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Updated: 1 hour 44 min ago

Re: Fort William to Inverness, wild camping - thoughts?

25 May 2014 - 7:07pm
Oh I forgot one, essential question. How busy could I expect these places to be? I assume because they are cul de sacs that they won't be too busy. If I'm wild camping just do it a couple miles from any buildings. the roads seem to run right along the loch - is it ok to camp just a couple metres from the road, behind some trees?

Also, is it safe to use loch water to cook with e.g. to boil pasta
Feels like I'm asking alot of questions but as a newbie I'd love some tips! Thanks again

Fort William to Inverness, wild camping - thoughts?

25 May 2014 - 5:28pm
Hi there,
Just realised there is a camping forum. However, I have more to ask than just about camping. Here goes...

I'm going to be in Glasgow in July and am planning on a 4 day cycle trip. The plan is to first get a train to Fort William.

Day 1. Fort William - Loch Quoich
Day 2. Loch Quoich - Fort Augustus
Day 3. Fort Augustus - Loch Beinn
Day 4. Loch Beinn - Inverness

or

Day 1. Fort William - Loch Arkaig
Day 2. Loch-Arkaig - Loch Quoich
Day 3. Loch Quoich - Fort Augustus
Day 4. Fort Augustus - Inverness

I'm planning on wild camping on the lochs. (and campsite at Fort Augustus). Has anyone wild camped there before? Arkaig, Quoich or Beinn? This is my first cycle tour and the first time wild camping. I'm guessing if I find a secluded spot behind some trees that will be ok? (Apart from the obvious keeping tidy etc). From google maps there looks like a few places that are fairly flat.
And can anyone give me tips to camping if it's raining? Is it a bad idea to camp on the edge of the loch? Are there really marshy areas? I will make sure I have campsite backups just incase (there's campsites at Loch Garry and Cannich).

Also any thoughts on the route? I've looked at the topography and looks ok (!). But are there any really major hills/bad roads?
Also winds. Ok, I know nothing about this but I read about how sometimes its best to do routes a certain way around to avoid winds. Is that the case here?

Thanks, I'm totally new to all this!


(P.S I know there will be midges. I don't care. As I sit here now I'm covered in 200+ bed bug bites and 50+ mosquito bites from a visit to Taiwan last week. So thanks, but it really doesn't bother me.)

CTC Holidays

25 May 2014 - 3:44pm
I've just got back from a really great CTC holiday tour in the Trossachs, led by Gary Cummins; no rain in 8 days, and mostly gentle sun.
Is there a case for a specific section reporting on CTC tours? I realise there's the possibility of disgruntled customers venting feelings, but as a counterbalance, such a section could help those thinking about a particular holiday to make up their minds based on previous reports. CTC Holidays need to be pushed within the CTC itself, surely, not hidden away or kept secret, as they would seem to be now.
Simon

Re: New Route Planner

25 May 2014 - 2:18pm
You can type in latitude/longitude pairs but not OSGB grid references at present - can look at adding the latter if it'd be useful though!

Denmark Touring Maps

25 May 2014 - 12:09pm
Has anyone toured in Denmark and have info on maps. Looked at the ones from Danish Cycling Fed and they are £50 each! seem too much for a what we want - two week tour planned. Any suggestions anyone?

Re: New Route Planner

25 May 2014 - 11:52am
Can you type in grid references as the start and finish point I'm thinking of doing some of the cycle quest counties

Re: Drop handlebars and V-brakes

25 May 2014 - 10:53am
Yep, you mean like the fixed in my shed?
Worked OK, but I also wanted a bit shorter reach and TBH the flat bar with L bar end combo hoofered more comfort than the 'bullhorn' solution, plus it was easier to get the bar bag on.

Re: Drop handlebars and V-brakes

25 May 2014 - 10:42am
You could always turn them upside down chav-stylee

Otherwise have your thought of bullhorn tri-bars like these?

Re: Drop handlebars and V-brakes

25 May 2014 - 10:01am
You mean like the one in my shed? It's great for the neck/shoulder, but it causes other problems with my kidneys.

