CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 1 hour 48 min ago

Re: faroe islands anyone toured there, how did you get there

27 February 2015 - 9:26am
grani wrote:I have just found out that Eimskip also has a cargo ship sailing from Scrabster to the Faroes. Those ships used to take a couple of passengers so it would be worthwhile to ask.
Eimskip won't take passengers any more. They published a notice on their website to that effect a few years ago.

Re: Shane goes lightweight :)

26 February 2015 - 10:08pm
Vocation shane..................insurance or banker

Re: Shane goes lightweight :)

26 February 2015 - 7:51pm
Nope, they're all just holidays for me, sometimes a weekend sometimes a year. Sometimes I need to be sharper and better prepared than others .

I think few bike trips fall in to an expedition category as you're almost always on some kind of road with some kind of traffic therefore an exit if the going gets tough. But thats just my opinion , and something better discussed over a bottle of wine than on a forum

Re: faroe islands anyone toured there, how did you get there

26 February 2015 - 7:17pm
It is very sad that Smyril no longer run from Scabster. When I went that had just put a new platform in to receive the ferry. It must be said it didn't actually work properly and cars were trapped on the ferry for an hour before a makeshift ramp could be built. Seems they stopped visiting Scabster the next year.
Maybe CalMac didn't like being reminded what a decent ferry looks like (:

Re: faroe islands anyone toured there, how did you get there

26 February 2015 - 6:58pm
Thanks for the link will be reading it later!

Have just been digging around the Eimskip web site. Hmm 328 Euros to ship a bike (not sure if that is just one way or not), this could get expensive!
http://eimskip.is/EN/import/information ... d%20US.pdf

Re: Orange / Vaucluse / Luberon - ideas?

26 February 2015 - 6:01pm
Interested in the hotel Audax, would that be Le Mas de la Lause? Just looked up on Trip Advisor and it sounds good.
I went on Chris Ellisons CTC tour which is east of Orange,(highly recommended and still going), it is based in Buis de Barronnies and all round that area is memorable, very good day rides from there.

Re: Orange / Vaucluse / Luberon - ideas?

26 February 2015 - 4:45pm
^^^Liked your blog.

Maybe a bit far from Orange, the Gorges du Tarn and the Gorges de la Jonte are spectacular. There are vultures on the cliffs over the Jonte: if you swap the bike for boots one afternoon you can climb up the cliff paths and see them flying past about 30 feet away.

Other pleasant places: I'm fond of Carpentras, and there's a good hotel at Le Barroux. We stayed there in cherry season first time we did the Ventoux, and on our evening stroll found that there were cherry trees growing by the roadside free for anyone to help themselves from. The hotel was in a "mas provençal" (think "maison") with metre-thick walls, wonderfully cool after a day's cycling. The owners were from London but the food was 100% local.

If you're into junk/antique shops, Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is good for an evening stroll.

Re: Shane goes lightweight :)

26 February 2015 - 4:12pm
I think there's a huge difference in 'touring' and what's come to be known as 'expedition' touring and different yet again to what's now known as 'bikepacking'
One is light ,one medium and one heavy

Re: Weight distribution.

26 February 2015 - 4:00pm
I prefer the handling with a reasonable proportion of the weight on the front. I usually end up with about a 40/60 front/rear split, but that's largely dictated by the relative pannier size.
Traditionally, French cycletourists put most of their gear on the front, but their bikes are designed with front-loading in mind.

If you aren't used to loaded touring, and you intend to take a larger share of the load, take more than your share of communal kit (i.e tent/stove/fuel/tools) rather than any of Mrs Raider's personal stuff.
Inexperienced tourists can do things like take full size bottles of shampoo, separate conditioner, deodorant, shaving foam etc rather than just a bar of soap, or soap and shampoo decanted into a little bottle. Having to carry the excess teaches you not to take it next time.

Re: Weight distribution.

26 February 2015 - 3:37pm
Last tour my front panniers were 2.9 and 3.1kg. My rear 3.3 and 3.7kg. Including the panniers themselves. No handlebar bag. Before food which would have evened out the rear panniers somewhat. The only handling issue I've ever had was a slight front wheel wobble at certain speeds. Traced to having a half full 1l fuel bottle in a front pannier. Moving fuel to a rear pannier sorted it.

Having front panniers equal weights seems logical though I haven't tried unequal weights.

Re: New Forest Tour

26 February 2015 - 3:17pm
JBB wrote:Des49 wrote:Deevoy88 wrote:Yes i do agree that two weeks is a long time for the new forest however this would be my first tour after being hit by a lorry two years ago. I have a artificial knee, 4 fused vertebrae in my back and also metal holding my right arm together from wrist to elbow. I am in no hurry trust me
I will be starting in Ashurst and "moving on" from there. If i do run out of miles then the I.O.W would be a option for me.

I have great respect for you. Best of luck and hope it all goes well.

If you get stuck at all; bad weather, repairs etc feel free to contact me. We live on the northern edge of the Forest. I too have been hit by a truck - far less physical damge but it's taken a long time to recover mentally. Drop me a PM and I'll happily pass on address and phone numbers.

On a happier note I'll start making a list of places you might like!

