CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

Syndicate content
Discussion boards hosted by CTC, the national cycling charity
Updated: 50 min 57 sec ago

A Sad Day for Google Maps

8 May 2015 - 8:53am
It looks like Google have finally put to death Classic Maps. This makes a great deal of sense: Develop a terrific product, then - ignoring almost unanimous negative user feedback - utterly wreck it. Well done Google, this is a 'classic'.

If you give a hoot, there's a petition:
https://www.change.org/p/larry-page-ceo ... oogle-maps

More about it here, too:
http://techforluddites.com/google-is-ge ... -for-good/

Re: Cycle Touring Festival - May 2015 - Lancashire

7 May 2015 - 11:45pm
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.....

Re: Ideas for first tour - taking a toddler with us.

7 May 2015 - 6:59pm
Might I suggest a coastal tour of Norfolk, Suffolk & Essex. Train from Morecambe to Peterborough I think should just involve one change at Leeds. The North Norfolk coast is easy to access from P'boro. Beaches a'plenty for all the family along the coast. Lots of campsites too. Either cycle back across Norfolk, Suffolk or Essex to P'boro when you've had enough or get a train from, say Ipswich, back to P'boro to travel back north.

Re: Ideas for first tour - taking a toddler with us.

7 May 2015 - 4:51pm
There is a largely segregated cycle route along (at least an extended part of) the N coast of Wales with a high density of entertainments along the way. Also gives access to Angelsey via the old Menai bridge, though getting out of the town of Menai Bridge is less than ideal. Quite a lot of fun things on A too. Along the N wales route, there are some sharp little hills in various spots, and also some gates/barriers that proved tricky with a tandem let alone trailer. On Anglesey, although there are not high hills, but there are plenty of steep little to medium ones. Maybe Anglesey alone would suffice as a tour. I expect you can get there with one change, though I haven't checked.

Re: Old Trafford to Wembley Stadium

7 May 2015 - 4:48pm
You could just cycle down the A6 which would keep route planning to a minimum and it's probably the quickest route. It's fairly busy in parts and you'd be cycling through a few cities along the way. My son rode up the A6 from London to Leicester last year and didn't find it too bad.

Re: LLC and Wales Questions

7 May 2015 - 4:44pm
there is a separate space for the bicycles on the Arriva trains, sort of like a rack, just it's not very big. Yeah they are the only real option between Cardiff and Chester, though I think you can go with Cross Country to Birmigham, and change to a Virgin train to Crewe or somewhere, then some local train from Crewe to Chester, a direct train is more convenient with a bike.

Re: LLC and Wales Questions

7 May 2015 - 4:32pm
Arrivia Trains Wales looks to be the only option for me to get from Cardiff to Chester. I plan on calling them to see about reservation tomorrow. My trip is still a little under 3 months away (well, about this time 3 months from now it will be over) so obviously too early to check whether the trains will run on time.

That was my experience on the train in Ireland - it was a 2 or 3 carriage train so I hopped onto the one that had the bicycle sticker on the door, but there wasn't anywhere to put the bicycle, so i half propped it/half held it upright on the relatively short journey. Luckily it was a mostly empty carriage (i was taking up multiple seat spaces) but no one seemed to have a problem with it.

So ideally I can reserve a seat in that last carriage nearest wherever the bike goes.

Re: LLC and Wales Questions

7 May 2015 - 3:20pm
Regarding Arriva Trains bicycle space bookings.. I am pretty skeptical that anyone actually gives a toss whether you have a booking or not. I have taken my bike with them a few times both with bike space booked, and without. Typically there are only 2 or 3 carriages per train and, if I'm not mistaken, "officially" space for two bicycles, but I've been on one where four were on - note there is no separate cycle carriage, but a space at one end of one of the regular sitting carriages. I think any train operator here reserves the right not to let you take your bike on, whether or not you have a space booked, but I would be more concerned with that with Arriva than with other more serious companies like e.g. First Great Western who are a bit more organised about it on their long distance trains and have a separate cycle carriage. I try to avoid Arriva but living in Wales it is hard. The trains can get very crowded especially if there is a rugby match on. There can also be delays, also if bus replacements are operating along part of the line, you're screwed. I'd happily take my bike with Arriva again (might do it next week actually) but would allow for slack in my schedule and check for any disruptions on the line in the preceding days.

Re: Old Trafford to Wembley Stadium

7 May 2015 - 2:59pm
On the Audax UK website calendar is the Windsor - Chester - Windsor 600km event, complete with a downloadable routesheet. Some of that route may be of use to you. I know Chester is not Old Trafford, and Windsor is not Wembley, but it could still be a useful starting point for your own route.

Re: LLC and Wales Questions

7 May 2015 - 2:38pm
pwa wrote:The Cardiff to Chester train journey takes you through some beautiful landscapes, and in good weather it is a bit of a treat. Booking a seat is a good idea, but you may need advice on the correct British etiquette should you find someone occupying your seat. You point out their mistake, nicely at first, then you become loud and insistent. I have seen people move the seat reservation tickets, so be prepared for a minor dispute. Look for the guard (or whatever they call them now) if necessary.
Or can just sit right next to them and glare until they move...

Re: travel insurance?

