CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 20 min 12 sec ago

Re: Rhine - Strasbourg to Basel

30 June 2015 - 3:33pm
Just return from a tour from Munich to Strasbourg via Basel but didn't use the Rhine path on that last stage, used the Alsace Wine Route from Basel to Strasbourg passing through nice old towns like Colmar and Obernai. Well signposted, quiet and very pleasant.
There's a nice easy exit from Strasbourg via the disused "Canal du Bruche".

Re: CTC Poly Bike Bag and Easyjet Questions

30 June 2015 - 3:15pm
[quote="bigjim"]They tried this nonsense with me at Biarritz airport.

I've used the CTC method on Easyjet several times now, most recently into Munich and home from Strasbourg and with no problems. Before each trip I get a confirmation email from their Customer Care regarding acceptability of using "large see-through heavy-duty polythene bag" and also there being no need to deflate tyres. I've needed to use my trump card only once and that was at the miserable place laughingly known as "Bournemouth International".

Re: La linea or Gibraltar?

30 June 2015 - 2:00pm
La linea it is then! Not sure whether to leave the bike at hotel or use it to get around gib. Haven't been there since 1994! Been staying at some very cheap but adequate hotels using trivago, booking etc. Tonight's is only 20 euros!

Re: Who's got the worst bike, and how far have you ridden it

30 June 2015 - 12:43pm
Legendary Swedish cycle tourist Janne Corax lists some interesting records on his website http://www3.utsidan.se/corax-e/ including

◾Most desperate for legend status: Norwegian biker one a one-gear post bicycle from Venezuela, dressed in the Venezuelan postal workers uniform, with post panniers for his gear.

I once met a Uruguayan cyclist in northern Chile, who had cycled there all the way from Uruguay on a tandem he had modified into a kind of recumbent - he was pedalling the front pedals while sitting somewhere below where the stoker would normally sit. He had welded on shelves onto the sides of the bike he could put ordinary travel luggage on, and the bicycle also had a sound system. It was all very heavy and mechanically poor, and comparison of his rate of progress as against mine in relation to some similar route segments we had ridden suggested he was going at about 60% of my speed.

Re: Who's got the worst bike, and how far have you ridden it

30 June 2015 - 12:08pm
I had an apollo hybrid 5 years ago that cost around £180 IIRC. I broke the bottom bracket in less than a week, cassette, chain and tyres all worn out within 2/3 weeks. Gears never stayed indexed, brakes and the wheel was back every few days to get trued by there "mechanics". I got my money back as it was not fit for purpose (riding).

Re: Who's got the worst bike, and how far have you ridden it

30 June 2015 - 10:02am
In 1987 I did LEJOG on a cheap Raleigh tourer style thing with crap everything. The heavy frame, rubbish gears and lacklustre brakes I could live with, but the cheap, nasty wheels with galv spokes and chrome plated steel rims were bad news. Every second day I broke a spoke in the rear wheel, and as I was a mechanical numptie at the time I had to find cycle shops and beg them to do an on the spot repair. When I got home I bought some better wheels and I learned how to change spokes.

Re: La linea or Gibraltar?

30 June 2015 - 9:50am
La Linea, we found a nice hotel by turning left out of customs and just off to the right in a back street.... Don't be put off by external appearances, we often found ones that looked a bit dingy outside were perfectly acceptable often with interesting features, courtyards or gardens that you would never have guessed at from the outside....., when we toured Andalucia.
Personally we found the Gibraltarians just a little bit too English for our liking...... with awful and expensive food, it was certianly an interesting experience to visit the Rock and take the tour.

Re: Expedition bike - all thumbs on 8 or 9

30 June 2015 - 8:28am
It was that bike which originally got me thinking down those lines dandru.

Then posts on this thread made me concerned that thumbies might not be as uber reliable as i thought.

And at over £100 (the special mounts needed can cost £50!) It then didn't seem such a good idea.

And my cheap altus 21 speed changers have lasted 15 to 20 years.

So i have managed to get a pair of alivio 8 speed rapidshift shifters.

If i was uber-cautious i could always carry a pair of altus or acera shifters.

Or carry a pair of downtube shifter levers.

Since the bike will be 8 speed i won't be needing super slick shifting anyway.

Re: Who's got the worst bike, and how far have you ridden it

30 June 2015 - 8:25am
I got fed up with the local transport Mafia when on a long non cycling trip to Madagascar. Bought a cheap new $50 (£30) Chinese MTB.

They were shipped in unassembled and put together on the pavement outside the shop by sub contractors. It was rubbish! Chain broke in first hour. None of the bearings were greased and bb seized after a few days. It required regular maintenance each day to tighten everything up. Rear derailleur jockey wheel fell off and I had to get lift to next town.

Had a full service where I oversaw the mechanic and instructed him to strip and grease all bearings. He couldn't understand why I would spend money before it was broken or needed fixing.

Steel wheels and hard bake blocks made fast downhills a nightmare.

I rode it over 500 kms through the mountains and up the coast and then used it for local transport and sightseeing. Better than the minibuses and a great experience, but I prefer my LHT!

