CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 2 hours 13 min ago

Stefan Abrutat's Tour Travel Blog

2 July 2014 - 4:34pm
Just a reminder one of our own on his own tour for last few months

http://sabrutat.blogspot.co.uk/

Re: Dealing with mosquitos

2 July 2014 - 4:29pm
DEET does work, it also dissolves bike helmets. climbing up to Sequoya NP we were invaded by some kind of flies that buzzed round our heads. I sprayed my head (and helmet) with REI Jungle Juice that claims to be 98% DEET and that got rid of the flies.. Next day I noticed a black sticky deposit on my jacket collar. The DEET was melting my helmet. There was no warning on the label about melting plastic (says it's OK with cotton and wool) so I took my helmet back to REI and bellyached; they replaced it.

Re: Cycle Touring in the Outer Hebrides - Questions

2 July 2014 - 2:29pm
You can camp at the Gatliffe Trust Hostels (for a fee) and use their facilities. Berneray is fabulous!

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

2 July 2014 - 1:10pm
dakari-mane wrote:Jamesjohnson wrote:Now I jut need to work out what's causing the twinges in my knees :/
The Alps?

Sorry

Haha, the alps certainly didn't help much. I'll try playing with the seat and see if it gets any better. Thanks.

Also, I hope some of you will be happy to hear that I have posted a new blog on JamesVsWorld it's called 'Solo and Unsupported (or Alone With No Help). Read it here http://jamesvsworld.com/2014/06/29/solo-and-unsupported-or-alone-with-no-help/

Have a read and please comment, share and follow if you like it.

I've now left the Europe I know and entered the more mysterious Eastern Europe! Currently in Croatia having passed the beautiful Slovenia an I'm headed I the coast, it's about time I had a wash

Re: Surly Long Haul Trucker or Thorn Sherpa

2 July 2014 - 11:58am
I have a Thorn Sherpa and i'm extremely happy with it. The Sherpa frame is better quality to the LHT frame in that it's Cold drawn, double butted and heat treated.
I guess you get what you pay for.
I'm sure the LHT would be sufficient for most touring though. on thing i do like about the LHT is the longer chainstay.

Heathrow T123 tunnel closure

2 July 2014 - 10:53am
Something for people planning to cycle to/from Heathrow terminals 1,2,3 to keep an eye on.

According to this web page http://www.heathrowairport.com/commuter/commuting-to-heathrow/by-bicycle (which is for Heathrow workers, not passengers), at some unspecified point in the future both side tunnels (which are the ones used by cyclists) will be closed at the same time for refurbishment, no mention of dates and duration. The same page implies there is no safe cycle access to T1. Alternative provision for Heathrow workers is a cycle hub to the north and come in by bus.

The web page for passengers http://www.heathrowairport.com/transport-and-directions/cycling-to-heathrow mentions none of this. I'm assuming the alternative for cycling passengers is Heathrow Express to/from T5, from where the cycle routes are good, but this is just my guess.

I discovered this after arriving back at T3 late in the evening. By the time I'd reassembled my bike (tandem actually) it was gone 10pm. A random airport worker I asked for directions to the cycling tunnel told me how to get there, and then said he thought it was closed. It is open at present, and once you've got to it, it's fine. What is normally just the outbound (western) service tunnel is cyclists only for both in and outbound.

Re: Spain North to South

2 July 2014 - 9:44am
bikerwaser wrote:Hi Mark

i'm planning to do a similar route this coming October but from Santander. i'll use the Via de la PLata and end up in Andalucia where ever there is some there's some work ( i'm looking on the "workaway" website that offers food and shelter for a few hours work a day ).

thanks for the trip info.

if anyone else has any more info i'd appreciate it .

Stretches of the RDP are b.o.r.i.n.g, pics look great on the web but it's monotonous when actually there. The N-630 enables really good progress and is very (surprisingly) quiet.

ernycb wrote:Top tip : Include the Gredos/Bejar region south of Avila if you can !!!
Agree.

Re: One night in the Welsh Hills

2 July 2014 - 7:33am
Thank you Tasker. I'm so pleased.

Re: One night in the Welsh Hills

1 July 2014 - 11:56pm
Love it! Thanks for sharing

Uruguay-Paraguay via South of Brazil

1 July 2014 - 9:13pm
During upcoming November 2014 I’m planning to cycle from Buenos Aires to Asuncion passing Colonia del Sacramento-Montevideo (Uruguay) and then the Brazilian South states of Rio Grande do Sul-Santa Catarina-Paranà … and finally Asuncion (Paraguay). Of course Iguaçu is a must !!!

Anybody can help me into defining a possible route ??

Thanks a lot, Corrado (alias ConRAD)

Re: Leh-Manali-Chandigarh

1 July 2014 - 7:01pm
Personally I always tour with tent and stove, but there are noodle stops and other accommodation options every so often along the road so I wouldn't worry about finding something somewhere as long as you're not picky and don't leave it too late. If you've got Laura Stone's book, she mentions one stretch with no accommodation that therefore necessitates a tent, I think between Pang and Tanglang La. Well that's changed! Oh and finding water isn't a problem, but I would take a filter of some sort.

A couple of years ago I met a bloke who had only decided to do the ride in Leh, had bought a European "trekking" style hybrid bike somewhere there and was riding to Manali with just normal clothes and so on in a backpack as luggage. I assume he did okay, he was certainly doing more miles per day than I was, and was certainly more adventurous than me in the sense of just going at it on a whim.

