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Updated: 1 hour 13 min ago

Re: Brittany - the draining of the Lac de Gueledan

30 December 2014 - 4:50pm
dodger wrote:RichardPH wrote:Slightly off-topic, but the prospect of viewing the drained lake was appealing. Started to plan a trip using Brittany Ferries Portsmouth - St Malo but came across a snag, the cycle spaces on the outbound ferry were full, odd really because they were still taking bookings for the same trip in a car, plus the three bikes we would need to take if necessary.

None of the ferries I've been on have any special arrangements for bikes, and when I asked Brittany Ferries why this was the lady on the phone wasn't sure so she went off and asked. The reply was that it "didn't fit their cost model" or words to that effect. In other words they'd rather I took a car and paid twice as much.

I wrote to their customer complaints but have not received a reply.

Any experience of this from others, also any suggestions for getting their attention?

I have written in the past (2013) to Mr Bevens, whose job I forget, but possibly Commercial director. This was on a similar theme regarding why it costs more to take 4 bikes than if you take a car with 4 bikes and people. He said they were "going to review their pricing structure and were committed to green ideals" etc.etc.
Don't know if they have reviewed it, but it's always been as if bikes are very, very low on their list and only tacked on as an afterthought.
At one stage you could only book 1 bike at a time, even if there was a party of 20!
Can't see what their problem is as there is plenty of space for bikes, especially in odd corners.
Good luck!

Brittany Ferries believe that they make their money from car passengers in cabins. They don't want pedestrians (which is why they allocate most cabins to car passengers) and they don't want cyclists. It's frequently cheaper to take a car and 4 passengers than 4 foot passengers. A friend even offered to go onto the car deck and mark out a car-sized space so that he could get 'vehicle' pricing but they wouldn't have it. I've had this argument with them many times - they are clueless...

Re: Which Bike do I take?

30 December 2014 - 4:49pm
Either bike will do the journey OK. Gearing shouldn't be a big issue; Ventoux isn't that steep (just long!), you're obviously used to riding long distances, and the group pace is unlikely to be a problem for you. Main issue for me would be whether I wanted to risk going without mudguards. There's no guarantee that France, particularly the Massif Central, will be dry in May, and getting soggy day after day would take the edge off the fun.

Re: Brittany - the draining of the Lac de Gueledan

30 December 2014 - 4:39pm
RichardPH wrote:Slightly off-topic, but the prospect of viewing the drained lake was appealing. Started to plan a trip using Brittany Ferries Portsmouth - St Malo but came across a snag, the cycle spaces on the outbound ferry were full, odd really because they were still taking bookings for the same trip in a car, plus the three bikes we would need to take if necessary.

None of the ferries I've been on have any special arrangements for bikes, and when I asked Brittany Ferries why this was the lady on the phone wasn't sure so she went off and asked. The reply was that it "didn't fit their cost model" or words to that effect. In other words they'd rather I took a car and paid twice as much.

I wrote to their customer complaints but have not received a reply.

Any experience of this from others, also any suggestions for getting their attention?

I have written in the past (2013) to Mr Bevens, whose job I forget, but possibly Commercial director. This was on a similar theme regarding why it costs more to take 4 bikes than if you take a car with 4 bikes and people. He said they were "going to review their pricing structure and were committed to green ideals" etc.etc.
Don't know if they have reviewed it, but it's always been as if bikes are very, very low on their list and only tacked on as an afterthought.
At one stage you could only book 1 bike at a time, even if there was a party of 20!
Can't see what their problem is as there is plenty of space for bikes, especially in odd corners.
Good luck!

Re: Which Bike do I take?

30 December 2014 - 4:05pm
how often do you use the 30? I'd take the CF if the answer is 'rare' if its 'regular' you might need the extra gearing.

I know several people who'v done Mt V on 34 x 28 lowest without any big issues, guess it depends how fit you are and how you want to tackle the climbing.

Re: Which Bike do I take?

30 December 2014 - 4:01pm
Surely this is the perfect excuse for a new bike? A trip of that scale, including scaling the mythical ventoux practically requires a new purchase. My suggestion would be something bang on trend, so a titanium road bike with discs, like a Kinesis ATR

Re: Which Bike do I take?

