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Re: fewer motorists fined for mobile use

CTC Forum - On the road - 21 April 2015 - 5:17pm
Using a mobile, speeding and lack of seatbelt should be outsourced to a g4s or serco to enforce for a percentage of the fines ( 50 pct ? )

any speeding over a certain percentage can then be given to the police for full prosecutions.

If there was a commercial incentive to enforce then I am sure people would soon stop.

Re: Tram takes bikes but only uphill!

CTC Forum - On the road - 21 April 2015 - 5:07pm
circa 1978 there was an agreement (CTC involved) that bikes could go free on trains, so many applied for free tickets that the website crashed (back then ) and then one could just take ones bike for free, no need for a ticket

another time a railway manager said: he had learned as a boy never to cycle so far from home that he could not cycle back before the gloaming.

Re: I rode off-road - fun, finding routes and how do you dre

CTC Forum - On the road - 21 April 2015 - 4:45pm
samsbike wrote: Unfortunately my commute home is through London which is no fun and I despise the canal path.

I just need to find something around NWLondon and Bucks that has a reasonable loop.

To the OP – whereabouts in NW London are you? I may be able to give you some pointers. If you're near Harrow/Watford it would be worth getting OS Landranger map 166 – there are a few off-road routes around West Herts / Chilterns which are non-technical and very pleasant when it's dry. As others have said, one of the best ways to find suitable routes is to go out exploring.

For Bucks, Wendover Woods is popular for MTB trails and easily accessible by train - Chiltern rail to Wendover. Another option is to hop on the Metropolitan line to Amersham or Chesham and check out the bridleways and byways there. The OS Explorer maps are ideal for those as they have more detail than the Landranger series. The Ridgeway has already been mentioned – it would be a long slog but there are great views from the top of Ivinghoe Beacon. I've no experience of off-roading in the Chilterns but I've often seen riders when I've been out walking.

Re: fewer motorists fined for mobile use

CTC Forum - On the road - 21 April 2015 - 4:41pm
thirdcrank wrote:danhopgood wrote:Re. statistics on mobile 'phone use when driving:


Very interesting.

One thing that's obvious but is still worth noting, is that those observations only show activity at a given time. By that I mean that if you observed the colours of passing cars, you would soon have a pretty good idea what %age of cars were white. A couple of % of drivers using a phone at any given time suggests to me that those drivers are only a small part of the %age of drivers who might use a phone while driving. There will be some drivers, I expect, who never put their phone down and others who only do this occasionally. However, they are all people who consider the activity more or less OK and who might, therefore, be reluctant to convict another driver of causing death if "all they had done" was to use a mobile at the wheel.

Excellent points, well made. I don't even like to think about how widespread the problem really is. I'd say it was endemic, at least as widespread as drink driving used to be before the law against it came in.

Re: Tour of Brittany

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 21 April 2015 - 4:36pm
This is the one we use for our customers - http://travel.michelin.co.uk/map-512--- ... 1133-p.asp
Got that one too, although not in indechirable form - I like the sound of that
I'm a sucker for maps of all sorts - the other day, I stumbled across some large-scale military maps of Bristol where I live, published by Soviet Russia - scary!
http://www.britishempire.co.uk/article/ ... clejoe.pdf although in fairness, I dare swear our own armed forces probably still have equally detailed maps of Russia!

Re: Terra Nova Voyager tent anyone?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 21 April 2015 - 4:35pm
I have one of these (had it for 3 years new) so far it has served me well (including surviving some very high winds in the Hebrides). As others have said the poles are a bit on the long side (I tend to put them on top of my rear rack), it pitches inner first which can be a bit of pain if the wind is blowing hard and it is raining. The centre section of the roof is near horizontal but I've never had any issues with water staying there. The porch is OK (I tend to open one of the sides rather than using the the main double zipped doors), but not huge, you can certainly cook in it if you have to. I'm a bit puzzled about references to a second porch as there certainly isn't one in mine, the inner tent goes pretty much all the way to the tail of the tent. I tend to use a Footprint with mine and have found the groundsheet to be waterproof.

Re: Tour of Brittany

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 21 April 2015 - 4:12pm
Have to say I don't like IGN maps generally - they aren't the most accurate (had whole villages in the wrong place in the past) and though in theory they show slightly more detail than the Michelin 1:200000 the minor roads are all the same size on the map creating a 'cobweb' effect and I find it impossible to follow - the Michelin reflect the widths of the roads and routes seem to leap out at you. Now this is very very personal and your favourite map is going to be the one you are most used to so to those who prefer IGN, stick with what you're used to and ignore me;-)

The one other advantage of Michelin is that they are available everywhere as indestructible - waterproof maps (indechirable) - you can even use them to sit on when it's wet;-) This is the one we use for our customers -http://travel.michelin.co.uk/map-512---brittany-scale-1200-000-1133-p.asp

They don't mark every minor road, but most of them especially if they actually go somewhere rather than farm roads and the like and the scale is such that they'll cover a whole tour on one map.

