CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 1 hour 45 min ago

Re: Traveling by Train.

9 November 2014 - 9:02pm
I realised it was "split ticketing" but it is the simplest form & you don't need to know where the trains you are travelling on actually stop (apart from, obviously, knowing where you need to change).

Rick.

Re: panniers panniers panniers???

9 November 2014 - 8:46pm
I've had a pair of Altura Arran 36l in daily use for four years now and can't fault them - not waterproof, but bin bags and carrier bags are cheap

The Rixen Kaul fittings offer a decent range of movement and fitment (standard across Altura Arran range)

Re: panniers panniers panniers???

9 November 2014 - 8:25pm
bogmyrtle wrote:If I was looking for panniers again I would look for something with pockets. I curse the pocketless Ortliebs I have every time I use them.

Yes, but then I use a saddlebag as well, everything I need on the road is in the saddlebag and the panniers don't get opened from one end of the day to the next.

Re: panniers panniers panniers???

9 November 2014 - 8:22pm
DaveP wrote:Or you could buy some budget panniers to start with, such as Altura. They are cheap but certainly not nasty. They won't suddenly disintegrate mid ride, and you can obtain very high levels of water proofing by lining them with - a bin liner. Replaced every trip.
Buy the expensive stuff when you have a clearer idea of what you need.

I'd suggest there's not enough of a price difference between the mid rage ones like the Altura and the top of the range like the Ortlieb/Vaude/Carradice to warrant buying with the intention of upgrading in the future. When I last looked it was about £65 Vs £90. Better IMO to either buy really cheap or the best. If you're on a budget and in no hurry keep an eye on the classifieds, good value panniers come up quite regularly, I just bought a decent pair of front vaudes for £15.
Of the makes you list, The PVC Carradice Carradry are not as well made as the PVC Ortlieb/Vaude, nor do they have the same quality as the Carradice Cotton Duck range. The manufacturing of the PVC ones has been outsourced rather than made in the UK, IMO if they didn't have the name Carradice on them they wouldn't sell.
Panniers really are something where quality lasts, my Ortliebs are 9 years old and function as well now as when new, at least one of them is used nearly every day.

Re: French End to End

9 November 2014 - 8:14pm
At present am planning doing this end of May 2015 and back.

Re: panniers panniers panniers???

9 November 2014 - 7:56pm
If I was looking for panniers again I would look for something with pockets. I curse the pocketless Ortliebs I have every time I use them.

Re: French End to End

9 November 2014 - 7:50pm
I plotted this as a route a while ago on http://ridewithgps.com - which is a pretty powerful planner and will give you a route profile and total ascent. Probably worth dividing it into at least two/four sections for easier planning and editing, but a virtually straight line of about 1300km looked pretty viable, skirting just east of Paris. Bray-Dunes and Lamanère lie at almost exactly the same longitude, and sticking as close as possible to that for the whole way down appealed to my sense of whimsy Virtually flat for the first half, then gets unsurprisingly lumpy for the second, but you could probably tweak a fair amount of that out if you wanted to meander via river valleys.

I seem to recall failing to spot any obvious accommodation in Lamanère itself from a cursory Google; the nearest was in Prats-de-Mollo. Would be interested to hear if you find any.

Re: Traveling by Train.

9 November 2014 - 6:24pm
Using several tickets to make up your journey is the "split ticketing" which sweep and I were on about upthread. Actually you don't have to split them where you change trains, it's perfectly valid to travel on a train going from A to B to C using a ticket from A to B and another from B to C (as long as the train actually stops at B). That gives you a few more options for splitting.

The Ellesmere Port ticket you mentioned is a good example of what I was referring to above about how you can take advantage of the flexibility of Off Peak and Anytime tickets. It is nigh on impossible to offer customers a choice of routes on a single price ticket without creating inconsistencies with other ticket prices. Alighting at a station prior to the destination on the ticket is commonly known as "stopping short" and is permitted on these tickets (unless the ticket specifically excludes a "break of journey").