30 December 2014 - 3:57pm
I would take the steel triple as you will have a few get out of trouble gears.

Which Bike do I take?

30 December 2014 - 3:48pm
In May 2015 I am cycling from Caen to Nice with an organised tour. I will not have to carry any luggage other than what I need each day. We will be going over the Massif Centrale and a short detour up some lump called Mont Ventoux en route. The problem I have is which bike to use. I have a choice of carbon road bike, very comfy and this year used to good effect riding Dover to Cape Wrath (except the Cape Wrath bit). Pretty light with compact chainset (50/34) and 12-30 cassette. The second choice is my audax/tourer. Steel 631 frame with triple (48/36/24) and 12-32 cassette. Heavier but just as comfy to ride.

Will I need the extra low gears or would the compact be enough? I could, at a pinch, fit a 12-32 cassette on the CF bike. No need for a postcard. This forum will do for answers

Re: Kyrgyzstan blog-post

30 December 2014 - 3:23pm
Excellent blog.
Well put together, informative and of great interest to me, since I hope to be in that area next May/June

Matt

Re: Brittany - the draining of the Lac de Gueledan

30 December 2014 - 11:03am
quilkin wrote:MrsHJ wrote:What's the purpose of draining the lake?- aha, just read your link, mechanical repairs.
Apparently it's done every 40 years. I was cycling in Brittany during a very hot August in 1975 and saw this big lake on the map. Ideal for a swim, so I thought, so off I went 20 miles to get to it. You can imagine my feelings when I saw it empty

In theory this will be the last time as they will be installing equipment that will allow the turbines to be maintained without draining the lake as the effect on local water supplies etc causes considerable difficulties.

Re: titanium rack - anyone used one?

30 December 2014 - 10:36am
gplhl wrote:As for weight, touring's not a race. )


You don't say! However that doesn't mean you have to lug around 40kg's of kit - everyone can get some benefit from lighter stuff - if its up to the job which of course it isn't always!

Spending less on kit doesn't give me more time to ride which i'm sure is true for many on here, spending more might make what time we have more enjoyable. Personally i only became interested in how much stuff weighed when i started flying with the bike - a 500 gram saving with a Ti rack (in combination with other stuff of course) could easily save me £60 on a return flight - not just once but many times.

Now if we could just convince Tubus to make a Ti front rack.....

Re: Brittany - the draining of the Lac de Gueledan

29 December 2014 - 11:54pm
MrsHJ wrote:What's the purpose of draining the lake?- aha, just read your link, mechanical repairs.
Apparently it's done every 40 years. I was cycling in Brittany during a very hot August in 1975 and saw this big lake on the map. Ideal for a swim, so I thought, so off I went 20 miles to get to it. You can imagine my feelings when I saw it empty

Re: titanium rack - anyone used one?

29 December 2014 - 8:05pm
On the other hand if you eat fewer pies you can afford lovely expensive shiney gear

Re: Default tourer?

29 December 2014 - 7:34pm
I'm not sure about the marketing.

When I bought my LHT nearly 3 years ago, I had hardly seen an advert for Surlys. I knew about them from reading about them on 'international' sites like Lonely Planet and crazyguy. I also saw a few of them on the road. In fact I always thought of Surly as a small niche manufacturer

Contrast this to the 2 or 3 page Thorn ads that used to appear in each edition of Cycle, plus regular ads by Dawes, etc.

I'm not saying Surly don't have slick advertising, its just that I never saw it before I bought and rarely see it now.

Remember also that many of us aren't able to do lots of comparisons. A short test ride is about it! Hence the value of regular good recommendations by other touring cyclists.

titanium rack - anyone used one?

29 December 2014 - 7:28pm
foxyrider wrote:gplhl wrote:My concern would be how easy does titanium weld if broken? Steel can be welded anywhere.



probably easier than the aluminium Tortec! But how are you gonna break it?

Do a long tour and everything will break.....eventually, it's just a matter of when/where.

For me I'd rather have something anyone can mend when I'm in the middle of nowhere.

