CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 2 hours 14 min ago

Re: Multi Function Watches

10 December 2014 - 6:39am
+1 for the Casio Waveceptor. Mine's an older, cheaper one that I use for timing club events and just seems built to last (my last one did 22 years on the original battery).

Re: Multi Function Watches

10 December 2014 - 6:30am
Casio F-91 is £7 at moment (argos), or £10 in fun colours.

I tried a Timex Ironman, for the bigger digits for running, but all those buttons just got in the way. F91 is lighter, cheaper (many benefits, both practical and cultural), fewer in-the-way functions. I use the internet-corrected nuclear clock in the corner of my computer desktop for annual calibrations - you can't trust the dab radio pips these days!

Re: murcia area cycling base

9 December 2014 - 9:57pm
iviehoff wrote:A lot of cyclists favour Cocentaina as a centre for that. That's 150km via main roads from the airport. But it has a railway station on the main line inland from Alicante so you can probably get there by train. There are also plenty of small villages in the mountains which have small inns. I doubt you'll find anything particularly cheap in that region of Spain.

Cocentainia is a nice old place, but no trains from Alicante, only Valencia. And it's at the junction of three Vias Verdes: Maigmo, Xixarra and Serpis, so good for those on fat (or sensible) tyres who want to explore rail trails. Alcoy, a few miles to the south is a workaday but interesting town with cheap hotels (e.g. Hostal Savoy where I have stayed several times) is also a good centre for exploring the 'Comtat'.

I think Murcia itself would be a good base. It's not such a big place to get out of with quite a mixture of different terrain within a day's ride, from groves of date palms at Elche to rugged mountains in several directions, to tasty Jumilla vineyards, to the coast and the Mar Menor, and even a Via Verde - del Noroeste.

Re: Canada to Mexico

9 December 2014 - 9:20pm
Thanks lisap

Re: Canada to Mexico

9 December 2014 - 9:10pm
If you are island hopping make sure to get the BC Experience ferry card as it offers discounted travel. Bikes are usually on the bottom deck and you can stay with the bike while the ferry is sailing. The ferry from Victoria to Port Angeles will involve customs to enter the US but they are very friendly and last time I went through the officer gave me an address and telephone number of relatives living in San Diego if I needed a place to stay before flying out.

Once in Port Angeles the town rises uphill but there are motels away from the port as you cycle up the Main Street and cheaper than by the ferry. I stayed at the Far View Motel as it was pouring, it has a laundry and is opposite the Albertsons grocery store. When you leave Port Angeles make sure you use the Olympic Discovery Trail to ride off road as far as possible. If you are going west round the coast expect rain.

There will be bears but as long as you are sensible and use the bear boxes in the parks if you are camping it will be fine. Don't have toiletries, any food at all or anything smelly except you in the tent. Quite honestly you will have more problems with marauding raccoons than bears and they are vicious little whatsits so don't mess with them. My last trip they attacked a group of campers and tore rucksacks from tents to get to toothpaste. Never ever ever leave food or cooking utensils in camel backs or panniers if they are near your tent, put them in the bear boxes provided.

Never seen wild dogs but the domestic variety can be nasty. Get a pepper spray or Halt dog spray from the outdoor store called MEC in Vancouver. It's on Broadway and simple to get to. You might see a coyote if your lucky but they are very shy.

You are certainly going to have to get a shift on to do the trip in 25 days but then I only do 50 to 60 miles a day and like to take my time. The official end point in San Diego by the border is a sight to see. A lovely large open park the U.S. side and a sea of white houses on a hillside on the other with a massive bull ring going down the the sea. The security fence goes out into the sea itself and there are patrol boats and border patrol 4x4's everywhere.

I know it's a long time to wait till you go but it will fly by and I hope you have a fantastic trip.

Re: Cable lock in hand baggage?

9 December 2014 - 8:48pm
simonhill wrote:It doesn't seem to be on the UK list but I am sure I have seen "no restraining items eg packing tape etc" on an airline no go list.

