CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 1 hour 52 min ago

Re: Anyone Use Taptalk?

22 July 2015 - 6:57pm
I don't use it, but I get prompted to download it three times for every CTC Forum page I visit. It's immensely annoying, so much so that I don't bother visiting on a tablet any more.

Re: Touring - worst fear?

22 July 2015 - 6:45pm
I fear terrible heat, terrible cold, terrible rain, terrible diarrhoea and terrible malfunctions!
In Bavaria in June about 20 years ago we got 4 days of snow. Not fun, but I had winter gear (I'm prudent). Friends didn't. On another occasion cycled the Col de Galibier with 6ft of snow at sides of the roads. Terribly cold.
In Spain once I got industrial strength diarrhoea. It took 12 anti-diarrhoea tablets to stop it (Imodium). 2 usually work. My friends thought it was hilarious and what's funny about it is that we all drank the same water and ate the same stuff.
I've been in terrible heat a few times. Corsica once where it maxed at 37C every day and on the Camino de Santiago where it was similar many days.
On one tour of Scotland and another in France/Spain we had torrential rain most of the time. Awful.
As for mechanicals, I've had broken spokes, chains etc., but for sheer coincidence I've had a broken rim twice (spoke pulling through and rim wear causing a split). Both of these happened on the Isle of Skye and I bought the replacement rims in the same shop in Portree. How's that for a coincidence.
Finally, having toured multiple times in about 5 years without a puncture, my wife and I had a burst tyre and four punctures (including the burst one) in about half an hour in Scotland, on three different wheels. I went paranoid looking for more spares and located some. Didn't get another puncture for about 3 years touring after that.

Re: Touring - worst fear?

22 July 2015 - 4:52pm
I dont think that I fear anything - Ive always toured within my comfort zone - each tour I have done added to my confidence in dealing with - hills, mechanicals, lack of campsites, occasional illness et.al. - as a touring cyclist you have to be fatalistic about the things that are most serious - being knocked off - mugged without being blase about it

Hadrian's Wall

22 July 2015 - 4:36pm
Just looked at the NCN route for Hadrian's Cycleway. It doesn't actually follow the Roman Wall that much. The B6318 comes closest by far and has both Housteads and several good local pubs alongside if my memory serves me well, Is it about accommodation or what as contour wise, it seem reasonably similar to the NCN route and the road was never a traffic nightmare except on late Friday nights. Any suggestions as my history buff brother in law wants to cycle the Wall not the route NCN suggest?

Re: Lon Las Cymru Advice

22 July 2015 - 4:14pm
I rode it last year (Bristol to Holyhead) on a road bike with 25mm Durano plus tyres, rear rack and single pannier. There are different 'routes' with the route and I avoided any off road rough stuff. Gearing was 26/39/52 12-27 which I found fine but this is very subjective due to rider weight fitness etc. I also took 5 days.

There is more here

Re: yet another touring bike

22 July 2015 - 3:20pm
Wonder if its a stiffer frame than the Vaya? The forks look like they have measles…


Lon Las Cymru Advice

22 July 2015 - 3:00pm
Hello All,

I'm looking for a little advice from anyone with experience of the Lon Las Cymru route. My current thinking is to undertake the route from Chepstow to Holyhead as I'll be on a flat bar'd road bike. I understand this is a bit more road bike friendly? Is the route doable on 700x25 marathons? I'd like to think I can complete it in 2-2 1/2 days but just how tough is it? I've done the c2c fairly easily in 3 on a mountain bike and cycle regularly enough to mean 80-100miles out in the Staffordshire countryside in a day isn't unthinkable. What gearing have people used? I currently have 12-26 and 30/42/52 which I don't think will be good enough to tackle the climbs with panniers.

The plan for 2 and half days would be something like Chepstow to Llanidoes, Llanidoes to Criccieth and Criccieth to Holyhead

Is it better to go south to north or north to south?

Thanks in advance,


Re: yet another touring bike

22 July 2015 - 1:59pm
beardy wrote:why, when they've made the decision to fit disc brakes, do they fit something cruddy like bb7's?

Because a lot of people like them, offering simplicity, reliability and braking ability that is considered good in the broad spectrum of braking that is available.