On the other hand if I wasn't doing a big tour then I'd be happy to use titanium (excepting the cost). As for weight, touring's not a race. On an overall setup the weight saving is negligible, conversely to the sum of the cost of all the shiny expensive weight saving components, eat fewer pies! Spend more days on the road with the savings

Gary
http://www.longbikeride.co.uk

Re: cycling video collection of ascents:Alps, Pyrenées,Canar

29 December 2014 - 4:12pm
Hello !

I edited a best of video about my bicycletour that I had this summer in the Alps (1828 kms + 39441 m ) . This video contains not all of the climbs that I cycled but the most beautiful ones or most memorable ones. The following clmbs can be seen for few dozen seconds or for a minute:
Passo Mortirlo, Gavia, Umbrail, Passo dello Stelvio , Forcola di Livigno , Passo dello Spluga , Juf , Oberalppass , Sustenpass (in rain + 3 degrees Celsius) , Triftalp ( 2090 m) , Moosalp (Stalden side along the vertical rockwall ) , Simplonpass , Colle Fauniera (partly above clouds) , Usseglio - Alpe Bessanetto climb (with chamois !!! ) , Col des Gondrans, La Bergerie du Bois Noir (2009 m), Col du Granon, Sestriere

In the following weeks I will edit new videos about each day (1st: Granon, then La Bergerie du Bois Noir) to have videos (in my collection) about all of the paved climbs finishing above 2000 m in the French Alps.

Have pleasure with the video !
(In few months time I plan to write a travelogue too)

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4piRlCVv8w[/youtube]

/I started a facebook page ( https://www.facebook.com/cycling.high ) where I will post infos, photos, videos about my tours, experiences (more than 30.000 kms in the Alps, Pyrenées, canary islands & Andalucia) ... about cycling high .. and plan an article or list / collection about the most wonderful paved climbs (finishing above 2000 m) of the Alps, Pyrenées, Canary islands & Andalucia (I haven't visited there Calar Alto 2 years ago I had not enough time for that)

Best regards,
Gábor

Re: titanium rack - anyone used one?

29 December 2014 - 12:54pm
elPedro666 wrote:foxyrider wrote:gplhl wrote:My concern would be how easy does titanium weld if broken? Steel can be welded anywhere.



probably easier than the aluminium Tortec! But how are you gonna break it?
Bouncing over rough roads/tracks with heavy panniers attached, or probably more likely on some kind of rustic transport (boat/train etc)! [emoji1]

Mine is used for camping - okay lightweight camping (5kg/bag) but across all surfaces, on and off public transport, aircraft, off tarmac - more worried about my wheels than a well made bit of Ti rack! You really would be unlucky to break one. Of course if you overload......

Re: Front racks

29 December 2014 - 12:03pm
I adapted an old steel rear-rack by adding a short metal bar each side as a spacer to reach the mudguard fixings on the front forks and hold the rack horizontal. This will take a set of small throw-over panniers or simply a roll of gear inside a plastic rubble-sack strapped on with bungees, although obviously it's better to keep heavier loads lower.

Re: titanium rack - anyone used one?

29 December 2014 - 11:53am
If all else is equal which is more beneficial

The aero dynamics of a rack pack, or stability of panniers?

Re: titanium rack - anyone used one?

29 December 2014 - 11:50am
pedalsheep wrote: just measured mine at 2.5". Definitely no use for a rack bag

Thanks for checking

Re: Default tourer?

29 December 2014 - 11:23am
I don't think the marketing for the bike has ever promised it's exceptional (unlike the marketing for the Club Tour, for example). The LHT is promised as a solid and reliable bike, and that's what you get.

Surly is owned by the biggest (I think) cycle distributor in the US, which is where they get the discounted bulk-purchase parts for the finishing kit. The finishing kit is also unexceptional, yet 'standard' parts of reasonably good quality are exactly what you want on a long distance tourer. Conversely, both front and rear mudguards on my Club Tour have an element of 'different' about them (front needs to be drilled to fit the fixing points on the fork, one rear strut needs worked to bend around the rear caliper). The lack of 'exceptional' is what makes me prefer the LHT.

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