If you are going to cross several maps there comes a point (quite quickly) where a 1:200000 michelin road atlas comes in handy as it's easy to tear out the pages;-).

Re: Trailer vs Panniers

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 21 April 2015 - 2:27pm
Well my new bike has 50-34T front and 11-25 cassette (10sp). Not a good tour gearing range but then the bike is really a commuter with light family work. Our usual set up for day rides is child on a seat on my partner's bike with some day kit in a pannier on mine. The trailer sometimes comes along in case it is needed (sleep, wet weather or the child requests it). However I have not got a rack yet for my bike so it was trailer last weekend.

My partner did not see the point in having panniers when the trailer can take so much with the child. However, I did not see it that way shortly after setting off up that steep hill but she did a nice line of saying how much she liked her granny gears. Once she caught up with me that is. I find if you're strugging uphill due to gears and load being towed behind it is best to just get it over with. So I just go head down for it and it is rare indeed that I am ever on hills I don't make that way. It does however hurt the lungs a bit and your legs scream out too. All good exercise of course and I do need to get fit. Think this counts as HIIT? You know where you go at it for a minute as hard as possible then relax and repeat a few times to get a lot of benefit in a short time.

When I was doing 24.6mph I didn't notice the Burley D-lite swaying or becoming unstable at all. My partner was right behind in her usual trailer towing position (right behind to the outside of the trailer in full on maternal protection mode - "slow down!", "you're too near the kerb!", "there's a car coming!" which is about 60 seconds to reach us, etc. etc.). She would have told me if the trailer showed any movement to concern me about. Seriously, she was in full on maternal protection role at the beginning. It was like she thought by riding to the outside corner of the trailer any car about to hit the trailer would get deflected or something by her being there. However she always relaxes half an hour in and I can then start to enjoy the ride. I think it takes that long for her to realise most cars and other behicles see the trailer and give it a wide berth. The thing must have something to do with them realising a child is in there. That did surprise me the first time I went out with him in the trailer. On my own when he was very young. Ok going one way (about 2 miles almost all uphill) but coming down I think I scared him and had to stop halfway to call his mother to bring the car for him. Reckon that was only going at 15mph or less since i think i had a speedo then.

Re: National cycle route 1 Whitby to Scotland tips please!

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 21 April 2015 - 2:15pm
Though there are some quite nice bits directly north of Whitby (and still in the North York Moors National Park) you have then got to face crossing the Tees, Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Sunderland etc if you stay on the coast. I would agree that cutting inland is easier. If you do go though Middlesbrough use the famous Transporter Bridge - costs 60p to go across. You could then stop for a tea or meal at RSPB Saltholme - which I think is amazing because of its proximity to chemical plants/industrial land etc. Not the prettiest area in the country but interesting because of that!

Re: Tour of Brittany

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 21 April 2015 - 2:00pm
I take this...
http://www.stanfords.co.uk/Cities/Aix-e ... 000297.htm
Stanford's page helps get a feel for the map, but it's cheaper off of Amazon
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Finist%C3%A8re- ... 275852967X
I like the detail these show but you may want something with a smaller scale - St Malo, out west and back to St Malo again could mean you needed three to cover the whole area...

Re: Tour of Brittany

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 21 April 2015 - 1:44pm
Okay chaps, thanks for all the comments and helpful information. Thought I'd post a quick update as we are getting closer to launch date.

Ferry booked, car park booked, passport renewed, EHIC card replaced, tyres pumped up, and almost ready to lay all the kit out on the spare bed. Talk about organised?

Contrary to what I concluded above, both my mate and I have decided to do the trip on our road bikes. They are both set up for audax-type events, so luggage carrying should be okay. As the deadline for leaving approaches we are gradually building up the miles on the bikes, and the weight of luggage on the back!

Last time I did something like this I picked up a map on the ferry over. Given it was an after-thought, it proved to be the single most useful thing we took with us.(I think my original map had been photocopied from my road atlas). Does anyone have any suggestions for the best map to get, (in advance, this time!) that would show sufficient detail for cycling, possibly disclose campsites (notwithstanding that they may be closed!) but not be too large or unwieldy for managing (possibly in a stiff breeze)?

