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Re: To tent or not to tent that is the question

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 19 June 2014 - 10:57am
Most of the route guides and maps (Michelin/Bikeline etc) will show you the campsites, have a look at the ACSI Eurocamping and/or ADFC websites - town tourist sites usually tell you about all the local accomodation including campsites.

There are stretchers of the Rhein where they are more sparse - at Basel for example the campsite is 4km from the river but i wouldn't say that was too far off course!

Re: To tent or not to tent that is the question

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 19 June 2014 - 10:36am
Aye, you can't move for the buggers along the Rhine.

And I've wild camped in Germany without ever having a problem. Unless the farmer giving you pumpkins and tourist information counts as a problem.

Re: To tent or not to tent that is the question

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 19 June 2014 - 10:25am
I wouldn't have thought there's anywhere in the world that has a higher concentration of campsites than Europe. I don't understand why you're not sure about the availability of campsites?

Re: Tailgating

CTC Forum - On the road - 19 June 2014 - 10:14am
I read years ago that a rider on his own experiences more drag than a rider with another behind him, provided the other guy is close enough for a single aerodynamic envelope to form around them both. So maybe "hey, thanks!" would be the right reaction. Courtesy, of course, would also require that he take a turn up front.

Re: Tailgating

CTC Forum - On the road - 19 June 2014 - 10:08am
Dynamite_funk wrote:On my way to swimming baths this morning, a chap undertakes me just as lights turn green who is obviously out for a ride and not on his way to work (small set of tools in his jersey pocket and nothing else). I then overtake him just after lights and continue on my way. After 2/300 metres I feel a presence behind me and this guy is fully drafting me (10cm from my wheel) I was a bit shocked as I had no idea he was there, no forewarning or 'mind if I draft you mate, just finishing a 60miler'. I brake and so does he and I say 'you could ask mate'. He drops back a bit and we stop at lights and I say 'seriosuly mate, just ask next time' and he goes 'alright alright'. Lights go green and he proceeds to whizz off (legs can't have been that tired!), in my defence I had a full saddle bag weighing 10kg so couldn't keep up with him.

What causes this behaviour? Strava segments, arrogance, too many sportives? In my opinion, if you don't ask you are just being rude

It seems to be one of those situations where neither of you is in the position of being able to overtake the other and leave them behind as you carry on your merry way.
The guy had passed you once but you took the lead again, personally I would take that as an invitation to remain behind you and not to bother overtaking again.

Many times I get overtaken (in the car as well) by people who have made the effort to overtake and then proceed more slowly than I was doing before hand, I normally just follow them , of course on a bike life is then easier as you are drafting (it was their choice to go there.)
In the car it is annoying as you have to back off and then other cars get so worked up about your safety space that they overtake into it. Then you change from being on an open road doing 60 mph to being at the back of a tailback of people doing 50mph all of whom have overtaken you to be there!!!

I have no complaints about people getting a free ride from me if and when I overtake on my bike but I would as it doesnt happen often (that I overtake).

If I was ever to catch up with somebody on the bike, I may consider asking if I can draft them then they will feel obliged to let me pass without getting worked up about it, especially as it is most likely I will not be fast enough to get clear of them for quite a while.

Re: Is this level of insanity commonplace?

CTC Forum - On the road - 19 June 2014 - 10:08am
drossall wrote:TonyR wrote:The one that puzzles me is the desperation to get past when there is an obvious stationary queue just ahead where you sail back past them.

Oh, that's easy. The idea that everyone hates traffic jams is rubbish. Some people love them so much that they will take any risk to reach one more quickly, and hence get a few extra seconds of enjoying the hold-up, albeit in exactly the same place in the queue as they could have found themselves anyway.

Yer not wrong,around our way they just love racing to the next jam!

To tent or not to tent that is the question

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 19 June 2014 - 9:59am
Hi all

Looking for some advice on Europe touring. I'm flying to Zurich to start my tour along the Rhine in July. I am however debating taking a tent. I could use warmshowers and hostels but do prefer being under canvas. I'm just not sure as to the availability of camping sites. My understanding is that stealth camping is frowned upon in most of Europe and if I'm not likely to use the tent I don't see the point in taking the extra kilos.

Appreciate your thoughts

Re: Is this level of insanity commonplace?

CTC Forum - On the road - 19 June 2014 - 9:57am
This is a variation on the same overall theme.

