CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 1 hour 17 min ago

Re: Touring Iceland

29 August 2014 - 10:38pm
Hi - 4 of us toured Iceland last year and can offer some pretty comprehensive and up to date info:

Western Fjords - brilliant place to go and would recommend.
Snæfell - again lovely and would heartily recommend
Hveragerði - really nice small town with a hospital (private) that does accommodation cheaply - again we were in bad weather so ended up staying the night at the hospital - meals included. Included access to swimming pools.
Ring road - not nice for cycling - lots of people seemed to ride it but did 10K on it and it was busy - there are no other roads for trucks and the tons of RVs so they are all on there.
Arriving - we stayed at the Alex hotel the first and last nights - will let you store bike boxes and have space for you to assemble bikes (no camping however)
Campsites - we camped wild some of the time as there were no sites on the route plus we had some weather which drove us to need to dry out
Food - good supermarkets but generally sparse so we had to carry extra with us when we found it
Road surfaces - generally excellent and far better than anything in the UK - we were on one stretch that was compacted shale type .. in the wet ...
Buses - you can get bikes on buses easily but you might need to book - buses from go from Harpa centre - we booked a bus to the fjords before we left UK and only just managed to squeeze on - they had to get an extra bus and trailer. We rang a bus from a campsite and booked ourselves on for the next day, all worked perfectly!
Costs - it was expensive, we did not eat out except a few hot chocolates and a couple of meals.
Weather - it was challenging (and we are hardy outdoor types ...)
Camping Kit - our mates a Hilleberg GT Nallo and we had a Terra Nova Solar2 ... as a result of the trip we bought a Nallo! They fared much better in the 50mph winds!
Bike shops - only saw anything decent in Reykjavik, rest of the time were not in any big towns (but then they aren't any!)
Photos - if you want to see the slide show of our trip here is the link - there are some maps of where we went included (I did it for my cycling club)
https://picasaweb.google.com/1171190117 ... 6_LS7bzXAQ

Lastly - it is a truly wondrous place and i would not hesitate to go back! They are very family friendly folk and it would be an amazing trip ... just hope you get the weather! If you want to know anything specific just let me know. Enjoy the planning!

Re: Lon Las Cymru to Taunton

29 August 2014 - 10:15pm
Personally I would not miss out Ynys Mon (Anglesey) but you might want to make some diversions to the coast which is the best bit. There are little bits of cycle track all over N. Wales so they some times come up without knowing about them:o) e.g. Llanwnda to Trevor on the Llyn
There are so many variations as you go south, it depends on how careful you want to be to have done the route. I like following my nose! Some of the route e.g. from Porthmadog to Barmouth does seem to twist around a bit to keep off the main road, but it is well worth while following exactly as you get fantastic views (goes right passed my house as well ) ) It is all very hilly though! But luckily the Brewit bridge should be back in operation by next year, saving 9 miles.
Hope you enjoy it all its a great area.

Re: Cambridge to Canterbury

29 August 2014 - 10:11pm
If you already have a route planned to Tilbury, you could detour to the Dartford crossing, where there's a free shuttle service to take cyclists across the river. There's a cycle path alongside the M25 from Thurrock to the collection point on the north side. Not the most scenic route though...

Re: Cambridge to Canterbury

29 August 2014 - 9:53pm
Hi. another vote for the cycle route alongside the river Lea and then maybe cross the river Thames on the Woolwhich ferry and follow the Thames path towards Canterbury... regards Nomisp

Re: NCN Route 1

29 August 2014 - 9:49pm
Many thanks for your reply. Getting to Inverness Monday 1st.Sept,looks like a good week weather wise next week. Dave

Re: Cambridge to Canterbury

29 August 2014 - 7:53pm
Pick up National Cycle Route 1 at Harlow and follow it through the foot tunnel under the Thames at the Isle of Dogs all the way to Canterbury and Dover.

Re: Cambridge to Canterbury

29 August 2014 - 7:19pm
If you find yourself having to swing into London to get across the Thames, The path beside the river Lea is perfectly passable. This goes all the way to the Olympic park from as far out as Hertford if needed . I don't know if there is a train further west that would get you across.

Re: New Route Planner

29 August 2014 - 6:53pm
Brill! Thanks Richard. You're a star.

Re: New Route Planner

29 August 2014 - 6:14pm
mark a. wrote:I'm bringing up an older thread in case Richard is listening:

cycle.travel often struggles to generate a circular route. I thought I was just unlucky with a particular start/end point but for me it seems to be more often than not I get a "Sorry - couldn't find a circular route. Try a different destination or a longer route." message.

Let's say Woking to Dorking (anywhere in those towns) - no luck. Or to Ashtead (so I can try out Bike Beans café).

Is it me, a bug or just the massive difficulties to get an algorithm to find something good?

I think I've fixed this now. Try here and click 'Circular route' as usual - it should come up with one!

Re: Lon Las Cymru to Taunton

29 August 2014 - 5:36pm
I did it last week (see my recent post). Anglesey was a bit dull, not as flat as I thought, there might have been more interesting bits of it if you go off route 8, I just wanted to get on with it and get it out of the way.

