CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 1 hour 10 min ago

Re: Oban to Stonehaven

16 November 2014 - 9:50pm
If you have a bike that can tackle rough tracks and paths you might consider reversing my Aberdeen-Ft William route ( http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/13830). From Oban the reasonably continuous Sustrans path goes up to Ballachulish; after that it's the busy A82 to Ft William, although you could avoid this by using the pavement to the Corran Ferry, cycle up the west side of Loch Linnhe and catch one of the (unfortunately) rather infrequent Camusnagaul ferries over to the Fort. After that it's as per my route (I used a Surly LHT with 2" tyres and it coped fine) and obviously once you get to lower Deeside you'll be able to find your own way home.

Good luck!


Re: London - Istanbul. Which route?

16 November 2014 - 9:31pm
Barrenfluffit wrote:With a long distance ride finding viable off road routes can be awkward. You need a decently detailed map but will tend to ride across it quite quickly. Also the right scale may not be available when you need it. Spending £10-15 per day on maps is an expensive and bulky exercise.

I might be out of date and Google maps \ technology may have caught up.

Likewise rural roads beyond Hungary may have improved hugely. But if they haven't on road conditions can be worse than a UK off road trail. It's part of the experience and travelling down through the balkans was terrific.

Choice of route starts with how you feel about hills; the flatter ways are following the rhine to pick up eurovelo6. Then follow the danube, cut across bulgaria and pick uo 100 towards Istanbul.
The fastest way is to head south over the alps, down italy to Ancona and catch the ferry to greece but the long ferry ride is kinda missing the point.

The balkans are a terrific touring experience but very hot in high summer.

The route should reflects what you want to get out of the trip. Also a search on eurovelo6 on here should throw up some hits.

I will be navigating with Open Cycle Map on my phone charged via a dynamo so having to buy extra maps won't be a problem.

The eurovelo 6 does sound appealing once it joins the danube but I'm not sure whether to head due(ish) South to meet it in Bavaria or meet it later and see more of Germany, the Czech Republic and perhaps the Tara mountains in Slovakia. It would mean cheaper prices (more lavish eating), less densely populated areas (more wilderness, I think) and I would join the route as the Balkan states begin. I'll have a search of the EV6 and try to get a feel of it's sections in Bavaria, Austria and Hungary, thanks.

Re: Bike fit for French canals

16 November 2014 - 7:52pm
I did most of the Burgundy canal in May on my Ti tourer with 32 Marathons. No punctures and comfortable ride.

Re: emergency waterproof poncho

16 November 2014 - 6:42pm
To be fair this one is typically German in its construction - I doubt it would last too long in daily use, but even the little bag it's supplied in is well made!

Re: Bike fit for French canals

16 November 2014 - 4:16pm
Chris and I used Specialized Tricross triple with touring tyres 32c. We found the tow paths to be do able but not very comfortable so came off them as much as pos. Some of the areas also use rather sharp chips which get embedded in the rubber (we only had one puncture though) so a kevlar (as we had) backing is good or special puncture proof tyres
Obviously some canals like the Gironde have good towpaths and are tarmaced, so if you can find out in advance

Have a good trip Dave

Re: First tour in France after 50yrs together:o)

