CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 2 hours 11 min ago

Re: Show your touring bikes !!!!

23 September 2014 - 6:08am
My trusty 1990 Dawes Super Galaxy - cycle camping in northern Portugal September 2014

Re: Sustrans Route Planning

23 September 2014 - 12:12am
Experience has taught me to avoid Sustrans routes as much as possible. You'll need a Garmin or smartphone to follow them as the signs are awful. If you want to use paper maps use OS Landrangers rather than Sustrans own, though you might need to carry several. I ordered a map from Sustrans website and it was printed on cheap paper and fell to bits after a few days.

Routes will also take considerably longer than you might expect because of all the meandering, hill-climbing, gates, steps, muddy footpaths etc.

Re: "End of the line for Europe's iconic night trains?"

22 September 2014 - 7:41pm
Go to Thailand. Sleeper half way across the country (700 kms) for £15. Bike in the baggage car for another 2 quid.

Re: "End of the line for Europe's iconic night trains?"

22 September 2014 - 6:35pm
Never used a sleeper train but must admit it's been on my list of 'things to do' for many years, if only for the romance of the journey

Re: Not just the trains

22 September 2014 - 5:47pm
foxyrider wrote:Next Monday sees the last sailing of the DFDS Harwich-Esjberg ferry route, how are we supposed to get to Scandinavia now?
Daytime train, changing Brussels, Cologne and Hamburg. Once DB start running through the channel tunnel, you'll have the option of skipping the Brussels change.

Re: Pennine Cycleway

22 September 2014 - 5:13pm
Hello , I am also wanting to do the PCW. Any info would be useful such as distances, elevations, routes and accommodation.
All suggestions gratefully accepted.

Thanks in advance.

Not just the trains

22 September 2014 - 4:28pm
Next Monday sees the last sailing of the DFDS Harwich-Esjberg ferry route, how are we supposed to get to Scandinavia now?

Re: tablet for touring

22 September 2014 - 3:50pm
robing wrote:I found this on ebay. A basic 7 inch tablet with front camera only, no gps or bluetooth. But at this price I'm guessing the quality probably isn't very good.

There are plenty of very cheap tablets around. If all you want to do is browse the net and do a bit of email they are probably adequate.

They will be slow and heavy, poor screen resolution, old version of operating system, poor battery life, etc, etc.

Nonetheless that may not matter and you may be happy with one.

I s'pose a comparison could be why buy a £1000 bike when there are plenty of £150 bikes in the shops.

As I said I have a Nexus 7 2013. To compare with many of the others recommended, try googling model name with compare or review, etc. There are a few good tech sites that do reviews and comparisons.

For budget, ie sub £200 the Nexus normally wins, mainly cos its screen is so much better. The Hudle also gets good reviews, not as good, but cheaper. Again you need to choose how much you want to spend.

Re weight (Sweep), I don't think anyone was worried about 60 grams in their bag!! Where it is more of an issue along with the slimness thing, is when you are holding it with one hand for a couple of hours. Comfort is the consideration, not oveloading your panniers.

Re: "End of the line for Europe's iconic night trains?"

22 September 2014 - 2:59pm
mjr wrote: Why would I put up with ..... a moving bed ...

I rather like the motion myself, but I agree it won't suit everybody.

Except for rail fans, only those who ...... boycott short haul flights would pick sleepers today on most current routes, but that's a pretty small market.

It is a market that needs to be nurtured, if we are serious about cutting emissions. I'd support a tax on intra-European flights of under 500km used to promote lower-emission modes.

Personally I like sleepers when I can afford them (usually early bookings) as a neat way of covering distance in time otherwise spent doing nothing but sleeping. E.g for visiting friends in Scotland, after work on a Friday I get the sleeper there, staying with them on Saturday night, then the sleeper back on Sunday night and straight to work. They live far from any airport so I doubt I could do it by flying even if I wanted to, without spending Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon still in transit.

Re: South American Plan- companions sought

22 September 2014 - 9:17am
Hi, could bé interested in this. Pm me for contact details.

Re: Good icebreaker leggings for cycle tour

22 September 2014 - 8:16am
I think I've mentioned [url]chocolatefishmerino.co.uk[/url] before but will do it again - have found their stuff to be more durable and less fashion-orientated than icebreaker. It looks like they're having supply issues at the moment but they do have leggings showing in stock on their website.

Re: Bealach na Ba - Applecross

21 September 2014 - 11:45pm
Thought I'd post an update.

I went for it with my roadie with 40 - 32 lowest gear. Hand was forced in the end as the MTB was at the LBS and didn't get it back in time for the trip.

