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Re: Trains FROM Narbonne to Cherbourg

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 4 June 2014 - 9:12pm
In a word (well, two words): very difficult! It's got to be one of the most awkward train journeys in France, especially as the Montpellier-Paris TGV doesn't accept bikes.

Your best bet is to use the "further search options" on http://www.bahn.de/i/view/DEU/en/index.shtml with the bicycle option for the date you're interested in. There are lots of ways of getting to Cherbourg, but most involve at least 4 changes and over 15 hours travel time.

It would probably be easier and less stressful to do the journey over two or three days.

Re: Best/favourite snacks for on the bike

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 4 June 2014 - 8:56pm
Before every cycle ride of 30 miles or more I have a large bowl of porridge. On the bike I favour treacle sandwiches.When I did triathlons with a 56 mile cycle segment I Carried and consumed two water bottles filled with Ambrosia rice pudding.In 60 years of cycling I've had the bonk twice, each time a few chocolate digestive biscuits got me going again.

Re: Paris to Orleans any good routes

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 4 June 2014 - 8:45pm
Left Paris through the Bois de Vincennes and wiggled about trying to find a route out. Went through a place called Melun and joined the main D road directly sign posted to Orleans. Used the road rather than any cycle route. Did the route from Melun to Orleans in a day.

Found a campsite just outside but with a little tram connection into town. Great enjoyed the whole thing, bit of a challenge finding a route out of Paris but all part of the fun. Could not find cheap accommodation in Melun but it may well exist.

Went on to Tours before heading for home and by the ferry from St Malo.

Picture take August 2009

Re: Dover to London for family

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 4 June 2014 - 8:29pm
TOP Team wrote:@MartinBrice. Sorry to hear that. We are using mountain bikes and are going quite slowly with plenty of stops for the kids. Does that change your opinion about the preferability of train instead of road?
Use train from dover to folkestone, really. Just for that bit

Trains FROM Narbonne to Cherbourg

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 4 June 2014 - 8:18pm
My husband & I plan to cycle from St. Malo to Narbonne in July. Does anyone know how easy it is to get a train(s) with the bikes back to Cherbourg for our return sailing?

Re: Thrown into cycle commuting - not by choice!

CTC Forum - On the road - 4 June 2014 - 8:10pm
mjr wrote:reohn2 wrote:The key to better cycling provision and use is clean,affordable,reliable public transport,only a cheaper convenient alternative will change peoples minds and attitudes toward the car.
And what's the source for that? If there isn't one, please stop this manic handwaving because it's as bad as the prejudiced/conviction politicians.

The best thing found so far to change people's attitudes toward cars significantly is increasing usage charges (congestion charges or similar): http://journalistsresource.org/studies/ ... -s-cities/ introduces the 2011 study published in The American Economic Review, “The Fundamental Law of Road Congestion: Evidence from U.S. Cities,” from the University of Toronto and the London School of Economics. Meanwhile, the topic I linked earlier claimed (although without sources again ) that the top three keys to better cycling provision and use are
iviehoff wrote:-provision of suitable parking/changing facilities at the destination: fixing this has about the biggest single effect on rates of cycle transport
-the perception of how dangerous it is: which is related to, but not precisely aligned with, the fact of how dangerous it is
-income: complicated this one: generally speaking lower income people are less likely to cycle, at least in W Europe, but give the same person more money and generally speaking s/he becomes less likely to cycle

What you don't seem to grasp is that not everyone wants to or can cycle,this is the UK,whose people carry a lot of class baggage where cycling's concerned,unlike much of the continent where they tend to know a good thing when they see one .
So you've got start somewhere.
I could've rhymed off better cycling provision and a shed load of other ideas.
But the removal of cars from the road is the first step and the best way to do that is by a decent public transport system that beats or equals the car.
Politrickians in the UK won't price cars off the roads nor will they provide a decent public transport system,nor will they provide decent cycling infrastructure,nor will they increase penalties that are so woefully inadequate for motoring crime and more so than where vulnerable road users are concerned,that's because profit comes before people.
Unless they're made to they won't do squat.
Now look around who's going to do that?
It won't be the electorate because they're either grabbing what they can or on facebook/twitter.It's said that less than 200 thousand people change which government gets in power in this country.All the politrickians have to do is work out how to grab that vote and hey presto another fives years of flannel.
So its all a speculation and so much forum speak.
I'm sorry I don't have any sources or studies just a life of observation.
All IMHO of course,just like yours only you got some links .

