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Re: Camping in Northern Spain

8 August 2014 - 7:26pm
I'll be doing a very similar trip in late September and had also been considering the camping options so it's good to read this thread. I have toured in Spain before and didn't camp because of all the reasons stated above. This time I am planning to take the gear and spend half the nights wild camping (anyone have experience of wild camping in this area?). Great tip about picking up the 'credential', I used a few albergues without it last time and had to say I had lost it.

Re: Camping in Northern Spain

8 August 2014 - 7:19pm
If you're travelling from Santander you could ride the Camino del Norte to Santiago. If you pick up a 'credential' in Santander, you qualify for the albergue hostels which are very well priced. If you want to cross the Picos, you could look at the Primitivo route, another Camino to Santiago. Not sure how bike friendly that one is though. The del Norte is fine on pretty much any type of bike.

Re: Current 2" tyre too wide - what should I get?

8 August 2014 - 6:59pm
Also guys, what is the difference with the higher HS numbers on the Marathons? I notice some go into the 400+?

Kind regards,

Re: Cycling/driving/walking holiday, Hebrides, end September

8 August 2014 - 5:42pm
That spot does look fantastic - maybe next time!

Re: Long distance MTB routes in the UK?

8 August 2014 - 5:39pm
http://selfsupporteduk.net/

Some useful route ideas here, perhaps a section of the EWE as a base for a trip. The Highland Trail looks like a good one but apparently has a fair bit of hike-a-bike, could avoid some of those bits with some route research though.

Re: Current 2" tyre too wide - what should I get?

8 August 2014 - 4:35pm
Thank you guys Marathon hs 368 looks like a good choice.

DaleFTW wrote:By too big, what do you mean?

I have/had XRs in 2.0 flavour and will be putting them on my Disc Trucker when the current Contis wear out.

Too big meaning for the smooth/semi-rough surfaces I mainly do, my current 2.0 are overkill. I love my LHT but it's a hefty bike that I want to 'slim-down' as much as possible as it's a beast in its current form

Re: Italy cycle resources?

8 August 2014 - 2:50pm
Probably didn't make that clear. What's tedious is not route-planning for a GPS but trying to plan a long-distance route linking up strade bianche. It can be done, and maybe someone has already done it, but it would be a tedious job because the strade bianche is a dense network of relatively short stretches of unpaved roads, most of which is not joined up. Take, again, the route of the Eroica for example. More than half of the long route is on paved roads. The strade bianche sections are relatively short and discontinuous.
Cheers

Re: Italy cycle resources?

8 August 2014 - 1:57pm
I can see why you would think that the route planning for a GPS might be tedious, it's not everyone's cup of tea, but I treat it as part of the adventure. It's probably not that dissimilar to the prep that others do with maps

I'm planning a Canada to Mexico trip at the moment, and I enjoy the whole process: buying the books, reading articles, chatting on forums, drawing my route on the computer, researching the accommodation and finding out about the places that I will be travelling through. I tend to do my planning on the long winters evenings and use the summer for cycling. It keeps me happy and entertained in the winter month, and it gives me something positive to look forward to.

I love cycling through towns and villages that I've seen months before as picture on my computer, or as an article in a magazine and watching them come to life.

We have maps as well, and will sometimes abandon the pre-planned route if someone recommends a better one on the way, or we just see an interesting turning or hill.

The important thing to remember is that the GPS is just a map on a different media - electronic rather than paper and you can use them in the same way

Re: Current 2" tyre too wide - what should I get?

8 August 2014 - 1:20pm
I'd probably get regular Marathons in 1.75 (this fits fine on a LHT?) XRs tend to be overkill anyhow, unless you're doing 1000s of miles on bad surfaces.

Re: Quick poll: Your touring accomm - tent, hostel, hotel?

8 August 2014 - 1:04pm
In the UK, probably about 20 days a year. It breaks down to about 50/50 hostels and B&B. I may camp for an event such as SSUK but I'm with Napoleon on this - "A bad billet is always better than a good camp"!

Re: Getting to Germany with bikes

8 August 2014 - 12:40pm
quilkin wrote:But I do want to ride the Bonn / Koblenz part (Rhine Gorge) - unless others have done it and find it too busy / over-touristy?



The Rhein gorge is actually south of Koblenz, down past Boppard, Loreley etc. Yes its touristy but we aren't talking Blackpool here, a few postcard shops and restaurants, you might get a coach party or two. There aren't any bridges south of Koblenz until at least Mainz but there are several ferries which cost about €2 with a bike so you can swap banks so you don't miss anything - a lot of stuff to see is a little way from the river. The west bank has the better cycle facilities but more traffic generally not that even in August its exactly busy compared to say the Peak District.

