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Re: Lightweight packable trousers - recommendations please

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 May 2015 - 12:03pm
I've got a pair of Peter Storm walking trousers from Millets. Now £15.
http://www.millets.co.uk/mens/078724-pe ... -navy.html

Only weigh 257g with the belt - a full half a kilo less than my jeans and belt.

Not particularly stylish, but then neither am I.

( Also since the material is thin you can roll up the legs to above the knee to produce shorts if you have forgotten your cycle clips! )

Re: Stand for fully loaded bike : recommendations?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 May 2015 - 11:42am
We have a few shop bought stands from single to double leg and none of them worked with my hybrid. The stays were oval and the bolts were often too short as a result. Tried to source the bolts but something just did not work, I wondered whether they were non-standard bolts?

Anyway the replacement for my stolen hybrid may well not take a stand neither. Certainly it is possible to clip the chainstays with my heel as it is so I reckon most frame fixed stands would not work for me. So that leaves the excellent solution, the clickstand. Although I do not like to buy from overseas because duty does annoy me for US sourced stuff. Will you or wont't you get charged and will they use Royal Mail for the UK leg which IIRC they charge for "handling charges". BTW they are off doing the Selkirk route, that is Scotland AFAIK, so no orders being sorted until June.

Re: Handlebar bag as security risk

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 May 2015 - 11:40am
I asked recently about a soft bag, the kind you would normally carry over your shoulder, with a barbag fixing. It could have a supporting basket like frame which stayed on the bike. Much more comfortable to carry & less like carrying a hat box. Sadly no one knew of any.
I guess a very large barbag / shopping basket with a soft bag in it would work but not as neat. Gap in the market as it would sell to urban short distance cyclists IMO.

You could use a pacsafe bag and bodge a bracket to it?? Cut proof off the bike

Re: Stand for fully loaded bike : recommendations?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 May 2015 - 11:30am
Made this with a fishermans rod rest. It collapses easily and clips to the downtube when not in use with strong elastic bands. It also supports a fully loaded bike on any terrain or surface. Very useful when camping you can prop the bike up and load or unload it in the middle of a field.
https://flic.kr/p/7WyG3h

Al

Re: Confusingly signed cycle routes

CTC Forum - On the road - 26 May 2015 - 11:27am
Years ago I took advantage of government money through the Cycling Demonstration Town (my local city was in the first 5). I filled out an online form and got a commute to work route and the offer of a member of the council team to take me out on it one saturday. I got the route and it followed the canal and then went right out of my way to avoid the A6 which is a really nice road to ride because it is not too busy and loads of other cyclists use it too. A direct corridor into town with a little side run to avoid the worst of the city centre traffic.

Basically it followed one of the national routes (6 or 90 I can't remember). Whichever one it was it must have been thought up by nobody local. Every local cyclist uses the A6 or the canal until it goes right out of the way when they switch to the A6. Signage for my local routes are OK until you get a bit north of me then you get signs which are missing when you need them and too many where you do not.

All in all I prefer a map and common sense. For example one route number (going roughly where I wanted) was full of traffic so we went on a parallel road that was quiet. SImple look at the map told us the best route not the blue signs. That is why I prefer maps. Old fashioned like that. Still I am trying to become modern and thinking of getting the OS based mapping software along with a few tiles (isn't that the modern term for map sheets?).

Re: Stand for fully loaded bike : recommendations?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 May 2015 - 11:11am
I used a double legged kiskstand fitted under the bottom bracket some years ago (Pletscher I think) whilst touring with 4 panniers on a Dawes Galaxy. Brilliant. EXCEPT: it needed to be so tight that it damaged the frame and I had to remove it.

Re: Lightweight packable trousers - recommendations please

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 May 2015 - 11:00am
Zip-offs are fine if you are going to use them as shorts (though you do end up with rather odd looking two tone trousers!)

I use zip-offs when camping so I can put legs on when I stop to camp (depriving insects of their food supply). When staying in accommodation, I found I only want to wear them as longs. So I just take non-convertible trousers for that as they weigh a little less and pack a little better, and are not two tone.

Re: Fort William - Oban

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 May 2015 - 11:00am
The Ft. Wm. to Ballachulish bit has been covered. Ballachulish to Oban is mixed with some good cycle paths and some useless bits with some road sections. Not as bad as the A82 but depends what you are used to. The A85 Connel to Oban is not nice. There is a pavement from Dunbeg to Oban which while illegal is used by cyclists. There is also a cycle path Dunbeg to Ganavan outside Oban. Personally I take the back road from Connel to Oban which is fairly quiet unless there has been another accident on the A85. The police are now trying to close this road on these occasions as local drivers all try this way and the road gets completely jammed.

Re: Lightweight packable trousers - recommendations please

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 May 2015 - 10:51am
I've got a couple of pairs of zip-offs, one from Mountain Warehouse, and the others are Craphoggers. The MW pair are much thinner and lighter (347g CF 526g).

Re: Shetland

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 May 2015 - 10:47am
Been there several times and recommend it. Warning however do not be too ambitious as it can be very windy and also colder than you expect. On a couple of visits I used winter gear in June. Have a rear led light as it can get very foggy and police are not happy with unlit cyclists on the faster roads in the central area. The visibility can get very bad at times and I would agree that it is dangerous. Generally it is pretty good and conversely can get very hot and sunburn combined with windburn should be guarded against. All the villages have reasonable shops for provisions and as already said the natives are friendly. Go anyway

Re: Lightweight packable trousers - recommendations please

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 May 2015 - 10:46am
+1 for Rohan. I have taken a pair of Rohan Bags for years on tours and they are still going strong. They are light, look reasonable, wash easily, and have zipped pockets for carrying valuables. Not cheap though.

