CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 3 hours 28 min ago

Cycle routes in Germany: Radweit

16 April 2014 - 8:45pm
Has anyone here used the maps available at http://www.radweit.de/index/entrance.html? Radweit is mentioned once elsewhere in this forum, suggesting it is good for city-city routes - but has anyone used them for touring? Are they reliable? They seem to give a huge amount of detail. I'm pondering riding right through Germany from the Netherlands to Austria.

Re: Advice for buying a second hand bike suitable for tourin

16 April 2014 - 7:36pm
In the end I picked up a old Raleigh Pioneer for £25, bit beaten up but not in that bad nick, going to throw it a mate who runs a small bike business and see what he can do with it.. Read a few forums / articles about pioneers being successfully converted for touring, seems like a solid bike with fairly easily replaceable parts, and I'm hoping when i'm using it at home it will be less of a target to thieves given the fact that the pioneers aren't the coolest looking things! Thanks for all the advice guys, well impressed with the speedy response from everyone, will make sure to pop back if I have any further questions!

Parking in Cardiff for Lon LAs Cymru De

16 April 2014 - 7:22pm

Am doing some of the LLC from Cardiff, Northwards, only for a day, to complete the route. Going to drive with the bikes on the car to Cardiff. Anyone know any safe, cheap parking near the start of the route?

Pity Me & Annfield Plain

16 April 2014 - 5:24pm
Hi folks, trying to work out my next phase of our forthcoming trip, so hope some "locals" can help out here.

We'll be staying in the Pity Me area for a couple of days and want to visit Annfield Plain, where my Dad was born.
Having looked on Bikehike's OSM maps, I see that NCN route 14 heads from just south of Pity Me in a northwesterly direction.
I'd like to know what the condition of it is like, as it appears to be "off-road".
Suitable for touring bikes?

I thought we could come off at Lanchester and ride up to Annfield Plain from there.

Also, I see that NCN R7 passes through Annfield Plain.
Am I right in thinking that this is the Coast to Coast route?
Anyway, same query: condition of route please, as I thought we could take that out of AP heading east and come off near Chester le Street and pop back down to our base from there.

Here's hoping, fausto.

Re: Ross on Wye from Severn Bridge

16 April 2014 - 5:13pm
mattsccm wrote:A 4th option is to climb from Chepstow to Devauden and along the ridge through Trelleck, dropping to Monmouth.A few years ago when I lived near Newport, that was a favourite of mine but in the opposite direction. A stiff but enjoyable climb from Mitchel Troy.

Re: Ross on Wye from Severn Bridge

16 April 2014 - 4:57pm
mnichols wrote:Thanks. Are those on road routes suitable for a carbon road bike?

We found the road surfaces OK apart from a couple of large deep potholes which you couldn't miss spotting.
If you've got low enough gears or a good pair of legs then the hills will hold no problems for you.

Re: Insurance for trips over 100 days

16 April 2014 - 4:21pm
Thanks for posting the feedback but could we have a little more info please, eg:

What is covered (bike or only personal, etc)
Geographical area
Any significant small print
Etc, etc

Re: A question for the ladies

16 April 2014 - 2:29pm
I don't find that sports tops are supportive enough. Maybe try jumping up and down or something when you try them on?

It's not so easy to find bras that are the right compromise between supportive and constrictive, even for people who are average sized. For some reason, many companies seem to assume that busty women are also rotund, so large cup sizes only come with large chest measurements

That has generally been my problem in finding fitted sports bras, and why I end up at specialty or lingerie shops. If I were a 36 C, I could probably buy them at a sporting goods store, or even some place like TK Maxx. Unfortunately, buying them at specialty shops seems to quadruple the cost

Re: Insurance for trips over 100 days

16 April 2014 - 1:36pm
I am going to use AXA . The ctc insurers would only cover 100 days Axa will cover up to a year. They specifically include cycle touring.
Thanks for all replies. Nigel

Re: Ross on Wye from Severn Bridge

16 April 2014 - 1:26pm
Several ways from Chepstow north. From East to West. Avoid A48. by local standards fast and busy. Next (2) is over the Wye bridge to Tutshill and thence St Briavels. Keep going to Coleford then either vaguely NW down over Simonds Yat then Gooodrich and Ross Or Coleford to Lydbrook and Ross.
3rd routes is up the Wye valley. this can be busy although its mot A48 busy. To Bigsweir or Redbrook allows a climb back into the forest meeting route 2 at some point. You could continue to Monmouth then up to Staunton and meet route 2.7
A 4th option is to climb from Chepstow to Devauden and along the ridge through Trelleck, dropping to Monmouth.
I'd say route 2 with variations. Try St Briavels to Bream, Parkend, Drybrook, Ross.Thats where I go from home in Bream.
cycle hire/shop and café's at Parkend and Cannop. Good food at Parkend. The Fountain inn is home to the local cycle club

Re: Leyburn to Reeth

16 April 2014 - 1:25pm
As you cross over the bridge in Grinton heading towards Reeth it's about 300 yds on the left. The ice cream shop on the Green in the centre of Reeth is also worth a visit and the Reeth Bakey also.

Re: A question for the ladies

16 April 2014 - 1:00pm
Thanks for both your replies!

Underwear is definitely an essential imo but I guess its a personal thing. I'm going to be cycling 5 days and then having 3 in a city so my clothes packing is going to be a pretty even mix of on bike/off bike stuff. I'm trying to ensure anything "off-bike" wise is also suitable for wearing for short cycles. A sports top sounds like a good compromise on the bra front! I'll definitely look into that next time I get to the shops =) (I assume you mean like dance style crop top type things?)

