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Re: End to End or Coast to Coast countries

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 5 May 2014 - 3:18pm
pete75 wrote:Mark1978 wrote:The United States coast to coast has to be one of the biggest challenges.

Pah chicken feed - What about Leningrad to Uelen
I can't speak to Leningrad to Uelen. Across the US is not that hard physically I've rode across the middle (Transam) and the top (Northern Tier). If you get tailwinds like I did last year at the age of 69 it can be blissful and it's worth it just for the people you meet. What I do recommend is Top to Bottom, Canada to Mexico,the Sierra Cascades route. It goes over at least 17 named passes and a bunch of National Parks so there's lots to see. When I did it I had to make a 100 mile detour because the route was blocked by snow in June. The biggest challenge is finding the time if you're not retired.

BTW there's no Golden Rules with tailwinds unlike the West Coast where going S to N is a guaranteed grind plus and you miss a lot of the views because you are on the wrong side of the road. Last summer everyone west of Minnesota told me I was going the wrong way for the winds. The winds weren't very strong until I got to N Dakota, then I got blown across ND and Montana. Cool! One day in ND I did 111 miles.

Re: Cycling snobbery!

CTC Forum - On the road - 5 May 2014 - 3:06pm
PH wrote:Tribes isn't it?
The narcissism of small differences!

I happily respond to anyone but I don’t usually initiate a greeting except when out in the sticks. Obviously it’s not practical to greet every cyclist in a big city.

I think some greetings go unnoticed (a subtle raised finger or whatever) and some are not heard (the greeter not being loud enough to be heard over the wind). I bear no-one ill will just because they don’t greet me enthusiastically enough! I prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt generally.

Re: Surviving Norway?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 5 May 2014 - 2:51pm
Vorpal wrote:Pete Jack wrote:That's a bit funny. Did you find the 'motel' eventually? Had they converted part of the hospital or something? Or was there a miscommunication?

There was no miscommunication that was the right place. They served buffet style breakfast and everything. I never got an explanation of the arrangement. My guess is that the hospital covers a large area where travel is not that easy, a bit like, say, Oban and the accommodation is primarily for relatives and friends of patients. Scandinavian enlightenment as I see it. In one way it was different from a any motel I have used in the US or Europe. I pulled the wrong cord in the bathroom and immediately the phone rang to see if I was OK

When I got to Denmark things were better food wise. Though I did meet an Australian girl who lived there who appeared* to speak fluent Danish who said she would kill for a decent curry.

* How would I know?

Re: Outer Hebrides

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 5 May 2014 - 2:45pm
Where are you starting from? Will you be camping? Can provide some suggestions for good spots to visit as I've spent a good deal of time in the Western Isles, including several times south to north. Have even a written a book on the subject - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Photographers-W ... 0859767043.

If you have the time, you can make a day trip south from Castlebay to Mingulay, an island that was evacuated in the early 20th century. Also, and again if you have the time (and in this case the £s too), you might consider taking a day trip to St Kilda from Leverurgh, Harris, or from near Uig on west coast of Lewis with Seatrek.

If camping, the machair at Vatersay would be a nice spot for your first night. If needing accommodation, you probably know about the Gatliff Trust hostels already, but might be worth mentioning you can camp at each spot too (Howmore, South Uist; Berneray; and Rhenigidale, Harris).

I've mentioned the west coast of Lewis already. If in tent, wild camping on the hills above Mangursta beach is great. Also, there's a camping spot with limited facilities next to Uig sands.

Re: North Cape rip off !

