CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 2 hours 27 min ago


8 April 2014 - 5:32pm
Has anyone encountered any problems with dogs on the loose when touring, and if so do you carry anything to deter them? On the rare occasion I've been bothered in the UK, I usually find a quick squirt with the water bottle does the trick.

Re: Touring in Germany.

8 April 2014 - 5:31pm
I've been touring in Germany for many years and can offer the following advice.

Screw canisters - you can sometimes get these at campsites but i've found the best easily found source to be Karstadt Sport department stores - think John Lewis. The majority will do a good selection of outdoor kit including screw top gas canisters. Stores like Globetrotter also do them.

Pierce top - becoming more difficult to find as they are replaced by CG's different screw top tins. However theres a good chance you can find them at the above places and in the big Garden Centre places (Gartnerie).

new tyres?

8 April 2014 - 5:30pm
When should you change you tyres for a touring bike, ie how many miles should they last before changing?
I've done c2c (England) and two E2Es on it, (about 2,500 miles altogether) but they still look ok. Schwalbe Marathon 32mm.

Re: Schengen restrictions for UK citizens

8 April 2014 - 5:27pm
I can only speak of UK passport which does not restrict you. Quite a few years ago I (a UK passport holder), sold my UK house, purchased a house in France and moved there - without ever contacting anybody about passports and visas. Lived there for 4 years and sold-up and moved back to UK. Not an issue. Registered under the French Health Cover (government run) and registered and paid the many French taxes, etc.

However, that was just me. I have no idea how an accompanying non-EU partner would stand in this regard. And I would expect that if you cannot find the answer on the various EU/Schengen official web sites you contact the relevant authorities directly. I would only bother checking with the authorities as there are probably loads of companies happy to take your money to "help".

From my limited knowledge, I don't see any problem with your getting a Schengen visa - but that is not what you want as you want to exceed the Schengen time limits. So it would come down to what rights you may have as the spouse of a UK citizen or from any visas might you already have for the UK. I would expect that having a visa to visit/live in the UK does not automatically grant you the rights for free travel/work of an EU citizen but just certain rights for the UK. UK citizens travelling to the Schengen area do so on the basis of their EU membership. However, there may be/probably are other considerations that I am not aware of.

Sorry but it's probably not any help.


Re: Schengen restrictions for UK citizens

8 April 2014 - 5:09pm
I think you might be confusing Schengen with the EU.

As the UK is (at the moment) still in the EU, UK citizens can travel and work completely freely anywhere in any other EU country for any length of time. I'm British and I've been living and working in France full-time since 2008 with zero administrative paperwork.

Schengen is just to do with border checks, although it is now incorporated in EU law (UK and Ireland being exempt). Croatia, for example, joined the EU in July 2013 and isn't yet in the Schengen area but is legally bound to do so in the near future. So if a EU citizen goes to Croatia next week, there will be a border passport control but no visa requirement or other entry limitations.

However, I don't know how all this applies to married couples where one is non-EU - someone else will have to answer that...

Re: Touring in Germany.

8 April 2014 - 5:02pm
I can recommend the Adventure Company shop in Heilbronn (I lied on a recent thread on this subject, it was Heilbronn and not Karlsruhe): http://www.adco-hn.de/

This is the only place I needed to buy gas while in Germany, and they stocked the thread-style resealable cartridges. I assume it would be the same in most other outdoors / camping shops in the country.

Re: Beware Gatwick / Norwegian airline & unpacked bikes

8 April 2014 - 4:58pm
Another update: enquiries@gatwickairport.com says today in an email:

"As an airport we do not state how the bike should be packaged. Bikes come through in boxes, hard cases, bags and various other states of wrap.
However the airline is entitled to stipulate their own terms of carriage."

Norwegian airlines does however not reply...still waiting 24hrs after posted question about this to their customer service (?) department.

Schengen restrictions for UK citizens

8 April 2014 - 4:55pm
Hello from across the pond!
My wife (UK) and I (US) will soon be starting a year-long trip. Our plan is to start in Scandanavia, head southeast through Europe and then fly to SE Asia.

We've both been doing a bit of research regarding limitations of duration in countries that are signatories to the Schengen Agreement. While it seems apparent (to me anyway) that we are both limited to traveling in these countries for a total of 90 days in a 180 day period, my wife has been told that, as a UK citizen, she is able to spend as much time as she likes and I, as her spouse, am able to accompany her.

Obviously this will have a major impact on our plans as our initial routing has us riding for nearly 100 days before leaving the Schengen Zone. We've been searching for any "official" guidance from different government sites with no responses yet.

Anyone have pertinent experience using a UK passport and a Schengen visa exemption?

Thanks and enjoy the ride,

Re: Accommodation in Brussels

8 April 2014 - 2:27pm
There is one campsite in Brussels itself


Very central but only open in July and August

camp in my garden lists couple of places in brussels and not to far from the centre but i have no experience of these


Here are a vew more which are just outside


Brussels does not have a great deal of truely secure bike parking. The best bet is at the cyclepoints in the main train stations.