+1 I'm delighted with mine (on 2 bikes) And for a numpty like me I can manage servicing them...b

Re: Touring - worst fear?

22 July 2015 - 1:44pm
In my case it was the fear of biting off more than I could chew, because of the probability of it happening rather than the seriousness of the consequences.

Re: The Great Tour of Britain - What Bitter Irony :-)

22 July 2015 - 1:30pm
the hostel is very good , i stayed there in june on my 500 trip around scotland

Re: yet another touring bike

22 July 2015 - 12:50pm
mercalia wrote: and no mudguards, sorry fenders

But it has the lugs for them, and specifically the tyre clearance is mentioned. Loads of US tourers don't use guards. Bearing in mind the climate it's understandable.

Re: Touring - worst fear?

22 July 2015 - 12:16pm
The best statistics available are for fatalities and serious injuries. If you find data comparisons between countries, they are usually fatalities or KSI per kilometer travelled. Sometimes, they also include fatalities or KSI per 100 000 population. There are also data available for other types of crash (minor injury, single vehicle, etc.), along with estimated under reporting rates, but these data are less reliable. IRTAD collects and analyses data for OECD countries and issues an annual report.

Re: The Great Tour of Britain - What Bitter Irony :-)

22 July 2015 - 12:11pm
I have to say it's a great hostel, and the star is the lounge area where there is NO tv and lots of books - GOOD wi fi! I was in here last night and there was a group of us just chatting telling tall stories and getting on great! So I was overjoyed with the offer of having my rest day here...

Re: Touring - worst fear?

22 July 2015 - 11:59am
Vorpal wrote: I think most countries have much higher cyclist crash rates than the UK, despite the hostile road environment.
Rates per what? And weighted for severity or not?

Re: Touring - worst fear?

22 July 2015 - 11:49am
Technology / smartphone failure. Having just completed a tour of Spain, it made me realise how reliant I was on my smartphone. Navigation, booking accommodation, transferring money, blog, emails, Facebook, camera, podcasts ...

Re: Touring - worst fear?

22 July 2015 - 11:46am
Being somewhere remote and hot, misjudging a route and running out of water.

Re: The Great Tour of Britain - What Bitter Irony :-)

22 July 2015 - 11:39am
I'm really pleased you've got to stay the night there! A colleague of mine and his wife are good friends of the hostess at the Tongue Hostel and paid them a visit this year so it has been a recent topic of conversation. I also met a cyclist in Wick, in March this year, who had a finished a long section of the northern Scottish coast as training for cycling across the U.S. who told me he had the whole hostel to himself, and a very nice meal as well, whilst we exchanged stories of the road.

I'm hoping to finish off the NW Coast at some time (only a few stretches missing from the whole of the Scotish coastline) and curiosity has tempted me to stay at the hostel rather than camp.

Re: Touring - worst fear?

22 July 2015 - 11:38am
beardy wrote:I'm surprised no one has said being hit by a car,

My assumption is that the chance of getting hit by a car goes down when you are touring abroad!

I think it depends on where you are touring. I think most countries have much higher cyclist crash rates than the UK, despite the hostile road environment. The exceptions are some continental European countries: The Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, France. This list is not comprehensive. I haven't gone to look at the statistics for every country.

Re: The Great Tour of Britain - What Bitter Irony :-)

22 July 2015 - 11:38am
sultzer wrote:the tongue hostel lets tents pitch anyway
I had asked about that but they said only if I didn't want to come inside, but it all turned out great in the end. I got to meet the owner of the company organising it. A very down to earth guy with a passion for promoting the coastal tourism and just whats out here. Not at all what I expected, this morning a guy was leaving for his 2nd day on a Jogle, his front mech wasn't shifting, I had a look and couldn't really get it to work, their bike mechanic put it on a stand but it wouldn't adjust so needs a new one which is a shame. But they went to the trouble of helping him out I really hope he gets through ok!

Re: Canal du Midi towpath

22 July 2015 - 11:23am
All of the track east of Carcasonne to Narbonne is a dirt/gravel surface which can sometimes be quite bumpy and you will need to watch out for tree roots across the path at times. It should be fine on a hybrid but be prepared to take it slowly. There are plenty of minor roads that roughly follow the canal if you prefer a smooth ride.


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