Author Topic: ACME goes European  (Read 6053 times)

Re: ACME goes European
« Reply #50 on: August 02, 2019, 06:57:34 pm »
Looks like I might be able make event. Seems that Mrs Tandemaniac is not going to make an appearance, so could well be riding down to Dover. Looks like being a great tour. :thumbsup:

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: ACME goes European
« Reply #51 on: August 03, 2019, 11:36:21 pm »
This looks rather tempting. Given that my dear wife and I have cancelled a Netherlands tour because of Real Life, I may well be interested. I am rather slow - moving average around 10mph. How much of a problem will this be for others?
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Re: ACME goes European
« Reply #52 on: August 04, 2019, 09:49:51 am »
What I’m doing is putting together 2 routes each day. On the Friday there’s the option of a 75km-ish route or 130km-ish option. Given that I’m expecting some nice stops, the pace on the latter is probably going to be 20km+. The 75km route can be much slower.

On the Saturday I’m aiming to have a core route, but with options for route detours for those who want to ride further. The aim is to have common stop points, but a group split on the road. Not sure how this will work out, but hoping in practice it gives everybody the options they need.

My view would be that 10mph would be a bit too slow for some riders, but with the above in place we’d not be looking for everybody to be riding at the same speed all day. So if you’re happy to be a little independent at points during the day (actually most of the Friday), and to meet at stop points and for a good evening meal / drink, then all should be good.

In previous years we have largely stayed together as one group, but especially when trying to fit in a 200km group Brevet, this hasn’t always been easy. So this year the distances are reduced and I’m not looking to take on a role of road captain to keep everybody together. Knowing the people who will be riding, as we do split into groups I’m sure we’ll still be looking out for everybody and making sure nobody is left to their own devices.

I’ll confirm the proposed travel arrangements and stop points later today, and aim to get a first draft of the route out within a week. Then refine the route post-PBP.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: ACME goes European
« Reply #53 on: August 04, 2019, 02:11:18 pm »
Cheers! Have lots on my plate at the moment as executor of someone very recently deceased. When do you need to know?
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Re: ACME goes European
« Reply #54 on: August 04, 2019, 04:55:51 pm »
Everybody books their own travel and accommodation, so there aren’t really any deadlines.

huggy

  • ACME GCFO +&+ Mr RRtY
    • ACME
Re: ACME goes European
« Reply #55 on: August 05, 2019, 02:59:16 pm »
Just a heads up about arriving in Dunkirk.  I've had some info passed to me about a group of UK cyclists arriving there last weekend and riding out of the ferry terminal on the cycle path getting jumped by 'asylum seekers' and losing all of their possessions.  The local police were less than helpful saying it's rife.
At least be aware of the possibility if your plans are taking you that way!
Never knowingly underfed on an Audax

Re: ACME goes European
« Reply #56 on: August 05, 2019, 03:16:56 pm »
I'd second this. My er, lovingly planned, route out of Dunkirk earlier this year took us past the camp and it felt less that safe, even with a bunch of the Met's finest in the group.
Turn, turn, turn again
Turn, turn to the rain
And the wind

Re: ACME goes European
« Reply #57 on: August 05, 2019, 07:49:25 pm »
Thanks for the heads up. Do you know if there is a safe route out of the terminal in Dunkirk? If not, I’m inclined to amend the plan and go with the Harwich option both ways.

Re: ACME goes European
« Reply #58 on: August 06, 2019, 09:55:49 am »
Well you can certainly plan a route that doesn't go past the camps - that would be a good start!

But the issue is more the roving gangs of kids. Our route back into Dunkerque avoided the camp, but still had us in the middle of the road at a couple of street corners.
Turn, turn, turn again
Turn, turn to the rain
And the wind

Re: ACME goes European
« Reply #59 on: August 08, 2019, 01:08:54 pm »
After a few discussions, I’m not comfortable with the original plan of arriving in Dunkirk in the late evening, no matter which route from the terminal is taken.

There are 2 alternative options. I’m happy with either, but would like some feedback before confirming the outline arrangements. Both options involve ferry travel overnight on Thurs 12th, back overnight on Sun 15th.

Alternative 1: get the overnight ferry from Harwich to Hook. Then explore east from there. With this option I can have 2 routes of different lengths each day, with a common overnight accommodation. The issue with this option is that we’d be covering some ground we’ve experienced before, and we’d miss the sites around Ypres that I was hoping to include.

