UK info/Bike shops/telephone #'s/route info?

UK info/Bike shops/telephone #'s/route info?

Post by Tippecan » Wed, 08 Jun 1994 10:43:05


 Hello!

 I am in need of telephone #'s, preferably Fax #'s, for bicycle shops
in the UK. I am planning a late July tour from London to Edinburgh,
and I am looking for sources for bicycle route data, such as elevation,
campsites, weather conditions, bed & breakfasts - all the usual bicycle
tour information.

 The one # I have been given is 091-265-4072, for a bike shop which I
am told is probably a good source of local information. If anyone else
would like to volounteer information on the best semi-direct or coastal
routes between London and Edinburgh, or at least point me in the right
direction, it would be greatly appreciated!

 All of my previous bicycling experience has been along the Pacific
coast of the US, but I am told that the hills/rain/big logging trucks of
the Oregon coast should prepare me similar conditions in the UK (excepting
of course which side of the road to bicycle on:)

Thanks for any and all help!

-Mike Tyler

(510) 416 8516 (Fax)

Oops. I ended that parathentical phrase with a preposition. That's
not something I should end a sentence with :)

P.S. Offers of cheap lodging would also be appreciated!

 
 
 

UK info/Bike shops/telephone #'s/route info?

Post by Rob Pickeri » Wed, 08 Jun 1994 18:37:04

Quote:

> Hello!

> I am in need of telephone #'s, preferably Fax #'s, for bicycle shops
>in the UK. I am planning a late July tour from London to Edinburgh,
>and I am looking for sources for bicycle route data, such as elevation,
>campsites, weather conditions, bed & breakfasts - all the usual bicycle
>tour information.

The best one-stop-shop for this kind of info is the Cyclists Touring Club
here in the UK:

 Cyclists Touring Club
 69, Meadrow
 Surrey, GU7 3HS
 Godalming
 +44 483 417217

They have a general handbook which includes all of the above info by county
for the whole of the UK. They also have specific route sheets for tours and
can provide you with any number of these plus general UK touring advice and
a list of local touring advisors by region who can be used for further advice.

The bad news is that whilst all of the above are completely free for members,
they are a subscription organisation and will probably want to charge you
money for the above as a non-member. They do have some sort of agreement with
BikeCentenial which allows their members to get cheap access to US maps and
info so maybe this is reciprocal and you can get info from them via US touring
organisations.

There is a good network of offices called Tourist Information Centres in the UK
most major towns and lots of other smaller tourist locations in the UK.
Whilst these vary in size & range of services they offer, all will be able
to provide you with a list of local accomodation and bike shops etc. Many will
also operate an accomodation booking network where, for a small fee or deposit,
they will book accomodation for you in another location via another office.
This booking is then confirmed and guaranteed with the B&B or Guest House.
Unless you are travelling at a very busy time (i.e. Mid Jul - Late August)
in a very popular area (can't think of one between London & Edinburgh) you
can quite happily tour by booking your nights accomodation from a TIC in the
morning then cycling there that day. Most UK Ordnance Survey leisure maps
show the location of TICs with a special (white 'i' on a blue background)
symbol.

If you are looking for cheap accomodation, there is also a reasonable abundance
of Youth Hostels in the UK, which vary considerably from large City and Town
Centre Hostels with all mod cons; cafes, laundries etc to wooden huts on a hillside.
You probably won't be able to find Youth Hostels for the whole journey because
there tend to be clusters around popular walking areas and then none for 150
miles in the direction you want to go in.

--
    Rob.

 
 
 

UK info/Bike shops/telephone #'s/route info?

Post by PE. Sm » Thu, 09 Jun 1994 23:25:35

Quote:

> I am in need of telephone #'s, preferably Fax #'s, for bicycle shops
>in the UK. I am planning a late July tour from London to Edinburgh,
>and I am looking for sources for bicycle route data, such as elevation,
>campsites, weather conditions, bed & breakfasts - all the usual bicycle
>tour information.

Can't do phone numbers, but since you said later that any help would be
appreciated, I can do some random thoughts:

1.  I assume you will be flying in and out of the same airport, and
using the train one way.  If so, I **highly** recommend that you do
your trip in whichever direction uses the train first.  Assuming you're
planning to fly into London, that would mean train from London to
Edinburgh, then ride Edinburgh to London.

Reason: sometimes it is problematic getting bikes onto trains.  If you
do the train part first, then if there is some problem which delays you
a day, you can adjust.  If you do the ride first, and then have to rely
on getting onto one of a small set of particular trains to get you back
to the airport on time, it could get exciting if there are any
problems. :-)

2.  Planning:  Of course, any info you can get in advance will help.
However, you can successfully plan a tour on-the-fly in this country,
if necessary.  Get the relevant Ordnance Survey (OS) maps, and head in
generally the right direction.  If you can cope with Oregon, you won't
find any hills you can't handle between London and Edinburgh, even if
you do accidentally pick a route which forces you to go over.  For
distance touring, we usually use the OS 'Routemaster' series (8 maps
cover the whole country) as a nice compromise between bulk and detail.
The OS '1 to 50000' series is better for detail, but needs more maps.
You should be able to pick up a full set at larger bookshops in either
London or Edinburgh, or buy them individually locally as need arises.
(Most newsagents seem to sell the local ones, or look for the tourist
information offices.)  Carry a compass.  Sometimes, when all else
fails, it's handy to be able to go 'basically North' until you find
some landmark to reorient yourself by.

3.  Campsites:  When you arrive, find a newsagent or bookshop and get
one of the many 'Campsites in GB' books.  They'll help you to locate
sites for planning purposes.  There are lots of them in the area you
plan to be in, so there should be no problem of availability, but the
book will help you locate them.  *Don't* trust the campsite markings
on the maps.  Campsites are cheap.

4.  Roads:  Bikes are not permitted on motorways (whose numbers start
with 'M', e.g. the M1 or the M25) and are also not permitted on 'roads
subject to motorway regulations' (whose numbers have a following '(M)',
e.g. some portions of the A1 are A1(M)).  You need to know that for map
planning.  In general, B-roads, and higher-numbered A-roads, are
reasonably pleasant for cycling on.  Low numbered A-roads usually
aren't.  Especially, avoid the A1 where possible.  'Unclassified'
(un-numbered) roads are often scenic, but they are also often
unpleasantly surfaced and we usually try to avoid them for distance
touring.  They're better for weekend pootling around.

5.  Weather:  Plan for wide variation.  Lots of light stuff that you
can layer as it cools down is good; e.g. two Polatek 100 jerseys are
better than one Polatek 200.  It WILL rain, so bring a raincoat, and
put everything in your panniers into plastic bags.  Ziploc are best.
Anything you REALLY need to keep dry wants to be inside *2* plastic
bags.  Ignore this at your own risk.

--
Paul Smee, Computing Service, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1UD, UK