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 5 May 2014 - 1:53pm
I'll write this just in case someone else comes along here to decide whether or not it's worth shelling out all those Norwegian krone to take in the sights at North Cape, or come to that go there at all. I cycled to North Cape in 1994 and stopped short of the mark in order to save a bit of cash. I had cycled from from Lakselv a day or beforehand and once at North Cape headed south to Oslo via the Lofoten Islands and Route 17 down the coast, but perhaps I would have considered things differently if it had been the end - or the turnaround point - of a long trip rather than the beginning of one. However, visiting again in 2011 and feeling marginally more flush, I bit the bullet and paid to go in. And I'm glad that I did, because I found it a strangely appealing and eccentric sort of a place, in spite of it clearly being a tourist trap. There's also something quite endearing about the repeat waves of visitors posing by the globe as they perform their touristic rituals of arrival. Plus the sight of all those camper vans set against the midnight sun was quite striking. And, truly, the view from the high cliff out to the expanse of the Barents Sea was stunning.

BUT if you want an experience closer to solitude and one that is nowhere near as commercially minded, you can always take the road to Mehamn on the Nordkyn peninsula and from there the route Gamvik and Slettnes, site of a lighthouse, a cafe with fine coffee and freshly made waffles, which is said to be the northernmost road on the western European mainland (remember that North Cape is situated on the island of Mageroya).

Re: CTC "rules"

CTC Forum - On the road - 5 May 2014 - 1:15pm
You were moaned at because you were showing you have a brain and an understanding of adult things.

What would be the point of moaning at the other two? By definition they have shown that they need a responsible adult appointed to do their thinking for them.

Re: Shetland Orkney Mainland

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 5 May 2014 - 1:15pm
Maes Howe does get locked (and they will charge you an entry fee too).

However, the Widdiecombe (sp) Hill tomb is open, and the view from there first thing in the morning is worth the trip all by itself.

Not that I would condone kipping down in scheduled monuments, but you certainly won't be the first.

Re: Cycle - You must be banned or poor

CTC Forum - On the road - 5 May 2014 - 12:57pm
Si wrote:Generally I don't find an assumption of banned or poor, however, I have noticed than when pushing the bike through the shopping precinct the Big Issue seller never tries to sell me one, whereas when just walking (not wearing bike clothes) they always do. Make of that what you will!

When walking the bike in town centres or even walking around supermarkets in my duds I rarely ever get stopped to be asked for money/surveys/utilities/samples etc..bit of a bonus tbh on occasion
I always assume they think because I bike I must be strapped for cash..the intelligent ones can spot the value of your bike and pounce like hawks..lol

Re: CTC "rules"

CTC Forum - On the road - 5 May 2014 - 12:25pm
sex, religion, and politics...

Re: Flying with a stove

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 5 May 2014 - 12:11pm
You need to look on the airline website for their dangerous baggage rules. Usually you have to notify the airline in advance that you intend to carry a stove in your hold luggage, they then give you approval and attach a note to your booking for the check-in staff. The generic (IATA?) guidelines are that you should empty a liquid stove of fuel and take steps to nullify any risk, which is totally reasonable. Some airlines lily-guild and ask for nonsensical additional packaging requirements. Finnair for example want stoves wrapped in cotton cloth. Take printouts of emails and regulations with you.

In my experience I have never had the check-in staff even ask about the stove until I have pointed out that they should look at the booking notes, they then agree that it's an empty stove and it's fine. I find that petrol fumes disappear quicker than other fuels, and on the way back I just use washing up liquid and water to get the worst out the night before, if I had anything more perfumed to hand I would swill the bottle with that. I usually pack the lid separately from the bottle so that they can't argue things could mysteriously pressurise, and it's obvious it's empty and dry. This superstitious habit came about after I had a trangia burner confiscated on my way home from New Zealand after they argued it constituted an explosive risk. Apart from that one incident (which was part of the Terror hysteria of 2001) I have never had problems.

Re: Vintage steel frame bicycle for touring

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 5 May 2014 - 12:08pm
Dredicek wrote:I am bloody poor and i got idea to grab my old claud butler bicycle (80s/90s) and do some fittings and upgrades. That's not "vintage". It is almost new. I have touring frame that was custom built in 1991 and I would not hesitate to take it on tour - except I have newer ones. One serious point though, it looks to me as if you have 27" wheels. If so you really must take a spare tyre or two because 27" are not at all common these days.

with my 18kg backpack on my back and I had feeling that the bike is not really happy.I am not surprised. You've raised the centre of gravity considerably. This might be ok for a short distance but you will find the bike is a lot happier when you put the weight in panniers etc.