Glad to hear it's not just me with the worrying parents though. Like I said I think they'll get over it once I get going and I'm sure there will be times when like you I don't get online for a few days and get lots of check up texts! =P

I totally agree about trip planning being amazing motivation/real-life relief during the rest of the year. Literally don't think I would have survived my placement without that to keep me going! Only 9 work days left now which is such a huge relief too! =D

Thank you in general to everyone who's replied here! I know it was originally just about bras but the other topics and replies have been really helpful and reassuring!! =D

Re: Ross on Wye from Severn Bridge

16 April 2014 - 7:38am
Thanks. Are those on road routes suitable for a carbon road bike?

Re: A question for the ladies

16 April 2014 - 12:42am
First of all, bras. I'm on the larger bossom side and agree that sports bras are nothing short of uncomfortable corsetry. I wear a cheap sports top and accept the mono boob. It's comfy and I'm not ashamed to say that on tour I kind of enjoy 'letting it all hang (in a controlled manner ) out'. I prefer the racing back but take a normal bra for off bike wear. I'm glad it's not only me that has that concern. Along the same lines, knickers and cycling shorts? I went to a lady's cycling evening where knickless shorts and smearing chamois cream were very much advised but that's just not practical. I carry a pair of shorts to wear and a spare. I can't wash and dry shorts every evening. The spongy bits never dry over night. As a result I wear knickers (carefully tested for seam chaffing) Am I the only one?

In terms of worrying significant others, it never stops. I'm a grown up, live in a different city with my partner. I work through the year and all that. I cycle every day yet, every time I talk to my mum about my touring plans she shares her worries. She hates me going and tries her best to put me off. For her, it's just another one of my oddities that she hopes I'll grow out of. (I'm 36). I point out that cycling abroad in Europe is probably far safer than my daily commute. I started a blog so that family could see what I am up to. Now, if I miss a couple of days (if for example wifi is scarce) I'm inundated with gentle 'are you ok' type texts.

Each to their own I think. If I didn't have a summer tour to look forward to - and all the planning and dreaming that goes with it - I'd have to have another adventure up my sleeve. I love finding the little things that make your tour unique and I live off that for the rest of the year. Don't get me wrong, my job is fulfilling and challenging but, I'm not sure how I'd manage the stress without tours to look forward to. I love going off on my own and finding all those little new things. I'm lucky I suppose to have a partner that accepts/supports this and a job with good holidays.

As for weight issues. I jokingly talk about my winter padding. I know that come summer I'll be cycling more and will be fitter. I'm not one for worrying about my weight but it's nice to be as fit as you are when you are on tour. When riding I snack through the day but don't get really hungry until I start to eat in the evening. I try to make enough tea for left overs tomorrow but that never happens. Every year I think that I should keep it up but every year the rest of my life takes over. I suppose I can't cycle all day every day.

Finally, distances. I very much believe in get fit on tour. I expect to be going shorter distances that build up fairly quickly. When I stop depends more often on campsites and what I want to see. 80km a good distance but will happily do 20km either way. The last 10k is a bugger no matter how far you're going. I find that I go best when I have a good goal for the day with a couple of stops planned.

I'm very envious of your four month tour. Whatever you do and whatever you wear it will be brilliant.



Re: A question for the ladies

15 April 2014 - 8:18pm
I haven't visited this post for a few days and had not realised we had moved on from bras. Guess I was lucky in that my parents never expressed any concerns and left me to get on with my travels. I am sure they had their anxieties, but never voiced them, I would be going anyway... lol My Grandma was pretty concerned and voiced her concerns when 2 school teachers disappeared in France, I was convinced they had just done a bunk and disappeared from the travails of this stressful life we create... sadly it was not so.

During my days of travelling we had no such as blogs, trackers etc., so I had the freedom to just go and not have to report back to anyone.

Who cares about settling down and responsibility, do what your heart dictates.. you are a long time dead.

Re: Leyburn to Reeth

15 April 2014 - 8:13pm
Cheers chaps, drooling already!

Re: Leyburn to Reeth

15 April 2014 - 6:22pm
I'd second that recommendation. It's in Fremington.

Re: Leyburn to Reeth

15 April 2014 - 6:20pm
Galloper wrote:
Can I reccommend the Dales Bike Centre as an excellent stop off. The lemon drizzle cake is excellent.

You can indeed.....where is it exactly?

Swiss Mittelland (R5) route

15 April 2014 - 5:04pm
We are planning a trip to Geneva this summer, down the Rhine past Basel to Waldshutt, then the Aare and the R5 to Geneva. Has anyone done the Swiss section of this route? Is there a (cheap) map ... (all I have been able to find on-line is a pretty expensive guide-book).
I'm thinking that the section isn't that long, so do I really need a map or is the signage good enough? The nice thing about a map though, is planning where to stop for the night, so can you recommend any good campsites along the route.
Thanks for your advice

Re: Leyburn to Reeth

15 April 2014 - 2:17pm
All the ranges on that stretch of road face away from the road so although flags will be flying pretty much every day, it's perfectly safe. The road is closed very rarely but is closed one day a year to maintain the right to do so.

Can I reccommend the Dales Bike Centre as an excellent stop off. The lemon drizzle cake is excellent.


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