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Updated: 2 hours 9 min ago

Re: Multi Function Watches

10 December 2014 - 3:23pm
As for the OP and the mutifuncion watches question, a smart phone will do anything. My Garmin has a compass, a barometer, and altimeter, and full mapping. No watch could even come close to what my Garmin can display.
I may be retired, but I still want to know the time. I'm obsessive enough to want to know the time all the time.
Always have done, and always will do.

We have clocks in the living room, the bathroom, the kitchen, the workshop, the bedroom.
The clock in the car is always there, the time is on my computer in front of me, my Garmin displays the time, and if I'm out of the house not in the car or on my bike, I take my phone.

This day and age, wristwatches aren't needed so much and sales have slumped.

What are your essentials to go bicycle touring?

10 December 2014 - 3:23pm
Hi guys,

I am not a gear geek, but I reckon there are still some material possessions I think I couldn’t go bicycle touring without.

These are my top 4: http://www.theadventurejunkies.com/4-th ... g-without/

What about you guys? Do you have any piece of gear you simply couldn't do without?

I would love to hear your opinions.


Re: Multi Function Watches

10 December 2014 - 3:09pm
I've had 4 or 5 Casios over the years. Excellent timekeepers, always let down by the strap, which splits and breaks within a year or so. A replacement strap costs almost as much as a new watch.

I discovered that my Decathlon heart monitor had a much more durable strap, so when my last Casio strap broke I bought a basic Decathlon sports watch - something like this -
http://www.decathlon.co.uk/ontime-110s- ... 42992.html

The strap shows no sign of splitting after a couple of years. Decathlon do a wide range should you fancy something more geeky.

Re: Multi Function Watches

10 December 2014 - 3:02pm
I stopped wearing a watch when I retired: something to do with no longer being governed by the time. I managed quite well like Gabriel Oak, although I stopped short at looking in other people's windows to check their clock.

Increasing care commitments have changed all that eg grandchildren have to be at school in time for the bell.

On the subject of cheap Casio watches, in spite of hardly wearing a watch for some years, I always found that the resin strap failed first: indeed it's the only thing that ever failed. I still have a couple which have been silently ticking away for years, but without straps. Replacement straps seem to cost more than new watches.

Re: Multi Function Watches

10 December 2014 - 2:53pm
Mick F wrote:I still have the habit of turning my left wrist to look at the time every now an again.

Well, you would know what the time is!

Bus times, Radio/TV times. Time to get up, go to bed, go out for a ride. I like to be punctual. My watch is always there, my cars clock and phone isnt. Cooking a steak I like to time it exactly with the second hand same for the pump on the coffee machine. None of the kitchen timers measures seconds only minutes. Lots of advantages to having a watch on your wrist especially when you are the cook.


Re: Multi Function Watches

10 December 2014 - 2:33pm
Mick F wrote:Having worn a wristwatch since junior school, I finally took my last on off about ten years ago.
I still have the habit of turning my left wrist to look at the time every now an again.

Why don't I wear a watch?
We have clocks at home, the time is on the computer, there's a clock in the car, my mobile phone tells the time, and when I'm on the bike my computer tells me the time.

Why have a wristwatch?
I also find that being retired what the time is is rather less important. Fewer "appointments" or things that must be done today, by a fixed time, etc. Sometimes I think about wearing a watch but then just wonder why I need to know the time so much. I have also found my own "biological clock" or dead reckoning or whatever it is means that I am far better at "knowing" roughy what the time is without needing watches/clocks/etc.


Re: Multi Function Watches

10 December 2014 - 2:25pm
Having worn a wristwatch since junior school, I finally took my last on off about ten years ago.
I still have the habit of turning my left wrist to look at the time every now an again.

Why don't I wear a watch?
We have clocks at home, the time is on the computer, there's a clock in the car, my mobile phone tells the time, and when I'm on the bike my computer tells me the time.

Why have a wristwatch?

Re: Multi Function Watches

10 December 2014 - 2:09pm
IanW that last one you mention is identical to mine except that its stainless and mine is titanium. I do like a light watch. £118 at the Watch Shop which is a pretty good price for such a nice watch.

