CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 1 hour 58 min ago

Re: Advice regarding fixed touring base/ support company

19 August 2014 - 9:22am
Thanks again Treva, we do both have low geared bikes but it sounds like we will need them

Re: Way of the Roses coast to Coast

19 August 2014 - 9:19am
Thanks for your advice jawaka, I'll cross slippers, dressing gown and pyjamas off the list then! Seriously though your list is not far off what I had in mind, it's just that I was unsure about what I needed to take.

Re: Budapest to Black Sea...EV6

18 August 2014 - 10:08pm
Hi, Yes I did this route from Atlantic to Black sea earlier this summer, I also rode to Varna from Constanta. I mostly camped with a few rooms thrown in. I do Recommend varnacampsite .com. Run by A British couple in Varna. Pm me for more details. Good luck.

Re: Do I need front panniers for touring?

18 August 2014 - 8:50pm
I agree with the above but would suggest a bar bag if you don't already use one, not for balance but to keep valuables to hand. Quickly detached so that you can take it with you

Re: Ten Bike Touring Convoy!

18 August 2014 - 8:46pm
Or did I spot some different panniers at the end?

Re: Ten Bike Touring Convoy!

18 August 2014 - 8:45pm
That's cool.

Ortlieb could use that for marketing too!

Re: First Tour

18 August 2014 - 8:41pm
I don't think anyone that cycles would see this as a failure, but would all see it as part of the learning process. Give yourself credit for going out there and giving it a go.

The only way to never fail is to never try, never push yourself, never challenge yourself and never try anything new. The most successful people that I know fail more than everyone else, but they accept this is part of the process. They learn, as you have done and having learned move on, as you are.

On a personal level, i like to do things with a high chance of failure at the point that I decide to do it, and that I have to up my game to achieve. That way I'm always growing but I sometimes fail. I then try again. I give myself credit for trying rather focus on the outcome

On a pratical note, I once cycled 1000 miles in non stop rain and the Endurra Stealth Jacket kept me dry. Its too warm for summer so when the weather warms up I use a Gore Jacket which is also excellent. That said I've never found a way of keeping my feet dry so I just try to keep them warm, and make sure the water can drain and that they dry quickly

Re: Do I need front panniers for touring?

18 August 2014 - 7:44pm
Well done if you're going to do 6 months on 13kg of kit. I'm happy to do a couple of weeks with that much kit but would start adding extra comfort on anything longer.
if you set off with two and then start adding kit you might find yourself stuck for somewhere to put it. Unless speed is high on your list of priorities, I'd consider taking the extra capacity to use if you need it.

Re: Way of the Roses coast to Coast

18 August 2014 - 7:40pm
Pair of flip flops or plimsolls.
cycle shoes
2 prs cycle shorts and some camping wash liquid (or 3 pairs).
spare inner tube and puncture kit, pump
2 pairs of socks: one on bike, may get wet, dry one for evening.
2 Pairs of boxers one to wash one to wear
evening trousers , somrthing light like outdoor walking trousers
2 cycle tops, one to wear in evening, or one top and a t shirt
waterproof jacket.
washing kit
That's the minimum I'd take. You may get rain all day so you need dry stuff for evening, and hygiene down below prevents saddle soreness problems so I'd not wear shorts for more than 2 days.

Extras to consider
It's spring : gloves, waterproof overtrousers, jumper.

Re: Ten Bike Touring Convoy!

18 August 2014 - 7:19pm
I'm right on your tail! Trying to catch up with the Manchester Lads.

Completed the 2025m two days ago and today I got to Tbilisi. That road was HORRENDOUS!!

Re: First EVER Tour! (and I'm going RTW)

18 August 2014 - 6:36pm
Hi Everyone,

It's been a tough week crossing the mountains of Georgia after a few weeks baking in Turkey.

I am thrilled to be able to say that JamesVsWorld has now had over 10,000 hits! This is largely thanks to you guys and I wanted to say thank you for supporting me and supporting JamesVsWorld.

I have just posed a VIDEO SPECIAL blog to say thank you and give you a taste of some of the videos I have made on this trip, over 8 hours in total!

Check it out at http://jamesvsworld.com/2014/08/18/1000 ... o-special/

Also, on Wednesday will be my belated post on Albania (Of Wolves and Wild Camping), and Istanbul and Georgia shouldn't be too far behind.

dakari-mane wrote: Woah dude, pony news on the Iran Visa.

So you gotta go round then. To the north is the way that I've seen most people do it, Kazakhstan & China. Can you even go round to the south? Greece, Crete, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE & a ferry to Pakistan, is that even doable?

All the best finding another route!

Thanks dakari,

I was gutted about Iran. I even went to the consulate in Trabzon, Turkey, in person. Unlike the Germans, Dutch and Moroccan people I was queuing with, I wasn't even allowed in the door. I was turned away after the guard saw my passport.

I decided to take the most commonly travelled route, across Turkey to Georgia and Azerbaijan and then a ferry to Kazakstan and Uzbekistan. My plans get a little hazy after that.

Re: Round the World Tour at 61

18 August 2014 - 5:47pm
You could always try a tour around the coast of Britain first, over about three to four months and see how you get on?

