CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 1 hour 22 min ago

Re: LLC and Wales Questions

13 January 2015 - 9:28pm
So I think if I fly into Manchester, I will take a cab to get into Chester. Will probably be pretty knackered from 15hours of travel so will consider Day 1 to be a rest day, let me get my gear and bike sorted out etc.

I am still 50/50 on Camping Gear. Will save me money on lodging (at least 1/4 the price of a B&B) but then I'd have to also find breakfast everyday, and be carrying that much more gear with me. Decisions, decisions!

Re: LLC and Wales Questions

13 January 2015 - 8:06pm
pwa wrote:Sorry, forget my earlier post. I can no longer find a list of farmers willing to take tents on a casual basis. But you might consider just turning up at a farm in a quiet location and asking. Farmers in mid Wales are generally friendly and helpful people.
Or you can try http://campinmygarden.com/

Cycle Touring Festival Clitheroe

13 January 2015 - 8:06pm
Hi Gary. I'm probably not going to be bike-fit unless I pull my finger out. So long as work etc pans out ok (self employed gardener) I should be able to leave on Friday? Lift share if you are feeling lazy?

I like your blog btw. I spent 20+ years in Southern Africa. I did some decent, unsupported hiking in the Chimanimani mountains and Pungwe valley (Moçambique/Zimbabwe) Stunning. Kind regards, Blair.

Re: Crossing the High Atlas passes in Morocco

13 January 2015 - 7:16pm
I've done the Tizi n Test. It's high but it's not that steep as I recall.I think Marrakesh is at around 400m so you get a bit of a leg up. The descent is long down into the Souss valley, so not that hairy. Pretty spectacular though.

To be honest, there's nothing different about the heights in the High Atlas compared to any other mountains I've been over. You climb up and you roll down. Yes, there are switchbacks and some steepish climbs and drops, but no more than in the Alps.

Re: LLC and Wales Questions

13 January 2015 - 7:07pm
I am assuming this is the route to take?

Re: Cycle Touring Festival Clitheroe

13 January 2015 - 7:07pm
Heltor Chasca wrote:
I'm hoping to come along as I've never been to Yorkshire. Exciting. Best of luck...hc

Heltor, you riding up? I should be riding up from Wiltshire, wild camping on the way.


Re: Default tourer?

13 January 2015 - 6:42pm
I see that the "longbikeride" chap, who is pro-LHT, has the surname HEWITT

Re: Default tourer?

13 January 2015 - 3:26pm
I have been riding a Thorn Club Tour as a commuter (over dark and dirty country lanes) and a leisure bike for quite a few years. I don't remember when I bought it, but it was when they cost £699! It's gone through a few pairs of wheels and numerous chain rings, and I'm no longer sure how much of it is original, but I still use it as much as I did when it was new.

If it had been a lighter frame it would probably have met its end several years ago when I was floored by a van at low speed. I rolled, and the bike disappeared under the front of the van. I got up (bruised) and the driver and myself pulled the bike out. The frame was practically unmarked, and everything was working perfectly.

For a commute over hilly terrain and with some poor road surfaces this style of bike is unbeatable, especially when you consider the ability to carry panniers with changes of clothing etc. About the only thing I would change if I were buying today would be the brakes. I would prefer discs to avoid having to replace wheels due to worn rims.

Re: carrying luggage on a carbon road bike

13 January 2015 - 3:14pm
I am always impressed at how little space people can manage with. Even CC touring i need 4 panniers, a handlebar bar bag and the trailer to pull the small generator for in between cafe cups of tea. There's nothing like being able to get the Swan whistling kettle out with the toasted sandwich maker, whilst grooming one's beard.

Re: Default tourer?

13 January 2015 - 12:11pm
I got rid of my Galaxy due to endless ankle pain (still don't know why) and bought a Surly LHT. I didn't believe you could fall in love with a bike, but after one, yes ONE, ride I just love it. I just don't bother riding anything else. I was worried about the weight and the 26" wheels of my 54cm setup, but I needn't have. I get stopped often from people wanting to look at it. Nothing is going to make those big climbs any easier, only me, but for long distance comfort with endless options for customisation I am officially a one bike man.

Re: Thailand 2015

13 January 2015 - 10:39am
I have stayed in the Baan Sabai tens of times and never had a problem. The good safe bike storage is fairly high up my list, but I have always found the place very clean, safe and good value. I pay 350 bhat ( £7) for a double with shared clean bath.

I have just read TripAdvisor and there are lots of negative posts.

I am old school and have been travelling in Asia for over 30 years and don't leave large sums of money in my room, I always carry my (very) valuables with me. Also, it seems that almost all the thefts are from the lockers.

These are flimsy steel lockers and I do think it possible maybe even probable that the night staff may well have stolen the stuff. However, each locker has a pair of loops for your own padlock, but it seems that most people don't use one. I think this is a bit naive, assuming the flimsy lock on the locker to be adequate security for hundreds of dollars.

Most of the reviews do say the place is clean and good value, you just need to take care, like you have to do in any hotel on your travels. It is a budget place and they don't give towels etc in the cheaper rooms. What do people expect? They do give toilet paper and soap.

Having said that, there are hundreds of cheap hotels in Bkk, I just choose to use the Baan Sabai, because I like the place and am happy with the staff and have never had a problem with them. They also take and honour email bookings.

Re routes, etc.. The pedal to Kanchi from Bkk is easy once out of the urban sprawl.

