CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

Syndicate content
Discussion boards hosted by CTC, the national cycling charity
Updated: 2 min 50 sec ago

Re: Camino de Santiago/Way of St James

29 July 2015 - 7:52pm
Hi.I have cycled the Camino Frances 3 times in the last 4 years and I can thoroughly recommend it.the easiest way to get to s j p d p is fly to Biaritz,stay in the youth hostel,ride to bayonne,not too far,then train/bus to s j p d p.
main alternative is to fly to bilbao,get bus direct from airport to san Sebastian then short train journey to bayonne then as above.
3rd alternative is bus from airport to bilbao bus station then bus to hendaye,train to bayonne and again to sjpd.
Of the 3 I prefer the biaritz option.
You will find the following publications v useful.
1 the cycling pilgrim,john curtin.
2camino frances 1 2015.
3camino de Santiago,john brierly.These 3 publications can be obtained from The Confraternity of st James,see website.
There is also Michelin road map in booklet form,you can buy this in sjpdp.
Just for the record I did a mix of roughly 65% off road 35% on on an old but good steel mtb.
If you are 21 and super fit you can do a lot more off road but at 74 common sense comes into the equation.
Finally the camino is a brilliant experience,Camino Portuguese for me this year.
don't hesitate to contact me if you need any more info.
Buen Camino,jim heyes.

Re: Free bicycle touring eBooks

29 July 2015 - 7:23pm
Bicycle Traveler is way superior to any cycling magazine that you have to pay for and that 'Little Red Cyclist' is absolutely stunning. I'd love to buy prints of some of those images to hang on my wall.

Re: Specialized Awol

29 July 2015 - 7:23pm
What does everyone think of the gearing on the Comp?? http://www.sigmasport.co.uk/item/Specia ... -2016/88GA

Re: What's your top weight saving tip for touring?

29 July 2015 - 6:57pm
Travel size washing/shaving stuff is available in most drug stores (chemists) due to airline
security theatricals.

Aside, GPS map names of roads often are different than the local names,
some counties number their roads. So GPS will have the country road number,
the road sign will say something else.
Missing road signs at intersections are common in rural areas.
Pubs in the US do not have accommodations, or beer.

Re: Edinburgh

29 July 2015 - 6:23pm
No probs.

If you still want more advice and it's not forthcoming here, might be worth asking on this forum.

It's been nearly 15 years since I lived in Edinburgh but these folk are much more up to date, and quite friendly too.

Re: North Coast 500 in Scotland

29 July 2015 - 4:31pm
Me too.
I don't need 1000 words.
Or a million.
One word sums it up quite well.


Re: Via Francigena

29 July 2015 - 4:23pm
I know a bit about the Via Francigena in Italy (and almost nothing at all about the rest).

One thing I should say is that there are different flavours of the Via Francigena that differ in the degree to which they follow the classic Sigeric route (Sigeric the Serious was the Archbishop of Canterbury who left the first travelogue of the route). The eurovelo website claims that the eurovelo 5 is following in the steps of Sigeric - although in fact it really bears very little resemblance to the route taken by Sigeric. However, if that doesn't matter to you then it may be what you're looking for.

In Italy, the Via Francigena is really the cycling equivalent of the Camino di Santiago, in Toscana and Lazio it uses strade bianche (unsurfaced roads). These are perfectly rideable, but fatter tyres are going to be more comfortable. There's also quite a lot more climbing involved. In general I'd say that if you're looking for something like the Camino Santiago, and you're planning to travel light and stay in pilgrim hostels (you'll need a credenziale) then it would be a good experience, but if you're planning on camping and travelling with a full-loaded touring bike I'm not so sure. If you're looking for a convenient off-the-shelf route to Rome then this isn't really it.

There's a lot more information and links to other resources on my website:

http://italy-cycling-guide.info/cyclewa ... urovelo-5/

Camino de Santiago/Way of St James

29 July 2015 - 4:00pm
Am proposing to ride this route in September,probably from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port.
In view of the difficulty of getting there ( & back) with my usual Thorn Raven,was thinking of using rail/bus links & either my Brompton or Birdy Grey.
Has anyone done it on a Folder or any thoughts on suitability?

Re: Edinburgh

29 July 2015 - 3:48pm
Thanks firedfromthecircus!

Re: Free cycle touring kindle books

29 July 2015 - 3:39pm
No problem, if you enjoy the free versions, please consider purchasing the full versions that are available as kindle or paperback.


Re: Free cycle touring kindle books

29 July 2015 - 3:35pm
Tom, thanks for the free downloads, they will keep me entertained on holiday. I will look out for the full editions in due course.

Re: Free cycle touring kindle books

29 July 2015 - 3:34pm
You can get kindle reader for iPad - not a good reason on its own to buy an iPad, but very handy if you already have one. The kindle app is free, though the books of course aren't.

