CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 26 min 11 sec ago

Re: Do you ride out of the saddle?

9 September 2014 - 1:38pm
On a long ride, or a long day, I sometimes stand up to rest my backside or stretch my legs. I also sometimes stand, or at least take my weight off the saddle for going over a bumpy surface. I'm more likely to do so for bumps than climbing. I learned not 'honk' up a hill with a child on the back of the bike.

Re: Do you ride out of the saddle?

9 September 2014 - 1:27pm
I was never fit enough, except to relieve a numb bum for a few seconds.

Re: Coast and Castles - Newcastle to Edinburgh

9 September 2014 - 1:27pm
its a great trip. I did the inland variant via Innerleithen, a fabulous way of arriving at Edinburgh with a great climb through the hills (not too steep but a spectacular contrast). Check the tides for Lindisfarne. You'll be fine on a ridgeback panorama, I did it on a Thorn tourer.

Re: Do you ride out of the saddle?

9 September 2014 - 1:24pm
Yes, I am another "very occasionally" but not a "never".

I also quite like standing up on the pedals without pedalling and unweighting to the point of being out of contact.

Re: Do you ride out of the saddle?

9 September 2014 - 1:23pm
I've tried to rephrase "No, never" to cover it. Thanks.

Re: Bealach na Ba - Applecross

9 September 2014 - 1:19pm
I am 71 and climbed it in July on a touring bike with 26 -32 lowest gears. I deliberately took it easy as last time I climbed it I tore a leg muscle this time it gave me no real problem.

Re: knee pain and touring

9 September 2014 - 10:58am
Stretching and exercises should help - get a copy of Knee Health asap. If you use clipless, maybe set them to allow more float?

I have had a dodgy knee for years but two things have helped enormously: a regular ten-minute stretching and exercise regime, and using shorter cranks. I'm 5'6" and used 170mm for most of of my adult life, but switching to 160mm (Spa XD) has made a massive difference.

Unfortunately you don't have much time left, and depending on your age you may be risking long-term damage if you persist. I'd definitely consult a sports physio if you can find one.

Re: knee pain and touring

9 September 2014 - 10:34am
A bit of a cry for help here.

I've been increasing my ride distances and frequency over the last 6 months. I currently try and get out every 4-5 days and do something like 40-65 miles. In the last 6 weeks or so I've experienced very bad knee pain, only the left one, just above and just below the patella. It starts within a few miles of setting off, twinges a few times during the ride, then after the ride it is very painful for the rest of the day, almost seizing up. It then takes 2-3 days to get back to normal. I've found ibuprofen gel helps ease the problem a bit. I've also applied as much advice as I can glean from these forums - moving saddle height/position, high cadence and low effort etc.

The 'cry for help' stems from the fact that 2 weeks today I set off to do a JOGLE - 14 days of 60+ miles and I'm very worried that my knee isn't going to get beyond 2 days. I think the long term solution is probably a physio and careful exercising - I suspect I've increased my training too abruptly and too quickly and my muscles are out of balance. But what can I do to maximise the chances of completing the E2E?

700c wheels in India?

8 September 2014 - 9:17pm
Hello
We're off to India and potentially East Africa (Ethiopia/Uganda/Rwanda/Tanzania) for 9 months from early Nov.
Does anyone have any experience of riding with 700c wheels in any of these parts of the world?
Advice seems to generally point towards 26 inch wheels because of availability but it's limiting my choice of second hand bikes to buy here!
Any advice much appreciated.

Re: Santander to Calais - info required

8 September 2014 - 7:38pm
I have done Roscoff to Santander. It's a fun route, highly recommended, I loved Aquitaine (which is also really fast away from the coast and spectacular on the coast). I've got Nothing for you north of Brittany though and you have the question of which angle you cross France on ie west coast or diagonal up the middle. The most direct route though looks too only divert from the west coast at the bottom of Brittany.

I'd try to avoid Paris.

Re: Two Together Rail Card

8 September 2014 - 7:15pm
mjr wrote:Car travel is half the price with two people going to the same place. Knocking a third off the rail price keeps it competitive.

A single person is more able to find the last advance discount fares and find rail travel faster (no need for driving breaks) and more productive (can read/write/type/spod while not driving) but it's a shame there aren't more things like the network card for other areas.


I also like trains for touring.

With a car you either have to find a parking space for a week, (and a circular tour) or catch a train to the start point

With a train you have flexibility to start and finish where you like.

Re: Two Together Rail Card

8 September 2014 - 7:08pm
simonhill wrote:Congrats on your Two Together.

What about single people. As far as I can see, unless you are under 26 or over 60 you can't get a discount card for the train. Its about time single people were recognised as a persecuted minority and given equal rights!

