CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 52 min 59 sec ago

Re: LLC and Wales Questions

17 October 2014 - 7:34am
mcallaghan wrote:raybo wrote:I didn't like the diversion after Porthmadog. You won't either.

There is a train that spans the river where the closed vehicle bridge goes. That train is currently running over a completed bridge. I arrived at the station minutes after it left (I wasn't even aware of it until I got to the diversion). I have no idea where it goes or stops, but if it stops on the other side of the river, I'd try to arrange my exit from Porthmadog to meet the train and take it over the river instead of riding the A roads that make up the diversion.

What route did you take? 2 hours is an awful long time to have to wait for a train to continue the journey. Or are there other options for crossing in that area? The route I plotted seemed the most direct route for getting around the close bridge.

I take it that they're still doing construction on the bridge? Might explain why I was unable to plot a course over the bridge on RideWithGPS (and why NCN 8 disappears on that section too on same site).

I rode the signed diversion following the 2 A Roads you have in your route linked above. My stopping place that night was Dolgellau, so I didn't have 2 hours to wait for the train. Had I know about it, I would have adjusted the time I doddled in Porthmadog to catch it.

There is to reason to ride on bike-unfriendly A roads when a 10 minute train ride (if that) is available.

Re: Lighting a bike/high vis on tour

17 October 2014 - 7:00am
I find the use of all black cycle clothing baffling and see so many cyclists dressed like this nowadays.

Off-road route mapping

17 October 2014 - 5:48am
Hi
I'm sure that somebody will find this mapping site useful for planning some off-road routing
http://www.rowmaps.com/
Regards
tim-b

Re: LLC and Wales Questions

17 October 2014 - 3:36am
Here is an amended Day 1 out of Chester, based on the advice in this thread:

http://ridewithgps.com/routes/6286072

Not knowing the streets like a local, thats the best I could come up with trying to follow directions - correct me if I am wrong anywhere! (Or create the route yourself )

Lighting a bike/high vis on tour

17 October 2014 - 2:07am
On tour in NZ I used a bright Cateye flasher on the rear at all times. Even on a bright day cyclists can be difficult to see in time when travelling at 100kph, particularly in wooded areas where you may be moving in and out of dappled light.

Cateye has a rack mount that fits Tubus racks and probably other brands as well, allowing Cateye lights to be mounted on the rack. My rack pack is a brightly coloured Alpkit Gourdon which aids visibility too

I also don't plan to ride at night carry a Cateye front light in case I caught out, and after a truck started crossing when I was halfway across this long one-lane pick-a-plank girder bridge where a cyclist is easily lost from view amongst the girders on a bright sunny day (yep, one lane for everybody, cars, trucks, trains...and bikes).



Otherwise I do wear bright cycling clothing but not hi-viz. The NZ company Ground Effect makes an excellent range of plain cycling clothing so you don't look like a billboard. Once off the bike I change into street clothing. Look at MacPac and Icebreaker, all very suitable for NZ conditions. Most other tourists I met wore also cycling clothing.

Re: Lighting a bike/high vis on tour

17 October 2014 - 12:01am
In NZ (and Oz) it is common for all people doing outside work to wear hi-viz shirts. They are made of synthetic airtec type material. They are fairly cool to wear and sun proof, polo style with long sleeves so good for keeping sun off neck and arms. I wear one most of the time for cycling in the UK and often abroad (wearing now in Japan). Much cheaper than cycling shirts.

As they are so common you won't look like a cyclist in NZ. Personally I would want something to make me stand out in NZ, the traffic is not the best.

Don't know about US?

For the tunnels in Taiwan I bought a very lightweight reflective waistcoat. Hi viz mesh with lots of reflective strips. Light and easy to carry.

Re: constant tyre lubrication system

16 October 2014 - 11:49pm
Maybe a job for the CTC technical expert (CJ).

A detailed in depth test of different tyres rolling resistance. I think everything I have seen so far is purely subjective, ie peoples opinions. What we need are FACTS!

In reality probably beyond the resources of the CTC, but maybe there is a budding research student at a engineering university who could undertake this.

I use the standard Marathons and am happy with them, but have absolutely no idea if they are good or bad at rolling. They just last well on my tours and have never given me any problems, so I stick with them.

Re: Lighting a bike/high vis on tour

16 October 2014 - 11:12pm
I can not imagine going on a tour without lights, things dont always go to plan and you could end up needing to ride after dark. If the panniers stopped the existing mounts being of any use then I would fit or make another.

Not quite what you were asking about but reflective tape can be applied to the mudguards and reflective material can be taped onto forks, tyres can be bought with reflective bands on them.

When it comes to trying to look bright in daytime, it has to be big. Small bits of different colour will break up your shape and camouflage you. All black may be more easily visible than you think. A single different colour could be better but lots of different bright colours breaking up your shape could be worse.

It may be worth considering a flag on a pole but I have never gone that far on an upright solo bike.

Re: Lighting a bike/high vis on tour

16 October 2014 - 10:46pm
Having recently (mostly) given up wearing a helmet, I've taken to wearing a Hi-Vis Buff on my head http://www.buffwear.co.uk/new-aw-14-15-adult-headwear/aw-14-15-reflective-buff/r-yellow-fluor-reflective-buff.

I suppose I think it might help, keeps insects from getting tangled ...