Pack in work anyway and have some 'me' time if it's getting you down- if things don't work out you can always try something else. You won't get a second chance: perhaps you just need some head or heart advice?

Good luck, whatever you decide!

Re: Do I need front panniers for touring?

18 August 2014 - 5:42pm
simonhill wrote:If you don't need them, don't get them!

Things against:
Cost (rack and bags about £200ish)

I got a new front rack on eBay for £15 and new Ortlieb city panniers for under £60. Done 2 tours with them and very pleased with them.

Re: Do I need front panniers for touring?

18 August 2014 - 5:19pm
If you don't need them, don't get them!

Lots will tell you they spread the load and give you better balance. I ride without them and don't feel unbalanced.

Things in favour:
Carry more weight
Make you look like a'proper' tourer

Things against:
Cost (rack and bags about £200ish)
Always fill, so you carry more weight
When going on bus, plane, train, etc far more hassle with manhandling 4 bags
I think my bike is easier to handle without them
Etc, etc

Re: Do I need front panniers for touring?

18 August 2014 - 5:13pm
If you haven't missed them you don't need them.

Bigger loads might be a bigger tent, more comfortable mat, warmer sleeping bag, more just-in-case spares, extra shoes, walking kit for days off the bike etc. etc.

Decent rack will do 25 kg.


Re: Do I need front panniers for touring?

18 August 2014 - 5:12pm
If having all the stuff on the rear doesn't affect the bike handling, and you have enough room for all your kit, then no, you don't need front panniers. I have camped with all my kit on the back (+ a small bar bag) - on one bike it was a bit whippy but I soon got used to it, while on another I didn't notice any difference in the ride apart from the weight up hills. I suppose that putting some of the load on the front reduces the strain on the back wheel but unless you are pretty heavy yourself it is unlikely to matter.

I think it was the late, great Richard Ballantyne who wrote that panniers rear AND front were just too much baggage. Personally I agree, though I'm sure that lots will not. Have a great time!

PS - where did you go in Scotland in the end?

Re: Do I need front panniers for touring?

18 August 2014 - 5:11pm
13kg with camping kit, tools, waterproofs, clothing etc is pretty good. Close to what I carry for a summer tour but the longest I've been away is only a month. I tend to organise my load by having front bags carrying very light items such as sleeping bag, then a large saddle bag for clothes etc with the tent carried behind the saddlebag. A bar bag for paperwork completes my set up. I have considered just using rear panniers instead of this, but cannot be bothered - and I don't have any. I am amazed at the amount of stuff some people carry, even just for a weekend away I've met people whose baggage is more than twice your 13kg.

Given this, I'd say stick with what you have.

Do I need front panniers for touring?

18 August 2014 - 4:57pm
Hi there. I'm new to touring and did a short 4 day tour in Scotland recently, camping, with 2 back panniers and my tent strapped to the rack. I had loads of extra room for food. I'm about to go on a 6 month tour, and will take pretty much the same stuff with me. I'll also have a big shopping type bag with me to carry panniers on flight with - which I can strap to the rack and put in extra stuff.
Basically - I see that the majority of tourers have front panniers. I can't imagine they all take more stuff with them than me. I weighed all my stuff in at 13kg, then always had about 4L water with me and food.
Are the front panniers for balance? I didn't have any problems with balance with everything on the back - but I am worried that there may be a strain on the bike in the long run?
I don't really want to take front panniers because of the extra weight.

Re: Cycling around Japan

18 August 2014 - 4:12pm
I will have in 3 months time. I am off there at end of Sept for 6 weeks.

There is a bit of info on the web, but not nearly as much as for other destinations. I think there are quite a few Japanese tourers, but very few blogging foreigners. Most people seem to be put off by the cost(s).

There have been a couple of posts here in the last year. Seek and ye shall find.

Re: Round the World Tour at 61

18 August 2014 - 4:03pm
+2. I agree with the above. If you need to ask us, do you really want to do it. What if we all say NO!!

I always wanted to give up work at 42, no one believed I would do it. They were right, it was 45. Out of a good job and on a plane to India within 3 days.

I had already travelled a lot and met many lost souls endlessly and aimlessly wandering, so I decided I wanted to keep my home ties. I made and still make 2 x3 month trips in the winter. Always home for Christmas and New Year (best time to socialise) and the summer. The idea of cycling round the world or setting off on an indefinite trip has never appealed to me

I mainly travel in Asia because I love the place, the people, the food, the landscape, etc. Also it is pretty cheap. I have been to Oz and NZ a few times as more expensive treats.

Now 61 and off to Japan in a few weeks - this one will cost, but got a bit more cash now.

I am very happy with my life style and don't regret leaving a good job for a more frugal lifestyle, not that I felt I ever lacked anything I really wanted due to a reasonable wadge of savings (as I said this had been planned for many years).

Yes, you can do it. You need to decide if you want to and what you will be losing if you don't and what you will be gaining if you do. I have met many people who love life on the road and as I said, I have also met quite a few who don't.

I am quite a careful sort of chap and always make sure I have a bail of plan, that's probably my advice.


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