From Petersfield, there is a country lane that runs southwards, through the back of a forest towards Rowlands Castle.
It is narrow, scenic, within the South Downs National Park and very popular with cyclists.

Normally motor traffic is sparse : drivers tend to be courteous and careful.

But when the adjacent major road (A3) starts clogging-up the unpleasantness begins. . . . . .
Batches of cars, vans, whatever start to barrel along this lane, driving in a manner that appears to be a deliberate attempt to intimidate an oncoming cyclist.

Yesterday, after the first batch had pushed me to a stop in a flintly gutter I had to revert to assertive, obstructive tactics to make the subsequent batches slow down.
I found myself shouting "SLOW DOWN" whenever the approach speed was too high.
Some drivers responded well.
Others shouted obscenities.

Oh yes, driving a motor vehicle has an extraordinary psychological niche. Some cope well, but many revert to lower life instincts !!
There doesn't seem to be an easy way of improving their behaviour.

Re: CTC Insurance

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 19 June 2014 - 9:56am
I had my last bike tagged. They (council and police) were doing a tagging session in the local park. I removed seatpot and they stuck it down the tube. I think it is like a dog tag, passive, but readable. You then give them your details and they record them and send you a registration letter.

What I would like to know is how many bikes have been recovered by this method? OK if the police bust a bike felon with a shed full of stolen bikes, but not much use if Mr robber, or someone he has sold the bike to is out pedalling the streets.

Tailgating

CTC Forum - On the road - 19 June 2014 - 9:40am
On my way to swimming baths this morning, a chap undertakes me just as lights turn green who is obviously out for a ride and not on his way to work (small set of tools in his jersey pocket and nothing else). I then overtake him just after lights and continue on my way. After 2/300 metres I feel a presence behind me and this guy is fully drafting me (10cm from my wheel) I was a bit shocked as I had no idea he was there, no forewarning or 'mind if I draft you mate, just finishing a 60miler'. I brake and so does he and I say 'you could ask mate'. He drops back a bit and we stop at lights and I say 'seriosuly mate, just ask next time' and he goes 'alright alright'. Lights go green and he proceeds to whizz off (legs can't have been that tired!), in my defence I had a full saddle bag weighing 10kg so couldn't keep up with him.

What causes this behaviour? Strava segments, arrogance, too many sportives? In my opinion, if you don't ask you are just being rude

Re: Touring Destination Trivia

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 19 June 2014 - 8:51am
What you specify in terms of weather would apply to much of the Med, but much of the Med is rather hillier than your spec.

Mallorca is the most obvious place to meet your criteria, with an extensive plain and a small mountain range.

Tunisia would fit. There are some mountains, mostly in the north, but there's more than enough for a week keeping away from those. Elsewhere low hills and plains. Probably better later in the month if you don't want too many days in the high 30s.

Maybe the south of Portugal would do you - there is a range of hills inland of the Algarve coast but it isn't large, then north of that there is an extensive plain with nice if rather wild beaches on the west coast.

Further afield, the southern states of the USA, Cuba and the Yucatán in Mexico would fit your criteria, but Sept is close to the height of the hurricane season in central America and the Caribbean - (and the even stronger typhoon season in Taiwan), so maybe best avoided at just that time of year. Kerala in India might be a better choice than Cuba at that time of year. Although not the best time of year to go there, which would be Dec-Feb, that far south, you should be well past the worst of the monsoon season by then. Bali would be another option.

Re: CTC Insurance

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 19 June 2014 - 8:46am
This is my response to Rebecca' s comments.
Thank you for your response regarding my comments about the CTC travel insurance policy. I started taking cycling holidays 10 years ago, after my children reached an age where they no longer wanted to come on holiday with their parents. I usually spend a week cycling with a friend or colleague and a week with my wife. I take my own bike if I go by ferry to northern Europe and I rent if I fly to somewhere further afield. We aim to cover about 50 miles or less a day and stay at B&B or hotels.
Many general travel insurance policies cover only casual cycling – not cycling every day for 5 hours or more, so the City Bond policy is very good from that point of view. I have probably stayed in between 60 and 80 hotels with a bike. If it is a rented bike I am paranoid as I have usually agreed to replace it if it is stolen. Each time I arrive at a hotel or B&B there is always a debate with the receptionist or owner as to where the bikes are to be stored. I have stored my bike in court yards, cellars, corridors, in the bushes outside my window, in the restaurant, in the owner’s garage and probably the strangest place was in a larder off a kitchen. I have never been offered a room to which I have sole access with a 5 lever lock. I am generally welcomed as a cyclist is France and only occasionally seen as a nuisance. It has not always been possible to put the bike somewhere I have felt entirely comfortable. The night our bikes were in the bushes outside my hotel room I did not sleep well as I was constantly checking that they were still there, even though they were chained up.
I am a cautious person – one needs to be to survive on a bike on the roads. My point is that it is not always possible to dictate to an hotelier or B&B owner that my bike needs to be stored in compliance with the wording of an insurance policy.
Could someone tell me how I go about getting my bike tagged and put on a police database?
Regards
Phil

