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Re: Planning My First Tour

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 5 November 2014 - 6:25am
Sounds fabulous. I want to do the trans America when I am 50 with a 3 month extended leave. Travelling by yourself should mean that there isn't much of a problem getting camping spots even in peak season in July etc. I'd start South in May. Don't forget to take some days off rather than pushing yourself the whole time. In terms of distance I allow about 50 miles a day but you may wish to extend that but think about what you are trying to achieve- if it is to see places you will need to arrive somewhere by early afternoon in order to pitch tent, have a shower then go for a look round I reckon. Don't take too much stuff, you can always buy it. Cycle camping with a stove is how many here would do it, keeps costs down. I'm thinking of not taking a stove for the trans America but in Europe I generally like to have a stove- it's a personal choice, figure out what works best for you and how much cash you will have per day. Flash bike not required, decent gearing and braze on for panniers is fine. Make sure it's comfortable though.

Now routes ( this is personal preference as there is an infinite choice). Look at the eurovelo route map for ideas. Obviously it's perfectly possible to cycle across europe without touching on a cycle route and you may prefer keeping away from organised routes as they can be slower and busier with bikes taking away the feeling you are doing your own thing. However they may give you some inspiration. I guess you will be aiming to cycle abat 3500 - 4000 miles in your trip ( depending on numbers of days off and distance per day). This could take you from Cadiz to Athens or from the North Cape to the med. You prefer the core of Europe from the sounds or it so you could cycle around the borders of your chosen countries ( downside is you won't see the Middle). Or you could join up some of the rives routes and do the Loire, Rhine, Rhone etc. Crazy guy on a bike website will have inspiration for you, plenty of people have just gone for a ride in Europe and let it take them 3 months.

Re: Visibility: why are do so many riders in black

CTC Forum - On the road - 5 November 2014 - 6:03am
The other though is where do we stop pandering to bad driving?

There was an item on the TV a while back where a woman had hit a tree.... it was some ten feet back from the road, and on the opposite side of a verge and footpabth

However the problem of course was the tree. She was now complaining about the fact that trees existed along the side of the road , how dangerous these trees were and how they should all be removed!

Re: Visibility: why are do so many riders in black

CTC Forum - On the road - 5 November 2014 - 6:00am
Animals are an interesting one....

On the Gower Peninsula in Wales there were cattle and sheep in HiViz, and in teh NEw Forest there are continual campaigns for the ponies to have HiViz

Planning My First Tour

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 5 November 2014 - 2:30am
Hello all,

This is my first post on this forum but I have been reading with interest for a while now.

Following almost ten years in solid employment I have decided to take some much-needed time off from the rat race. I anticipate that in around May 2015, I will take approximately three months off. This will be unpaid although I will have very little outgoings during this time (no rent, bills etc.). This time scale can be adjusted to suit. I have no real ties or responsibilities at this time. I have strategically timed this based on the European summer, more to follow on this.

I have always been fascinated by the idea of long distance cycling, and in recent years have had friends that have started to get quite into it. Hearing stories of their amazing trips has inspired me to do something similar. Whether it’s the C2C, LEJOG or a world tour, I always listen in awe. With no real desire to throw on a backpack and head to South East Asia (at the moment), this could be a viable alternative to scratch my itch.

I am from Europe, but have lived away for some time. I have a real hankering to see the ‘real Europe’ and not just the main cities. I have done plenty of this in previous years. My tour would therefore be Europe-based. I would assume either starting in my home country of UK or from one of the main ferry ports in Western Europe.

So I plan to take off on my bike and tour Europe. I have spent many hours pondering possible routes, but haven’t put pen to paper as such yet. Countries I am particularly interested in are France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Italy and perhaps Spain (not in any particular order of preference). I would like to cover some ground but at the same time not exhaust myself in the process. I would ideally like relatively easy going cycling through scenic locations (a paradox perhaps?) with interesting things along the way. Absolute preference is to stick to minor roads or traffic-free roads as I do not like (and haven’t much experience with) cycling in heavy traffic. Cycling 8am until 3pm with an hour or so for lunch feels about right to me.

