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Re: Light advice

CTC Forum - On the road - 9 November 2014 - 12:29pm
I take it you mean front lights. Depends a lot on how bright you want to be, and what sort of cycling you do. And how much you're prepared to spend!

Magicshine seems to have some good value for money options: my son's been using a set for a while now and says it's pretty good, so I've just ordered a set for myself (MJ808E). I need something fairly powerful to pick my way along lonely narrow unlit country lanes after dark. However, if you get one of the really high-intensity sets, be careful not to dazzle oncomers - especially other cyclists!

Light advice

CTC Forum - On the road - 9 November 2014 - 11:23am
Anyone have any recommendations for replacement light? Got light and motion halogen at the moment, a few years old, but, working ok. A few issues, in that fairly 'chunky' battery, no charge indication, and problem with overheating when not on the move. Seems like a huge variety around now, so any advice would be appreciated.

Re: UK to Prague via northern Germany

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 9 November 2014 - 10:46am
Hi Groberts...

Well I quite like camping in NL - they all speak fluent English and love cycling so have often been approached by friendly dutch people inquirying about my tour, had offerings of hot tea and once during a storm my dutch neighbor told me she had to peek out her camper window a couple times to make sure I was ok in my little tent...very friendly people and they are easy to engage conversations with and often share tips. I try to find campgrounds with good ratings, they often have a 'green camper' discount for cyclists (not using a motor vehicle I guess). The only time I felt insecure was when I chose to stay at a vacation park place, the sort with permanent camper homes. You can read more about my experiences in my blog which I had linked, I try to give honest reviews. I am not sure but think that wild camping is illegal in both countries.

Germany can be a little more challenging with language and have lesser wifi hookups, but some owners really take pride in their campsites and keep them very tidy. Since stumbling across the campsite search site (linked in my last post here) I really just use that, check reviews, sometimes click onto their links or check their rating with tripadvisor. Note that camping is very popular in both countries, generally there is 'always a spot for small tents and cyclist" but if you are travelling during a four day bank holiday on a sunny weekend you may not be so lucky (bank holidays are generally the church holidays such as Pentacost). Oh - if you didn't know already...FKK is the abbreviation for the German term for nudist colonies, they do have quite a few of those actually, so when planning you might just want to keep that in mind if searching about.
I do agree with Foxyrider, using prepared route maps can be frustrating because of limitations, the pp maps are just really a good price without the extra tour book bits they are available at most bike and book shops as well...the adfc maps are better but you may need to get these ahead of time. I like the security of having a printed map with me as my devices always seem to have moods when I travel. I will go to http://www.bikemap.net/en/?tab=top#/z15 ... 51/terrain and search using typing in the a and b cities in my tour (or section thereof) and print out a map. Because people can post freely here it has become a hot mess, not sure how to filter this site best...but use the a/b search over racing and MTB routes. I'm sure there are better online sources but every once in a while I will cross a route someone posted here that seems useful for my needs. Basically what I do is print it out in half or quarter sheet size, additionally I write down the cities I will pass through and ignore the printed route and just follow the bike path signs from city to city (in both countries they are white with cities/km in green, sometimes red).

More and more themed/named routes are being put together by communities and tourist boards, they often just add their route sign or sticker to the existing city/km signs. Paths in NL are generally seperate from car traffic, they do allow scooters on their paths so you need to take care, also the shared stretches can be a bit frightening because the dutch motorists do not swerve or slow for cyclists...I guess everyone is so used to the tighter situations and stay very steadfast in their paths. The German routes are a combinations of bike paths and agricultural paths, often in/near cities they are shared with pedestrians, but give a little ring and they will allow you to pass. Most are paced, sometimes you will have a stretch along a well packed gravel path.

If you prefer to have a proper route ahead of time...you can pick up the EuroVelo15 (Rhine Route) in Rotterdam ... then at Xanten/Wesel switch to the Lippe Römerroute (search the net for their logo, the route interchanges between the Lippe river and Wesel canal) to Paderborn...from there I would use a map from bikemap.net - looks like they list a couple ca. 500 km from Paderborn, flattish. The Ruhr (river/canal) route is just a bit south of the Lippe, the two run almost parallel so both could be good ways to work yourself eastwards, depending on where you enter Germany.

Here is a dutch site with a English translation offering advice about their Cycling paths and both the LF routes (long distance) and Fietspunktroutes (junction system)...they even have a LF route planner. http://www.nederlandfietsland.nl/en

Re: New Geoff Apps prototype

CTC Forum - MTB - 9 November 2014 - 10:21am
Obviously not that interesting!

Re: Sweat in eyes solution

CTC Forum - On the road - 9 November 2014 - 9:47am
I have this problem too - I wear a bush hat in rain or winter, but not in warm weather, and it doesn't hold it all back. Thought of donning a knotted headscarf, pirate-fashion. Perhaps a headband is the answer, but I'm shy of playing the Bjorn-Borg-lookalike (well, an older, uglier, shorter, dumpier and less hirsute version of BB that is...)

Re: panniers panniers panniers???