I have to say, compared to our last trip over to France on £50 mountain bikes, light walking boots, etc - this times trip seems much more 'professional' - better bikes, cleats and clipless pedals, BROOKS saddle (lush). It is just the '2-wheeled vagrant' culture that remains the same. The idea is that the improved kit will make the miles easier and add to the pleasure.

Re: Trailer vs Panniers

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 21 April 2015 - 1:43pm
Tangled Metal wrote:Did you know Burley give a 15mph top speed for towing a trailer? Well that is what it said on the documentation for my D-lite trailer. That is not easy to do with the downhills near me. I checked my strava and my top speed was 24.6mph at one point. I had been trying hard to keep to a slow speed at that time. Earlier on I got to about 18mph then I remembered the speed limit and slowed. After that I was trying hard to slow down on the downhills. Not easy to guess your speed at all. Need to get a speedo quick. My last one was a cateye wireless and it stopped reading long before my bike got nicked with the sensor on it.
Our HEMA trailer had an even lower limit, 20km/h (12 mph) but was quite stable at 35-40km/h on long downhill stretches (with Big Apple tyres). Our new Dolphin trailer is rated to 35km/h but we haven't had a chance to test stability at speed as yet. I would not like to do a full on emergency stop at from such speeds though, so I only let the speed get up when I am on a clear section of road with good visibility and few side roads. I also take into account wind direction and strength and the road surface. A speedo for your bike is a good idea.

Re: Trailer vs Panniers

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 21 April 2015 - 1:32pm
Tangled Metal wrote:I've only towed a child trailer (for about 19 months now on and more often off). Having not ridden much for about 2 or 3 months and only a week into a new bike I really struggled up a very steep hill near me towing the child trailer (Burley D-lite 2 child trailer). I had one 13kg child in and a whole plethora of coats for child and both parents, lunch in lots of plastic boxes, bike locks, toys, etc. etc. etc. Riding up that hill on a bike without a granny gear was not much fun. I was even thinking of changing the cassette to have a lower gearing option.
We're down in the 16-17" granny gear on our main tourers. I think that is similar to 22 front 36 rear cogs on a derailleur. I prefer to cycling up hills to pushing bikes up hills.

Tangled Metal wrote:The idea we had was either each of us with panniers and we towed the child trailer with some stuff in as well as the child on a tour or we got a cargo trailer (would have to be burley for the same hitch) and we loaded that. So one person takes the child, the other takes more of a load. The idea is to even out the load according to fitness and strength. Up until last weekend I would have said I was a stronger rider. I am but not when towing the load uphill without the low range gears. My partner is very unsympathetic in that she says I will just have to get fitter or it will make me fitter doing this. Now growing up on top of a steep hill with 1 in 4 or 5 slopes to get anywhere I got used to grinding it out up steep hills. I just wondered if we ditched the trailer and carried kid and kit on the bikes whether that would feel easier? I guess handling would not be fun at all. Especially for me with the lad being so high up, largest size of bike they do means a very high centre of gravity.
We have an absolute minimum stuff for daily use, nappies, change of clothes water and snacks for in the trailer with Junior. Everthing else goes in our eight panniers. Two small at the front, two large at the back one each bike. We also have a bar bag each. We try to avoid taking "extra" stuff just because we have extra space in the trailer. If you are not careful then "extra stuff" will wipe out the advantage of your new granny gear.

Tangled Metal wrote:Common sense tells me extra pair of wheels and the extra weight of the trailer means more drag and effort to ride but something makes me think that the feel of a heavily loaded bike would have an equivalency in the feel to that extra weight. Is that right?

Perhaps a single wheel trailer with child on the bike seat might work, two of these trailers to carry the load and if needed panniers on the bike not with the child.
I don't seem to have a problem with the extra weight of the trailer when cycling, which surprised me when I started towing one. Uphill makes a difference but as I said we have very low granny gears. Personally I don't want kids on a child seat on the bike. It raises the centre of gravity a lot and a child wriggling around in one makes for some interesting handling characteristics at times. Plus bike seat and trailer adds more weight than one or the other. Having one trailer and hitches on both bikes makes it easy to take turns to have the trailer.

Re: Trailer vs Panniers

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 21 April 2015 - 1:32pm
You can't argue with the physics, extra weight and drag will require extra energy to move, on the flat that might be so small as to hardly be noticeable, but I'd be surprised if you didn't notice it up any sort on incline. Against that is the feel and the possibilities a trailer opens up: Carry luggage for two, or more kit than you'd want on a bike, or use a bike that you can't or don't want to load up, there's plenty of scenarios where a trailer wins, but for me there's also plenty where a couple of panniers comes out on top. I have a Bob Yak, it doesn’t get used much, occasional time I combine camping and Audax, one tour carrying luggage for two and a bit of heavy shopping, even with so little use I'm glad I have it and anyone who considers a bike a transport would IMO benefit from owning one.

