Road Touring in Northumberland

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Road Touring in Northumberland

Postby musomaniac » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:27 am

I'm going to be doing some "road "touring " for the very first time next summer , my only available bike is a Giant Adv Pro 2 , which is a road bike with 28mm tyres
Can any of you experienced folk recommend a road route in and around Northumberland to get me started , would be looking at riding into Northumberland from jarrow Tyne and wear and wild camping for 2 nights before riding home

will also be looking at the possibility of obtaining a mountain bike next year as well .

The giant has been kitted out with rack and panniers ect

any info appreciated
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Re: Road Touring in Northumberland

Postby padonbike » Wed Oct 03, 2018 2:11 pm

Roads in Northumberland are in a pretty shocking state, especially in the Belsay/Scots Gap area, but for normal road riding you can get away with 25mm tyres, however 28mm certainly give extra margins of comfort. There are three nice towns in Northumberland that make good link points for any ride: Rothbury, Bellingham and Allendale. They all have local shops and cycling friendly cafes. If you want to go a bit further past Bellingham towards Kielder then most of the Kielder bothies are accessible with 28mm tyres as they are just off forest tracks, so you really have a lot of options.
If you go steady on the forest tracks you can easily get in with panniers and rack without any risk of shaking off.
Speaking from experience, I would recommend plotting a gpx for the forest track sections - there are many sections that look the same and I wouldn't want you too to also be riding around aimlessly in the woods at Kershopehead for an hour at 4am in the morning. In the rain. :???:
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Re: Road Touring in Northumberland

Postby musomaniac » Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:56 pm

thanks for the reply , yes i will definately be using rwgps or komoot to plot a route , don't fancy being in the middle of a forest totally lost :???:
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Re: Road Touring in Northumberland

Postby RIP » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:50 pm

Forgive me for chipping in with <tongue slightly in cheek emoticon>...."being in the middle of a forest totally lost" - nah, that's a highly underrated pleasure :smile:. Anyway, you'd only be "temporarily geographically misplaced", honest! Stu'll be along in a mo to explain the finer points of that BP subject, I'm just in the beginners class :smile:.

More seriously(*), enjoy the trip - sounds a good one.

(*) actually I was being serious in the first para :wink:
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Re: Road Touring in Northumberland

Postby musomaniac » Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:11 pm

Yeah i'm really looking forward to getting out next spring , i'm not new to cycling by any means , but i'm a total greenhorn when it comes to this bike packing milarkey , think i will definately be looking into a mountain bike next year , or a fat bike , although got no experience whatsoever with a fat bike , whats peoples preferences regarding the two ? Is there a huge difference between a mountain bike and a fat bike , other than tyre size and maybe weight ??
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Re: Road Touring in Northumberland

Postby RIP » Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:30 pm

I'd best let the fatbike afficionados answer that but I'm guessing the simple answer(s) is: a/ fatbikes are good/fun for snow/sand, b/ something different anyway, and why not eh, but c/ as many on Here will say: it makes little difference WHAT bike you have, you'll still be able to "bikepack". As Stu, myself, and some others would witter on about - it's more of a philosophy than a bike/bivi/tour thing. Then again many would disagree with us. And there's the fun of it! Personally I usually ride my 2007 Orange P7 - it's unfashionably 26", has 3x9, front suspension, and most importantly - I like a nice, cold, hard, piece of steel between my legs :-bd. Then again I, and others, have successfully bikepacked on a Brompton, and some have even used unicycles :smile:.

Summary: use whatever bike and kit (while still "suitable for the weather" obviously) you happen to have already, and you'll still have a blast.

Then tell us all afterwards, w'd love to hear about your adventures :smile:.

'Reg'
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"It is in the petty details, not in the great results, that the interest of existence lies" - JKJ
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Re: Road Touring in Northumberland

Postby whitestone » Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:52 pm

Reg has most of it so as a fat bike owner I'll just add a bit about that.

For the UK fat bikes are very much in the n+1 category. If you lived somewhere like Alaska or the US desert states then I think they'd be a near perfect all-rounder, after all that's where fat bikes evolved. So far this year I've ridden mine for just 230km compared to 3200km on my "normal" hardtail. But ... most of those fat bike rides wouldn't have been possible or at least very difficult on the HT, they were hard enough on the fattie :lol: Most of the rides on the fat bike have been fairly short because of that, usually less than 20km.