Alternative 2: get the overnight Newhaven to Dieppe ferry. Leaves at 11pm and takes 4 hours. Cost is £30 per person incl bike, plus optionally cabins are £83 each with 4 beds in each. I would recommend a cabin and not to slum it. A direct-ish route from Dieppe to Hook is circa 390km, so 130km each day. This would take us through Ypres. This is more aligned to the original plan and will involve more variety of terrain. Only 1 route per day would be possible, but with a little careful time management I think we’d still enjoy some nice stops along the way.

Although I’m happy to work with either option, my preference would be to go via Newhaven, and to hope for a nice south-westerly wind.

Comments appreciated. I’m hoping to be in a position on Saturday to confirm the proposed travel and accommodation details, so bookings can be made.


mmmmartin

  • BPB 1/1: PBP 0/1
    • FNRttC
Re: ACME goes European
« Reply #60 on: August 08, 2019, 01:55:01 pm »
ETA (in case anyone wants it) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/27774528
Jiberjaber is correct: The Fridays have done this a few times and I'm pretty sure there are no camps on that section, at least not when we did it, admittedly a few years back. Nowhere to put a camp as there is no water supply and ISTR the camps are close to the autoroute, a fair way away from the coast.
Besides, it wouldn't be audacious if success were guaranteed.

Re: ACME goes European
« Reply #61 on: August 08, 2019, 04:09:16 pm »
And this is the (less scenic) route we took in June. https://ridewithgps.com/trips/36502945
Camp was around the 10-12km mark - Gran Synthe, which I though had been cleared out, so perhaps we hit the remnants/new start-up.
Didn't get an idea of the size, but as we rode towards it on the the Met's best said "Oooh, look, a music festival". It became apparent that we wouldn't be popping in for some sounds pretty quickly.
Turn, turn, turn again
Turn, turn to the rain
And the wind

Re: ACME goes European
« Reply #62 on: August 10, 2019, 10:42:57 pm »

Firstly, the consensus from those I’ve spoken to is that the decision to avoid Dunkirk is sensible. Secondly, travelling out from and returning to Harwich is the preferred alternative. I have therefore prepared an outline route and can confirm the following details.

Thursday 12th Sept

Ferry - Harwich to Hook of Holland - 23:00 - 8:00
 - Economy price - £44.50
 - Mandatory cabin - £42 (single) or £55 (double)
 - Breakfast buffet - £11 (recommended, otherwise plan to eat something you have carried from England as we won’t plan to stop for at least 2 hours into the ride)

Friday 13th Sept

Riding - largely following the LF Maasroute from Hook of Holland, a scenic long distance route (for more details, see https://www.lfmaasroute.nl/en). There are many cyclist friendly places to stop along the way, and we’ll aim to ride 150km. Assuming 20kph average and 3 hours of stops, from an 8:30am start we should be at the hotel in Nijmegen around 7pm.

Hotel - Hotel Courage, Waalkade
 - Twin room - £101 (including breakfast) … with early payment I got the twin room for £96.
 - Single room - £90 (including breakfast)

This hotel has been flagged by a previous visitor as having secure bicycle facilities. I will check this directly with the hotel. If you book using Booking.com or similar, you get free cancellation if the secure bicycle facilities are not in existence. Walking through the park there are many restaurants within about 200m. There are also a number of other hotel options in that area, some cheaper, some more expensive, if you want to stay somewhere else. As long as we’re relatively close together, can all reach a suitable restaurant, and agree a start time for the Saturday, that wouldn’t be an issue.

Saturday 14th Sept

Riding - continue along the LF Massroute for a while, and then loop back to Tilburg. Approx 120 - 130km, but we can have options to shorten that. The direct route to Tilburg is only 70km, but that’s far too short for even a leisurely cycle tour!

Hotel - ???
 - I’m trying to find somewhere suitable that is reasonably cheap (preferably cheaper than the previous night), has a restaurant or is close to somewhere to eat, and provides a breakfast. Might need to consider other nearby towns.

Sunday 15th Sept

Riding - if we do stay in Tilburg, the direct route back to Hook of Holland is 108km. So plenty of scope either to deviate a little with the route, or have a relaxed final day.

Ferry - Hook of Holland to Harwich - 22:00 - 6:30
 - Economy price - £44.50
 - Mandatory cabin - £35 (single) or £46 (double)
 - Breakfast buffet - £11 (optional, depending on your plans once back in England)


Next steps

Please do book the return ferry and either the Hotel Courage or a suitable alternative close by in Nijmegen.

