Post One – Trial Run, fully loaded.

First blog post.

In a weeks time I am taking my hybrid (TZ), some panniers, a tent and a lot of fear on the ferry from Portsmouth to St Malo. From there I am catching (hopefully), some trains to St Brevins les Pins at the mouth of the Loire. Then I’m spending 9 days cycling the course of the Loire to Nevers. It’s called the Eurovelo 6 route and one day will hopefully deposit me on the Black Sea at Constanta.

Yesterday was my first trial run on a fully loaded TZ.

Sarah agreed, under extreme duress, to accompany me on my test run… Not just on a fully loaded 20 mile bike ride, but also to test run my tent for the night. I say under duress – Sarah despises camping!! and cycling up hills…

Sarah and I about to depart CJ
Sarah and I about to depart CJ

For that reason I planned a route mainly downhill.

A wee jaunt, fully loaded, in Surrey

Taking the train from Clapham Junction to Woldingham (top of the N Downs), then rolling downhill all the way to Lingfield, where we would camp for the night. It’s a route I know from the club run and has some brilliant, if terrifying, downhills on country lanes, up and down, the Downs.

North Down Down

The ride to Lingfield went fairly hitch free, though I must say TZ handles very very differently with all the weight on. The front was light, especially at speed, and wobbling all over the place – lesson learned.  The pitching of the tent

Firs tent pitch

went pretty smoothly too, and I wasn’t overly concerned about the hurricane remnant apparently coming our way! After that we peddled around a bit, took in some nice food, and wine – then headed back to the campsite (Longacres, Lingfield) for a kind of boozy picnic and retired for the eve.

All in all – a successful test. And a lovely 24 hours.


7 thoughts on “Post One – Trial Run, fully loaded.”

  1. Hope you enjoy the Eurovelo 6. I’m a huge fan, having done the whole French bit now. Be prepared for some hills between Nantes and Nevers but also for some great French hospitality and excellent French wine. One top tip though, if you’ll allow me, … always have spare food in your panniers. France in August is pretty much shut and I had some hungry moments on that section at exactly this time of year last year. Safe pedalling.

    1. Hi. Thanks for your message. I’m very new to blogging (as you can see) and this EV6 trip next week will be my first proper cycle touring adventure, so any tips are most most welcome. I expect I will carry an emergency baguette and some cheese and ham at all times. You might be able to help me with one question I am struggling to get any info on from google… all my campsites are offering electricity hook-up, but do I need any additional gear to make this work?

      Thanks again for your tip, and if anything else comes to mind please drop me a note.


      1. My first proper cycle tour was cycling from Brussels to Scotland for a wedding 2 years ago and now I’m completely hooked. I think the EV6 is a great place to get started. Anyway, the electricity hook-ups are generally used by people in caravans or those staying for a long time. As you are cycle touring I guess you just want to charge phone/i-pod/kindle etc in which case an hour reading a book in the bathrooms/kitchens whilst guarding your plugged in product is the standard way to do it (and it’s free.) If you’re taking a fridge (!) and need the hook up, they generally seem to have pretty serious looking plugs with waterproof coverings. I’m sure a decent caravan shop would be able to provide one but, of course, you’d need one for European sockets. Good luck!

  2. Enjoy your trip
    Carry super noodles, a godsend when France is closed.

    packed too much and be |ditching stuff along the way.

    We are amazed with how little you can get by

    We are back in UK for a couple of weeks
    before flying to Budapest and riding back to UK.

    1. Thanks for the advice. You’re not the first to say that. Think I’ll need to pack some emergency supplies! Revising how much I am carrying on a daily basis.

      You taking the EV6 from Budapest then some route through Germany/Holland? Jealous.



  3. Hi Davey, good luck with your trip! check out this app….Loire a Velo I found it well handy! The navigation ( so long as your gps is enabled) helpsyou know exactly where you are! Don’t slavishly follow the signs on the route tho as they can take you up some seriously steep climbs for no apparent reason other than 2 take you from a quiet road onto an even quieter one. You might want to check out my blog….twonowgopedalling good treading, oh….you probably won’t use half the clothes you’ve packed, just rinse out what you wear during the day in the shower and wear again next day…..a bit clammy in the morning but you’ll soon dry out!

    1. Hi Simon. Cheers for the advice – really useful. Everytime I look at the stuff I’m taking, and the weight, more clothes are shed – think you’ve just confirmed that’s the way to go. Following your blog now – will catch up on your travels as some good reading/study material! Will check that app out too – thanks. Dare say if you are following me on this, you will see some familiar scenes, and hear some familiar stories.

      Thanks again and enjoy your next ride.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s