Re: Trailer vs Panniers

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 21 April 2015 - 12:21pm
For a while I used a tandem with a child seat and a trailer. The trailer was an old steel thing from way back, the coupling made from a piece of radiator hose that was clipped around a fitting on the rear carrier. It had no fore and aft movement but allowed tilting with no problem. To keep things secure (ish) I bolted an old tin cabin trunk to the trailer. It felt like it was a mile long, and when me, the wife, toddler, picnic stuff, nappies etc. were loaded up it must have weighed a ton. We took it from Derby to visit the tramways museum in Crich which is up a pig of a hill. We had to push most of the way. Coming down was a different matter, I think we could have passed sports cars if my nerve, and the brakes, had held. As it was, I damned near passed water.

For intrepid lycra types intent on a couple of hundred miles a day, no good at all, but it was great fun for a family trip out to the countryside

Re: Trailer vs Panniers

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 21 April 2015 - 12:04pm
This topic has been discussed a few times before, though not necessarily with regard to taking children along. Mine are now too big to fit into panniers


I have often taken both child seat and trailer for long trips with children. My children have both preferred the child seat when they were awake, but the trailer when tired or in poor weather. I think that it's nice to have both to give the child/ren some variety.

I cannot carry panniers with a child seat on our tandem, though I can just get panniers under the Hamax Sleepy on my standard bike. They can't hold much, and they are hard to get to with the child seat in place. So, most of what I carry has to go in the trailer or in the child seat. I do have a front rack for the tandem, but I have not yet fitted it.

Carrying children and luggage is hard work, however you end up doing it. But the difference between trailer and panniers is largely down to personal preference unless you need the additional capacity that you can get from a trailer.

Re: National cycle route 1 Whitby to Scotland tips please!

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 21 April 2015 - 12:02pm
Newcastle to Edinburgh route 1 is called coasts and castles see thread viewtopic.php?f=16&t=95878. This is some of the best cycling in the country if you like quiet routes and want to visit places. Both the coastal and inland routes from Berwick to Edinburgh are very scenic. I don't know much about Whitby to Newcastle but I think I would head west inland toward Stockton. If you want to cut some of the journey you could continue to Darlington and train to Newcastle? Whitby to Newcastle via stockton is 81 miles.

National cycle route 1 Whitby to Scotland tips please!

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 21 April 2015 - 11:47am
Hi there,
I'm currently cycling from Norwich up the National cycle route 1. This was a very last minute trip so I have not researched or organised anything! So, I figured it was easiest to just follow route 1 up as far as I get until money runs out. Currently i'm in Beverley but have got my route up until Whitby sorted.

I realise this could be easy(ish) to research, but being on the road with just an iphone and intermittent wifi makes it difficult, hope you understand!

Anyway, I wondered if there were any tips from people who have cycled this route?

I really like nice scenery, quiet roads, pretty villages and towns, and love history - castles, ruins, quirky museums. I don't particularly like hills, but if the scenery's worth it then fine. I'm camping/warmshowers, or at least the cheapest accommodation.

Any recommended campsites? Villages? Towns? Historical places? Museums?

Does route 1 simply take you via the quietest roads, or also the most scenic?

Is the part around Middlesborough and Sunderland, Newcastle etc nice? I thought maybe it would be boring/busy and maybe to cheat and get a train to Hartlepool?

Towards Edinburgh, I could follow route 1 around via Selkirk and Innerleithen, or is the cycle route 76 along the coast more scenic?

If you have any tips at all let me know, thanks!

Re: Trailer vs Panniers

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 21 April 2015 - 11:05am
One of the issues is how much weight on the rear wheel, not only a matter can it take it, but also tyre inflation. A heavy load might mean tyres need to be pumped up more, and ofcourse they may wear faster. Yakalike single wheel trailers share the loads weight between the rear wheel and the trailer wheel ( unlike 2 wheel trailers) the more the weight is towards the trailer wheel the less on the cycle rear wheel? So loading up a single wheel trailer is important - put the heavy bits as close to the trailer wheel as possible? Now that I am losing weight I hope to be able to get by with panniers as trailers are a real pain for trains.

Re: Singlewheel trailers - experiences and modifications

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 21 April 2015 - 10:32am
mercalia wrote:so your trailer didnt come with both options? Mine came with both.

No mine came with a single skewer, no separate nuts.

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