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Re: Family Cycle Tour of the Hebrides - Advice Needed

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 27 April 2015 - 5:35pm
For the route options, how many days do you have? All the roads in the Outer Hebrides are pretty much child-friendly as there simply isn't that much traffic. It's quite a long ferry trip from Oban to get there though...

You can see all the ferry options on the CalMac website: https://www.calmac.co.uk/interactivemap?f=13280

Re: A few photos from China

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 27 April 2015 - 5:34pm
Yes, sorry, I posted that the link was probably at bottom of your post, then after posting thought I should check this as it seemed a bit too obvious. In my haste to check, I clicked on the wrong link and then incorectly edited my post!!!! Duuuuugh!

I can confirm it is at the bottom of your post and it works.

Thanks for info about Causeway, it is often talked about as the way to Singapore and I wondered if it was still there.

Re: A few photos from China

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 27 April 2015 - 5:11pm
That's strange, my footer link works okay when I click it, it's at: http://www.wallisonwheels.net ,if the links not working just google wallisonwheels.net

There's a map at the bottom showing the route I've rode. Although arriving in Singapore today I'm a few countries behind in my writing so will continue to publish when I'm back in blighty.

The crossing into Singapore was over what people called the 'causeway' but is basically a low bridge with an adjacent rail line.

Re: Family Cycle Tour of the Hebrides - Advice Needed

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 27 April 2015 - 5:02pm
Where are you starting from in the UK to get to your tour start point?

These might be of some use:
http://www.inverness-durness-highland-bike-bus.co.uk/
http://www.travelinescotland.com/cms/co ... bike.xhtml

I mention Inverness as you can get there by non-Scotrail services ie Virgin East Coast.

I'm not an expert, but does the trailer pack down at all, in which case it would be just luggage not a trailer.

Re: Non standard fitment!

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 April 2015 - 4:44pm
Hi,
I hate to say it but I'm a bit like Mick F
At a shade under 6' and 33 " inseam (whatever) I would not bee seen dead on a standard sized 56 cm.

Having said that TT length is more important, and a longer TT might mean better toe overlap.
Modern bikes tend to have shorter ST's compared with old road bikes for style and standover.

I have a long torso so you must have too, my worry would be to little reach unless you have a minus APE index.......................

Re: Family Cycle Tour of the Hebrides - Advice Needed

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 27 April 2015 - 4:13pm
http://mtbflo.com/ I haven't used them, there are other companies if you search for them.

Re: Non standard fitment!

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 April 2015 - 4:10pm
Flinders wrote:For small people like me who ride on bikes with full size wheels, toe-overlap is something that is just part of the cycling experience, I've never had a bike that didn't have it. And never actually had a problem with it, not once. I admit I don't do very sharp turns at low speeds, but I've managed for over 30 years....

Yes, that can be a problem with small bike sizes. And if you are used to it you will instinctively adjust your riding to cope. I've never had a bike with toe overlap and regularly have to do sharp turns at low speed. After 60 years, counting from my first ever bike, I'm quite sure I'd forget and go SPLAT if I had overlap!

Re: summer 2016 Amsterdam -germany- amsterdam

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 27 April 2015 - 2:26pm
As no-one else has replied yet...

6 days for Amsterdam, some of the rest of the Netherlands and a bit of Germany seems quite optimistic, unless you get a train to somewhere in Germany and cycle back to Amsterdam. 50-60 miles per day is about right, it should give you time to stop and explore, especially as you can cover ground very quickly in the Netherlands when necessary (as long as there's not too much wind!).

In terms of routes in the Netherlands, basically the west can be quite industrial while the east is slightly less flat with a bit more variation. I did Maastricht - Eindhoven - Utrecht - Amsterdam last year, it was very pleasant but not the most exciting tour ever. You won't need to aim for big towns to find places to stay, there are plenty of B&Bs and hotels all over the place and most people speak English.

Re: Stafford > Newport (Shrops) cycleway

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 April 2015 - 2:21pm
essexian wrote:I did the Haughton to the Derrington section last week and they have done some "improvements" just before the now closed Red Lion pub in Derrington. However, the improvements mean simply widening the path to around 3m but not putting down a new top surface making it quite nasty to cycle on using 28mm tyres. The rest of the path into Stafford was really nasty for road bikes last time I used it so I tend to avoid it going around via the back road from Doxey.

