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Touring with family - Bike advice needed

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 20 August 2014 - 3:31pm
Hi All and thanks for reading.

Next summer my wife and I are planning a cycle tour of Iceland (asking for advice about this in a later post). We are taking our children who by then will be 4 and 18 months. We are not touring novices by any stretch but wanted to canvas opinions on the best bikes for the job.

My wife has a Hewitt Cheviot that served very well on last year's 1000 km tour of the Croatia even while 5 months pregnant. I rode a Salsa Vaya, which with 4 panniers, camping kit and towing a trailer felt distinctly flexible, especially on rough roads.

Our options as I see them:

1. Buy a second child trailer to carry the 18 month old and attempt to distribute load more evenly between my wife's bikes and my own. Downside is that my wife would have to carry more and my daughter would see less.

2. Buy a heavy duty touring bike (e.g. Tout Terrain silkroad) and fit a bike seat for my daughter as well as panniers etc. to carry the kit. Downside: Wife would still have to carry more as there is a space issue on the bike but daughter would see more.

3. Buy a cargo bike such as the Yuba Mundo or a Surly big dummy to carry my daughter and a large chunk of the kit. Downside is the weight of the bike (but with a 20Kg child and touring kit it might be less of a problem) and a lack of weather protection for my daughter in the wind and rain.

4. A tandem with kiddy cranks so she can ride and a child seat for her to use when bored / tired.

I know that this is not an exhaustive list of possibilities but hoped it would help to spark a discussion of possible options, especially the ones that I have overlooked.

Re: Stefan Abrutat's Tour Travel Blog

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 20 August 2014 - 3:27pm
maybe we need to form a cheapo trailer club/group here?

Re: Vintage steel frame bicycle for touring

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 20 August 2014 - 3:18pm
Continuing this post since I have a similar question - I'm thinking of cycling in South America next year, likely along the salt plains in Bolivia and some fairly off-road tracks.

I have a ridgeback voyager bike, which survived me very well in Kyrgyzstan, the Himalayas, Morocco etc. I added an additional gear ring at the back so I can cope with mountain passes.
My boyfriend thinks that it may not be up to scratch for South America and that I should invest in a mountain bike. I'm slightly loathe to get a mountain bike since:
1.I don't want to buy another bike when my current one is great! and 2.I imagine it will be much tougher when we are on tarmac roads.

Any thoughts? If I should get another bike, any recommendations? Thank you!

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

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 20 August 2014 - 3:06pm
I would echo everything said so far.

1. It wasn't a failure; you got out on the bike, rode somewhere and camped.
2. You tested kit and learnt what worked and what didn't.
3. You are planning to do it again after some modifications.

My advice (built up from touring in the UK, Croatia and the Alps but also from mountaineering and hill walking) is to go as light as possible. For some tours I even go as far as cutting my toothbrush in half, not taking underwear for the evenings, not taking a second pare of shoes etc. As far as I am concerned this means that my tours are more enjoyable. Also have you thought about using panniers as opposed to a trailer. I tend to have to use both as I am often towing my daughter but I certainly notice that riding with panniers is far easier.

I also agree that it can take a few days to ride yourself in. How much riding do you do in general? If you could ride a little bit more maybe it would help........

I hope you learn from your experience and get back in the saddle soon.

Re: Tour to the Continent during Aug Bank Hols wknd- thought

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 20 August 2014 - 2:58pm
just punched in your first leg of your route here: http://cycle.travel/map

This will give you a pdf with turn by turn instructions and GPX file if you need it



Re: Shock finding: cycling causes weight loss

CTC Forum - On the road - 20 August 2014 - 2:42pm
I often think that they are and have for a long time beeen looking at this the wrong way around.

Cycling doesnt achieve a "healthy weight" it is that a lower weight coincides with a healthier lifestyle.

It isnt the weight loss that does you good it is the exercise which does you good and at the same time causes weight loss.

I havent studied it but I would bet there is a stronger correlation to exercise and health than to weight and health, one problem being it is much easier to distort (lie about) your exercise levels.

Oh and my weight loss happened when I first started riding but the weight soon came back to stay.
Though I would surely have been some great obese lump by now if I hadnt continued riding.

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

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 20 August 2014 - 2:25pm
Bicycler wrote:Remember that you can generally borrow the relevant Ordnance Survey maps (you want the magenta coloured 1:50000 "Landranger" ones) from the library. They show all roads and the NCN routes, as well as contours, steep roads and spot heights. Very good for route planning. They're also viewable online on Bing maps, just select "ordnance survey maps" from the menu. They are also good maps to carry with you if your tour doesn't cover a huge mileage.

