CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

Syndicate content
Discussion boards hosted by CTC, the national cycling charity
Updated: 2 hours 29 min ago

Re: Touring - worst fear?

27 July 2015 - 11:46pm
Being prevented by age/ bad health/ bad back.

Re: My first touring 'fail'

27 July 2015 - 11:40pm
quite wise your approach.

Re: Leeds Liverpool Canal - Shipley to Gargrave

27 July 2015 - 10:26pm
thanks for that. So would you stay off the towpath after Silsden until nearer Skipton? Which road route would you recommend from Riddlesden to Silsden? I know the B6265 pretty well, but is there a better way? Going north to pick up Silsden Rd and Howden Rd looks possible, but hilly!

Re: Canal du Midi towpath

27 July 2015 - 10:12pm
There was another enquiry about the canal a few months ago. If you use the search you should get more information. I have cycled from Carcassone to Narbonne. As with other posts the towpath is narrow with tree-roots, it is best to follow the canal by the adjacent quiet roads and to cycle along the canal when possible. The branch to Narbonne is rideable as it is wider with no trees. When I rode it the path was being repaired on the outskirts of Narbonne so I had to detour.

Re: My first touring 'fail'

27 July 2015 - 9:40pm
I was given good cycling advice once, ride your own ride. Everyone is different and you'll be back, but you started which is half the battle.

Re: Leeds Liverpool Canel - Shipley to Gargrave

27 July 2015 - 9:30pm
Good metalled towpath from Shipley past the locks at Bingley ( nice cafe at top of second set of locks ),smooth going for a good bit after that. It gets bit rutted bumpy and grassy ( and muddy when wet ) from near to Silsden it smooths out near Skipton, loaded up I would probably come off at Riddlesden (left down hill ), then turn right and go up the road. You could come

off near Silsden just past (Golf Club on your left ) a bit further on up the tow path signposted Route 69:( the path becomes rutted immediately after the next bridge ) through a farmyard this

takes you into Silsden through a small housing estate,bear to the left and under a bridge, turn left brings you to a T junction which is Silsden main drag.Unfortunately if you chose this diversion there is an awkward drop

down a wall from the towpath on stone steps to get into the farmyard .If you were going to come off the tow path, Riddlesden is the better option. I should think the rutted section is 6 or seven

miles at a guess.I went that way in the dry the other day, perfectly do-able but bumpy, it takes a bit too much concentration if it's wet tree roots etc, especially if loaded.

The only gate I can think of is just before Shipley and I think that's either been taken down or is open due to tow path repairs towards Leeds there are a couple more back towards Leeds but if you're getting on at Shipley they won't concern you.

Don't know what it's like beyond Skipton.

Re: My first touring 'fail'

27 July 2015 - 9:18pm
Such a shame to come home early, but I think you did the right thing and you did come home as opposed to not!

Some things if they dont feel right need to be checked over.

And now you have had a bit of a kit shakedown so next time you will drink more, eat better and ride the whole route!

Good luck

Re: Antwerp to Amsterdam

27 July 2015 - 9:13pm
iainb wrote:Hi folks

Not exactly on topic, but I'm planning a trip form Harwich to the Hook, cycling down the coast and coming back from Dunkirk to Dover. The Dutch and Belgian map posted on here were very useful The one thing I'm a bit concerned about knowing how big a city and port Rotterdam is, how easy is it to get from the Hook to the southern side of Rotterdam to continue down the coast.

Thanks and regards


Very easy. We came back in the other direction from Breda, skirting the southern suburbs of rotterdam then on to the Hook to the ferry. Route couldn't be simpler, though the section between the port and rotterdam is rather boring.

Re: My first touring 'fail'

27 July 2015 - 9:10pm
That's not a fail it just didn't quite go to plan. life would be boring if it always did...

My first touring 'fail'

27 July 2015 - 8:38pm
After much planning (and looking forward to) I flew off with my bike to Carcassonne to begin a 1000 mile solo route north to Zeebruge for the ferry home. First couple of days went great - good weather riding the Canal du Midi (where it was rideable) and through Toulouse up to Moissac. Two idyllic days riding about 60 miles per day with good campsites. Third day was from Moissac to Bergerac, just over 90 miles. It turned into a difficult day, hot, heavy rain showers, and a strong headwind most of the way. Oh, and lots of hills. Not big hills but regular slogs, one after the other. I reached Bergerac about 5pm feeling tired but OK. As planned, every third night would be in a hotel so found a nice hotel near the centre of Bergerac (Hotel Europe), and after a refreshing shower headed off into town for some food. After a good three course meal, with a glass or two of wine, I was soon back in the hotel and in bed by 11-30pm. Then the palpitations started! Bump, bump. bump. miss a beat, bump, bump, miss a beat, bump, bump, etc. etc. This went on most of the night, keeping me awake wondering what to do the following morning (if I lasted that long!). Talking to the hotel manager over breakfast, I mentioned my problem and he advised me to see a doctor (there just happened to be one a few doors away who spoke English). The doc listened to my chest, took my blood pressure, found nothing but advised me to have a thorough check before carrying on. After an hour or two of soul searching I decided to play it safe and get back home by the next flight. So, after numerous tests and a scan, nothing has been found wrong with my ticker and I have not had any further problems since that night (now two months ago). According to my doctor exhaustion, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, rich meal - these could have all contributed to what happened. Maybe I will never know but I think I made the right decision to cut the tour short on this occasion. France will still be there next year. I've been touring since I was in my twenties, I'm 65 now and hope to have many more cycling tours ahead of me.

