CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

Syndicate content
Discussion boards hosted by CTC, the national cycling charity
Updated: 1 min 36 sec ago

Re: Brittany - the draining of the Lac de Gueledan

17 November 2014 - 9:32pm
I noticed the climb up Mur de Bretagne coming from the east - it felt steeper than that!!. The 8 year old very stoicly walked it in a very hot day. At least we didn't miss the turn to the campsite like the rest of the family. I bet the campsite isn't very happy about this.

Re: Bike fit for French canals

17 November 2014 - 9:29pm
I thought you were cycling IN the canals for a moment. I found nantes brest very tranquil after working in the London but I really go touring for peace and quiet and for some zen time ( not that frequent with a whingey 8 year old). Rural France isn't usually exactly zinging on the roads either- any experienced cyclist would cover nantes breast in say 3 days and then move onto something else, the 8 year old was somewhat slower but didn't compain about the scenery. My kona Dr dew was fine with the surface which was quite mixed. Any tourer should be ok.

Re: Need advice on a bike tour of Scotland

17 November 2014 - 9:27pm
To: bogmyrtle
Thank you for advice about Orkney mainland and Island of Hoy.
When I go with my wife usually our daily run is 30-40 km in mountains and 60-70 km without relief.
Usually we start at 10 a.m. and begin to look for overnight ~ at 5-6 p.m.... with a stop about 1.5 hours for lunch in cafe...

Re: Need advice on a bike tour of Scotland

17 November 2014 - 9:00pm
To: mattsccm
Really it is not my idea to use this way http://www.gpsies.com/mapOnly.do?fileId ... Leave=true
I know the above was done by 2 people from Spain with tandem. But idea is first. At the end of all I have to prepare a track of our trip and it must be done at home in advance. Frankly speaking I already have experiance of 14 trips by bycicle to Europe and I know exactly to search any roads on the spot - the loss of time. We can just change a little bit some directions during the way but the main track day by day must be prepared at home. That's why I ask advice here...

To: Norman H
Thanks a lot for your advice. I 'll write a track according to your recommendations and come back here again.
Some questions more:
1. Is first part of September OK for this way (islands and west coast) or we will get a lot of rains? (I am afraid of August with Festival in Edinburgh);
2. Have I to lay track on the roads or we can find there any cyclist's roads?
3. We will flight to Edinburgh. I think we have to visit in any case Inverness, Loch Ness and Fort William. What way is the best between the above? According to Spanish track?
4. What the most beautiful castles of Scotland do you suggest to visit?

Re: Need advice on a bike tour of Scotland

17 November 2014 - 8:40pm
You could easily fill three weeks island hopping on the beautiful west coast but I would also recommend you also try to get to Orkney mainland (the biggest island) where there are lots of important archaeological sites close together.

Also it is worth going to the museum at Lyness on the Island of Hoy

When are you going and what sort of distance do you want to cover in a day?

Re: Need advice on a bike tour of Scotland

17 November 2014 - 7:13pm
Welcome to the Forum.

If you want to visit Skye, consider the ferry from Oban to Mull. Mull itself is worth at least a days exploring. From Mull there are ferries to Lochaline or Kilchoan (Ardnamurchan). From either of these points you can make your way to Malaig and take the ferry to Skye.

Look at CalMac Hopscotch tickets. http://www.calmac.co.uk/tickets/island-hopping/hopscotch-7-mull-ardnamurchan-and-skye.htm

If you leave Skye by the road bridge to the mainland (Kyleakin to Kyle of Lochalsh) you have a number of options for continuing your route. My personal choice would be to head for Plocton and continue up the west coast to Ullapool via Torridon and Gairloch. If you are feeling fit you could even include the Applecross peninusar via Bealach-na Bà (Google it)
An alternative route from Skye to Ullapol would be via Harris and Lewis (Ferry from Uig) http://www.calmac.co.uk/destinations/route-map.htm

From Ullapool either cut across to Lairg to pick up your route or continue heading up the west coast to Durness ( You can visit Cape Wrath from here) and then across the top to Bettyhill.

There are some good Independent hostels in Scotland. I can send you some links when you have your route more firmly fixed.

Re: Need advice on a bike tour of Scotland

17 November 2014 - 7:06pm
Most of those roads are very busy.
Look at a maps program on the web. Bing maps or Google maps. When you get to the UK look for the Ordnance Survey/OS maps. They show the roads and their status. If possible avoid red or green ones as they are the A class ones. In the west of Scotland they are good and not to busy. I you can try the yellow roads.
Skye is nice to visit

Re: Bike fit for French canals

17 November 2014 - 5:56pm
Bordeaux (rather Langon) to Toulouse is a great surface most of the way and you'll be fine on audax bikes and 32mm tyres. Toulouse to Sete is pretty but can be really rough in places: there are long sections where you would even want to be on a hardtail(which I've also done, and still lost a pannier going over a particularly large root).

That said, some of the adjacent roads are very quiet and just as pretty so you should always consider that option. Definitely agree with another poster about the ennui. The first two days you'll be charmed by the lock-keepers cottages and waving at the pleasure boats, bear in mind that many of the beautiful plane trees are being chopped down so that reduces the picturesque qualities. By day 3 you may well be getting a bit bored so striking off and exploring some of the local roads will be very appealing. Enjoy the ride!