Can you let me know when you have booked so that I know who is confirmed on the trip?

I will confirm the bicycle storage at Hotel Courage once I hear back, and also the hotel arrangements for the Saturday night.

jiberjaber

  • ... Fancy Pants \o/ ...
  • ACME S&M^2
Re: ACME goes European
« Reply #63 on: August 11, 2019, 07:43:08 am »
Ferry & Hotel booked  :thumbsup:
Regards,

Joergen

Deano_44

  • Enjoy the Ride!
Re: ACME goes European
« Reply #64 on: August 11, 2019, 08:10:21 am »
I have booked a room at the hotel.

Will get the time off work on Monday (hopefully!) and then will book the ferry.

Re: ACME goes European
« Reply #65 on: August 11, 2019, 08:22:50 am »
Ferry crossings and hotel booked for me and sue.
We will drive up to witham be handy if I could leave my car round one of your houses for the weekend if possible


Sent from my C5 PRO using Tapatalk


quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: ACME goes European
« Reply #66 on: August 11, 2019, 10:26:50 am »

I'll try to join for one day of this. Not sure yet which, probably the Saturday.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: ACME goes European
« Reply #67 on: August 12, 2019, 03:46:28 pm »
If you need any help/tips on the route for Saturday let me know. I live in Helmond which is more or less in the middle of the area you plan to cover (Nijmegen/Tilburg). There are lots of small ferries on the Maas which run all the time so crossing is not an issue. The Maasduinen are nice, as is Arcen but thats maybe too far down (lots of cafes/restaurants). If you dont get that far 'veerhuis tantejet' near Blitterswijk is a decent place for a bite to eat. Its next to the ferry.
 
From there you can go via Overloon / Bakel / Aarle Rixtel and pick up the canal path to Tilburg which is a bike friendly relaxed route without any car traffic - it will allow you to avoid the major built up areas Helmond/Eindhoven - unless you want to bike through cities (not my thing usually)

Regards,

Alan

Re: ACME goes European
« Reply #68 on: August 12, 2019, 05:09:50 pm »
Thank you farfetched for the info and offer of help. Serious route planning for that section will be happening during the week after PBP. I’ll certainly be interested in your thoughts once we have a draft of that day’s route.

Re: ACME goes European
« Reply #69 on: August 12, 2019, 07:29:33 pm »
A quick roll call and I believe the following have either confirmed or are in the process:

psyclist (of course!)
grey sheep
jiberjaber
tomsk
Deano_44
TRCexplorer
Sue
+ quixoticgeek (guest appearance for 1 day)

Do let me know if I've missed anybody ... I know others have been thinking about it.

bhoot

  • MemSec (ex-Mrs RRtY)
Re: ACME goes European
« Reply #70 on: August 12, 2019, 07:39:04 pm »
I'm in contemplating/planning mode, it would be just me not fhoot...

bhoot

  • MemSec (ex-Mrs RRtY)
Re: ACME goes European
« Reply #71 on: August 12, 2019, 07:43:26 pm »
I note that your chosen hotel in Nijmegen is next door to Nationaal Fietsmuseum Velorama... was that intentional or happy coincidence?

Re: ACME goes European
« Reply #72 on: August 12, 2019, 08:05:18 pm »
I note that your chosen hotel in Nijmegen is next door to Nationaal Fietsmuseum Velorama... was that intentional or happy coincidence?

I did notice it. When I checked I saw the museum opened at 10am. If that was of interest, there is scope to visit in the morning of the Saturday and have a shorter ride in the afternoon ... whilst those who would prefer more cycling can stick with the original plan to ride further on the LF Massroute before looping back to the Tilburg area. The direct route was 70km.

I'm happy to prepare 2 routes if there is interest in the museum. People can then decide on the day. We can either have a split group on the day, or we might chose one option over the other.

Be good if you are able to join us. The route itself will be worked on immediately after PBP. Generally the aim will be for cafe or bar stops mid morning and mid afternoon each day, and a lunch stop somewhere appropriate.

Re: ACME goes European
« Reply #73 on: August 12, 2019, 08:40:34 pm »
Could I park my car up round one of your houses in the witham area for the weekend and ride into Harwich with you guys

Sent from my C5 PRO using Tapatalk


bhoot

  • MemSec (ex-Mrs RRtY)
Re: ACME goes European
« Reply #74 on: August 12, 2019, 08:56:17 pm »
Tilburg hotels not looking promising ... anyone found anything?