Re: My Surly LHT - almost finished!

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 19 June 2014 - 8:40am
Welcome to the LHT club.

I got mine 2 years ago and have ridden 4 big longhaul tours, clocked up 15,000kms, including UK local stuff. Love it!

A few small knocks and dings and some of the stupid stickers peeling off (hoorah). It looks more like a true workhorse now.

My main concern with your bike is the vulnerability of the gear (and maybe brake) levers stuck out on the front scaffolding. A tumble or a careless transport baggage handler (plane, bus, boat, train,etc) could wreck a tour. I don't imaging that they would be easily replaceable in more remote destinations.

Re: Touring Destination Trivia

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 19 June 2014 - 8:22am
Taiwan

Although 7 days is a bit short for a long haul destination.

It is one of the most cycle friendly places I have been. For example all police stations have bike repair kits, water, toilets, etc.

Loads of cycle paths and the east coast has some of the most spectacular coastal scenery I have seen.

Lots of hotels for about £15 a night. Good local food, plus Mc D and Subway, etc.

Emirates fly from a number of UK airports and give 30kgs luggage and happy to take boxed bike.

I loved it, but I was there for 6 weeks!

Re: Speed Wobble and hand position.

CTC Forum - On the road - 19 June 2014 - 8:19am
NATURAL ANKLING wrote:Hi,
Interesting............47 years on many junk bikes, I have never had a wobble, on unmotorised two wheels.

I weekly do 46 - 50 mph on my touring bike on some very bumpy roads and can hardly keep my hands on the bars for bumps but no wobbles despite the bike and me weighing in at a shade under 100 kgs.

Its a resonance thing which needs certain speed and frequency of bumps / steering trail with certain section tyres / weight distribution on the wheels.
Bigger section tyres increase the trail, and some will say the drag on steering which dampens out instability

I can vouch for that! The only other bike I've had mild wobbles on is my current touring bike, a Thorn Raven Tour. I rode it for a couple of years with Specialized Fatboy tyres which are narrow for it. I used to get an occasional wobble. I switched to fatter tyres (Big Apple), not for that purpose at all, but the result is a rock-steady bike even at high speed. Discussing it with another tourist, he told me that narrower tyres had made his Dawes Galaxy unstable..

Re: Touring Destination Trivia

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 19 June 2014 - 8:17am
My suggestion would be Puglia in the heel of Italy. The food there is excellent (well it is hard to go wrong in Italy). The regional capital Lecce is a delight to visit. The terrain is reasonably flat and in September it will be very quiet, but still hot. This may mean some of the "seaside" type hotels will be shut but we found accommodation easier to find in the larger towns. The road down to one of the most southerly points in Italy, Santa Maria de Leuca, was a delight and practically deserted.

Puglia is famous for its "Trulli", which as are charming conical building unique to the area. The town Alberobello is an epicentre of Trulli madness - however it rather spoilt by over commercialisation. You will find Trulli through the region so you will not miss out if you give Alberobello a miss.

Happy to provide more information if this sounds interesting to you.

Re: Scotland adventure! Inverness to Dumfries

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 18 June 2014 - 11:17pm
I was with JB on same tour, but then continued on NCN7 from Ardrossan to Dumfries (and then to Carlisle). From Ardrossan to Ayr it's pretty industrial but the NCN route finds some nice greenways through. The 35 miles before Newton Stewart (Glentrool forest) are stunning, but take plenty of food & drink because there's nothing on the road, hardly a house even.

Re: My Surly LHT - almost finished!

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 18 June 2014 - 10:29pm
I used a rear one and tubus front. Worked well but couldent use the spoke holder

Re: Cav back on form

CTC Forum - Racing - 18 June 2014 - 10:28pm
yes a difficult finish ; quite why they race into the final corner at such speed defeats me!
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