From Kanchi a good onward route is from Kanchi to the Three Pagodas Pass, folowing the route of the (so called) Death Railway. This is a 3 day ride, returning by the same route, so using the bus one way is a good idea. You can get a bus in Kanchi to Sangkhlaburi. From there you can do a half day ride to border before the 3 day ride back to Kanchi.

Edit: The Jolly Frog Backpackers is a great place to stay in Kanchi. Not really a backpackers, but good rooms around a large garden next to River Kwai.

Re: Thailand 2015

12 January 2015 - 10:58pm
I quite enjoyed the " Mae Hong son loop" . A bit steep in places but pretty, it will be all paved by now too.

If coming from the south you'll get a little taste a toerist free zone. By the time you're about ready for fatty food and 7/11 again you'll arrive in Mae hong son

>Poorly written trip report...<

Re: Show your touring bikes !!!!

12 January 2015 - 10:54pm
My Dawes 1-Down

Dawes 1-Down.JPG

May look an ugly duckling but a) the gears 46/36/26 8 speed chainset and 26" wheel size give me performance that suits my limits b) the frame is neither too big or small to carry under my arm and with the small wheels am able to carry over country stiles or through those gated curved ones. The only blot is that the rims brakes dont like muddy tracks as it tends to get onto the side walls and rims c) luggage is kept very low and feels very stable loaded. I bought this bike with 20% off in 1999 (I think) from the YHA Adventure Shop in Covent Garden London ( now gone ) Then it was £649 full price, more than the Galaxy at £599 and was one of the first Dawes bikes I think to have Reynolds 631 main tubes? This was the largest 57cm frame

Re: TOURING 2015

12 January 2015 - 10:48pm
I'm not usually an advocate for jumping on a new bike for a tour, but.

In 2 weeks I''m off to text my new bike on the Southern half of the Trans Andalusia mtb trail in Spain . Its going to be a toughy, 1500km or so in 3 weeks. Then parking my bike up in Alacante so I can use in on weekends while on a course there from march

Now to get back to sewing some new bags together...no pressure

Re: Belgium fixed base recommendations please

12 January 2015 - 8:40pm
Thanks Dudley & Vorpal, some great advice there. I'll update after the trip as to what we get up to etc. thanks again

Re: Thailand 2015

12 January 2015 - 8:26pm
Thanks for the info, will definitely look at the taxi option. We have read some bad reviews about Baan Sabai and numerous thefts of money, has this changed.

At 49 years old, flat is good to start with


Re: Garmin GPS .gpx Compatibility and Advice

12 January 2015 - 7:48pm
Don't know about a 64, but I do have a 62s. My long trip with it was (only) an end to end. Failed to launch it from this holder:
http://www.ram-mount.co.uk/garmin-gpsma ... html#Build
I reckon I'd lose my fillings first!
I've had enough fun using Garmins in the car. On the bike, I only follow preloaded tracks or to locate myself on a map
The 62s has a limit on the number if data points used to define a pre prepared track. I was able to reduce the number but I couldn't get it below the limit for an end to end. This is where the ability to use plug in memory cards came into its own - 2 cards meant I never outfaced the device.
It might be worth checking this sort of thing out for the unit you are considering buying, especially if you are going to use 3rd party gpx files.
Garmin do a free download called Basecamp. There are no meaningful maps in it but it will display whatever map (Doesn't have to be Garmin) is installed in your gps), allow you to prepare a route on it and send it to your device or any plug in card. Or if you have a gpx file from elsewhere, you can view it against your map.

Re: Garmin GPS .gpx Compatibility and Advice

12 January 2015 - 7:02pm
I mention the weight not so much in terms of carrying it, but in terms of it unintentionally leaving the GPS mount. I chose a beefier mount than normal, and still it launched. Most garmin 'bicycle' mounts are quite weak.

The menu control on the etrex is just different, no better no worse. The menus are customisable, so you can have the menu items and order however you want it (most accessed items at the top; map, trip, track mgr, etc). I suspect the reviewers don't like the joystick (etrex) and prefer the thumb-pad of the larger unit. Personally I don't think it's such a big deal, you just use what you've got.

Garmin auto-routing (in Europe, outside UK/France/Germany type countries) is quite poor, for various reasons. It depends where your 4000km ride will take you, as to whether you'll have success with Garmin routing. Having said that, if you can read a map (in fairly basic terms) then you're unlikely to get lost riding in Europe; other than in large cities. In large cities the best is to stop at a big hotel/tourist info and get a single sheet city map, draw on the destination and stick it in your map case.

The 64s will be fine, as would the etrex. Both have minor draw backs, but neither would really cause you a problem. It's not worth the anxiety though, so your 64s is worth it in that case. Load up your .gpx routes, (find the track in the menu, set to display on the map) and you're off.

You can also load up POIs, such as campsites, which might be useful for you. There's a list of campsites from a website called Archies Camping.


Re: Garmin GPS .gpx Compatibility and Advice

12 January 2015 - 6:22pm
Hi FarOeuf,

Thanks for the info. I'm not so concerned with the weight difference between the two, which seems to be about 100g, although launching off the mount doesn't sound very good. I do like the extra battery life though. I'm pretty torn now. I think I'll go check them out in person at a shop and look at the differences.

I've read a couple reviews online for both, and people seem to say that navigating the menus are difficult with the etrax 30, do you find that to be true?

Again, thanks so much for your advice!

Re: Riding to the Semaine Federal

12 January 2015 - 5:23pm
Thanks - that definitely sounds an interesting route, and gives me something to go at.


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