CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 1 hour 57 min ago

Re: Best way to the Alps

2 February 2016 - 9:02am
I cycled to Geneva via Le Havre a few years ago (starting from here made bypassing Paris easier), and in Burgundy limited hills and traffic by doing about 100 miles along the Burgundy Canal. At that time the towpath on the second half was better for bikes than the first, but I think there were plans for improvements. I also enjoyed ending via the Col de La Faucille, a 1000m climb through the Jura where you end up above Geneva with a magnificent view of the main Alps including Mont Blanc. If you want further info on any of this, email me donaldhirschparis@gmail.com

Re: First European cycle tour suggestions

2 February 2016 - 8:18am
Thanks all. Booked Portsmouth - St Malo over night ferry. Plan is to get train to Nantes then drift up the ev6, taking each day as it comes and finding campsite space where we want to stay with no fixed reservations.

I can imagine the freshly baguettes, coffee's sat in warm riverside café and the half carrafe of wine with lunch now.

Re: New Route Planner

2 February 2016 - 8:05am
Richard Fairhurst wrote:cursing Javascript...
Well, it looks very neat now.


Re: lighting in Germany

2 February 2016 - 7:45am


Re: First European cycle tour suggestions

2 February 2016 - 1:18am
Was, probably still am, a complete newbie to cycle touring... me and the girl did a bit of the velodyssey .. from Nantes to La Rochelle last summer. (Ferry: Plymouth - Roscoff, train from Morlaix to Nantes). It was bliss, no day to day planning required as you can't cycle more than an hour along the route without finding a campsite. We went peak holiday season and never had trouble finding space at a campsite- cost usually about 14euros a night for the two of us. Great food & wine.. some good surfing on the Atlantic coast too..

Re: lighting in Germany

2 February 2016 - 1:04am
There are international conventions about cross-border traffic, and as a foreign visitor you only have to meet the internationally agreed minimum, not the local regulations.
That's a brake, a white front light, a red back light, a rear reflector, and a bell.
It's on the main CTC site somewhere - I can never find the link so I have to google
http://www.ctc.org.uk/cyclists-library/ ... al-traffic

Summary: if you don't have a bell, put one on.


2 February 2016 - 12:21am
I went 4-12th June last year, and had good weather (Oban - Barra - Tarbert - Uig - Mallaig - Ardnamurchan - Mull - Oban).
I should have started 4 days sooner, but I'd been watching the rain radar and weather forecasts and delayed to let it blow through.

Re: touring and flying with hydraulic disc brakes

1 February 2016 - 11:51pm
andymiller wrote:I currently use Avid BB7s with 203mm discs. Which is probably over-kill, but I'm happy.

160's are big enough for a solo.
We have 203's on the tandem and it stops PDQ with an all up weight of 180kgs including the bike and day bag.

Re: useful sources of news concerning western europe

1 February 2016 - 10:38pm
Looks good - thanks!


1 February 2016 - 10:21pm
TrevA wrote:We did the Inner Hebrides last May. I think it rained almost every day and I was in full winter gear most of the time, with Goretex on top in the rain. So long as you dress for the weather, it's not too bad. Can be quite windy but I don't think I saw a single midge.
Last May was unusually bad.

Re: New Route Planner

1 February 2016 - 10:13pm
It is a bug. Or, was! I think I've fixed it now. Thanks for spotting. (exits, cursing Javascript...)


1 February 2016 - 10:12pm
Thanks again for the info, especially for accommodation. I don't want to carry camping gear particularly!
Surely it can't rain every year!!
Maybe the wind could help push us Northward.

Re: Great Ocean Road.....

1 February 2016 - 10:11pm
Many thank to everyone for the replies......

Tyreon....'Do it on a folder' ??....Seriously ??....One of my bikes is a Brompton and it never occurred to me to use that. I always travel light ( I've done four trips to OZ with just a 35L rucksack ) Food for thought indeed !!!....

RedRaleigh....Many thanks for the route info'...Brilliant input....Thank you....

Note, this is not a camping trip....I've done plenty ( including NZ ) but this is 'under bricks' all the way. I won't plan any night stops but I will have a (very) rough idea of what I am going to do in my head...I will just stop where I stop.

Re: lighting in Germany

1 February 2016 - 10:10pm
The laws have recently changed allowing battery lights for all bikes instead of just lightweight racers as it used to be.

You do however need wheel (or tyre) reflectors and front reflectors in addition to the UK requirements.
Nobody will notice their absence in daylight though.

Re: Critiques of routes for touring

1 February 2016 - 10:09pm
That hill up into Desford past the Lancaster Arms is certainly a killer!
I'd say that the Earl Shilton hill is not as steep, but is longer - so about equal! The only ways of avoiding it are bypassing Earls Shilton entirely (going well north) or using the A47 bypass which has an excellent cyclepath along its entire length - it's a shallow, very long gradient, but doesn't reach the lofty heights of the village itself.
I certainly wouldn't ride in either Coventry or Birmingham for fun if I could help it either!
Have you considered using RideWithGPS.com to draw your routes on?

lighting in Germany

1 February 2016 - 10:04pm
This is my first post, so hello everyone. I'm planning to ride ride to Berlin later in the year. From what I've read, in Germany I should have a dynamo fitted to my bike, I do not intend to ride at night, so do I need one?

Re: First European cycle tour suggestions

1 February 2016 - 9:56pm
Sounds like France, and if you want surf and some likelihood of warmth you are looking at Biarritz and the Western Pyrenees / Dordogne etc, down in the SW. Possibly including the Tarn Gorge. One week cycle tour and one week surfing?


1 February 2016 - 9:22pm
It would be a great time to go. We did it last summer. We stayed in hostels to save carrying tents. Most were good, this one was great, Nunton House Hostel on Benbecula. It could be windy. Any specific questions, just ask.

Re: First European cycle tour suggestions

1 February 2016 - 8:47pm

The velodyssey is nice but pick an area you like and wend through the yellow roads if you prefer, it will all be good.

Re: Great Ocean Road.....

1 February 2016 - 8:40pm
I rode Adelaide to Melbourne ( as part of a much longer tour ) in late August 2001 and loved every minute of it. I would recommend coming out of Adelaide up the Old Mount Barker Rd ( has a bike track ) and then following the quiet roads through to Strathalbyn and then on to Langhorne Creek through the vineyards and cross the Murray at Wellington on the little ferry. I agree that the road along the Coorong can be a little dull at times, but I really enjoyed the quiet - weekdays in non-school holidays was nearly traffic free. I used a mixture of camping, hostels and pubs. I had a little rain coming down the Coorong, but had generally fine weather except for a deluge when crossing the Otway ranges from Port Campbell to Apollo Bay. My panniers ended up as two 20L water containers. I followed the road from Mt Gambier to Nelson, Port Fairy, Warrnumbool and on to the GOR. I would recommend crossing over to Sorrento on the ferry and coming up the Mornington peninsula rather than heading into Melbourne from the Geelong side, however there may be a bike path/route on that side of the Bay now which would make it an easier end to the journey. I have great memories of that trip - the independant hostel in Apollo Bay with the old record player and the collection of records which included such gems as the Soviet Red Army Band plays Marching Tunes, and the young kid staying there who didn't know how a record player worked. I also remember the other cyclists I met ( Katie from New Mexico and Mick from Batemans Bay - where are you now? ). All the best if you decide to give it a go.
An Adelaidian in Somerset.




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