Credit card tours

Traveling with a bike. Bike Box reviews. Bike travel hacks. Organized Bike Events, Gran Fondos, and Cycling Destinations. Self-Promotion of upcoming events welcome.

Moderator: robbosmans

basilic
Posts: 1055
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:05 am
Location: Geneva, Switzerland

by basilic

How about a thread for multi-day cycling tours that are not epic enough to qualify as bikepacking?
My first of the year, in Vercors, Chartreuse and Bugey.

Gorges du Nan (Vercors)
Image
Image

Gorges de la Bourne
Image
Image

in Chartreuse
Image
Image

Valromey
col de Ballon
Image

Sutrieu
Image

Image

basilic
Posts: 1055
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:05 am
Location: Geneva, Switzerland

by basilic

Let's give it another try!
between lac Léman and lac de Morat, Swiss plateau (never flat...)

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

by Weenie


Visit starbike.com Online Retailer for HighEnd cycling components
Great Prices ✓    Broad Selection ✓    Worldwide Delivery ✓

www.starbike.com



CarlosFerreiro
Posts: 439
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:41 pm
Location: Shetland, Scotland

by CarlosFerreiro

Random accident meant I got a new Scott Addict Gravel 30 recently, and a nice break in the March weather opened up for a quick test run.

Back round the NE of Scotland again, as that was the only place with any sun forecast. My usual mixture of mostly back roads, but with some off-roading thrown in some places too, all in the search for those Veloviewer tiles. Fine and sunny the whole way, mostly a medium cross wind and not that warm, but good for the time of year. Aberdeen-Rosehearty-Elgin-Elgin, finishing off with a train to Dyce and a day ride coastal before back to the ferry home.
All comfy hotels apart from the overnight reclining seat both ways on the ferry.

Phonebox lean shot from the 80s film Local Hero, for folk of a certain age.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

User avatar
Mr.Gib
Posts: 5685
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 4:12 pm
Location: eh?

by Mr.Gib

@basilic, we need a definition for "credit card tour". Unsupported, packing super light, and staying in hotels? That's how I understood the term. I have yet to go without full support when going town to town. I prefer to have all my "stuff" at my destination - I am a princess :D . Otherwise it's really just bikepacking without a tent, which gets back to loading up like a pack mule. Can make for a great adventure, but I'd miss out my favourite thing - riding a decently light race bike on spectacular roads.

When we settle at a base for a few days, I always threaten an epic one way ride with just a credit card. Arrive at the hotel, room service dinner and breakfast, and back on the bike the next morning to return. 200km each way would really expand riding from a fixed base. But, I always chicken out and content myself with a 200km loop. I keep thinking wherever I end up, I'd always be happier with some street clothes and some proper shoes - can't stand flip flops. Then there's the thought of eating dinner in the hotel room naked with my wife while the bike kit is drying. That's mostly a plus, but we have been together for a few decades and gravity has taken its toll on us both. The charcuterie plate could get confusing with a couple of naked old people.

And Vercors is one of my favourite spots. Gorge du Nan is very special. Did you ride Combe Laval?
Image
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.

basilic
Posts: 1055
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:05 am
Location: Geneva, Switzerland

by basilic

You're funny, Gib, thanks for the visual. Yes, I meant "unsupported, packing super light, and staying in hotels". But that's not so different from having a support vehicle. I think the difference is in attitude: the accompanied tours are often all about biking, whereas the credit card tour aims at discovery/voyage/exploration. I certainly never go 200 km in a day.

I can get a set of normal clothes, shoes, toiletries, charger, within 2 kg, including the saddle bag (so no naked dinners, but I sleep in the buff). So laundry every day. Plus rain gear, minimal backpack (packed), tools, spares, another 1 kg or so. Plus water and food, so maybe 4 to 5 kg added on the bike. I agree on sandals, I use softstar shoes (380g for a pair size 44, easy to pack, but a bit clownish). Pick a hotel with a restaurant or in a town that has one. On occasion I had to buy dinner at a supermarket, hence the backpack.

I have ridden elsewhere in Vercors before, including combe Laval, but not this time.

