CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 1 hour 27 min ago

Re: First Tour

18 August 2014 - 8:41pm
I don't think anyone that cycles would see this as a failure, but would all see it as part of the learning process. Give yourself credit for going out there and giving it a go.

The only way to never fail is to never try, never push yourself, never challenge yourself and never try anything new. The most successful people that I know fail more than everyone else, but they accept this is part of the process. They learn, as you have done and having learned move on, as you are.

On a personal level, i like to do things with a high chance of failure at the point that I decide to do it, and that I have to up my game to achieve. That way I'm always growing but I sometimes fail. I then try again. I give myself credit for trying rather focus on the outcome

On a pratical note, I once cycled 1000 miles in non stop rain and the Endurra Stealth Jacket kept me dry. Its too warm for summer so when the weather warms up I use a Gore Jacket which is also excellent. That said I've never found a way of keeping my feet dry so I just try to keep them warm, and make sure the water can drain and that they dry quickly

Re: Do I need front panniers for touring?

18 August 2014 - 7:44pm
Well done if you're going to do 6 months on 13kg of kit. I'm happy to do a couple of weeks with that much kit but would start adding extra comfort on anything longer.
if you set off with two and then start adding kit you might find yourself stuck for somewhere to put it. Unless speed is high on your list of priorities, I'd consider taking the extra capacity to use if you need it.

Re: Way of the Roses coast to Coast

18 August 2014 - 7:40pm
Pair of flip flops or plimsolls.
cycle shoes
2 prs cycle shorts and some camping wash liquid (or 3 pairs).
spare inner tube and puncture kit, pump
2 pairs of socks: one on bike, may get wet, dry one for evening.
2 Pairs of boxers one to wash one to wear
evening trousers , somrthing light like outdoor walking trousers
2 cycle tops, one to wear in evening, or one top and a t shirt
waterproof jacket.
washing kit
That's the minimum I'd take. You may get rain all day so you need dry stuff for evening, and hygiene down below prevents saddle soreness problems so I'd not wear shorts for more than 2 days.

Extras to consider
It's spring : gloves, waterproof overtrousers, jumper.

Re: Ten Bike Touring Convoy!

18 August 2014 - 7:19pm
I'm right on your tail! Trying to catch up with the Manchester Lads.

Completed the 2025m two days ago and today I got to Tbilisi. That road was HORRENDOUS!!

Re: First EVER Tour! (and I'm going RTW)

18 August 2014 - 6:36pm
Hi Everyone,

It's been a tough week crossing the mountains of Georgia after a few weeks baking in Turkey.

I am thrilled to be able to say that JamesVsWorld has now had over 10,000 hits! This is largely thanks to you guys and I wanted to say thank you for supporting me and supporting JamesVsWorld.

I have just posed a VIDEO SPECIAL blog to say thank you and give you a taste of some of the videos I have made on this trip, over 8 hours in total!

Check it out at http://jamesvsworld.com/2014/08/18/1000 ... o-special/

Also, on Wednesday will be my belated post on Albania (Of Wolves and Wild Camping), and Istanbul and Georgia shouldn't be too far behind.

dakari-mane wrote: Woah dude, pony news on the Iran Visa.

So you gotta go round then. To the north is the way that I've seen most people do it, Kazakhstan & China. Can you even go round to the south? Greece, Crete, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE & a ferry to Pakistan, is that even doable?

All the best finding another route!

Thanks dakari,

I was gutted about Iran. I even went to the consulate in Trabzon, Turkey, in person. Unlike the Germans, Dutch and Moroccan people I was queuing with, I wasn't even allowed in the door. I was turned away after the guard saw my passport.

I decided to take the most commonly travelled route, across Turkey to Georgia and Azerbaijan and then a ferry to Kazakstan and Uzbekistan. My plans get a little hazy after that.

Re: Round the World Tour at 61

18 August 2014 - 5:47pm
You could always try a tour around the coast of Britain first, over about three to four months and see how you get on?

Pack in work anyway and have some 'me' time if it's getting you down- if things don't work out you can always try something else. You won't get a second chance: perhaps you just need some head or heart advice?

Good luck, whatever you decide!

Re: Do I need front panniers for touring?

18 August 2014 - 5:42pm
simonhill wrote:If you don't need them, don't get them!


Things against:
Cost (rack and bags about £200ish)


I got a new front rack on eBay for £15 and new Ortlieb city panniers for under £60. Done 2 tours with them and very pleased with them.

Re: Do I need front panniers for touring?

18 August 2014 - 5:19pm
If you don't need them, don't get them!

Lots will tell you they spread the load and give you better balance. I ride without them and don't feel unbalanced.

