CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 1 hour 13 min ago

Re: The Camping and Caravanning Club

27 June 2014 - 10:53am
I always find it a good idea to speak to the owners first, when planing a trip, even though it makes extra work. I normally plan long legs a didn't want to encounter a problem or the prospect of looking for another site after I have arrived; it has happened to me more than once. However, I've also saved many problems by phoning first, even with a C&CC site in Jedburgh where the washing machine had broken and I could plan my washing before/after and a campsite that had been closed down in Barnstaple because of complaints of abuse!

Good luck with the trip!

Re: Cookset recommendations

27 June 2014 - 10:29am
Have a look at http://www.ultralightoutdoorgear.co.uk/ ... n-stuff-c8 - i get most of my kit from these guys, their advice is spot on and the range covers every need.

Re: The Camping and Caravanning Club

27 June 2014 - 10:29am
Ah yes, certified sites. The first of the two sites I'm staying at is indeed certified. Veeeeeeeeeery small (5 caravans and tents max) but really good reviews about the site and it's owners and having spoke to them about my concerns as a non member a few days ago, the very nice chap told me it wouldn't be an issue and even reserved me a space Telling him I'm a newbie at this might've helped
The main reason for asking this question came about when I downloaded their iPhone app expecting to find loads of campsites all over the UK only to discover that I needed to type in my member number to see anything more that 2-3 sites in any one area. Useless. Other apps aren't a great deal better tbh.
Best get on with slapping a bit of blackboard paint on the tent next year then!
Thanks chaps

Frankfurt Airport

27 June 2014 - 10:27am
I'm flying in and out of Frankfurt for my summer trip, anyone got any tips on using the airport? for example, is there a cycle route in/out, any strange local stuff i need to know?

Thanks in advance

Re: The Camping and Caravanning Club

27 June 2014 - 10:13am
There are club sites and certified sites. Certified sites are members only (I'm not too sure what would happen if you turn up as a backpacker), club sites often welcome non-members, but because of their heritage, will never turn away a backpacker, which includes a cycle-camper.

Certified sites are mostly small privately run sites that may not be suitable for back packers i.e. Their facilities may only suit a self-contained caravan or motor home and they may not even have toilets and showers, just a chemical disposal point. However, it is the club sites you want to be staying at!

Caution - Verona Airport

27 June 2014 - 9:58am
A word of caution if using Verona Airport as an exit point from Italy.
We recently completed an excellent trip along the Via Claudia Augusta and flew home from Verona with our bikes (Thorn Nomads) using the CTC plastic bag method. All went well at check-in, with the bike protection method being readily accepted.
Trouble arose because they couldn't pass the bikes through the oversized baggage X-ray scanner due to the dimension of front wheel to the top of steerer tube height ( in my case being 95 cms). They wanted us to remove the front wheels from their forks to reduce the overall height but I was reluctant and also my Pitlock skewer keys had already passed through check-in with other our baggage. We flew with Monarch and had prepared the bikes to their requirements (tyres deflated, pedals off, etc) but also removed the handlebars from the Ahead set for their added protection. We saw other bikes which were in padded travel bags and retail cardboard boxes pass through the scanner OK.
After much Italian animated phone-calling by the check-in supervisor and worry on our part, the bikes were eventually ushered through a side door bypass and safely arrived with us at Gatwick.
If using a CTC bag at Verona it may be advisable to remove the front wheel and use a fork brace.

Re: The Camping and Caravanning Club

27 June 2014 - 9:45am
I may be wrong but I thought I had seen somewhere that some sites will only allow members to stay there. This is based on something I seem to remember reading on the internet somewhere - I'm not a member and have never been turned away (or even every stayed at any such sites).

So ignore the above unless somebody with knowledge can confirm it.


Re: Cookset recommendations

27 June 2014 - 9:45am
I would go with the trangia set - even if you don't get on with the stove the rest is brilliant quality. Personally I think the kettle is well worth the extra.
My Trangia kit is 35 years old and still going strong, although I cook on a gasoline stove.

Re: Cycle Touring in the Outer Hebrides - Questions

27 June 2014 - 9:30am
For a return journey, I got the ferry from Stornoway to Ullapool and cycled to Inverness, camping at Beauly, then cycled to Fort William and got the train back to Glasgow from there. With a pre-bought ticket it was only about £9.50!

Carbon tent poles...beware!

