from road.cc – there is also a similar site called http://www.pannier.cc supported by brooks
Finding a place to stay on a long-distance ride or a cycling holiday has got a whole-lot easier with this week’s launch of Beds for Cyclists‘ map based hotel browser.
The website takes away the frustration of trawling the internet’s depths for appropriate cycling accommodation on UK cycle routes, by collating the best bike hotels, on the best cycle routes in a new, visually appealing and easy to use tool.
Beds for Cyclists currently features 28 long-distance cycle routes each with their own specific page on the site. Each route page features a list of appropriate, local accommodation options, the route’s start and finish points, its total ride distance, and the type of terrain a rider is likely to encounter.
Routes include known ones like the Sea to Sea (C2C) which takes riders from east coast Newcastle right across to Whitehaven on Cumbria’s west coast which feature on the site alongside some shorter and and lesser known routes.
The site even covers both of Yorkshire’s Grand Départ routes and the bike-friendly hotels in their vicinity – although if you’re planning a visit around the race itself, we imagine you may have a bit of trouble finding somewhere.
The site’s founder, Sam Howard, has pledged that more routes and hotels will be added to the site as the word of his service spreads and new trails are opened around the country.
“This new platform will make it easy for cyclists to find accommodation on any major long-distance route in the UK,” Howard said.
“Our aim is to have a wide variety of cycle-friendly accommodation for every budget, along every major route in the UK. With more and more accommodation providers seeing the potential of the cycling trade and joining the site, this vision is becoming a reality.”
The easy to use interface makes exploring your accommodation options on any of the routes straightforward and has even been endorsed by the founder of sustainable transport charity Sustrans, John Grimshaw.
He said: “I’ve been involved, for many years, in the creation of many fantastic long-distance cycle routes but this is the first comprehensive resource I’ve seen for cycle-friendly accommodation along them.
“It’s not only a really useful resource for the riders, but it’s a great tool for demonstrating the potential cycle routes have to support local businesses, a key factor to developing new routes.”
I had similar thoughts today
Originally posted on CycleStuff:
There is nothing, and I mean nothing, like feeling the wind play across your face, watch clouds billow through, gaze at the silver glisten of ocean and feel hill beneath your wheel. Devon twinkled to the South. A frozen glaze frosted the Brecon Beacons to the North. A blackbird’s fluting call accompanies the view. I feel the blood pumping around my system, hear the thud, thud in the eardrum. I sit perched on the 29er, sole and temporary king of the hill. The Woods plunge in the middle distance, roots exposed, soft earth revealing rock obstacles. A reward for all this endeavour.
It feels like weeks, months, years since I last rode here. It’s not of course. I’m sure that this bike has seen action on this hill since Santa blazed across our skies. But weeks of persistent monsoon have dampened the circuit boards and played havoc with memory. In 1 hours time, I’ll be coaching the kids session in woods that lie 3 miles South East. But right here, right now, this hill, this ride, this view, is all mine.
Can’t help but think this will be compared to the Genesis Croix de Fer in the UK and not look so good but cheaper overseas and may be more value. $1700
Surly’s Straggler is a sturdily built and eminently adaptable steel all-rounder. It boasts a handful of interesting design touches, an unusual amount of tyre room, plentiful luggage rack mounts and a very comfy ride. It has a strong bias towards rough roads and trail use, but weight-weenies should look away now.
If you’re not sure why Surly’s bikes are dramatically different from the mainstream, take a look at their info-packed websitewww.surlybikes.com. It explains a hell of a lot about their design and build philosophy. It’s a very enjoyable read that takes you way beyond the marketing jargon you usually find on a bike maker’s website.
The Straggler is effectively a new approach to one of Surly’s most popular all-rounder bikes, the Cross-Check. The Straggler has disc brakes instead of the Cross-Check’s cantilevers, adding extra appeal for serious off road use, fully loaded touring or, in a perfect world, a combination of the two. Both are built around the kind of purposeful, adaptable and durable framesets Surly are known for, in this case inspired by cyclo-cross and touring applications, but the discs add to the Straggler’s appeal as a true all-rounder.
There are other instant appeal factors in the frame design too. The rear dropouts are 135mm wide (mountain bike standard) and have a screw adjusters so you can use a single speed or hub geared wheel or simply to slide the wheel back for extra clearance around big tyres. There’s already far more tyre room than on most cyclo cross or touring bikes.
Frame fittings include threaded bosses, doubled up on the fork dropouts, for full mudguards and every common type of front and rear pannier rack plus two sets of bottle cage bosses.
As per usual with Surly, there are loads of closely spaced sizes to choose from, ten to be precise, from 42cm to 64cm. All get a 72 degree head angle, with seat angles ranging from 75 degrees on the 42 to 72 on the 64. Our test bike is a 56cm (22in) with a horizontal top tube length of 58cm.
The frame shape is unusual. The top tube slopes down slightly to the head tube, which in turn extends about 2cm above the top tube. With the 30mm stack of washers on the steerer that gives you an option of a very high or very low handlebar position and good standover clearance.
