CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 1 hour 31 min ago

Re: Bought the bike!

26 August 2015 - 9:05pm
willem jongman wrote: only for light touring. It is perfect for day rides to get you back into shape, or for hostel tours.

What makes you think that? It looks like the touring model, 531ST and built to carry four panniers.
And lovely it looks too

Re: Netherlands Tour - Rig Statistics

26 August 2015 - 9:02pm
Shane,is that your m-gineering bike, but with nice fast tyres and elegant French style mudguards?

Re: Romania

26 August 2015 - 9:00pm
norfolkboy1 wrote:This is my first topic on here. I'm toying with the idea of doing a cycle tour in Romania, Is it a good place to go i.e. cycle friendly, nice scenery, plenty of places to stay, expensive or cheap. Any comments would be greatly received. Bruce

I toured there last year (and was there years ago not by bicycle), went from north to south and through Bucharest. roads are as good as they are here, I used 28mm tyres no problem. always found somewhere to stay, and places to eat. it was pretty cheap. Transfagarashan is ok, but the Transalpina is better; less traffic. Scenery was very good. I only had a couple of traffic incidents, the worst was a British registered 4x4. Locals very friendly all round.

I think it depends on your motive for travelling. Maybe you want to see the world, understand your place in it, understand politics and culture on a more global scale than just western Europe. Maybe you want to expand your horizons and have a bit of an adventure. Then Romania is a great place to go cycling, it's challenging at times but the rewards are there. If you want to tour in a consistently nice and agreeable environment, then maybe it's not a great place for you to go.

I met a few people who'd followed the Danube (skirting the south of Romania) and they had a completely different experience of the country.

cheers,

Re: Bought the bike!

26 August 2015 - 8:50pm
Hey, good to see you back here. That Mercian is a steal, but only for light touring. It is perfect for day rides to get you back into shape, or for hostel tours. With camping gear, you need to have a close look at discussions about the lightest and most compact gear there is. Also, look carefully what the widest tyre size would be that fits.

Re: Romania

26 August 2015 - 8:47pm
greyingbeard wrote:much of the transport is horse drawn with "roads" to match. Substantial tyres might be a good idea.
Remember the tesco etc horse meat scandal ? The glut of horse meat was created when the Romanian government banned horses from the motorways.
Its not so much "third world" as going back in time 90 years. Cant wait to go. A friend did and hasnt come back, never been happier.

erm, you're talking garbage. absolute garbage. you've never been. clearly...!

Thinking of going on a long tour?

26 August 2015 - 8:41pm
I dithered for years before I went on a big trip. Sailing was my dream back then. Now I cycle and dream of travelling the world by bike. Here's what I learned from my dirty laundry.

http://www.farawayvisions.com/ive-got-dirty-laundry/

Re: £1 a day tour completed

26 August 2015 - 8:12pm
Ben@Forest wrote:horizon wrote:And Tom Allen did his whole trip starting with nothing:

http://tomsbiketrip.com/how-to-go-cycle ... ks-part-1/


And really, having just looked at some of the story, that's what I mean. He is personable and unusual enough to have traded some small services for food or accommodation on his LEJOG. And people will offer such once or twice because it's unusual. They wouldn't be keen if it was happening three times a week. That is not to denigrate what he has done or the way he is doing it - simply that it wouldn't work on a larger scale.

As a for instance I live pretty much on the route of the (walking) Coast to Coast. A couple of years ago I met a couple who were having problems and I offered not only to run them into a local town by car but also to use our lawn to camp on if they wanted it (eventually they turned down both). I was happy to try and help but I wouldn't do it three times a week. That's my point.There are some people who take delight in hosting travellers & hearing their stories on sites like Warm Showers & Couchsurfing. Some have hosted hundreds of guests from all over the world.
I take your point about 'three times a week' but in some parts of the world it's custom to show hospitality to strangers.
When I travelled in India we where asked many times a day into peoples homes for chai, food, cool drinks or just shade.
If we had accepted a fraction of them we would have got nowhere fast.

