CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 1 hour 32 min ago

Re: Dilema - mud-guards or wider tyres

7 April 2015 - 9:11am
Stick with mudguards. If it rains for a few consecutive days you will be very uncomfortable, more so than a bit of vibration etc from the narrow tyre.

If you want look at a wider tyre then remember that not all manufacturer's sizes are the same. A 25 in Michelin Pro 4 is very tall when compared to a 25 Continental 4 Seasons. I have cycle camped with both these tyres with no comfort problem due to tyres, so carrying nothing I would not expect you to have any issues.

Dilema - mud-guards or wider tyres

7 April 2015 - 8:52am
I'm cycling Dover to Cape Wrath in the summer on my road bike (supported tour). Currently run 23mm tyres, but it's been suggested 25mm may be more comfortable over that distance (1000 miles in 2 weeks).

Problem is I can't go 25mm and fit my mud-guards as there isn't enough clearance on the frame / brakes. Do I go with existing 23mm and keep the guards, or ditch the guards in favour of 25mm? Going in August, but can't guarentee dry weather / roads even at that time of year

Thoughts, and reasoning, appreciated, thanks

Chris

Re: Wild camping in England ???

7 April 2015 - 8:51am
Someone who did it a lot wrote an article on wildcamping in England in my club magazine a few years ago. She said be aware that farmers may (1) drive tractors around their fields in the dark with the lights off, and (2) transfer livestock from one field to another in the wee hours.

A German cycle tourist I met said wild camping is really easy in England, presumably in comparison to Germany.

Re: Carrying currency on a tour in Europe

7 April 2015 - 7:44am
Sweep wrote::D bigjim wrote:My expereince in Germany and Austria is that the small hotels, Zimmer, etc, is they will not accept a card. They have a heart attack when you show a credit card. France or Portugal no problem.
Wny their extreme aversion to cards?

I do know there is a certain preference for cash in italy - you don't have to think too hard to figure out why.
It's a cultural thing in Germany, traditionally cheques were only used for big purchases like a car or house, everything else was cash. It was an attitude which made the country much less susceptible to the credit crunch when it happened.

Re: Wild camping in England ???

7 April 2015 - 12:39am
sabrutat wrote:I rode the Coast and Castles route recently, and wild camped pretty much the entire time. Here's my blog entry about a portion of it: possibly NSFW if your boss doesn't like swearing.

http://bit.ly/1d9ipnE

Cheers

Stef


Liked it Stef. I like your warts an all style.

Re: Wild camping in England ???

7 April 2015 - 12:37am
Weimarunner wrote:Personally wouldn't dream of lighting a fire whilst wild camping, there's plenty of camp sites that allow open fires.
Here's a 'how to' wild camping guide. - http://www.cycletourstore.co.uk/wild-ca ... -to-guide/


I can see that there are instances when a fire would be totally inappropriate but if you never have a fire while wild camping you are missing out on a real big pleasure and a major part of the experience.
There is no problem lighting small fires while wild camping in Scotland. It is allowed. I think the blog you have attached is more about what I'd call stealth camping rather than wild camping. The essence of wild camping in Scotland has nothing to do with hiding so you actually can do it with a bright orange four man frame tent if you want. It is all about being considerate of others who share the land and leaving no trace when you go. That about sums it up. Get yourself up to Scotland and dance round your campfire howling at the moon, you will want to stay here !

Re: Wild camping in England ???

6 April 2015 - 10:49pm
I rode the Coast and Castles route recently, and wild camped pretty much the entire time. Here's my blog entry about a portion of it: possibly NSFW if your boss doesn't like swearing.

http://bit.ly/1d9ipnE

Cheers

Stef

Re: Wild camping in England ???

6 April 2015 - 10:20pm
Quite agree, there's a lot of money saved over a long tour by wild camping and you get to be really selective over your pitch [emoji6]

Re: Touring possibly the South of France along the coast

6 April 2015 - 10:19pm
If you dont want to stick to the coast a few miles inland you will find the old pilgrim routes into Spain. There is one from Piedmont and/or another from Arles.
See https://www.caminodesantiago.me/communi ... edoc.9598/
The camino website has a lot of information about routes. These are based on walking routes but a lot more cyclists using the routes now.
I know the area west of Agde where the canal ends. There are cycle routes along side and along the coast but they are local paths which dont necessarily all join up.
One trick is to use maps supplied by the tourist office to guide you between towns.
Also look at Eurovelo website for other possibilities.
Good luck.

Re: Wild camping in England ???

6 April 2015 - 10:15pm
Weimarunner wrote:Personally wouldn't dream of lighting a fire whilst wild camping, there's plenty of camp sites that allow open fires.
Here's a 'how to' wild camping guide. - http://www.cycletourstore.co.uk/wild-ca ... -to-guide/

thanks for that. I fancy the idea of free and spend the £ on other things

Re: Carrying currency on a tour in Europe

6 April 2015 - 9:56pm
I used a Caxton card for a trip to the USA years ago when I didn't want to risk my usual cards (they didn't even check your signature then and chip and pin was unknown... don't know if that's changed yet). It worked fine everywhere we tried. Small charge for ATM withdrawals, no charge for purchases, so used it to buy things more than withdraw cash.