I've taken a 50m climbing rope on UK to mainland Europe flights a couple of times...

My best ever item was a really heavy Italian pasta machine, basically a 5kg lump of solid metal - it was £5 from a charity shop so I wasn't worried about losing it, but it got through with no problems.

Andorra, Port de Cabus

9 December 2014 - 8:43pm
I am planning a cycle route in the Pyrenees with a group of between 6 to 10 cyclists from the UK to ride in June 2015. We plan to ride through Andorra from East to West entering over the Port d’Envalira. This has the attraction of being the highest paved road pass in the Pyrenees . I am looking into two different possible routes heading west from there.

One follows the CG-2 and CG-1 through Andorra la Vella, Santa Coloma, Sant Julia de Loria and heads south across the border into Spain.

The other follows the CG-3 until Les Escaldes just before Andorra la Vella and then turns north to follow the CG-3 to La Massana, then takes the CG-4 through Erts, Xixerella, Pal and onwards over the Port de Cabus. This would then descend the Port de Cabus to the west into Spain through Tor to Alins on the L-510 in Spain. I am unsure whether the route descending the Port de Cabus to Alins is a properly surfaced road or whether it is an off-road track. I have been able to find out that it certainly was an off-road track until at least a few years ago, but cannot find any recent reference to it and wonder if anyone can tell me whether it has been made into a properly surfaced road recently. We will be on road bikes and we will need to remain on properly surfaced roads, hence my question.

Any help in getting to the answer would be much appreciated.

Re: Cable lock in hand baggage?

9 December 2014 - 8:37pm
Just WEAR ALL YOUR CLOTHES. Sweaty, but safe - and cheap. You can strip off when you get in the 'plane.

Then the dodgy metal can go in the hold. Leave the pedals on the bike, screwed in the backs of the cranks - assuming you're not too precious about paint. This bike IS for touring I presume, not for looking at?

Re: Off-bike travel shoes recommendation

9 December 2014 - 8:28pm
An alternative approach would be to buy local shoes en route.

There is a theory that you take two pairs of shoes to cover the extremes and put up with the conditions inbetween.
So people might take walking boots and sandals.

its a tradeoff between packed size, offering enough protection to your soles and casual functionality. I like those foam plastic clogs as their fine in showers, beaches etc.

Re: peak tours. the company

9 December 2014 - 8:11pm
I did LEJOG with them a few years ago and would have no hesitation in recommending them

Great Company. Great Service

Re: Canada to Mexico

9 December 2014 - 8:02pm
Pete Jack wrote:Try to land in Lee Vining on a Sunday if you're lucky as I was they'll have live music at the gas station (free) which has superb food at the Whoa Nellie Deli You won't find anything like it in Europe or the rest of the US for that matter.

Thanks Peter. This is on the route, so will definitely try to stop there

Re: Off-bike travel shoes recommendation

9 December 2014 - 8:01pm
I'm not an SPD user (at least not on a touring bike), I just have some comfy trainers that are used on and off the bike. The main criteria for me is that they must be quick-drying, otherwise you might get some strange cultures developing on a long tour in damp conditions! I also take a light pair of sandals - I don't get on well with flip-flops or crocs and I can use them for sightseeing when the weather's nice.

Re: Canada to Mexico

9 December 2014 - 7:56pm
Thanks for the posts. All advice is good advice on the basis that I have never been to Canada or America before

Out of Vancouver we are going to do a bit of island hopping and get the ferry to Victoria
From Victoria we head West around the Olympic National Park and follow USA 101 (forever) down to (almost) Eureka
Just before Eureka we head East through Willow Creek (a highlight for me - BigFoot Country!) to Reading
From Reading we carry on West, past Lassen Volcanic Park to Chester/Lake Almanaor
From there we head South to Lake Tahoe and Topaz Lake
From there we go West through the Stanislaus National Forest to put our selves on the West Side of Yosemite
Then we turn East again through Yosemite, and do a detour around the Lakes and Mountains - June Lake, Mono Lake, etc
Then we head South (and a bit East) down the side of Death Valley - and hopefully dip in at least once (detour more like)
From there we go to Victorville, Big Bear Lake, Hemet and Ramona
From Ramona it's a hop skip and jump to Tijuana and back to San Diego
I don't think we will actually go into Mexico, unless it's to dip the wheel over the border