I find it takes a few seconds to put on and less to take off when getting off the bike (but not much use if you are wearing a helmet as relatively little will not be obscured ...)

Ian

Re: Lighting a bike/high vis on tour

16 October 2014 - 10:45pm
In the USA, if lighting is required, many states require that the bicycle is equipped. A head torch does not meet legal requirements. Furthermore, many states require the use of lights in reduced visibility, as well as at night. Some states in Australia also require lighting in poor visibility, though some only require that lighting be used, if the bicycle is equipped.

I suggest that you at least get a reasonable set of battery lights, like Cateye, or something to carry with you and use when needed, even if you don't plan to ride at night. They might be cheaper to get in your starting country.

Unless you want to familiarise yourself with the requirement for every state you visit, use lights anytime visibility is poor (you can't distinguish a person 400 feet away), regardless of night or day.

Re: finding a suitable route - southwest UK

16 October 2014 - 10:34pm
It be hilly in these parts. Parts of North East devon are a bit less hilly. Best to do your ascents as long steady ones rather than choppy short ups and downs ( we have plenty of those!). A nice cross county route I did with a commemoration group following Jane Tomlinsons route on JOGLE was Tiverton-Okehampton-Launceston, 53 miles.

Lighting a bike/high vis on tour

16 October 2014 - 10:32pm
Hi there,
I'm off on a 6 month cycle tour to NZ and USA soon. All my gear is black, including most of my clothing. I'm not up for wearing high vis but am thinking of ways to make my gear more colourful so I can be seen better. I thought about getting a couple of those high vis sashes and draping over my panniers when they might be needed.
My gear, by the way is 2 back ortleib panniers and a big laundry bag (this is actually fairly colourful...) - all on the back pannier rack. Also a handlebar bag.
I don't want to wear high vis as I don't want to be wearing more layers than necessary and I also don't want to look like a cyclist when I'm off the bike.
Anyone got any tips on cheaply making my bike more visable? Without stuff getting in the way of opening the panniers? (And not painting the bike either - I want to wild camp sometimes!)

I'm also not planning to ride in the dark but may have to ride in fog/rain through tunnels. Any recommendations on bright bike lights? I thought I could wear my head torch as a front light and might get a back bike light for my helmet (as panniers are in the way to put a light on the bike).

Just wondering what other tourers do? Any tips?
Thanks!

Re: Accomodation in Polenca, Majorca

16 October 2014 - 8:46pm
Ah yes, Port De Pollensa, rather than Pollensa town. The group is mostly people looking for single rooms. The ideal would be close to the Pollesa Park as I am sure some will insist on staying there as it is cheap if you want their food & don't care about the WiFi & it would be nice to be sociable. Am I asking for the impossible?

Re: constant tyre lubrication system

16 October 2014 - 8:20pm
What about ordinary Marathons?

Re: Airport transfers in Majorca

16 October 2014 - 8:16pm
We will all have our bikes in boxes so riding sadly isn't an option. There will be several of us on the same bike so perhaps a private hire would be the best option if anyone has experience of a company with facilities to carry 6 bike boxes. A couple of us hired last year but ProCycles is very busy in spring so promised bikes were not ready. I'm not blaiming the shop. I think somebody had let him down but it seems safer to take your own bike.

Re: LLC and Wales Questions

16 October 2014 - 8:12pm
Re Bagilt Hil

Its a sustrans route and therefore the criteria is put bikes where motorist wouldn't choose to drive,even when legal, as here, it has nothing to do with suitability for beginners or experienced weak riders (me). Hell this route is outright danger outs as its so narrow - plenty of impact debris (mirror casings) on the two occasions I did it. I prefer the coast road and that's not for the faint hearted either!

constant tyre lubrication system

16 October 2014 - 7:55pm
Well OK, I wasn't going to start another 'what tyre?' thread

But........ now I've experimented with pressure I'm happy with Marathon Plus 26*1.5 for ride, but these past few wet days have made me realise just how slowly they roll, and short of always riding in the rain or rigging up a watering can I think I may have to use a tyre that isn't Marathon Plus (for the first time in years!)

Theres the new version http://www.bike-discount.de/en/buy/schw ... 559-159207 or, Schwalbe are now doing the Big Apple in a Plus variety http://www.bike-discount.de/en/buy/big- ... ired-65895 - these have always been billed as easy rolling, but has anyone got any touring experience using them?

Or... any other tried and tested tyre choices in 26" with puncture protection and fast rolling a priority, 80% tarmac and the rest sealed/loose paths and trails

Re: London to Cardiff

16 October 2014 - 7:53pm
Enjoyed your video. Very well put together. Glad you enjoyed your visit to here in the UK.

Berlin Bike Hire

16 October 2014 - 7:42pm
Hello everyone

Could anyone share their experiences of bike hire in Berlin?

I want to hire for about a week. If you have any advice or experiences I would like to hear about them. I've done a search via Mr Google's technology but the search results seem to push bike tours.

If you have any recommendations, please let me know

John

Re: Airport transfers in Majorca

16 October 2014 - 7:03pm
This charging for bikes is a new thing with Resorthopper. They never used to charge. Just a way of extracting more money from you and putting up the cost and hassle of taking your own bike. I admitted defeat a while ago and just hire one. It is so much easier.

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