Re: Thrown into cycle commuting - not by choice!

CTC Forum - On the road - 4 June 2014 - 7:02pm
I save over £1400 a year commuting and I can honestly say I would really miss those 40 minutes of 'head space' to myself every day!

Re: Thames path

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 4 June 2014 - 4:21pm
My wife and I did it the other way a few years back, apart from the history of some of the places there was not a lot to commend it. After Windsor we got bored with the river and moved on to roads that closely followed the river. Unless it is a wet summer you may well find the source at Thames Head to be dried up. At best it is only a spring.

Re: Thrown into cycle commuting - not by choice!

CTC Forum - On the road - 4 June 2014 - 4:12pm
mjr wrote:On the get a car idea... I bought a "cheap" car that was about £700 over 15 years ago, which ran OK but needed expensive repairs fairly soon and I knew it was a gamble. I feel that £400 on a car now would almost certainly fail as a similar gamble and even then you've insurance and fuel which are also much more expensive now. I suspect some of the modern leasing deals would be a better bet, but they didn't exist back then and they're also still far worse value than cycling in the long run. Cycling might not be much slower through an urban area, either.

Indeed, if you're short on cash and you need to invest in a form of transport, then a bicycle is likely to give you a much better return. For cars for an ok runner you're talking £800-£1000 plus insurance plus tax. The same money could get you a good bike (or two ok bikes) plus kit and locks etc, and will be far cheaper to fix when they go wrong.

Not saying a car isn't a good idea, but it's not the most cost effective one.

Re: Thames path

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 4 June 2014 - 3:53pm
Richard Fairhurst wrote:From Wallingford to Reading, I've long been tempted to do this

Be prepared for some steps:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/maggiejon ... 4213805411
https://www.flickr.com/photos/maggiejon ... 4213805411

Re: Roundabout Close Call

CTC Forum - On the road - 4 June 2014 - 3:43pm
BSRU wrote:Not spot RAB's, full on curbed RAB's, one time at a major high speed RAB on the A45 in Coventry, ironically outside the local police station.


Though I've witnessed twice now whilst stopped at a TL,a 4x4 Range Rover drive past a long line of 15+ vehicles in the empty turn right lane,then left hook the the lot when as the TL changed to green
Occasionally I think,if I could just get my hands around his neck I don't think I could stop squeezing

Re: Roundabout Close Call

CTC Forum - On the road - 4 June 2014 - 3:37pm
Mick F wrote:Bicycler wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_Roundabout_(Swindon)I've cycled on the Magic Roundabout three times over the years, latest was only a week or so ago.
It's a system with five mini roundabouts surrounding an anticlockwise centre. I think it's an excellent system.

Came in from the west, and out to the south.Magic RAB.png

I cycle the magic roundabout every day and it's easy.
The only problem with it is in weather like today when it becomes the magic lake with five white islands meaning you cannot see the potholes.

Re: Roundabout Close Call

CTC Forum - On the road - 4 June 2014 - 3:36pm
Mick F wrote:Bicycler wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_Roundabout_(Swindon)I've cycled on the Magic Roundabout three times over the years, latest was only a week or so ago.
It's a system with five mini roundabouts surrounding an anticlockwise centre. I think it's an excellent system.

Came in from the west, and out to the south
Next time you have to do the same journey but plot a different route around. Maybe one day I'll work out the number of permutations of getting from A to B around there (without circling them all and getting back to the start)

Re: Is this level of insanity commonplace?

CTC Forum - On the road - 4 June 2014 - 3:24pm
Here's a trace from a ride last week just north of Okehampton on the A386.
I was coming along from the southwest with a huge lorry behind and I was turning north. Mr Lorry Driver was patient and kept his distance, and I wanted to pull over to let him past, but there was nowhere for me to go as the road is narrow with no refuse areas.

There was no way he could overtake. Primary or secondary or any other "ary" would have made no difference.

