CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

Syndicate content
Discussion boards hosted by CTC, the national cycling charity
Updated: 2 hours 29 min ago

Re: Majorca Road Cycling

14 October 2014 - 11:25am
wirral_cyclist wrote:
Brits in a hire car methinks - latest one probably thought you were on wrong side of road...

Wouldn't say so, it was a guy in an open top Merc and he looked Spanish to me. Definitely not hire cars.

Re: Has anyone ever toured in the winter?

14 October 2014 - 10:26am
Vorpal wrote:ukdodger wrote:Here's a medal! how many days were those rides and out of interest what did you use for leg and feet covering? If any
If it's below freezing, lots of things are easier, as Shane rightly points out. It's much easier to dress for cold than wet & cold. Wool tights, plus thermal tights, plus some over trousers on my legs (wind blocking material is essential). On my feet, two pairs of wool socks and (oversized) lined winter boots.

If it's wet and near freezing, I wear thermal tights with waterproof trousers over them, wool socks and hiking boots. If I'm out multiple days in wet & cold, I usually end up with a layer of plastic carrier bag in my boots because even waterproof ones seem to eventually soak through with repeated exposure, and no chance to dry overnight.

VP how does one cycle in fur lined boots lined again with plastic bags?

Re: Has anyone ever toured in the winter?

14 October 2014 - 10:21am
ukdodger wrote:Here's a medal! how many days were those rides and out of interest what did you use for leg and feet covering? If any
If it's below freezing, lots of things are easier, as Shane rightly points out. It's much easier to dress for cold than wet & cold. Wool tights, plus thermal tights, plus some over trousers on my legs (wind blocking material is essential). On my feet, two pairs of wool socks and (oversized) lined winter boots.

If it's wet and near freezing, I wear thermal tights with waterproof trousers over them, wool socks and hiking boots. If I'm out multiple days in wet & cold, I usually end up with a layer of plastic carrier bag in my boots because even waterproof ones seem to eventually soak through with repeated exposure, and no chance to dry overnight.

Re: Has anyone ever toured in the winter?

14 October 2014 - 10:14am
shane wrote:ukdodger wrote:
Where was all that?

Trip 1, 3 weeks in Lapland
Trip 2, The trans labrador highway in Canada

You're a better man than me Gunga Din. I'm shivering now. Great pics and nice story though. Thanks.

Re: Has anyone ever toured in the winter?

14 October 2014 - 10:12am
eileithyia wrote:PS Leg covering; usually normal winter cycling longs, thicker pair of socks, normal shoes, I have toyed with over shoes but never really found them very satisfactory, but always always have spare dry socks with me.

I've tried everything to keep my feet and legs dry but nothing does. So I gave up trying.

Re: Has anyone ever toured in the winter?

14 October 2014 - 10:11am
ukdodger wrote:
Where was all that?

Trip 1, 3 weeks in Lapland
Trip 2, The trans labrador highway in Canada

Re: Has anyone ever toured in the winter?

14 October 2014 - 10:10am
eileithyia wrote:ukdodger wrote:eileithyia wrote:Many a time; from winter weekends, the Christmas New Year hostel trip. What started to restrict such activities was RAH (rent a hostel), open hostels for just a handful (or 1-2 riders) became fewer further between, without renting the whole hostel for the weekend
Yes I've been wet through, coped with snow, wind and glorious crisp sunny days.

Here's a medal! how many days were those rides and out of interest what did you use for leg and feet covering? If any

Not sure a medal is needed, as said elsewhere, no different to being out on the winter clubrun only with the addition of staying away from home and repeating the following day.
Touring could be anything from 1 night away (usually Saturday), 2 nights (fri and Sat) to about 10 days when I hostelled solo across to South Wales to stop with relatives for a few days then hostelled back again.

I have had great fun negotiating my way in the dark; to obscure tiny hostels in Shropshire, I had memorised the last 2-3 junctions to the hostel from the main road and when we turned into this tiny lane... had to deal with the doubting Thomas's within the club .. stopping to re-check the map (yes I was sure I was sure the hostel should be a few 100yds on on the left) to riding up the Gospel Pass (again in the dark) to the hostel, finding the bike shed (opp side of the road to the hostel) and carting my bags up the track. Whenever I go over the Pass these days I wonder how on earth I managed it in the dark and never realised how narrow it was!!!

