CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 1 hour 13 min ago

Re: What is the best dynamo hub for touring?

18 November 2014 - 1:51pm
willem jongman wrote:Personally, I would consider dropping the idea of charging gadgets.
What's the point of having a dyno hub on your touring bike if you don't charge gadgets with it? For touring, your lighting needs are small and some small, cheap LED battery lights for use occasionally (pub to campsite) will be much lighter and cheaper. Different matter if it is your commuting bike.

Re: Brittany - the draining of the Lac de Gueledan

18 November 2014 - 1:12pm
MrsHJ wrote:I noticed the climb up Mur de Bretagne coming from the east - it felt steeper than that!!. The 8 year old very stoicly walked it in a very hot day. At least we didn't miss the turn to the campsite like the rest of the family. I bet the campsite isn't very happy about this.

That isn't actually the steep bit! Sorry to disappoint;-)

Re: Favourite country?

18 November 2014 - 11:57am
Sweep wrote:What are the prospects of free camping in Switzerland CJ?
Never tried it. I generally prefer a proper bed and a roof. Try warmshowers.

Re: Need advice on a bike tour of Scotland

18 November 2014 - 11:28am
Castles: there are lots of ruined castles - you can hardly avoid them. Caerlaverock, near Dumfries, is one of my favourites but is probably off your route. Castle Urquart by Loch Ness is IME worth a visit. So is Dunnottar in the north-east.

For inhabited or 'in use' castles, Eilan Donan in the north-west is probably the most well known, cropping up on calendars and shortbread tins. In the east are the tower houses like Crathes Castle, Castle Fraser and Craigievar. My favourite big castle is Stirling, which has a lot to offer the visitor and I think is a lot more interesting and better value than Edinburgh.

Really, you are spoiled for choice! Have a look at tourist info sites, Historic Scotland and the National Trust for Scotland to find more.

Re: What is the best dynamo hub for touring?

18 November 2014 - 10:38am
SP8 will fit your requirements, i'm using the disc version atm and at first glance you wouldn't think it was anything but a disc hub! Pop on an Axa Pico30 for lighting and Bobs your uncle.

Must admit that the charger thing is something i'm not fully convinced of, this looks like the neatest of the options http://www.rosebikes.co.uk/article/supe ... aid:713880 but its a chunk of dosh. Up to now i've managed using 'free' power at campsites and hotels to keep everything powered so i need some convincing!

Diabetic Feet on Tour

18 November 2014 - 10:37am
I'm a couple of days into my first solo tour along the South Coast.

It was a bit of a challenging start because I was on the Isle of WIght for a couple of days last w/e and the rain has been vile! The national route has been flooded to about 6-8 inched just north of Sandown - twice. Plan B over Brading Down is quite risky in really bad weather in the dark - an experience. Almost all vehicles were very considerate, though.

I'd like to ask a couple of questions about feet, as my cycling shoes are damp-sodden.

As I have Type I Diabetes I expect my feet to take at least twice as long to heal from blisters etc as normal feet, so taking care is important. I have the plasters etc and the normal backup antibiotics and so on.

In the circa I think I will pick up a pair of water proof socks, because I won't dry out my shoes short of a bb with a drying room.

This post is to ask for experiences.

Are there any Type Is on the forum? What are your practises?

Thanks

Ferdinand

Re: Favourite country?

18 November 2014 - 7:34am
Yes, the cost of Switzerland has put me off ever since my student inter-railing days.

Only really been back since when someone else was paying.

What are the prospects of free camping in Switzerland CJ?

Re: Need advice on a bike tour of Scotland

17 November 2014 - 11:06pm
The best time to visit Scotland in my view is May/June. Fewer midges, less busy and plenty of daylight. July and August are best avoided as this coincides with the busy school holidays and the midges are at their worst. September can be delightful but the weather is less predictable and there are fewer hours of daylight. The west coast does get more rain than the east side of the country but in my view the wind can me more of a problem. The outer islands in particular, can be very windy at any time. The good news is that the midges don't like the wind either.

For route planning, try this site. http://cycle.travel/map
It's run by a member of this forum and produces very cycle friendly routes.

If you are starting your tour in Edinburgh, and you particularly wish to visit Inverness and loch Ness, you could head to Inverness direct from Edinburgh and cycle the Great Glen in the opposite direction to the route that the Spanish tandemists took. The A82 between Inverness and Fort William is regarded by some as not suitable for cyclists. I've ridden it and It was fine but timing is everything. It can be very busy at times. The road from Inverness to Fort Augustus on the south side of Loch Ness is delightful.

From Fort William either head for Oban and from there take the ferry to Mull as per my original sugestion. Or head to Malaig and the ferry to Skye either directly on the A830 or cross over Loch Linneh on the Casmunagaul ferry and take the scenic route to Malaig via Strontian and Salen.

There is no shortage of castles in Scotland.

Re: Brittany - the draining of the Lac de Gueledan

17 November 2014 - 9:32pm
I noticed the climb up Mur de Bretagne coming from the east - it felt steeper than that!!. The 8 year old very stoicly walked it in a very hot day. At least we didn't miss the turn to the campsite like the rest of the family. I bet the campsite isn't very happy about this.

Re: Bike fit for French canals

17 November 2014 - 9:29pm
I thought you were cycling IN the canals for a moment. I found nantes brest very tranquil after working in the London but I really go touring for peace and quiet and for some zen time ( not that frequent with a whingey 8 year old). Rural France isn't usually exactly zinging on the roads either- any experienced cyclist would cover nantes breast in say 3 days and then move onto something else, the 8 year old was somewhat slower but didn't compain about the scenery. My kona Dr dew was fine with the surface which was quite mixed. Any tourer should be ok.