I put my hand out to go right at the roundabout, and then took my time going right round to give him time to go, (plus the three or four vehicles behind him) then carried on my merry way safe in the knowledge that I'd helped to keep the traffic flowing.A386 RAB.png

Re: Roundabout Close Call

CTC Forum - On the road - 4 June 2014 - 3:12pm
Bicycler wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_Roundabout_(Swindon)I've cycled on the Magic Roundabout three times over the years, latest was only a week or so ago.
It's a system with five mini roundabouts surrounding an anticlockwise centre. I think it's an excellent system.

Came in from the west, and out to the south.Magic RAB.png

Re: Roundabout Close Call

CTC Forum - On the road - 4 June 2014 - 2:39pm
reohn2 wrote:BSRU wrote:
Legally you cannot but I've seen drivers and cyclists turn right at roundabouts, just by going around it the wrong way.

I turn right at spot r/abouts regularly if it helps other road users and particularly if it's wet and there's an adverse camber should I ride around the spot.There are certain conditions when I won't,especially if there's traffic entering the r/about from my right when I'm already on it who may be expecting me to go around the spot.
Taking the 'short cut' isn't wise in those situations.

On proper curbed r/abouts it'd be stupidly suicidal of course.

BTW Spot r/abouts are a personal hate of mine and IMO ill conceived and much misunderstood by drivers.
They should all be raised tabulated junctions that slows traffic to walking pace,where no one has priority other than pedestrians.
That way straight on traffic is forced to slow to <10mph instead of 'booting it' to beat other traffic through the junction.
Not spot RAB's, full on curbed RAB's, one time at a major high speed RAB on the A45 in Coventry, ironically outside the local police station.

Re: Paris to Orleans any good routes

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 4 June 2014 - 2:23pm
+1 . . . . it's all in that link, for you . . ..

Re: Thrown into cycle commuting - not by choice!

CTC Forum - On the road - 4 June 2014 - 2:18pm
reohn2 wrote:The key to better cycling provision and use is clean,affordable,reliable public transport,only a cheaper convenient alternative will change peoples minds and attitudes toward the car.
And what's the source for that? If there isn't one, please stop this manic handwaving because it's as bad as the prejudiced/conviction politicians. The best thing found so far to change people's attitudes toward cars significantly is increasing usage charges (congestion charges or similar): http://journalistsresource.org/studies/ ... -s-cities/ introduces the 2011 study published in The American Economic Review, “The Fundamental Law of Road Congestion: Evidence from U.S. Cities,” from the University of Toronto and the London School of Economics. Meanwhile, the topic I linked earlier claimed (although without sources again ) that the top three keys to better cycling provision and use are
iviehoff wrote:-provision of suitable parking/changing facilities at the destination: fixing this has about the biggest single effect on rates of cycle transport
-the perception of how dangerous it is: which is related to, but not precisely aligned with, the fact of how dangerous it is
-income: complicated this one: generally speaking lower income people are less likely to cycle, at least in W Europe, but give the same person more money and generally speaking s/he becomes less likely to cycle

Re: French Trains - Caen to Nantes

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 4 June 2014 - 2:13pm
My only advice is that the TER time-table appears to be much more sensitive to the day-of-the-week than ours do... we're used to services that are pretty much the same every day of the week except Sunday, whereas in rural France (I've done most of my French train-travel in Brittany / Normandy), a journey that seems possible on say Wednesday might not be possible on Friday or Saturday... Sometimes you need to go long-ish distances to pick up TERs from stations that might seem quite remote. (No bikes allowed on TGV)
I've always found the SNCF on-line journey planner helpful, if only to help you work out the combination of trains and stations you'll have to use, leaving buying the tickets to when you get there.
Another tip is to consider writing down your destination to physically show the ticket sales people, if you are going to buy at the stations - I've always found them helpful and patient BUT not good at English - if I'm desperate for the correct French words, I have in the past begun the conversation by asking, Parlez vous Anglais? and have seldom received the answer I wanted!
A couple of times I have had trouble with my French pronunciation, hence the benefit of writing the name of the town down!

Re: Dover to London for family

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 4 June 2014 - 1:48pm
It's a good suggestion from Jamiemm. I'd reinforce his comments about cycling quality as you approach London hence my previous recommendation to go to Gatwick and then visit London by train. Once you get to Faversham you can cut across country to Gatwick via Leeds Castle and Royal Tonbridge Wells.
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