CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 5 min 35 sec ago

Re: Soma bikes

2 February 2015 - 11:52pm
I've seen the frame for sale on eBay in a variety of sizes. It's quite nice isn't it?

I'm sure Mosquito Bikes in London used to stock Soma.

Re: Flying back to UK from Cape Town

2 February 2015 - 11:39pm
I've flown both Virgin and BA both ways for the Cape Argus and it was a doddle. - Bike in cardboard bike box, - pedals off etc a nd helmet shoes and stuff in the box. Easy drop-off and collection both ends, - you just get directed to oversize luggage. - With Virgin I seem to remember the bike was free on top of standard baggage allowance. With BA it went as my hold baggage and I filled up my carry-on with clothes etc, though fortunately I was with my wife, so we had a full 23Kg hold case between us as well. Boxes are marked fragile etc and I think the handlers are respectful of the contents and place them in the hold to avoid any damage.
I would try and get non-stop flights though as transiting with a bike via Dubai or Joburg, there is more chance of something going wrong.

Re: Holland

2 February 2015 - 11:06pm
Ignore that last post, I've found the union jack, its just not on the first page, lol !!!


2 February 2015 - 11:01pm
Well, I've had a go on this little beauty...

...and it's still an infuriating mix of incredible views and hopeless surface. The more I ride the route, the more I think it should be surfaced so that anyone can use it. It'd be like a cycling secret weapon: stick the kids on it, and they'd be hooked for life. As it is, I am in a constant state of low level panic when I ride it with my daughter (6) in case she comes a cropper.

And while I'm working on unlikely-to-ever-happen improvements, it'd be nice to be able to ride through the tunnel at Ravenscar too...

Couple of nice pictures on the blog: http://thelangsett.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/scarbjorca.html

Re: Holland

2 February 2015 - 10:53pm
Merry wanderer, cant see a union jack symbol where you said, am I looking in the wrong place?

Re: Maps for cycling in Italy ? - North to South

2 February 2015 - 10:39pm
Thanks for the tip on pericoloso.

For a certain sort of italian pretty much everything is pericoloso

Particularly a cold beer.

Soma bikes

2 February 2015 - 10:12pm
Does anyone have a soma tourer? and is it possible to get them in the uk?

I have just seen this, and im a bit in love http://www.somafab.com/archives/product ... te-bicycle

Re: S W Coast Path Dorset to Lyme.

2 February 2015 - 9:21pm
Check out the bridleway running parallel to the north of the main road called 'Hell lane' from Symondsbury (w.Bridport) to Chideock; I rode it last year in a thunderstorm on my single speed mtb, highly recommended. If you are really keen you can track down the holloway to the north of this where the protagonist of the book 'Rogue male' hid from the nazis.

Re: USA Bikes

2 February 2015 - 8:06pm
Yes, many times. Best to declare it and pay what's due. Otherwise they can charge you penal rates or confiscate the bike. A bike is not exactly a small thing to smuggle through and they are experts at spotting smuggling. If they have suspicions remember they can require you to prove that you bought it in the UK and hold onto the bike until you do. They can also check credit cards to see if you've bought a bike on it. As for getting an undervalued receipt, when I declared bikes they often got out a big book of bike prices and checked it was about right.

If you are going to buy over there things to watch out for are same name bike does not necessarily mean the same bike. It can be a completely different bike or have different equipment levels so check you are getting like for like. The sales price is without tax so expect to pay more than the sticker price unless you are lucky enough to be in a state with no sales tax. Consider the costs of shipping it back. BA and Virgin carry bikes for free but many other airlines charge, some through the nose. Finally consider what you'll do if a warranty repair is necessary. You generally need to take it back to where you bought it which means essentially you are buying without warranty.

Gone into eyes wide open you can get some good deals but not and it can become an expensive mess.

Re: Ceuta

2 February 2015 - 8:01pm
Yes, for day trip it is perfect, it's lovely little City, totally different to the other Spanish enclave (dump) Melilla.

USA Bikes

2 February 2015 - 7:40pm
Anyone bought a bike in the US and then brought it back to the UK?

If so wanna comment on the VAT/Import duty thing?

Istanbul and cycle home.

