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Updated: 51 min 53 sec ago

Re: Lighting a bike/high vis on tour

19 October 2014 - 9:56pm
Hey thanks for all the replies! Really useful. Bike lights seem to be a must. Problem is I have a handlebar bag (which I'm sure most people have), so where do I attach the front bike light if not to my helmet? I guess my headtorch headband might actually fit on the handlebar bag....? What do others do?

beardy wrote: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.

This is interesting, definitely something to think about. As I don't drive I personally don't really know what's best to wear! I was thinking of sticking hi-vis stickers etc to my gear but maybe that's a bad idea....

simonhill wrote: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.

I cycled for 2 days in Taiwan, through a few tunnels that were undergoing work had has absolutely no lighting. Terrifying as I only had a hand torch with me at the time. Can't get worse (or more stupid) than that...

spinners wrote: I find the use of all black cycle clothing baffling and see so many cyclists dressed like this nowadays..

My clothing isn't really cycle clothing (except the shorts). I just wear mainly black and dark clothing all the time anyway, so wearing an orange t-shirt would be totally out of my comfort zone. As I want to travel as light as possible clothes that double up as 'off cycle' clothing is better (I'll be spending time in cities, stopping frequently). I think a high vis vest or belt would suit me better - just for when it's foggy/raining.

irc wrote: Other advice - use a mirror. Most drivers are OK but you will get a few close passes and they are less frightening when you see them coming.

Yep, just bought a mirror, thanks.

AaronR wrote: Cateye Rapid 3 front and rear, seem to run forever on one AA battery available everywhere, clips can be got so that they can be put on clothing (I have a few knocking about for the price of postage), add them to a headband and you have a very capable head torch, so thats one item instead of two to carry.... 80's shell suit jacket? Pink (on a bloke)? Afro party wig on helmet? Saw an excellent lycra top once that made the rider look like a crash test dummy - anything that is going to catch a drivers eye and trigger them to look again is worth it


The cateye bike light as a head torch is a great idea. What kind of headband do you use?
And also the fancy dress style 'anything that catches the drivers eye' is a good tip!

Edwards wrote: A head torch is brilliant for looking where you are going especially road surface. However they are no good for being seen by cars (I do use a head torch) you would need at least one battery operated bike mounted lamp.

Thanks, this is good to know. I assumed lights attached to the helmet would be fine, but it makes sense that when turning your head you might not be seen. And the whole safetly regulation thing.... Problem is I have a handlebar bag (which I'm sure most people have), so where do I attach the front bike light if not to my helmet? I guess my headtorch headband might actually fit on the handlebar bag....?

Re: Thameslink to Gatwick Airport - luggage space

19 October 2014 - 9:51pm
The luggage racks last I saw were the vertical stack type shown in https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:31 ... ternal.JPG

I'm not sure if any of the electro stars serve Gatwick but I think they have less luggage space.

Re: Vaude or carradice cape?

19 October 2014 - 9:18pm
I keep a cape (sorry don't know what make) in the saddle bag of my shopper bike. It's good to throw on when there is a sudden shower. However despite wrist loops it's a pain to stop it billowing up every time I stop. For that reason I don't use it on my touring bikes.

In your situation I would buy a new jacket, follow the care instructions religiously and accept that the main purpose of a rain jacket is to stop you getting cold not wet.

Thameslink to Gatwick Airport - luggage space

19 October 2014 - 8:54pm
In a week I will be travelling to Gatwick airport via Euston with a full-sized touring bike in a bag plus a cabin bag. Am I right in assuming there is very little luggage space on the Thameslink line from St Pancras to Brighton that stops at Gatwick?

Plan B is to get a taxi from Euston to Victoria. I wanted to avoid crossing London in rush hour but now I'm thinking I may be better off doing that than annoying lots of commuters on the Thameslink train.

Thanks for any suggestions.

Re: Touring Map(s) Hebrides & West Coast

19 October 2014 - 8:52pm
MLJ wrote:A quarter-inch map is fine for the outer isles and west coast, as there are not that many roads anyway. I used a page from a road book but there are several maps available for this purpose. Obviously for walking you will need the 25000 OS map for the Cuillins.