At one stage I reckon we had a YHA weekend at least once a month thru the winter months..... it was when most of the club were around to participate in such weekends; the summer months being full of activites; longer touring trips for everyone, juggling family holidays, rally weekends, and (for me) racing.

Going off for the weekend was nothing unusual in the winter and battling the elements did not seem unusual just part of what winter is about and probably no more than extension of daily winter commutes or club runs.

I think the worst bit is wet shoes, I hate putting cold wet shoes back on the following day..... as the hostel drying room was usually not up to the job, it was always important for me to have warm dry socks to at least buffer that moment when the damp started to seep in towards my feet.... plastic shopping bags also helped as a buffer.

I confess I miss those dark evenings of self reliance and the challenge of finding the obscure YH after dark, of being out and using all my senses to find my way and enjoy my surroundings. Though often solo non calendar audax rides through the night does employ all that self reliance.

Frankly I wouldnt (up until now) even consider cycling in those conditions and certainly not every month. I hate wet feet (and wet legs) but have learned to live with them. But you could at least have chosen small hotels where drying stuff is much easier. Hostels arent user friendly I find. You'll forgive me if I suggest there's a hint of masochism in this thread.

Re: How to carry a guitar on your bicycle

14 October 2014 - 10:05am
When I was in high school, I carried a cello a few times. I had shoulder straps to carry it on my back. It was a school cello. I wouldn't have carried my own that way.

Now, I use a trailer, but I don't tour with it. I just use the bike to get to go places where I will play the cello.

And then there's

http://www.cellojoe.com/p/videos_22.html

and

http://bicyclemusicfestival.com/about_bmf/

Re: Has anyone ever toured in the winter?

14 October 2014 - 10:01am
shane wrote:Many good tips already, but here goes

(in my opinion!!)

5 degree's to -5 : usually wet and miserable......and quite a pain to keep your gear dry and warm. Long live hostels and B+B's to dry out as most campsites are closed.
-5 degrees to -20 (do it..): With the right gear and know how its lovely. Wild camping camping in snow that is no deeper than 50cm is a joy, spike tyres rock, don't forget your bread will be frozen (as will just about every thing else)
IMG_0182 by shanecycles.com, on Flickr

P1010341 by shanecycles.com, on Flickr

-20 to -35 : also do-able with the right gear and experience but now you have lost your margin for error, a flat tyre is almost impossible to fix, your hands are painful after being exposed to the air for 1 minute. Any plastic bits on your panniers or gear are so brittle they WILL break. You're now running in expedition mode rather than chilling with that extra cup of tea in the morning. You have the constant struggle between being too hot or too cold, your hands and feet being numb, cold or painful. And of course constantly steamed up goggles mean you can't even enjoy the view. Campfires though pretty are more effort than they're worth. Worst of all, you have to sleep in a plastic bag to keep your down dry. Moisture(sweat) management is your main concern.

campfire by shanecycles.com, on Flickr

Winterproof Shane by shanecycles.com, on Flickr

-35 below : Welcome to a cold kind of hell, this is the bit when you often can't even light your stove to melt snow for your drinking water because the fuel doesn't evaporate because its so cold. The sweat in the foam of your goggles freezes to your face and any tea you spill out of your flask instantly freezes to anything it falls on because you;re too damn clumsy with your thick gloves And your biggest worry of the day is how you're going to remove and install all those layers while having a crap without getting frostbite Any blunders now are life threatening . . . . . . . . . .

Trans lab (18) by shanecycles.com, on Flickr

And thats that

Further reading here >>>> http://www.shanecycles.com/category/win ... e-touring/

And for the record, the long dark nights are great, eat at 6, chill for an hour, sleep for 12 hours, spend 3 hours getting ready (everything takes for ever in the morning anyway when its so cold), on the road just before first light

Plus points, beautiful scenery, awesome wild camping. silence

P1010713 by shanecycles.com, on Flickr

Haven't decided if Im going to Scotland, The Lakes or Spain for my trip this winter....Im done with that really cold stuff, its too much like hard work Luckily Helen loves it and will paint a totally different picture


Hang on I'm gobsmacked. Where was all that?

