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Updated: 57 min 26 sec ago

Re: London to Paris

2 April 2015 - 6:46pm
Why start in London, unless that’s where you happen to be? Cycling in London is pretty challenging if you’re not familiar with it. If it seems like wimping out to get a train to, say, Gatwick – it’s a nice ride from there to Newhaven – they could start somewhere further north (Nottingham?), and skirt round to the west of London. Nicer cycling, easier navigation, cheaper accommodation.

Re: Combined Tool/Repair Kit & First Aid Kit

2 April 2015 - 6:37pm
nmnm wrote:I'd leave the leatherman and adjustable wrench too, can't see many uses for them (my pedals come off w an allen key).
My 6" adjustable wrench is worth its weight in gold. I've even opened gates bolted shut by grumpy neighbours who are trying to stop people cycling past their land legally. It'll take a bolted wheel off and put it on again, after a fashion or sort out pedals or help adjust some types of bottom bracket.
Was there a multitool in there? That's heavier than three or 4 allen keys and a chain tool, normally.
What norm's that then? The CPR-9 is lighter than three or 4 allen keys, but check it reaches everything on the bike and take individual keys if not.

Re: Combined Tool/Repair Kit & First Aid Kit

2 April 2015 - 6:03pm
Thanks for going to the bother of weighing that for me. Appreciated!

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

2 April 2015 - 5:53pm
In my case we had 4 seats on Easyjet. 3 for me so I could raise my leg and one for my wife. We had a private ambulance home from Gatwick. The help we got at Copenhagen and Gatwick airports was brilliant.

Fortunately I was relatively mobile and Easyjet was fine but many other injuries/illnesses might not have been too easy to deal with. We could have made the arrangements ourselves but would have found it difficult to deal with away from home but the insurance company did it all for us and took all the stress away from my wife. I don't know what the cost of everything was but the driver who repatriated our van said that he had spent about £700 by the time he had got the van from near Copenhagen back to us. He then had a night's stay in London and a train journey to Manchester to pay for - probably not much change out of £1000 altogether by the time he got home.

Re: Combined Tool/Repair Kit & First Aid Kit

2 April 2015 - 5:36pm
Samuel D wrote:Interesting thread. I hope no-one minds if I revive it.

IanW wrote:+1 for the Victorinox bit wrench, but I personally would not swap it for the more convenient, but more fangled Ratchet Rocket.
The latter is a great while-at-home workshop tool, but for emergency road-side use I prefer something without the complexity of a ratchet mechanism.
Is there much difference in weight between the Victorinox Bitwrench and the Topeak Ratchet Rocket? For that matter, do you know how much the Bitwrench weighs, preferably the wrench on its own, the wrench with empty bit-holder, and the whole caboodle? I was unable to find weights on the Victorinox website or elsewhere.

Normally I don’t care about a few grams here and there, but that thinking has given me a basic toolkit that weighs nearly 1.5 kg, mostly because they’re the same tools I use at home. I’m trying to get this down a bit (hence my interest in this thread).

Bitwrench + (empty) bit holder = 47gm

Bitwrench + holder + Hex 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm, PZ1, T20 and T25 bits = 98gm

This (minimal) toolkit goes on every bike journey but is not left on/with the unattended bike.
It includes a pair of "Terry" steel tyre levers an 8mm x 10mm open-ended spanner and a 14mm x 15mm oe spanner.
This allows me to tackle many (but not) all routine problems on my bike in particular and on quite a few other people's bikes.

But I also carry a spare inner-tube, pump, tube patch kit and another pair of plastic tyre levers on the bike that is left on/with the bike.

Then there is the "monster" expedition toolkit that does indeed weigh in at more than 1.5KG

Re: light weight touring weekend saddle bag?

2 April 2015 - 4:28pm
Avenir (or similar) rack bag with drop down side 'panniers' - 20l capacity, lower cofg than saddle bag and utilises stuff (rack) you already have - oh and its cheaper!

http://www.jejamescycles.co.uk/avenir-1 ... 83300.html

light weight touring weekend saddle bag?

