CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

Syndicate content
Discussion boards hosted by CTC, the national cycling charity
Updated: 1 hour 2 min ago

Re: Carrying currency on a tour in Europe

28 March 2015 - 12:55am
Halifax Clarity credit card is one of the best deals around. No fees on currency exchange, the rate is Mastercard's and spread on euro is about 1p. You get free cashpoint withdrawals all over the world. Worked great for me in and outside Europe. When you withdraw money, it's best to repay the balance right away (e.g. via internet banking) as they charge interest from the day of withdrawal. That's for cash advances only though, and the most I ever ended up paying was about £3 interest after a two-week holiday and getting 900 euro cash.

Re: Carrying currency on a tour in Europe

28 March 2015 - 12:44am
Get the Caxton fx euro traveller card. It's brilliant. You transfer money from your bank account. You get a really good rate in to euros, no commission. That's it! You then can withdraw euros from any atm with no charges or you can pay by card, it's visa.

Re: Newcastle port to central station - route wanted

28 March 2015 - 12:38am
The Tyne Pedestrian and Cyclist Tunnel is still closed unfortunately. The firm that was carrying out the work has gone bust, speaking to the tunnel operator (TT2 Limited), they reckon another twelve months based on getting another firm in straight away but that's not likely as the local authority have ran out of money for the refurb.

It's been an absolute farce since the start.

Carrying currency on a tour in Europe

28 March 2015 - 12:35am
Hi tourers

Just want to pick your brains about money on a cycling tour. I've been abroad many times but never on a bike. Normally I'm based in the same hotel so my system is simple; buy foreign currency in the UK, stick it in the room safe and dip into the funds as required. Once back in the UK the remaining currency is used to buy sterling.

I'd like to hear people share their experiences around cash/cards when cycle touring. We're going to be cycling for 3 weeks through Holland and Germany, hostelling with the odd hotel as required. What I intend to do is take half of my funds in Euros, half on one of these Cash Passports http://www.cashpassport.com/1/en/uk/ and have my UK current account debit card with me for an emergency.

Is there a better system? Please note I don't have a credit card and don't want one.

Any comments around paying for a hostelling tour will be appreciated.


Re: Newcastle port to central station - route wanted

28 March 2015 - 12:33am
I'd recommend the Hadrians Cycle Route, it'll get you along to Newcastle on a largely quiet and rolling route. No matter what it's going to get busy near the station just because of its location in the city centre. I've lived in and around Newcastle almost all my life, I could find you a route avoiding the busiest parts of the city but that relies on having excellent knowledge of the city centre and knowing the back lanes and short cuts available to cyclists.

Re: maps for the west of USA

28 March 2015 - 12:20am
Write to each state's Department of Transportation which you will be passing through. Most, if not all, have a "bicycle coordinator" who can supply you with maps and bike routes - often for free. For example here is the page for Arizona: http://www.azbikeped.org/contacts.asp

Re: Cycle Touring Festival - May 2015 - Lancashire

28 March 2015 - 12:17am
This is of course just what I was trying to say - how sad others can't seem to keep up.

Forgot to add: STILL DIGGING

Re: Newcastle port to central station - route wanted

28 March 2015 - 12:15am
"pedestrian street on the right. (Dene St.). After another couple of hundred Mts take the narrow steep street on the left (The Side)"

Not selling this route well! We jumped on the road by wetherspoons/lloyds #1 and then followed it around right and up the hill to the Indian restaurant and into the back of the station (but should have continued to save some back tracking) Hell of a hill up from the river either way but at least we pedalled - well most of it

Re: GPS or maps

28 March 2015 - 12:07am
I've now got used to noting which way the track continues before I have to stop at a junction, but to begin with I got pretty confused in city riding where there are lots of options but only one of them correct... I also take a pocket compass with me just in case.

Re: GPS or maps

28 March 2015 - 12:00am
Why not just just look at the compass arrow before you stop?

Cycle Touring Festival - May 2015 - Lancashire

27 March 2015 - 10:43pm
No idea what you are all moaning about. As a gardener I'm used to planting things deep in the ground. Do let me know if you need any deep holes need filling. CTC crowdfunding gratefully accepted. I'm flexible on what goes into said hole...b

Re: GPS or maps

27 March 2015 - 9:39pm
I have to agree with you on the compass issue, it doesn't half get on my wick.

Re: Newcastle port to central station - route wanted

27 March 2015 - 9:39pm
coastman wrote:There is no need to cross the river and go up the south side.
I don't think anyone said you needed to, it's a question of preference, though it seems one that nobody shares with me. I liked being closer to the river and the views across into the shipyards, plus of course the ferry. I have no recollection of busy roads, but then memory is sometimes like that...

