CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 2 hours 12 min ago

Re: Fitting a Blackburn Lowrider on a Surly Disk Trucker

2 hours 58 min ago
I asked about fitting a front rack on the Surly DT a couple of months ago. I got some helpful answers and I done a fair bit of research myself to find a rack that was top quality and easy to fit with minimum fuss. I looked at many but eventually went for the latest Surly Nice front rack which is totally compatible with the Disc trucker with no faffing about at all. Straight out the box and straight onto the bike in a few minutes with no hassle what so ever! I am very impressed at the quality and functionality of the rack. It is a superb bit of kit. Best front rack I've seen by a long way.
Honestly, if it 's within your budget, I'd suggest selling your Blackburn on here or wherever and buying the Surly job. It really is excellent in every way and so simple to fit.

Re: Chromebook for touring?

2 March 2015 - 11:30pm
I find their curries a bit small and slighty bland.

Though doubtless "fill a spot" as a yankee friend of mine used to say.

I can recomend the tuesday steak night, particularly if you pay the extra for the aberdeen angus.

This post comes to you by the way from my local spoons with typing lubed by a few pints of monkey wrench.

Re: Cycle Touring Festival - May 2015 - Lancashire

2 March 2015 - 11:28pm

I have booked a ticket and so has a friend, there's a guy in London meeting up with us as well. Anyone else going?

Re: Chromebook for touring?

2 March 2015 - 10:27pm
Sweep wrote:On a slightly less techie note, re access to wifi, wetherspoons are pretty handy if touring in the uk. They use The Cloud. Free. You can download a POI file of wspoons palaces for loading onto garmins. The beer is good as well.
Mmm.. Thursday is curry night, pretty decent curry and a pint for about 6 quid!.

Just investigated Google Play music. Surprisingly it imported my iTunes library, just like that! Amazing. I never buy any music from the web, its all on CDs then transferred to computer. Google Play sorted out all the album graphics too. The world of Google is pretty comprehensive.


Re: Fitting a Blackburn Lowrider on a Surly Disk Trucker

2 March 2015 - 10:10pm
Fretz54 wrote:Thanks for the photo. Its a great help.

glad it helped you ..I need to to tidy them up a bit ..

Re: Chromebook for touring?

2 March 2015 - 10:05pm
On a slightly less techie note, re access to wifi, wetherspoons are pretty handy if touring in the uk. They use The Cloud. Free. You can download a POI file of wspoons palaces for loading onto garmins. The beer is good as well.

Re: Fitting a Blackburn Lowrider on a Surly Disk Trucker

2 March 2015 - 9:27pm
Thanks for the photo. Its a great help.

Re: Wild camping in England ???

2 March 2015 - 9:03pm
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

2 March 2015 - 8:03pm
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

2 March 2015 - 7:49pm
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

2 March 2015 - 7:31pm
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 ???

2 March 2015 - 6:22pm
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

2 March 2015 - 6:22pm
You could use a paper map instead of the gps for the 12 days which are least navigationally challenging.

Re: Weight distribution.

2 March 2015 - 4:54pm
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

2 March 2015 - 3:25pm
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

2 March 2015 - 3:18pm
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?

2 March 2015 - 3:15pm
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

2 March 2015 - 2:53pm
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?

2 March 2015 - 2:15pm
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?

2 March 2015 - 12:34pm
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.


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