CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 53 min 34 sec ago

Re: New Route Planner

17 July 2014 - 5:09pm

Adding Europe's been more challenging than I thought it would be - the huge amount of data involved has been a bit of a stress on the server. But it's giving me all sorts of ideas for cycling trips...

Re: Clothing layers for Touring

17 July 2014 - 4:31pm
arm and leg warmers from you local 99p shop. I find them useful in winter time & cheap/disposable

Re: Clothing layers for Touring

17 July 2014 - 4:10pm
It's easier to carry multiple light layers that can all be put on at once, if necessary. I would add a thermal base layer (merino, if you can afford it or find a bargain) and a wool jersay or thin wool jumper to the list. And similar layers for the bottom.

What I would take:
two short sleeved tops
arm warmers
thermal base layer top
wool jersey
waterproof top/jacket
three pairs of shorts
1 pair thermal tights
leg warmers
1 pair golf / athletic trousers
1 pair waterproof trousers
at least 3 pairs wool socks
1 buff

In general, I operate by the principle that I should always carry one more layer than I think I need. I might get stuck someplace on a cold, wet day with a mechanical, or I just might want something warm and dry after a cold, wet day.

If you select carefully, it should be possible to take double purpose items. A thin wool jumper and a pair of shower proof golf trousers can be nice enough to go out for a meal in the evening, and warm enough to serve as a spare layer in extreme conditions.

Lots of people only take two pairs of shorts touring, but I prefer to take 3. It's best to have clean ones every day & they don't always dry overnight.

A buff is a useful piece of kit because it can be used to keep warm anything form the neck, up.

Re: Clothing layers for Touring

17 July 2014 - 4:04pm
Layers are Your Friend: add for warmth, remove for cooling. Two thin ones more flexible than one thick one.

Windproofing is good on a bike, on a JoGLE you'll generate plenty of heat so insulation is less important than fending off simple wind-chill a lot of the time. While a waterproof is windproof they're also a bit sweaty as tie goes on. A simple windproof is more breathable, and most will see off a shower before you have to get the Battle Armour out.

Make sure everything you have is long enough in the back (I'm assuming a conventional bike, if you're taking it properly comfortably on a 'bent this isn't an issue, and nor are contrived padded trousers).

Never bothered with arm-warmers, I wear long sleeves I can roll up...

Merino wool is a good base layer. Aside from working very well they go a lot further than synthetics before they really honk, which is nice for you and very nice for anyone you're chatting with!


Re: Clothing layers for Touring

17 July 2014 - 3:46pm
Definitely a light fleece cycle jacket is worth adding - the long zip at th efront allows finer control of temperature. If you wash it in Nikwax you can also make it water-repellent, which is handy on drizzly days.
Personally I would be wearing 3/4 length bibs at that time of the year, with a short sleeve jersey plus arm warmers if necessary. A windproof gilet could make a good alternative to the fleece.

Re: Gothenburg - Malmo - Copenhagen - Berlin

17 July 2014 - 2:57pm
Plenty of campsites in northern Germany - i use ACSI eurocamping website to find them although they don't exactly hide along the coast! There is a good site in Lubeck which town is worth a look. Not sure what the fixation with wildcamping on here is all about, many sites offer very low prices for cycle campers. Same in Denmark really but you will need a compulsory camping carnet in Scandinavia - you can buy in advance or at the first campsite you use - its about a fiver (well it was last time i went in 2011).

whether you travel Gedser - Rostock or not will be as much to do with your plans for Denmark - if its a quickish look go Rostock, if you have more time go west and take a look at Hamburg - which has plenty to see and do.

Re: Clothing layers for Touring

17 July 2014 - 2:46pm
arm warmers - converts your short sleeve into long making it multi purpose - you could so the same with legs. I always take a light fleece on tour, great for those cool evenings but also as an extra riding layer if it turns chilly. If you use bibshorts they replace the need for a vest and are more comfortable than having something tied round your middle!

Having said that, unless you want to be Billy no mates by the end, you need some more kit - Lidl have some very serviceable but cheap jerseys and shorts - i've used them myself and they are as good as some stuff costing many times as much.

