CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 52 min 17 sec ago

Re: Touring bike alternatives?

22 July 2014 - 10:51pm
Back in the Spring I bought a Fuji touring bike from Evans in Bristol and love it. It cost £550 and I had £50 of free accessories as part of a promotion they were doing which allowed me to put some quality mudguards on it and buy a few tools for it too. It rides great, looks great and the bar end levers are really growing on me as I've never used them before. The down side is the weight as it's a bit of a 'boat anchor' but I'm really not bothered too much at the moment and I'm hoping to tour on it next year.

However, in recent weeks I've noticed that Evans' stock has dwindled to a few oddball sizes and now it's completely out of stock although I've read that Fuji produce them in batches and hope to see it reappear.

Re: Isle of Man - where's good to ride and stay?

22 July 2014 - 10:03pm
Been to the IOM 5 times on a bike. We always stayed in B&B's in Douglas apart from the last time, when we camped at Kirkmichael. The TT course is worth doing once, the classic 7 mile climb from Ramsey to the top of the mountain and the swooping descent back into Douglas.

There's plenty of little country lanes too. The Tholt Y Wiil climb from Sulby Glen to the top of the mountain, the ride up from Union Mills to Injebreck (these are all hilly rides). There are some nice lanes going down towards Castletown and Port Erin. The roads around Jurby in the north-west are quiet and flat. The coast road from Douglas going north round to Ramsey via Laxey is a nice ride and not too busy (most traffic goes over the mountain).

Re: Getting to Whitehaven

22 July 2014 - 9:54pm
Bicycler wrote:I will whinge to anyone who will listen about Northern rail and their antiquated junk but I have to agree that the conductors are quite amenable to cyclists on the cumbrian coast line. In some ways their flexibility is preferable to a mandatory reservation system.

Agreed on both counts

SNCF RER trains, has anyone ever been kicked off?

22 July 2014 - 9:50pm
We are travelling with the kids (8 & 10) to Brittany in August, ferry tickets are booked. We need to get the train from Roscoff to Redon in order to give us our planned route back.

A sLight glitch with our tour plans appeared on my visit to SNCF in Picadilly today. I'd already researched the train link and spoken to them by phone but when I got there today the agent said there were no bike spaces available on any of the TGV trains for the day we arrive in France. There is also no availability if we were to reverse our plans and get the train back from Redon.

The main alternative is a very long day (nearly 12 hours of hanging around train stations and 3 bits of train rides) for the kids using the TER regional train service or maybe a very expensive taxi ride. I am Researching the taxi option but before I commit to the TER option I'd be gutted to plan to use the TER train and then to be told that there were no bike spaces left as we could end up with a 15 hour day or, at worst, rushing around finding accommodation in Morlaix!

Are TER conductors likely to be accommodating on a quiet train if there are too many bikes do we think?

To put it in context we have had mixed experiences travelling with SNCF and bikes before. My husband did the pack it up small approach on a no bike TGV and got a lot of grief from the conductor ( he didn't get chucked off but is still a bit sensitive on the subject all these years later). I lost my bike for 3 days once using the send ahead system for bikes ( don't do this on a weekend). Having said that I have had a couple of good experiences with the bike including an amazing ride through the Cevennes down to Ales in the guards car and on another quiet TER type service but some years ago.

Ps I have tried the old threads and read the SNCF velo site.
PPS can anyone else get the maps to work on the SNCF velo site?

Re: Alaska to Argentinia

22 July 2014 - 9:35pm
Mick F wrote:Just be careful.
This is a sad story from only recently.

This is a sad story but I'm sure it also applies to the uk so don't let it out you off.

Isle of Man - where's good to ride and stay?

22 July 2014 - 9:03pm
I'm going to the Isle of Man for about 3-4 days on 3rd Aug - I'd be really grateful if anyone has recommendations for good rides there. Prob gonna camp or b+b (anybody stayed in some good ones?) in one place so circular routes would be good. Hoping to miss the motorbikes as the Grand Prix doesn't start until the 16th.

Looking for inspiration/ideas for a tour in Germany.

22 July 2014 - 8:41pm
I'd like to take my trike to Germany and do a tour of approx 10 days.

Main requirements are;

Pretty countryside.

Flattish, my trike is quite heavy and is harder work than a normal bike uphill.

Ideally a circular route but if not then ends somewhere I can get a train back to the beginning. I'm assuming I can get my trike on a train. Its a folding recumbent Ice Trike. So should be doable but likely to be a pita as I'd have to shove trike, the seat, panniers onto a train.