Re: Confusingly signed cycle routes

CTC Forum - On the road - 26 May 2015 - 10:35am
The cycle paths I mostly use are north of Oban and fairly obvious anyway. With my motorist hat on I long ago concluded that road signs for drivers are only to reassure those who already know where they are going.

Re: Problems I never knew needed solving

CTC Forum - On the road - 26 May 2015 - 10:11am
I have only had one road bike a 9.5kg steel one from 25 years ago. 700x23c and you did know about any bad road you hit. My commute on it was a nightmare and I used to have to true the wheels every other week too.

Got a heavy hybrid with front suspension for those commutes and it was ok. Then I got a carbon forked gravel bike (london road from Planet X) and with the 700x37c tyres I find it at least as comfortable on the same commute as my fat tyred, front suspensioned hybrid bike. I know take it off road too.

IMHO I wish all those years back to have switched to 28s or at least 25s. IMHO there is no need for 23s unless you race but even then I think the elites re switching to 25s as well.

I do believe in gel mitts as a cheap fix for road buzz from the forks. I got a good pair of specialized ones after a broken hand made riding painful. Since getting the 700x37 wheels I no longer need them. Fatter tyres at a lower pressure work for comfort IME.

Re: Problems I never knew needed solving

CTC Forum - On the road - 26 May 2015 - 9:59am
I've ridden as good as nothing but 700x23s for the last 20 years (with a brief excursion into 700x18s in the 90s). It's mainly a matter of adapting. OK, you need the padded shorts & gloves, and my bars have gel plus tape, but I'm comfy enough on long rides. I did try a tourer a couple of years back, with 5cm Marathon Godknowswhats® on: it was so damned sluggish I couldn't stand it.

Current tyre of preference Conti GP4000 or 4 seasons.

Re: Confusingly signed cycle routes

CTC Forum - On the road - 26 May 2015 - 9:52am
I have been out on what Sustrans describe as group signing rides. So a group of Sustran's volunteers and a paid staff member went out to test ride a section with most of them not knowing the route.

At many "junctions" there was a discussion about where to stick signs and how to position them. Yet there was often no agreement as people interpret what they see quite differently. Following a road is quite simple because on a motorway at a junction, you know that you are leaving on a motorway. On a Sustrans route you can be leaving a junction on any thing from a staircase to a motorway slip road, regardless of what sort of "road" you arrive on.

Another oddity of Sustrans route is that often you dont have a road at all, you enter an area (like a car park) and the signing options are very limited due to everything around being private property. The exit isnt necessarily in the direction that you are generally traveling either.

All this is due to Sustrans having a third class status when getting route and having to patch together bits by weaving around everything that caters for motorists. As a local you can pick and mix, leaping on to the road network to cut out the more ridiculous bits as a "passer through" it can be a pain in the neck.

Another little gem is that a council will just come and close a section without notifying anybody sometimes just to allocate the space for building contractors to store their supplies . So at anytime up to a month later your volunteer will find out and then have to try and work out a patch to a route which was already tortuous, while they themselves just miss the whole mess out by riding with full priority on a direct road a quarter of the length which the path is trying to avoid.

Re: Lightweight packable trousers - recommendations please

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 May 2015 - 9:51am
Phunny thing about Decathlon's walking bags is that for my waist size they assume I'm around 7' tall.

Re: Lightweight packable trousers - recommendations please

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 May 2015 - 9:48am
MrsS got some for the same reason from GoOoutdoors recently, they have a selection, but hers were only about £15.

Re: Confusingly signed cycle routes

CTC Forum - On the road - 26 May 2015 - 9:24am
The Netherlands have the best system I have used. Each junction has a number and you simply note down which junction you go to next. E.g. 45,26,47,57,75 etc.

You can see an example here to the right of the screen http://en.nederlandfietsland.nl/en/cycl ... and-guides

Simple, easy and means you can plan your route, then have it written on a piece of masking tape running down your top tube. No Garmin required!

Re: Five Pits Trail, Derbyshire

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 May 2015 - 9:14am
Slowroad

Do you have a good route from Nottingham to the general area of M1J28?

I haven't found one that is a good ride yet. I know people who commute to work in the City Centre via Ravenshead- Newstead or Hucknall, but currently haven't found a route I like.

Ferdinand

Shetland

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 26 May 2015 - 8:46am
If anyone is interested in going to Shetland for a tour we have just posted our travelogue of our Shetland tour last summer. If you like good quiet relatively traffic free roads, visiting islands, archaeology and watching wildlife then Shetland is a great place to tour. Oh and the natives are very friendly to .

The main highlights of Shetland for us were:
1.The RSPB bird reserve on Noss. It has an amazing bird life, Bonxies, Puffins, Arctic terns, Arctic skuas, Black guillemots with their wonderful red feet and an enormous gannetry with nearly 12,000 gannets.

2. Sitting on a bench at 2 o‛clock in the afternoon in Mid Yell overlooking the harbour where we watched an otter stroll across the road right in front of us by the post office, run across the beach, have a nose around the harbour jetty before swimming off across the bay. Absolutely amazing!

3. The Keen of Hammar nature reserve, which has some very rare alpine flowers growing in amongst some Serpentine and Harzburgite debris at the extreme height of 45m above sea level and we were delighted to find flowering the very rare Edmondstons Chickweed which is found nowhere else in the world.

4. The Unst Bus shelter, we had seen pictures of this in someone else's cycling blog and we just had to see it for ourselves.

5. Mousa Broch, the most complete broch in Scotland.

Oh and lastly we got involved in a helicopter rescue .
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