CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

Syndicate content
Discussion boards hosted by CTC, the national cycling charity
Updated: 1 hour 41 min ago

Re: Expedition bike - all thumbs on 8 or 9

28 June 2015 - 11:09am

May be useful reference for anyone else wandering down the same thoughtways as me.

Re: Cycle computers.

28 June 2015 - 10:21am
I can't comment on cycle computers with regard to touring, just day leisure rides. And I've been through quite a few thanks to my stupid preference for wireless ones (stupid as none of the many I've tried have worked properly - both digital wireless and analogue wireless). Problems with wireless ones include, having taken the computer off the bike or walking round a supermarket with the computer in my pocket I'd suddenly be moving at 15.3 mph ... 3 mph ... 0 mph, etc. A digital one I had (briefly) once recorded me doing 54 mph whilst I was stationary waiting at a junction (and the sensor magnet was opposite side of the axel to the sensor. (n.b. I ride alone so no "cross-talk" from other nearby cyclists). Another would periodically "get stuck" and have to riding at the same speed for around 5 mins; stop and still says you are riding along at the "stuck speed".

In the end I've found cabled is cheaper but more importantly works reliably.

The one I like is a basic (but not desperately cheap) model the Specialized Speedzone Sport (http://www.evanscycles.com/products/specialized/speedzone-sport-computer-ec034604 but available all over the place). Just does the basic speed, trip, time, odo, av speed +/- on av speed, but has a clear easy to read display and has sensible "averaging" (had one where the lag was terrible and you speed-up and computer says no change so you slow right down and suddenly it catches-up with your previous speed increase - and that was an expensive digital one as well).

However, I've only done day leisure rides and whilst with a bit of thought it is easy to route the cable neatly, I don't know is 4 months in SEQ the cable might be just something else to get caught/cause problems.


Re: Cycle computers.

28 June 2015 - 10:10am
If you are talking about just a non-GPS type speedometer then I would not spend that much.

I would buy something wired, cheap, reliable and battery friendly.

Like this as an example

http://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/sp/road-t ... igmcomp174

Or I would make the leap to a GPS system which will be both speedometer and navigation device.
I often have both as most of my bikes have a speedometer permanently fitted.

Re: Cornish Adventure Scuppered?

28 June 2015 - 10:06am
Perfectcircles wrote: Does anyone have experience of road cycling in that area at this time of year? Are there any good/'safe' day ride routes (50 - 80 milers) around there? I was cycling near Padstow only a week or so ago. I was up near Boscastle and Tintagel last week.

Absolutely no problem at all. I regularly ride the lanes in Cornwall ............ high hedges and narrow roads are a normal feature here.

Use the full width of the road on roads without white lines.
Be visible and wear something bright.
Take the bends on the outsides so you can see as far as possible, and cover your brakes and keep an eye out.
Sit up and not stay on the drops all the time.
Fit a mirror to help with rear viz, and be prepared to pull in to let following traffic get past.
Keep your ears open and listen for traffic.
Be prepared for hills. Loads of them, ups as well as downs.
Good range of gears and good brakes are needed, if you haven't got them ............ get them.

Get a paper map of Cornwall ............ AtoZ do one and Phillips too.
Open it up and plan circular rides taking in A roads as well as lanes.
The A roads here aren't too busy unless you're on a trunk road. A roads will get you along quickly with fewer hills, and then you can get off them and explore.

From Padstow, you can take the ferry over to Rock and maybe go up the coast Port Quin and Port Isaac are nice, and maybe carry on further to Tintagel.

You can get on the Camel Trial all the way to Bodmin if you want, but personally I wouldn't bother as I reckon the roads are more interesting.

South of Padstow, you can follow the coast down to Newquay - busy busy place, but worth a visit.

If you cross the A39, you can get into Bodmin Moor. There's a great pub in Blisland - the Blisland Inn - voted best national pub a few times. The landlord has a huge imposing beard and tattoos.

Good luck, and enjoy the rides (and beer).

Cycle computers.

28 June 2015 - 9:22am
Morning folks,

I’ve got a 4 month tour of SEA coming up at the end of the year and having just got the new bike, I need to think about a cycle computer for it. I was just going to get a basic for £30-£40 but I’m wondering if I should get something a bit fancier. I could spend hundreds on one but are they worth it? Just thought I’d ask what everybody else is using and what features are really useful to have.

Cheers Guys

Re: Oh eck...its another one of those "What bike" questions.

28 June 2015 - 9:20am
and for those of you who get updates from your replies or posts...........

Took delivery of a Surly Disc Trucker yesterday. Excellent!!

Thanks for all your replies,


Re: Cornish Adventure Scuppered?

28 June 2015 - 8:49am
From Padstow you have to camel trail which will take you all the way to Bodmin moor traffic free as well.

Re: Cornish Adventure Scuppered?

28 June 2015 - 7:55am
Great reply horizon.

This word "leave" seems to be bandied around a lot on cycling forums. Sometimes it even seems that husbands are bandying it around as a badgebof honour. I find it very odd. I imagine most modern women would laugh in the face of any partner suggesting that they were subject to "leave" restrictions, however lightly presented.

If the wife is just "concerned", then address them as per horizon's post. If it's a ban, direct or veiled (ie with grudging consent but with a price to be paid later) then it's time for a good look at the relationship. And for your pal to get out on his bike more to clear his head/escape the suffocation and control.

Re: Bicycles from Britain to Continent

27 June 2015 - 10:59pm
I think £143 one way with a pick up near me in the Midlands all tho way to Roses in Spain including ferry crossing is pretty good
I can do E/Jet, Ryanair, Jet 2 etc return for that and I'm there in a couple of hours.