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 9 November 2014 - 9:26am
If it's possible take your bike to a shop with a range and try them out. You'll find out how the fittings work with your particular rack, if you've got enough heel clearance etc. etc.

I like Ortliebs, not really about the waterproofing (as noted, all it takes is a plastic bag, though I'd go for a rubble sack rather than a binliner as they don't rip nearly so easily, and if touring you'll probably want liners anyway so when you need to put e.g. a wet jacket or tent in you don't get all your dry stuff wet) but more about the ease of use and quality of the fittings. To lock the pannier on to the rack, let go of the handle. To unlock, pick up by the handle. I appreciate that every time I use them, rather than if it's raining.

Also have a think about how you like compartments. If you like lots of separate places with independent access then a One-Big-Bag style probably isn't best, and vice versa. This is again something that's easier to work out with them in your hands in front of you, rather than a third party recommendation and some interweb pictures.


Re: panniers panniers panniers???

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 9 November 2014 - 9:08am
+1 for the RCP bags.
I've had mine since July this year and they're brilliant. Very large capacity (45ltr I think) and literally airtight when closed. Water won't get into these. The mounts are adjustable to fit pretty much any rack.
These do a similar job to ortliebs for half the cost.

Re: I Hate Virgin Trains

CTC Forum - On the road - 9 November 2014 - 8:15am
I am curious to know the make and type of folding bike and is it was in a bag?

Do the Ditch, German or other European countries allow bikes on trains (folded and or bagged) during morning and evening peak times?

Re: panniers panniers panniers???

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 9 November 2014 - 8:02am
I have some of those disklock things.

Including a really nice small pair that i use on the back for day rides.

Goes off into a corner to weep for now long lost karrimor - my partner is from the middle of the Med and even as a young woman out there was aware of the company's reputation for quality.

On the OP if they also use the bike for shopping at all I'd splash out and go for Ortlieb now - I bought a pair almost 20 years ago and they still look fine after ferrying all sorts if stuff. Have long since paid for themselves.

Re: I Hate Virgin Trains

CTC Forum - On the road - 9 November 2014 - 7:53am
I thought Pendolinos were an Italian design.

Is the aircon retrofitted/specced by the end user?

Re: Aggressive Camden Council Driver – Worth Reporting?

CTC Forum - On the road - 8 November 2014 - 10:00pm
mjr wrote:The only company OTTOMH that I wouldn't bother with is Addison Lee
I got dangerously cut up by one of their drivers because he was too busy fiddling with his mobile. I was fuming, but didn't manage to get the licence plate. From your comment, it sounds like it wouldn't have made much difference anyway.

Re: Map(s) of Wales

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 8 November 2014 - 8:26pm
mcallaghan wrote:Trying to avoid bringing my phone as well (I live in the US) due to the international charges etc. I think I can pickup a prepaid phone for cheap in case of emergencies? Or count on my mate who lives in the UK that is going to come with me on having a phone. I do have a GPS (Garmin 500 I think) but it has a battery life of 8 hours before needing a charge, and I am not sure how frequent I'll have access to electricity while camping most nights. I got away with it in Ireland as well (but did have my Laptop + GPS and did the B&B thing the whole time).

Those CycleCity Wales maps look pretty decent and at that price, much cheaper than the other options I've seen. Something to give me an idea of what is around the route, potential hills, campsites, castles, etc.

My American friends get prepaid phones when they come here. In fact, I think they arrange it from the States, but not sure how they do it. I think you can PM me, if you want me to ask them how.
Good luck with your trip.

Re: panniers panniers panniers???

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 8 November 2014 - 8:22pm
Karrimor are now ancient and obsolete - only for those who have some that need replacing - me - in my case I have the best ones with the disc lock to attach to the carrier. I got some nice almost mint ones from Ebay the other week that will just drop in where my old ones went. Altura make some not too costly panniers that I would otherwise consider

Re: I Hate Virgin Trains

CTC Forum - On the road - 8 November 2014 - 8:08pm
MikeF wrote:Steam trains didn't have much problem with slipping on leaves because the the linesides were kept clear of trees and they had sanding boxes if the wheels slipped.They also had plenty of room for luggage and bicycles. The replacement diesel units around here still had plenty of luggage/bicycle room, but even in the 1970s started slipping and sliding as the trees started to grow and throw down leaves. This was long before it was a national problem. Then later trains were designed by bus engineers instead of rail engineers who decided anti lock and disc brakes were better, but in effect caused more slippage problems.

Now we have trains with very little luggage space. There appears no problem at all if what little space there is is cluttered with non folding push chairs, large suitcases, back packs, boxes, musical instruments or whatever other large object a passenger might have .......except when that object is a bicycle, when there are policies and restrictions of all sorts. It's an integrated transport policy.

To be fair to designers of trains, if the customer won't pay for, e.g. a decent air conditioning system, or doesn't want the weight it would involve, it isn't always the designers' fault that the air conditioning on, say Pendolinos and Virgin cross-country trains, can't cope with our searingly hot British summers. Or even Springs and Autumns.