Things in favour:
Balance??
Carry more weight
Make you look like a'proper' tourer

Things against:
Cost (rack and bags about £200ish)
Always fill, so you carry more weight
When going on bus, plane, train, etc far more hassle with manhandling 4 bags
I think my bike is easier to handle without them
Etc, etc

Re: Do I need front panniers for touring?

18 August 2014 - 5:13pm
If you haven't missed them you don't need them.

Bigger loads might be a bigger tent, more comfortable mat, warmer sleeping bag, more just-in-case spares, extra shoes, walking kit for days off the bike etc. etc.

Decent rack will do 25 kg.

Pete.

Re: Do I need front panniers for touring?

18 August 2014 - 5:12pm
If having all the stuff on the rear doesn't affect the bike handling, and you have enough room for all your kit, then no, you don't need front panniers. I have camped with all my kit on the back (+ a small bar bag) - on one bike it was a bit whippy but I soon got used to it, while on another I didn't notice any difference in the ride apart from the weight up hills. I suppose that putting some of the load on the front reduces the strain on the back wheel but unless you are pretty heavy yourself it is unlikely to matter.

I think it was the late, great Richard Ballantyne who wrote that panniers rear AND front were just too much baggage. Personally I agree, though I'm sure that lots will not. Have a great time!

PS - where did you go in Scotland in the end?

Re: Do I need front panniers for touring?

18 August 2014 - 5:11pm
13kg with camping kit, tools, waterproofs, clothing etc is pretty good. Close to what I carry for a summer tour but the longest I've been away is only a month. I tend to organise my load by having front bags carrying very light items such as sleeping bag, then a large saddle bag for clothes etc with the tent carried behind the saddlebag. A bar bag for paperwork completes my set up. I have considered just using rear panniers instead of this, but cannot be bothered - and I don't have any. I am amazed at the amount of stuff some people carry, even just for a weekend away I've met people whose baggage is more than twice your 13kg.

Given this, I'd say stick with what you have.

Do I need front panniers for touring?

18 August 2014 - 4:57pm
Hi there. I'm new to touring and did a short 4 day tour in Scotland recently, camping, with 2 back panniers and my tent strapped to the rack. I had loads of extra room for food. I'm about to go on a 6 month tour, and will take pretty much the same stuff with me. I'll also have a big shopping type bag with me to carry panniers on flight with - which I can strap to the rack and put in extra stuff.
Basically - I see that the majority of tourers have front panniers. I can't imagine they all take more stuff with them than me. I weighed all my stuff in at 13kg, then always had about 4L water with me and food.
Are the front panniers for balance? I didn't have any problems with balance with everything on the back - but I am worried that there may be a strain on the bike in the long run?
I don't really want to take front panniers because of the extra weight.
Thanks

Re: Cycling around Japan

18 August 2014 - 4:12pm
I will have in 3 months time. I am off there at end of Sept for 6 weeks.

There is a bit of info on the web, but not nearly as much as for other destinations. I think there are quite a few Japanese tourers, but very few blogging foreigners. Most people seem to be put off by the cost(s).

There have been a couple of posts here in the last year. Seek and ye shall find.

Re: Round the World Tour at 61

18 August 2014 - 4:03pm
+2. I agree with the above. If you need to ask us, do you really want to do it. What if we all say NO!!

I always wanted to give up work at 42, no one believed I would do it. They were right, it was 45. Out of a good job and on a plane to India within 3 days.

I had already travelled a lot and met many lost souls endlessly and aimlessly wandering, so I decided I wanted to keep my home ties. I made and still make 2 x3 month trips in the winter. Always home for Christmas and New Year (best time to socialise) and the summer. The idea of cycling round the world or setting off on an indefinite trip has never appealed to me

I mainly travel in Asia because I love the place, the people, the food, the landscape, etc. Also it is pretty cheap. I have been to Oz and NZ a few times as more expensive treats.

Now 61 and off to Japan in a few weeks - this one will cost, but got a bit more cash now.

I am very happy with my life style and don't regret leaving a good job for a more frugal lifestyle, not that I felt I ever lacked anything I really wanted due to a reasonable wadge of savings (as I said this had been planned for many years).

Yes, you can do it. You need to decide if you want to and what you will be losing if you don't and what you will be gaining if you do. I have met many people who love life on the road and as I said, I have also met quite a few who don't.

I am quite a careful sort of chap and always make sure I have a bail of plan, that's probably my advice.

