CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 18 min 35 sec ago

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.

Re: Bike fit for French canals

17 November 2014 - 10:11am
Tyres: Depends which part of France. Over our way we have smooth tarmac.

Re: Bike fit for French canals

17 November 2014 - 9:46am
Swallow wrote:Although very scenic it soon becomes monotonous A common observation - most people seem to to think 2 or 3 days can be endured before the old ennui sets in...

Re: Bike fit for French canals

17 November 2014 - 9:33am
I cycled most of the Nantes-Brest canal a few years on a Tricross, friend was on a Bob Jackson Audax. Only problem I had was boredom. Although very scenic it soon becomes monotonous

Re: What is the best dynamo hub for touring?

17 November 2014 - 8:03am
Since you asked about the best, I think the answer is the Schmidt hubs. Others have improved, but the SON hubs are still the best. Personally, I would consider dropping the idea of charging gadgets. This summer, I used a Garmin Etrex 30 gps for the first time. I had chosen this model because it is the smallest and lightest model, and lasts longest on a set of batteries (and it is the cheapest). I had been led to believe that that would be about two days, and that indeed was what I achieved with a set of older batteries. However, one set of new quality Eneloop types (Ansmann 2500) lasted five full days. This was riding preloaded tracks rather than making the gps do the hard work of calculating a route. Other models, and particularly the touch screen models, use far more battery power, however. I have a SON 28 hub, but I have now decided that I don't need the extra expense and extra weight and hassle of an E-werk or the like. Keep it simple, and just take enough rechargeables for your trip. If your luck runs out, you can always buy a few AA's. Take a little wall charger for a long trip. I only switch on my phone for a few minutes each day, to keep in touch with the family, so that will last for ages as well. If you decide to take this route, the SONdelux hub will be enough for your lights. I have the older model SON for 28 inch wheels, and my wife the model for 20 inch wheels (both on 26 inch wheels). The difference in light output with Edelux lights is invisible, other than at very low speeds. With lights on, I can clearly notice the difference in drag and vibration level, however. Not with lights off.

Re: First EVER Tour! (and I'm going RTW)

17 November 2014 - 7:24am
Samurray wrote:"So I've decided to fly to Nepal and begin the Indian and South East Asia Legs of my journey."

Hey James
I am approaching Georgia and considering the same thing - i.e. flying to India. Just wandering how you are finding it logistically getting bike on the plane etc and whether any bike shops in Tbilisi have boxes etc?

Hey Murray,

I hope I'm not too late with this reply. I made the mistake of not getting extra baggage in time. I flew with FlyDubai (the cheapest airline for this trip) and thought I could get extra baggage sorted at the airport. That wasn't the case and I had to hand over $160 in charges, and this was reduced from $260 as I was almost in tears when I was told how much I had to pay. If you get extra baggage online or over the phone this wouldnt be a problem.

FlyDubai require bikes to be boxed and I was able to get a box easily and for free at a nice little bike shop in Tbilisi. If you ask for directions to Wendy's/Smart (a fast food chain attached to a supermarket) located in Vake, on Chavchavadze Avenue, then you'll find Velo+/Cube Bike shop right behind it.

Hope that helps, message if you have any problems as I have friends in Tbilisi who may be able to help you out.


If you have some time please check out the newest JamesVsWorld Blog. This time it's not so much about cycling, but the trek in Nepal that recently featured in the international news after a snowstorm caused a number of deaths.

On the 14th October 2014 a snowstorm and series of avalanches occurred on and around Annapurna and the surrounding areas of the Himalayan range in Nepal. Rescue efforts saved the lives of over 400 people from the popular ‘Annapurna Circuit Trek’ and other treks in the area, however, despite these efforts, more than 40 people were killed and many are missing. This post takes place and was written before these events.

http://jamesvsworld.com/2014/11/17/into ... na-part-1/

Re: Oban to Stonehaven

16 November 2014 - 9:50pm
If you have a bike that can tackle rough tracks and paths you might consider reversing my Aberdeen-Ft William route ( http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/13830). From Oban the reasonably continuous Sustrans path goes up to Ballachulish; after that it's the busy A82 to Ft William, although you could avoid this by using the pavement to the Corran Ferry, cycle up the west side of Loch Linnhe and catch one of the (unfortunately) rather infrequent Camusnagaul ferries over to the Fort. After that it's as per my route (I used a Surly LHT with 2" tyres and it coped fine) and obviously once you get to lower Deeside you'll be able to find your own way home.

Good luck!


Re: London - Istanbul. Which route?

16 November 2014 - 9:31pm
Barrenfluffit wrote:With a long distance ride finding viable off road routes can be awkward. You need a decently detailed map but will tend to ride across it quite quickly. Also the right scale may not be available when you need it. Spending £10-15 per day on maps is an expensive and bulky exercise.

I might be out of date and Google maps \ technology may have caught up.

Likewise rural roads beyond Hungary may have improved hugely. But if they haven't on road conditions can be worse than a UK off road trail. It's part of the experience and travelling down through the balkans was terrific.

Choice of route starts with how you feel about hills; the flatter ways are following the rhine to pick up eurovelo6. Then follow the danube, cut across bulgaria and pick uo 100 towards Istanbul.
The fastest way is to head south over the alps, down italy to Ancona and catch the ferry to greece but the long ferry ride is kinda missing the point.

The balkans are a terrific touring experience but very hot in high summer.

The route should reflects what you want to get out of the trip. Also a search on eurovelo6 on here should throw up some hits.

I will be navigating with Open Cycle Map on my phone charged via a dynamo so having to buy extra maps won't be a problem.

The eurovelo 6 does sound appealing once it joins the danube but I'm not sure whether to head due(ish) South to meet it in Bavaria or meet it later and see more of Germany, the Czech Republic and perhaps the Tara mountains in Slovakia. It would mean cheaper prices (more lavish eating), less densely populated areas (more wilderness, I think) and I would join the route as the Balkan states begin. I'll have a search of the EV6 and try to get a feel of it's sections in Bavaria, Austria and Hungary, thanks.

Re: Bike fit for French canals

16 November 2014 - 7:52pm
I did most of the Burgundy canal in May on my Ti tourer with 32 Marathons. No punctures and comfortable ride.


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