People should be aware that you are never allowed to do this with Advance tickets . With those you must board and alight at the stations you booked and travel only on the exact train and route you booked. Thinking it's okay to buy a cheaper ticket for a longer journey and just hop off a few stations early is a common (and costly) error people make with Advance tickets

Re: Traveling by Train.

9 November 2014 - 5:59pm
If you have a change of train on your journey, I've found it is often worth checking what the fares for the individual legs booked separately would be (for the same trains if it is cheaper ticket). For instance - I've found that not having the leg from Bolton to Manchester, which is £3.80, as part of a single ticket can often reduce the fare for the main journey substantially, often by £10 or more.

Another oddity I've found in recent months is that a return from Wigan to Ellesmere Port is £5 cheaper than a return from Wigan to Chester - even though going via Chester is a legitimate way of getting to Ellesmere Port (the alternative is via Liverpool). As my usual destination is between Chester & Ellesmere Port, I usually get the ticket to EP but only get the train as far as Chester and ride from there (going to EP is 2 extra trains taking an additional 1/2 hour leaving me no closer to my final destination).

Rick.

Re: panniers panniers panniers???

9 November 2014 - 5:28pm
I've had a pair of Ortlieb Rolltop rear panniers for about 20 years and they've done 50 tours or more and are still waterproof and have had to have nothing replaced. I know of nothing else which would equal this durability.
I think that Carradice stuff is pretty good too. I've three of their saddlebags, some for a long time and one racktop bag which is super durable. Cotton Duck is the stuff though

Re: Traveling by Train.

9 November 2014 - 5:04pm
Even better - I had an inkling that one or more of the train companies still offered free ticket postage on all tickets regardless of collection facilities and it seems at least First Transpennine Express and First Great Western do so they are the ones to use if you want 1st class post.

No special tips really. With Advance tickets the key is to travel at less popular times, be flexible with travel times, book early and try out different routes and combinations of split tickets. Things can get more complicated with Off Peak and Anytime tickets because the greater flexibility of route choice and the ability to break your journey (http://www.railforums.co.uk/showpost.ph ... ostcount=9) can allow people to take advantage of the inconsistent pricing of tickets. All very geeky! Most of the time the best option is just to get Advance tickets if available. Those aged 16-25; 60+; mature students; disabled people; families, couples and friends travelling together should consider whether a railcard makes sense. If the ticket(s) for the journey and any others in the next 12 months come to more than £90 you will probably make a saving.

Train companies choose how they price and allocate Advance tickets and they do use these to fill up trains at inconvenient times. Often the best fares can be had for night journeys. As you have discovered these are often still available in the days before travel. There is often a tier of Advance fares for a journey (say £10, £15 and £20) each is limited in number and the cheapest ones get sold first - that explains why you see different Advance fares for the same journey. You'll be pleased to know that £16 is the lowest tier of Advance ticket for that journey to "rural Lancashire".

I'm guessing Clitheroe

Re: French End to End

9 November 2014 - 5:03pm
You could follow one of these routes...

http://cyclo-long-cours.fr/diagonales/

Re: UK to Prague via northern Germany

9 November 2014 - 4:23pm
Thanks again Anne for your very comprehensive answer. Time to get some maps and start planning while it rains outside!

Re: panniers panniers panniers???

9 November 2014 - 4:22pm
The two good things about Karrimor panniers are that a) they a re light in weight b) they are made of a woven artificial fabric so wear well and easy to repair. I ve had mine now for going on 15 years

Re: Traveling by Train.

9 November 2014 - 3:43pm
Thanks.

Since you are cleary an expert on all this I wondered if you had any top tips (maybe small number of bullet points) bicycler for getting cheap tickets?

Apart from split ticketing of course or just booking three months ahead.

Any truth in something you hear sometimes, that particular days of the week are cheaper?

I remain puzzled by my £16 relatively-late-booked Christmas Eve ticket London to rural Lancashire.

Re: Traveling by Train.

9 November 2014 - 3:36pm
It is automatic. The booking system knows where tickets can be collected. If the departure station has not got a machine where you can collect tickets then it will offer the post option for free
East Coast.png
If it has a collection machine the post option will show a £1 fee:
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