Have fun

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

8 April 2014 - 1:01pm
If you get a MTB make sure:-

That it hasnt been thrashed, check the hubs, sprockets and bottom bracket.

Make sure that the forks can be locked out.

Reckon on replacing any nobbly tyres.

MTBs make good tourers


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

8 April 2014 - 12:25pm
I'd start with a cheap MTB. That British Eagle looks like the sort of thing, they're solid and reliable with rack and mudguard fixings. Don't go overboard on expensive upgrades, just start with some slick road tyres. After a few weeks you'll have a better idea of what you want, and if you feel the need to get a better bike you'll probably get back what you paid for the old one.
Buying second-hand, important tip: take allen keys/spanners and check that both the stem and seatpost haven't seized!

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

8 April 2014 - 10:58am

The above charity website gives some interesting advice on what is/is not suitable for touring. Almost anything goes.

It's a good read too.

Re: Tour report to make you scream?

8 April 2014 - 10:46am
It's (obviously) a very subjective thing, personally I find that account a bit too 'wacky' for my taste.

The question of how much detail to record is quite interesting - on tour you only have a limited amount of time each day for writing journals, often in an uncomfortable position lying in a tent, so it's unlikely that you'd be able to write a novel on tour. I try to write down some of the more interesting little anecdotes from the day rather than what time I got up, what I ate for lunch, etc. For me it's the small details that I could easily forget that are worth recording.

Another question entirely is what to publish online, and it depends whether the report is intended for your own use only, for family and friends or for complete strangers. The majority of tour reports I look at are in preparation for my own tours, so I just want some nice photos and a general idea of what to expect, I don't want a work of literary genius.

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

8 April 2014 - 10:35am
Get a Moulton!

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

8 April 2014 - 10:27am
Before shelling out, ask around among your friends and colleagues. Many garages, sheds, cellars etc., have bikes as good or better than those, lurking where they have been virtually abandoned by somebody who tried cycling once or twice and found it harder than they expected. You may be able to borrow a bike from somebody who would be glad to see it go to a good home ie off their conscience and saving a bit of storage space.

Otherwise, buying bikes secondhand is largely a matter of your own knowledge and experience, looking out for wear-and-tear and the accuracy of descriptions.

Think carefully about what you want, apart from buying it cheaply. eg Luggage carrying capability is needed for most forms of touring.

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

8 April 2014 - 9:55am
Based on my research i'm guessing i'm probably looking at getting an old steel mountain bike? Seen quite a few decent looking hybrids on gumtree etc. for around the £100 mark, would these be a little unsuitable for the sort of stuff i'm interested in doing?

edit: here are a few second hand cycles I think seem suitable, lemme know if i'm barking up the wrong tree

http://www.gumtree.com/p/for-sale/gary- ... to-content Gary Fisher Mountain bike £100 'never been used', front suspension

http://www.gumtree.com/p/for-sale/mount ... to-content British Eagle 18 speed mountain bike £30

http://www.gumtree.com/p/for-sale/conce ... 1055724738 Concept Keywest Gents Hybrid £85

http://www.gumtree.com/p/for-sale/trek- ... 1055971806 Trek 21 Speed Mountain bike £70

Just to give you an idea of prices etc in my area

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

8 April 2014 - 9:53am
Heya sorry yeah I did mean to include budget (around £100-£120 max), and height (5' 7") and weight (70kg / 11 stone)

Re: Tour report to make you scream?

8 April 2014 - 9:46am
This journal was featured on Crazy Guy last week. It is a great example of the sort of blog you want to read - because it is very funny. As a bike ride it is not a great success but as an entertaining read it is: https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/pag ... 91350&v=7G

Example: "Here are some pics of the scenery. Sorry about the clouds, I blew as hard as I could but they wouldn't budge. "

Re: My first 5 years cycle touring

8 April 2014 - 9:39am

Re: A question for the ladies

8 April 2014 - 9:09am
Being not so small boobs wise I find that the right size of sports bras that I've come across tend to be like straight jackets and if anything they feel like they're restricting my breathing.

I might have a look for the normal style sports ones but like I said don't want to shell out a fortune only to find I lose weight and it doesn't fit anymore. So far I've not had any problems with normal bras feeling uncomfortable so like I said we'll see how it goes and I can always shop for one part way through the tour!

As for the first tour thing and sensible targets, I'm aiming for 60km a day to start with building up to 80km a day further on. I'm very much winging it in that I've picked a rough route and marked lots of campsites on a map but I'm not aiming for a particular one each night and nothing is prebooked, so if I find it tougher going that I expected I can just stop at the next site or if I find I'm not in as bad shape as I think, I can keep going longer =) as you say it's not a race and I have plenty of time and spare days built into the plan to take it easy =)

Any tips for a solo lady on tour Tigger? =)


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