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rainbow Conwy Valley

As the ride gets closer we are starting to think how our legs will go cycling every day so take every opportunity to get out on the bikes

We went to Wales for a family get together over Easter, it deluged but we managed to get out on a couple of days- essential after too much eating, riding around the West side of Conwy Valley- they have very steep hills! The steepest was 20%, we have to admit to pushing up hill at one stage but the rest of the ride was fantastic with views over to the snow still lying on the higher mountains

Martin was out with the Spire club again yesterday- good training except that there are always a couple of cafe stops- including lunch at the legendary cyclists cafe at Cromford- glad that it has resurfaced after a change of ownership

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Lots of people helping…

As we are making more preparations for the trip we are learning new skills- I have been using a free version of Serif publishing software from a computer magazine to create posters and some postcards- like all software there is a learning curve

One thing that strikes us is the generosity and goodwill  of local people and businesses- today I went into a great local printshop at  The Copy and Print Centre in Chesterfield and they were so helpful and gave us a big reduction in printing costs- they regularly do work for the Hospice

The hospice is funded in large part by the local community and many people know someone who has used their services- there is a huge benefit from that goodwill and local businesses ofetn give support

Thank you to  The Copy and Print Centre

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How to follow us on a map

We have been exploring all the mapping possibilities for how to show where we are up to in the blog

I am amazed how many different plugins there are for WordPress to insert google maps amd OSM into a blog. So much to learn about creating a working site

So far google maps itself seems the best to show our rout as a gpx track but Map Press is easy to use to just have a marker for where we are- will try that for now



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Cycling may seem a long way from technology and the digital world

In fact we aim to have access to the web as we go along , we need to look for campsites for the next night, update this blog and keep in touch with family and friends . We also use GPS technology for navigation and need to be able to plan changes to the route as we go along.

Garmin GPS

Martin has had a Garmin Edge 800 for about 5 years and it is still going strong. The interface is not immediately intuitive and even now I find new features but it has been stable and reliable. Gayle has a Garmin 810, an updated version of the 800, it has some new features such as Bluetooth link to a phone but in fact we haven’t used these. It has been a bit less stable with some system crashes when following a route.

Both devices can upload routes  created on  Garmin’s  own Connect website but  we tend to use an alternative site BikeHike and manually load a gpx file onto the device.

BikeHike website ( free and uses Ordnance Survey as well as google maps)

Tablet and web access

In recent years we have stopped using paper maps and moved to using a 7 inch tablet that can sit comfortably on the front bar bag in a map case- on long tours in France it allows you to have detailed street level mapping for offline use in something the same size as a single OS map. The fantastic open source OpenStreetMap provides all of this for free although we did pay a small amount for the OsmAnd android app (a free version is also available if you only want a couple of countries). Our planned route can be added onto the map.


Example of OSM mapping- you can zoom out for a wider view as well

This is the first time that we have made a blog so we will need to update this as we go along- so far it appears that the tablet is up to this but we have invested in a bluetooth keyboard to make it easier (£11 off amazon and weighs less than 100g)

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