Road and trail notes
The Surly guys are refreshingly honest in how they describe the Straggler.
They say: “It’s a day tripper and a weekender. It’s a ‘rough road’ road bike. It’s a cyclocross bike with no pretense about racing. It’s a utilitarian townie. It’s a light-duty touring bike. It’s an all-weather commuter. And when you get tired of one set up, you can swap parts around and turn it into something else.”
It’s that all purpose adaptability that’s the key to its attraction. And that adaptability means it’s built to take a beating on all types of terrain, whether it’s laden with bags or stripped down to the metal and rubber.
I tested the standard build from Surly’s UK distributor Ison Distribution. It weighed in at 11.9kg/26.5lb without pedals. That’s pretty close to the weight of a rigid forked mountain bike at around this price but not as capable as a mountain bike on really demanding terrain.
The Straggler’s obvious rough roads and trails bias makes that comparison inevitable. It bridges mountain bike, cyclocross bike and touring bike, with both positive and negative aspects of all three.
Most of its positive attributes are centred on the fact that it’s obviously built for durability, so you’re not going to be interested if you’re a weight watcher.
The 4130 chromoly steel tubes are cleanly TIG-welded, the main triangle is double butted, the chunky 4130 chromoly fork has a lugged crown and dropouts with curved butted blades fitted with dual rack eyelets.
If you have your own ideas about how you’d want to equip the Straggler, you could start with a frame and fork for £449.99, but the complete bike package is very thoughtfully equipped and looks like a good starting point for the sort of bike that could theoretically tackle pretty much any terrain you choose to ride it over.
Surly’s Knard 41mm knobbly tyres are a strong indicators towards its intended territory, but there’s nothing to stop you fitting skinny treads if your bias is more towards road use.
Inevitably it’s not a particular fast bike on the road with the 41mm tyres fitted, although it is remarkably comfortable and the Knard’s tread pattern features a round close-knobbed profile that runs surprisingly quickly on tarmac.
The weight means that climbing on the road is more sluggish than on a skinny tyred aluminium or carbon framed cyclo-cross bike, but it bears comparison with other steel-framed touring bikes. The Straggler’s high-speed handling on descents is massively confident in places where you’re not quite sure what the surface is going to present you with.
The tyres are fat enough to allow you to run them fairly soft off road for more control and comfort, but you’ll quickly become aware of the limits when the going gets overly rocky or rooty. But away from truly difficult mountain bike terrain its trail handling is superb.
The combined wheel and tyre diameter is 28.5in, an inch more than on a typical cyclocross bike and that helps in terms of creating an easier roll over the bumps, but there’s still plenty room for mudguards.
The finishing detail of complete bike packages is well thought out. The parts package uses wheels with tough Alex DX-Lite eyeleted rims, 32 black stainless spokes and Surly’s own hubs, allen bolted up front, quick release at the back.
The Shimano drivetrain mixes a 46/34 cyclocross crankset with Tiagra shifters and rear mech, CX70 front mech and an 11-32 ten speed cassette, a good option for off road use or laden touring.
The brakes are the well proven and easy to adjust Avid BB7 cable pull discs, with full outer cables. The seat post and stem are from Kalloy; the saddle from Velo; and the handlebar the compact drop and slightly flared Salsa Cowbell.
If you don’t like the ‘Glitter Dreams’ sparkling finish of our test bike you could go for the much more conservative ‘Closet Black’.
The Straggler has a rock solid character in terms of both handling and have a go at anything durability. Sure, there are times when it feels like a bit of a lump, typically when you’re trying to keep up with a bunch of mates on skinny-rib road bikes. But there are also times when its steamroller personality becomes very welcome.
On trails it’s inevitably much less skittish than a lightweight race bred cyclocross bike, and that’ll give you confidence to explore further afield. With a fast rolling set of touring tyres, it’ll be competing for desirability honours with lots of traditional touring bikes.
The braking is better than a lot of other disc equipped cross-bred bikes because it doesn’t flutter or judder: that’s presumably down to the hefty build of the fork and the bracing tube between the stays out back; adding weight has pros as well as cons.
The Straggler is a bike for those who value a comfortable non competitive ride and a lot of adaptability in one bike. It’s not for those who obsess about weight or who are always in a rush.
It could even be the only bike you need to own if you’re an all-round rider of the type who currently owns half a dozen bikes and is trying to trim the fleet back to a sensible number.
You might still need that fast road bike, though. Oh, and the mountain bike, and, and, and…
Wonderfully versatile all-rounder that can hit the trails, the streets or the long-haul open road; it might be the only bike you need, except for all the others.
Glasgow 2014 today (Tuesday 11 February) revealed the routes for the Games Cycling road events that will see elite athletes from across the Commonwealth race through the heart of the city and beyond.
The excitement of the Games will reach audiences in towns and villages around Glasgow as riders battle against the clock during the Time Trial event on Thursday 31 July, while Glasgow itself becomes the race track on Sunday 3 August with the fastest riders chasing each other through the city’s streets for the action packed Road Race.