2 April 2015 - 2:08pm
I've been touring for about 25 years. Mainly camping but occasionally B + Bs/ hostels.

My pattern sometimes works away and I fancied the idea of some light-weight touring weekends wild camping with a tarp, good (warmish) weather only . I was thinking of using a saddle bag.
I've just looked at the Carradice Nelson Longflap and bag man support. But this combination only weights 200 g less that my current rack with one Ortleib roller classic with a similar capacity.

Any advice on carrying about 20 litres of stuff, mostly light (sleeping bag, tarp, hammock, few clothes)?


Re: London to Paris

2 April 2015 - 11:41am
I would strongly suggest you use this route

http://www.donaldhirsch.com/dieppeparis.html (From Dieppe to Paris) Donald Hirsch also has an accommodation guide on the site as well. Whilst I understand that they wish to camp/hostel etc then you will regret not staying here which I have described as the worlds best bed and breakfast for cyclists:

'Chambres du Confiturier. A truly exceptional place to stay, close to halfway mark between Dieppe & Paris. Every visitor has been bowled over by the hospitality of the confiturier (jam maker), Marie Dupuis - who looks after you “magnificently”. “Great food; lovely, welcoming family”. “Most cycle friendly place' http://www.chambres-confiturier.com/eng ... nfiturier/ Source Donald Hirsch site. I agree with every single word of this description

if they are cycling from London to Dieppe then suggest you use this route below:

http://travelloglewes.co.uk/index.php?p ... -bike-ride

-bike-ride (From London to Newhaven)

I am based in Nottingham so if you need further advice pop around if you wish my wife and I live in Beeston

Re: Would this bike be a suitable entry level tourer

2 April 2015 - 10:44am
Cunobelin wrote:so bought a Ridgeback hybrid with racks and used that to complete the tour.
My first tourer was a trashed Ridgeback Flight T2 I got off of gumtree. I added front & rear panniers & set off on my first 900 mile tour. The frame broke after what I estimate to be about 10,000 miles. I've still got the forks on another bike & keep meaning to mount the frame on the wall.
http://www.evanscycles.com/products/rid ... e-ec001113

Nothing wrong with hybrids as tourers. Also dirt cheap to pick up.

Re: Touring bike choice for people with long legs

2 April 2015 - 9:39am
If the OP was comfortable, we wouldn't be having this discussion at all.

Re: London to Paris

2 April 2015 - 9:13am
London to Paris crops up on the forum from time to time, most frequently as a Charity Ride but there are some independent traveller type posts in there too.

Avenue Verte has been discussed on the forum as a possible route.

Eurostar does not take full size solo bikes. There is Le Shuttle service from Cheriton, otherwise it's a ferry crossing.

London to Paris

2 April 2015 - 8:55am
Hi. I have searched the CTC Forum but surprisingly can't find answers to this.
My daughter wants to cycle to Paris in August with some university friends. They are in Nottingham but presumably will start from London. They don't want to go on an organised ride. They are university rowers and hence generally fit but they are not experienced cyclists.
What would be the best route? Eurostar or ferry? Newhaven-Dieppe or Southampton-LeHavre?
What about stops? Not camping but not expensive - probably hostels.
Returning? Probably by train.
Many thanks.

Re: Would this bike be a suitable entry level tourer

2 April 2015 - 6:06am
some years ago, I set u a tour in Scotland on a £1000 plus bike, and the frame cracked ........

Commiserating in pub I worked out that with a full price rail ticket, lost deposits etc I would be about £200 out of pocket, so bought a Ridgeback hybrid with racks and used that to complete the tour.

It was fine

So long as the bike is comfortable and you are happy with the handling then anything can tour... whatever you buy do so early and allow bedding in time for you and the machine before venturing off

Re: Would this bike be a suitable entry level tourer

2 April 2015 - 3:00am
Looks good, are you getting a rear rack fitted?

I find a Crudcatcher and Raceguard work well to keep the worst of the muck off, or a front mudguard like pictured below.

Lidl are selling Pannier Bag Sets for a tenner from April 6th, Planet X also have some good deals.

