CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

Syndicate content
Discussion boards hosted by CTC, the national cycling charity
Updated: 4 min 22 sec ago

Re: cyclocross for touring

9 May 2015 - 7:01pm
cheers lads just that i got talking to a friend of mine today obviously about bikes he reckoned a cyclocross bike would be perfect, but i have my doubts to be honest .heel clearence might be an issue not enough braze on's and of cours not enough gears.
sen a lovely dawes galaxy on CRC but they wont sell the frame seperate.
anyway thans for the replys.


Re: Shane goes lightweight :)

9 May 2015 - 6:54pm
Other blog posts added to previous post.....

Another trip done, time to start thinking about the next one, but first work

Re: Singlewheel trailers - experiences and modifications

9 May 2015 - 6:12pm
Here's a pic of the business ends of both skewers. The yakalike is the top one.

I think you can see the difference in quality of the machining immediately.

Liverpool to Leeds via Northern England / France and more!

9 May 2015 - 6:11pm

I've lived in the UK for the past 9 years, but my time here (originally from Germany, but lived in Belgium and Sweden before coming to the UK) is now coming to an end for a variety of reasons. So I am selling off what I can't take with me and will be on the route cycling back home to Germany, visiting friends I've made during my time here on the way.

However I've won a place on a Wildlife Filming Course at Leeds Beckett University and want to take that one on, on the way. I'll be leaving Liverpool end of May and have to be in Leeds by June 28th - leaving there again on July 12th. I have a few very different questions some of you (different ones?) might have something (insightful) to say about .

1. Any recommendations on routes from Liverpool to Leeds that are nice? I have a month, as mentioned, and favour beautiful / interesting / nice over direct and fast. [I'll be following Leeds-Liverpool Canal on way back from July 12th as I a) want to stop in Todmorden (small detour from Burnley) and b) aim to go back via Wales (Lon Las Cymru and a step over in Cheltenham before heading for the ferries - Plymouth Portsmouth.) - so a different route on the way to Leeds would be nice.)]. I'd love to do Hadrian's Wall route (or part of it) but it's probably a bit too far in the North to make it to Leeds in time? [I am not as fit as I used to be - will be slow in the beginning. No ambition to get places fast, but wanting to see interesting ones.]

I am used to staying out of doors - done plenty of wild-camping; spent weeks in the Swedish mountains when living there carrying all my food; studied for a BSc Outdoor & Environmental Education and done the Mountain Leader Training - so am happy with wildish places .

2. Any recommendations for camp sites in / near (very!) to Leeds? The film-making course there is pretty intense and I'll be at university (or on location) fairly much from 9 in the morning to 21:30 at night - so I'd rather prefer avoiding a long commute. Can get accommodation through university, but am on a budget - so alternatives would be great. [As it's a full two weeks warmshowers (have no references there anyway) and couch-surfing (have references) are out.] Any cheap reasonable hostels / B&B places you could recommend?

3. I can do most bicycle repairs myself, but would like my bicycle to have a good check-up before leaving Liverpool. Any recommendations for a good shop [understand if that might be a bit iffy to say - mention several if needed ]. Front wheel needs truing. Done it as much as I could back when it became necessary - but I don't have a truing stand, so it could be done better. And having someone else have a look over it would be useful. It's a really 25 year old steel frame that was a racing bike once, but every other part has been replaced since [has mudguards, front and back racks, etc.].

4. Absolutely want to go through Wales and have plans for that route, see above - but still playing around with the Cheltenham to France and France to Germany parts of all this. Any tips, tours, routes you really loved that'd cover that? I don't have a specific date I need to be in Germany; am only limited by the money I have available.

Thank you .


Re: cyclocross for touring

9 May 2015 - 5:48pm
You probably wouldn't have the really low gears of a touring bike. Whether that matters would depend on where you're going, how fit you are and how much you mind walking up the odd hill.

Re: lycra cycling shorts on tour

9 May 2015 - 5:33pm
I am undecided. They are said to make saddles more comfortable, which also mostly matches my experience, though I know I could happily ride on some saddles without them. I just got back from a little trip where I was trialling a new saddle and I got a second pair of proper padded ones to make wearing it in easier (I had already been using some thinly padded tri shorts on occasions). It's a good job I did cos it would have been a real pain without. Although this saddle was not quite for me, I now can imagine there being some saddles which I could get on with but only with proper shorts, not without. I am wondering if it would be a liability to maintain the cleanliness of both shorts and self, which is said to be essential for comfort, when wild camping for several consecutive days. Good tip about the thin underwear, I've been trying that as well.

