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Re: Andorra, Port de Cabus

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 December 2014 - 9:34pm
Thanks for your replies RickH and MrsHJ. I have almost made the decision that we should not go over the Port de Cabus and instead go south out of Andorra and then loop back to the north after getting into Spain. I don't need to finalise that decision for a couple of months so can remain flexible for now.

I have had a look at Google street view from the top of the Port de Cabus and it is indeed an unmade track (off road suitable for mountain bikes, but not road bikes). Google street view also provides some photos along the route down through Tor to Alins and these show an unmade track, though the age of these photos is unknown. I did find a video that was posted on Youtube in 2013 which showed this as a track, but again the actual date of the video is not known, only when it was posted. I contacted the tourist board in Andorra to ask my question, but they only supplied me with general information about cycling in Andorra. With a bit more detective work I found a hotel in Alins (Spain) which is a the bottom of the road/track down from the Port de Cabus. I thought that for sure they would know if this remains an unmade track, however they sidestepped my question (or perhaps didn't understand it, they replied in Spanish) and only offered for us to stay in their hotel. I probably should ask them one more time.

You mention BikeHike, which is also my favoured route plotting website.

If we do decide to take the longer way round it only adds about 30km so that's not a problem. The scenery along that track/road did look very picturesque though.

Once again, thanks for your replies.

Andy

Re: Touring in remote locations - advice please

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 December 2014 - 9:34pm
tatanab wrote:mercalia wrote:I still think learn to fire a pistol and pack one preferably "make my day" type?There are individual state laws about "concealed weapons permits" and for some there are weapons on display. Not that it matters because it would be illegal. As a foreigner you are not allowed to own one.
Now that is interesting to know. is that only pistols or also (assault) rifles? not own but also rent/borrow?

The long list didnt mention tics? I understand theycan be bad problem

Re: TOURING 2015

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 December 2014 - 9:27pm
Nice - I'd be flying into Heathrow. With a little luck, my friend who lives in Esher will be able to pick me up. Then we'll ride to Euston and take the train to Chester. From Chester, we'll take the NCN 5 to Bangor or Holyhead (as a warmup) then take NCN 8 down to Cardiff, doing about 50 Miles a day (loaded with camping gear). Either ride back to Esher from Cardiff or figure out the trains.

Re: Touring in remote locations - advice please

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 December 2014 - 8:45pm
p.s. you forgot the wild dogs.

Re: Touring in remote locations - advice please

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 December 2014 - 8:43pm
I met a bear once, in Upper Michigan. Actually the same bear twice. I followed advice, and didn't have any problems. I have seen them from a distance a couple of times in other places, but have otherwise managed to avoid them (and be avoided).

I have also wild camped a couple of times, with only emergency gear because I couldn't make it to my destination for the night. One of those times was after a cold wet, day in the mountains. If we had not had the emergency gear, and been able to make a fire, we would have had to walk all night (off road, and before the advent of weapons grade lighting, so no chance to see well enough to ride) to keep warm enough to avoid hypothermia. At best, we would have had a really uncomfortable night.

Re: Touring in remote locations - advice please

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 December 2014 - 7:59pm
lisap wrote:Having ridden the Great Divide, the Southerrn Tier, the Pacific Coast twice over and round Florida I have seen very few bears, a few coyotes, lots of very lecherous old men, some turantulas, about 3 snakes and no scorpions.

McNichols you will be absolutely fine. Be sensible, take Halt dog spray, carry spares and maybe a Katadyn filter. I can lend you one if you need it.

Just go and have fun.

Chuckling here. Sounds like you've done some fabulous trips too.

What was the southern tier like? I've read such diverse reports. It's on my possible list.

Ps When we camped in Wyoming a couple of years ago I hardly slept in the tent due to fear of bears ( and because it was BONE CHILLINGLY COLD) but the closest we got was a bear road jam where everyone had stopped to see some in a gulley. Someone posted a link to someone the other day who cycled through Alaska and the Yukon I think and he had several close encounters of the bear kind.

Re: Andorra, Port de Cabus

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 December 2014 - 7:56pm
I once carried my bike down a very rocky valley and then a river bed into Spain based on french mapping in the Spanish Pyrenees. Apparently napoleon planned on building a road down from the top of Gavarnie into Bujarelo on the Spanish side. Not recommended for a fully loaded touring bike or the cyclist. Memorable border crossing though and it was pre euro so we ended up in Spain without any cash and strangely it was getting late ( carrying your bike down a mountain is not a fast activity).

Luckily there was a lovely camp site in the middle of no where (national park)that took credit cards and we had one of those meals that featured frequently with that group of "whatever I can find in my panniers" and had to cycle to civilisation in the morning for cash and breakfast. There was a cycleabletrack out on the Spanish side I'm glad to say and one day I would love to go back to the campsite as it is under the South side of the Gavarnie cirque which is very striking.

I do miss those days though, we aren't as chaotic these days and it leads to fewer dramatic events. plus everyone from that group has settled down with doctorates and kids and doesn't get out cycling nearly enough. That was also the trip where, ahem, maybe not!!

PS TRying calling the local tourist office or Mairie.

Re: bbc i player,scottish audax

CTC Forum - On the road - 15 December 2014 - 7:53pm
Here is the website that you would have to keep scouring.

http://www.aukweb.net/events/?From=15%2 ... a=&Region=

It may well not run next year as it is a PBP year and people tend to let that take over everything else.

That was just the Audax which made the TV, the others also have their charms even if they lack the celebrity status.

