some fantastic photos from Alexandre's bicycle touring journeys. Hope you enjoy! If you would like to see Alexandre's first post, check it out here. https://www.cyclingtouring.org/blog/entry/cycle-tourism-along-milan-s-canal-navigli-network   The Journey is More Important Than the Destination One of my hobbies is to cycle long distances across the countryside of Northern Italy.  Prior to cycling long distances, I like to have a general plan of where I’ll be going and when I should reach my “destination”. My rational side proceeds to painstakingly research and draw a proposed safe route on a map,...
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Cycle Tourism along Milan’s Canal Navigli Network

Cycle Tourism along Milan’s Canal Navigli Network
I would like to welcome a guest blog post from Alexandre Rotenberg. Alexandre is based in Italy and is a photographer and cycle touring enthusiast. He enjoys exploring the beautiful areas of Italy by bicycle and contacted me about sharing his writing and photography work with the Cycling Touring Community. This is the first of four great posts from Alexandre.  Hope you enjoy!   Cycle Tourism along Milan’s Canal (Navigli) Network Despite Milan being strategically located at the gateway to the Italian peninsula, the city does not have a direct river or sea connection, which was traditionally seen as fundamental for commerce. To mitigate this problem, rulers of Milan from the early Middle Ages created a series of canals fed by the rivers Lambro, Adda and Ticino, the latter which flows to the mighty Po and eastwards to the Adriatic Sea.  These waterways have since been closely connected to the...
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Bicycle Touring Mini Cycling Break in Exmoor

Bicycle Touring Mini Cycling Break in Exmoor
  It has been far too long since my last post. Holidays, the day job and moving home have all eaten away at my time of late. But now that life is starting to ease up a little, I can find my cycling legs again. After what seems an eternity of only keeping the miles ticking over to and from work and some weekend warrior rides, I needed to get back out there. The cycling voice in my head had been telling me to get out and explore. Every cyclist knows the cycling bug never leaves us - it always wins and I'm happy to give in!        I got back on the cycle touring saddle in my usual fashion. A good old paper map. Having re-located into a new area in the summer, one of the first things I did was purchase an array of Ordnance Survey...
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Life changes bring more Cycle Touring Opportunities

Life changes bring more Cycle Touring Opportunities
If you read my past cycling blog posts, you will know that I'm currently based on the beautiful island of Jersey, Channel Islands. For those of you who don't know, Jersey is a very small island off the coast of France, and is part of the British Isles. A stunning island that has been an awesome place live for the past 5 years. That said, cycling on an island 9 by 5 miles in size has brought some challenges with trying to keep cycling interesting. Same roads, views etc. To help overcome this, I re-invented my cycling by starting cycle touring in nearby France to break the boredom. That was five years ago and I'm so glad I got out there and tried something new. It brought this website and a host of great adventures. Life can bring big changes. We all get them from time to time. Some good....
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Best Laid Cycling Touring Plans can go Wrong!

Best Laid Cycling Touring Plans can go Wrong!
It was all planned out. As much as it needed to be anyway. I was riding from St Malo to Le Mans and my cycling friend I was meeting with, was riding from Caen to Le Mans. You guessed it. Le Mans was the meeting point. Did we make it and meet up? Nope! This is what happened. If you read my post a couple of weeks ago, you would know that I have been planning to meet up with another Cycling Touring Community member. Simon was cycling from London to the Sahara. All the way through France and Spain, before heading to the Sahara (if time allowed anyway). It was to be a challenge ride for him, with long days in the saddle planned. Living very close to France, I thought it would be great to meet up and ride along with him for a few days before heading...
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Bike Touring, Spring and Sunshine!

Bike Touring, Spring and Sunshine!
I'm writing this post whilst looking out to beautiful spring sunshine and glorious blue skies. For me the weather plays such an important part in life, especially when bicycle touring. Not that I always let the weather control my cycling, but who doesn't prefer cycling in the sunshine as opposed to driving rain and gales?! Today I have dreaming of chilled out cycling along sleepy roads, eating great food and taking in the world at a slower pace. Escaping the everyday pressures of life for a little while. I think it is so important to find time to just chill, do something different and recharge. Bicycle touring really helps me with this. That back to basics way of life is a real pleasure. How about you - can you relate to this? All this spring sunshine happiness leads perfectly to my first bicycle tour of 2016. If this weather continues, it looks like...
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Stove for Bicycle Touring | Jetboil Zip Review

