CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 41 min 55 sec ago

Re: Devon Coast to coast

21 October 2014 - 8:46pm
Thank you so much everyone. Really useful info, loved the maps and the travelogue. Just got an email from islabike to say the new bike arrives on Thursday so junior will have a week to get used to it.

Outline plan is now:
Day one: train to Barnstaple
Cycle Barnstaple to East Yarde Barn approx 16 miles.
Day. 2 cycle East Yarde to Okehampton approx 24 miles.
Day 3 cycle Okehampton to Tavistock approx 22 miles.
Day 4 cycle Tavistock to Plym bridge approx 11 miles and get him indoors to come and collect us.

This should be doable for the 8 year old without too much whinging on his new (to him) Beinn 26 small and for the 11 year old on the brand new Beinn 26 large who could easily take on much more.

I got the Devon coast to coast book in Stanfords this evening.

Re: Cycling the Portuguese coastline

21 October 2014 - 8:44pm
Your poorly written blog only appears to offer up 2 days of your trip and fails to establish why the OP should not do it.

Re: Cycling the Portuguese coastline

21 October 2014 - 8:00pm
I cycled down the coast south from Porto two weeks ago. Don't do it! Story is on my blog.

Road Cycle Touring in the Scottish Highlands

21 October 2014 - 7:02pm
I am a student currently studying Road Cycle Touring in the Scottish Highlands as part of my studies in Sustainable Development with the University of the Highlands & Islands. I am researching ways of improving cycle services in the region and It would be great to discuss different aspects of my project in relation to any memorable tours you may have had there, especially if these were in Wester Ross where I live. Of course it would be fantastic too if you didn’t mind completing my survey of road cyclist’s views

Re: Advice for tyre size for touring - 32c OK for off-road?

21 October 2014 - 6:42pm
Sweep wrote: It's my understanding thst it is a myth that wider tyres are slower on the road.

Some authoritative sounding industry research made this clear I think. Possibly from scwalbe?

Interesting. Never thought about this.

I'm just doing bike trails in NZ, so not extreme off road. I've got 2 back panniers and a handlebar bag. Nothing up front, but I didn't find this a problem handling the bike before.

Ok, well I think a compromise of 35c sounds like a good idea.


Re: Baggage allowance- max dimensions

21 October 2014 - 6:37pm
Might it not be cheaper to take a train to London and fly ANZ direct? It might even be sensible, taking into account time, to take a taxi. I did that when I went to NZ from Worcester in 2006 and the fare was £100 each way which is pretty close to your 100 euros to fly the bike. I know prices will be higher now but it might be worth thinking about bearing in mind the door to door service.

Re: Baggage allowance- max dimensions

21 October 2014 - 6:26pm
Finally managed to get through to Lufthansa on the phone and they told me that there bicycle box charge is EUR100 each way but is not taken out of included 23 kg baggage allowance. So for EUR200 you get 1 x 23 kg/158 cm + a bike box with 'just a bike inside' but unspecified max weight/dimensions (telephone operator unable to specify). I have emailed them to ask for details in writing.
Prefer to fly out of Birmingham so airline choice is restricted. Lufthansa+AirNZ is currently about £300 cheaper than Emirates, even with additional charge for bike box.
Cheaper still is Southern China Airlines, but I can't make sense of their baggage allowances

Re: What to do with your bike if you need to get back in a h

21 October 2014 - 5:57pm
doesn't take any longer to fly with the bike than without it, i don't see a problem Of course if i knew i was gonna be able to go back the suggestions above seem quite reasonable.

Re: What to do with your bike if you need to get back in a h

21 October 2014 - 5:35pm
You could ask at the nearest bike shop if there is a local bike recycling charity who would take it, saves you the bother of going back for it or arranging repatriation.

Re: Devon Coast to coast

21 October 2014 - 4:12pm
I did the Devon Coast to Coast a few years ago with kids and a tandem..,my write-up here!

Re: Devon - Lynmouth to Exford

21 October 2014 - 3:41pm
Thanks to both. I had spotted that Brendon valley trail but it seems to meander a lot without really getting much closer to Exford. I think the Simonsbath route is the one for me.

