Touring on micro budget

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by andy__, 4 Aug 2012.

  1. andy__

    andy__ Member

    Well actually no budget. Unemployed and on JSA. But i need to do something before i go mad. Hence thought i'd take up cycling again(need some inspiration), maybe cycle to Paris.

    So can you wild camp in France, if you can't you could always just stealth camp right?

    I don't even have a bike yet but i can buy an old MTB for cheap(or free), can i put road tyres on it, would this work or just not be efficient enough, can you put panniers on a MTB?

    Is there anywhere in France where you can wild fish, or is this too unrealistic?

    Is the ferry from Dover the best/cheapest way to get over the channel, or maybe Eurostar?

    Any advice would be welcome!
     
    thistler likes this.
  2. compo

    compo Veteran

    Location:
    Harlow
    I love it. Sort of madcap scheme I used to get up to when I was much younger and unencumbered with a wife. The beauty of your suggestion that if you get a free but rideable MTB, or any bike that costs next to nothing, any major problems just say sod it, chuck it in the hedge and thumb a lift. I don't know about wild camping, but I always used to wild/stealth camp. Eurostar is probably the dearest way over. As you say, Dover to Calais is probably best. Try and time it so you completely clear the coastal areas before camping for the night or you stand a good chance of losing everything to the economic asylum seekers.

    You can put road tyres on a mountain bike and they will make it a bit easier to ride. Fitting a pannier rack and panniers is no problem. If you are serious about doing the trip on a really cheap bike I wouldn't take more than you can carry in case you end up having to dump the bike. It is quite likely that most bikes with a little bit of fettling before leaving will see you through the trip.

    Keep us informed of your progress.
     
  3. P.H

    P.H Über Member

    What's wrong with the UK? Absolutely nothing! There isn't an area of the UK where you won't find some fantastic roads and some wonderful scenery. You could even pop in to a few jobcenters to fulfill your obligations in getting JSA, ala Tebbitt. Wild camping isn't too hard if you're sensible about it, arrive late, depart early and don't leave any trace of being there, the worst that'll happen is you'll be asked to leave.
    If you do want to go to France (Where I think day to day expenses will be dearer), there's the option of a bike in a van through the Eurotunnel from Folkestone, which is £16 each way;
    http://www.eurotunnel.com/uk/traveller-info/vehicles/bicycles/
     
  4. OP
    OP
    andy__

    andy__ Member

    Thanks for that and your right about the possibility of dumping the bike, i see Ryanair do an £11 single from Beauvais, so maybe cycle to Paris then back up to Beauvais, dump the bike and fly home. Would still be a shame to have to dump any bike though, so not sure.

    Should take about 7 days in total, hopefully no more than £5 per day on food, plenty of pasta/veg/chopped tomatoes from the supermarket should top up the calories. I think French supermarkets mid range stock prices are about the same as ours but not sure if the do the "value ranges" that we get here, well this was after a quick look at an online French supermarket. Would really like to see Paris so that will be the main motivational factor.
     
  5. lip03

    lip03 Über Member

    Location:
    beds/ london
    your clearly mental!! you want to go to france on an old mtb with slicks and wild fish in the woods i imagine!?!? and also i aint sure many people will like that you have told us all your on jsa (job SEEKERS allowence) why not wait a bit untill you can plan a real tour and i hear there is plenty of volentry work out there to keep you from going mad untill you find some pemenant employment. but what ever you decide to do good luck with it! i may sound like i am having a go but just think it probably isnt at the top of your to do list to bugger off to france with £5 a day :smile:
     
  6. OP
    OP
    andy__

    andy__ Member

    Maybe, maybe not, and yes, quite a lot of stigma attached to JSA. I think this is just what i need though to recharge me instead of sitting inside all day wasting away. I don't think it's all that unrealistic, at least i will be getting fit and i may have a possible job soon.
     
  7. lip03

    lip03 Über Member

    Location:
    beds/ london
    good for you hope it all works out. but i fear you have underestimated cost a little.
     
  8. Brains

    Brains Guru

    Location:
    Greenwich
    Why not do the Real "on yer bike" Tebbit ? Once on the bike stay on the bike until you can get some work.
    Why not head for somewhere where there is work, even if it's flogging ice cream on the beach.
    The West Country is nice at this time of the year, and so is the south of France, I'm sure in both places there will be short term employment options available from beach barmen to campsite bog cleaners.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    andy__

    andy__ Member

    And that's not a bad idea i was even going to ask about casual work, even if only for a week or so, although the language barrier in France would prevent working over. I'll do anything from picking potatoes. I may even email a few farms. But i've put these kind of adventurous ideas off plenty of times in the past so just need to get up and do it - even if i have no money. Once i have the equipment and the ferry and return tickets it shouldn't cost much.
     
  10. MarkF

    MarkF Legendary Member

    Location:
    Yorkshire
    Go for it Andy, I think it's a great idea, I was a YOP kid (look it up) in a previous recession and know how dispiriting it can be. I also have pal looking for work now, at 50 (with degree), the things he has too do to prove he's looking, it is inhuman! His looking for work looks harder than my work. :wacko:

    I wouldn't want to cycle in the familiar UK either, a change of scenery does you the world of good, an adventure. I flipped and went to Spain at 19, nothing bad happened , my legs didn't drop off or anything, it gave me confidence and I am sure you will gain something positive from it.You can eat very well on £5 a day from supermarkets and I'd agree, some thinner tyres will make the trip a whole lot easier.
     
  11. rollinstok

    rollinstok Well-Known Member

    Location:
    morecambe
    Hope you go for it, sounds like a real back to basics plan
    You will survive on £5 a day but thats it.. there will be no merry making except for the joy of being on the road
    Good Luck
     
  12. lip03

    lip03 Über Member

    Location:
    beds/ london
    Is it just me that thinks this ain't such a good idea? Sure it all sounds amazing and I myself would love to do it BUT it isn't it a good idea to think about the fact Andy is not a cyclist so he is going to be riding on roads in an unfamiliar country and sure he will survive on a fiver a day but say he hits a pothole buckles his wheel and ends up in the middle of France spending his food money on bike repairs? Sure u might say well he can just come home but he won't be able to get an earlier eurostar without paying somekind of admin I'm sure! Maybe it's just me but I just don't get it
     
  13. compo

    compo Veteran

    Location:
    Harlow
    You are missing the point.

    It is all the negatives you quote that make the whole thing worthwhile. It is an ADVENTURE for heavens sake. Life is too predictable and comfortable and I for one admire Andy, (and envy him) for hopefully having the bulldog spirit to go out and take a chance. If he fails he will at least have a dinner topic and if he succeeds he will feel 10 feet tall and be ready to re-enter the fray with those tossers at the Jobcentre.
     
    snorri, User3094, HovR and 10 others like this.
  14. MarkF

    MarkF Legendary Member

    Location:
    Yorkshire
    That's about it, nobody would do anything if they focused only on the "what if's" and like I said, I am sure something positive will be the result of Andy's trip. I ended up labouring on a site in Fuengirola, believe me, at 19 that was the immeasurably better than being on the dole in Leeds, plus I Iearned Spanish (ok badly) but doing "something" gave me the confidence that I'd previously lacked. Go for it Andy!
     
    rollinstok likes this.
  15. rich p

    rich p ridiculous old lush

    Location:
    Brighton
    Go for it. No stigma attached to JSA either. Many people, including me, have been there.
     
    HLaB and rollinstok like this.
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