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Is touring becoming a thing of the past?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 14 February 2015 - 10:30pm
This question has a fair amount of connection to several other threads in other sections here, partly those about the direction CTC seems to be going (e.g. http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=45&t=92645 or http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=94115, but has been prompted by my recent experiences and the thread about the future of the LBS (http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=45&t=33250). I hope I'm not repeating anything directly.
I have been touring on and off for many years and recently decided to change my tired old Galaxy. First visit to my most local LBS surprised me a bit because in their showroom, amongst probably over 100 new bikes, there wasn't a single machine that could be classed as suitable for touring. The nearest was a single (rather cheap) hybrid. A few years ago the same shop definitely had 2 or 3 tourers (e.g. Galaxys) in stock.
Now, rather than buying new bike, I have decided to renovate my old machine. This is well under way now but I needed a few more replacement parts and today I went on a ride (on my 'road' bike) to have a look at two other LBS's. I went mainly for the ride; I wouldn't be too bothered if couldn't get my parts because I could always order them on line afterwards.
My first stop was at the newest shop in the area; it opened only 6 months ago. About 50 bikes on show; all road or MTB. There were a couple of titanium models that had mudguards but I would class them as Audax machines.
The second shop has been around longer and had 70-80 bikes on show; again nothing that could be considered a tourer. Neither of these shops had the parts I needed in stock; indeed neither of them even had any tyres wider than 25mm unless they were MTB tyres. So it's not just cycle tourists who aren't being catered for, it's the everyday commuting cyclist too.
The third shop (my nearest, and the longest-established) did have the parts I wanted and, by comparison with the others, have a good range of tyres. But still, as I mentioned above, they don't stock any complete touring bikes.
Now I assume that market forces dictate what these shops stock, so hence my question - any thoughts?

Re: Tipper crash in Bath

CTC Forum - On the road - 14 February 2015 - 10:29pm
When my daughter learnt to drive her driving instructor told her engine braking put unnecessary wear on the engine so you shouldn't do it. You should always use the brakes for slowing down as the brakes are cheaper to replace than the engine.

That's what she was told anyway.

It doesn't feel right to me if I'm not in the correct gear for the speed I am doing, I have always changed down through the gears and always will.

Re: Tipper crash in Bath

CTC Forum - On the road - 14 February 2015 - 10:25pm
The driving instructors I spoke to did not explain the difference to me. They told me 'gears are for going and brakes are for slowing' or some such thing. One of them told me it would be okay to revert to my habit of downshifting after the driving test

Re: Tipper crash in Bath

CTC Forum - On the road - 14 February 2015 - 10:21pm
The official advice for descending this hill is LOW GEAR FOR ONE MILE. Fair enough, but from streetview, it looks as though that's right at the start of the steep bendy bit. There's no greater advocate than I am for the personal responsibility of drivers for their actions, but if warning signs are to be of any use at all, they need to be positioned where they can be seen in time to be acted on.

https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?ll=51.41 ... 3&t=m&z=11

vorpal

Thanks for splitting the topics.

Pannier Security on Tour

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 14 February 2015 - 9:58pm
Up till now I've only done long weekends of cycle touring/camping and I've generally been within visual of my bike and it's panniers. I've just left the luggage on the bike and so far I've been lucky. But you know what they say about jinxing things.

I keep all my valuables in my bar bag and take that with me when going into a pub, café or museum and leave the panniers on the bike. I reckon my time's up and need to make a better plan when doing longer tours. The Netherlands in the summer for example.

What do all of you do? Cable lock? Take all the panniers with you? Secure the panniers with those metal, net rucksack doobrees?

Thanks in advance...hc

(I'm perhaps a bit paranoid having grown up in a crime-ridden part of Afrika. A farmer I work for occasionally in Somerset told me I offend him because I lock my pickup truck up on his land)

Re: travemuende - germany

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 14 February 2015 - 9:47pm
I used the ferry last summer going in the opposite direction so more recent info ......
I just turned up, got my ticket, then boarded the ferry.

Re: River Rhine.

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 14 February 2015 - 9:30pm
Tigerbiten wrote:I'll be going up the Rhine again starting mid April.
Last year I turned off it to go up the Main before doing the canal to get to the Danube.
This year I'll be going further up as I'm aiming to then go down the Loire before turning left for the Med.

I was planning on hitting EV6 after cycling down from St Malo or Cherbourg then heading down to Basel and hanging a left up the Rhine. However almost tempted to do it in reverse...decisions

Re: Book Bike Holland to Germany by train

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 14 February 2015 - 8:27pm
That's good to hear!