Re: La linea or Gibraltar?

30 June 2015 - 7:42am
I stayed in La Linea as much cheaper for a tourist style hotel, pool, etc. Also cheaper and better and cheap food on the Spanish side.

Away from the border and marina, LL is a bit of a grubby working town, whereas Gib is more touristy.

Have a look on something like booking.com or other website for prices. The hotel I stayed in rented bikes.

Once across the Gib border you can get buses to centre, returns cheaper and discount for over 60s.

La linea or Gibraltar?

30 June 2015 - 4:49am
Sometimes the Spanish get a tad irate and have an effect on the border which can really slow down the in/out movement - gib itself gets a bit busy and you may see no delays at all but summer is the favoured time for border hassle to take place.

Re: Expedition bike - all thumbs on 8 or 9

30 June 2015 - 12:17am
The touring bike below uses an 8 speed drive with thumbies, interesting. I always use 9 speed gear and replace the chain when worn, usually about 3000 km or after each trip, which is normally about 2500 km.


http://i1.wp.com/tomsbiketrip.com/wp-co ... uide37.jpg

Re: La linea or Gibraltar?

29 June 2015 - 10:33pm
It is a lot cheaper to stay in La Linea.

La linea or Gibraltar?

29 June 2015 - 9:05pm
I should be in Gibraltar in a few days time. I want to spend a couple of days there. Is it best to stay in gib itself or la linea?

Re: Cycling Canal de Midi accomodation

29 June 2015 - 7:59pm
Thanks to everyone for the helpful information. We will be looking up the recommendations. Looking forward to a great trip even if it does sound a bit bumpy.
Thanks again.
Angela and Colin

Re: Cornish Adventure Scuppered?

29 June 2015 - 7:27pm

To laugh is to risk appearing the fool,
To weep is to risk being called sentimental.
To reach out to another is to risk involvement.
To expose feelings is to risk showing your true self.
To place your ideas and your dreams before the crowd is to risk being called naive.
To love is to risk not being loved in return,
To live is to risk dying,
To hope is to risk despair,
To try is to risk failure

But risks must be taken, because the greatest risk in life is to risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing.
He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow or love.
Chained by his certitude, he is a slave; he has forfeited his freedom.
Only the person who risks is truly free.

Often attributed to the poet and thinker, Leo Buscaglia, the real author of this inspirational verse is Janet Rand.

Re: Rent a bike in SF, ride to LA, and drop it off?

29 June 2015 - 4:15pm
I've not gone through the figures in my head but in theory it looks like a service I'd contemplate using.

A Pacific Coast bike trip is on my bucket list and I fully intend doing it next year. I'm a keen cyclist but don't currently own a suitable touring bike, and when I started researching for the trip I looked into local bike hire as an option. In fact what I'm pretty sure I'll end up doing is trading in one of my road bikes for a tourer/winter training bike, with the intention of making touring a bit more of a habit. BUT, if you happen to get the business up and running over the coming months, AND you can facilitate my preferred route of Vancouver to SF rather than SF to LA, maybe we can talk.

Anyway, good luck if you do decide to go ahead with the plan.

Who's got the worst bike, and how far have you ridden it?

29 June 2015 - 4:11pm
There's always discussions on here about the best bike/parts for this and that... but has anyone had just a really cheap bike and made a crazy journey on it?

Life is easier with all the best gear, but lets face it you can tour on pretty much anything

Id be interested to hear a few tales.

Re: Map reading - can anyone do this now?

29 June 2015 - 3:38pm
Recently I had a GPS run out of battery a few miles from my destination, and whilst I had a paper map for most of my ride I did not have one to cover the last bit. I used my nose and a bit of luck to complete the journey, but I felt like a fool for not having all the paper maps I needed. GPS is good, but don't rely on it. It will let you down sometimes.

Re: Map reading - can anyone do this now?

29 June 2015 - 3:29pm
Neilo wrote:Mountain Rescue is often mispercieved as just rescuing people that have fallen off a mountain. In addition to that we are often called to search for missing people in urban and rural areas, for many different reasons, missing walkers, missing elderly people with dementia, people that wish to do them selves harm, missing children, the list is quite long. We are called to help the ambulance service, if the terrain is difficult. We have assisted the fire service with the recovery of casualties from car crashes when the car has ended up in a ravine. Some teams provide assistance during floods.
My team covers roughly the area west of a line drawn from Bridgend to Aberyswyth, but often go further afield to help other teams. So, locals who know the ground, not possible. Calls to places as far afield as Hereford, St Davids, Carmarthen, Newton and Aberystwyth.

I would not use a GPS to guide me, I would use it to navigate, along with a map, compass and all the navigational techniques I have learned over the years.

I am not one of those anti GPS tpyes, but I really do believe that people need to learn how to navigate with a paper map and compass first. I find it quite scary that some people venture into the hills with just a GPS and a route programmed into it to follow, with zero navigational skill. Ignorance is not always bliss, and a GPS is not a shortcut to experience.


Absolutely. Maritime navigation training emphasises that GPS is an aid to navigation. That means you still have to engage brain and there are other sources of navigational input.


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