Thanks MLJ.. I may look for a travel guide to Scotland with mapping included... Have picked up a 25000 OS map for the Cuillins.. Father-in-Law had an old one..






hufty wrote:Paper maps are great - the batteries never run down and you get a great overview, so I personally wouldn't want a Garmin in the first place. I always found the OS 1:1250 000 Western Scotland and the Western Isles to be about right for road cycling. No longer available from the OS. Scottish map seller Nicolsons maps used to do their own version but didn't look so available a second ago.

The best source then is the mighty Aqua3.com for a customised, waterproof, extended width/height map.


Thanks for the great link hufty.. Didn't know you could do customized maps..Have bookmarked & may order this..Covers exactly what I'm looking for.. Thanks..

Re: Good footwear?

19 October 2014 - 8:50pm
Thanks for that answer.

I just had a look - they look very sturdy and would last a while.
So, they could be used off the bike for a bit of light walking too, that is great!

I can find places on-line still selling them - £59.99 looks about the cheapest I can see...is that about right?

Do they size up accurately?

Re: Long Term Tour & Saddle Sore

19 October 2014 - 8:47pm
I have suddenly started suffering from these myself and changing to a different type of saddle worked for me. It changed the pressure points and gave the painful areas a rest.

Im planning a 2500 mile trip and contemplating taking two saddles, or finding another method of moving the pressure points around - maybe a different pad would have the same affect?

Re: Long Term Tour & Saddle Sore

19 October 2014 - 8:29pm
Awesome website. I know the Kenyan side of kili quite well. The roads are bound to give your backside a bruising. Try and keep the sweat levels down and as Shane says take some time out. It is an investment in the rest of the trip! Arusha will be the best place for supplies until Dar.

Re: Good footwear?

19 October 2014 - 7:24pm
I would vote Exustar Stelvio SP705 - if you can find a pair that fits as now discontinued. I bought a few pairs when they were going cheap last Feb & I have been using one pair most of the time since then cycleing or not to see how it would hold up. Thats getting on 9 months incl a hot summer. The sole is showing wear in places but most is intact. These are designed as cleat shoes so have a thick sole. I dont use them as such. They did take a bit of breaking in as they have a fibre glass insole but now are very good for walking in as well as cycling. This may be the last all- use cycling shoe at a reasonable price that can also be used in general. I have also found them good for walking on rough ground, so good for stomping around off road when cycleing too bad. The only issue is wet concrete slopes then they can be a bit slippy ( but then many shoes are also?)

Too late for your trip as they do need breaking in. The are also pu leather so semi water proof.

prob too late for any new shoes

Rhine route?

19 October 2014 - 1:19pm
One of several possibilities for next year’s trip is a ride all the way up the Rhine from Rotterdam (who’d have thought that a bit of Italy would drain into the North Sea?). I’m thinking I might cut off the huge loop it makes to Basel by following Patrick Leigh Fermor’s route up the Neckar from Heidelberg, quick look at the Danube around Ulm, and rejoin the Rhine at Lake Constance. Any advice?

Re: Has anyone ever toured in the winter?

19 October 2014 - 12:30pm
ArMoRothair wrote:I heard someone from the British Antarctic Survey team being interviewed and she said -30° was okay, it was when things dipped below -40° that the real problems started, and at -50° it was pure survival, meaningful work was impossible.

From experience, I would say this is a very accurate description. Winter biking down to -30C with good equipment is actually great and I'd highly recommend it if you're tempted. Even down to -35C is OK.

As for cycling in Siberia in December - based on what it was like in February, I would not recommend it! Well, yes, it was brilliant in many ways and also really tough, and if you have this urge to do it, then definitely go because it is an amazing experience. But it is not something that should ever be recommended like you would the latest ben and jerry's flavour ice-cream or cinema release! Because the temperature will drop to -50C and rarely get above -30C in the day and then it's just about surviving, and that's not fun and not why I cycle tour.

Re: Touring Map(s) Hebrides & West Coast

19 October 2014 - 12:16pm
Paper maps are great - the batteries never run down and you get a great overview, so I personally wouldn't want a Garmin in the first place. I always found the OS 1:1250 000 Western Scotland and the Western Isles to be about right for road cycling. No longer available from the OS. Scottish map seller Nicolsons maps used to do their own version but didn't look so available a second ago.

The best source then is the mighty Aqua3.com for a customised, waterproof, extended width/height map.

