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Micro/Mini Cycle Tours - Maximise Cycling Opportunities

Micro/Mini Cycle Tours - Maximise Cycling Opportunities
Do you ever dream about long and elaborate cycle tours?  For many of us these don't fit in with everyday life all year round.  They need to be planned, time booked off work and much more.  Sometimes you need to think smaller and take opportunities when and wherever possible.  You don't always need to slope off for months, it could be an afternoon off work or a long weekend away.  Use your imagination and you will see many opportunities. I'm never one to miss an opportunity to ride my bicycle, so I decided to turn a trip to see friends in the UK into a mini cycle tour.  Normally I catch a 45 minute flight from Jersey to the UK, but with flight costs being high (school holidays) and the weather being good (kind of), I booked myself on the ferry crossing to Poole, Dorset.  With my bike of course! On paper...
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Cycle Touring Navigation: Paper Map or GPS Device? | Part 2

Cycle Touring Navigation: Paper Map or GPS Device?
Welcome to part 2 of this blog post about the world of cycle touring navigation.  Read part 1 here. As touched on in part 1, I love paper maps and still use them for my touring planning and navigation.  I also love GPS devices.  Having it all available to me is how I like to go touring. GPS devices do bring many benefits to the cycle tourist.  For me, one of the key benefits is the ability to get you back on track when lost.  If you have never been lost, then you are very lucky!  For those of us who do get lost and on occasion need to get to a destination a little quicker than usual (maybe darkness approaching or meeting up with someone), then whipping out some form of GPS device is a great backup to have.  The simplicity of clicking some form of ' Locate Me...
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Cycle Touring Navigation: Paper Map or GPS Device? | Part 1

Cycle Touring Navigation: Paper Map or GPS Device?
So what is it to be when you go on a cycle tour? The good old paper map or a modern day GPS device (Garmin, smart phone, Bryton, etc..)?   Some people get a little hot under the collar about this subject.  They think you have to chose a path and stick with it. What if your battery runs out? What if your map isn't detailed enough or doesn't cover the whole area?  The usual ping pong points of view.  Who cares.  I don't.  I always use both paper maps and GPS. They both have their merits and downfalls,  but together they are a formidable force that get you where you want to go with little trouble.  Why struggle when you can have it all :-)  But I guess life would be so boring if we all agreed, and this is one topic that will never be put to bed....
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First Summer Tour of 2015

First Summer Tour of 2015
Time has flown by since I returned from my quick mini cycle tour of France; busy time at home and work, and a serious case of man flu hasn't helped :-)  Now that I have finally got round to downloading my photos from my iphone, I thought I would write a blog post about my cycle tour.  Hopefully give you all a reason to get out and go cycle touring, and if you are thinking about heading out on your first cycle tour, then some encouragement to get out there and enjoy.  The ferry ticket for this mini cycle tour was booked back at Christmas.  Winter in Jersey is very boring and you can go stir crazy on an island 9 by 5 miles in bad weather!  Having a bicycle tour to look forward to is a must - the dreams of sunny days riding along in France, taking in...
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Brooks Saddle | Your backside will love you forever!

Brooks Saddle
I have always known about the iconic cycling brand Brooks being famous for their leather saddles; very popular with touring cyclists across the world.  It wasn't until I got the cycle touring bug that I actually thought about purchasing one. Up until my love of bicycle touring started, I had only been interested in road and mountain bike lightweight saddles - the kind of ones that can bring tears to your eyes! Maybe not quite that bad, but you get my point. I now wanted to give Brooks a try and see if the forum posts and reviews were correct; these magical leather saddles actually mold to your backside and make you feel at one with the bicycle. I chose to ignore the posts about the 'breaking in' period and the suffering people have reported!  And with cycle touring and Brooks going hand in hand, buying myself one, I thought...
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Convert an old bike into a new cycle touring bike...

Convert an old bike into a new cycle touring bike...
My touring bike I use today started it's life as a hard tail mountain bike. A Cube Reaction Race Edition to be precise.  A mid range aluminium frame mountain bike that cost me around £1500 at the time. It came with all the usual parts; suspension front forks, hydraulic brakes, typical MTB gearing (triple ring - lots of gears), knobbly tyres, etc...  And over the years, I had replaced or serviced just about every part to keep it running in tip top condition. Check out the photo below from after completing the Brecon Beast endurance MTB race in Wales. I have awesome memories of cycling through the Welsh countryside, which is probably why I love cycle touring so much. The bicycle has given me many memories, so why not continue that and convert it?     When starting out in cycle touring, I had dreams of bespoke, hand built, Rohloff...
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Cycle touring equipment and my first cycle tour…

Hello Everyone! In my last post I did say I would write up about converting a bike for cycle touring, but I have decided to write a quick post about getting started with cycle touring and the kit you may need.  Next time, I promise to write my mountain bike conversion post with pictures. If you are anything like me, you love to read about new kit, browse web sites/shops for new kit and overall get very excited at the prospect of new kit!  I enjoy the pre-purchase research, maybe more than receiving and using the piece of kit!   Now, that aside, you have to be realistic with what you need and ultimately what you can afford.  And for people new to the world or cycling touring, or any other sport/hobby, you need to see if you like it first, before investing your hard earned cash. You can still do...
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A Good Start

A Good Start
Hello Everyone! Cyclingtouring.org has now been live for 2 weeks!  During this time we have seen an influx of new members joining the site and cycle tours have been uploaded for people to join.  Our social media presence is growing and I'm really happy with the progress so far. There is still more work to do to spread the word!  We do really need your help with this.  If you like what we are doing for the cycling touring community, then please please Like/Share/Follow us via Social Media. Doing this will really help us grow the site and attract new members to join your cycle tours.    Our social media links can be found in the top right corner of the site (in the grey bar).  Or see the links below. Facebook:         https://www.facebook.com/cyclingtouring Twitter:              https://twitter.com/CyclingTouring Pinterest:           https://www.pinterest.com/cyclingtouring/ YouTube:     ...
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Little Cycle Tour to Dinan

Little Cycle Tour to Dinan
I write this post from my hotel room in St Malo, France.  It is fair to say that this trip didn't start as planned! Before I set off I had planned a short three day mini tour of Brittany, with a great route planned to Brest, where I would stay the night before heading back towards Renne for a final night, before riding back to St Malo to catch a ferry home.  For a number of reasons, my trip had to be cut short, meaning one night away and a day and half of riding.  Not being one to waste any opportunity to ride my bike, I adjusted my plans to get some miles in.  What a great decision that has proved to be.         Arriving in St Malo just after lunch, I pressed 'Go' on my Garmin Touring GPS and fired up my route to Dinan...
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This is where it all begins - Welcome to the Cycling Touring Community

This is where it all begins - Welcome to the Cycling Touring Community
So here it is!  The first blog entry for my new site www.cyclingtouring.org   I have been meaning to start writing this blog for some time now.  With all the work that has gone into starting this site, I guess the time has run away. Or maybe am I scared of your comments!?    What is there to tell about me?  Late 30’s (ish!) IT professional (my day job) who loves cycling and his family.  Having recently moved to Jersey (Channel Islands) for my work, I was really made to think about my cycling after I went from having all of the UK available to me, to an island just 9 by 5 miles!  I had to re-invent my cycling life! Some of my earliest memories are of learning to ride a bike and spending time with my friends, riding our bikes. In fact up until the age of about...
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