Yep, falling apart, I am.

Re: Anyone recommend any good books?

25 May 2014 - 7:54am
Just read the freebie bit (see above) of Tom Bruce's book.

Enjoyed it so I suppose I should buy the rest.

I think one or two folk have critcised the style in that when describing towns buildings views etc he uses a fairly limited vocabulary.

In truth I found this somewhat refreshing, having a limited appreciation of detailed architectural descriptions.

I found the style clear, crisp and down-to-earth with little recourse to over-dramatisation which can make some similar travelogues sound like a breathless over-hyped pub-tale-telling by a breathless gap year returnee with tales of almost being eaten alive by scorpions/cycling across a canyon on a zipwire or whatever.

Instead simple descriptions of slumming it on the cheap are rather empowering.

In the bit I read, despite this down to earth style, I remain somewhat puzzled/bemused possibly alarmed by his hygiene regime - at least a couple of times after what seems like an extended period on the road free camping in woods etc he describes being offered a shower by a friendly local (he meets lots) but declining it because he couldn't be bothered/didn't have time. I would have thought a shower would be a godsend in such situations and set one up for a few days.

Cycling in South America: Cartagena to Quito

25 May 2014 - 4:32am
Hi,
From the middle of September I intend to start cycling in South America. The start will be Cartagena: a port in northern Colombia. The finish will be the capital of Ecuador: Quito. I have done one long distance route before. Two years ago I cycled down the Danube as far as Belgrade. I am forty years old and reasonably fit. The main difference this time will be provision for camping. Does anybody wish to consider joining me?

Regards

Russell

Re: Pas de Calais

24 May 2014 - 11:56pm
I was hospitalised in Hesdin once. Let's hope it's not an omen.

Re: Drop handlebars and V-brakes

24 May 2014 - 9:16pm
Perhaps worth considering the Dark Side... While most people assume the prime comfort win on a 'bent is a big comfy chair for the backside I find it's taking all the weight off my arms. On my old drop-bar tourer I really wanted to stop at the end of a 50 miler with sore neck, shoulders, arms and wrists, but on the 'bent the only limit is when my legs can't go around any more.

Plus with no need for elaborate handlebars you can have mighty-serious brakes with no real problems.

Pete.

Re: Drop handlebars and V-brakes

24 May 2014 - 4:26pm
I've no doubt related my sad story before......damage to neck/shoulder means that I can't reach down to the drops any more (unless I set the bars very high - in which case why have drops?) and so now use flat bar with bar ends. I know that you can get shallow drops and drops that go off sideways at an angle - but my neck/shoulder are very particular about bar height and so I stick with flat now.

Re: Drop handlebars and V-brakes

24 May 2014 - 3:56pm
Si wrote:I Alas, just when I'd finally found drop bar braking that I was happy with I had to give up on drop bars Do tell.

Re: Camping in the Netherlands

24 May 2014 - 2:51pm
Have used the Natuurkampeerterrein sites and guide for the last three out of four years. We have always pre ordered the book before we left, but I am sure you can turn up at any of the sites and join if you want.
When it came to payment for the book we simply sent a 20 euro note back with the receipt, never had any problems.
If there is one problem with the sites, in some areas they can be a bit sparse, other than that we have never had a bad stay. The sites in the national forests, or Staatsbosbeheer sites are our favourites.
This year we are going to give the Vekabo, or small farm camping, sites a try.
Enjoy your time in NL, we love it there.

Re: Drop handlebars and V-brakes

24 May 2014 - 1:27pm
I found mine better than the shimano STIs I had before. horses for courses I guess.

Re: Drop handlebars and V-brakes

24 May 2014 - 1:26pm
Friggin horrible shape though, can't get on with mine at all.

Re: Drop handlebars and V-brakes

24 May 2014 - 1:22pm
I put the tektro V levers plus V brakes on my old galaxy - best hood braking I've ever had on a drop bar bike. Alas, just when I'd finally found drop bar braking that I was happy with I had to give up on drop bars

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