As others have mentioned it's the high passes that are the problem in the shoulder months - life goes on in Keylong for example you just can't get a bus to Manali. I am sure some locals walk over in flipflops and flimsy coats and think nothing of it.

SW France Camping Tour 2014 & Penultimate Stage of the TDF

1 July 2014 - 5:18pm
Companions sought SW France Camping Tour 2014 & Penultimate Stage of the TDF


An approximate start date of Wednesday 23rd or Thursday 24th July 2014, return flights to Bergerac or Bordeaux.

The bike bus does not quite fit in with TDF stage and takes longer. Flights with bags, bikes , taxes, online check in etc etc etc work out around £300 return, {Manchester / Liverpool, often a little less from London / South Coast airports , see sky-scanner etc} depending on dates / routes and airline - so just a little more than the bike bus.

Would then be able to watch the penultimate TDF stage {TT} with the start in Bergerac.

http://www.letour.com/le-tour/2014/us/stage-20.html Sat 26th July

See Travellers' Tales: A Yarn in Provence. CTC Cycle magazine, May - June 2013 edition . Page 81 for a similar tour in 2012, but Toulouse to Nice.

Canoeing in the Dordogne http://www.canoe-france.com/en/dordogne/index.php

50 to 60 miles per day - flexible, cycling, canoeing, sightseeing sampling wine , beer and food etc.

Two possible routes {click on the links to go to Google maps}

http://goo.gl/maps/lHZNH Dordogne and Lot valleys –

Less than 500 miles, or circa 600 with Albi etc, plus day rides

or a longer route, but could take a train from the eastern Dordogne to the foot of the Aspin or Tourmalet.

http://goo.gl/maps/qzkn4 Dordogne and Pyrenees.

So cycle around Dordogne, do some canoeing and sight seeing, then train to the Western Pyrenees, rides over some of the big passes; Aspin and Tourmalet etc, possible cablecar to the Biggore, then through the Pyrenees to Biarritz and North along the Atlantic coast to Bordeaux and the flight back to the UK?

The train from Dordogne to Pyrenees via Toulouse would save around 200 miles, so more time for sight seeing , also keeps the over all mileage down - costs about £25.

PM ‘HillSpecial’ {North West England based. }

Or e-mail hillspecial@rocketmail.com

Some links below for just a few of places of interest in SW France.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dordogne
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocamadour
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lascaux
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourmalet
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pic_du_Midi_de_Bigorre
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gavarnie_Falls
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lourdes
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pau,_Pyr%C ... tlantiques
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Rhune
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biarritz
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dune_of_Pilat

See CTC Cycle Magazine page 81, May June 2013, for a similar tour in 2012.

Re: Spain North to South

1 July 2014 - 2:13pm
Top tip : Include the Gredos/Bejar region south of Avila if you can !!!

Re: Cycle Touring in the Outer Hebrides - Questions

1 July 2014 - 12:31pm
patpalloon wrote:That's amazing! I couldn't zoom out to see where it is, but I think I've found it by looking at the satellite view.

It is easier to use the old Google Maps. Click on the "?" button at the bottom of the main screen (above the thumbnails) and select "Return to classic Google Maps" - You can then use the split screen to see the map and the streetview at the same time.

Will

France: La Manche to Le Med -advice?

1 July 2014 - 12:14pm
I'm planning a two-week trip from Caen to Montpellier, leaving mid-July, intending to stay at small hotels / chambres d'hotes (not camping). We (two fairly experienced cycle tourists) are generally following this very well documented route (but taking a little longer): http://www.cyclingcouncillor.com/index.asp?PageID=108

Any comments/suggestions on the route, accommodation, things to see, places to avoid, or any other tips for undertaking a 2-week tour in hot weather would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

Ian

Re: Leh-Manali-Chandigarh

1 July 2014 - 9:52am
Neil Wheadon wrote:How are you acclimatising to the altitude?
Leh - 18875 Foot
Menali - 13050 foot
Chandigarh - 1066foot

Yes it's downhill on this trip, but most tours go the other way
Neil
It's a fair point but the altitudes you cite are not of those places. I normally cite altitudes in metres, but here goes.

13,051 ft is the height of the Rohtang Pass, which Manali lies at the foot of. Manali itself is about 6,000 ft.

18,379 ft is the incorrect height shown on a sign on the Khardung La, whose actual height is 17,582. The Khardung La is not on the Leh-Manali highway, rather it lies to the north of Leh on the way to the Nubra Valley, and therefore is distinctly optional, though probably worthwhile if you actually go over to Nubra and are acclimatised to get over it.

Leh itself is at about 11,500 ft, and the highest pass on the Leh-Manali is the Tanglang La at 17,480 (again there is an incorrect claim of, maybe not coincidentally, 17,582 on a sign on the pass). They do like exaggerating the height of their passes. There's a website somewhere that documents falsely claimed mountain and pass heights.

Nevertheless, there is a requirement for acclimatisation and as OP is planning to go for 6 weeks I rather presume he must have some additional plans to facilitate that. I've always wanted to go to Zanskar.

Re: Cycle Touring in the Outer Hebrides - Questions

1 July 2014 - 9:46am
That's amazing! I couldn't zoom out to see where it is, but I think I've found it by looking at the satellite view.

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