Cycle navigation

Every cyclist I meet on long distances routes seems to have their own unique approach to navigation.  Some are dedicated map users, while others have committed entirely to electronic means.

When I set out to cycle around the North Sea, I did a bit of research to see what would be an optimal strategy for each country I would cycle through, while keeping the weight to an acceptable limit.  I used a combination of the following:

  • Google Maps
  • Google MyMaps
  • Viewranger (Android and iOS)
  • Backcountry Navigator Pro (Android)
  • Garmin 520
  • Paper Maps
  • Signposts
  • Intuition

Each method has its uses, depending on the circumstances.

Google Maps

Mobile 4G coverage in Europe, even in remote locations, was excellent.  Perhaps not so in the remote areas of the UK.  Continue reading

North Sea Cycle Route (Part 1) London to Norwick, Shetland

Part 2 – Norway  Part 3 – Sweden/Denmark  Part 4 – Germany to London

Distance is nothing – only the first step is difficult, well pedal rotation for this journey – to cycle around the North Sea starting in London heading north to Norwick in Shetland and then on to Bergen and the coast route home via Sweden, Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium and France.

This journey will be the longest extended trip away from home. I estimate 60-80 days according to the detailed plans I had been making over the winter. A few short trips on a new Thorn Sherpa, as yet unnamed, confirmed riding comfort and carrying capacity. To keep costs down, I set out to camp every night and do as much cooking myself.

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I booked a flight from Sumburgh airport in Shetland to Bergen and would worry about packing the bike when I got there. The flights departed every Saturday, so I timed my departure three weeks beforehand. I joined the National Cycle Route 1 at Hoddesdon, after cycling along the NSC 6 and 61 from Slough. This route would guide me all the way to Shetland.

Continue reading