Re: Show me your underwear

17 November 2014 - 5:47pm
I have tried Icebreaker merino boxers - very comfortable but crutch wore out in no time.

These are the best I have found so far for touring (Brooks saddle, no padding):

http://www.whalleyoutdoor.co.uk/shop/pr ... 476e6929ad

Hardwearing and comfortable, snug with no seams in the wrong place, easy to wash & dry. Only need invest in two pairs for touring. Highly recommended.


Re: Brittany - the draining of the Lac de Gueledan

17 November 2014 - 3:54pm
boblo wrote:Are they refilling it? We're reasonably local to you and it; Lanrivain.

It's due to be refilled winter 2015/16 so you've only got the one chance...

Re: Brittany - the draining of the Lac de Gueledan

17 November 2014 - 3:52pm
Thanks for the heads-up, BB - Good tip too re the TdF - now where's me diary...

Re: Brittany - the draining of the Lac de Gueledan

17 November 2014 - 3:16pm
Are they refilling it? We're reasonably local to you and it; Lanrivain.

Re: Brittany - the draining of the Lac de Gueledan

17 November 2014 - 3:02pm
al_yrpal wrote:Cycled Pontivy, Mur de Bretagne, Guingamp before but missed that lake, sounds very interesting, thanks for the alert.


It is very very pretty when it's full an only a km from the cyclepath, but when the path is well leaved it's easy to miss!

Re: Brittany - the draining of the Lac de Gueledan

17 November 2014 - 2:57pm
Cycled Pontivy, Mur de Bretagne, Guingamp before but missed that lake, sounds very interesting, thanks for the alert.


Re: Bristol to Reading - on road bikes?

17 November 2014 - 1:59pm
I have walked along part of the towpath between Pewsey and Hungerford and found it so muddy that despite being in hiking boots I had to tread carefully. This was an unexpected problem which meant I progressed a lot slower than expected ( a bit under 2mph rather than the 3mph+ stride I had been expecting to maintain) and only just caught my bus at the far end of the walk.

Re: Favourite country?

17 November 2014 - 1:55pm
Switzerland: good cycling infrastructure and careful drivers like Germany, but consistently lovely scenery and towns. Plus it's easy to put your bike on a train or bus when necessary (or uphill!). Expensive however - unless you camp or stay in youth hostels, which are cheap and easy to book. Oh, and English is the unofficial fourth Swiss language (perhaps even ahead of Italian in 3rd).

Brittany - the draining of the Lac de Gueledan

17 November 2014 - 1:50pm
Hi All

I know a lot of people tour in Brittany so I thought I'd give a heads-up for the draining of the Lac de Gueledan next year. I've not found much in English on the net so I've put up a page with some links to videos and pictures. Personally I'm fairly worried it'll cost us rather than gain customers - a beautiful lake replaced by 10 kms of mud but who knows! But it'll certainly be worth a detour and as it's on the V6 cyclepath many of you will go by it without realising what's going on. The 'plug' is pulled in February and it'll be 'dry' by the summer - personally I'd expect the best time to visit will be as late as possible as the ground will have firmed up - rumour has it they may do son-et-lumiere, rock concerts etc in front of the dam, I'm not convinced but I'll update if anythng like that goes on. Of course the time to come will be Saturday 11th because then you can see the end of the Mur-de-Bretagne stage of the TDF - the hill at the end is a 2 km 10%-15% that catches quite a lot of cyclists out:-) As it's our change-over day I'll not be able to see it

Anyway page is here, and as always if anyone wants free advice let me know... http://www.bretonbikes.com/generalartic ... ledan.html

Need advice on a bike tour of Scotland

17 November 2014 - 1:11pm
Warm greetings from cyclists of Russia.
In the late summer 2015 our group of 4 or 6 people would like to visit Scotland by bicycles.
Our bikes (my and my wife) are Author and Vortrieb touring (hybrid) 28". So, asphalt is the best for us but light off-road is no problem too.
Duration: ~ 3 weeks
Overnights: B&B, private houses... the cheaper the better, but without tents.
First time in Scotland and we would like to visit the most interesting historical and natural sites.
It is not so easy to find a ready track and we have now the following one: http://www.gpsies.com/mapOnly.do?fileId ... Leave=true

Could anybody make some recommendations for us? Where it is not necessary to go and see but what we have to visit exactly and it is out of the above track now. For examply, I know Skye island is one of the best. How to change the track for Skye's visiting?

Thank you very much in advance. You can reply here or directly to my e-mail radomir0704@gmail.com

Re: Bike fit for French canals

17 November 2014 - 11:12am
Nantes Breste was pretty rough in places, very bumpy and made me saddle sore after 3 days. It was also quite boring. Same with some of the Voies Vertes which are even more boring.


Re: eurovelo 1

17 November 2014 - 10:22am
I can tell you that the section of the Vélodyssée between Royan and Bayonne is very dull when riding solo. I cycled up the coast from Bayonne after crossing the Pyrenees East/West and I was looking forward to some flat riding. After a day of it I missed the Pyrenees with it's climbs and views and life.

Although the route is flat and mostly off-road on dedicated cycle tracks, the landscape doesn't change for the majority of the route and there isn't much infrastructure such as shops or restaurants for large sections. Also I found that although it looked like it would be along the coast there were only a few sections that actually provided a view of it. A few campsites were like mini Ibiza party spots, tacky, expensive and noisy.

I met a guy cycling the opposite way to me and he basically said go inland and take the road, I ignored his advice but in retrospect he was right. Another guy I met on the Royan Ferry who had ridden the same stretch as me said exactly the same thing about the tedium.

I think if I had had a riding partner it would have been a little better but I'd not take on that section again.


  • 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