Feed aggregator

Re: Panniers etc on Ferries & how to have safe panniers

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 23 August 2014 - 2:36pm
Thanks for that; that takes the pressure off, if everyone does it so will we. My wife is really pleased )

Re: You Are A Bunch of Frauds

CTC Forum - On the road - 23 August 2014 - 2:24pm
puffin wrote:First off, I am not a real cyclist so have never changed a tyre. Never had a puncture to be honest. If I buy one of those tyres will I have to learn before long to fix a puncture?
In the long run it's worth learning how to change the tube/tyre anyway rather than having a shop do it. Firstly because it'll save you money, secondly because it's more convenient, thirdly because it's not very difficult. Some jobs on a bike require mechanical aptitude but this isn't one of them. You just need to be shown how to do it. Get a friend to show you or search for Youtube videos.

No tyre is immune to puncturing even if they are marketed as "puncture proof". They are very good at preventing punctures but not perfect. For local errands it's enough to use a "puncture proof" tyre like the Marathon Plus and accept that if it does puncture you will have to walk a couple of miles. When you start doing long rides into the country a puncture could leave you stranded so learning how to fix one becomes much more important. Most of us just carry a spare inner tube to swap for the punctured one rather than attempt to patch a tube at the roadside (inevitably in the rain...).

Besides being heavy the Marathon Plus is also famously difficult to get on and off some rims on the rare occasions when it does puncture. Forum member 531colin made a video to show that even those can be changed without resorting to tyre levers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XUFVrl0UT4

R2 reckons that those Vittorias give an excellent ride and are very good at resisting punctures. I'm currently riding the Schwalbe Marathon Racer tyres which again are a fast touring tyre but a bit heavier with more puncture protection. Either should be much nicer to ride than the M+ and a fair bit easier to fit and remove. The Continental Gatorskin is a popular puncture resistant road slick available in narrower widths.

Re: Panniers etc on Ferries & how to have safe panniers

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 23 August 2014 - 1:21pm

I've used the St Malo crossing many times, and others of course. I always leave the bags attached and just take away a barbag with valuables etc.

Re: Hand signals on bike

CTC Forum - On the road - 23 August 2014 - 1:01pm
Si wrote:If you are already turning then it's too late to signal.
That's why you signal in advance and don't turn when there is someone crossing. The signal means "I am intending to turn left", it doesn't give you priority. Think about turning right, you signal your intention to turn right but it doesn't mean you don't wait for the traffic across whose path you are turning

Northumberland to Spain

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 23 August 2014 - 12:53pm
This September I'm going to travel from Northumberland to Spain and have around 11 weeks to do this. I've only a small amount of touring experience so far and I'm deliberately trying not to plan the visit too thoroughly to avoid disappointing myself if/ when things go wrong (I'm certain they will, but that's all part of the fun!). I'm a bit vague but I've a couple of ideas or rough routes. The first would take me through the west of Britain then by ferry to Brittany and the Northwest of France. From there I would cycle down the west coast to Aquitaine and then Spain. This would be quicker and would get me to warmer regions sooner though may not be as interesting.

The second would rough route would take me through the East of France and the Alps; perhaps Germany and Switzerland before travelling to the West at the Mediterranean. I could always travel through Holland and Belgium to start with. It would be more interesting travelling through the Alps but be slower and perhaps not ideal in the cold of October. Or perhaps I should look at an other option.
Are there any classic cycle routes that anyone would recommend for me to get to Spain at that time of year? Also, perhaps for the return, so I can get back to work in December, though that seems less of a priority...

Re: Panniers etc on Ferries & how to have safe panniers

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 23 August 2014 - 12:22pm
We, and everyone else, just left the panniers on the bikes, which went in a little cubbyhole so they were out of the way of the cars. You will be first on the boat, before the cars, and Go on with the motorbikes.
This means you can get in the lifts and get on the decks upstairs well before anyone else.
I took a thermarest and sleeping bag and when everyone quietened down, about midnight, laid it in a quiet area and had a reasonable night of sleep. I did think about going up on deck to sleep but it was windy and noisy. The reserved seats are OK but you get a better sleep laid on a flat floor. Remember the car deck is all locked up during the voyage, so the panniers should be safe. You will be last off the boat in the morning, so you are not squashed by the cars. I have always left the panniers on the bike on all ferries.

Panniers etc on Ferries & how to have safe panniers

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 23 August 2014 - 12:06pm
Hi thanks Everyone for all the help so far. Had a quick scan through the forum and cannot see anything on what to do with panniers when on overnight Ferry trips. When in a car we just take up a very small overnight bag, but are the panniers safe to be left even if they are locked to the bike. Chris and I would prefer not carry them all up, especially as we try and avoid the crush at the lifts and walk up.
We are traveling Brittany Ferries to St.Malo. Would be nice if there was a little cage for the panniers on the car deck, but I have never seen one (but then I have never really looked! ) We do have shoulder straps for the panniers, but! Thanks

Re: Weight of total gear for a 4 week tour in France

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 23 August 2014 - 11:55am
Thanks Simoneaston; What you said about food & cooking was our first choice, and then I got cold feet:o) I think we will most probable return to it. As you say in France it is so easy. Always found supermarkets provide really good nice cheap meals also. I think you have increased our resolve, thanks. Our last long walk a few yrs ago, Via Tilman in the Dolomites, we didn't take any cooking gear just some muesli & honey, and ate when we passed a suitable place & once when they were not serving until 8pm just waited and then walked off into the hills to bivvy; woken in the morning by some early climbers:o) Have a great trip yourself as well.
Beekeeper (we had bees for several yrs) I have a jetboil pan which I always take on canoe/kayak trips (no real problem with weight) and it does work really well, but am trying to cut down this time to the bare min for two oldies! so that we really enjoy ourselves without going over the top on spending out during the trip.
I have another question which I will post now, then I think that will be all and we will just go:o) Will look in again of course because this has all been very helpful thanks. Dave

Re: Garmin Edge GPS

CTC Forum - On the road - 23 August 2014 - 11:43am
I find that they actually encourage me to go to new places and get lost, especially in town. If sticking to paper maps and route sheets I would just take main, direct routes due to the faff of messing about with the maps, but with a GPS I am happy going all round the houses and discovering new routes.