Oh that would be great thanks. Yea for a while everytime out and about i heard sqweeking brakes i would tense and freak. Was in hospital for about 3 months, half of that was unconscious.
But a list of good places would be great though. Thanks alot.

Re: Weight distribution.

26 February 2015 - 3:10pm
Unladen, mine's 61/39, but I only use rear panniers, so it's 68/32 fully laden.

Re: Shane goes lightweight :)

26 February 2015 - 2:41pm
foxyrider wrote:
How much? Maybe my 25kg (inc bike) is on the light end of things but i can't imagine toking around twice the weight!

Yup, travelling so light is very refreshing after some of my other trips:

Through the Kalahari I had 10kg of food and fuel + 20kg of water plus abut 25kg of gear.

Hard work on the R31 (2) by shanecycles.com, on Flickr

In Canada I had 10kg of food and almost 10kg of fuel and about 25kg of gear (not including boots that weight almost 3kg a pair )

2013-12-24 11.56.31 by shanecycles.com, on Flickr

Despite being a late convert I do like this lightweight non-sense

Re: Weight distribution.

26 February 2015 - 2:18pm
60/40 rear/front is ideal (remember the barbag is part of this) I think others have mentioned all the major points and of course you want to keep the weight low for stability - especially on the front! Don't fill the bags but do weigh them, with two bikes it should be fairly easy to spread the load to give you best performance.

Re: faroe islands anyone toured there, how did you get there

26 February 2015 - 1:50pm
http://www.beaconrcc.org.uk/hubub/2014/ ... -forecast/
This is an article I wrote for CTC magazine some years ago following a four week stay camping by bike. Great place.

Re: Touring in Norway

26 February 2015 - 1:15pm
The Map Shop is a very good source for Norwegian maps, and also very helpful at advising if you aren't sure quite what you need: http://www.themapshop.co.uk/europe/rest/norway.htm The Nordeca 1:50,000 series covers the whole country -- but probably give more detail than you really need for cycle touring (and the cost mounts up, too!). You can get away with the 1:400,000 'Veikart' maps (4 sheets for the whole country) if you aren't planning on going off-road (to any great extent), and don't mind not knowing how steep the hills will be until you get to them (there's something to be said for ignorance being bliss, actually...). A compromise are the 1:100,000 'special sheets', which show contours, and a bit more detail -- but which don't cover the whole country (there's an index map on the Map Shop webpage).

Re. your question about Bergen: I'd say it's worth visiting -- it's one of my favourite cities in Norway (or anywhere). But: it isn't the nicest city to cycle in or out of, I have to say. It might be worth using a train or boat to avoid slogging through the suburbs? (There's a fast boat route from the end of the Sognefjord down to Bergen [and vice versa]).

Re: Weight distribution.

26 February 2015 - 1:09pm
jamesgilbert wrote:I don't think I've ever heard of someone having heavier front panniers than rear, maybe it's the other way round? There was quite a lengthy discussion about the pros and cons of front panniers here: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=89652

I thought it quite unusual advice but it may well be geared towards getting an even distribution of overall weight across the length of the bike? It sort of makes sense if you look at it that way. The video from the Adventure Cycling group and America bicycle is quite clear on the advice..........


weight distribution in panniers is covered approx 1.00 minute in.

Re: Weight distribution.

26 February 2015 - 12:42pm
I have made the decision that I am willing to trade off any handling issues for the weight savings.

I often tour (and ride) with a very rear heavy bike, I can feel that this causes handling problems especially off the bike. However I soon got used to it and the bike which I do it to is very good at taking it.
On a 200ish mile weekend tour I may feel it is an issue a couple of times. Most of the time I feel like I am not on a fully loaded tourer so much as a slightly heavy Audax bike. It is most noticeable when I am carrying my food shopping as well as camping gear. Without my weight on the bike the front wheel goes skyward at the slightest provocation. On the plus side I can get through obstructions like kissing gates very easily, just pop it on its back wheel and push it through.

Re: Weight distribution.

26 February 2015 - 12:30pm
jamesgilbert wrote:I don't think I've ever heard of someone having heavier front panniers than rear, maybe it's the other way round? There was quite a lengthy discussion about the pros and cons of front panniers here: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=89652

A long time ago in Ireland I bumped into a couple of French ladies on a long tour but hosteling/b&bs. They just had 2 large front panniers only and were very happy with this arrangement. I was camping and added small front panniers to my large rears, this also worked well for me until I lost one front pannier when I tore down a steep straight lane only to find that the surfacing ran out in the dip at the bottom, brought home how important it is have a well secured and balanced front load!

Re: East West C2C Spanish Pyrenees Tour.

26 February 2015 - 12:18pm
Thanks both for the helpful replies!

sweatpee - in light of what you are saying here I might have a go at the unnamed route but then have some alternative surfaced road options planned out if the unpaved sections turn out to be too much to be enjoyable. I've done off road touring through New Zealand before and loved the challenge and complete lack of traffic. However I know a 3000m day + off road is tough I just have a feeling this will be tougher so I will plan my days carefully if I go ahead with this in the summer.

Interesting what you say about the EV1 route as well, I had it recommended to me but I always wondered if that person was recommending it on the basis of it being flat : )

Anyway I will report back with the details of what I ended up doing!



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