TRAVEL Q&A

RiDE (UK) - - Travel -

Q How easy is it to find camp­sites in France? I don’t want to book ahead and tie my­self to a date. And is Oc­to­ber too late to visit the Alps? A In re­verse or­der… Early Oc­to­ber’s usu­ally great in the Alps, though it can be chilly once the sun goes down, so might not be great for camp­ing. We’ve scraped ice off sad­dles in the French Alps in mi­doc­to­ber, even though it was a lovely sunny day for rid­ing. How­ever, if you’re wor­ried, try vis­it­ing the Cevennes or the Au­vergne in­stead: lots of great moun­tain roads but at lower al­ti­tudes than the Alps.

It’s nor­mally easy to find camp­sites in France – most towns have a mu­nic­i­pal site, of­ten sign­posted from the edge of town. If in doubt, tourist of­fices in big­ger towns can help. In the Alps, sites in the moun­tains may start clos­ing as they get fewer vis­i­tors once the nights turn cold. Q What’s the best lug­gage for tour­ing on my 2009 Tri­umph Speed Triple? I can’t use my old throwover pan­niers with the high-level ex­hausts. A If you’re not tak­ing a pas­sen­ger, you can get a roll­bag on the back. Sizes and ca­pac­i­ties vary, but we’d look at the Ox­ford Aqua range (from £55 for a 20L bag to £70 for 70L). Put a board (like an old MDF shelf) in the base to stop sag­ging. Q If I do a fly-ride trip over win­ter, do I have to put my crash hel­met in the hold? A It’s up to you. When jour­nal­ists fly to launches, half pack their hel­mets in hold bags, half as car­ryon lug­gage. Some take the lid as their only cabin lug­gage, oth­ers have ruck­sacks that in­clude a hel­met car­rier (try the Givi EA104B, £56, www.givi.co.uk). Q Any route sug­ges­tions from Llan­gollen to Ed­in­burgh avoid­ing mo­tor­way? A We’d go cross-coun­try to Dee­side (over Horse­shoe Pass), then the M56/M6 past Liver­pool and Manch­ester to Hal­ton (J34). Then A683/A687/B6255 to Hawes, A684/ B6259/A685 to Brough and B6276/ B6277/B6278 through Stan­hope to the A68, all the way to Ed­in­burgh.

The Alps can be chilly by Oc­to­ber, de­spite sun

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