As a path its really a rather useful way of getting between Stafford and Newport as it avoids the nasty A518 and the small hills between Gnosall and Newport which some "family" riders might find a bit difficult. At approximately 13 miles each way, its also quite a nice day out for families: there are pubs and a chip shop in Gnosall and a "burger bar" in the car park at the Newport end.

My two grumbles about the path are that "they" tend not to do much in the way of cutting back the vegetation meaning in places the path is only a metre wide and secondly, there are too many Strava segments on the route. Given that its used my walkers, dog walkers and families out for a simple Sunday cycle, its not suitable for setting a fastest time on!

Finally.... if you are interested in riding the path and like raising money for a good cause... Katherine House Hospice are using the path next Sunday for a 20 mile fund raising event. There are also rides of 45 miles and 60 miles available. If my leg heals in time I'll be doing the 45 miler.

It was customers at the 'burger bar' who gave me directions into Newport.
The A518 is indeed nasty. My main road route to Newport from where I live in the sticks is va Gnosall and Merton on the way out (and Lilleshall if I fancy having a break at the Abbey) and Weston Jones, High Offley and Woodseaves to Great Bridgeford on the way back. Much hillier than the cycleway, and a good few miles longer, but a nice round trip, and midweek midday it is usually pretty quiet most of the route. Newport>Woodseaves road is one I avoid like the plague. As is the Bridgeford to Stafford road, which has a bad surface and where two lorries crossing often clunk each others' wing mirrors even if there are no bikes around. It's safer via Seighford.

Re: Non standard fitment!

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 April 2015 - 2:10pm
LollyKat wrote:Handlebars come in different widths and are easily changed.

Road bikes often have toe overlap - a lot of people aren't bothered by it but it can be a deal breaker for some (including me).

For small people like me who ride on bikes with full size wheels, toe-overlap is something that is just part of the cycling experience, I've never had a bike that didn't have it. And never actually had a problem with it, not once. I admit I don't do very sharp turns at low speeds, but I've managed for over 30 years....
As for ape count, I have long arms and back and very short legs. I can touch my toes dead easy, which suggests I'm flexible, but I'm not, I'm just built like an orangutan. Most manufacturers don't make bikes small enough for me at all, a situation which because much worse when saddle fixings changed some years ago and I could no longer reverse them to have the saddle sitting completely on the top tube. But I need a stem that pushes the bars well forward.

Family Cycle Tour of the Hebrides - Advice Needed

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 27 April 2015 - 1:29pm
Hello,

I'm planning on a short cycle camping tour with my kids (15,15&10) and dog (suitably harnessed in his trailer). My only requirements are that the roads be child-friendly and that there are a few ferry rides involved. Can anyone recommend routes or areas? Also, I've spoken to ScotRail and it appears trailers are a no-no for their trains. If push comes to shove, I could do a circular route and dump the car but does anyone know if there are any companies which transport bikes - something like the European Bike Express but on a smaller scale?

Thanks for your help,
Craig

Re: You either have or you don't.

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 April 2015 - 1:28pm
nosmarbaj wrote:ArMoRothair wrote:E-bikes are great.
Yes - I do find it a little disappointing if someone who looks older/less fit than me sails past me up a hill - but if I then realise they're on an E-bike I can feel slightly smug.

ah thats the new excuse - he over took me as he was on an e-bike doesnt matter that that bulge was just a frame pannier and not the battery....

Loire v Danube

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 27 April 2015 - 1:19pm
If you had eight or nine days in May, would you cycle along the Loire from Digoin to St Nazaire, or along the Danube from Regensburg or Passau to Budapest? I am in the happy position of being able to do what I want, but I'm finding it difficult to choose. Loire would be easier (and cheaper) logistically, in terms of getting myself and my bike there, because I can do it all by train without boxing up the bike. But is the Danube going to be more interesting and/or spectacular? I've read a few reports of both routes and I'm leaning towards the latter despite the additional hassle and cost, but I'd welcome your informed opinions.

