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Re: Devon Coast to coast

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 52 min 43 sec ago
Love this route. I've done it, or bits of it a few times now. I've always done south to north, but this was more to do with being able to get trains down to Plymouth, and the north bit being nearer home so I could just cycle back, but either is good.

Going from south to north (so switch this if you are going the other way)
Plymouth is nice around the citadel and hoe but the bit across to Saltram is not great.
Saltram is lovely but the surface is appalling, and yes just north of Saltram you are signposted to cycle the wrong way down a one way street.
oneway.jpg

The Plym Valley trail is lovely, just be aware the end of it is currently closed at Clearbrook and you are diverted onto a lane with a really steep hill.clearbrook.jpg

Drakes trail from Yelverton to Tavistock is really nice, there are alternative routes that are a bit faster but I have enjoyed it every time I've ridden it.
From Tavistock to Lydford the current route takes you down through Peter and Mary Tavy. I've not done this, but done the more direct B road past Brentor (St. Michael de Rupe church). The B road is good but I'd suggeset a slightly longer route which is quieter.
routetolydford.jpg

The Granite way is a fantastic route, and with the connecting section in the middle now in place theres no need to divert round to Bridestowe (there never was actually but thats a different discussion!)
In Okehampton, the hill coming out of the town is really rather steep so be aware.
From Hatherleigh you have 2 options - 1. follow the signposted route round through Sheepwash. This has the benefit of being on quiet lanes. Sheepwash is attractive but there are a few steep hills. 2. Follow the A road up to the start of the Tarka trail. Its a much shorter route, and the start section of the Tarka trail is really rather nice. The down side is the A road can by quite busy and has a really short steep hill in the middle of it. It is significantly shorter though!
tarkatrail.jpg

The Tarka trail from Petrockstow station through to East Yarde (and a bit past it) isnt the greatest surface but doable, from then on though its tarmac and really rather nice. I found the bit from Instow to barnstaple just seemed to drag but there are places to stop.
From Barnstaple up I haven't cycled (i always struck out to home in Taunton) so cant help you.

Places I've stopped or stayed at (working back down towards Plymouth just to confuse you)
Fremington quay - nice purpose built cafe, can be busy
Bideford station - good cafe on a trail car, no toilets.
Yarde orchard - great food, nice people, good camping/bunkhouse
Okehampton castle - worth a detour to look at if you have the time. Little kiosk on site for drinks and snacks
Lydford gorge - National trust property, so cafe, etc. Worth a wander round if you have the time (same for the castle)
Vieiras cafe in Yelverton - nice coffee and cake, pretty much on the route.
Saltram - National trust again, so the usual.

Hope that helps!

Re: How to carry a guitar on your bicycle

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 59 min 41 sec ago
AntonioCM wrote:Hey guys!

I was wondering if there are many cycle-tourers out there who carry a guitar or another musical instrument on your bicycle.

I carry a full size guitar with this home-made system:
http://www.cyclingelmundo.com/carry-guitar-bicycle-touring/

If you carry an instrument, I would like to know how you carry it on your bike and if you are happy with it.

Thanks!

Antonio
On my current trip I took the opportunity to learn a new stringed instrument and, partly due to its convenient size, carry a mandolin. It's in a well padded gig bag that seems to absorb shocks well enough and then that goes inside an Ortlieb dry bag attached with two elasticated straps across the rear pannier rack. Works well and I dig mandolin as much as guitar now )

Re: Berlin Bike Hire

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 1 hour 44 min ago
http://berlin.fattirebiketours.com/page ... ne-rentals

We used this outfit for an organised sightseeing tour (excellent way to see Berlin). They also rent bikes. The city seemed to have loads of bike rental outlets, the going rate was around €8 per day. The standard rental bikes would be hopeless in hilly areas but are fine in flat Berlin. Built-in dynamo lighting was the norm so cycling could be used for evening transport.

Devon Coast to coast

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 2 hours 18 min ago
New islabike arrives at the end of the week so I think I will take a couple of days off at the end of next week to make a long weekend and take the kids on the Devon coast to coast. They do about 20-25 miles a day and the 8 year old claims not to do hills although he did some in France this summer. Thinking about which direction to go and where to stop. Either way I think we will use Barnstaple as our start or end due to the public transport. We can go up there another time do do the northern loop up to the coast.

Re: Ten Miles a Day

CTC Forum - On the road - 2 hours 32 min ago
TrevA wrote:I'm currently on 5246 for the year and hoping to go over 7000. Doing a 40 miler 2-3 times a week, most weeks does it for me + plus commuting 10 miles a day.I'm doing the same as you ............... except for the commuting.

I'm on 4,026miles so far.
Day 294 today, so that's 13.7miles per day.

Re: Advice for tyre size for touring - 32c OK for off-road?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 4 hours 42 min ago
My Fuji Touring bike came with decent 32c 'Vera Citywide' tyres and is fine for a bit of off-road (gravel, towpath, unpaved bike path and even a bit of fire road).

Re: Accomodation in Polenca, Majorca

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 4 hours 50 min ago
The wifi is variable in quality, after being yesterday, this morning forums such as this and TTF are loading easily, anything with lots of pictures or graphics, ie Facebook or garmin connect won't load properly. Phil reckons there is insufficient bandwidth.

Re: Accomodation in Polenca, Majorca

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 5 hours 17 min ago
Hey we moan about the wifi, if the bars restaurants and now local govt, can provide excellent free wifi, then so should the hotels. It's a no brainer, decent wifi the clients stay in the hotel spending money in the bar. Need to upload the garmins somehow.
As said the food has improved since March, and the hotel is to be upgraded. But you can do bed n breakfast at the PP, just eating out is expensive every night.