22 July 2014 - 8:31pm
I love the Eurovelo scheme and have been dreaming about the Iron Curtain Trail for a few years. It looks like there has been some progress lately, but does anyone know how well all the sections meet up or how much is signed? I guess I should buy the guides if I really want to know.

Re: Touring bike alternatives?

22 July 2014 - 7:13pm
Yeah, I'm a tight git too and the decent second hand bike is always my first choice.

I pulled a '94 Univega hybrid style bike from a skip the other day and that will make a perfectly nice 'tourer' for the reasons you point out above (I posted pics in the mtb section if interested)

However, most of these cheap bikes I find have 'issues' and need a little bit spent on them etc.

I really do hope one day to have some money and I would definitely go for a new bike (albeit, the previous years model or whatever to get the best price etc)
I think the luxury of a new one that doesn't need tinkering with too much, and maybe even has a warranty would be such a glorious option.

Sorry, not much help with your question, but I do get where your question is coming from, and see both sides of the dilemma.

Touring bike alternatives?

22 July 2014 - 6:32pm
Looking to undertake a long ride next year over 10/12 days - won't mention it by name as I know there's a section just for that particular end to end trip

I'm selling my current ride to purchase something more suitable, I could go new as its a few years since I have used the works scheme to get a new bike, but it needs to be something that can then be used for a daily commuter and weekend trails for a few years to justify that sort of expenditure

Looking at all the current off the peg tourers there appears to be very little between them - long stable wheelbase, steel or heavy gauge aluminium, most 700c, with disk brakes just pushing the price up over tried and tested canti/V brakes

As an alternative I've been looking at mid 90's mountain bikes - similar geometry, nearly all have rack mounts, bottle mounts, guard mounts, QR wheels, wide range gearing

Am I just being tight? For £150-200 I can probably find a well specced, clean Raleigh/Specialized/Peugot, service it, new tyres, tubes, racks etc and until you got close it would look like a new Thorn/Kona Sutra/Surly Long Haul/etc etc....

Any suggestions for a new off the peg that might win my heart? Or should I stick to my first instinct and go cheap?

Re: Alaska to Argentinia

22 July 2014 - 6:08pm
If you want a fairly up to date, current trip report etc, inc lots of great pictures and some route info go take a look at http://www.whileoutriding.com/blog
Cass is happy to answer questions too, a lot of comments to posts are enquiries of one kind or another.

Re: Cycling to Nordkapp: searching for suggestions

22 July 2014 - 4:48pm
serbring wrote:Regarding food I'd prefer to not bring with me the cooking equipment. Can I get something just prepared on the road, like sandwiches, piece of cakes, and so on? Are this kind of meals expensive?
You can live on bread and cheese etc without breaking the bank, but if it's cold you might miss the warm drink you can cook up on a stove. Food and drinks in cafes etc is very expensive.

Re: Alaska to Argentinia

22 July 2014 - 4:34pm
Just be careful.
This is a sad story from only recently.

Re: Getting to Whitehaven

22 July 2014 - 3:46pm
I will whinge to anyone who will listen about Northern rail and their antiquated junk but I have to agree that the conductors are quite amenable to cyclists on the cumbrian coast line. In some ways their flexibility is preferable to a mandatory reservation system.

Re: Getting to Whitehaven

22 July 2014 - 3:38pm
I would imagine there wouldn't be too many heading to Whitehaven on a Saturday evening?

Re: Harwich-Esbjerg ferry to close

22 July 2014 - 2:41pm
Hi all,

I'm looking to use it in August, around 15th-20th August, one way and I'm looking to split the cabin fare (ooh err) as it's all a bit pricey pricey.

4 people sharing gets it down to around £65PP.

Any interest?

Re: Cherbourg - Poitiers - Route Suggestions

22 July 2014 - 2:14pm
http://www.viamichelin.co.uk/web/Routes, put in the start aand finish points and click on the cycle icon and you will get a very thorough route guidance using back roads and voies verte where applicable. have a good trip.

Re: Alaska to Argentinia

22 July 2014 - 1:51pm
this family did alaska to argentina, i am reading their book 'changing gears' at the moment

Re: Alaska to Argentinia

22 July 2014 - 10:35am
A good source for research is the website crazyguyonabike. Read lots of accounts of the trip which has been done many times, in many ways for many reasons. I too had ideas of a similar trip but decided that for me it was better to 'chunk it up' into 4 separate trips and in that way you can hit the seasons right and plan to see more. It suits me but for others the desire to achieve the north to south of the planet / point to point is the aim. 1 year? I wouldn't because you would miss so much and the seasons would be unkind. You have to answer one important question first; why are you doing it? And take it from there.


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