I thought the Llyn peninsula was the most interesting bit of the whole trip, though it's off the route, and a day or two's diversion if you want to ride around the whole of it (which I recommend). It doesn't look like there are any official cycle routes leading into it and it's just the A499, in fact when you come off route 8 onto the A499 south of Llanwnda, there is a very nice cycle path on the pavement along the A-road, and you can follow that for a long way, until you turn off onto some B roads leading to Nefyn, from where you can pick up some really small roads marked as cycle routes 41/42/43. On the way back you can rejoin route 8 near Llanystumdwy.

I also thought it was a shame that route 8 skirts around most of the northern Snowdonia range, though some of it does later cross some of the southern range I skipped most of that by taking the coastal route. So I was glad that I did a diversion to see some of the northern range near Caernarfon, looping on the A-roads around Snowdon.. unfortunately that section does not seem to have many smaller roads, the A roads were mostly quiet though they can be quite narrow and hence not so safe.

Re: Lon Las Cymru to Taunton

29 August 2014 - 4:30pm
Depends how completist you're feeling. Anglesey's much of a muchness IMO - meandering rural cycling not greatly distinct from anywhere else in Britain. Lon Las Cymru really gets going south of Porthmadog (though Caernarfon's nice, of course). I'm glad I ticked it off, but if I were doing the route for a second time I doubt I'd bother with Anglesey.

Cambridge to Canterbury

29 August 2014 - 4:25pm
I'm planning a tour in a week or so and the second day is going to be from Cambridge to Kent (Canterbury or Faversham). I could do with some help navigating to the east of London and especially crossing the Thames. I understand the ferry from Tilbury doesn't run on a Sunday and that's the day I'll be doing it! Any suggestions for a safe route avoiding the worst of the traffic this part of the world has to offer would be really appreciated.

Re: Lon Las Cymru to Taunton

29 August 2014 - 3:44pm
If you skip Anglesey then you would not have ridden the Lon Las just a section of it.
You can skip Cardiff or Chepstow as there is a choice there.

Anglesey is the nice easy flat bit to warm up ready for the hills.

Lon Las Cymru to Taunton

29 August 2014 - 3:31pm
At the start of planning a trip for next year, I'm hoping to do the Lon Las Cymru route through Chepstow and then on to home in Taunton. I have a few questions about route, but my first is - is Anglesey worth it? Or would I be better served by my time by hopping out the train early at Llanfairpwll railway station and save myself a bit of time/cycling distance?

Re: Best Ortlieb Rear Panniers for touring?

29 August 2014 - 3:24pm
andrew_s wrote:Ortlieb reckon that the Plus material is tougher than the Classic - similar tear resistance (in between the two different Classic fabrics), and does quite a lot better on the abrasion resistance test.
This article on crazyguyonabike gives a good rundown on the differences by a fabric technologist, and Plus comes out best there too.

Either are plenty durable enough, and it's easy to permanantly repair minor damage with Ortleib's kits, generic products like TearAid or Tenacious Tape, or glueless puncture patches such as Park.

Interesting. I guess I just assumed as they're more rigid, they're tougher. And yes to the Park patches, that's what I've used to repair mine.

Re: Best Ortlieb Rear Panniers for touring?

29 August 2014 - 3:20pm
You might also consider the Back Roller City. I know it has “City” in the name, but nothing’s preventing you taking it out of the city. And in fact, it seems to have some advantages, depending on your viewpoint: cheaper, lighter, no unnecessary pockets or straps, but with the usual Ortlieb quality and waterproofness.

Re: Best Ortlieb Rear Panniers for touring?

29 August 2014 - 2:54pm
Folks, thanks very much for your insights and suggestions and pointing out the pros and cons for each type.

Not quite decided but I think I'll probably go for the Bike Packer Classic.
Interestingly, Evans have a sale on so the price difference between the options is not always high.

http://www.evanscycles.com/categories/a ... f/ortlieb#!

Thanks again, everyone.
Doug

Re: Best Ortlieb Rear Panniers for touring?

29 August 2014 - 2:47pm
Dudley Manlove wrote:The plus material is lighter than the classic, but maybe not as durable.
Ortlieb reckon that the Plus material is tougher than the Classic - similar tear resistance (in between the two different Classic fabrics), and does quite a lot better on the abrasion resistance test.
This article on crazyguyonabike gives a good rundown on the differences by a fabric technologist, and Plus comes out best there too.

Either are plenty durable enough, and it's easy to permanantly repair minor damage with Ortleib's kits, generic products like TearAid or Tenacious Tape, or glueless puncture patches such as Park.

User of Front Rollers with riveted rails and fittings and non-insert hooks, currently failing to get around to getting some Plus replacements.

Re: Do I need front panniers for touring?

29 August 2014 - 10:32am
One big drawback with front panniers is the damping effect when you are tired and going up hills heavily laden in bottom gear. The weight on the front damps the natural side to side turns - you get wobbles and use up even more energy trying to keep the bike going straight. High tyre pressure helps a bit (less resistance to turning). Next trip I do will be without them.
On fast easy terrain they are no prob at all and a damping effect is useful.

Re: Best Ortlieb Rear Panniers for touring?

29 August 2014 - 9:59am
Bike-packer classics for me (actually I think my front panniers are sport packer classics, but pretty much the same thing just smaller). I often tuck a top/waterproof under the lid of my rear panniers, easy to get to in a hurry and no need to open up the main body of the pack.

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