Re: cyclocross for touring

9 May 2015 - 5:01pm
Can't see any reason not to. You might want some road tyres. If you don't have rack fittings you can always use some rubberised "P" clips - (not the cheaper plastic coated ones.)
You might just use a rucksack ( there will be someone along in a minute to tell you what an appalling idea this is ).

Re: lycra cycling shorts on tour

9 May 2015 - 4:56pm
The first thing is do you want/need to wear Lycra shorts. You seem undecided. If the answer is yes then....

I always wear a pair of very thin underpants under my Lycra. This means that I only have to wash the shorts about every 3 or 4 days. I know many like no underwear, but for me this is a clean and comfortable method. Might be something to think about if you choose to wear Lycra.

Beware drying Lycra in a tumble dryer, not recommended or so the label says.

Re: North Sea Cycle Route

9 May 2015 - 4:02pm
I've thought about doing parts of the North Sea Cycle route several times but I cannot
muster any enthusiasm for it...from looking at You Tube videos of the NSC route, it just seems like riding
in a windswept landscape for a couple of days.

cyclocross for touring

9 May 2015 - 3:34pm
just wondering anyone using cyclocross bike for touring


Re: North Sea Cycle Route

9 May 2015 - 1:05pm
Denmark is cycle friendly with many cycle routes. I relied on cycle route maps picked up from bookshops and tourist info points along the way and don't recall any great difficulties.

Perhaps this link will help http://cyclistic.dk/en/

Re: People who have cycled the Pamir Highway...

9 May 2015 - 12:35pm
Hi Serbring,

I am very well thank you.

Tent wise you will be fine with a non free standing tent, obviously free standing tents have there advantages but I think for a trip of the Pamir these can be overlook, just make sure you try and camp out of the wind.

There is a lot of corruption throughout Tajikistan, this many means small "fees " are handed to Police (by local driver mainly) for chai money or whatever you want to call it, they get paid very little by the state. And corruption for better or worse has been endemic in the country for generations; in Dushnabe we got stopped 7 times by traffic police in a taxi. Having said that in the Pamir we had no issue with any officials, in fact we even got given free ice cream in Khorog by police who were trying to improve public relations. Some of the border guards / soldiers weren't the friendliest we came across but be polite and smile and you will be fine.

As we were doing the Pamir as part of a long trip we had 4/5 bags each, I would suggest that having front and rear bags would give you the added advantage of being able to carry more and be more self sufficient and balance the bike more evenly instead of having all the weight in 3 bags on the rear rack, which is not ideal. It will mean forking out on more kit ie front bag and rack, but worth it.

Hope that helps.


Re: lycra cycling shorts on tour

9 May 2015 - 12:24pm
take two pair of shorts, wash the pair you've ridden in every night, clean pair next day. you should always the have a clean dry pair to put on.

Re: Cycle Touring Festival - May 2015 - Lancashire

9 May 2015 - 11:42am
DarkNewt wrote:Put a write up on my blog, more to add but hope you enjoy! It's late and I am cycling with roger at 8:30!

Did you get to meet "what's his face" (forgot his name) who cycled around the UK ?

He is off to Europe after the festival, cycled straight to the airport from their.


North Sea Cycle Route

9 May 2015 - 11:28am
I'm planning to ride another section of the NSCR next month hopefully riding from Hamburg to Grena in Denmark.

Planning is going well but I've just hit a small snag. I'm navigating by Garmin and I've either got or plotted the route using Cycline guides from Hamburg as far as Frederikshavn, but I can't find any information or guides for the next section.

I've looked at the NSCR site but I don't find the mapping that easy to use - if any one has cracked this and made it workable then any advice would be appreciated.

Many thanks for any help offered.

Re: People who have cycled the Pamir Highway...

9 May 2015 - 9:27am
Kieran2663 wrote:Hi Serbring,

Hope you are well?

Hi Kieran,

I'm super fine, thanks. And you?

Regarding your sleeping bag issues, I had a Mammut three season bag, with a comfort temperature of -5c and a an extreme of -22. Needless to say that it never reached -22 but we clocked nights on the high plateau of -5 and slightly below that, this was in End June early July 2014. So do be prepared for some cold nights at altitudes over 3500m. If you can get a good second hand or new 3 season natural down bag I would personally recommended that, as it is better to be to hot than to cold, they also pack small and keep you very warm, just don't get them wet...