Re: Multi Function Watches

10 December 2014 - 10:51am
My default watch is a £20 Casio rather than a £10 one. For the extra I get hands, which are easier to read with a quick glance down towards the bars. The ones I go for have a digital display too for the date (which I find very useful as I can never remember it) and stuff like stopwatch and timer, which are occasionally useful for things like "take this rice off the cooker when the alarm goes". Not solar powered but the batteries last about 10 years these days, which gives you plenty of time to lose or break it. Mine is waterproof which considering it sometimes goes swimming/paddling is an asset for me.

I have a fancier thing somewhere with altimeter, thermometer etc. The altimeter can be handy when navigating in whiteout ski touring but I can't see that much use on the bike if you're not tuning performance (and even then there are probably better tools). Thermometer on a watch is basically no use: it typically tells you it's next to something that's a lot warmer than the ambient air temperature! Gives you a point of reference in the morning but once you've put it on it's pointless. Mostly this is just bigger/clumsier/less comfortable than the cheap Casio, so it only comes out once in a while for special duty.

Stuff like a compass and GPS location, why not take a better, easier to read compass/GPS with a handlebar mount if you really want that?

So unless you really feel you're missing something I'd go for the tenner, or maybe like I do and double your spend!


Re: Multi Function Watches

10 December 2014 - 10:48am
I quite like the Casio "waveceptor" watches.
My particular "requirements" are that a watch is waterproof, radio-synchronized and solar-powered.
I would also like an alarm (or two).


Other features are fun-to-haves but not sine-qua-non



also barometer and thermometer and altimeter. This watch is used when on holiday when the features are useful. But it is a huge watch.

The Casio (UK/English) site is a bit limited, but the Casio (Europe/English) site: http://www.casio-europe.com/euro/watch/waveceptor/ is better (has a better range of watches).

The one I like (but I already have enough watches already) is: http://www.casio-europe.com/euro/watch/waveceptor/lcw-m100dse-2aer/

If you want the extra features, then the "ProTrek" series is what you might want to look at.

Re: 1980s Raleigh Esprit for tour of Italy?

10 December 2014 - 8:39am
I'm the same novice to touring, luckily I got a ridgeback hybrid with all the necessary eyelets, just need's few upgrade's then i'll be off on tour,but I was looking at a dawes karakum and it's gets good reviews, at a good price and galaxy cross, also

Re: Multi Function Watches

10 December 2014 - 6:39am
+1 for the Casio Waveceptor. Mine's an older, cheaper one that I use for timing club events and just seems built to last (my last one did 22 years on the original battery).

Re: Multi Function Watches

10 December 2014 - 6:30am
Casio F-91 is £7 at moment (argos), or £10 in fun colours.

I tried a Timex Ironman, for the bigger digits for running, but all those buttons just got in the way. F91 is lighter, cheaper (many benefits, both practical and cultural), fewer in-the-way functions. I use the internet-corrected nuclear clock in the corner of my computer desktop for annual calibrations - you can't trust the dab radio pips these days!

Re: murcia area cycling base

9 December 2014 - 9:57pm
iviehoff wrote:A lot of cyclists favour Cocentaina as a centre for that. That's 150km via main roads from the airport. But it has a railway station on the main line inland from Alicante so you can probably get there by train. There are also plenty of small villages in the mountains which have small inns. I doubt you'll find anything particularly cheap in that region of Spain.

Cocentainia is a nice old place, but no trains from Alicante, only Valencia. And it's at the junction of three Vias Verdes: Maigmo, Xixarra and Serpis, so good for those on fat (or sensible) tyres who want to explore rail trails. Alcoy, a few miles to the south is a workaday but interesting town with cheap hotels (e.g. Hostal Savoy where I have stayed several times) is also a good centre for exploring the 'Comtat'.

I think Murcia itself would be a good base. It's not such a big place to get out of with quite a mixture of different terrain within a day's ride, from groves of date palms at Elche to rugged mountains in several directions, to tasty Jumilla vineyards, to the coast and the Mar Menor, and even a Via Verde - del Noroeste.

Re: Canada to Mexico

9 December 2014 - 9:20pm
Thanks lisap

Re: Canada to Mexico

9 December 2014 - 9:10pm
If you are island hopping make sure to get the BC Experience ferry card as it offers discounted travel. Bikes are usually on the bottom deck and you can stay with the bike while the ferry is sailing. The ferry from Victoria to Port Angeles will involve customs to enter the US but they are very friendly and last time I went through the officer gave me an address and telephone number of relatives living in San Diego if I needed a place to stay before flying out.