Re: Touring Map(s) Hebrides & West Coast

19 October 2014 - 12:00pm
A quarter-inch map is fine for the outer isles and west coast, as there are not that many roads anyway. I used a page from a road book but there are several maps available for this purpose. Obviously for walking you will need the 25000 OS map for the Cuillins.

Re: Show your touring bikes !!!!

19 October 2014 - 11:34am
Just picked up a George Longstaff, tourer & have just started stripping it down, for a respray.. My better half say's I should think of moving in to our shed full time, with the amount of time I spend in there..Have two restoration projects on the go at the moment.. The Longstaff & a Moulton APB.. I know very little about the Longstaff, as the original owner sadly passed away..It's a 531 frame & it's got some pretty fancy lug work.. Hope to get it to Atlantic Boulevard in Bury, next week for the respray..Am awaiting a tweet from Longstaff, to confirm the colour as I want to return it has close as possible to the original factory finish.

Touring Map(s) Hebrides & West Coast

19 October 2014 - 10:32am
Hoping to do my first tour next year & would be grateful for any advice in regards to paper maps for the above areas.. I had thought of buying a Garmin, but want to keep cost's down as I need to get a new tent, stove & various other bits before I set off in May. I would like to do some walking on Skye, so will need a more detailed map for the Cuillin region. Just want to know if I'm going to need many maps & which scale are best for using on a handlebar bag.. Any kind of advice would be appreciated as I'm a bit of a newbie to touring.. I do hope to do a test run into the Yorkshire Dales, before setting off for Scotland, just to make sure everything works as it should & I've not overlooked anything.

Kind Regards..

Smuggers.

Re: Lighting a bike/high vis on tour

19 October 2014 - 10:05am
Anyway - Back to the original thread.

I tend to wear "travel gear" such as Rohan, Craghoppers, Paramo etc when touring as if I have an off the bike day to explore a city or even just and evening in the pub then I will fit in

For lights I use a B&M Ixn premium, as the light beam is good, has a reasonable life, and you can leave the charger at home an simply swap batteries if you need more than expected. On the rear I have a Fibre flare which simply last forever and an IX-Back on the rear for the same reasons

Re: Lighting a bike/high vis on tour

19 October 2014 - 9:59am
mjr wrote:There is no downside. Bright fluorescent tops are great business attire and not at all ugly when visiting tourist attractions like stately homes. People should be happy with how much more beautiful it makes every rural view and any non motorised road user should use them:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstop ... i-vis.html

Or we could stop this arms race with no winners.


Do you wear one in the Supermarket?

The Supermarket has a formal risk assessment that says the car Park is sufficiently dangerous that their employees need to wear Hi-Viz jackets as PPE when in th Car PArk.

Yet the same drivers who won't see the Supermarket worker without this visibility aid will see Mr and Mrs Bloggs along with Charmaine and Kevin who don't need Hi-Viz?

Surely we ALL be wearing Hi-Viz when crossing the Supermarket car park?

Re: Long Term Tour & Saddle Sore

19 October 2014 - 9:57am
Sustained friction causes heat and in turn will create saddle sores. I would recommend a cream which stops the sweat and in turn cuts down on the friction.

Something like this and containing an antiseptic if possible.

http://udderlysmooth.co.uk/product/cham ... ea-butter/

Re: St Malo to Narbonne

19 October 2014 - 9:57am
Hi Linda.

Did this ride with a couple of friends in summer of 2010 (seems like weeks not years ago). We stayed west and off main roads in the main. Joined the canal du midi 40 or so miles form Agen and stayed on (bar a few bits of road where it got too lumpy) all the way to Narbonne. Miunicipal campsites were great but I'd recommend getting a room near the coast..campsite we stayed at was so hard and pebbly we could hardly get pegs in.

We tended to average 65-70 miles a day, but in August the heat as we moved further south was so intense we'd set really early and get most miles in before lunch the a nice big break.

Here's a blog we all contributed to, which segues into my friend James' epic Norway to Athens ride.

http://www.medmen.org.uk/search?updated ... date=false

Re: Lighting a bike/high vis on tour

19 October 2014 - 9:53am
maxcherry wrote:So why do people in Hi-Viz, with lights and helmet get knocked over ?

WHAT DO DRIVERS DO AT JUNCTIONS?

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