CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 1 hour 40 min ago

Re: Fitting a Blackburn Lowrider on a Surly Disk Trucker

1 hour 43 min ago
Thanks for the photo. Its a great help.

Re: Wild camping in England ???

2 hours 7 min ago
I have wild camped a few times in England over the last year or so. I have never been 'discovered' but then again,I would never light a fire on someone's land. Dorset, Hampshire, Isle of Wight.

Re: Garmin eTrex help needed

3 hours 7 min ago
It doesnt work like that. The only thing the HCx's can read from the card are mapping/POI and other general data.

It can not read tracks, waypoints, routes and other user created data from the card.

You could store some of the extra days journeys as routes instead of tracks but the GPS may not plot it the same way when you are out riding as the computer does when you worked it out.

Belgian bike security

3 hours 21 min ago
Does anyone know if there are guarded bike parks in Belgian cities as there are in Netherlands cities? Especially Antwerp and Brussels. And also Luxembourg, though it's not in Belgium of course.

Re: Garmin eTrex help needed

3 hours 39 min ago
Can you load routes onto another micro-SD card and swap cards when needed or doesn't it work like that?

Re: Wild camping in England ???

4 hours 47 min ago
beardy wrote:wild camping in England is a banned subject because it IS illegal.

If you are thinking of lighting a real fire then that is where the real problem lies. .

This tolerant and mild mannered English landowner (who despises the English anti access laws) will turn into the worst get orf moi land propriatorial git at the very hint of a fire. No fire, you would get a cup of tea if discovered, fire - you are off, and I would consider it to be an act of criminal damage (doubt the law would back me, see Gipsy comments).

Scotland is great, but needs the law tightened up to protect lovely places from fire marks or worse.

I have yet to have any problems when touring in England, and as said upthread, the folk out and about early and late are walking dogs, dog walkers find me nearly every time. Late pitching and up early is the usual tactic. Much easier in Scotland of course.

Re: Garmin eTrex help needed

4 hours 48 min ago
You could use a paper map instead of the gps for the 12 days which are least navigationally challenging.

Re: Weight distribution.

6 hours 16 min ago
Tasmania '88. Not too bad at all.Wombats.jpg

Helmsdale JOGLE '94.
My first foray with four panniers.Helmsdale.jpg
My bike felt like a tank, so the next time I went off touring, I bought a trailer.

Re: Garmin eTrex help needed

7 hours 45 min ago
A small USB stick (or an adaptor that lets your microSD card in the GPS be used as a USB.)

Load the .gpx files on that along with some software that allows the computer to talk to your GPS.

You are going to have to get access to a computer where you will be allowed to install a Garmin Plugin, Mapsource, Basemap or GpsBabel in order to be able to transfer files into that part of the GPS which can use them. If they are not already on the computer.

There is probably room for all of this on your mapping microSD card but dont do that if you are not confident of not disturbing the mapping files (if you alter them they get locked so you can not use them, you can not even copy them).

I carry alternative mapping cards in my wallet, they are so small that your problem is not losing them.

Or you can upgrade to an Etrex 30 which can talk to other units and carry more than enough tracks anyway.

Re: Garmin eTrex help needed

7 hours 52 min ago
Best thing to do would be to combine a few of the days(turn 2 days into 1 track) so that you get under the 20.

You'll probably have to filter these new tracks too to get them under the 500 track points otherwise they won't load (you get a warning track/route truncated)

Have fun

Re: Chromebook for touring?

7 hours 55 min ago
Yes, I was thinking of a laptop gradually taking the place of my Windows PC, taking up less space, simplifying things and freeing up some desk space in our house. I tried out Remote Desktop because its there. The Epson scanner I have only works with the PC. No real need to access it via the Chromebook at present, although I can. And I can access the scanner on my printer via Wifi directly from the Chromebook although that scanner is not as good as the Epson. A 128 Gb SD card is £35 if its needed. I shant be needing one 16Gb is more than enough for my modest usage. You can get Chromebooks with bigger SSDs. You just have to get out of the mindset that everythings on your HDD, mines in the cloud in several places. But as you say, thats not much good for large maps. Those go on my phone anyway. Getting a laptop out on the road would be somewhat inconvenient.