Once in Port Angeles the town rises uphill but there are motels away from the port as you cycle up the Main Street and cheaper than by the ferry. I stayed at the Far View Motel as it was pouring, it has a laundry and is opposite the Albertsons grocery store. When you leave Port Angeles make sure you use the Olympic Discovery Trail to ride off road as far as possible. If you are going west round the coast expect rain.

There will be bears but as long as you are sensible and use the bear boxes in the parks if you are camping it will be fine. Don't have toiletries, any food at all or anything smelly except you in the tent. Quite honestly you will have more problems with marauding raccoons than bears and they are vicious little whatsits so don't mess with them. My last trip they attacked a group of campers and tore rucksacks from tents to get to toothpaste. Never ever ever leave food or cooking utensils in camel backs or panniers if they are near your tent, put them in the bear boxes provided.

Never seen wild dogs but the domestic variety can be nasty. Get a pepper spray or Halt dog spray from the outdoor store called MEC in Vancouver. It's on Broadway and simple to get to. You might see a coyote if your lucky but they are very shy.

You are certainly going to have to get a shift on to do the trip in 25 days but then I only do 50 to 60 miles a day and like to take my time. The official end point in San Diego by the border is a sight to see. A lovely large open park the U.S. side and a sea of white houses on a hillside on the other with a massive bull ring going down the the sea. The security fence goes out into the sea itself and there are patrol boats and border patrol 4x4's everywhere.

I know it's a long time to wait till you go but it will fly by and I hope you have a fantastic trip.

Re: Cable lock in hand baggage?

9 December 2014 - 8:48pm
simonhill wrote:It doesn't seem to be on the UK list but I am sure I have seen "no restraining items eg packing tape etc" on an airline no go list.

I've taken a 50m climbing rope on UK to mainland Europe flights a couple of times...

My best ever item was a really heavy Italian pasta machine, basically a 5kg lump of solid metal - it was £5 from a charity shop so I wasn't worried about losing it, but it got through with no problems.

Andorra, Port de Cabus

9 December 2014 - 8:43pm
I am planning a cycle route in the Pyrenees with a group of between 6 to 10 cyclists from the UK to ride in June 2015. We plan to ride through Andorra from East to West entering over the Port d’Envalira. This has the attraction of being the highest paved road pass in the Pyrenees . I am looking into two different possible routes heading west from there.

One follows the CG-2 and CG-1 through Andorra la Vella, Santa Coloma, Sant Julia de Loria and heads south across the border into Spain.

The other follows the CG-3 until Les Escaldes just before Andorra la Vella and then turns north to follow the CG-3 to La Massana, then takes the CG-4 through Erts, Xixerella, Pal and onwards over the Port de Cabus. This would then descend the Port de Cabus to the west into Spain through Tor to Alins on the L-510 in Spain. I am unsure whether the route descending the Port de Cabus to Alins is a properly surfaced road or whether it is an off-road track. I have been able to find out that it certainly was an off-road track until at least a few years ago, but cannot find any recent reference to it and wonder if anyone can tell me whether it has been made into a properly surfaced road recently. We will be on road bikes and we will need to remain on properly surfaced roads, hence my question.

Any help in getting to the answer would be much appreciated.

Re: Cable lock in hand baggage?

9 December 2014 - 8:37pm
Just WEAR ALL YOUR CLOTHES. Sweaty, but safe - and cheap. You can strip off when you get in the 'plane.

Then the dodgy metal can go in the hold. Leave the pedals on the bike, screwed in the backs of the cranks - assuming you're not too precious about paint. This bike IS for touring I presume, not for looking at?

Re: Off-bike travel shoes recommendation

9 December 2014 - 8:28pm
An alternative approach would be to buy local shoes en route.

There is a theory that you take two pairs of shoes to cover the extremes and put up with the conditions inbetween.
So people might take walking boots and sandals.

its a tradeoff between packed size, offering enough protection to your soles and casual functionality. I like those foam plastic clogs as their fine in showers, beaches etc.


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