I'll order the books that people have recommended

What do I need to take to fend off the local wild like Bears, Wolves, Dogs, Big Foot, etc?

peak tours. the company

9 December 2014 - 7:01pm
Hi

Has anyone had any experience of Peak Tours?

I am thinking of doing one of the trips and wondered if anyone has any views or comments. My gut feeling is that they are going to be very good but that only based on emails

Re: murcia area cycling base

9 December 2014 - 6:11pm
Re: murcia area cycling base
Postby HarryD » Tue Dec 09, 2014 10:01 am

Alhama De Murcia (70km from the airport) is at the foot of the Sierra de Espuna and has some great rides as does the area to the south. There are two hotels in/near town; Los Bartolos and the Mariposa

Also have a look at Owners Direct as they often have cheap holiday rentals
HarryD

Stayed in the Los Bartolos last year.....considering it again, nice wee town with good access to the hills. just thought there might be others, cheers.

Re: Canada to Mexico

9 December 2014 - 5:55pm
Even though some of the roads in central Oregon are labelled 'scenic' but they aren't really. You could end up riding lots of miles in corridors of trees and not able to see much at all. The coast is a better bet it's really wild and you are right on it. Going N to S enables you to see everything. Going the other way you are on the wrong side of the road for the views. On top of that chances are you'll have tail winds. There's a very good book on touring in Oregon: Cycling Sojourner It's a nice adjunct to the ACA maps. If you're going to be in the Seattle area send me a PM I may be able to keep you company for a few miles.

Re: Multi Function Watches

9 December 2014 - 3:59pm
I've had a Waveceptor for a couple of years and on balance, I'm pleased with it. I can't hear the alarms and I've no use for a stopwatch or knowing the time in Timbuctu (or how to spell that. ) As al says, it's solar -powered and radio controlled which is all I need. I bought it on those criteria. The buttons are large and easily operated accidentally by a cuff etc. I had several occasions when my cuff altered the display and at first, I couldn't work out how to get it right and the instructions were no help, which was frustrating.

Re: Multi Function Watches

9 December 2014 - 3:50pm
Got a Casio Waveceptor recently for my birthday to replace my 14 year old battered Seiko. Its titanium so its light and looks very nice. Its analog and has several functions like stopwatch and alarms I shall never use, and it automatically adjusts to the local time if you select the time zone from the digital display. The best things are that its solar and doesnt need a battery, and, its always correct because its updated by a radio signal at night. The metal strap adjustment and catch is way way ahead of anything I have ever seen. It cost £118 from the Watch Shop. If you want a cheaper plastic version they make them. Its a far better watch than any Rolex etc because of the advanced technology which is cutting edge rather than just bling.

Al

Multi Function Watches

9 December 2014 - 3:13pm
After 14 years faithful service my traveling/touring Casio watch is about to give up the ghost. Admittedly it is a bit of a Trigger's broom, but I am fond of it.

Before I splash out 10 quid for a new one I was wondering if anyone had any experience of the more sophisticated digital watches. Functions such as compass, thermometer, etc. I am not really interested in the altimeter but would welcome comments on it.

My (very) basic needs are: time, daydate, alarm, weatherproof.

Is it a tenner, or can you temp me?

Re: Cable lock in hand baggage?

9 December 2014 - 3:06pm
Don't worry mate, when you get to NZ they'll impound half your stuff because its not a not clean enough!


Seiously, don't forget to wash, clean disinfect, etc. Absolutely no foodstuffs.

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