Re: Need advice on a bike tour of Scotland

17 November 2014 - 9:27pm
To: bogmyrtle
Thank you for advice about Orkney mainland and Island of Hoy.
When I go with my wife usually our daily run is 30-40 km in mountains and 60-70 km without relief.
Usually we start at 10 a.m. and begin to look for overnight ~ at 5-6 p.m.... with a stop about 1.5 hours for lunch in cafe...

Re: Need advice on a bike tour of Scotland

17 November 2014 - 9:00pm
To: mattsccm
Really it is not my idea to use this way http://www.gpsies.com/mapOnly.do?fileId ... Leave=true
I know the above was done by 2 people from Spain with tandem. But idea is first. At the end of all I have to prepare a track of our trip and it must be done at home in advance. Frankly speaking I already have experiance of 14 trips by bycicle to Europe and I know exactly to search any roads on the spot - the loss of time. We can just change a little bit some directions during the way but the main track day by day must be prepared at home. That's why I ask advice here...

To: Norman H
Thanks a lot for your advice. I 'll write a track according to your recommendations and come back here again.
Some questions more:
1. Is first part of September OK for this way (islands and west coast) or we will get a lot of rains? (I am afraid of August with Festival in Edinburgh);
2. Have I to lay track on the roads or we can find there any cyclist's roads?
3. We will flight to Edinburgh. I think we have to visit in any case Inverness, Loch Ness and Fort William. What way is the best between the above? According to Spanish track?
4. What the most beautiful castles of Scotland do you suggest to visit?

Re: Need advice on a bike tour of Scotland

17 November 2014 - 8:40pm
You could easily fill three weeks island hopping on the beautiful west coast but I would also recommend you also try to get to Orkney mainland (the biggest island) where there are lots of important archaeological sites close together.
http://www.orkney.com/about/history/archaeology

Also it is worth going to the museum at Lyness on the Island of Hoy
http://www.scapaflow.co.uk/sfvc.htm

When are you going and what sort of distance do you want to cover in a day?

Re: Need advice on a bike tour of Scotland

17 November 2014 - 7:13pm
Welcome to the Forum.

If you want to visit Skye, consider the ferry from Oban to Mull. Mull itself is worth at least a days exploring. From Mull there are ferries to Lochaline or Kilchoan (Ardnamurchan). From either of these points you can make your way to Malaig and take the ferry to Skye.

Look at CalMac Hopscotch tickets. http://www.calmac.co.uk/tickets/island-hopping/hopscotch-7-mull-ardnamurchan-and-skye.htm

If you leave Skye by the road bridge to the mainland (Kyleakin to Kyle of Lochalsh) you have a number of options for continuing your route. My personal choice would be to head for Plocton and continue up the west coast to Ullapool via Torridon and Gairloch. If you are feeling fit you could even include the Applecross peninusar via Bealach-na Bà (Google it)
An alternative route from Skye to Ullapol would be via Harris and Lewis (Ferry from Uig) http://www.calmac.co.uk/destinations/route-map.htm


From Ullapool either cut across to Lairg to pick up your route or continue heading up the west coast to Durness ( You can visit Cape Wrath from here) and then across the top to Bettyhill.

There are some good Independent hostels in Scotland. I can send you some links when you have your route more firmly fixed.

Re: Need advice on a bike tour of Scotland

17 November 2014 - 7:06pm
Most of those roads are very busy.
Look at a maps program on the web. Bing maps or Google maps. When you get to the UK look for the Ordnance Survey/OS maps. They show the roads and their status. If possible avoid red or green ones as they are the A class ones. In the west of Scotland they are good and not to busy. I you can try the yellow roads.
Skye is nice to visit

Re: Bike fit for French canals

17 November 2014 - 5:56pm
Bordeaux (rather Langon) to Toulouse is a great surface most of the way and you'll be fine on audax bikes and 32mm tyres. Toulouse to Sete is pretty but can be really rough in places: there are long sections where you would even want to be on a hardtail(which I've also done, and still lost a pannier going over a particularly large root).

That said, some of the adjacent roads are very quiet and just as pretty so you should always consider that option. Definitely agree with another poster about the ennui. The first two days you'll be charmed by the lock-keepers cottages and waving at the pleasure boats, bear in mind that many of the beautiful plane trees are being chopped down so that reduces the picturesque qualities. By day 3 you may well be getting a bit bored so striking off and exploring some of the local roads will be very appealing. Enjoy the ride!

Re: Show me your underwear

17 November 2014 - 5:47pm
I have tried Icebreaker merino boxers - very comfortable but crutch wore out in no time.

These are the best I have found so far for touring (Brooks saddle, no padding):

http://www.whalleyoutdoor.co.uk/shop/pr ... 476e6929ad

Hardwearing and comfortable, snug with no seams in the wrong place, easy to wash & dry. Only need invest in two pairs for touring. Highly recommended.

Andy.

Re: Brittany - the draining of the Lac de Gueledan

17 November 2014 - 3:54pm
boblo wrote:Are they refilling it? We're reasonably local to you and it; Lanrivain.

It's due to be refilled winter 2015/16 so you've only got the one chance...

Re: Brittany - the draining of the Lac de Gueledan

17 November 2014 - 3:52pm
Thanks for the heads-up, BB - Good tip too re the TdF - now where's me diary...

Re: Brittany - the draining of the Lac de Gueledan

17 November 2014 - 3:16pm
Are they refilling it? We're reasonably local to you and it; Lanrivain.

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