Re: Flying with a stove

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 5 May 2014 - 12:06pm

It reminds me of a friend who once called in the Gas Board to investigate a gassy smell in his house. He found the man checking the attic with a lighted match .... .

The Gas Board were so embarrassed by his complaint that they gave him a year's free supply.

Re: Vintage steel frame bicycle for touring

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 5 May 2014 - 11:59am
say if you crossing desert you need water… I have 80 KG

CTC "rules"

CTC Forum - On the road - 5 May 2014 - 11:56am
OK, I was out with my local CTC group yesterday and the topic of conversation got to politics. I was in the minority (not wanting to vote ukip) and I called ukip a bunch of racist viewtopic.php?f=15&t=10801. I was moaned at for talking about politics (even though so where 2 other people, It just seemed I was moaned at because there where less of me (1)).

Should politics be alowed to be discussed? Isn't most topics politics in one form or another? I could be talking about housing in the local area or jobs or energy...

EDIT: How about road surfaces, that is politics (council).

Re: Flying with a stove

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 5 May 2014 - 11:56am
vinyl_theif wrote:Flying back from south Africa I had my hand luggage searched as it contained 'interesting items', one of them being my MSR stove but after explaining what it was all was okay. The fuel canister was packed with my bike, but to minimise any possible problems from the odour, before packing I emptied the canister then dropped a lit match inside to burn off any residue, and after cooling swilled with a drop of vinegar.

Good tip. And I can practice at home before making a trip abroad!

Re: Surviving Norway?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 5 May 2014 - 11:53am
I cycled from Bodo to Stavanger a few years back - The OPs experience is pretty much what I found - away from the larger cities it was difficult to find much in the smaller shops (when they were open) to make a meal that I wanted to eat - so I tended to hoard - visit every small shop I saw open - buy small bottles of pasta sauce when they were available - as a staple I would buy frozen mince in the mornings - cooked with plenty of herbs and eaten with pasta in the evening together with whatever bread and cheese I could find - The mince lasts OK over a couple of days - and if i found something better (and some potatoes) was cheap enough that i was prepared to discard it if I was in doubt about it if i found something better at a decent shop - at no time was I short of decent filling food at a cost well below eating out - the benefit of having sufficient cooking kit?

Having to proactively forage for food is not unique though to Norway - travelling across the baltic states, parts of Poland, northern Greece, parts of New Zealand (and Germany at weekends) - Im assuming that folks travelling to far more exotic places have strategies to ensure they keep themselves well fed

Re: Vintage steel frame bicycle for touring

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 5 May 2014 - 11:50am
30 kg load seems a lot? thats 4 1/2 stone i dont think i would want that on a bike. how heavy are you?

Vintage steel frame bicycle for touring

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 5 May 2014 - 11:44am
Whatever bike you take to South America, it will have to be strong and in good condition to survive the roads.

You would probably be better off to fit a front rack and distribute your 18kg backpack load.

Re: Vintage steel frame bicycle for touring

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 5 May 2014 - 11:37am
one more point, rear of my bicycle is bloody heavy compare to front. It still has 10,5 kg but its unbalanced.

btw so i don't need to be worry about next say 30kg on my bicycle?

Re: Cycling snobbery!

CTC Forum - On the road - 5 May 2014 - 11:07am
I always wave/nod/say hello to fellow people on bikes that I pass! It doesn't cost anything to be nice does it?!
I passed two people at the road side the other day. One was fixing a puncture. I checked that they had all the equipment that they needed before I passed them by. Why would you have repairs equipment but see someone struggle who has forgotten something!
I agree as well regarding the motorbiking comments. When I was a learner I found the 'big bikes' wouldn't give me a wave. I'm now on a 'big bike' and also wave or nod to fellow bikers regardless of the type of bike their own.
It's nice to be nice!
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