I'd suggest three sets of gear, ride one, wash/dry one, spare one - obviously you only need one jacket, arm/leg warmers, fleece. You might want to consider some form of lightweight over shoe and some thin fingered gloves - nothing worse than cold hands and feet.

Clothing layers for Touring

17 July 2014 - 2:05pm
It seems odd to be posting this part-way through a heatwave, but I'm doing a JoGLE during the last week of September and first week of October and I suspect it may not be quite as warm then

I'm new to touring and I'm trying to decide what I need to take in terms of clothing layers. I'm usually a fair weather rider (yes, I understand this is out of my control once the tour has started), so I only own 2 cycling tops - a Specialized short-sleeve jersey and an Altura Nevis waterproof jacket. Combinations of these 2 have got me everywhere I've needed to get to so far, but I'm not sure they'll be enough for Scotland in late September. I also have a very light, thin fleece that I've worn for skiing. Never tried it for cycling though. Obviously I'm trying to do this carrying as little weight as possible. What combinations have you found work best in mixed situations like this?

Re: Gothenburg - Malmo - Copenhagen - Berlin

17 July 2014 - 12:44pm
I can only really comment on your Question (1), I'm afraid (and then not very fully): from Gothenburg to Malmo, you can follow the (west coast) 'Cykelspåret' (and/or, for some stretches, the 'Ginstleden'): both are good routes, which follow quiet roads (and sometimes cycle-only paths) -- not many hills, but enough to keep things interesting. There are some very nice beaches down this stretch of coast: good for cooling off if the sun's shining! Signage is a bit hit-and-miss, so it's worth having a good map (or GPS): the Swedish version of the CTC sells cycle maps of this region (http://www2.cykelframjandet.org/shop/) (and the local tourist boards also have stuff they can send). If you want to avoid having to take a train to get over the Oresund strait (no bikes allowed on The Bridge...), you could cross over to Denmark at Helsingborg (by ferry), rather than pushing on to Malmo (there's a signed cycle route down from Helsingor to Copenhagen: National Route 9).

From Copenhagen to Berlin, I've only gone the direct route (via Rostock), but I enjoyed it: more good beaches and coastal riding in the Danish part; the German section passes through some nice old Hanseatic towns, and through pleasant forests/lakes. The last bit into Berlin traces some of the line of the old East/West Germany border, too, which is interesting. Again, there's nothing really challenging (in terms of climbs, etc), but it's a good ride nonetheless. The signposting of this route is generally very good, though I was pleased to have the Bikeline guidebook to help trace the route into Central Berlin, which gets a bit fiddly at times.


17 July 2014 - 11:51am
I have been thinking about touring Hokkaido for quite a long time and perhaps next summer (around June time) will be the time to do it. I have found quite a few resources but I am looking for anyone with direct experience of cycling in Hokkaido and perhaps notes of interest from anyone that would like to go along.

Re: New Route Planner

17 July 2014 - 9:53am
I notice that Richard has now included large parts of Europe that can be 'route planned' using ;

Like so:

well done Richard, absolutely excellent

Re: Travel Insurance

17 July 2014 - 12:33am
John Lewis insurance lists cycling as a means of transport in their covered activities. Prices run from about £13 for a week in Europe.

Re: C2C routes by tandem advice....

17 July 2014 - 12:21am
bikes4two wrote:An alternative to consider as a C2C is St David's Head in Wales, to Lowestoft in Norfolk.

440 miles and all road, most of them quiet.

I might have my GPX track somewhere if interested?

It's a bit hilly in places getting out of Wales - I cycle camped solo and found it straight forward enough and I'd do it on our tandem if I could convince Mrs B4t
Although conventional wisdom of prevailing winds favours that direction, I think the St David's Head end is a far more attractive final destination than Lowestoft. That's the way I did it in 2012.