Re: Has anyone ever toured in the winter?

14 October 2014 - 9:57am
Flinders wrote:I don't tour, but prefer cycling in the winter. It's cooler (I run hot) the hedgerows are leafless so I see more, and there's much less traffic.
Though I am a wuss about ice.

You dont tour??

Re: Venice to Lecce - and how to get there (and back)

14 October 2014 - 9:05am
thebedfordfox wrote:I would like to cycle down Italy's Adriatic coast, from Venice to Lecce - a journey of about 600 miles, along cycle routes.


Also, what is the best way of getting there and back, with your bike? I'd be confident enough of doing the bike journey in 7-8 days, but wonder how long it would take 'all in'.

TIA,

David

I have flown into Venice airport (using a disposable cardboard box from a bike shop to transport the bike) and while it is a little tricky for the first mile or so leaving the airport, getting onto to quiet roads heading west and then south should be perfectly feasible. I was heading north to the Dolomites. Venice airport is nowhere near the city so its relatively easy to leave the built up areas which surround most airports.
It might be possible to leave a proper bike box at an airport hotel if you stay overnight before and after. Alternatively, there is a Decathlon not far from the airport where you should be able to get a box for the return trip.

Re: Has anyone ever toured in the winter?

14 October 2014 - 7:35am
PS Leg covering; usually normal winter cycling longs, thicker pair of socks, normal shoes, I have toyed with over shoes but never really found them very satisfactory, but always always have spare dry socks with me.

Re: Has anyone ever toured in the winter?

14 October 2014 - 7:33am
ukdodger wrote:eileithyia wrote:Many a time; from winter weekends, the Christmas New Year hostel trip. What started to restrict such activities was RAH (rent a hostel), open hostels for just a handful (or 1-2 riders) became fewer further between, without renting the whole hostel for the weekend
Yes I've been wet through, coped with snow, wind and glorious crisp sunny days.

Here's a medal! how many days were those rides and out of interest what did you use for leg and feet covering? If any

Not sure a medal is needed, as said elsewhere, no different to being out on the winter clubrun only with the addition of staying away from home and repeating the following day.
Touring could be anything from 1 night away (usually Saturday), 2 nights (fri and Sat) to about 10 days when I hostelled solo across to South Wales to stop with relatives for a few days then hostelled back again.

I have had great fun negotiating my way in the dark; to obscure tiny hostels in Shropshire, I had memorised the last 2-3 junctions to the hostel from the main road and when we turned into this tiny lane... had to deal with the doubting Thomas's within the club .. stopping to re-check the map (yes I was sure I was sure the hostel should be a few 100yds on on the left) to riding up the Gospel Pass (again in the dark) to the hostel, finding the bike shed (opp side of the road to the hostel) and carting my bags up the track. Whenever I go over the Pass these days I wonder how on earth I managed it in the dark and never realised how narrow it was!!!

At one stage I reckon we had a YHA weekend at least once a month thru the winter months..... it was when most of the club were around to participate in such weekends; the summer months being full of activites; longer touring trips for everyone, juggling family holidays, rally weekends, and (for me) racing.

Going off for the weekend was nothing unusual in the winter and battling the elements did not seem unusual just part of what winter is about and probably no more than extension of daily winter commutes or club runs.

I think the worst bit is wet shoes, I hate putting cold wet shoes back on the following day..... as the hostel drying room was usually not up to the job, it was always important for me to have warm dry socks to at least buffer that moment when the damp started to seep in towards my feet.... plastic shopping bags also helped as a buffer.

I confess I miss those dark evenings of self reliance and the challenge of finding the obscure YH after dark, of being out and using all my senses to find my way and enjoy my surroundings. Though often solo non calendar audax rides through the night does employ all that self reliance.

Re: Vaude or carradice cape?

14 October 2014 - 6:38am
No personal experience of either but Vaude are reduced here, should you decide on one - http://www.bike-discount.de/en/praesenz ... ude+poncho

Re: Has anyone ever toured in the winter?