Started at Lochcarron. Wondered what I'd let me myself in for as the hill out of Lochcarron was quite unexpected. But got through that (already having used the low gear on this which had me worried) and then got to within site of the hairpins on the mountain without too much issue. And then, I had to stop for a rest... or two! It was this steep section that did me. Stopped first time, downed my half litre water bottle, then set off again but it was no good. After another 25 or so yards I stopped at one of the streams running down the hill and stuck my head in to the flow! After cooling down sufficiently I cracked on and somehow made it to the bends, and from there I was able to haul it round to the top.

So basically my assessment is that I would definitely have preferred a lower gear! I'd be confident a 34 - 32 would be comfortable enough for me personally. Or a "granny ring" wouldn't do any harm, either option is recommended for any prospective attemptees.

Conditions were hazy, temps around mid / high teens, with virtually no wind, so can't complain with that at all really. Well worth doing if you get the chance.

Re: My first tour (I didn't make it)

21 September 2014 - 10:59pm
I'd just like to say that I thought this whole thread made wonderful reading - Dave tries a tour, thinks he's failed (but hasn't), and thanks to all the positive and helpful replies he's trying again. Isn't the internet great at things like this! Just one comment from me, Dave - ditch the Lucozade somehow. Those bottles alone weigh almost as much as everything I took on a 20-day tour I just returned from (admittedly not camping though).

Re: "End of the line for Europe's iconic night trains?"

21 September 2014 - 9:54pm
SNCF still has lots of ads for them.

Re: tablet for touring

21 September 2014 - 9:16pm
Pandaz wrote:A second hand Asus 7 is the way to go: 11hr battery life!

So is that 11hr battery life as quoted for a new Asus 7 (hence new battery), or is that your observation of the battery life on a second hand one?

What would bother me about a 2nd hand device like this, is how many charge/discharge cycles are there left in the battery and can a new battery be fitted if required (hopefully so, otherwise this is just another example of built-in redundancy).

Re: tablet for touring

21 September 2014 - 8:04pm
Sony Xperia Z ultra. Now available for around £250.

Re: "End of the line for Europe's iconic night trains?"

21 September 2014 - 6:51pm
The double whammy of tax rises and subsidy cuts is bad, but I think that what had really crippled them is the expansion of daytime very high speed (200mphish) services.

I came from Milan to Norfolk in a day this summer. Why would I put up with the one catering choice and a moving bed instead of my choice of Milan's restaurants and a three star hotel? Maybe if it was cheaper, but it isn't.

Except for rail fans, only those who don't want to spend a day working on trains AND are rich AND boycott short haul flights would pick sleepers today on most current routes, but that's a pretty small market.

Re: Getting to Germany with bikes

21 September 2014 - 6:17pm
andymiller wrote:Bad news for those travelling by train on the City Night Line services from Paris. These are threatened with closure:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfre ... r-services

SFAIK the services to Amsterdam are unaffected (at least for the moment). I haven't looked to see whether there's an option to connect with the Amsterdam train via Paris.
According to another Guardian article I posted about on here earlier today (link)

The Guardian wrote:The Amsterdam to Prague and Warsaw sleeper will be cut back to run from Cologne to Warsaw and Prague.
Is that the "services to Amsterdam" you were refering to?


Re: Getting to Germany with bikes

21 September 2014 - 6:02pm
+1 for Frankfurt airport - used it this summer - excellent and you can ride unmolested from/to the terminal on designated cycle tracks - in fact no one even blinked at a bike inside the terminal! If you do take a bike box/bag there is a 24hour left luggage counter on the ground floor.

Ticket machines at rural DB stations - never had a problem - they all have a language choice at the bottom of the screen, I have used my debit card on occasion but paying cash is simple enough. I've used the machines across the whole of Germany over the last dozen years without issue. Check out whether you can get a Landeskarte or similar for longer journeys, can work out much cheaper than a single fare although you will need a bike ticket. You can of course buy from the conductor if you get in a pickle, its fare dodgers they don't like, confused tourists get treated with a wry smile!

"End of the line for Europe's iconic night trains?"

21 September 2014 - 5:00pm
The Gardian wrote:End of the line for Europe's iconic night trains?
The sleeper service is being phased out across the continent as operators are hit by hefty taxes and rise of budget airlines...
I came across this Guardian article recently (a friend shared it on Facebook) and thought I would draw people's attention to it (I don't think it has been mentioned - apologies if it has & I missed it) as they are trains that have been mentioned periodically as a way to get around Europe.



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