CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

Syndicate content
Discussion boards hosted by CTC, the national cycling charity
Updated: 17 min 47 sec ago

Re: How many bikes on Easyjet flights?

23 October 2014 - 10:03pm
Nowadays, a lot of (non-cyclist) passengers don't bother with hold luggage, as they have to pay extra for it. This leaves more room in the hold to carry bikes, etc. Obviously, depends on what time of year you are flying, whether the plane is full and what type of plane it is. Flights to Northern Ireland perhaps don't have such seasonal variations in passenger traffic.

Re: How many bikes on Easyjet flights?

23 October 2014 - 7:30pm
Be best to check with them, we had a group of 11 fly to Mallorca in 2012 and some of the bikes, despite being, booked were left behind and came on the next flight 2 days later, as the hold was full.

Re: Schwalbe Big Apple or Marathon Supreme

23 October 2014 - 6:59pm
One of my Marathon Supreme 26x1.6 failed in the first few hundred km of use during our tour of Sri Lanka. The failure I had was only on one side of one tire on the rear, and looked identical to other photos I've seen including in this thread. I initially suspected the rim but it showed no damage, and running the undamaged tire on that same rim for the rest of the tour didn't show any abnormal wear.

Previous failure reports on this tire mentioned that a ceramic compound added to the rubber for puncture resistance had been the culprit in earlier failures, as it prevented sufficient flex in the sidewall, and had been superseded by a different compound in Schwalbe's "HD" series. But the failed tire is already from that HD series, so this may not be the whole story.

Re: Good footwear?

23 October 2014 - 5:35pm
In an amazing stroke of fortune I might have found a pair of the Exustar Stelvio on LFGSS classifieds from about a year ago! The seller still has them although he has moved country. They are my size.
I will let you know how things progress. Just in discussion now.

Re: YHA Discount.

23 October 2014 - 3:43pm
OK , I just tried it for tonight at a hostel and it worked.

So the answer is not valid during school holidays by the look of it.

Re: YHA Discount.

23 October 2014 - 3:36pm
Thank You for that, I have emulated your booking and got it to work there. Knowing that I have the discount code correct, I retried for this Tuesday 28th Oct and it refused again.

It is refusing on the grounds of date, possibly they have a compulsory advanced booking period for the CTC bookings that we have not be told about.

Or possibly the whole school holiday week is off limits for discounts?

Re: How many bikes on Easyjet flights?

23 October 2014 - 3:32pm
We've had 35 on a flight when they flew out of East Midlands to Majorca. That was in 2012 though. (they no longer fly from East Mids).

Re: How many bikes on Easyjet flights?

23 October 2014 - 3:26pm
i'd give Easyjet a call - i've seen half a dozen on a flight but that number is pushing the boundaries!

Re: YHA Discount.

23 October 2014 - 3:20pm
Out of interest, which dates are you entering?

I've just tried a booking at YHA Bath dorm for 8/9th November (2 nights, 2 beds) and the website wants to charge me £66.00 less £9.90 CTC discount = £56.10.

So its worked for me...

Re: YHA Discount.

23 October 2014 - 1:22pm
I tried Bath and then as a check Manorbier in Wales.

I also tried rooms instead of dorms and it still keeps refusing on the ground of dates.

The codes are VISIT-001 from the email offer and ******* from the CTC website.

The latter code is only available to CTC members so I guess I shouldnt post it publically but they have annoyed me now, I dont even care about the 15% just about being suckered in with offers that dont actually exist.

Edited to remove the code as it does actually work.

How many bikes on Easyjet flights?

23 October 2014 - 1:11pm
a group i ride with are planning a tour of Northern ireland, flying from Gatwick. there will be 15/17 bikes.

Easyjet take bikes, but do they have a limit on the number of bikes they will allow on a single flight?

Re: YHA Discount.

23 October 2014 - 12:59pm
You may find that the hostel you are booking is an independent under the YHA franchise, for which there appears a significant number these days as the YHA sells off their rural hostels. Any discounts are only available at wholly owned YHA hostels.

Re: Cornish way / west country way

23 October 2014 - 12:43pm
I thought I'd covered my bases and looked at the path on google maps and street view, and it looked really decent. What it didn't show was the middle bit. If I did do it again on a road bike I'd definitely stick to the road!

Re: Cornish way / west country way

23 October 2014 - 12:04pm
Nice write up.
I don't know anyone who rides the path from Penzance Station to Marazion on the cycle path. Everyone rides past the old Heliport (either on the dual carriage way in front or past the Tesco garage behind) and then around the A30 roundabout (which can be interesting) and through Long Rock.
The Philps' pasties are worth the wait, Hansons the butcher also in Hayle do a very good pasty.

Cornish way / west country way

23 October 2014 - 9:32am
Reading the Captain Offensive's blog on his Avenue Verte trip has kicked me into action and I've finally written up the first day of my short tour I did in July. Here's a link to the blog post -

Re: Anyone recommend any good books?

