CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

Syndicate content
Discussion boards hosted by CTC, the national cycling charity
Updated: 1 hour 11 min ago

Re: knee pain and touring

6 July 2014 - 4:37pm
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 - 11:31am
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 - 10:56am
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 - 10:50am
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 - 9:59am
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 - 8:57am
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 - 8:42am
A bit useless, as I have never used an online review all other questions became irrelevant.

Re: Dealing with mosquitos

6 July 2014 - 8:21am
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 - 8:12am
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 - 7:55am
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 - 7:14am
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

Re: knee pain and touring

5 July 2014 - 9:57pm
Although you can cycle without any pedal retension for feet ,cycling 35 miles might be better done with a minimum of strapless pedal clips £5.
The problem with cycling with no device for feet is that your feet will creep around on the pedals and if they twist a little and you then continue to cycle this can then lead to knee pain.
If you are cycling on the midfoot heel on edge of pedal, then moving to ball on pedal will initially give you foot arch cramps which will pass very soon and your cycling will take on a new life.

Although cycling mid foot is a suggested way to relieve knee pain, you have cycled for years with no pain ? so did you change your shoes ?
It started on hilly terrain IIRC seat height would not affect standing and pedaling, in the seat the normal sensation is subtle sorness above knee cap in the thigh.
Both knees

Re: Dealing with mosquitos

5 July 2014 - 9:09pm
+1 for Jungle Formula.

When in Asia we used mosquito coils when sitting around indoors and outside.-

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/like/19096619 ... 108&ff19=0

Geckos are your friend as well(They eat mossies)

I`ve just got over my annual unpleasant insect bite episode which resulted in me having to take a heavy dose of antibiotics for a week.

Re: knee pain and touring

5 July 2014 - 6:51pm
Bike was in for a service and think he didn't put height back as was. I'm no bike expert, I don't have toe clips either. I wear walking shoes to cycle. Anyhow the advice here has been excellent and feeling great after my cycle.

Re: Dealing with mosquitos

5 July 2014 - 6:20pm
On the aerosol DEET spray from S.C. Johnston the instructions said "Do not reapply". Anybody know why?

Re: Spain North to South

5 July 2014 - 6:07pm
The N-630 enables really good progress and is very (surprisingly) quiet.

+1 for the N630. We cycled Santander to Tarifa last October en route to The Gambia. They've built a motorway south of Zamora that runs alongside it and hence the N630 is largely empty. Perfect for the fully loaded tandem we were on. The Via de la Plate tracks were waterlogged where we joined it.

Re: Dealing with mosquitos

5 July 2014 - 6:02pm
If anybody reading this thread is thinking of heading to Africa and concerned about mosquitos, I'd say don't bother with Doxycycline anti-malarials. I took them regularly while cycling to The Gambia and still got malaria. Regarding Marmite (mentioned elsewhere in this thread), I had a phenomenal appetite for the stuff while I was sick. Not sure if the B vitamins help fight malaria or if the malaria depletes the body of them, but there's definitely a connection. Indeed part of the local treatment I got involved B vitamin supplements.

Re: online hostel reviews - what do you think?

5 July 2014 - 5:43pm

One issue is that outside of big cities you don't really have a choice of hostel. OK if you're backpacking by train say, location isn't such a factor, but if you are cycle touring then the choice may come down to stay at the hostel or stay at somewhere more expensive.

Vorpal wrote: Similarly, it's hard to say how many negative or positive reviews will influence my decisions. I picked '2', but if there are 2 negative reviews and and 100 positive, or there other way around, I'm not inclined to pay so much attention to those that are in small numbers. If there are only two reviews, and they are both negative, well, that means a bit more. But the survey only asks about numbers, not proportions, ratios, etc.

I apply the rule of 'there's always one'.


  • 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


Terms and Conditions