Re: CTC Council member critically ill after accident

CTC Forum - On the road - 8 November 2014 - 8:08pm
Condolences to family and friends RIP

Re: The financial cost/loss of UK Road incidents £15Billion

CTC Forum - On the road - 8 November 2014 - 7:22pm
kwackers wrote:Which brings us back to the safety equipment being forced on lorry drivers in London (as an obvious example of what I'm saying) and something I notice you didn't address.
Such equipment would never happen if there wasn't an interventionist policy by government. It wouldn't even have been thought of let alone built and tested.

Perhaps, I do not have an answer. But there are answers and solutions. We will never get a chance to find out because government crowds out any kind of innovation. Innovation isn't only about making flying machines that are heavier then most peoples houses, or network of computers that can give you almost any information you ask , its about innovation in management approaches and styles.

Perhaps, in a free market the road owners would attempt to please cyclist as well as truck drivers or less either customer. They can impose rule that any cars using their roads needs safety equipment that protects the interest of the cyclist. This will vary from different road owners.

Anyway, got a lot of hussling to do. Feel free to ask more questions
here is a video about about the wonders of the state. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXNRzI64L9Q
I always get detracted by hill decent youtube vidoes.

Re: panniers panniers panniers???

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 8 November 2014 - 6:42pm
I don't know what size you are after but I bought a set of these for commuting with as they are 100% waterproof. The waterproof bit was important to me as I carry laptops and tablet etc.. to work.

RCP WP100 carrier bags Colour black 2015 bike panniers https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B002RLGWHA/ ... xub1HMMANV

You can also get some smaller pockets that attach to the front for keys and phone etc.. Red Cycling Products Outer Bag bike panniers black 2015 bike panniers waterproof https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00F40XYTK/ ... xub09V1GHA

Re: The financial cost/loss of UK Road incidents £15Billion

CTC Forum - On the road - 8 November 2014 - 6:37pm
kwackers wrote:toomsie wrote:As I said earlier a monopoly is not possible in free market capitalism unless the customers are happy. If all the road bike companies colluded and decided to fix prices (high) and as a result created a gap in the market for cheap road bikes. That gap would fill by entrepreneur who is good at spotting gap in the market.
That's a very naive view.
Businessmen don't play nicely (there's a reason a large percentage show psychopathic tendencies)

So as far as your new entrepreneur goes they could just buy them out, or they could undercut until they went out of business. More likely they'd put pressure on distribution chains not to stock your entrepreneurs bikes they'd probably also put pressure on their suppliers to prevent the supply of raw materials.
Then they could put pressure on employees, perhaps poach a few key ones and then of course there's always threats - or worse.

I am sure some smaller companies get bought up but more will take their place to fill the gap. Buying away competition is a bit like buying all the bikes in a shop in the intention of getting rid of the competition. The quicker you buy those bikes the more turn up in the same shop next week, (where does the shop get all the money to replenish it stock so quickly).
You can fix prices and sell at a loss to kill the competition(= paying to remove competition) .but you can’t do it indefinitely. You will have to rise your prices even more to cover the loses due attempting to kill competition resulting in a bigger gap in the market. That will soon be filled with new companies.
If a company undercuts too much they could have their inventory bought up by savey traders .

I it did not occur to me that businesses can put pressure of supplies not to supply to a competitor out of fear of losing their custom. I guess a bike company could put pressure on shimano not to supply gears and shifters to specific competition then that will only create demand for a bike parts company that has a policy to sell to anyone.
Corporation behave the worst when they use the power of the state to change the market to their favour by lobbying.

kwackers wrote:Historically it's never worked so I fail to see why it would work today. As I said above there are reasons governments felt the need to step in and control businesses and corporations.

Historically America became the richest most successful country because it broke free from European bureaucracy and started of with the smallest government. The founding fathers put into the constitution laws that limit powers of state. Migrants traveled from around the world to make their fortunes in America. Even here in the UK, back in the 50,60.70 it was easier to get because government did not meddle so much in free trade. An average household could afford to have a stay at home mother because the man did not have to pay so much tax.

Re: panniers panniers panniers???

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 8 November 2014 - 6:24pm
Or you could buy some budget panniers to start with, such as Altura. They are cheap but certainly not nasty. They won't suddenly disintegrate mid ride, and you can obtain very high levels of water proofing by lining them with - a bin liner. Replaced every trip.
Buy the expensive stuff when you have a clearer idea of what you need.

panniers panniers panniers???

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 8 November 2014 - 5:01pm
Hope you don't all get sick of seeing my name crop up all the time haha. . .new to all this mallarky .
I searching all the site's reading all reviews. . but it's a mine field out there. .
WHAT PANNIERS ARRRRRRRRRR. . . . Carradice . . Vaude. . Ortlileb . . all great panniers by all account's , but which one's to go for?
I'm swaying towards Carradice,whether it be Carradry's or Super C's but just seen Karrimor on ebay . . don't no what to do.
Don't mine paying out for quality,cause if I do end up and become a veteran tourer, they be worth the money and if I don't i'll reclaim a lump of my outlay back. .
What to do ?
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