Also, if I were to choose the Danube route, how easy would it be for me to find a cardboard bike box in Budapest? I've read conflicting reports on this forum and other online sources about this, but none particularly recent.

Re: Minimalist smartphone sat nav idea

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 27 April 2015 - 1:16pm
I refer you to my previous response...

Re: Minimalist smartphone sat nav idea

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 27 April 2015 - 12:43pm
What if it rains?

Getting to grips with the Oregon 600 and offline maps

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 27 April 2015 - 12:38pm
I have been trying for some time to get my Oregon 600 to mimic some of the attributes of the much loved Edge 800 that it replaced. In particular the ability to import a route into the Oregon without being asked if I wanted the calculation to "Minimise time, distance or elevation". Having spent some time plotting a precise route I don't want my GPS trying to help! And have also been looking for an offline map to work with my iPad on which I can show my planned route.

I'm by no means sure that what follows is the optimum approach so please comment if you have a better method.

1. I plan my route on RideWithGPS (I find it much more intuitive than Basecamp) and export it as a KML file.
2. Import the file into Basecamp and then plot a Route over the top of the imported route. Yes, I know this sounds crazy but I find BC so clunky and I like to be able to balance distance and elevation and make quick and simple changes as I plan a route.
3. Remove the shaping points to simplify the route and export it.
4. Import the file into JaVaWa RTWtool (free software that can convert most GPS related files) and, with the Garmin plugged in, "convert" (ie export) the file to the Garmin.
5. And finally, on my iPad, export the file from RideWithGPS and import it into Galileo. This is free mapping software which works offline provided you have downloaded the maps before you leave - and when the file has been downloaded from RWGPS the iPad offers the choice of importing directly into Galileo. And on a long trip this allows you to download individual days as separate files and show them in different colours so you can see where each day starts and stops.

Now on the Garmin I simply select the route, click on "Go" and it sets up the route as I originally planned. I have one of the panels on the Trip Computer window set as Automotive Turn which shows the type of turn at the next junction (an arrow pointing left, right etc), and I get a warning beep just before the turn. With this method the 600 is proving to be a fantastic GPS.

And I have at last discovered that my wifi-only iPad will tell me where I am if it can pick up nearby wifi connections. The Oregon is of course very precise in this respect, but being able to haul out the iPad and use the Galileo scaleable map on a large screen can be a great help.

As a philosophical aside, it is interesting how some of us get obsessed with all of this technology. In the old days a map and a simple how-far-have-I-travelled computer was all one had or seemed to need. But apart from the convenience of easy navigation, these things do help pass the time when grinding along long boring stretches of trail.

Re: You either have or you don't.

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 April 2015 - 12:37pm
ArMoRothair wrote:E-bikes are great.
Yes - I do find it a little disappointing if someone who looks older/less fit than me sails past me up a hill - but if I then realise they're on an E-bike I can feel slightly smug.

Re: Locking bikes & panniers during the day in Europe

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 27 April 2015 - 12:21pm
Do you need 7 feet of cable? Seems quite long. You could go shorter and lighter or shorter and thicker maybe? Wheels can be secured w hex bolts / 3mm cable / security skewers options, much easier at lock-up time too than getting that 10mm cable through all the wheels.

Re: Locking bikes & panniers during the day in Europe

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 27 April 2015 - 12:14pm
I agree with the idea of leaving your bike where you stay when in cities - youth hostels are always pretty good because they do have somewhere to lock bikes and of course are generally cheaper.

I also agree that generally bike panniers get left alone but about ten years ago I saw two bikes chained to a tree in a car park outside San Gimignano, somebody had comprehensively gone through all of their panniers and just left their possessions scattered around the bikes. But of course just about everyone in that car park would have been a tourist and I'm sure the same thief would have smashed a car window if he/she had seen anything tempting on a back seat. Let's face it - comparatively rich tourists attract thieves.

Re: Non standard fitment!

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 April 2015 - 11:43am
You do of course realise that the Allez is a 'race style' bike? It is intended to give you a long low position, compared to say a Giant Defy or Trek 1 series the bars sit @ 3" lower".

One question i have to ask - you mentioned talking to the bike shop initially so why are you not buying from them?
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