Re: Cycle Touring in the Outer Hebrides - Questions

16 July 2014 - 11:28pm
...simplicity... wrote:Thanks for all the insightful responses as always. To explain a bit more on the bike, I recently toured the Transam on the same bike, so hopefully this should be fine for this! I was a little concerned the route may have gone off road, but I was always have the option of locking the bike off and having a little wander if I do fancy hiking off for the day? While I was in the US I didn't have any issues with leaving my bike about, I would assume the same for the Hebrides?


Just thread skimming apres pub, so appologies if not read anything that's been already covered.

You can tour fine on a road bike. When me and my mate went, we used rigid MTBs with 26x2" semi-slicks and for the most part they were overkill - apart from the odd dirt track. However, most of the off-roading seems to be on Harris and our short impression of the tracks there, was that an unloaded MTB with knobblies was required (but we enjoyed all the messing about and pushing). Unless you like just taking on whatever terrain on a loaded bike and walking if you have to for the hell of it, I'd suggest parking up and going for a hike.

As a side note, the path from the Butt of Lewis heading towards to Stornoway is pure bog and it's tempting to have a punt on a MTB but don't.

I'm not sure on the security situation. It's probably totally fine to leave the bike (like most of the highlands) but there's quite a thru-put of cyclists or whatnot doing from end to end over summer and it shorted my spidersense on this a bit.

Re: Useful Info & posting guidelines

16 July 2014 - 10:43pm
MrsHJ wrote:Could we have the image posting system explained here for noddies like me. I'm sure it's explained all over the place but it seems to fit into the useful information category.
The 'help' section has a sticky (a thread that always stays near the top) about posting images viewtopic.php?f=14&t=36594

And there is a file size limitation, so there are also a couple of threads about how to shrink them...

viewtopic.php?f=14&t=68984 links to another.

Re: Cycle Touring in the Outer Hebrides - Questions

16 July 2014 - 9:56pm
Hello, I did this trip 9 years ago.
I drove up to Oban and left my car at Park and Sail and got the ferry to Barra. Staying in Gatliff hostels, I took 6 days in total to ride from Barra to Stornoway. This included one day riding around Barra and Vatersay and another day riding around Lewis to visit the Callanish Stones. There was also a day when I did not cycle, as I visited St Kilda - highly recommended!
At Stornaway I took the Ullapool ferry and returned to Oban via the Great Glen.

Its a great trip and I went in mid July and had good weather.


Re: Useful Info & posting guidelines

16 July 2014 - 9:43pm
Could we have the image posting system explained here for noddies like me. I'm sure it's explained all over the place but it seems to fit into the useful information category.

Re: C2C routes by tandem advice....

16 July 2014 - 9:03pm
An alternative to consider as a C2C is St David's Head in Wales, to Lowestoft in Norfolk.

440 miles and all road, most of them quiet.

I might have my GPX track somewhere if interested?

It's a bit hilly in places getting out of Wales - I cycle camped solo and found it straight forward enough and I'd do it on our tandem if I could convince Mrs B4t

Re: Surly Long Haul Trucker or Thorn Sherpa

16 July 2014 - 8:55pm
travelling wrote:I'm quite fortunate in that when I first come over I brought a bike with me and it's recorded on my flight booking/ticket so taking a bike back will not seem unusual

I also used the airline supplied bike box rather than the manufacturers bike box which cost me 15 quid which I still have

in the scheme of things i think it's not likely I will be stopped and charged extra BUT i will have money on me in case that happens

Can't you just take the bike for a muddy/wet ride and dirty it up a tad so that it looks used!

Re: Transport of bikes post cycle to Rome

16 July 2014 - 5:21pm
I did once meet a Dutch cyclist who said there was a firm that shipped bikes back from Rome to the Netherlands. But I suspect that's no good to you (and in any case I didn't take the details).

I suspect you are going to have to fly the bikes back with you. I've put together a google map with contact details for bike shops in Italy if you want to try emailing to get boxes.I haven't got around to publishing it but if you contact me via my site I'll email the link.

BTW there are bike-friendly train services from Tiburtina to Fiumicino airport. Trust me, it's a lot less hassle than trying to ride there.


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