27 June 2014 - 8:58am
If you are heading out cycle camping using a tent with carbon tent poles....beware. I put my Lightwave tent up (luckily) in the garden before doing a 2 week cycle camping tour and when removing the front carbon pole it snapped. I then removed the rear carbon pole and the same thing happened....but in EXACTLY the same place as the front one broke. I am a 'seasoned' cycle camper and I had used this tent only twice, I treated the poles very lightly and they removed without any pressure placed on them. The tent had been stored in a dry cupboard without anything 'on' it or near it. It appears that carbon is not as strong as once believed. Lightwave tents no longer use carbon poles in their tents.....which really says it all. When I brought it to their attention their attitude was....'tough'!!!! So much for the 'lifetime guarantee' for the original owner, which I am. So stick with aluminium poles even if they are a tad heavier or take a pole sheath (2 if you have a Lightwave tent) 'just in case'. Happy camping.
Photo shows the broken parts of both pole in the 'same' place.

Re: The Camping and Caravanning Club

27 June 2014 - 8:52am
It is not economic to join the C&CC if only camping as a 'backpacker'. As a non-member backpacker arriving by cycle, you will be just as welcome and are unlikely to be turned away even if the site is full. The non-member backpacking rate is less than £2 more than for member backpackers.

The Camping and Caravanning Club

27 June 2014 - 8:38am
Is it worth it? £37 a year seems very steep for something I might only use once a year and the so called savings as a member would surely be lost in the membership fees. On the plus side it would let me set up camp on little out of the way sites where only 'proper' campers would be.......in theory.
Wild camping I guess would overcome such problems but despite having camped in the past, my upcoming little tour is the first time in my life that I'll be away from home on my own and self sufficient. This trip for me, is as epic as raising the titanic without the added bonus (no matter how unlikely) of being caught and being told to bugger off and/or fined
Any members here?

Re: Budapest bike shop recommendations please!

27 June 2014 - 7:38am
Not a recommendation but I have used Google maps to find bike shops in a strange town (just put bike shop or something similar into the search function on the map). This usually lists a few shops, often with website. You can then look at websites which hopefully give a bit of a guide to the shop.

Edit: I just put bike shop Budapest into map and got loads listed, although a few are hotels (??). Some of the bike shops have reviews and star ratings.

Re: Cycle Touring in the Outer Hebrides - Questions

27 June 2014 - 6:42am
Visit the sandwich and tablet shop on Barra harbour. Salmon baps to die for and probably the World's best tablet.

Headlamp - Petzl Tikka XP (2014?)

27 June 2014 - 1:53am
Now that my Petzl Tikka XP2 has mysteriously gone walkabout along with my old light ... I am sure we have a ghost in this 120 year old house (which is old by our standards) it looks like I am back in the market for a new light.

I am tossing up between a Black Diamond Spot at $49.95 or the new Petzl Tikka XP at $69.88 delivered to Australia. I might consider the Revolt at $66.95 but not overly keen on the USB charging. I would rather use my own properly charged batteries.

Anyway I am particularly interested in any experiences with the new Tikka XP as shown in the photo, not the earlier models which I am more familiar with.


Re: To tent or not to tent that is the question

26 June 2014 - 11:01pm
hostel or camp? Camp any day. I personaly dont like sharing a dormitory with other people and their colds and bugs. Ok if you are using a car but if you are getting around on a bike you dont want to pick up some bug from some foreigner? Can spoil a holiday?

Re: Budapest bike shop recommendations please!

26 June 2014 - 10:53pm
I Have n't a specific recommendation but suggest you have a look on crazyguyonabike. Enjoy your trip.

Tool for auto creation of map

26 June 2014 - 9:35pm
Hi all,

In my opinion a very time consuming (but also dummy) job is putting maps from googlemaps to a doc file to print them. I'm developing a tool that from a gpx file and a setting map scale, it creates a PDF file with a series of maps of the route. I'm gonna share the app to the community since I believe that I could be useful for someone else. It is a very basic routine, but I would like to improve it and if any of you have any suggestions or any wished feature I would like to add them.

Re: To tent or not to tent that is the question

26 June 2014 - 8:58pm
I took a Gelert one man tent with me when I toured for a month in France in 2011, and did not regret it for an instant. My sleeping bag weighed more than the tent! The freedom the tent gave me is difficult to put a price on - more difficult for me was the fact is was extremely difficult to get a hot meal in the evening - the restaurants told me that they were not bothering to open on an evening as trade was non-existent due to the state of the economy. Didn't spoil the tour though, and camping was great, almost the best part, up there with the quiet roads and the friendly locals.

Re: Dawes 531 frame re build

26 June 2014 - 8:39pm
Do you think this 12 to 15 year old frame is up to the challange
My European touring frame is 23yrs old.


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