Leeds Liverpool Canal - Shipley to Gargrave

27 July 2015 - 5:48pm
Has anyone ridden the Leeds Liverpool canal between Shipley and Gargrave recently? Thinking of going that way to get up to the Dales. Will be on a touring bike with panniers, tyres are pretty wide so happy with gravel surfaces. Are there lots of gates etc. to fight your way through? What about narrow bits under bridges etc?



Re: Way of the Roses..an accident waiting to happen?

27 July 2015 - 5:41pm
While i totally agree that the hill down is very steep , i dont see an issue if your a reasonable cyclist with common sense and ride it at a suitable speed, i rode it in march with snow on the ground and i never died !
just use your brain and your brakes properly

Re: Antwerp to Amsterdam

27 July 2015 - 3:54pm
Hi folks

Not exactly on topic, but I'm planning a trip form Harwich to the Hook, cycling down the coast and coming back from Dunkirk to Dover. The Dutch and Belgian map posted on here were very useful The one thing I'm a bit concerned about knowing how big a city and port Rotterdam is, how easy is it to get from the Hook to the southern side of Rotterdam to continue down the coast.

Thanks and regards


Re: 10 days in August. Where should I go?

27 July 2015 - 3:01pm
Thank you again - I'll keep an eye open for the cidre.

Re: Via Francigena

27 July 2015 - 2:56pm
Anne Mustoe's excellent book, "A Bike Ride, 12,000 miles around the World" is worth a look, she follows various Roman roads from London to Rome and onwards. This might be of interest and doubtless there will be some correlation with pilgrim routes.

Re: Via Francigena

27 July 2015 - 2:38pm
Have you tried cyclingeurope.org site? Click on eurovelo 5 and then index of posts or route planning,they both mention the route(if you haven't looked there already of course )

Re: Via Francigena

27 July 2015 - 1:38pm
Partly. This spring I followed the route of a Dutch abbot, called Emo from the beginning of the 13th century. He went from the North of The Netherlands to Rome. From Pavia to Rome he followed the Via Francigena.
He wrote a very short travelogue of his trip to Rome and back. A dutch historian reconstructed his route and wrote a book about it.
Using this reconstruction I designed a cycle route.

I'm still working on all the results, but at the moment The following is available:

A GPS-file, containing the route with improvements I made (also with some comments for navigation);
Heightprofiles (based on the original design, but will hardly change).

The website I made can be found here (only in Dutch, but GoogleTranslate is your friend). The maps included in the site, are not up-to-date, but that's only for small parts.

Another source for the Italian part is this. An Italian site, which seems to be complete now. I used it this winter, but it was incomplete then.

Re: LLC and Wales Questions

27 July 2015 - 12:59pm
Regarding the weather, you have my sympathies! We're used to mixed conditions even in summertime, but the wind and rain at the moment is unusual (honest ).
Edit: just read some of your blog. You're buying bottled water? Tap water is safe in the UK, and it's free. Ask for it in restaurants and they usually don't charge, but don't let them add ice or lemon etc as this gives them a reason to charge.

Via Francigena

27 July 2015 - 11:35am
Do any members have any experience of cycling the Canterbury to Rome Pilgrim Route by touring bike. Any references to route plans, mountain profiles etc would be appreciated.

Where to stay with bikes in Rutland?

27 July 2015 - 5:39am
Hi all,

No idea quite where this fitted so I'll try here. No doubt it can be moved if needed. I'm looking at - next year now - loading the bikes up on the car rack and going off for a week, stopping in various places and doing little local tourist type rides. One of the first places I like the look of trying is Rutland Water. I think it's about 25mi round and if you're spending time taking in the sights and taking photos that should fill a full day so if possible I'd rather have somewhere to stay overnight. Are there such beasts as B&B's around there (or anyway else really come to that) that might have provisions for locking up bikes overnight? Don't fancy leaving them on the unsecured car carrier all night if at all possible.

I've looked on the Independent Hostels site but that brought up no results within 15mi of Whitwell so I'm guessing there's none of those local.


  • Patron: Her Majesty The Queen
  • President: Jon Snow
  • Chief Executive: Paul Tuohy
  • Cyclists' Touring Club (CTC): A company limited by guarantee, registered in England no.25185. Registered as a charity in England and Wales No 1147607 and in Scotland No SC042541

Copyright © CTC 2015

Terms and Conditions