16 November 2014 - 4:10pm
Route through France 2014

1. St. Malo Ferry Port- @ entrance turn sharp R and onto Prom around the harbour bay to far end. Then roads through to the underpass under A168 (the first rd over the Rance)- back rds to St Jouan Then St Suilac & Pont St Hubert - Taden Campsite & Rando Gite.
2. Taden - Lower Dinan - Evran via canal path - D24 & D70 Becherel
3.Becherel - D71 D62 La Chapelle du Lou - D28 Montauban - Boiservilly - St Maugan - St Malon sur Mel - Paimpont
Paimpont - D40 Campeneac - St laurent & Boyac to cycle path by Lac au Du, Ploermel - “Routier” at La Chapelle Care, below Le Roc St Andre (right beside cycle path, which is tarmaced)
4.La Chapelle Care - Malestroit (cycle Path) & onto canal towpath (mistake!! very pebbly) - St Congard - D149 to Pont d’Oust - St Vincent sur Oust, campsite and petite mobile home!
5.St Vincent - Redon by canal path - back rds to Fegreac & Pont Milly.
6.Pont Milly - D324 Farinet & St Clare - Back rds through Langle, Quinhu, Preslan & La Hublais to Blain Campsite.
7.Blain - D42 N D des Landes - D81 Vigneux de Bretagne - D381 St Etienne de Montluc - back rd over marsh to Coueron
8.Coueron - Ferry to Le Pellerin - Cycle path to canal de la Martiniere - back rds to Rouans - D66 Chemere - Arthon - D67 Les Moutiers en Retz Campsite small MH
9.Day off Cycled into town for bread:o)
10.Les Moutiers - Coast rd S. D118 Bouin - D21 D59 St Gervais - St Urbain - D59 Le Poirler - back rd to St Jean de Monts
11.St Jean de Monts - Prom & coast rd toCorniche Vendenne - cycle path Bretignolles s Mer
12.Bretignolles - cycle path & D80 D81 La Chaume & les Sables d’Olonne - D32 & D129 Port bourgenay Campsite Small MH
13.Port Bourgenay - Talmont st Hilaire = cycle path & back rd to Baude - La Grange - St Vincent - D19 St Hilaire la Foret - D10 Longeville - D70 Angles - D25 Grues Small bar hotel (Cheville Blanc)
14.Grues - D25 Traize & Champagne les Marais - rd beside Canal de Champagne - back rd & cycle path to bridge over Canal de Banche - D104 (very busy & fast) - D105 Charron - Esnandes - Marsilly - cycle path Nieul s Mer
15.Nieul s Mer - Lagold - cycle path Pont de Sablanceaux to Ile de Re & La Flotte
16.Day Off. Cycled to Loix & back
17.La Flotte cycle path La Rochelle (got lost!! came to old port from S. Stayed in posh Premier class in centre of town; but also nice campsite close by:o)
18. La Rochelle - cycle path Aytre - minor rds & cycle path around ptn du Chay - Angoulins - Chatelaillon Plage - minor rds Les Boucholeurs, Le Marcouillet, Yves, La Raize, Le Grande Vergeroux & La Pit Vergeroux Campsite beside river - very small MH
19.La Petite Vergeroux - cycle path S. Rocherfort & Transloader bridge - cycle path Soubise - D3 Brouage D3 Marennes & Marennes Plage.
20.Marennes Plage - Viaduc de la Seudre (narrow cycle path) - La Tremblade - D268 La Palmyre - Cycle path La Grande Cote - Coastal rds Royan Ferry - Le Verdon sur Mer
21.Day off. Gentle walk on beach
22Le Verdon - 1E4 Soulac sur Mer - cycle paths Montalivet les bains - Hourtin Plage - D 101E7 Cartignac
23.Cartignac - D101 Hourtin D3 then cycle path (which is new, tarmaced & starts in Hourtin) Carcans -Lacanau - La Porge - Lege Cap Ferret - Taussat
24.Taussat - Cycle paths for next few days, all tarmaced - Belin Beliet
25.Belin Beliet - Hostens - St Symphorien - Vilandraut
26 to 28.Vilandraut - Langon - D244 Fontet & Canal Gironde all the way to Argen 2 days

Hope this informative to any one who would like to see our route

Re: St. David's to Lowestfoft

16 November 2014 - 3:57pm
There's a big difference between the prevailing wind direction & what you may experience on any given day at any given place.

When I did it from East to West in July 2012 we had one day out of 8 with a headwind despite it being the "wrong" way. It was even (mostly) a tailwind for the last day to St David's.


Bike fit for French canals

16 November 2014 - 3:03pm
We have cycled on tarmac in France, a few times, but intend to holiday, primarily, on the canal tow-paths next year. Can I get away with my Dawes Audax and some larger tyres or do I need something more robust for this trip? Any advice would be much appreciated.

Re: Brooks saddle protection

16 November 2014 - 11:13am
bikerta wrote:On my recent JOGLE, I rode for 10 hours in pouring rain and my Brooks saddle was absolutely fine as your rear end covers the saddle (at least mine does!!)

Bet your rear end wasn't dry though

Re: emergency waterproof poncho

16 November 2014 - 9:57am
>>Obviously it isn't going to last very long in use.

Yes, something of a drawback.

Worth getting something decent for this sort of application I think.

I've seen a few cheap ponchos you could put your finger through. I've seen better made condoms.

(anyone care to call Durex and suggest a diversification?)

Re: Show me your underwear

16 November 2014 - 9:51am
Took me a while to find this thread to post but well worth my time as it was I think thanks to this thread that I headed off into the potentially perilous area of going unpadded.

For years have used a variety of padded undershorts which cost between £15 to £20 in prices of yesteryear, took ages to dry, and eventually the elastics tended to go.

And although they usually felt OK on the bike (before elastic went) they often felt a bit odd off the bike, especially in warmer climates.

Then discovered Aldi Seamless boxers (mens - for that's me - haven't explored women's underwear) - branded "Avenue".