My plan is to operate on a relatively low budget as I feel that this will be enhance the experience and also because I will not be earning a wage during this time. I am also quite conservative by nature. So camping will be the basis of my accommodation with the odd B&B / hotel thrown in when required (when in a large town or when I need to recoup for example). I am undecided whether I would take cooking gear, although I would assume not as the food in Europe is generally good (bread, cheese, meats etc.) and I would prefer this option. I am not strapped for cash so would still have some comforts, but would be budget-conscious.

I am a keen recreational cyclist and ride my road bike three times per week, rides ranging from 20km up to 100km+, and the occasional overnight trip. I really enjoy being out on the bike and seeing the world from this perspective.

Choice of bike is to be confirmed. Again, due to budget I would like to conserve what I have. My current road bike isn’t practical (and not worth enough to ship back to Europe) but my virtually unused mid-range mountain bike in UK may be, with some modification (rack, panniers, slick tires, rigid fork). I need to run a few tests in the way of multi-day mini-tours in UK but if all else fails; I’ll purchase a pre-owned touring bike.

So just thought I would put that out there and introduce myself to the community here. Hopefully this forum will be of further help in my planning of the tour. I am quite overwhelmed by the planning and execution of the trip, but very excited by the liberation at the same time.

Any thoughts, comments or general advice would be warmly welcomed.

Re: Visibility: why are do so many riders in black

CTC Forum - On the road - 5 November 2014 - 1:50am
Ann Kennedy wrote:Yes every driver should drive at a speed that allows them to stop when they see a hazard ahead ... but sadly we don't live in that utopian world and there are stupid or just tired drivers on the roads. So why would you not increase your chances of being seen by wearing hi-viz when on your bike?? To me it is an issue of self-preservation rather than a question of whether drivers should drive better ...

I am also a horse rider and always wear hi viz and a helmet when on horseback or on bike ... research shows that cars see horseriders with hi-viz 3 seconds earlier than those without ... not much but it's quite a bit of braking distance.

And i am also a driver and last winter had a very nasty close shave whilst driving - I was stationary in the road, waiting to turn right on a dark and wet night - I just did not see the idiot on a bike in black and with no lights until the very last minute ... we missed each other but it was a matter of inches and i got quite a scare!
Do you have a link for this 'research'?
As my ex is a horse rider of many years I had a discussion with her about it and I searched for this 'data'. 99.9% of the horse forums mention this ' 3 extra seconds' that hi vis 'can' give you, yet can't produce any evidence to support it?
There is an oft made statement that a helicopter could see horse riders with hi-vis from an extra 1/2 mile away, unfortunately for both horse riders and cyclists we don't get struck/killed/maimed by helicopters hovvering above the ground.
Hi vis is unproven at all levels of road use and it's a dangerous fallacy to fall into thinking it will help...it doesn't.

Re: Claiming compensation after being knocked off your bike

CTC Forum - On the road - 5 November 2014 - 12:19am
Unless you got the registration plate the police are completely useless in my personal expereince of hit and run.
The only route you might be able to go down is if you have cycling insurance as part of british cycling/CTC etc, use the legal dept. Another way is to contact the MIB
https://www.gov.uk/compensation-victim-uninsured-driver

Re: Claiming compensation after being knocked off your bike

CTC Forum - On the road - 4 November 2014 - 11:51pm
Did you get the registration number or was the driver of the vehicle traced?

Normally your claim is against the driver of the vehicle but if the driver and vehicle cannot be traced you can submit a claim to the Motor Insurers' Bureau who are responsible for compensating victims of untraced drivers.

Re: Visibility: why are do so many riders in black

CTC Forum - On the road - 4 November 2014 - 10:30pm
People riding horses (even in full daylight) sometimes wear high-viz tabards these days, and horses often have high-viz 'quarter-sheets' (blankets over the back behind the saddle and over the bum) and/or high-viz boots (strips round the lower part of the leg) that are reflective and/or high-viz.

In daylight you'd think it was difficult not to see a horse whatever it or its rider was wearing, but drivers still drive into them.

(this is not an argument for cyclists to wear high-viz, BTW, just an observation in reply to a query in a post above. And re helmets, children riding horses on roads are legally obliged to wear one. Adults aren't, at least when I last looked. But given the height of a horse and the fact that it has a mind of its own, you have to be pretty stupid not to wear a helmet when riding one- almost no riders ride without in the UK.)