Re: Cycling Canal de Midi accomodation

27 June 2015 - 10:51pm
I hope you are using Mountain Bikes. The surface is terrible on the stretch from there to Beziers. There is a lot of B&B accomodation in the area. We used a booking.com app on the phone last time but I've also just turned up at places and got a room. The good thing in France is they display room prices outside the premises.

Re: CTC Poly Bike Bag and Easyjet Questions

27 June 2015 - 10:42pm
They tried this nonsense with me at Biarritz airport. The very nasty E/Jet check-in girl shouted that we would not be able to fly if we did not buy a box. I argued that we had flown in with E/jet using the CTC bags. She called over her supervisor who waddled over clutching and waving her very important walki-talkie in her very important hand. She reiterated what her humbler colleague said and added it was the last flight out so we had better buy a box each! My touring partner, a no nonsense army colonel, disappeared as I dropped out of line to unpack the bikes. He reappeared ten minutes later with the airport manager. He had been up to her office and insisted that she should look at E/jets website. We were then escorted though security by the boss, with the bikes as they were and then to the gate. No argument. The two young useless con artists were plainly in the wrong.

Re: Cornish Adventure Scuppered?

27 June 2015 - 10:32pm
There's certainly no guarantee that he won't be killed. The lanes are obviously less dangerous than many other roads as their size presents a natural traffic calming measure. OTOH, a tractor could come out from a field at the wrong moment.

So what does she want him to do? I would have thought that this is a question for a marriage counselling website, not a cycling one. It's an impossible question to answer (there have been other similar threads on here).

We cannot guarantee our own safety or anyone else's. But I would also ask, why isn't she out there cycling? That fear of the unknown (if she really knew what it was like to cycle here I don't think she would be worrying) and how it restricts life is of far greater concern.

That said, no-one knows apart from God and there are only two or three people at the most on this forum who could claim that title for themselves (and I am not one of them).

Re: Skye to Oban Route

27 June 2015 - 9:07pm
There is a roughstuff route from Corran to Kinlochourn as an alt to Mam Ratagan Pass and the A87 Glen Cluanie Rd. Only 7.5 miles of off road. How hard can it be!! Looks to have a far amount of rideable stuff in this crazyguy account.

https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/pag ... 29614&v=37

Re: Cornish Adventure Scuppered?

27 June 2015 - 9:03pm
Caravanned at Harlyn and ridden that area in the lanes with no problem (except for the hills )
Also good cycleway out to Wadebridge from Padstow so keeping you off the road for a while.
The coastal roads are very hilly and testing.

Re: Skye to Oban Route

27 June 2015 - 8:57pm
The Glenelg ferry is wonderful, and worth all the sweat of the huge climbs to reach it. It is possibly the only manually operated turntable ferry in the world, certainly in this country. As the boat crosses the operators nonchantly wander around the outside of the small car deck and wind it round so that the vehicles can drive off without reversing.

Kyle Rhea is the narrowest point between the mainland and Skye, and the tidal conditions caused by the narrowing bring hordes of fish and consequently seals and otters here. It is worth staying in Glenelg and taking the dead end lane to Corran, ten miles of wonderful cycling below 3,000 foot scree slopes, and spend some time wandering in this wilderness.

If I had a choice, I would cycle from Skye to the mainland using this route rather than the other way. Mam Ratagan is hideously steep if heading towards Skye, while coming the other direction the gradient is a bit easier. The same is probably true on the Skye side, though the difference isn't so notable.

Go and enjoy. There aren't many places that surpass this for cycling in this country.

Re: Cornish Adventure Scuppered?

27 June 2015 - 8:22pm
I find the lanes a pleasure to ride on. The more open & faster A roads are where I get most close passes.

Re: Touring in Norway

27 June 2015 - 8:12pm
I doubt that it will be closed much longer. We had a cold spring, and even a couple of weeks ago, there were still day time temperatures barely above freezing, but it has been relatively warm for several days, now, and Rallarvegen is open at least far as Hallingsheid (according to Finse 1222). I would expect it to be fully open by the time you are here. They're taking bike hire booking from Finse for the 5th July, so they are expecting it to be fully open, as well.

Cornish Adventure Scuppered?

27 June 2015 - 7:59pm
An opportunity has arisen to grab two or three days' cycling in Cornwall in a couple of weeks. Myself and a pal have use of a caravan near Padstow for a few days and thought about basing ourselves there and going on some circular day rides. The trouble is his wife is reluctant to give him 'leave' on the basis that the narrow lanes and high hedges in that neck of the woods are too dangerous! So we might be scuppered. Is she right to be concerned? Does anyone have experience of road cycling in that area at this time of year? Are there any good/'safe' day ride routes (50 - 80 milers) around there? Should we take mountain bikes instead and head off road to placate his good lady wife?

Any advice that might salvage our plans gratefully received!

Re: Touring in Norway

27 June 2015 - 5:34pm
That ski lift idea sounds really fun.

According to this website http://rallarvegen.com/index.php?m=abou ... en&lang=en it looks like the rallarvegen is still closed due to snow. I'll be leaving on the 6th of July so it might not be clear in time so i might have to go the other route that i suggested and go further south although it would be a shame.

Re: Rhine-Moselle short tour, advice needed

27 June 2015 - 1:18pm
What a variety of views on the interest, or otherwise, of the trip and the scenery!!

Whilst I'm prepared to not find wonderful hire bikes, this site suggests a number of types of bike are available:


...there are othes when you Google.

Given how many tour companies are operating in mainland Europe these days, I cannot believe only heavy Dutch type bikes are the only option!

Many thanks for all the helpful responses.


Audio files of cycle magazine are available, please log in to access the audio files.

  • 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

Copyright © CTC 2015

Terms and Conditions