CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 2 hours 26 min ago

Re: Cambridge to Canterbury

1 September 2014 - 6:47pm
Just to confirm the Tilbury-Gravesend ferry does not run on Sundays.

Dartford Crossing does have a shuttle service for bikes but it's no longer 24/7; details in this thread.

There's a cycletrack south following the A282 that picks up NCN1 and offers a good route out of Dartford, much better than the A226 which is ghastly. NCN179 offers a shortcut to Medway. It's proximity to the A2 makes it very noisy but you'll pass cafes at Cyclopark, Nells (Marling Cross) and Shorne Country Park.

Have a look at Freeflow's route on this thread for further ideas. There's another useful stretch of NCN1 from Whitstable to Canterbury, the Crab and Winkle.

Re: Overnight sleep possible in Barcelona airport?

1 September 2014 - 6:44pm
What an excellent website.

I often sleep at airports, usually for early departures or else if in transit. I have never been to Barcelona airport, but I don't imagine you will have any problems. There will be loads of people waiting for early morning flights, just join them.

One thing sometimes worth checking is that there are late and early flights which mean the airport wil be open overnight (usually only necessary at smaller airports).

I normally find that (contrary to what the website says) I stay in or near the departure area. You are less likely to be hassled if they think you are waiting for a flight.

As I don't camp, I take a bit of bubblewrap to sleep on, then bin it. A cheap blanket from a charity shop is useful when departing UK in winter, shouldn't be a problem in Spain unless the a/c is very fierce.

Overnight sleep possible in Barcelona airport?

1 September 2014 - 6:14pm
I am starting a tour from Barcelona and my budget flight gets in at 10pm.
I was planning to kip on the floor for a few hours somewhere in the terminal till dawn before setting off, hopefully somewhere discreet, quiet and out of the general hubbub.
Does anyone know if this would be possible or practical in Barcelona airport?
I'd rather do this than head off into the night and fly camp or bivvy in a doorway.

Re: Touring with family - Bike advice needed

1 September 2014 - 5:06pm
4 months and 18 months or 4 years and 18 months?

Re: Booking bikes on TGVs in France - now easier

1 September 2014 - 4:06pm
excellent, many thanks

Booking bikes on TGVs in France - now easier

1 September 2014 - 3:36pm
I just discovered a website for buying train tickets and booking bikes on TGVs in France - it's now possible to do so online. The 'official' SNCF website doesn't allow you to reserve a bike space, you have to phone them or visit one of their travel agencies. This website is independent of the SNCF but apparently the ticket prices are identical and they don't charge any commission: http://www.capitainetrain.com

(NB. Bikes are not accepted on all TGV trains)

Re: Touring with family - Bike advice needed

1 September 2014 - 3:33pm
The Circe Helios is a versatile machine as it will transform between a normal tandem (plus optional child seat) & a cargo bike that will take 2 child seats or 1 plus luggage. The small frame means that a c 4 1/2 year old can pedal as stoker with no adaptation beyond fitting crank shorteners.

An example - last Tuesday I did "Ride the Lights" at Blackpool with the eldest 2 grandchildren - 6 year old pedalling, 3 year old in seat. Home about 11pm. Probably no more than 10 minutes work & it was ready to be off out for a 2 grown ups ride first thing the next morning.

I've found that because it is shorter than a normal tandem, mainly because of the small wheels, I have no problem taking it on trains (it goes on a return train trip most weeks at the moment via a combination of some or all of Northern Rail, Arriva Wales, Merseyrail & Virgin).

I've not (yet) toured with ours but, if you look at the website, they have travelled far and wide.

Rick.

channel hopping

1 September 2014 - 2:51pm
We are cycling from Warsash (Southampton) to Dover where we catch ferry to Calais, where we travel west along channel to Le Havre for Portsmouth return ferry.
we plan to use minor roads where possible. We have provisional daily stops at Day 1 Newhaven, Day 2 Folkstone for Dover Ferry at start of day 3, Day 3 Berck (France), Day 4 St. Valery-en-Caux, Day 5 Le Havre to Portsmouth and home…..any good places to stay, avoid? Any suggestions on routes?

Re: Do I need front panniers for touring?

1 September 2014 - 2:23pm
daddig wrote:Another thought if your only carrying 13kg would that fit into a Nelson Longflap + BarBag for travel documents etc ?Not unless the 13kg is in lead weights. Everything is just too bulky. One summer weekend I went camping with just a Campers Longflap (bigger than your suggested Nelson Longflap). I had a light and small camping mat, a low bulk sleeping bag, a change of cycling clothes and that was about all inside the bag - tent on top of the bag. So not even close to my 13kg normal touring load. I tend to select my equipment for low bulk rather than saving a couple of ounces, so my touring set up tends to be compact - but not that compact. Hotel touring might entail a bit more clothing, and removes the bulky camping gear, but of course a hotel camping load is not going to be even half the weight of a camping load.

Re: Do I need front panniers for touring?

1 September 2014 - 1:42pm
Another thought if your only carrying 13kg would that fit into a Nelson Longflap + BarBag for travel documents etc ?

Re: New European Cycling Website

1 September 2014 - 1:07pm
patpalloon wrote:Btw, Steven's book on his bike travels round Europe - No Place Like Home Thank God! Is brilliant. The link is on the website.