Claiming compensation after being knocked off your bike

CTC Forum - On the road - 4 November 2014 - 10:07pm
I was after some advice...

In July I was out riding on a Gran Fondo and 9 miles into my planned 80miles a 4x4 towing a caravan made to overtake me on a corner. An interesting graph can be found on my Strava as my speed drops instantly from 21mph to zero as I was knocked clean off by bike into the curb, pavement and hedge.

My bike was largely unscathed, minor cosmetic damage, but my kit was ripped but rather more significantly I now have a large scar on my thigh which is difficult to conceal. Luckily the severe bruising to my right arm cleared up after a few weeks and my grip and strength had returned in my hand, had it not I fear that may have ended my career, although I feel lucky to have even walked away from the collision!

The driver did not stop. I was able to ride onto the next village and reported the incident to the police. I have since completed a statement and am awaiting further investigation. I need to replace my kit and was told compensation claims were made independently.

Where is the best place to start?

Thanks in advance - Laura

Re: Visibility: why are do so many riders in black

CTC Forum - On the road - 4 November 2014 - 9:40pm
Does the horse wear hi-vis and a helmet?

Re: Jens gets Hour record

CTC Forum - Racing - 4 November 2014 - 8:38pm
Hi,
But nobody wants to do it the Merckx way............

Even Boardman did it that way second time

Thats funny because I am sure that Boardman did it on a Merckx bike I remember the Documentry, I specificlly remember that he had to use flat rims

"All records since 1972, including Boardman's 56.375 km (35.030 mi) in 1996, were downgraded to Best Human Effort. In 2000, Boardman attempted the UCI record on a traditional bike, and rode 49.441 km (30.721 mi), topping Merckx by 10 m (32.8 ft), an improvement of 0.02%."

I am sure Boardman had a steel frame too
In my eyes Boardman was the last on traditional bike............

Note: Type of record: (a) UCI unified record (from 2014), (b) UCI hour record (until 2014), (c) UCI best human effort (1972–2014).



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hour_record

Re: Visibility: why are do so many riders in black

CTC Forum - On the road - 4 November 2014 - 8:23pm
I wear hi-vis. Do I think it makes a difference? Not at all.
Apart from the obvious 'fact' that in most scenarios a driver *should* be able to see a rider without hi-vis consider this:-

Imagine yourself riding along in the dark without hi-vis, how would you ride?
Now imagine yourself riding with hi-vis, how would you ride now?

I suspect most folk will respond very differently to those two scenarios.
So now consider the fact that your average driver often has trouble seeing a cyclist in broad daylight!

So if you think you'd ride more carefully, change your route or do anything differently in the two scenarios then it should be obvious why not wearing hi-vis isn't quite as stupid as first appears. People not wearing hi-vis *think* they can't be seen. Those wearing it *assume* they can.

Re: Advice for tyre size for touring - 32c OK for off-road?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 4 November 2014 - 7:52pm
Personally I feel that the narrow/wide fast/slow debate can be a bit of a red herring. I don't time myself on trips. As long as I don't start to feel that my tyres are holding me back I'm happy with them, and a 1.75 road tyre running at 80 to 90 psi certainly meets that standard!

My attention was actually drawn by something in the original post, namely that the OP isn't confident of completing a puncture repair. If I had the chance of a dream trip like this I would address that as a priority.

I'm well aware that some combinations of rim and tyre can be "awkward", but the solution is usually a matter of technique rather than physical strength.

Once you have acquired your new tyres, try to find someone (friend, LBS) to guide you through it using your own wheels and tyres. Even if you have to pay for the training, the peace of mind will be worth it.

Re: Visibility: why are do so many riders in black

CTC Forum - On the road - 4 November 2014 - 7:29pm
It's that subtle difference between "I choose to do this" and "other people should do this". The latter obliges us non-believers to argue our case. If people stopped trying to insist that others wear the stuff then we could all go about our own business perfectly happily. Rest assured that we do not wish to take away your right to have hi-vis

Re: Visibility: why are do so many riders in black

CTC Forum - On the road - 4 November 2014 - 7:12pm
Ann Kennedy wrote:Yes every driver should drive at a speed that allows them to stop when they see a hazard ahead ... but sadly we don't live in that utopian world and there are stupid or just tired drivers on the roads. So why would you not increase your chances of being seen by wearing hi-viz when on your bike?? To me it is an issue of self-preservation rather than a question of whether drivers should drive better ...
It's an issue of self-preservation to me, but there's little evidence that hi-vis will preserve anyone. If you read the earlier messages above and on earlier pages, some people hypothesise how being seen a bit earlier might hurt as much as it helps.
And i am also a driver and last winter had a very nasty close shave whilst driving - I was stationary in the road, waiting to turn right on a dark and wet night - I just did not see the idiot on a bike in black and with no lights until the very last minute ... we missed each other but it was a matter of inches and i got quite a scare!
Why were you trying to see him with no lights? Turn them on!