Between Bonn and Koblenz you use a very nice cycle track, often almost in the water (summer high water beware!) so interaction with other traffic is almost entirely in the towns. Beware of Dutch 'cycle tourists' suddenly stopping or filling the track

Re: Current 2" tyre too wide - what should I get?

8 August 2014 - 12:39pm
+1 for the original Schwalbe Marathon hs 368. I got a spare set for my Dawes super galaxy, but haven't needed them yet as my original ones are still going strong after over 3500 miles!

Re: Current 2" tyre too wide - what should I get?

8 August 2014 - 12:35pm
By too big, what do you mean?

I have/had XRs in 2.0 flavour and will be putting them on my Disc Trucker when the current Contis wear out.

Re: Current 2" tyre too wide - what should I get?

8 August 2014 - 12:32pm
I use Schwalbe Marathon HS 368, sometimes called the original Marathon. They have kevlar and I find them pretty puncture proof. They do a 1.5 & 1.75.
http://www.spacycles.co.uk/products.php ... 0s142p1092

I've used these for years for long haul touring and reckon they are great - now on an LHT.

The one thing that confuses me is that Schwalbe stopped showing these on their website a few years ago, but there seems to be an unlimited stock out there.

Re: Quick poll: Your touring accomm - tent, hostel, hotel?

8 August 2014 - 12:22pm
Last UK tour i did was a week with three nights camping and two B&B - my tours are usually in Europe so its rare for me to need more than a nights accomodation in the UK!

Current 2" tyre too wide - what should I get?

8 August 2014 - 11:48am
Hi all,

Ok, after returning from a 6 day tour it's clear my 2" XR tryes are too big for my Surly LHT bike (straight bars, rack on back with 2 x20l panniers). Ideally looking for something as robust but thinner, do you think 1.5 would be a good choice?

Thank you,

Re: Quick poll: Your touring accomm - tent, hostel, hotel?

8 August 2014 - 11:26am
UK wise - Usually 80+ nights a year (Less this year due to various reasons).

I'll always try and camp. Now and again I'll use a hostel, but find them too expensive for what they are. B+Bs/Motel type places are only ever used if I have no other option. Occasionally, I'll use a bothy - the problem being that the bothies you can cycle into are usually the ones that have been abused.

Re: Italy cycle resources?

8 August 2014 - 11:09am
Personally, I prefer using paper maps (and a compass when necessary) but I can see the advantages of a Garmin et al. The 1:25,000 IGM maps cover the Alps, but Kompass do a few 1:50,000 maps for other popular regions like Tuscany. Personally, I think it would be a tedious affair trying to work out a long-distance route linking up strade bianche, as they form a dense network of relatively short routes, but it's easy enough to include bits of them into a tour, e.g. the unpaved sections of the Eroica as an obvious and well-documented example. Riding them on a loaded touring bike might not be everyone's cup of tea, though. They're hard work and slow-going, but when I'm cycle-touring, I'm usually not in a rush to get from A to B.

Re: Getting to Germany with bikes

8 August 2014 - 10:14am
Ron wrote:If you want to go to Bonn anyway, would it not be possible to extend your holiday for a few days and cycle along the Rhine Radweg from the Hook to Bonn? It would be easy from there to catch a day train from Bonn to Koblenz for the start of your Mosel tour.
I may possibly do that, but was worried that perhaps that stretch is a bit too flat / boring / industrial? More research needed!
But I do want to ride the Bonn / Koblenz part (Rhine Gorge) - unless others have done it and find it too busy / over-touristy?

And Johnson, thanks for the info about Bristol/Zurich, that could be a good way to return if I get down that far. I didn't know there was such a service.

Re: Italy cycle resources?

8 August 2014 - 9:22am
Interesting jezrant.

I didn't know that 25,000 maps were generally available - though after your on-the-ground knowledge of them I'll give them a miss - will stick to my TCI/one or two other maps/free tourist maps/GPS/follow the stars.

I can see TCI becoming obsolete pretty soon for anything but as a "get me home" map - as I said above OSM stll has massive gaps in Sardinia but in those areas where the OSM mappers have been out the maps are already far superior to anything you can generally buy.

Best map of Sardinia is German but you still have problems finding many of the very interesting ruins/nuraghe. Besy way to find many is to go online and find folk's GPS-co-ordinated pics.

Time to ride all those strade bianche before they are all properly mapped/invaded I suppose.

If by any chance you have any favourite ones I'd be happy to learn about them, as I'm sure would many other forumites.

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