What is so special about two?

Network cards

Limited, but better than nothing

Re: Do I need front panniers for touring?

8 September 2014 - 6:46pm
Swallow wrote:I agree with the above but would suggest a bar bag if you don't already use one, not for balance but to keep valuables to hand. Quickly detached so that you can take it with you
+1

Re: Santander to Calais - info required

8 September 2014 - 6:41pm
My family luckily dropped me off in San Sebastian so I did not have to catch the train from Santandar. It was easy catching the train from San Sebastian - I just stood on a platform until I saw a train to Hendaye - bought a ticket ($3). At Hendaye I was easily able to catch a train to Bordeau as the Aquitane region looked a bit boring. The route from Bordeaux to Le Havre was a delight. I then was able to catch a train to Newport where I live. I used an online routing website which I uploaded onton my garmin edge 800 and have a lovely 5 day ride, camping and hotelling. Happy to share my route.

Re: channel hopping

8 September 2014 - 6:33pm
I'd second the advice about the climbs out of Folkestone, in fact much of the south coast route is hilly, although the NCN2 along the cliffs are spectacular from Capel le Ferne, I live in Gosport and have done the circuit you're thinking about many times over the years although I tend to take the train to Dover these days. Don't forget the french coast you're talking about is a continuation of the South Downs so you can expect some pretty stiff climbs there as well. It does make a nice short break if you live near Portsmouth, another is Newhaven - Dieppe - Neufchatel - Rouen - Le Havre.
This year I came back through Calais for the first time for some while and found it quite scary. Approaching the port there are gangs of people trying to get on vehicles and we had to wait while the CRS tried to control a huge fight between some of the groups, one person had been killed earlier. A group of Belgian scouts I met were expecting to stay at the campsite near the port but that wasn't available to them because the campsite is now a refugee camp. While waiting in the lanes in the port area all hell broke loose behind me with dogs and security as they'd found a person hiding in the engine/wheel area of a coach which necessitated the dismantling of the engine compartment to get him out. Then a large group of people got into the port area and tried to get on to a ferry with me and a number of other cyclists legging it in the opposite direction. For several years there has been a surreal feel to the approach to the Port at Calais especially if you come around the Rue des Garennes though I never really found it threatening, but now I'm personally avoiding it preferring Dunkirk instead, I tend to use Dover to get to/from Belgium or Holland anyway so for me Dunkirk is the port of choice. One other option could be the Eurotunnel from Ashford but that's only available to cyclists twice a day I think.
If you're going soon the weather looks like it could be good and the forests will just be getting a golden autumnal feel to them with fresh mornings, good for cycling. I hope all goes well and that my recent experiences don't put you off.

Re: Two Together Rail Card

8 September 2014 - 4:54pm
Car travel is half the price with two people going to the same place. Knocking a third off the rail price keeps it competitive.

A single person is more able to find the last advance discount fares and find rail travel faster (no need for driving breaks) and more productive (can read/write/type/spod while not driving) but it's a shame there aren't more things like the network card for other areas.

Re: Two Together Rail Card

8 September 2014 - 4:15pm
Congrats on your Two Together.

What about single people. As far as I can see, unless you are under 26 or over 60 you can't get a discount card for the train. Its about time single people were recognised as a persecuted minority and given equal rights!

What is so special about two?

Re: Do I need front panniers for touring?

8 September 2014 - 11:33am
I think it would really help if the OP clarified what he/she was really asking. Is it, "Do you really need to take so much stuff for camping?" or is it, "Do you need front panniers or can you pile everything on the back?" I think we've all assumed it's the former but if that's the case, the answer is easy - no you don't need front panniers if you don't take much stuff and yes you do if you do. This thread really has got nothing to do with front panniers.

Re: Ditching my Hybrid for a full Spec Tourer

8 September 2014 - 10:42am
Ultimately the right bike is the one you feel happy on all day. If you stop looking for another bike then you've found your bike.
Im rather smug because I found mine with my first purchase (a dawes galaxy 2nd hand). While others dont rate it, for me its like my noble steed, it does 10,000 miles/year based on current estimates. At the end of a long day Im often grateful how comfortable it is, especially when im pushing that extra 20 miles to get to my campsite.

If you like green then go dawes galaxy, its a great colour!!!

Re: Do I need front panniers for touring?

8 September 2014 - 10:33am
You dont *NEED* front panniers but I find them handy for storing clothes and sleeping kit with food on top for easy access.

What I do notice is that front panniers significantly slow me down over a day. But then it pays for itself by having a comfy nights sleep.

For me it boils down to if I need to sleep or not.

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