CarlosFerreiro
Posts: 439
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:41 pm
Location: Shetland, Scotland

by CarlosFerreiro

I generally go with 2 sets of riding kit - wearing one, one in the bag - and then just casual shorts and top and light windjacket for off bike.
SPD shoes good enough for short walks for food and supplies, little packable backpack for carrying shopping. I've managed to pick out weather windows good enough to not have to carry serious raingear, but I'm usually only riding 4-5 days per trip.
It still always ends up taking up more space than I imagine, but can fit a relatively small saddlebag, 1/4 framebag and a small barbag.
No real issue riding the loaded bike anywhere like that, just a little top heavy when pushing or lifting it.
Last edited by CarlosFerreiro on Thu Apr 18, 2024 5:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jurez
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2021 9:50 am

by jurez

Ive been on some proper bike tours with the wife(a bit over 2 weeks was max) but last years life got in the way and currently no way to do proper tours so Ive started solo weekend credit card tours. Usually 1 night, this year will be 2 or 3.
I pack light so it really does not affect my riding much. I do pack light 1 kit on me, 1 in the bag and 1 set of light off bike clothes - rain or cold clothes we are talking only of arm warmers and 1 wind/rain jacket. Im fine with flipflops for off the bike because I dont do sight seeing on foot, if I can't access it with my bike im not interested.
I usually just have a little top tube bag (for battery, some gels/bars, small stuff) -actually looking for a smaller one, bought two times and its still too big.
And a 15l saddle bag and that's also too big so looking for something in the range of 9-10l for this year.

my setup for now:
https://imgur.com/a/vkvT4ta

usr
Posts: 1021
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2021 5:58 pm

by usr

basilic wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2024 8:27 am
You're funny, Gib, thanks for the visual. Yes, I meant "unsupported, packing super light, and staying in hotels". But that's not so different from having a support vehicle. I think the difference is in attitude: the accompanied tours are often all about biking, whereas the credit card tour aims at discovery/voyage/exploration. I certainly never go 200 km in a day.
It's almost the opposite for me, credit card tours are for skirting athletic limits whereas accompanied tours are about having a good time with a group of peers, usually ending early in the afternoon to have reasonable time for post-ride having a good time.
I can get a set of normal clothes, shoes, toiletries, charger, within 2 kg, including the saddle bag (so no naked dinners, but I sleep in the buff). So laundry every day. Plus rain gear, minimal backpack (packed), tools, spares, another 1 kg or so. Plus water and food, so maybe 4 to 5 kg added on the bike. I agree on sandals, I use softstar shoes (380g for a pair size 44, easy to pack, but a bit clownish). Pick a hotel with a restaurant or in a town that has one. On occasion I had to buy dinner at a supermarket, hence the backpack.
My setup is a ca 50:50 split (by mass) between saddle bag and backpack, keeps the bike nimble and I've learned that up to a certain point the backpack does not bother me at all. But beyond that point every tiny bit of extra load in the backpack feels like a torture sentence, hence the split. My off bike shoes are Mizuno Wave Universe 5, I think they are sub 100g per shoe in 48. Bought them before I had the bikepacking-sized saddle bag, when almost everything was in the backpack and even the tiniest weight saving made a big difference (e.g. one evening in a hotel I cut off most unused straps from the backpack, to save some grams). They don't make shoes like that anyomre, I treat them like a holy relic when not in use.

The trouble when trying to buy super lightweight shoes is that the lightest ones are so light per pair that others that weigh roughly the same per shoe are still advertized as extremely light. So you often see a weight number that *might* be competetive, but only if it was per shoe, not per pair. Spoiler: it's never per pair, for shoes made after the "barefoot" fashion wave of the early 2010s that ended almost ten years ago.

User avatar
Konsi
Posts: 429
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:34 pm
Location: Genève
Contact:

by Konsi

basilic wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2024 2:24 pm
How about a thread for multi-day cycling tours that are not epic enough to qualify as bikepacking?
I wonder if we have crossed paths in Geneva? I call this style of traveling bikepacking light, no towels or heavy toiletry, relying on hotels/bed & breakfast. I like Tom's (alpargatas) as shoes for these trips, they pack quite flat, and not as flimsy as just flip-flops. Otherwise a Tailfin is a worthy investment :)