7 May 2015 - 2:15pm
forestboy60 wrote:I am going on my 1st cycle camping holiday next month to France, and was thinking about insurance cover. What policies or companies do people use and recommend ?
I gave up on travel insurance many years ago, too much small print and having to pay for covering issues which don't concern me like missing a ferry connection.
I take an EHIC and the usual precautions I'd follow at home in the UK.

Re: Ideas for first tour - taking a toddler with us.

7 May 2015 - 2:14pm
Tangled Metal wrote:but I am guessing there is one long train trip up to Glasgow then change to get into the highlands. I think you can get to the west coast of Scotland with just one change (taken from Oxenholme or Lancaster station - probably the latter one).

You have to change from Glasgow Central to Glasgow Queen St which is about half a mile.

Old Trafford to Wembley Stadium

7 May 2015 - 2:12pm
Today I purchased tickets to see my team (non-league Bristol Rovers) play in the play off final next Sunday and I am considering making the trip from Manchester to London by bike.

My Dad was a huge Rovers fan and missed the last final we played as he had booked a holiday months earlier on the same day, it was during that holiday that he had a stroke from which he never recovered (he lost speech and movement). For several years I have toyed with the idea of cycling from Manchester to Bristol to raise funds for the Stroke association The need to get to London for an occasion so linked with him has made me seriously contemplate if this is the time to stop putting this off and to finally itch this particular scratch.

There is a lot to think about and not much time to organise. However I first need to know what the practicalities are. I figure that I will use Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning to complete the 200mile trip, staying at B and B's for the 2 nights.

Where is the best place to go for information to plan the route and to be aware of any issues (cramping / fatigue, fuelling, safety, boredom) I assume that using a rucksack is ill-advised and the small amount of stuff would be better off in a pannier. Is there an idiots guide to this sort of cycling trip?

This will be a challenge – I am relatively fit, I cycle daily (about an hour in total) but never really such long distances. It could be put off for another occasion but I am not sure it will ever be such a strong motivation.

Re: lycra cycling shorts on tour

7 May 2015 - 1:10pm
The padding on shorts generally tends to be quite thin and usually made from leather chamois or some sort of micro-fleece material which when having pressure on it, doesn't bunch up.
On a saddle, it's commonly a layer of foam or gel under the saddle surface and can move around when there's pressure on it. Think of when you sit on a cushion, it squishes in the middle and the material gets moved to the sides of where you're sitting. When that happens on a saddle, it can cause chaffing which causes blisters and sores and other horrible stuff.
There's probably other reasons too, but I think that's the main one.

Re: lycra cycling shorts on tour

7 May 2015 - 12:59pm
It has always struck me as funny (& I speak from a point of ignorance so please forgive me) why it's better to have a firm saddle & wear padding, rather than 'tother way round?

Re: lycra cycling shorts on tour

7 May 2015 - 10:50am
I am trying to decide on a saddle for touring, and have come across a school of thought that you need to wear padded lycra cycling shorts for comfort for long distance cycling

Hmm I wonder what qualifies as long distance? I just did a thousand miles in France with ordinary underwear and that was on my worst saddle (a Brooks instrument of torture). There were the odd moments when I felt discomfort but I notice no improvement on the other rare occasions that I wear the pair of tights with padding.

I dont normally wear padding and I do like to think of myself as a long distance rider (though I know many ride much further and most of them wear padding).

Re: lycra cycling shorts on tour

7 May 2015 - 10:35am
I see, thanks, should have done a search first. That thread has some good points. (for anyone's reference it's here viewtopic.php?f=15&t=96164&hilit=lycra)

Re: Solo Etiquette

7 May 2015 - 10:31am
mcallaghan wrote:
Chester (9AM Arrival - free day)
Bangor (riding a loop on Anglesey)
Cardiff (x3 or 4 nights - end of riding with a full weekend and then some to explore cardiff)
Chester (x 2 nights - train back to Chester midday, then one more full day in Chester before an early AM departure)

Hope I'm not repeating what others have said, but not enough time to read every response.

Most pubs/restaurants will be open from 6 at the latest and many offer food all day till 9/10pm. Chester has some great places to eat and a couple of good Italian restaurants (Sergios near the Cathedral is excellent). Rhyl, mostly tacky, greasy spoon places, but there must be some reasonable places; I'll see if I can find any. Bangor should be okay, but a high student population will mean fast food dominates the high street. Harlech, Machynlleth and Rhayader I have no experience of, but there will be "gourmet" cafes open during the day in these and other villages. Great food can be had in them, but they tend to close at 5. Brecon is a bit of a cultural place and has good food outlets and Cardiff has everything. You shouldn't have any problems with finding an evening meal.

If I'm available, I can easily cycle into Chester on your first day and show you around.


Re: lycra cycling shorts on tour

7 May 2015 - 10:13am
The saddle you choose should be comfortable no matter what you wear.
I could ride my former saddle for x miles in comfort wearing either Lycra or cotton or denim or anything else really.
Colin531 has an interesting thread in the Tearoom section regarding this same topic.
There are days when I swear I'd be lost without my new bib shorts and others when I wonder why I even bother. One upside I guess is that when Lycra gets soaked in the rain, it doesn't flap around in the wind like my cotton shorts and does dry quicker.

Bikes on Luton Airport Shuttle

7 May 2015 - 10:10am
Does anyone know if the shuttle bus from the mid-term car park at Luton Airport will carry bikes packed down in a CTC clear pastic flight bag?


  • 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