Cheers, wife has just picked up the 2 I need from the library.

If I find them useful will buy them.

EDIT: And yes BE1, I did think of selling it all and buying a exercise bike. That is one good thing about shopping at Decathlon, they give to 2 years to decide if you like something

Dave

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

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 20 August 2014 - 2:20pm
Certainly not a failed trip as you got out there and did it which is more than I've managed this year

I also find the first day tough simply because it is usually the first time in a long time that I have sent all day on the bike. Throw in the hills you faced and it being a first ever tour and it could have been much worse.

Look at it this way you are om here asking for advice rather than trying to off load your bike and all your kit

Re: Cycling around Japan

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 20 August 2014 - 2:13pm
Josie Dew, one of our CTC vice presidents has written two excellent books on touring in Japan,

http://www.josiedew.com/my-books/a-ride ... n-in-japan

http://www.josiedew.com/my-books/the-su ... eling-east

Re: Way of the Roses coast to Coast

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 20 August 2014 - 2:10pm
I usually carry a set of thermals, long sleeve top and pants. These take up little space and don't weigh a lot. If the weather turns bad, as it can do in the hills, they are well worth while. They can also serve as pj's. I also take a micro fleece, this can be useful in the evenings if it's a bit chilly. My most essential item is my E-Reader - gotta have something to do in the evening. And speaking of which, buy a cheap notebook and keep a trip diary.

Re: Tour to the Continent during Aug Bank Hols wknd- thought

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 20 August 2014 - 1:50pm
Your route pretty much follows the North Sea Coast route which is generally quite well signposted although it can be a bit hit or miss in places. The distance/time scale looks OK but day 2, Bruges to Hook is fairly long and includes, if I remember correctly, a couple of ferry crossings which will soak up a bit of time.

Re: Shock finding: cycling causes weight loss

CTC Forum - On the road - 20 August 2014 - 1:42pm
Ayesha wrote:"It's not rocket science."

It's rocket salad.

Lettuce hope more people try it

I've been back on my bike for a couple of months now and have lost weight so fast that I need to buy new clothes and urgently need a new belt for my trousers as I've run out of holes. Chuffed.

Re: Cyclist causes rail chaos

CTC Forum - On the road - 20 August 2014 - 1:37pm
Tea leaf?

Re: Stefan Abrutat's Tour Travel Blog

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 20 August 2014 - 1:32pm
Impressive scenery.

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

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 20 August 2014 - 1:13pm
I'm currently two months into a global tour with the same trailer, and am perfectly happy with it so far, at least after some modifications made with mercalia on this very board. I much prefer not having to worry about weight and bulk as much as one might with a pannier set up. I'm happy to trade going up hills a mile or two an hour slower for the comfort benefits more gear confers.

Re: Cyclist causes rail chaos

CTC Forum - On the road - 20 August 2014 - 12:59pm
Golf drives people to ridiculous extremes.

Re: Shock finding: cycling causes weight loss

CTC Forum - On the road - 20 August 2014 - 12:59pm
The trouble with these often garbled health reports about research findings which appear regularly in the Daily T is that you can never be sure of the methodology. The Daily T's report seems to be saying only that people who commute by car are fatter than those who don't. That might be because wealthy people are able both to buy cars and eat more. It might be that people who buy cars end up so poor that they can only afford junk food and so grow fat. Perhaps people who drive tend to be too stupid to ignore advice about the dangers of obesity. Perhaps the increase in people driving to work is broadly matched with a reduction in the number of people with heavy manual work.

Re: Stefan Abrutat's Tour Travel Blog

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 20 August 2014 - 12:58pm
I think if you keep the skewers nice and tight you don't have to worry about them bending. I flattened both sides of the skewer barrels with an angle grinder so they'd receive a spanner, and check them every morning before setting off. Have had zero problems with the trailer so far. The cheapo tyre doesn't seem to be wearing as fast as the one I used through Scotland, probably because I'm carrying a little less weight, but I've got a spare ready to go in any case.

Just going to read your thread now, Dave.

Re: Cyclist causes rail chaos

CTC Forum - On the road - 20 August 2014 - 12:53pm
Tomorrow’s Daily Bellylaugh photo will be of a car parked across a cycle lane. They will have gone to BirminghamCyclists.com for the photo.
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