14 October 2014 - 12:17am
Many good tips already, but here goes

(in my opinion!!)

5 degree's to -5 : usually wet and miserable......and quite a pain to keep your gear dry and warm. Long live hostels and B+B's to dry out as most campsites are closed.
-5 degrees to -20 (do it..): With the right gear and know how its lovely. Wild camping camping in snow that is no deeper than 50cm is a joy, spike tyres rock, don't forget your bread will be frozen (as will just about every thing else)
IMG_0182 by shanecycles.com, on Flickr

P1010341 by shanecycles.com, on Flickr

-20 to -35 : also do-able with the right gear and experience but now you have lost your margin for error, a flat tyre is almost impossible to fix, your hands are painful after being exposed to the air for 1 minute. Any plastic bits on your panniers or gear are so brittle they WILL break. You're now running in expedition mode rather than chilling with that extra cup of tea in the morning. You have the constant struggle between being too hot or too cold, your hands and feet being numb, cold or painful. And of course constantly steamed up goggles mean you can't even enjoy the view. Campfires though pretty are more effort than they're worth. Worst of all, you have to sleep in a plastic bag to keep your down dry. Moisture(sweat) management is your main concern.

campfire by shanecycles.com, on Flickr

Winterproof Shane by shanecycles.com, on Flickr

-35 below : Welcome to a cold kind of hell, this is the bit when you often can't even light your stove to melt snow for your drinking water because the fuel doesn't evaporate because its so cold. The sweat in the foam of your goggles freezes to your face and any tea you spill out of your flask instantly freezes to anything it falls on because you;re too damn clumsy with your thick gloves And your biggest worry of the day is how you're going to remove and install all those layers while having a crap without getting frostbite Any blunders now are life threatening . . . . . . . . . .

Trans lab (18) by shanecycles.com, on Flickr

And thats that

Further reading here >>>> http://www.shanecycles.com/category/win ... e-touring/

And for the record, the long dark nights are great, eat at 6, chill for an hour, sleep for 12 hours, spend 3 hours getting ready (everything takes for ever in the morning anyway when its so cold), on the road just before first light

Plus points, beautiful scenery, awesome wild camping. silence

P1010713 by shanecycles.com, on Flickr

Haven't decided if Im going to Scotland, The Lakes or Spain for my trip this winter....Im done with that really cold stuff, its too much like hard work Luckily Helen loves it and will paint a totally different picture

Re: Has anyone ever toured in the winter?

13 October 2014 - 11:28pm
I don't tour, but prefer cycling in the winter. It's cooler (I run hot) the hedgerows are leafless so I see more, and there's much less traffic.
Though I am a wuss about ice.

Re: Has anyone ever toured in the winter?

13 October 2014 - 11:04pm
horizon wrote:The "touring" bit isn't the problem, lots of people cycle in winter conditions. The problem is the long dark evening. Of course you can spend it in the pub, but then you might as well spend the rest of the night there too...

Maybe technology is the answer - a tablet to while away the time.

I cycle to the shops and back and maybe to friends but touring is something else. Have to say I'm tempted now.

Re: Has anyone ever toured in the winter?

13 October 2014 - 10:59pm
The "touring" bit isn't the problem, lots of people cycle in winter conditions. The problem is the long dark evening. Of course you can spend it in the pub, but then you might as well spend the rest of the night there too...

Maybe technology is the answer - a tablet to while away the time.

Re: Has anyone ever toured in the winter?

13 October 2014 - 10:55pm
I'm truly amazed and impressed by peoples dedication to cycle touring. There's something to be said for that feeling of isolation in adverse conditions but alone in a tent in the depth of winter is a bridge too far for me.

Re: Has anyone ever toured in the winter?

13 October 2014 - 10:48pm
landsurfer wrote:The winter trip to the north of Scotland took 5 days, 1 day was lost to bad weather. We spent it in the tent. With a bottle of scotch. We had planned to visit Cape Wrath but time and the weather was against us.

Very brave and adventurous. Almost a qualifier for the SAS. Dunno how you did it.

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