I have done only one such trip this year (Biel – Basel – Zug), but planning a few more (anyone up for Ascension Weekend Geneva – La Rochelle?).
40C2F50B-A383-44F5-9A86-0A219657061A.JPG
5E08BE8D-4B5D-43AD-A7E6-F221AFEEAA09.JPG
334712C3-4D18-43E5-8B41-2B876DFD5B68.JPG
FB403459-BF30-4EB7-BB0A-3B204F810BD3.JPG

User avatar
Mr.Gib
Posts: 5685
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 4:12 pm
Location: eh?

by Mr.Gib

You guys are putting me to shame. I need to reconsider the level of luxury I think I need. The increased sense of adventure is a huge attraction to unsupported bike adventuring, even if it includes a nice hotel at the end of each day. For the true bike packers - I tip my Abus Gamechanger to you, but I won't be abondoning daily hot showers anytime soon.
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.

TheBelgian
Posts: 180
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2023 9:09 am

by TheBelgian

usr wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2024 6:14 pm
My setup is a ca 50:50 split (by mass) between saddle bag and backpack, keeps the bike nimble and I've learned that up to a certain point the backpack does not bother me at all. But beyond that point every tiny bit of extra load in the backpack feels like a torture sentence, hence the split.
When I XC MTB I use one of those USWE backpacks that sit extremely high on your back and don't move around. Main use is the hydration bladder, but boy, they are a lot more comfortable than the Camelbak ones. Camelbak put's a lot of pressure on the shoulders and you want to take it off at a stop. USWE ones I don't even notice they are on me (I have one for 2L and one for 3L bladder). The biggest one when full is about 5.5kg. For bike packing you could remove the bladder and use the entire backpack for storage.

The only downside is the straps tend to damage tissue of very thin "aero" jerseys (e.g. Assos Equipe RS).

basilic
Posts: 1055
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:05 am
Location: Geneva, Switzerland

by basilic

I did a long tour through the South of France, Spanish Pyrrenees, a bit of Cévennes. I'll split the account into several posts.
From Carcassonne to Prats de Mollo.
In the Corbières South of Carcassone. Very quiet roads. This is col de l'Homme mort (no kidding)
Image

Typical small town intersection, Arques
Image

Gorges de Galamus
Image

Col de Roque Jalère
Image

Mont Canigou
Image

Abbey of St-Martin du Canigou. The access road gains 225m in 1.5 km... Closed to cars but used by pedestrians.
Image

The Michelin map described a paved road above Monferrer (between Amélie les Bains ans Prats de Mollo). It was paved for a bit, then not so much. This was the easy section
Image

basilic
Posts: 1055
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:05 am
Location: Geneva, Switzerland

by basilic

Catalan Pyrenees
Road GIV-5221 fromCamprodon to approx. Olot, a perfect deserted strip of asphalt. May be within reach of Girona
Image

Dinosaur tracks on a rock wall near Fumanya
Image

Fornols
Image

Near Cornellana
Image

Perves
Image

User avatar
jdecraene85
Posts: 150
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:44 pm
Location: Kluisbergen, Belgium

by jdecraene85

I've done these 'bike packing light' trips while staying in hotels lots of times.

In the beginning I took Converse shoes with me in a frame bag.
Now I just use S-Works Recon Lace shoes, they look more than good enough off the bike for me. Mind you that my days are often 10-12 hours in the saddle, so the off bike aspect is less important to me.
At least one extra bike outfit and one off bike outfit in the bag. I found fresh bibs to be the most important thing to me, lots of saddle sore problems...

by Weenie


Visit starbike.com Online Retailer for HighEnd cycling components
Great Prices ✓    Broad Selection ✓    Worldwide Delivery ✓

www.starbike.com



basilic
Posts: 1055
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:05 am
Location: Geneva, Switzerland

by basilic

I agree there's no particular difficulty beyond finding the time. I'm posting in this thread because I usually like to have a vague idea of the roads, scenery, etc. In this case one finds lots of info about French pyrenees and the area of Girona, much less about the Spanish side of the range. Others might find the visuals helpful.

I wash the bibs every day after riding and they're dry next morning, so 1 set is enough for me. Other clothes get washed less often.
Thanks for the pointer to the Spesh shoes. How wide is the toe box? I'm unfortunate in having a wide foot.

Post Reply