Garmin eTrex help needed

8 hours 17 min ago
I have a Garmin eTrex Vista HCx which I have used successfully for few years on tours here and abroad. I create tracks on Google Earth or GPSies and then transfer the files to the unit. Thereafter I simply follow the line on the screen. So far so good. But this year, (Next week in fact), I'm flying to Barcelona with the bike and cycling home to Paisley in Scotland. This will be my longest trip ever and will take five weeks. I therefore have 33 days of cycling planned so that's 33 tracks created. The GPS unit's memory will only take 21 of these before the memory is full. Does anyone have a simple to follow suggestion for how I can access the last 12 tracks after I have completed most of the trip and deleted those I have already followed to create memory space ? I have wondered if I could store them in a Dropbox account and get them from there at an internet cafe but I use Garmin's Mapsource on the PC at home to transfer tracks and internet cafes in France are unlikely to have that software. HELP ! I'm going away on Monday 9th and want this sorted before I go.

Re: Chromebook for touring?

8 hours 55 min ago
al_yrpal wrote:If you think about it any laptop, phone or tablet needs a wifi connection to do anything useful, but a phone can use the wireless data signal so its more useful, so can a data simm equipped tablet. You can use that as a hotspot to operate a Chromebook.

A lot more to computers than internet access... This is actually a major aspect of why I was never happy with Android (as I spend a lot of time away from wifi etc.)- I find it too dependent on internet connection, and very limited otherwise. Never had an iPad (just an iPhone), but suspect it's not super different, though a lot of colleagues use them. I currently don't have Office installed on my current tablet, but did on the previous, being a full PC though, I can install full programs of any variety. I think other OS' now can use Here Maps, but it was a big selling point to me also- offline maps that are very useable... though it's been a bit buggy lately, grrr. The maps are large downloads though, so...

16Gb is absolutely huge particularly as its likely to be completely empty on a Chromebook. Just 1 Gb can hold up to 250 Music tracks. There is also an SD card slot which you can plug a massive SIMM into if you like. My camera has an 8Gb SIMM, I never use 1/4 of that. These days I think we forget how huge a Gb actually is.

16gb runs out quickly when downloading map files. 32gb did on my last tablet even, once I'd installed office, a few games, and a load of other junk. Yup, got 64gb this time, but installing far less. Still glad I have the 64gb though. I do think Windows is more memory hungry though. Not sure putting a SIMM into an SD slot is much use though... Unless you've installed a mobile broadband card (SD cards go in SD slots, SIMMs go in phones). Was thinking about the size of memory the other day though; my 1st PC had a 3.1gb HD, and I think 0.5gb memory. My 1st computer had 48k and a cassette recorder. The Micro SD in my tablet is more than a million times bigger. That 1st PC though, had Windows 95, office, photoshop and autocad installed (1997); try working out how much space the current equivalents would take up!

Going back to the requirements of your machine, you talk about using your scanner. Do you mean using the Chromebook as a home machine to replace your primary computer then? Remotely controlling that won't help much... unless you only scan one thing that's always sitting on the bed, or you have a remote controlled subject transferring gizmo...

Re: Chromebook for touring?

10 hours 35 min ago
quilkin wrote:I have used remote desktop programs extensively for work; the algorithms are very clever and only changed bits of the screen are sent. So unless you're watching a movie remotely, data use isn't too bad.
BTW if you're touring in France (and some other countries), 'Three' http://www.three.co.uk/ allow you to use your UK data allowance at no extra cost

I'm sure that is the case if you are using similar sized screens on both devices, but I was using a mobile phone to access a PC and this meant a lot of scrolling around - which made it near impossible to use but on say a tablet with a reasonably sized screen, say 7" or more, it should be workable and of course 3's package would help although I suspect there is a fair usage policy in the fine print somewhere which you might run foul of if you used it extensively.

Re: Chromebook for touring?

12 hours 38 min ago
Yes, if you want remote access then the other machine must be continually on. But, I wasn't talking about accessing the remote machine on tour, my usage relates to getting access to Photoshop, Lightroom and my scanner which currently only run on my PC. Hopefully they will eventually become available but there are viable free photo editing programs available for the Chromebook.

If you think about it any laptop, phone or tablet needs a wifi connection to do anything useful, but a phone can use the wireless data signal so its more useful, so can a data simm equipped tablet. You can use that as a hotspot to operate a Chromebook.