Re: Tour de Manche Mapping (St Malo-Roscoff)

18 August 2014 - 2:44pm
simonineaston wrote:Without wishing to get too nerdy about maps & scales... here's 2 small samples of a road I know well in Brittany. Note that several minor lanes clearly visible on the IGN sample are missing from the Michelin. However as I say a bit of common sense works wonders - the missing minor roads are fairly self-evident when you came across them. Fairly, but not always
M.JPG IGN.JPG
I would be happy to take the Michelins, though, in spite of my reservations - it's largely a question of awareness - so long as you know that the dustiest small lanes may not be marked, you can make a judgement, 'specially if you've got a compass with you, to double-check the direction of your intended travel. Have Fun!!

Great example, but there's a couple of things that complicate matters;-) The IGN will show all those little white roads as exactly the same size so actually following one is very difficult because when you get to a junction it's not obvious which road is the 'through' road. You end up with a maze of roads all the same size and personally I find it almost impossible to follow. The 'missing' roads on the Michelin tend to be those not taking you anywhere and those marked will be the obvious 'main' road at junctions with roads that are unmarked (normally;-) Also Michelin is much better at showing the same small villages which are signposted at road level - often the IGN will show a village that's not signposted but miss a village that is (and some villages aren't in the correct place!). Once you get a feel for how Michelin work you'll find them much easier to follow and more accurate overall.

The other interesting thing is that the level of detail on the 1:150,000 Michelin is the same as the 1:200,000! The larger scale merely being a blow up of the smaller! So just buy (for example) the orange 512 and you cover the whole of Brittany - you'll need at least 4 IGN to do the same (or two of the 150,000 Michelin).

Lastly the 1:200,000 Michelin are waterproof and indestructible;-)

And that's why we supply Michelin - not IGN to our customers and use them exclusively on our own tours;-)

Way of the Roses coast to Coast

18 August 2014 - 2:40pm
I am planning to do this ride next spring over 3 days using B&Bs. I have never done any multi day rides before which means that I don't really know what to take with me to wear apart from the obvious cycle gear. I don't want to carry anything that I won't use. Any advice?

Re: NCN Route 1: Dover to John o'Groats

18 August 2014 - 2:21pm
Richard Fairhurst wrote:Enjoy - it's a great route. I did it all over several holidays and loved most of it, apart from getting lost in Newport. (The missing section there has been fixed since.)

Bear in mind that the Fishguard-Carmarthen bit is hilly - nothing too stratospheric, just the sort of mile-after-mile up-and-down that can sap your energy. Once you're past Carmarthen it's reasonably plain sailing.

There are printable maps available online if you don't want to pay the cost of the printed maps.
Cool, thanks for the advice! I did a similar thing going up the length of England I started at the lizard in Cornwall & it was a "tad" hillier than I was used to

Maps found & downloaded! Cheers!

Re: NCN Route 1: Dover to John o'Groats

18 August 2014 - 12:44pm
pete75 wrote:mjr wrote:A grass field? That's better than the sand, gravel and dirt tracks between the Norwich City Council boundary and somewhere near Whitwell:[...]

Looks ok to me. Have ridden many miles on tracks like that and worse on 32mm tyres without problems.
I think you'd want 50mm on much of it. I was running 28 front and 37 rear and it was very slow going, rather dodgy on the steeper downhills and absolutely no fun IMO. The picture doesn't really capture that typical rims will be submerged under sand or gravel at some points. I simply couldn't ride one section and walked off to a nearby near-parallel road, switching back only when the alternative was an uphill drag of A1067 - that section was slightly better, but it deteriorated again.

If the roughstuff fellowship want to use that sort of thing, good luck to them, but why can't it be labelled it as a bridleway or MTB route and not part of the National Cycle Network?

Re: Advice regarding fixed touring base/ support company

18 August 2014 - 12:16pm
We stayed at a campsite near Allemond, at the foot of the Croix de Fer, about 4 miles down the valley from Bourg d'Oisans. They had some small on-site chalets, as we didn't want to camp, but plenty were. Friends have stayed further up the valley. There's a B&B called "Chalet Michelle", owned by a British couple, or there are a few places to stay in Bourg itself.

Take a bike with low gears - the Alpe in particular is very steep, as is the very top part of the Galibier.

Re: NCN Route 1: Dover to John o'Groats

18 August 2014 - 12:00pm
dakari-mane wrote:Am planning on doing the whole of NCN4 in September. Starting at Fishguard & finishing back in London. Just wish you didn't have to buy so many ruddy maps to cover the whole route (too expensive for an incomplete route so I'm not going to buy any, I'll just will wing it).

Enjoy - it's a great route. I did it all over several holidays and loved most of it, apart from getting lost in Newport. (The missing section there has been fixed since.)

Bear in mind that the Fishguard-Carmarthen bit is hilly - nothing too stratospheric, just the sort of mile-after-mile up-and-down that can sap your energy. Once you're past Carmarthen it's reasonably plain sailing.

There are printable maps available online if you don't want to pay the cost of the printed maps.

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