Saturday, 30 June 2012

All days have been mapped

Today was spent jotting down the list of things to pack, mapping the last two days and going to an outdoor shop to get some lightweight walking trousers that can easily be converted into shorts if needed. The weather in Germany is hot - that is expected. The weather here in Enland is hideous! AS I sit here writing, the wind is gushing against the window and it is raining on and off. It is difficult to think that in a week's time we will be on the train winding down towards Basel in hot sunny weather. The map to the left shows the predicted weather for next Friday. A lot of thunder it seems!
The map below is part of the Rhine Delta route. We will follow a big part of it with the exception that this starts in the Hoek of Holland (Hook of Holland) instead of Europoort where we get in with the ferry. It also finishes at the border between Germany and Holland where we will continue our cycle to Rees. So much to do and so little time left!
Find more map in Millingen Aan De Rijn, Netherlands

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Gadgets for long-distance cyclists

Smartphones are battery hungry which is a particular problem if you are on a long bike ride and can't charge up along the way. So, thinking ahead to my imminent lists and previous long-distance cycling, I found this really cool gaddet which is small and lightweight but packs a punch for smartphones (and tablets!).

ChargeGenie50  link

The ChargeGenie 50 has a battery capacity of 5,000mAh; more than enough juice to charge your Smart Phone 3 times and enough to charge your tablet. Its light and compact design means that it fits in to your pocket and easily into your briefcase or your hand bag when you're on the go. The ChargeGenie should mean you are never left without battery on the go again!

So hopefully that fantastic photo that I wanted to take at 10 miles from the finish will happen after all!

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Counting the days

Being busy means that time flies, so after having a small panic attack today, I had a quick count on my calendar and found that it is a mere 9 days before we set off for Basel.

So much to do ! I need to make a list of what to go in my panniers and get that ready. Items like hayfever spray and tablets have been requested from the surgery but that's about it. I havent yet sat down with a pen and paper to jot down what will go into my kit. Oh, something else I have managed to think about is cycling gear or clothing. As we are cycling mostly on cycle paths and quiet roads, I have made a decision to abandon my lycra and don some cycling apparel that will make me look more like a leisure cyclist. I bought some mountain biking shorts with the inner padded short to go with it and some walking sandals. Walking sandals I hear you say. Well, I looked at the Shimano sandals which are currently available and they look almost like a complete shoe. Not like a sandal at all.
Merrell Kahuna III Ladies Sandals

After careful thought I decided to get some good walking sandals with a stiff sole which will suit my trip. I read a large number of reviews before settling on the Merrell Kahuna III.

On the right is a picture of them. I flexed the sole in a store (won't name the store!) and it felt really stiff, just what you need for a bike ride. I then did a few searches and bought it online. Oops! Some reviews indicated that people used it for cycling and walking which made me more comfortable in my choice.

I'm not sure if I am making a really bad choice here. I guess if it turns out to be wrong, I can buy a pair of proper cycling shoes when we pass through one of the big German cities which will definitely have good bike shops.

I also wrote to ECF - the European Cycling Federation - asking if wearing cycling helmets are compulsory in France, Germany and Holland. I knew Holland is a no, but I wasn't sure about Germany and France. To my delight they confirmed it isn't, so my cycling helmet is definitely NOT going on this trip.

So a couple of days still to map and then lists to make, from what goes into the panniers, to what is MUST sees along the route! 9 Days and counting...

I've so far mapped Days 1 to 11 and here is a flavour of one of them; Day 6.