16Gb is absolutely huge particularly as its likely to be completely empty on a Chromebook. Just 1 Gb can hold up to 250 Music tracks. There is also an SD card slot which you can plug a massive SIMM into if you like. My camera has an 8Gb SIMM, I never use 1/4 of that. These days I think we forget how huge a Gb actually is.

I purchased the Chromebook as a probable replacement for my ageing PC. Personally I would probably never take a laptop on tour, certainly not camping, but possibly CC touring where I am sure Wifi would be readily available in European accommodation.

Personally I was unaware what Chromebooks were so I have tried to explore their limitations and possibilities for the benefit of my own knowledge and for others. I also hoped that other Chromebook users would chip in and give the benefit of their experiences and a couple have made positive comments. I hope this has helped in that respect.


Re: Wild camping in England ???

12 hours 39 min ago
You could always pop in to the local pub and ask around. Many rural pubs have back gardens where they will let you pitch up after spending some cash in the bar. Or maybe one of the locals will let you use their garden. Never be afraid to ask. Most folk are sympathetic to lone travellers.

Re: Warmshowers "membership" charges.

12 hours 47 min ago
To be honest I would feel better paying as I can't really offer to host due to house size, we don't have a spare room.

None of this money (or any other money) will be going to the people who host you.

The rewards for hosts are some interesting company, getting to meet and talk to people from other countries and cultures (even those who you are not disposed to like but you get a chance to meet them and hear how they see things).

When I am doing my faster touring I do not want to use warmshowers as really I only want to eat, wash, sleep and leave. I consider a bit of socialising with the host to be expected of me.

There is also the big idea of reciprocity, I do not expect any payment from my guests because I have already been paid up front, tens of times over, by people across the world who have put me up on my travels.

Further, motels, B & Bs and the like have to conform to some kinds of standards: liability insurance, fire regs etc. To me that's worth paying for.

There are different styles of traveling, I noticed people traveling on three different tiers on my world trip.

There were those who went to "Western hotels of the five star variety" and they were predominantly from the USA.
Those who went to budget hostels which were mostly travelers from other nations and enjoyed socialising with other travelers but doing so in the environment and style of that country.
Then there were those who wanted to mix with and if possible stay with local people.

To me that third group are the ones who have really experienced a country rather than being tourists.

Re: Warmshowers "membership" charges.

13 hours 1 min ago
I joined early last year and following that we hosted about seven or eight visitors. I joined because I thought the idea of reciprocal hosting was inherently a good one and I believe that people who tour on bicycles are generally sound folk who are likely to share my views on the outdoors, the environment, sustainable transport etc. This has been confirmed by the visitors we had from all over Europe last year. Now I am a few days away from taking my bike to Barcelona and cycling back to my home in Paisley. It will take me about five weeks and I already have confirmed offers from warmshowers members for 12 nights. This, together with some budget hotels and hostels plus a few campsites should mean very little need for wild camping en route. I think the biggest challenge of a trip like this is going to be the loneliness factor. Hours on the road with no conversation and having the prospect of a night in a family home sharing stories will be a great comfort. Hotels and B&B's may have standards to meet but they are primarily money making enterprises and you are a customer. The accommodation you will get as a guest in the home of another cyclist is offered purely on the basis of their generosity, humanity and willingness to share what they have. All attributes to be commended in my opinion. I willingly responded to the email by making a contribution and would do so even if I didn't use the site because I believe that any medium which allows people from different countries and cultures to meet and socialise with each other is inherently a good thing and worthy of my support. I will try to keep up a blog en route at barcataeborrheid.wordpress.com if anyone is interested in following my progress.

Re: Advice sought on choosing a touring bike

13 hours 18 min ago

I agree with you, except on the point of what a touring bike is for. Mine is a tourer when I tour, but for most of the time it is my general purpose bike and it's brilliant at that too. My Club Tour is just about ideal for touring on road or surfaced track, but it is also great for going for a spin for an hour around the lanes. If it were too heavy it would spend more time in the back of the garage.

Re: How to convince others cycle touring is safe?

13 hours 23 min ago
I've done 3 x 2-week cycle trips on the continent, and I feel safer there than I do cycling on the roads in the UK...


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