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Updated: 1 hour 40 min ago

Re: knee pain and touring

6 July 2014 - 7:00pm
Following comments in this thread, as it was raining today I put toe-clips on my bike - see if it helps my knees.


Tour de Manche Mapping (St Malo-Roscoff)

6 July 2014 - 5:02pm
My son and I will be riding the Tour de Manche from St Malo to Roscoff in a few weeks time, using all the off-road and quiet-lane sections of the route. I don't have a GPS device and prefer paper mapping anyway. I do have the Michelin 1:150,000 maps, but these are too large scale to show all the small roads and junctions. After doing some research this afternoon, looks like I might end up going down to Plan D of my preferences :

Plan A: Paper map(s) marking the route would best, but another CTC Forum thread suggests there's no such thing?

Plan B: Guide book of route, including mapping. Not found anything yet - does this exist?

Plan C: Decent scale standard maps (aka OS 1:50,000) onto which I can hand trace the route from the website. Again not found anything yet - surely these exist? But where?

Plan D: Pick up leaflets from tourist offices. This is suggested as the best option on same CTC thread. Are these always available, and are they a reliable way of getting back on track when we miss a sign or the sign is missing?

Advice on any/all of these much appreciated.

Thanks folks!

Normandy Queries

6 July 2014 - 4:57pm
1. Has anybody any experience of riding on the Avenue Verte from Ceaux (near Mont St Michel) to Mortain to Vire: is it all open, what is the ride & surface like, is it any good?

2. Any comments on the campsite at Ouistreham? A few years ago I camped just south of the Ouistreham site, near Pegasus Bridge, as I read that there were security issues at the Ouistreham site. Clearly it's the more convenient for the early ferry crossing - what are anyone's more recent experiences of the site?


Re: knee pain and touring

6 July 2014 - 3:37pm
Cheers. Another 30 miles today and no problem. Really think the saddle height was the issue. We are all 50 plus to 70 years old.. Doing Hadrian's wall cycleway next week with 50 miles day 1 hence my more regular training. Now looking forward to it as opposed to thinking I might be cancelling.

Re: Dealing with mosquitos

6 July 2014 - 10:31am
Neilo wrote:DEET does melt plastic. I had some spill in a kit bag, same type of material as an Ortlieb pannier, it dissolved the plastic coating of the fabric, and It would not dry. I had to bin the bag.


It's a good call about the Ortlieb's...that could be an expensive mistake.

I'd be really careful with it around any plastics. I had some in my first aid kit - for hiking, not cycling before I get called up! - it reduced the plastic emergency whistle to a blob of snot, and the actual top on the bottle itself dissolved and it started on the kit bag - that could have ended in tears. Potentially - panniers, tent, waterproofs, technical fabrics...ugh.

I think it's a plasticiser basically, so will absorb into the structure plastic itself and turn it into gum. It won't evaporate out.

Re: knee pain and touring

6 July 2014 - 9:56am
Flat pedals is what I use, with clips that keep the foot in the correct position but the straps are never tight.
The OP does say they are planning a cycle ride which I am assuming is longer than their usual ?
As they are 50 + ? then these are the sort of problems that will creep up on age alone, I.M.O. More often show up after 30 miles / 2 + hours of riding continuously.
Yes you can ride with no clips etc, but the concentration and acuracy of foot placement is removed with them, so why would you ?

Most half experienced long distance riders here could ride a hundred say without foot placement device but we would find that because we would need grippy shoes and some rat trap protrusions on pedals, the shoe would find a spot where the foot might not be best placed and at end of day we might have a problem with bad foot placement.
Unless you are adoption Kiddy type heel stop on the pedal edge

Re: online hostel reviews - what do you think?

6 July 2014 - 9:50am
Count not answer the survey because you have questions labeled as optional (questions that should be optional) but if you don't answer them the survey is rejected due to the optional question being mandatory !


Re: knee pain and touring

6 July 2014 - 8:59am
I disagree with the comments about needing toe-clips etc if you cycle 35 miles+. I have knee problems and was advised by my sports physio, herself a long distance cyclist, to ditch the cleats and toe-clips that I had on different bikes and use flat pedals. Also I was advised to use lower gears and spin up hills rather than stand and power my way up.

Since taking her advice I can cycle pain free. I regularly cycle 40+ miles in a day and my longest on flat pedals is 80 miles. My favourite footwear in summer is now Birkenstock sandals. Clip in pedals are a choice, not a necessity

Re: knee pain and touring

6 July 2014 - 7:57am
yeah both knees. Same brand of walking shoes for many years, same bike for 12+ and never had the pain I had. I stopped playing badminton 4 years ago cause my knees were so sore and cycling is now my main hobby. Would be a disaster if I couldn't do that. I think there are a number of things I need to look at to ensure I don't get the issues re-occurring. No-one in my circle wears toe clips or really any bike gear. We just jump on our bikes every Sun morning and cycle somewhere finishing with a pint. 30 miles is the usual distance.

Re: online hostel reviews - what do you think?

6 July 2014 - 7:42am
A bit useless, as I have never used an online review all other questions became irrelevant.

Re: Dealing with mosquitos

6 July 2014 - 7:21am
Yeah I'm obviously not trying to but when I breathe after spraying it even if I wait as long as possible it still catches in my throat. Maybe its totally unrelated though we'll see!

Re: Dealing with mosquitos

6 July 2014 - 7:12am
I haven't seen a cream, but I don't recommend breathing it. Hold your breath when spraying it. And don't spray it in your face. Spray it on your hands, then rub it on to your face.

Re: Dealing with mosquitos

6 July 2014 - 6:55am
40% was the strongest I could find in Budapest but I'll have another look in Vienna over the next few days! Saying that I'm kind of ill at the moment and I was wondering if the sore throat part might have been triggered by the spray... Might see if I can find an alternative application like cream?

Re: Cycle tour insurance

6 July 2014 - 6:14am
BeeKeeper wrote:+1 for AXA for medical insurance. The company I was with before didn't cover cycle touring, which I didn't know until I asked them the question after being prompted by discussion here. .

*2 for AXA medical insurance

Thanks for your post, as I was struggling to find medical insurance for several days in France. I couldn't see any exclusions for non "helmet" wearers


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