You're on right, I will check it out. I have a not self-supporting tent, may it be ok for camping in the Pamirs?

Security and protection wise, the whole of the GBAO has a heavy police/army presence due to a number of reasons both political and geographical. Having said that the areas most heavily policed by the army are the Amu Dara river area, making the border with Afghan/Tajik, there is a high amount of Herion passing through these areas and people on both sides of the border making money through the trade. Our experience was that the army (3 men in a car 1 uniformed the others not) turned up just as we were setting up camp asked how many of us they were and told us they would station a armed soldier by out tents until the morning for safety.

Did they just station by your tent? I have heard many rumors of scams by policeman or assumed to be so. Did it happen to you?

Pump wise definitely take your MSR multi fuel, they is a very limited stock of gas canisters in Dushanbe which are expensive and not easy to find. Petrol is easy to come by in the bigger towns in the Pamir and you will need your stove even if you intend to use homestays or not, certainly for the remote stretches.

thanks I'll buy the MSR multifuel stove.

Food wise my wife and I rolled with very thing we needed, we topped up in Khorog with some pasta, snickers and other small things. We stayed in 4 homestays, and camped every other night we were there. Personal matter of choice really, either stock up with the good quality food in Dushanbe or rely on towns on route, such as Kalaikhum, Khorog and Murghab. But note the food supply isn't the best in the Pamir. Have at least 4 days worth of food on you to be sure and so you can enjoy yourself and the Pamir.

We had around $1000 US, which included a few dollars emergency funds. regarding spending Euros I can't say, only had US dollar and Somani. You can change Euros in Dushanbe on Rudaki avenue though.

Have a great trip.


Considering that as you I will camp most of the time, do you believe that the rear pannier and rack pack are enough or do you suggest me to get a front pannier as weel?



Re: Cycle Touring Festival - May 2015 - Lancashire

9 May 2015 - 12:08am
Put a write up on my blog, more to add but hope you enjoy! It's late and I am cycling with roger at 8:30!

Re: Cycle Touring Festival - May 2015 - Lancashire

8 May 2015 - 7:30pm
DarkNewt wrote:thayer19 wrote:Just wondering how the festival went? Didn't get a ticket myself but was tempted to, be interesting to hear people's views on it.....

It was a great event, friendly and informative. There was no "hard sell" as some detractors claimed would be, it was really all about the cycling and meeting other/prospective tourers. A wide variety of bikes, tandem, recumbant etc.. All ages, seriously from the young to the "wish I was as fit as you now let alone in your 70+" some people had travelled from abroad, one lady cycled from Ireland to get there. The talks were great, I didn't go to a lot of the talks as I picked out the ones I was interested in but feedback from everyone else that they really enjoyed it!

The surroundings were great, even the cement factory chimney in the distance seemed kind of right, beautiful river/weir with it's resident heron. Plenty of facilities and the staff at the Hall were really helpful and welcoming!

Thanks to Laura, her husband and the rest of the volunteers for a great weekend, their effort was really apreciated!

I have had a busy week at work, but I will be putting a full write up of the event on my blog at the weekend.

Looking forward to your blog DN. I thought you would enjoy it [emoji6]...b

Re: travel insurance?

8 May 2015 - 7:17pm
b1ke wrote:Nationwide Flexaccount. Annual European travel insurance is free. Flexplus account for worldwide cover. Take your card. Halifax Clarity CC delivers fee free Euros from any cash machine. 3 321 simm with a £10 add on gives you 3p a minute calls, 2p texts and 1p a megabyte data in France.

Cheers for the info. Any idea if any of the above applies to Africa? Not too worried about the SIM, but the rest of it...

Yes, I think Africa is included in the Insurance for Flexplus which costs £10 a month. But..you get interest on any money you keep in the account. You also get free AA type cover, mobile insurance and various other really good benefits. I have used my Halifax Clarity Mastercard in South Africa. Should work in other African countries. I did notice that you would get charged by Bank ATMs if you took over $NZ250 (£150) in NZ recently. But just look for a different bank and its free. The SImm deal isnt available anywhere in Africa. I bought local simms in SA and Namibia.


Re: Cycle Touring Festival - May 2015 - Lancashire

8 May 2015 - 6:55pm
I also went to the cycle touring festival last weekend and have to say it was probably the best event of its type I have ever been to .
The festival was extremely well organised and in my opinion all the speakers where excellent . All the people who attend were friendly and chatty which made for a great weekend in pleasant surroundings with excellent catering. Well worth the £65.00 fee , roll on next year .


  • 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