2 February 2015 - 6:48pm
We seek 2 more experienced cycle tourers to join CTC members Rob & Steve.
The plan to cycle from The BLACK Sea to The NORTH Sea – Istanbul to
Cuxhaven, The distance is c. 3,500 km/2,000 miles. I reckon on a 2 month
trip home/home with about 50 cycling days, average ~74 km (46 miles)/day.
The first half would be using cheap hotels/hostels in E Europe, then camping
through Czech & Germany. Time will be spent doing some tourist stuff & rest
days. Cost guess £2,000 to £2,500 all in.
Route is fly to Istanbul on June 15 (we are booked), do W Turkey, cross Bulgaria, Romania taking in
scenic Transylvania, Hungary, bit on the Danube to nr. Vienna, head N into
Czech to reach the Elbe, follow that on the Elbe cycle way to the N Sea at
Cuxhaven, train/ferry home for tea & medals – Note that this is NOT a guided trip – just a group of cyclists who will share an adventure.

Let me know if you are interested (send a message) and I will provide more info . Thanks, Rob

Re: Neo Air Venture sleeping mat

2 February 2015 - 5:51pm
Thanks for all the info. I have been and bought the NeoAir VentureWV Regular. Got it from my local Cotswolds shop, £51 with my National Trust 15% discount.
So now just got to get fit for the 2 week trip end of June, early July.

Re: Ceuta

2 February 2015 - 5:08pm
Only passed through it as a gateway to Morocco. I cannot recall anything exceptional about the place except for the chaotic customs post at the border.


2 February 2015 - 4:36pm
Anyone any experience of the Spanish enclave of Ceuta? Thinking about doing a day trip there when from Gibraltar this summer to say I've set foot on Africa.

Re: Touring in Sweden

2 February 2015 - 4:15pm
In 2013 I found Sweden to be the second most expensive country in mainland Europe (after Norway). Despite wild-camping nearly the whole time, I still spent £20 per day on food, and that was only the most basic supermarket grub (no meals or takeaways and no alcohol). If your budget can stretch to alcohol then supermarkets only sell lager up to 3.5%. If you want something worth drinking then you have to go to a special shop (sometimes attached to the supermarket) but they close at 6pm.

If you decide you want a shower and head to a campsite, they were all around £20 for one man/one tent and many of them insisted that you bought a £10 membership card to gain permission to pay to sleep in their fields (when the surrounding forests are free). The card gives you no other benefits by the way.

Sweden was one of the few countries (along with Finland, Norway and, to some extent, Switzerland) in which I found that the expense of being there negatively impacted my ride.

But, whatever, have a great trip!

Re: Maps for cycling in Italy ? - North to South

2 February 2015 - 10:37am
For all my of my touring over the years across Europe and here, there and everywhere in Italy, I have relied wholly on Michelin Regional Maps at a scale of around 1/400.000. Four paper folding maps, with generous overlap, cover the whole of Italy and take up little room in one's touring kit, particularly relevant if you're a mile-eater. Swiftly pocketable for the innumerable times in the day when dithering as to which way to go within that wonderful country, and upon their super modern to very historic road system. They provide context and contain as much info' as I could possibly have wanted and have guided me to places I could not have dreamed of (here's a thought: do not be afraid to use roads with barred or fenced entrances and marked 'Chiuso' and/or 'Pericoloso' for, in my experience, solitude and adventure awaits..)

I think these days the Michelin regionals come with a card stiffener cover for gloss and saleability but the stiffener is easily dispensed with to make them more pliable.

Re: Biking in France (Perpignan - Luxembourg)

2 February 2015 - 9:15am
Of course if you're going north up the Rhône valley there's a detail called the Mistral. Two hardened long-distance chums of mine set out to do the Perp-Strasbourg diagonale last summer and had to jack it in at Montélimar because of it.

Re: Holland

2 February 2015 - 8:24am
Can't fully remember exactly what we did and what routes we took, but we went up to Alkamaar on one day trip, http://www.holland.com/global/tourism/a ... lkmaar.htm

And headed southwards toward the first of the bulb fields that was in cycle-able distance from Amsterdam. Possibly the Keukenhof Gardens. Depends on time of year you are going, we went last weekend in March and it was just a tiny bit early for the bulb fields to be at their best but there was still stuff to see.
And it was before the Cheese Markets started for the season but nevertheless gave us a destination to head to with lots of pretty villages en route.

Apologies as well, I cannot remember exactly where we stayed (it was arranged by someone else as a surprise) but we were about 20mins out of central Amsterdam by train, in a hotel right near a train station and bike shop that had bike parking / storage (which we used for the duration of our stay). The trains were frequent, efficient and ran all night (we could not hear them from hotel) so were an excellent way of popping into the centre for the sights on the days / evenings we did not cycle.

Re: Garmin Tour mapping

2 February 2015 - 12:23am
I'm grateful for all the advice regarding Garmin Touring-supplied routes. HC kindly suggested using cycle.travel as a mapping site and then downloading directly into the Garmin. I had a look at that site, and it seemed to be remarkably easy to use both for route planning and established routes.

Many thanks


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