Re: travemuende - germany

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 14 February 2015 - 8:02pm
It is 14 years since I used the ferry between Travemunde and Priwall, but according to Google maps it is still there and shown as a designated cycle route.
If you put 'Priwall Mecklenburger Landstrasse Lubeck Germany' into search on Google maps you will see the dotted line across the waterway at the end of Mecklenburger Landstrasse.
The timetable can be seen by Googling Travemunde Priwall Ferry, but the translation from German leaves a little to the imagination.

Re: Taking a bike on a train

CTC Forum - On the road - 14 February 2015 - 7:04pm
Ron wrote:The fat commuter wrote:How easy is it to take a pushbike onto a train?
Usually it's very straightforward

With the greatest respect Ron, that's complete nonsense. It is never straightforward to take a bike on a train in the UK. Apart from the fact that there are blanket bans in place in rush hours, the normal restriction is two bikes per train. This means that it is pure chance whether you get on or not. The fact that you will get on a lot of the time doesn't mean that it is straightforward. The threats and arguments I alluded to above were real not made up.

Re: East West C2C Spanish Pyrenees Tour.

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 14 February 2015 - 7:03pm
cbreeze -

The unnamed route follows a lot of off-road trails, I met a guy on a hard tail MTB that was riding it and given up. There is up to 3000m of climbing a day if trying to cover normal road distances. I think that the opencyclemap marker for this is slightly misleading but I am sure that if you are prepared properly for it and don't try and force yourself to achieve superhuman goals it would be an amazing ride. The group who were doing it were on unloaded high-end mtb's, their equipment was all carried by a support vehicle that met them at the campsite. Without wanting to be negative I can't imagine it being possible to take it on and enjoy the experience as much as the many quiet road routes.

The Pyrenees were amazing the more I look back on my trip the more I want to do it again and I will I am sure.

Wild camping was fine, although there are rules about it, officially you can't do it but if you are discreet who will know? I abided by the 'leave only footprints and take only memories' rule. I also had the view that if there were no campsites near by and I was tired it was safer to stop and wild camp than continue and I can't imagine any reasonable Park Ranger would argue with that.

In Spain, I found the campsites much better than in France, Spanish campsites usually have a store and a simple restaurant, in France they were either very 'holiday park' with a noisy bar and swimming pool or very, very basic [and cheap] with few facilities at all. However they were usually less frequent in Spain so you had to plan more. Don't underestimate the frustrations that the Spanish siesta can cause, it's not unusual for stores to be closed between 10.30 and 17.30, so pack plenty of light, energy rich foods to cook up in an emergency.

I also felt that the gradients in Spain were less brutal than in France where the climb could go from 10% - 7% - 14% - 18% - 5% and so on. The Spanish roads were also better surfaces. But I was in the Spanish side more than 80% of the time so it may just be that the French side I did cover was worse than the rest.

I would avoid the EV1, it's not very interesting cycling, there must be a more interesting inland route through France although I think if you have a riding partner the EV1 would be less boring and allow yourself extra time to deviate from it, either to go and dip in the sea or head inland.

I missed out San Sebastian and went straight to Bayonne, I regret that, San Sebastian is very beautiful from what I hear and I would definitely head there if doing it again.

You're right not to be scared of the contours, although they are hard work, the rewards are huge.

Here's another picture to further whet your appetite.

Re: Female Cyclist Death In North London

CTC Forum - On the road - 14 February 2015 - 6:50pm
bigjim wrote:Yes but.
You still have the exhaust brake and he should not be in a position where he has to rely on braking on that hill. A dab of the brakes and a downchange that is all that is needed. I used to travel all over Yorkshire using Bedford KMs and 20+ ton of spuds on board. I hit a lot of steep hills where I could not rely on the brakes. No exhaust brake either. Modern trucks are so much better in regard to braking, but I'm still in the habit of not relying on them. I still double de clutch! We don't know the cause so it's unfair to apportion blame. However I do wonder how the age thing can have an effect. Young car drivers rely on their brakes more than my generation ever did. This should not occur in HGV but does this car driving behaviour crossover?
That's fair enough.

Drivers currently are taught to rely on their brakes. I had to take a UK driving test about 10 years ago, and I was in the habit of downshifting. I was told by a driving instructor in no uncertain terms that I must not do that. I used the highway code (which says that drivers shouldn't 'coast' because they cannot take advantage of engine braking) to argue with her, but she said I should leave my car in the gear it was in when I start braking, and only clutch and downshift when I was preparing to accelerate again, or coming to a complete stop. I managed to break my habit enough to take my driving test. I didn't ask the driving examiner about it, but I did ask other driving instructors, and they all told me the same thing.