Re: Romania

26 August 2015 - 6:34pm
And don't forget the Transfagarasan pass

A couple of years ago I did a 2 week Romania tour in preparation for my big trip. Stunning rural scenery, lots of back roads, friendly people everywhere, lots of little homestays, good, cheap food, what's not to like? I even got rescued by gypsies.

Re: £1 a day tour completed

26 August 2015 - 6:25pm
Thank you very much. When someone tells me they're enjoying what I'm writing, that is all the incentive I need. Hopefully I'll be back home in 3 weeks. Until then I'll enjoy the Spanish sunshine, the French clouds and the English drizzle. Thanks again.

Cheers
Steven

Re: Bought the bike!

26 August 2015 - 6:17pm
Handsome bike. Hope you get thousands of miles out of it. Get the smallest small chain ring that will work with your derailer. Trust me, you might not need it that often but when you have to use it you'll be glad you have it once you start loaded touring.

The Golden Book for riding in BC is Cycling British Columbia by Paul Wood ISBN 978-0-9684826-2-9. There's lots of stuff in it that's near the border. I suppose if you are going to visit your mum you'll be flying into Vancouver or even Calgary but if you decide to fly into Seattle send me a PM and we'll get you sorted. I live 10 minutes from SeaTac airport (SEA) Here's my write up of a ride I did from the Canadian border to San Diego that was a blast.

Buying a bike here and taking it back at first glance looks a great idea because they can be a lot cheaper over here but it can be a PITA getting them back into the UK. Search this forum for stuff on this topic.

Re: £1 a day tour completed

26 August 2015 - 3:38pm
Remember reading your Facebook post, think it was on bikepacker group and wishing I could join you. Glad to hear that it went well.
Funny really, I just got your book on kindle this morning then stumble across this.So far a great read and your sense of humour keeps me laughing. Now hurry home will you and get typing.

Re: VSF Fahrradmanufaktur

26 August 2015 - 3:13pm
Well would the weight be that different to any other loaded touring bike? For example the Spa steel tourer weighs 12.8 kg compared to 17.1 for the VSF TX400. Add a front rack, dynohub and lights to the Spa and it would be getting on for 16kg so not much over 1kg in it. With 30kg of luggage the TX400 would weigh 47kg - little over 7 stone and not overly difficult to carry up a few stairs.[/quote]

Ok yes that's a good point, but there are 24 to 30 derailleur geared touring bikes that weigh in at 30 pounds with rack and guards. Steel framed as well. I guess after loading up a bike and touring I see 30 pounds as a level I'm realistically happy to start adding bags and luggage and pumps and lights and tools.
I still think they are pretty amazing though.

Re: Bought the bike!

26 August 2015 - 2:29pm
Thanks Pete Jack, I would love to tour more in the US. My first tour was from San Francisco to Santa Barbara in 3 days, which was too much. Couldn't sit for a week. I'd probably buy a 26" LHT over there and bring it back with me. My mom lives in BC so I am hoping to ride from the Okanagan down to So Calif. in the next few years.

So here is a pic of the bike! Sorry it took so long. I need to change the stem so I can ride in a more relaxed position but aside from that, I love it. It's really nippy, I was expecting it to feel more like an old plodder. Maybe it will once it's loaded up. All in all , it's a great quality ride.

Re: Romania

26 August 2015 - 1:47pm
I'm leaving tomorrow to go for the second year in a row, following the Danube up to to Tulcea and the Black Sea on the Ukraine border. We fly to Belgrade and cycle through Serbia and Bulgaria, crossing into Romania at Bechet. Before my first trip, I heard lots of doom and gloom stories about bad drivers, stone-throwing kids, rabid dogs, poor roads, bad food etc etc and not one of them was true. It is a lovely country with lovely people. Yes, it's also cheap but that shouldn't be the only reason to visit. Go for the scenery, the challenge, the culture, and above all the welcome.