Re: bbc i player,scottish audax

CTC Forum - On the road - 15 December 2014 - 7:45pm
I enjoyed this but can not find a website that explains a 2015 entry to the event....I confess that I am tempted.
I do know that there was quite a bit of interest in this ride but only 30-odd folk turned up so there were rumblings of it not happening again...??

Re: san javier

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 December 2014 - 7:45pm
Yes sorry cv-925, it's rolling terrain inland but with nothing more that about 6% and no puddles or pot holes.

Re: Tesco unicycle stands

CTC Forum - On the road - 15 December 2014 - 7:35pm
Aldi in Feltham have about a dozen proper Sheffield stands at an angle to the wall so there is space for your front wheel. If one supermarket can get it right ....

Re: Default tourer?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 December 2014 - 7:35pm
mrjemm wrote:I thought the Soma Saga had been going quite some time,
The Saga has been available since 2010 apparently, so not as recently as I thought. The LHT first appeared in 2004, so my point that it was the right bike at the right time still stands, by the time some of the others had caught up the LHT had already established itself.

Re: Tesco unicycle stands

CTC Forum - On the road - 15 December 2014 - 7:31pm
Psamathe wrote:mjr wrote:Tesco do seem to be a repeat offender. The new fancy-looking bike racks at Hardwick, King's Lynn, are |\-shaped and too short to support bikes, but would be good for unicycles. Happily there are some n-shape racks too, plus the trolley park edges.
.
Would work better if installed the other way round (higher end away from the wall) and further out from the wall. I can't see the advantage of the "Tesco stand" over the more traditional style.
Ian

I have wondered about a midnight visit to the Tesco in Teddington - same daft shape - and turning the stands round. I can only imagine that someone "thinks" that they look less in the way like that

Re: TOURING 2015

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 December 2014 - 7:04pm
mcallaghan wrote:I'm hoping to do the LLC (albeit starting in Chester) in July/August.

If I can't work out the finances for that (I'm in the USA) then I'll stay local and bust my lungs doing a Colorado Loop with something over 14,000 ft of climbing over 9-days.

I plan to do something similar at Easter, weather permitting.
My folks live near Chester so taking train to Holyhead from Chester and riding LLC over 4 days, then train back home.

Re: TOURING 2015

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 December 2014 - 5:03pm
I'm hoping to do the LLC (albeit starting in Chester) in July/August.

If I can't work out the finances for that (I'm in the USA) then I'll stay local and bust my lungs doing a Colorado Loop with something over 14,000 ft of climbing over 9-days.

Re: Touring in remote locations - advice please

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 December 2014 - 4:42pm
mercalia wrote:I still think learn to fire a pistol and pack one preferably "make my day" type?There are individual state laws about "concealed weapons permits" and for some there are weapons on display. Not that it matters because it would be illegal. As a foreigner you are not allowed to own one.

I lived in the North West and only when doing roughstuff in the mountains was I told I should not go off alone because of bears - after I had done so of course. When I moved to the South West, I was told I should not stroll from the road and sit on a rock while waiting for the bunch due to rattlesnakes - also after I had done so.

The only bear I saw was a dead black bear in a ditch. I saw a number of coyotes and a few road runners, racoons and possums in their hundreds. I did not own a mobile phone, although many of my riding colleagues did so. In the North west I camped on a few occasions, but nowhere that needed bear precautions.

Re: Touring in remote locations - advice please

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 December 2014 - 4:22pm
mnichols wrote:But other than the bears, pumas, wolves, coyotes, racoon's, skunks, snakes, scorpions, tarantulas, psychopaths, water born parasites, hypothermia, desert heat, altitude, lack of food, water, motels and phone signal...its quite a nice place?
You missed out mosquitoes, which are large and numerous in the Canadian forests.

Re: Andorra, Port de Cabus

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 December 2014 - 4:21pm
I've no direct knowledge but Google StreetView got up there in August 2011 and the tarmac on the Andorra side stopped at the Spanish border then. On the Spanish side it was a stony track. From my looking at the satellite view in Google Maps (which are of unknown vintage) I would expect a stony track dropping down to the hamlet of Tor after about 4 1/2 miles, then probably a gravel surface to Norris, after about 9 miles from the border & finally about 3 miles of tarmac down to Alins (but that is all purely from my interpretation of the photographic data).

Looking at the elevation profile of the route down (plotting on Bikehike) you are looking at a quite steep descent, particularly on the rougher, upper part from the border - it looks like over 500ft per mile (10%+) for the first 3 miles.

If you want a tarmac road for road bikes I would give the CG4 a miss unless you get definitive information that anything has changed for the better since Summer 2011.

Rick.

Re: TOURING 2015

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 December 2014 - 4:14pm
Nothing very ambitious planned as yet, but riding a 1970s racing bike in a vintage event in Spain in April, and a south coast trip (in August) from Surrey to Lyme Regis via Portland (Dorset) to commemorate a ride my late Father did in August 1945 (he was 16) to celebrate the end of WW2.

I was going to ride the Anjou Velo (in the Loire) again, but it is not taking place in 2O15, might do the Isle of Wight Randonee.

Jon.

Re: Touring in remote locations - advice please

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 December 2014 - 3:52pm
mnichols wrote:But other than the bears, pumas, wolves, coyotes, racoon's, skunks, snakes, scorpions, tarantulas, psychopaths, water born parasites, hypothermia, desert heat, altitude, lack of food, water, motels and phone signal...its quite a nice place?

but worst of all - no McDonalds big macs? I still think learn to fire a pistol and pack one preferably "make my day" type?
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