Re: Free bicycle touring eBooks

29 July 2015 - 3:28pm
great very generous of u

Re: Free cycle touring kindle books

29 July 2015 - 3:01pm
You can get kindle readers for android devices. Mr. V and I share books that I buy for the Kindle that way. He doesn't have a Kindle. He has a tablet; I think it's Samsung.

However, the Kindle is *much* easier to read. It's more like reading a book and easier on the eyes. The tablet fine for a few minutes, or even a half hour, but my eyes tire if I try to read much more than that on a tablet or computer.

Just £54 here http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kindle-Glare-Fr ... B00KDRUCJY You might do a little better at duty free, if you buy one on your way somewhere.

You don't have to post very many books home from a tour to justify the cost.

Re: Loved Spain, hated France

29 July 2015 - 2:52pm
Somewhere deep in my old posts is something I posted along the lines of "Go either to France or Spain but not to both". The Pyrenees are there for a reason. Going through both creates a holiday of two halves. You have two languages, two cultures, two landscapes. I think you were right to call it a day and do France another time - just as good but so very different.

Re: Free cycle touring kindle books

29 July 2015 - 2:30pm
bidi wrote:Damn! I need to get in to this Kindle malarky.

Anyone able to help out with a concise description of the various models available to help me choose which is right for me?

u can just get a Kindle reader( software) for your pc or notebook. dont know if u can get for a tablet, I think for smartphones - free to download, make an account with Amazon and download many of the other free books they have


Re: Free cycle touring kindle books

29 July 2015 - 1:46pm
Thanks for that Simon. Looks like a good choice for reading during tours. Better get on Amazon or eBay methinks.

Re: My first touring 'fail'

29 July 2015 - 1:36pm
Hello everybody. I'm 37 and a relaxed tourer. Its been 1 year and 2 months since I've been over 60mpd... Etc. (lets start the help group here )

Re: Loved Spain, hated France

29 July 2015 - 1:34pm
tatanab wrote:... On a Sunday, admittedly early, you can ride the big main roads to make up time if necessary and be amazed at how little traffic there is. ....
Used to be law (maybe still is) that lorries (can't remember the size constraints) are severly restricted on when they can use the roads over a weekend. These restrictions become even stricter for July and August (i.e. banned from roads 7:00 to 19:00 Sat and Sat 22:00 to Sun 22:00). There are a few exceptions e.g. animal feed lorries. Can't remember the normal non-July/aug hours, but still pretty restricted.

At least it used to be like that, maybe changed now.


Re: Free cycle touring kindle books

29 July 2015 - 1:32pm
Can only really tell you why I like mine, which I've had for some years. It may have been superseded by now.
I have the 'paperwhite' which has a very print-like screen, which I find entirely natural and untiring to read - it's just like reading a paperback, in fact. It is gently back-lit in a very different way to a LED-backlit screen you will find on a notebook or a tablet.
I opted for the 3G version so I can download books anywhere, but in practice I've never needed to - I have always been happy either to read the books already on board or else, to wait till I'm at home or work, and can join the wifi network. I don't like reading text on glossy, colour screens, especially strongly backlit screens (he says, typing this on his MBP... ) so I deliberately chose the Kindle Paperwhite for this reason, spin-off plus for a device using an "e-ink" screen is whopping battery life - weeks, in fact Love it.
Wide wide choice of books available, have also learnt how to make my own, so take with me my own touring guides, when I go to northern France, although this highlights one of the few drawbacks of the Kindle, which is it doesn't handle pdf images very well. I have experimented with including town plans or maps of particular places of interest (campsites, mainly) in my home-made e-books without a great deal of success and since I've started using a Satmap Active for mapping, this idea has become redundant anyway.
As a keen book reader and a solo traveller, the Kindle is one of the first things I pack.
Must also tell you about the key factor to this arrangement, that is Calibre - a really good e-book management application (open source, free, although donations welcome, I'm sure!). It makes managing a large-ish library (hundreds of books, both purchased and DRM-free, in my case) fairly hassle-free.
And lastly, buying a book from Amazon is really straightfarward and most of the one's I've wanted have been at attractive prices - along the same sort of lines I'd expect to pay for a book in a charity shop, back in the days when that was how I did most of my book buying!
One last thing I don't think the Kindle - or any other ebook reader for that matter - does very well is allow you to browse a book - you can't just flip through the pages in a fairly casual way, as one would a "coffee-table" book or a glossy magazine. At least, you can do it, but it doesn't have the same feel to it - others may disagree.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon_Ki ... eration.29


  • Patron: Her Majesty The Queen
  • President: Jon Snow
  • Chief Executive: Paul Tuohy
  • Cyclists' Touring Club (CTC): A company limited by guarantee, registered in England no.25185. Registered as a charity in England and Wales No 1147607 and in Scotland No SC042541

Copyright © CTC 2015

Terms and Conditions