CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

Syndicate content
Discussion boards hosted by CTC, the national cycling charity
Updated: 21 min 36 sec ago

Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

20 August 2014 - 6:03pm
Well done. At least you got out there.
Even from my female perspective, I think you took an awful lot of kit for just a few days. A good sleeping mat is the key to a decent night's sleep. Do you really need the trailer?
Anyway, you will go out again and learn from each trip. Enjoy each experience.

Re: Touring Iceland

20 August 2014 - 5:36pm
If you wanted to find out anything about Iceland then Dick Phillips was your man. In the early seventies I bought all my Icelandic maps and his guidebook through him. This article suggests he is still going strong.

Did we cycle there? No, we went across Iceland camping for 2 weeks in the early 70s, in a Unimog 4x4 off road vehicle. A really fascinating country if you are into geology and geography, but quite bleak and extreme in places. Have you heard that this volcano is bubbling away.

Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

20 August 2014 - 3:47pm
Ed81 wrote:I would echo everything said so far.

1. It wasn't a failure; you got out on the bike, rode somewhere and camped.
2. You tested kit and learnt what worked and what didn't.
3. You are planning to do it again after some modifications.

My advice (built up from touring in the UK, Croatia and the Alps but also from mountaineering and hill walking) is to go as light as possible. For some tours I even go as far as cutting my toothbrush in half, not taking underwear for the evenings, not taking a second pare of shoes etc. As far as I am concerned this means that my tours are more enjoyable. Also have you thought about using panniers as opposed to a trailer. I tend to have to use both as I am often towing my daughter but I certainly notice that riding with panniers is far easier.

I also agree that it can take a few days to ride yourself in. How much riding do you do in general? If you could ride a little bit more maybe it would help........

I hope you learn from your experience and get back in the saddle soon.
Agree with all that - though I haven't cut a toothbrush in half yet! Hm, how may bristles do you really need on a toothbrush?
Summer riding you don't need much spare clothing - if you have to wash them do it just before you set off and you can put them on wet - a bit chilly at first but they dry very quickly as soon as you get moving.

Touring Iceland

20 August 2014 - 3:38pm
Hi All and thanks for reading,

My wife and I are planning a tour of Iceland next summer. We are taking our children of 4 and 18 months. We will have 6-7 weeks to spend travelling round but are not too worried about covering huge distances. Before ordering the guide books can anyone suggest places to visit, how easy it is to cycle in Iceland, costs of food and accommodation etc.

If Iceland may be a little ambitious can anyone suggest an adventurous touring destination (we toured Croatia last year covering 1000 km in about 4 1/2 weeks) and have already traveled quite extensively in France. We would also like to avoid long steep climbs if possible.

Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

20 August 2014 - 3:38pm
Cheers, wife has just picked up the 2 I need from the library.
Does that mean that she's keen to see the back of you?

Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

20 August 2014 - 3:37pm
Ed81 wrote:I would echo everything said so far.

1. It wasn't a failure; you got out on the bike, rode somewhere and camped.
2. You tested kit and learnt what worked and what didn't.
3. You are planning to do it again after some modifications.

My advice (built up from touring in the UK, Croatia and the Alps but also from mountaineering and hill walking) is to go as light as possible. For some tours I even go as far as cutting my toothbrush in half, not taking underwear for the evenings, not taking a second pare of shoes etc. As far as I am concerned this means that my tours are more enjoyable. Also have you thought about using panniers as opposed to a trailer. I tend to have to use both as I am often towing my daughter but I certainly notice that riding with panniers is far easier.

I also agree that it can take a few days to ride yourself in. How much riding do you do in general? If you could ride a little bit more maybe it would help........

I hope you learn from your experience and get back in the saddle soon.
+1 Well said and probably phrased more eloquently than I could have done.

Touring with family - Bike advice needed

20 August 2014 - 3:31pm
Hi All and thanks for reading.

Next summer my wife and I are planning a cycle tour of Iceland (asking for advice about this in a later post). We are taking our children who by then will be 4 and 18 months. We are not touring novices by any stretch but wanted to canvas opinions on the best bikes for the job.

My wife has a Hewitt Cheviot that served very well on last year's 1000 km tour of the Croatia even while 5 months pregnant. I rode a Salsa Vaya, which with 4 panniers, camping kit and towing a trailer felt distinctly flexible, especially on rough roads.

Our options as I see them:

1. Buy a second child trailer to carry the 18 month old and attempt to distribute load more evenly between my wife's bikes and my own. Downside is that my wife would have to carry more and my daughter would see less.

2. Buy a heavy duty touring bike (e.g. Tout Terrain silkroad) and fit a bike seat for my daughter as well as panniers etc. to carry the kit. Downside: Wife would still have to carry more as there is a space issue on the bike but daughter would see more.

3. Buy a cargo bike such as the Yuba Mundo or a Surly big dummy to carry my daughter and a large chunk of the kit. Downside is the weight of the bike (but with a 20Kg child and touring kit it might be less of a problem) and a lack of weather protection for my daughter in the wind and rain.

4. A tandem with kiddy cranks so she can ride and a child seat for her to use when bored / tired.

I know that this is not an exhaustive list of possibilities but hoped it would help to spark a discussion of possible options, especially the ones that I have overlooked.