Re: who will ride Vuelta a Espana 2014

CTC Forum - Racing - 23 August 2014 - 11:39am
Looks like itv4 are doing highlights at various random times.

Re: who will ride Vuelta a Espana 2014

CTC Forum - Racing - 23 August 2014 - 10:50am
Kicks off today with a short team time trial. Omega Pharma expected to do very well and Team Sky be pretty strong too.

Re: Margate to Reculver,

CTC Forum - On the road - 23 August 2014 - 10:19am
Viking Trail : http://www.ctc.org.uk/file/member/200909036.pdf

Promenades can be busy this time of year.

Nearest station to Reculver is Herne Bay or retrace your steps to Birchington-on-Sea. Alternatively you could continue further along the coastal route to Whitstable (another station) and follow the Crab and Winkle (NCN1) into Canterbury.

Sustrans mapping is worth a look: http://www.sustrans.org.uk/ncn/map

Garmin Edge GPS

CTC Forum - On the road - 23 August 2014 - 10:06am
Hey all. I currently have and use one of the Garmin Edge cycling units. It's a great bit of kit and gets lots of use.

Just wondering people's thoughts on them, do they take the fun out of exploring and "getting lost". Although still quite easy to get lost when following any sat nav!

Margate to Reculver,

CTC Forum - On the road - 23 August 2014 - 9:42am
In the next few weeks me and the wife will be going to do Margate to Reculver said to be a coastal route,

We will be cycling into Ashford International then train to Margate to do the route,

has anyone done the route if so advice would be appreciated, looking for time factor, and would we have to cycle back to Margate or is there a train station at reculver or near by,

Re: Air or sprung suspension?

CTC Forum - MTB - 23 August 2014 - 9:26am
I use coil oil on all ny off road bikes, its by far and away the most comfortable and plush!

Re: SNCF TER trains, has anyone ever been kicked off?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 23 August 2014 - 9:25am
Quick report for others contemplating a similar route or tours with kids.

TER was fine Roscoff to Morlaix although there was a lot of hanging around and a certain amount of fractious behaviour from the kids. The small one nearly threw his bike into the hedge between the port and the station (2km at most) as he was so wound up by panniers, roads and hills! (He'd refused a test run before we left). The train had two bike hangers but a lot of folding seats that could be either used or make space for extra luggage and bikes.

The TGV Morlaix to Rennes (pre,booked) only had two bike spaces as far as I could see and we effectively had private 2nd class compartment at the end of first class right adjacent to the bikes. The bikes went in in regular position to be strapped to collapsed seating section. There was plenty of space for the kids bikes in bags next to our bikes and no challenge from the ticket collector.

The TER from Rennes to Redon was packed. There were 3 hanging bikes places in our carriage and we think there may have been the same further down the train. The smallest bike went in an open space luggage area again with collapsible seats. This train was totally rammed with people and luggage and we wouldn't have been able to fit on if we'd been later arriving ( it commenced at Rennes). However people were very nice about moving stuff around when it came time to get off.

It was a long day with far too much hanging around but doable.

Interestingly the buses apparently take bikes in July and August in some parts of Brittany. We saw them with bike racks on the back (the SNCF buses). We have the leaflet if anyone is interested for future years but they finish taking bikes on 24 August for this year. You need to book 24 hours in advance according to the leaflet.

On our return we didn't quite make it to Morlaix, instead we got to Carhaix and I used AB taxis in Roscoff to get us back to the ferry. That cost 130 euros which was fine for us compared to the hassle of getting the bus or very limited train service (two changes and a 6:30 am first departure) to get us into the 4pm ferry. I would highly recommend the taxi, he had a four bike rack and cut our up journey time (and hassle) down to just over an hour. We would have had to stay in a hotel and had a lot more stress to get the train or bus and make it to the ferry in time.

Return cycle through Roscoff to the ferry: junior kid now totally comfortable with roads, hills and panniers. No moaning so we have made good progress with the psychology! and we also cycled about 230km mostly along the Nantes Brest canal. This route was ideal for families and there were plenty of French families with no special kit doing the same route and camping.

Re: Bike Security Locked At Supermarket Bike Rack

CTC Forum - On the road - 23 August 2014 - 9:20am
I'd seen that sort of attack on sold secure Goldilocks before, on YouTube and I think one of Carlton Reid's sites. If I remember correctly, the official test didn't use angle grinders or bottle jacks, so D locks often pass.

The main reason to buy one instead of what seems good to you is if your insurance requires it.

Re: Notes from a flat country

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 23 August 2014 - 9:15am
That was a good read (read all holland parts), fancy doing that route. Couldn't fly though as I hate it!


Re: Bike Security Locked At Supermarket Bike Rack

CTC Forum - On the road - 23 August 2014 - 8:51am
On a slightly related topic, what did people think of how easy it was to cut through those sold secure gold locks in this weeks cycle show. I'm not so smug now!
Syndicate content


  • 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


Terms and Conditions