Synthetic of course. The box in front of me says: 97% polyamide, 7% elastane.

As a special they are only available now and again but my local Aldi currently has them in.

Come in a box - two pairs for £3.99. Yes, less than £2 each.

I now have a ton - they wash and dry very easily.

Won't be wearing them with Rapha. I twin them with my favourite Mountain Equipment semi-long shorts. Or, this time of year, cycling tights.

Re: Show me your underwear

16 November 2014 - 9:35am
Urticaria wrote:I sprayed some brown contact adhesive on a pair of plain keks which I keep at the top of my pannier. I reckon it should sufficiently repulse anyone rifling through that they will leave the rest undisturbed.

This surely calls for a picture?

What contact adhesive?

Sounds like a good idea.

Came across this thread in connection with something else.

A more on topic post of mine to follow very soon.

But am still interested.

Re: emergency waterproof poncho

16 November 2014 - 9:24am
It looks marginally better than the old dodge of using a bin bag.
As an emergency item it's probably light and will fold down to a small size.
Obviously it isn't going to last very long in use.

Re: St. David's to Lowestfoft

16 November 2014 - 8:54am
For those of a certain age there was a wonderful booklet with the catchy title of:

"140 Quiet Wind Assisted Cycle Routes Between B.R. Stations: Covering 5, 000 Miles and Using Minor Roads, Bridleways, 30 Trailways, 14 Canal Towpaths, 11 Forest Tracks - Devised for the Elderly and People with Young Families"

Written by Richard Hutchins it was a wonderful detailed guide to cycle routes and with the 1995 supplement upped to some 8,000 miles of detailed cycle routes

He recommended this route from St David's Head to Lowestoft Ness to take advantage of a tail wind, as the opposite direction would be a head wind for most of the trip

Re: Brooks saddle protection

16 November 2014 - 8:32am
I have two of these, a present from my daughter.
http://www.notonthehighstreet.com/kelly ... seat-cover

Re: First tour in France after 50yrs together:o)

15 November 2014 - 11:11pm
Follow on from PaulSB's story above.
We had a Lady come out in her wagon with a bike rack on the back, pick us up, took us to the supermarket and then drove us 8k to her house:o)
Fabulous talk to her over breakfast the next morning in an absolutely stunning room

We had lots of help like that and got to know people well in the short time available.

Re: First tour in France after 50yrs together:o)

15 November 2014 - 11:05pm
Hi Monsieur. I will post a list of the towns we went through over the next week, will look into posting a map, if I am able:o)
PaulSB. France en Velo is a great book, and we read quite a few guides etc before going; but only took what was in our heads with us and the first map, bought the others on the way.
We stayed off main roads as much as possible, and if we didn't like a road or bumpy tow path etc would turn off at the nearest opportunity onto some minor road. One of the great reasons for having a paper map, you can see a wide area around where you are. We were never lost, but sometimes a little worried:o)
Accom. we never ever booked ahead, and was the main reason for taking a tent (very, very light one) Plus thermorests and sleeping bags. We used the bags a lot in the mobile homes, huts etc. Chris's job (she speaks a lot better French than me) was to get the accom. each day which sometimes took about an hr or so, but we were not trying to do big miles.
As some one else said tourist offices are great (most of the time!) People in shops and bars are almost as good:o) and often more fun.
Any way the hardest part of any journey is getting out of the door.

One thing we used 'Park at my Place' to leave the car for 40 days booked less than halve price compared to other car parks. Living in N.Wales a train journey to portsmouth is a night mare.

Re: Brooks saddle protection

15 November 2014 - 10:09pm
Thanks. Looks like I'm being too fussy.

Re: Brooks saddle protection

15 November 2014 - 9:34pm
As Above. I had my Brooks for 17years. After the tin of proofide that came with it ran out it was never replaced. I never covered it and never looked after it. It was very comfy right up till it broke, when I replaced it with another. I treat that one with exactly the same lack of care. Its just a saddle!

Re: Brooks saddle protection

15 November 2014 - 9:21pm
The B17 on my touring bike is now 20 years old and I've never bothered with a cover. It's been soaked when riding, soaked whilst being transported on the rack of the car and soaked when left in the open whilst camping. However I have waxed it, (at least three, maybe four times in those 20yrs). My wife's B66 is nearly as old and treated the same. As for the two leather Brookes saddles on my Tandem, they're youngsters at about 14 years old and are treated with the same care.

My point is yes use a cover for protection if you want, but in my experience none of my saddles seem to have come to any harm for lack of protection and irregular maintenance.


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