Re: Stefan Abrutat's Tour Travel Blog

20 August 2014 - 3:27pm
maybe we need to form a cheapo trailer club/group here?

Re: Vintage steel frame bicycle for touring

20 August 2014 - 3:18pm
Continuing this post since I have a similar question - I'm thinking of cycling in South America next year, likely along the salt plains in Bolivia and some fairly off-road tracks.

I have a ridgeback voyager bike, which survived me very well in Kyrgyzstan, the Himalayas, Morocco etc. I added an additional gear ring at the back so I can cope with mountain passes.
My boyfriend thinks that it may not be up to scratch for South America and that I should invest in a mountain bike. I'm slightly loathe to get a mountain bike since:
1.I don't want to buy another bike when my current one is great! and 2.I imagine it will be much tougher when we are on tarmac roads.

Any thoughts? If I should get another bike, any recommendations? Thank you!

Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

20 August 2014 - 3:06pm
I would echo everything said so far.

1. It wasn't a failure; you got out on the bike, rode somewhere and camped.
2. You tested kit and learnt what worked and what didn't.
3. You are planning to do it again after some modifications.

My advice (built up from touring in the UK, Croatia and the Alps but also from mountaineering and hill walking) is to go as light as possible. For some tours I even go as far as cutting my toothbrush in half, not taking underwear for the evenings, not taking a second pare of shoes etc. As far as I am concerned this means that my tours are more enjoyable. Also have you thought about using panniers as opposed to a trailer. I tend to have to use both as I am often towing my daughter but I certainly notice that riding with panniers is far easier.

I also agree that it can take a few days to ride yourself in. How much riding do you do in general? If you could ride a little bit more maybe it would help........

I hope you learn from your experience and get back in the saddle soon.

Re: Tour to the Continent during Aug Bank Hols wknd- thought

20 August 2014 - 2:58pm
just punched in your first leg of your route here: http://cycle.travel/map

This will give you a pdf with turn by turn instructions and GPX file if you need it



Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

20 August 2014 - 2:25pm
Bicycler wrote:Remember that you can generally borrow the relevant Ordnance Survey maps (you want the magenta coloured 1:50000 "Landranger" ones) from the library. They show all roads and the NCN routes, as well as contours, steep roads and spot heights. Very good for route planning. They're also viewable online on Bing maps, just select "ordnance survey maps" from the menu. They are also good maps to carry with you if your tour doesn't cover a huge mileage.

Cheers, wife has just picked up the 2 I need from the library.

If I find them useful will buy them.

EDIT: And yes BE1, I did think of selling it all and buying a exercise bike. That is one good thing about shopping at Decathlon, they give to 2 years to decide if you like something

Dave

Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

20 August 2014 - 2:20pm
Certainly not a failed trip as you got out there and did it which is more than I've managed this year

I also find the first day tough simply because it is usually the first time in a long time that I have sent all day on the bike. Throw in the hills you faced and it being a first ever tour and it could have been much worse.

Look at it this way you are om here asking for advice rather than trying to off load your bike and all your kit

Re: Cycling around Japan

20 August 2014 - 2:13pm
Josie Dew, one of our CTC vice presidents has written two excellent books on touring in Japan,

http://www.josiedew.com/my-books/a-ride ... n-in-japan

http://www.josiedew.com/my-books/the-su ... eling-east

Re: Way of the Roses coast to Coast

20 August 2014 - 2:10pm
I usually carry a set of thermals, long sleeve top and pants. These take up little space and don't weigh a lot. If the weather turns bad, as it can do in the hills, they are well worth while. They can also serve as pj's. I also take a micro fleece, this can be useful in the evenings if it's a bit chilly. My most essential item is my E-Reader - gotta have something to do in the evening. And speaking of which, buy a cheap notebook and keep a trip diary.

Re: Tour to the Continent during Aug Bank Hols wknd- thought

20 August 2014 - 1:50pm
Your route pretty much follows the North Sea Coast route which is generally quite well signposted although it can be a bit hit or miss in places. The distance/time scale looks OK but day 2, Bruges to Hook is fairly long and includes, if I remember correctly, a couple of ferry crossings which will soak up a bit of time.

Re: Stefan Abrutat's Tour Travel Blog

20 August 2014 - 1:32pm
Impressive scenery.

Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

20 August 2014 - 1:13pm
I'm currently two months into a global tour with the same trailer, and am perfectly happy with it so far, at least after some modifications made with mercalia on this very board. I much prefer not having to worry about weight and bulk as much as one might with a pannier set up. I'm happy to trade going up hills a mile or two an hour slower for the comfort benefits more gear confers.

Re: Stefan Abrutat's Tour Travel Blog

20 August 2014 - 12:58pm
I think if you keep the skewers nice and tight you don't have to worry about them bending. I flattened both sides of the skewer barrels with an angle grinder so they'd receive a spanner, and check them every morning before setting off. Have had zero problems with the trailer so far. The cheapo tyre doesn't seem to be wearing as fast as the one I used through Scotland, probably because I'm carrying a little less weight, but I've got a spare ready to go in any case.

Just going to read your thread now, Dave.

Re: Stefan Abrutat's Tour Travel Blog

20 August 2014 - 12:15pm
That looks cracking, I was in North Wales earlier in the week with my trailer (same one).

Dave

Archive

  • Patron: Her Majesty The Queen
  • President: Jon Snow
  • Chief Executive: Paul Tuohy
  • Cyclists' Touring Club (CTC): A company limited by guarantee, registered in England no.25185. Registered as a charity in England and Wales No 1147607 and in Scotland No SC042541

 

Terms and Conditions