Re: Advice for tyre size for touring - 32c OK for off-road?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 20 October 2014 - 11:12pm
what sort of bike are you riding? how much luggage? front and back panniers? bike stability is just as important as tyre choice. tyres can only do so much. make sure you have a good pump so you can adjust pressure regularly. it makes a huge difference to off-road handling for any tyre.

I'm also off to NZ off road and have just purchased some marathon mondial 26 x 2. v. expensive but if they are anything like the other schwalbes I have had (marathon + and supremes), they go a long way with no punctures

Re: Accomodation in Polenca, Majorca

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 20 October 2014 - 10:33pm
OK I'll stop moaning about the WiFi. We used Bruce's (Pro Cycling) across the road earlier this year. Perhaps the lack of good WiFi in the hotel is just telling us to be more sociable & turn off these ....mobiles. Still set on B&B & finding nicer foot to eat elsewhere in a leisurely manner.

Re: Ten Miles a Day

CTC Forum - On the road - 20 October 2014 - 10:21pm
You all need to get out more!

I'm currently on 5246 for the year and hoping to go over 7000. Doing a 40 miler 2-3 times a week, most weeks does it for me + plus commuting 10 miles a day.

Did 6200 last year, 6500 the year before, 5500 the year before that and 4992 the year before that (including JOGLE).

I've kept a spreadsheet since I first got a PC in 1998 and kept paper records before that. I'm approaching 170,000 miles over 41 years.

Re: Advice for tyre size for touring - 32c OK for off-road?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 20 October 2014 - 10:11pm
When you say 'off road' do you mean trails or something a bit more rough?

I have 32c Marathon Pluses and I would happily go non extreme off roading with them

Re: Lighting a bike/high vis on tour

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 20 October 2014 - 9:41pm
Cunobelin wrote:Yet the same drivers who won't see the Supermarket worker without this visibility aid will see Mr and Mrs Bloggs along with Charmaine and Kevin who don't need Hi-Viz?

Or maybe they won't?


http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/VIDEO-P ... story.html


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-de ... e-28153128

http://news.sky.com/story/1130017/boy-9 ... t-car-park

http://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/news/111 ... permarket/


Etc,etc

Re: Cycling the Portuguese coastline

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 20 October 2014 - 9:20pm
I cycled a small part of the Portugese coast about 15 years ago.
I crossed the Tagus from Lisbon and headed south. I stayed in a B&B in Sesimbra then went to Setubal and took the ferry across the Rio Sado. From there I cycled down the coast to Villa Nova de Milfontes. As borisface says, it is an interesting and attractive area. The road surfaces were rather variable, generally ok.
I seem to recall that the traffic was light (in contrast to Lisbon which was intense).
For a few days I cycled with a Japanese man. He was camping wild and didn't seem to have any difficulty but I stayed in small hotels or B&Bs.
After Villa Nova I went away from the coast and made a loop eventually back to Lisbon.

Re: Advice for tyre size for touring - 32c OK for off-road?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 20 October 2014 - 9:15pm
if u are worried about punctures consider getting some tyre liners as extra protection eg

http://www.halfords.com/cycling/tools-maintenance/pumps-puncture-repair/bikehut-touring-race-bike-tyre-liners

I have used these or along time with good results.

Re: Advice for tyre size for touring - 32c OK for off-road?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 20 October 2014 - 9:01pm
elioelio wrote:Thanks. Although I thought a wider width tyre would slow me down on roads? I know when I changed from a mountain bike to a tourer the change was immense!
See irc's post above about tyre construction.

This I would imagine accounts for the difference you felt.

I would expect a nobbly low pressure mountain bike tyre to be slower on the road.

Just as I would expect the touring tyre to struggle trying to achieve traction on sloppy mud.

It's my understanding thst it is a myth that wider tyres are slower on the road.

Some authoritative sounding industry research made this clear I think.

Possibly from scwalbe?

Re: Accomodation in Polenca, Majorca

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 20 October 2014 - 8:46pm
Port de Pollença has free wifi coming out of the lampposts (not joking!) and excellent 4G coverage in the town so I wouldn't worry too much about that.

Re: Advice for tyre size for touring - 32c OK for off-road?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 20 October 2014 - 8:27pm
Thanks. Although I thought a wider width tyre would slow me down on roads? I know when I changed from a mountain bike to a tourer the change was immense!
If it didn't make a difference I would get thicker tyre just to be sure. But if they are puncture resistant then maybe I don't need to worry?

Re: Accomodation in Polenca, Majorca

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 20 October 2014 - 8:25pm
Aileen Brown wrote:The report from our club group just back from the P Park was that the food was fractionally better but the Wifi worse.
Well at least they have stopped charging for it, tonight it has been better than last night, thou currently in the Palms supervising Andrew watching the footie x 2 though Man Utd losing and the wifi is much better, we usually go to 1919 for the wifi.

Re: Good footwear?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 20 October 2014 - 8:20pm
As with any shoes, so with cycling shoes... there's a lot more to a good fit than a simple numerical size description. Feet are a complex 3d shape and you're best off finding some made on a last that's something like your own feet. If they're not a good shape for you they'll be uncomfortable and probably inefficient too.

So while my wife's touring shoes are Shimanos they're no use to me: far too narrow in the forefoot (I'm fine in their sandals byt the lack of upper means my feet aren't constricted) and if I get them broad enough there's a huge space in front of my toes. My current ones are Diadoras, Bontragers seem to fit me okay too, but unless your feet are like mine that's not necessarily any use to you.

This means trying a load on, which isn't always easy. If there's none available nearby to try mail order a load and be prepared to send at least some of them back.

The laces only thing, not uncommon for those to have a wee velcro laces-loop to tidy them away. Worth having something though, or sooner or later the laces will be chewed and/or wound around the pedal.

Pete.
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