The Time Trial will see top Commonwealth cyclists take on a challenging route (40km for men, 30km for women) that will start and finish at Glasgow Green with a single loop course taking in the great countryside of East Dunbartonshire and North Lanarkshire as well as the city’s East End. A map of the course can be viewed HERE.
The Road Race course, also starting in Glasgow Green, features a 14km circuit taking riders along Argyle Street, Buchanan Street and St Vincent Street before carrying on to the west end of the city where they will pass through Kelvingrove Park and circuit the west end before heading back (200m from my house) towards the city centre and the finish. A map of the course can be viewed HERE.
For the men’s race, competitors will complete 168km and lap the course 12 times. Female riders will complete 7 laps and 98km.
The announcement follows the reveal of the Glasgow 2014 Marathon route, which also takes in a number of Glasgow’s key city centre landmarks.
Spectators won’t require a ticket to be a part of the Games along both the Cycling or the Marathon routes as all three events are free to view, giving everyone a chance to experience the thrill of live sport first hand.
The courses have been developed in collaboration with a range of sport, city and tourism stakeholders to ensure that the sport technical requirements are achieved while balancing this unique opportunity to showcase the city and its surroundings to the world.
It has also received endorsement from the UCI and will receive final certification closer to Games time.
Glasgow 2014 is working with partners including Glasgow City Council and Transport Scotland to minimise any disruption on the day of the event, which will see temporary changes put in place for traffic.
Travel conditions are expected to be different to normal across the city and spectators are advised to plan their travel in advance. Further information will be made available viawww.getreadyglasgow.com and on Twitter @GetReadyGlasgow.
Councillor Archie Graham, Executive Member for the Commonwealth Games at Glasgow City Council, said: Archie Graham, Executive Member for the Commonwealth Games at Glasgow City Council, said:
“The Road Race and Time Trial competitions at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games will be fantastic events in the city. I’m sure thousands of Glaswegians and our visitors will come out to watch some of the world’s greatest cyclists compete on our streets in what will be a memorable time.”
David Grevemberg, Glasgow 2014 Chief Executive, said:
“Cycling is among the fastest and most thrilling events at Glasgow 2014 with the Road Race and Time Trial offering fans the chance to experience the excitement of the sport up close.
“Road Race riders will take in some of the best sites in Glasgow, as well as some challenging climbs, while those undertaking the Time Trial will hit the open roads and head out of the city in a challenging race to the finish.
“These competitions, along with the Marathon, are free events to watch without tickets and we would encourage everyone to cheer the athletes on and enjoy what will undoubtedly be a unique Commonwealth Games experience.”
Jon Doig, Commonwealth Games Scotland Chief Executive and Team Chef de Mission, said:
“Scottish cyclists are putting in the hard miles right now as they work towards setting the standards to be a part of Team Scotland. Learning the Road Race and Time Trial routes will give them renewed impetus to be on the start line at Glasgow 2014, where they can expect to be roared on by vocal home support.”
Shona Robison, Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, said:
“From Glasgow’s streets to the scenic roads of North Lanarkshire and East Dunbartonshire, these routes provide a captivating backdrop to a world class event which will be viewed by a global audience. The atmosphere will be electric as people take up the opportunity, without needing a ticket, to see some of the world’s best cyclists in action. This event will inspire people of all ages to get out on their bike and get active.”
AlasdairMacLennan, President of Scottish Cycling, said:
“Following on from the record breaking success of the 2013 British Cycling National Championships, which were held on the same course, I am sure the Road Race will be a fantastic spectacle showcasing the best of Glasgow to the world whilst offering a true test to the riders, many of whom will be travelling directly from the Tour de France to compete.
“The Time Trial route has been designed to present the athletes with a truly sporting and testing course. This course will offer riders and spectators a variety of road types, surfaces and landscapes whilst also bringing a free Glasgow 2014 experience to the public in the neighbouring local authorities.
“Scottish Cycling believes by having world class events take place in Scotland it will aid the development of cycling in this country, by providing inspiration to our current riders and encourage spectators all over Scotland to try their hand at this fantastic sport.”
Councillor Jim Robertson, Provost of North Lanarkshire, said:
“We are a Proud Host Venue for the Commonwealth Games and we are really looking forward to providing a great route for some of the world’s best cyclists.
“This is a real opportunity to showcase North Lanarkshire to a global audience. We are already working hard to make sure the event is a real community celebration and to provide the very best experience for visitors and residents alike.”
Rhondda Geekie, leader of East Dunbartonshire Council, said:
“We are delighted that the cycling Time Trial is coming through East Dunbartonshire and to be so closely involved in the delivery of the Commonwealth Games, which will be a fantastic sporting spectacle in the summer. We will be ensuring that there is minimal disruption to our communities whilst encouraging spectators to come out and support the Time Trial cyclists in what will be a thrilling competition.”