As with any bike if you spend enough money you can get a very light bike but they aren't as heavy as you might think - mine is 3kg heavier than the hardtail for example, about 500g in the frame with the rest in the wheels and tyres. Once you are moving then it's not that noticeable - they have a certain momentum :shock: Fat bikes are definitely a nice to have but I'd look at a decent all-rounder "normal" MTB first.
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Re: Road Touring in Northumberland

Postby musomaniac » Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:34 am

I will definately let you know how my first bikepacking trip goes , i dont want to spend a fortune on a mountain bike i've done enough of that with my road bikes , probably around £300 and the bike will be second hand , as i doubt i'd grt much new for that price

any ideas what i should be looking for ( bikepacking specific wise) or will any mountain bike do , would need to be a hard tail , as i dont like those full suspension jobbies
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Re: Road Touring in Northumberland

Postby RIP » Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:05 am

For that first trip, yes any bike will do (as you say why waste money until you have a feel for things), probably the only "essential" would be some grippier tyres. You might be thinking we're avoiding your "what's best" question, but we're not, we're probably trying to avoid you taking "what's worst" inadvertently :smile:. Other stuff can be gradually built up bit by bit and money and experiences allows - no need to fall into the "all the gear no idea" trap :smile:. Rather than tailor the bike to what you think the terrain will need, have a think about tailoring the terrain/route that you ride on to the bike that you have..... thereby lies happiness and a fulfilling, pleasant, bikepacking outing. If the terrain changes and you're unhappy about the bike's ability to deal with it - just check the map and head off in another direction :-bd
Last edited by RIP on Sat Oct 06, 2018 10:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
"There comes a time in your life Ponsonby, when you think: 'My God, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

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Re: Road Touring in Northumberland

Postby musomaniac » Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:50 pm

therein lies another question ie maps , i have used my wahoo bolt for sportives , and rides around 80 to 110 mile , both with the club and solo , but always on roads , is it safe to say that i will need a "paper map" as well as my wahoo bolt , especially if i'm on a mountain bike in heavy tree canopy
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Re: Road Touring in Northumberland

Postby RIP » Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:46 am

Everyone else will laugh now; you're asking a committed 'paper' man here (I can bore you at length with my reasons why). My only condescension to technology is I have a few waterproof 'Active' OS maps. Over to the sensible ones with their gizmos..... and millions of power packs.... and chargers.... and cabling.... and signals.......and.... fixed lines in the sand.... and..... :wink:.
Last edited by RIP on Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:18 am, edited 3 times in total.
"There comes a time in your life Ponsonby, when you think: 'My God, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

"It is in the petty details, not in the great results, that the interest of existence lies" - JKJ
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Re: Road Touring in Northumberland

Postby sean_iow » Sat Oct 06, 2018 10:35 am

musomaniac wrote:especially if i'm on a mountain bike in heavy tree canopy


I've never had an issue with any of my GPS devices under tree cover, they still seem to pick up a signal OK, sometimes the accuracy might drop a bit and the arrow will be off the track but it's still obvious where you should be.
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Re: Road Touring in Northumberland

Postby Growler » Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:50 pm

Hi
I dont want to get drawn into the what bike thing....., but as a Northumberland resident, I can offer you any advice on where to go whilst up here. So many great options, it depends on what you like. Drop me a PM and i'll go through some suggestions. Do agree on the wider tyre thing though. Our roads are rather strapped of funds these days and even Land Rovers suffer up here.
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Re: Road Touring in Northumberland

Postby Lazarus » Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:09 pm

is it safe to say that i will need a "paper map" as well as my wahoo bolt , especially if i'm on a mountain bike in heavy tree canopy


I always a take a paper back up [ I smashed my GPS once in the middle of no where during crash]though I often just print it from screen shots from memory map

Never had that many issues under tree cover.
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Re: Road Touring in Northumberland

Postby musomaniac » Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:49 am

changed my mind about using my giant for bikepacking , bought this cube instead , hope it'll be ok , only has 26 inch wheels , not sure if that would make any difference as opposed to 27.5 or 29 inch wheels

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Re: Road Touring in Northumberland

Postby RIP » Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:03 pm

"26 inch wheels " - :-bd from an old fogie here. "make any difference as opposed to 27.5 or 29 inch" - to the 'experience'? None whatsoever. Again everyone else will disagree :wink:. To the bike's 'handling'? Maybe, but much less difference than your biking skills do.
"There comes a time in your life Ponsonby, when you think: 'My God, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

"It is in the petty details, not in the great results, that the interest of existence lies" - JKJ
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