Re: GPS or maps

27 March 2015 - 9:33pm
Vantage wrote:I would strongly suggest the etrex20 over the 30 purely on cost. I'm not sure what the 30 offers that is £30-£40 more expensive and the bright orange of the 20 will certainly make it easier to find if it wanders from the mount. Speaking of which...

I'm a happy owner of a 20, but if I was buying again it'd be the 30. The main advantage is the compass when stationary, there's been several times when I've not known which way was which when stationary. No big deal, just ride a few meters and the GPS compass kicks in, but enough of an inconvenience to stump up the extra next time. (I'd also prefer the grey colour)

Re: cycling to Italy

27 March 2015 - 9:33pm
Have to disagree on a few points: I cycled to Naples 6 years ago and to Imperia 2 years ago, both times over the St. Bernard pass. It's only steepish for the last 5 kms up to the top and the gallery section is not a big deal; there is a hard shoulder and with rear lights on no problem. The noise of passing cars is worse than their proximity. It's half a day from Martigny to Aosta. Liguria from the north through Cuneo and south to the coast is fine. Easy gradients and much better than the other way round. If you go from Turin to Alexandria to Genoa again it's fine but a challenging climb near Ricco if you are following the coast around towards Sarzana.

Re: cycling video collection of ascents:Alps, Pyrenées,Canar

27 March 2015 - 9:30pm
Hello !
Based on the two most famous database of the world's ascents (salite.ch , climbbybike.com ) the climb of Grosser Oscheniksee (2394 m) is the hardest or 2nd hardest paved climb of the Alps. It is situated in Austria, Carinthia. Length: 17 kms with 9,8%, but the last 10km is the hardest with no light part, with avg steepness: 13% (mainly 14-15%, sometimes 19-20%). There a 10% section should be considered as light, gentle It's a serious challenge !
From now on there is a detailled, long (32 min. long) video about it to motivate the cyclists to visit this epic, monster, killer climb
Enjoy it !

Best regards,

Re: GPS or maps

27 March 2015 - 9:24pm
If you decide upon maps then take them with you. I really struggled to find paper maps in Germany a couple of years ago. The shopkeepers all told me, "But no one wants them any more." Only two years earlier I seemed to be able to find them anywhere. I love maps, me.

Re: Sardina

27 March 2015 - 9:22pm
Yeh, nonno and nonna were prisoners of war in WW2. They moved back to Italy in the sixties with my aunts but dad stayed in England to go to university.

Would love to go back to Sardinia but i haven't even managed to go to Italy for 5 years and I have family there than would put ne up for free!

Re: Sardina

27 March 2015 - 9:17pm
The interior is thoroughly recommended and in fact the regione is now making efforts to promote it more so that sardinia is not just seen as a beach destination for 8 weeks of the year.

Sardinia has changed a lot - old ladies widows dressed in black used to be very common in the villages.

The interior is very rich in archeological remains, some barely mapped (well only on very specialist maps)

I first went to sardinia in 81 - took me 3 days by train and ferry (slept on the deck from genova to porto torres) - these days young sards treat london as a suburb of cagliari - hop on easyjet.

You are part italian by blood i take it honesty.

All the best.

Let me know if you head that way again

Re: Cycle Touring Festival - May 2015 - Lancashire

27 March 2015 - 9:00pm
Tasker wrote:I am so glad you obviously won't be at this event as you would not get anything out of it other than sitting in judgement of other peoples motives, I doubt you have it in you to apologise for the above post so i am most likely wasting my breath. Someone tries to do a little more for the cycling community and you shoot them down says a lot about you as a person they do have a term for it though it's called a keyboard warrior.

I stand by every word I say. 65 quid to be subjected to a load of peddlers of tours/'touring wear', (who I'm sure you've also charged handsomely to attend - and some of whom are probably ok).

Thing is, you forgot the target audience... What are your credentials? Where yer from? Ever been on a bike? - you show us yours I'll show yer mine like. I don't see any of that here.

What's the next marketing opportunity then?

Exactly what I would have expected you to say you seem incapable of anything else. Sad really I wonder what made you such a bitter jealous individual. Still on the bright side you won't be there so thats a plus one for everyone there. And ROFL whats wrong with discussing where you have been, last poster had it right someone needs to take you back to your village.


  • 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