Stove for Bicycle Touring
A few of my recent posts have been focused on the kind of food I like to eat whilst out on a bicycle tour. So now seems like the perfect time to write about the stove I use to cook it on. A Jetboil Zip. Before I get started, if you did miss the previous posts on food, then check them out now.   Cooking and Eating on a Bicycle Tour | Part 1 Cooking and Eating on a Bicycle Tour | Part 2     What is a Jetboil? Jetboil stoves are compact, lightweight and very portable. The whole concept is to pack down all the components into the main cup/vessel compartment, making it an all in one stove. The stand, gas canister, burner and pan stabiliser all sit perfectly inside. The whole unit then takes up little space in your pannier or ruck sack. Perfect for any adventurer! ...
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Cycle Touring Advice | What do I need for my first Bicycle Tour?

Cycle Touring Advice
So, you have possibly made the best decision of your life. You have decided to go on a bicycle tour! But what next? You have a destination in mind. Maybe have some ideas of what to do along the way and thoughts about where you can sleep. The start date is approaching and your brain starts to take over with all these questions. Do I need special gear? Do I need a dedicated touring bicycle? Do I need to spend lots of money? Start by chilling out! The simple answer to these questions is no. Of course you need a few basic items to get started; bicycle being the most obvious starting point. But aside from a bicycle, I bet many of the items you need or think you need, you already own. If not, I also bet many of your friends & family could help you out. Check out a blog post I...
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Get out of bed and go Cycling!

Get out of bed and go Cycling!
It is fair to say that in terms of cycling, 2016 has been a bit of a struggle so far for me! The most amount of miles I have got on the bike has been my 15 mile daily commute to work, and the occasional Saturday or Sunday quick (1 hour) morning ride. Maybe the effects of the Christmas holidays are lingering. Whatever the reason, it is time for change. So, today I kick started my cycling for 2016 back into life. It may have been blowing a gale, driving rain and generally unpleasant when I woke up, but after a hearty breakfast, I got dressed in my cycling gear and braved the elements! And I'm so glad I did. I survived and came away with a renewed energy and focus. My body is back to life after a month of chilling out a little too much! The ride today...
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Cycle Touring Festival. Here I come!

Cycle Touring Festival. Here I come!
I'm very excited! I have ordered my ticket to the Cycle Touring Festival . After missing out last year through my own forgetfulness, this year I was prepared. I signed up to the newsletter and as soon as the tickets went on sale, I got one :-) For those of you who don't know, the Cycle Touring Festival is held in Clitheroe, Lancashire (UK). And this year it runs between Friday 27th - Sunday 30th May 2016, with an option to stay another night for a few extra pounds. As you can guess by the name, the festival is aimed at anyone interested in cycle touring. Doesn't matter if you are experienced, novice or just interested in having a weekend away, there will be something for everyone. The 2016 lineup is yet to be 100% confirmed, although the organisers have told me to expect Tom Allen  and Neil & Harriet...
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2016 | A Year of Cycling Adventures

2016
Happy New Year! With Christmas and New Year well and truly over, it is time to get moving with cyclingtouring.org  in 2016! The Christmas holidays were a welcomed break. My family and I headed off to the Brecon Beacons for a short break, visiting family, eating good food and generally chilling out. Staying on a farm, located on top of a Welsh mountain in high winds and rain may sound crazy to many people (my wife included!), but I find it really invigorates you. The beautiful views and peace & quiet really help get away from busy day to day life :-) 2015 was such a busy year in so many ways. The launch of cyclingtouring.org  in June/July was an obvious highlight for me and seeing the community grow at a steady pace has been a pleasure. The support and positive feedback from everyone has been fantastic. Please keep it...
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Local Bike Rides and Recurring Cycle Tours & Rides

Local Bike Rides and Recurring Cycle Tours & Rides
  Over the past few months many of you have kindly taken the time to send in suggestions for new features and changes. Two topics that have come up a few times, is to have the ability to find people people to go on local bike rides (not necessarily touring) with and to setup regular/recurring tours & cycle rides . Two great ideas that I think will benefit many people. So, today I have made a few changes. A new category called ' Local Bike Ride ' has been created. This is great for people who don't always get chance to go off touring on a regular basis, but are still looking for people to go out cycling with. Maybe you have moved to a new area or you want to find new people to go cycling with in your local area. For people looking to setup regular/recurring cycle tours...
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