Re: Help to plan a route : Inverness to Didcot

26 August 2015 - 1:40pm
Check out my 2016 lejog routes here.....http://ridewithgps.com/users/218007/routes

You could easily reverse the route back from Inverness to severn bridge (about 700 mies) - then cycle to Didcot from there(about 100, maybe a bit less) .... I work in Didcot! Its mainly based on travelodges so its cheap accomodation, and you can keep the bike in the room.... the name of all the stops is on there too if it helps.

You can put that route straight on a gps for turn by turn instructions .... or you can zoom in on each 20 mile stretch, do a screen shot, then email them to yourself and save them all as photos on your phone or print them off.....also print off the turn by turn instructions and you can use it as a hard copy of route. To be honest its very easy to navigate my route -- you are essentially on either the A82, A7 or A49 all the way to Bristol, with diversions on B roads where ever is possible.


I cycled much of that route on my 2014 lejog, I have revised the route to cut out the bits that I really disdnt enjoy ... If you want details of that there is a link to my journal in my signature below. It does follow some fast A roads but nothing that concerned me too much - If you are used to cycling around Oxfordshire it would be nothing too out of the ordinary

Re: VSF Fahrradmanufaktur

26 August 2015 - 1:16pm
pete75 wrote:coffeedrinkerUK wrote:I've admired VSF Fahrradmanufaktur touring and trekking bikes for some time they look amazing. I have seen a couple in use here and they look as if they handle well. The only thing that would put me off them, and I'm not one to get hung up on the weight of a bike normally, but have you seen the weights listed on their web site. I believe they ride fine but try carrying them up two or three stairs or anything like that particularly with a "bit" of luggage attached.

Well would the weight be that different to any other loaded touring bike?

No I don't think it would. My Ti Rohloff touring bike, with rear rack (No Front), dynamo and lights weighs 15.9 kg. I think VSF weights are for the fully eqipped bike, when other quoted weights may be for the basic bike.

Re: VSF Fahrradmanufaktur

26 August 2015 - 12:59pm
coffeedrinkerUK wrote:I've admired VSF Fahrradmanufaktur touring and trekking bikes for some time they look amazing. I have seen a couple in use here and they look as if they handle well. The only thing that would put me off them, and I'm not one to get hung up on the weight of a bike normally, but have you seen the weights listed on their web site. I believe they ride fine but try carrying them up two or three stairs or anything like that particularly with a "bit" of luggage attached.

Well would the weight be that different to any other loaded touring bike? For example the Spa steel tourer weighs 12.8 kg compared to 17.1 for the VSF TX400. Add a front rack, dynohub and lights to the Spa and it would be getting on for 16kg so not much over 1kg in it. With 30kg of luggage the TX400 would weigh 47kg - little over 7 stone and not overly difficult to carry up a few stairs.

Re: VSF Fahrradmanufaktur

26 August 2015 - 12:10pm
I've admired VSF Fahrradmanufaktur touring and trekking bikes for some time they look amazing. I have seen a couple in use here and they look as if they handle well. The only thing that would put me off them, and I'm not one to get hung up on the weight of a bike normally, but have you seen the weights listed on their web site. I believe they ride fine but try carrying them up two or three stairs or anything like that particularly with a "bit" of luggage attached.

Re: Romania

26 August 2015 - 11:35am
I haven't cycled in Romania but have been on a backpacking trip. Transylvania very scenic and pretty and felt safe and friendly. Beware Bucharest, I encountered thieves and pickpockets, some quite brazen!

Re: Romania

26 August 2015 - 10:34am
much of the transport is horse drawn with "roads" to match. Substantial tyres might be a good idea.
Remember the tesco etc horse meat scandal ? The glut of horse meat was created when the Romanian government banned horses from the motorways.
Its not so much "third world" as going back in time 90 years. Cant wait to go. A friend did and hasnt come back, never been happier.

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