Thanks for that. I'm glad you liked it. I enjoyed writing it too.

Re: Do I need front panniers for touring?

1 September 2014 - 1:07pm
elioelio wrote:I don't really want to take front panniers because of the extra weight.


When you add extra luggage weight to your bike, you set off an accumulative effect: the bike itself needs to be heavier and stronger, you need racks and panniers and so on. When you start reducing your luggage weight, the opposite effect occurs: you can shed front pannniers, your bike can be lighter and so on. It really depends on how much stuff you want to take and to be aware that it will involve extra weight on top of the luggage itself to carry it. But if you do have lots of stuff, front panniers are great IMV. The real argument IMV is between panniers and a trailer.

Re: Touring Iceland

1 September 2014 - 12:50pm
Grunavik is Grindavík I think - really good campsite there with good cooking facilities - we used it as a base to cycle to the Blue Lagoon - hopeless commercial and expensive but figured it was a once in a lifetime ... managed a whole day there and took own lunch ...

Re: Do I need front panniers for touring?

1 September 2014 - 12:33pm
I've tried with and without. Personally I much prefer with front panniers. I cycle camp and carry cooking gear. My first couple of trips were rear panniers only. To begin with my sleeping bag on the rear rack:


Then (with a new bike and new rear panniers), with my tent on the top rack:


and finally with front panniers and nothing on the rear rack:


I find with four panniers that the bike feels better. It is easier to organize "stuff". Basically my front panniers contain sleeping bag and mat and spare clothes. I typically don't touch those bags during the day. At the rear I have my tent and waterproofs, crocs etc. potentially wet stuff in one pannier and then stove and cooking stuff in the other. The rear panniers are easier to get into without things on top of the rack. There is plenty of room for food in the cooking pannier and the top of the rack is free fro me to carry a water bladder if I'm going to be wild wild camping away from a water supply, or put the tent on there if I want to dry it out. Yes it is a little heavier but I don't really notice that when on the bike. The only thing I carry now that I didn't on my first few trips is a chair kit for my sleeping mat, and I wouldn't be without that. I've climbed some pretty steep hills with this setup with no problems, can happily ride out of the saddle and the bike feels fine. I've not tried travelling by train with this setup, I can imagine that the extra bags can be a pain. I have a bar bag that has maps (I use pages cut from a chap road atlas), phone, kindle sun tan, glasses, midge net! I mainly tour in the more remote parts of Scotland and have never worried about leaving bags on the bike, or the bike unlocked.

Re: Lon Las Cymru on starting on Sat 6.9.14, campsite sugges

1 September 2014 - 11:40am
meic wrote:There is lots in the forum on this subject but unfortunately the key words are only 3 letters long and the search function is used to four letter words.
Google is your friend here if you do a search using

site:forum.ctc.org.uk "lon las cymru" (result)

the first bit restricts the search to the CTC forums & the quotation marks makes Google look for the phrase.

Rick.

Re: Do I need front panniers for touring?

1 September 2014 - 11:24am
wearwell wrote:One big drawback with front panniers is the damping effect when you are tired and going up hills heavily laden in bottom gear. The weight on the front damps the natural side to side turns - you get wobbles and use up even more energy trying to keep the bike going straight. High tyre pressure helps a bit (less resistance to turning). Next trip I do will be without them.
On fast easy terrain they are no prob at all and a damping effect is useful.
You don't have to waggle the bars around - look at the trials/stunt riders balancing on something seemingly impossibly narrow, they stay there by shifting their weight from side to side rather than turning the bars. Admittedly I'm nowhere near as good as them but, for the most part, I can ride up a steep hill at slow speeds (c3 mph) without much bar movement. I do get plenty of practice having lived 2/3 of the way up a stupidly steep hill for over 30 years - I usually either come home up 250ft ascent in the last 1/2 mile or go out up a similar gradient of about half the distance (& sometimes end up doing both in 1 trip!).

Rick.

Re: Touring bike alternatives?

1 September 2014 - 11:03am
I went to Morroco and spain on a Rockhopper, with a couple of panniers on the back...that was eighteen years ago...It was a very good bike...

Re: Lon Las Cymru on starting on Sat 6.9.14, campsite sugges

1 September 2014 - 8:46am
On the dates that you have chosen, I would start up in the North.

There will be 9,500 police (many of them toting guns) enforcing large exclusion zones in Cardiff and Newport, odds on they will block stretches of the NCN route as cyclists are even more insignificant than the rest of the general population.

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales ... rs-7697281

I would hate your memories of Wales to be this disgusting image as a Police state, dancing to the tune of the USA security mania.

Slightly off route, this place was super cheap (£3 for cycle camper and £18 for B&B just five years ago).

http://www.ukcampsite.co.uk/sites/revie ... revid=4409

There is lots in the forum on this subject but unfortunately the key words are only 3 letters long and the search function is used to four letter words.

Re: Touring bike alternatives?

1 September 2014 - 7:53am
Pete Jack wrote:I find 'dillos overrated; they are heavy, have a harsh ride and the last one I used got a flat in under 200 miles
I've opined before that I think 'dillos changed some time 2010-2012, becoming stickier and so picking up debris long enough to get hammered into the tyre.

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