Re: Devon Coast to coast

21 October 2014 - 3:22pm
I did this last May. Travelled by train of Friday evening to Barnstaple and stayed here. It has bike storage in thier garage.
Rode to Okehampton and then stayed in the YHA.
Second day rode to Plymouth had a look around the Hoe and got the train back, it was lovely.
The second day was hillier than the first as you cross Dartmoor.

Re: Santander hotel

21 October 2014 - 2:54pm
Just for the record, we stayed at
Hostal San Glorio
Calle Ruiz Zorilla , 18,
€46 for twin room, Inc breakfast at the cafe next door.
We put the bikes in a private room next to the manager's office, which involved carrying them up a flight of stairs to the first floor. We didn't bother to lock them as it would be virtually impossible to steal them from there.
On our first visit our was raining hard in the evening so we turned right out of the hotel, turned right on to the main road and at the next junction found somewhere that did a reasonable meal for two for €26, inc beer and wine.
We have finished the trip and returned to santander to take the ferry tomorrow, so we are back in the same place.

Re: What to do with your bike if you need to get back in a h

21 October 2014 - 2:42pm
WarmShowers is always worth a try as well.

Re: Advice for tyre size for touring - 32c OK for off-road?

21 October 2014 - 2:06pm
Generally speaking, you can go more or less anywhere on 32mm tyres. However, the rougher the track and the narrower the tyres, the slower you will be compared to someone with appropriately large tyres. As an example, I was maybe an hour or an hour and a half slower than a companion on the descent from the Pico Veleta towards Capilera (Sierra Nevada, Spain, appox 20km of rough), with me on 700x28 gatorskins and him on 26x1.75. Having said that, unsealed dirt roads can be just as good as tarmac, in the dry at least.

32 or 35 is a normal compromise width

Re: Baggage allowance- max dimensions

21 October 2014 - 1:48pm
I think Lufthansa are one of the unfriendly ones along with Air France/KLM. I just tried to look at Lufthansa's rules and it kept referring me back to the front page. Blxxdy useless, not to mention ongoing strikes.

Pretty sure they will charge for each flight, so not cheap.

Why can't your partner use Emirates? Otherwise I would suggest an Asian airline like Malaysian or Singapore, or maybe Quatar.

Incidentally I fly long haul twice a year and have no problems with Emirates.

Re: What to do with your bike if you need to get back in a h

21 October 2014 - 1:46pm
The other alternative is to beg a cardboard box off a bike shop, and give UPS or someone money to take the bike home for you.
It largely depends on whether/how long it will be before you can return.

Re: Devon - Lynmouth to Exford

21 October 2014 - 1:42pm
You could also set off towards Simonsbath, then take a left to follow the Brendon valley up onto the A39 a half mile or so before the turn off for Exford. Speaking of which, there's a decent track more or less opposite the top of the second (counting from Lynmouth) toll road that avoids the start of the drop down towards Porlock.

However, Simonsbath is the easiest route.

Re: What to do with your bike if you need to get back in a h

21 October 2014 - 1:41pm
I seem to remember something similar being asked a little while ago.

Some suggested a bike shop. My suggestion was to find a local cycling club and see if one of them could look after it for you.

Leaving it anywhere commercial like a hotel or campsite runs the risk that staff may change and then no one knows whose bike it is and it may be binned/sold/borrowed/etc.

Re: Devon - Lynmouth to Exford

21 October 2014 - 12:47pm
Yes, I've done both routes numerous times! (I was in Porlock at the weekend!)

I would go to Simonsbath from Lynmouth - it is a long and steady climb with one challenging steep bit as you turn off the main road left over the moor. There is a nice cafe stop (or a pub) in Simonsbath then another hill outwards with a rolling road into Exford. The other route would entail going up to Contisbury starting off at 25% for a short climb before levelling out at 10 - 15% for a good mile and once you turn off there are some challenging bits from the A30 to Exford!

Either way, it's a good ride. Enjoy!


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