Re: Female Cyclist Death In North London

CTC Forum - On the road - 14 February 2015 - 6:10pm
Yes but.
You still have the exhaust brake and he should not be in a position where he has to rely on braking on that hill. A dab of the brakes and a downchange that is all that is needed. I used to travel all over Yorkshire using Bedford KMs and 20+ ton of spuds on board. I hit a lot of steep hills where I could not rely on the brakes. No exhaust brake either. Modern trucks are so much better in regard to braking, but I'm still in the habit of not relying on them. I still double de clutch! We don't know the cause so it's unfair to apportion blame. However I do wonder how the age thing can have an effect. Young car drivers rely on their brakes more than my generation ever did. This should not occur in HGV but does this car driving behaviour crossover?

Re: Book Bike Holland to Germany by train

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 14 February 2015 - 6:06pm
Very helpful folk at the DB office in London sorted it all out in a very friendly straightforward way. As it happened they confused the dates on one of the bike tickets - the bike was to travel a full 4 weeks by itself and before me ! Again sorted with no fuss at all.
A good and helpful outfit.

David

travemuende - germany

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 14 February 2015 - 6:03pm
In a few weeks I'll be going from Travemuende to Rostock and onwards on the German Route D2. I've spent a while trying to work out what happens trying to cross the river Trave.
There seems to be a tunnel - but are cyclists banned - one commentary said you had to find a bus to use it.
Maybe there's a ferry ?

Anyone know the current situation crossing the river at Travemuende ??

Thanks

David

Re: Female Cyclist Death In North London

CTC Forum - On the road - 14 February 2015 - 6:00pm
There are many failure modes that can cause the primary braking system to work incorrectly without initiating emergency braking. Most of them stem from poor or incorrect maintenance. The fail safe is a separate system. The emergency brakes use the pressurised air to hold springs in place. When the air pressure is insufficient, the spring overcomes the air pressure and the emergency brakes come on. The system has to be repressurised to take the emergency brake off again.

Failure modes that do not cause a reduction in air pressure will not cause the emergency brakes to come on.

Poorly maintained brakes may not have the correct balance. It should be apparent in inspection. In some circumstances, the only time it will be an issue is in an emergency. It is caused by replacing some, but not all brake shoes, replacing them with incorrect material, or incorrect adjustment. Brakes can overheat during prolonged braking without causing the emergency brake to come on. If the drums expand and the brakes are already marginal in terms of adjustment, there simply wouldn't be enough stopping power. The automatic adjusters can be manually adjusted, and mechanics sometimes do this. If it is done too many times they may no longer function correctly. I imagine that someone who is expert in this sort of thing has a long list of failures that can occur without making the emergency brakes come on.

Re: Taking a bike on a train

CTC Forum - On the road - 14 February 2015 - 5:46pm
I have had good and bad experiences taking my bike on trains. On sprinter trains with 2 bike spaces I used to regularly be on the Nuneaton to Coventry train when there were 7 bikes on. On the other hand I was asked to leave the train on one occasion when the jobsworth rail employee told me that the 2 spaces were already taken. On FGWestern we had a good experience. I don't bother trying to take a full sized bike to work anymore, I just use my Brompton instead.

We need a political party who will give us 2 bike spaces per CARRIAGE, not per train.

Re: Female Cyclist Death In North London

CTC Forum - On the road - 14 February 2015 - 5:41pm
bigjim wrote:As a, sometimes truck driver, I can confirm that the default on brake failure is to stop the vehicle immediately. It has happened to me in the past. There is also an exhaust brake option. On a steep hill on approach he should be, brake, change down, brake, change down until he is in almost crawler gear using engine braking. I can't imagine why this was not happening.

+1
My thoughts too.

Cyclist defence fund Michael Mason

CTC Forum - On the road - 14 February 2015 - 5:23pm
I just thought I'd put a link here to enable those whom might want to give something to the CDF specifically at this time to get answers from the events that led to the police not prosecuting over the death of Michael Mason
https://www.justgiving.com/justiceformichael
If this needs to go in the Campaigning & Public policy thread by all means move it.

Re: Female Cyclist Death In North London

CTC Forum - On the road - 14 February 2015 - 4:43pm
As for the driver being 19 that as got to be wrong as you definitely need to be 21 to drive an eight wheel tipper which I think the vehicle is.
EU changed that to 18 a few years ago because of the shortage of drivers. I'm suprised that they could get insurance though. It's usually 25 plus before insurance will touch you.
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