These days I've one of Martin Lewis's top travel cards. No worries in Europe for cash or purchases. Only place I'd take more than a cab fare in cash is probably Cuba. Banking there is rather random and it's not only their fault.

Re: Is insurance for a tour in Europe a worthwhile purchase?

6 April 2015 - 9:29pm
bainbridge wrote:Sports cover direct. Cycle touring is selectable from their drop down list of sporting activities.

I just took the bronze package:

Thanks for the link - £8.32 for silver to cover 2 week UK based tour. Only really interested in covering prebooked accomodation costs in case or illness or accident - so great.

Re: Wild camping in England ???

6 April 2015 - 8:36pm
Personally wouldn't dream of lighting a fire whilst wild camping, there's plenty of camp sites that allow open fires.
Here's a 'how to' wild camping guide. - http://www.cycletourstore.co.uk/wild-ca ... -to-guide/

Re: Hotel or camping during a cycling tour?

6 April 2015 - 7:30pm
Doing Dover - Cape Wrath over the summer, using my road bike, so having kit transported and sleeping in B&B's will suit me fine. Can see the allure of camping, and doing as I please, but then the prospect of cycling all day in poor weather, setting up camp in the rain, and trying to cook etc before repeating the next day puts me off. At least with a B&B I can dry out and get warm each night if the day hasn't been briilliant. Of course touring outside the UK could reduce the chances somewhat.

Re: Hotel or camping during a cycling tour?

6 April 2015 - 6:42pm
Done both, a trip in the Pyrenees was very hilly so we used hotels to keep luggage weight down and also because it was a bit early in the year for campsites to be open. Summer jaunts in Brittany or the Velodyssy which we did a couple of years ago were with tents.

Re: Hotel or camping during a cycling tour?

6 April 2015 - 5:44pm
My longest tour, when I was fit and in shape and younger, and riding in a group of 12 or so, was all camping across europe. Of course, we had perfect weather every day and apart from the first day in the UK, we never (at least the guys in the group) didn't set up a tent again. Slept in our bags directly under the stars.

My Ireland tour...I would have been miserable camping and glad I went the B&B route. Strong winds and near constant rain would have been absolutely horrid while camping. It was nice to get somewhere warm and dry, dry the clothes etc, and have a very filling breakfast every morning.

My upcoming Wales tour will be done via B&B as well. I hear it gets slightly *less* rain than Ireland, so I think this is the smart decision!

I do love the full-english breakfast that B&Bs serve, and the general friendliness of the 'staff'/homeowners compared to a hotel. Get a lot more local insight and knowledge and interest from a B&B than a hotel owner.

Re: Hotel or camping during a cycling tour?

6 April 2015 - 5:21pm
I added a poll in the first page

Re: Practical GPS 101

6 April 2015 - 4:30pm
I use a different make of GPS but the issues are the same. You have 3 choices, use dry batteries, charge it up every night when you stop, or use a hub dynamo and something like a E-werk to give you a charging current.
Battery packs are fine for a couple of days or so but not a solution if you are away from civilisation for any extended period. Solar is very iffy, I've not heard of anyone having real success with it on a bike though no doubt there have been exceptions.
I record each day's ride as a separate GPX file.

Re: light weight touring weekend saddle bag?

6 April 2015 - 3:31pm
You could try one of the newer saddle packs such as the ones Appkit, Revelate et al make. Basically they are a saaddle bag mounted sideways! I have a couple for both the road bike and off road bike, pretty much for using as you suggest. They are very stable and are only a little more effort to get into, a price I am happy to pay for the lack of swaying etc.
The even cheaper option would be the Alpkit cuttlefish, at least that is what I think it's called. £20ish for a lightweight pack, basically a shaped dry back for a saddle pack, but it has mounting webbing so could be used as a full saddle bag with maybe a little more effort to get it fitted solidly.

Re: Hotel or camping during a cycling tour?

6 April 2015 - 2:29pm
I go to northern France for most of my cycling where I think the local setup favours camping - the weather, for me anyway, is what you might call Goldilocks i.e. not too hot, not too cold for camping, and the place is littered with reasonably priced camp sites, the French gov. subsidising their town campsites. France too is predominantly rural, which is where I do most of my cycling, but I agree with others - why apply a hard-and-fast rule to stick to one regime or another? MixNmatch, do what feels right at the time... I nearly always find a cheap hotel if I'm in a town/city, and sometimes it's great to stay in a rural chamber d'ote and enjoy a bit of pampering. But on the whole, your typical 2 or 3 star camping municipal has got everything I need/want so that's where I tend to head to...

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