More seriously: no-one is arguing that riding an unlit bike at night is a good idea, but it's still only a factor in 2% of collisions. Focus on the bigger source of dangers: bad drivers.

Re: Pushing a bike on a footpath.

CTC Forum - On the road - 4 November 2014 - 7:00pm
Should anybody wish to read Mathias in full it's linked from here: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=85109&start=15#p766399

Crank v Brooks: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=58598#p494460

Re: Visibility: why are do so many riders in black

CTC Forum - On the road - 4 November 2014 - 6:54pm
Yes every driver should drive at a speed that allows them to stop when they see a hazard ahead ... but sadly we don't live in that utopian world and there are stupid or just tired drivers on the roads. So why would you not increase your chances of being seen by wearing hi-viz when on your bike?? To me it is an issue of self-preservation rather than a question of whether drivers should drive better ...

I am also a horse rider and always wear hi viz and a helmet when on horseback or on bike ... research shows that cars see horseriders with hi-viz 3 seconds earlier than those without ... not much but it's quite a bit of braking distance.

And i am also a driver and last winter had a very nasty close shave whilst driving - I was stationary in the road, waiting to turn right on a dark and wet night - I just did not see the idiot on a bike in black and with no lights until the very last minute ... we missed each other but it was a matter of inches and i got quite a scare!

Re: Photos from my recent ride across Wales

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 4 November 2014 - 6:50pm
raybo wrote:.

When I got to the turn-off, I gave it a look and decided the A road option wasn't so bad, so I'd keep on it.


.

Yes, great photos and thankfully we've experienced most of those views on our tours.
The picture shown brought back some happy memories though. Mrs.Copy and I cycled from Pembrokeshire up to Carnarvon on our tandem a few years ago and took Route 8 from Corris over the mountain. That section is probably the steepest track we've ever tackled. There was no way we could ride it, even with our super-low granny gears. However, pushing the fully loaded tandem was agony. We could only walk 10 paces at a time as our calf muscles were screaming for mercy. Mind you the views from the top were amazing before emerging at the gate shown in the photo.
On our way down the field was full of cattle, with one absolutely huge bull parked right on the track about 30 metres before the gate.
Mrs. Copy was yelling at me to stop before he charged us but I freewheeled towards him and he finally ambled aside to let us pass. We often have a laugh about that part of the trip.
Looks like you had the best of the Welsh weather too. Glad you enjoyed it.

fausto.

Re: Mudguard suggestions please

CTC Forum - On the road - 4 November 2014 - 6:42pm
I have a similar question. I ride a Specialized MTB with Marathon Ultimate tyres and a Topeak pannier rack. Just back from riding the Thames Valley way - not too wet but got covered in mud up my back in particular and also well spattered on my legs. Not sure what sort of mud guards would suit - ideally want something that is easy to put on and take off as often disassemble bike for air transport. What should i be looking for?

Also, my husband also rides a (different and larger) MTB and has same tyres and pannier rack but miraculously he does not get as muddy .. why should that be??

Re: Advice for tyre size for touring - 32c OK for off-road?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 4 November 2014 - 6:35pm
Expensive tubes puncture just as easily as cheap tubes, at least for the normal black butyl type. There may be fewer failures at the valve.

At this point I'm not personally entirely convinced of that. My swap is from Kenda tubes to Schwalbe's own tubes identified as "Road" type. Is there any authoritative data?

The one thing I did note is that air retention is noted as better in reviews, which may go towards suggesting that the valves are indeed better fitted.

Of course if I stick within the pressure rules it may overwhelm and difference which may or may not exist :0(, so I may never find out.

Time may or may not tell.

Ferdinand
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