Re: Would this bike be a suitable entry level tourer

2 April 2015 - 2:02am
One thing I should have mentioned for anyone making a similar decision. Here is what clinched it for me. An almost identical, but slightly sportier Boardman (thinner tyres, lower handle bar position etc) was reviewed on the Freewheeling France website as a commuter bike which was a possible candidate for touring, due to the fixing points for pannier racks and mudguards. The bike he reviewed had narrower tyres than the one I bought, so he thought these would need upgrading. He also suggested higher bars for a higher riding position, which mine already has. The reviewer concluded that while it might not be suitable for a month long tour of the Alps, it would be suitable for short tours. This is exactly what I am looking for.

http://www.freewheelingfrance.com/books ... -2014.html

Re: Would this bike be a suitable entry level tourer

2 April 2015 - 1:47am
Thanks for all the replies. I opted for the Boardman in the end. I reckoned that it would be a good bike for fun cycling around local town and country roads, but one that could be modified for a short tour easily enough. I'm not thinking about setting out on any epic cycles around far off lands or anything! The staff in Halfords showed me how I could fit it out for touring. I also went for a slightly larger frame than I would normally go for with a larger wheel base with better clearance between the pedals and the back wheel to accomodate panniers mounted at the back of the bike. I appreciate all of the comments about suspension forks and no where you are coming from, but I was scared not to go for them. I had a mountain bike a few years ago that didn't have suspension forks and it sometimes gave me problems with my neck as well, even on a normal road, although not as much as the road bike. My last mountain bike had suspension and I had no problems at all. The forks can be locked out on the Boardman anyway if you want to do that. It will be more difficult mounting a mudguard on the front, I am told, because of the disc brakes, but perhaps there is a way around this? Thanks again for all of the advice.

Re: YHA Hindhead gone!

1 April 2015 - 11:49pm
The trouble ( or virtue ) of Tanners hatch with camping is getting a laden bike there. There are 2 routes one going toward Polesden Lacy is impossible as too rutted and potentially muddy - dont think of a trailer The other is a long trail which has a tree across it to stop cars I think not too bad in winter when the leaves have dropped ( maybe but I dont want to camp then )

Re: Touring bike choice for people with long legs

1 April 2015 - 10:50pm
531colin wrote:I'm with Bicycler on this. Last time I had a flat-bar bike, I messed around for ages . When I finally got comfortable I rode most of the time on the bar ends. Surprisingly enough, these were at the same reach as the hoods on the drop bar bikes....so that I occasionally went the wrong way for the brakes....now I'm back to drops on all the bikes, and much happier. I don't race, just on and some off road touring for pleasure.

There is nothing wrong with your setup, if you're comfortable, that's fine, maybe you're stretched out more on your Flatbar than me.

I tend to ride my touring MTB in Asia where I'm not riding too far each day, 80 kilometres is a good day but on a recent trip I rode a few 130 km days and they were hard, but for short tours, I can cope. On my Cannondale tourer, the longer distances are easier because of the drop bars, which are designed for riding comfortably, if I want the flat bar/Mtb riding position, then I get onto the Tops, whereas every other position is a bit further forward and gives a more streamlined position, so I can be in the saddle longer and cover more distance when it's needed, like across the Nullarbor in Australia or through parts of America, especially when you've got a tail winds, so you make the most of it.


Use he trekking/Butterfly bars as an example, the levers and shifters are mostly located close to the rider which would be the Flat bar riding position, and the front part would be like the Hoods on a drop bar bike, further away.


Machynlleth / Aberdovey area.

1 April 2015 - 10:12pm
Hi folks, later in the month we hope to do a loop day ride starting from Pennal, heading west on Route 82 to the main road and then south to Aberdovey.
Rather than return to Pennal on the main A493 we have noticed the back road up to Panorama walk, which now becomes the Welsh Coast path (somewhat inland); this links back up to a quiet road heading down to Cwrt and back to Pennal.
My question please, for those in the know is: what is the actual coastal path section like for walking bikes along?
I estimate it's about 4km which would probably take around half an hour general walking but probably a bit longer wheeling the bikes.
If there's a problem then we'd just ride back on the main road.
Thanks in anticipation, fausto.

Re: EuroVelo 6

1 April 2015 - 9:43pm
I rode the EV6 last year. Great ride and not difficult , many tourists use the Austrian section off the Danube boat trips.Blog on crazy guy.


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