23 October 2014 - 9:18am
Penfolds11 wrote:Sweep wrote:Just read the freebie bit (see above) of Tom Bruce's book.

Enjoyed it so I suppose I should buy the rest.

Me too.

However, Tom waves goodbye to his girlfriend of 6 years, Laura, at her house. Then he goes for a pub-lunch with his Mum, Dad, Nan, Uncle and Cousin. He rides off to Dover, on the way staying a night with his other Nan, popped into another Aunt and Uncle's for lunch, then out for a big night with six Uni mates and then celebrated Uncle Dave's birthday with a huge Sunday roast; all of this fun and jollity without Laura.

This is no comment on Tom's current status: just that had I tried that, the current Mrs P wouldn't be the current Mrs P and my guts would now be the proverbial garters!

Well done, Tom - I am, of course, green with envy.


Laura and I are now married and the now Mrs B has forgiven me for abandoning her for 9 months. Actually she's let me do a couple of other trips - you can read about them on my website (www.tombrucecycling.com) but I think my days of many month long bike tours are now in the past. Not sure which edition you read of every inch... but the newest does have a bit more about Laura and says that we are now married.

I'm going to be publishing a photo book about my recent trip to the Indian Himalayas soon so keep a look out if you're interested.


Re: Avenue Verte Blog

23 October 2014 - 8:21am
Thanks for the kind words. Day three is almost ready!

I can't really speak for audax bikes but actually the English side was mostly OK with only a few short stretches of unmade path: The first section by Eridge station could be avoided easily by taking the main road that the track runs parallel with - it wouldn't be much fun as its a sharp uphill with a short section of dual carriageway but is only about a half mile. The second section leads up the hill to Heathfield and that is a section where I stayed on the road which was perfectly fine - you are on a climb with traffic but it doesn't really add any distance and I'm sure is much easier going and I didn't face too much traffic. The final section is the stretch from the bottom of the cuckoo trail between Polegate and Berwick. This section can get quite muddy after heavy rain - not helped by frequent horse use (there is a stables halfway along this section) but actually there are only a couple of short pieces on this mile long stretch that actually get bad. I cycle this particular section throughout the year when riding between Lewes and Hastings so know it pretty well now - over the winter I am going to look for some alternative routes - there are a couple of fairly simple options but each add a mile or more.

It is interesting that you highlighted issues on the English side though. My reading of the Sustrans guide book led me to think that conditions would be much worse in places on the French side (not to ruin the suspense but I took the western route and most of the off road sections were after the split - I might try the eastern route in another year or two but don't know about the track on that side).

Actually the sections around Eridge and Polegate were worse than all bar one section in France. The guidebook hinted at a couple of problem areas but (maybe helped by dry conditions) these actually seemed to be well made paths or farm tracks and were all surprisingly pleasant (I say surprisingly on account of the description in the guide book). However one part which the book didn't seem so concerned with was actually the worst section of the route; around Longuesse area. I actually missed some of this as the track diverts around one village which I went into in a search for a shop but I picked the off road section back up coming out of the village. The section is more farm track than path but is very very uneven and I had to go pretty slow - if I'd know I would have diverted and stayed on the road - but generally the surfaces were fine - I was on a ridgeback tourer but their basic model



Re: Baggage allowance- max dimensions

23 October 2014 - 8:12am
Maybe you do, but....

It is worth regularly checking the prices as they often change almost daily. Last time I flew to NZ with Emirates, I saw fares go from 900ish to 1100ish and thought I had missed the cheapies. A few days later they were back to 9 and I booked. Same thing happened to Taiwan last year.

Probably true of other carriers as well.

If going via US make sure everybody is eligible to enter visa free. Even though in transit, people have been refused boarding in UK because of this. As said above US transit rules change frequently. Personally I avoid flying that way.

I haven't used Trailfinders for quite a while (since direct booking online), but I used to use regularly and thought them very good. Make sure they put any bike info from the airline in writing on your invoice.

Re: Avenue Verte Blog

23 October 2014 - 7:40am
Most of the Avenue Verte in England is fine on a road bike - there's just a few sections you have to watch for, and by definition if you have an audax bike you're probably comfortable on the short lengths of main road that these sections bypass.

Whether or not you actually want to do the bits through suburban London and past Gatwick, of course, is another matter!

Re: Avenue Verte Blog

23 October 2014 - 7:30am
Enjoyable read. Avenue Verte is a route I'd really like to ride some day but you hear such bad things about the conditions of the path in England that I'm put off a bit trying it on my audax bike.


  • Patron: Her Majesty The Queen
  • President: Jon Snow
  • Chief Executive: Paul Tuohy
  • Cyclists' Touring Club (CTC): A company limited by guarantee, registered in England no.25185. Registered as a charity in England and Wales No 1147607 and in Scotland No SC042541


Terms and Conditions