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Re: CTC Poly Bike Bag and Easyjet Questions

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 11 May 2015 - 5:07pm
I've recently flown Easyjet to and from Bari out of Gatwick using the CTC polybag method with absolutely no problems. It is worth contacting them (at customer.services@easyjet.com) to get an email confirming their acceptance, just in case you get an awkward individual at check-in.
At the same time it is worth getting them to confirm that there is no need to deflate tyres, they did this for me and it all went a treat.

Re: CTC Poly Bike Bag and Easyjet Questions

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 11 May 2015 - 4:53pm
I have never used a CTC bag but I have carried a bagged bike (actually two) with Easyjet on at least 12 occasions. Every year I go touring and put our bikes in cardboard boxes(free if you can transport to and fro the airport) from bike shops for the outward trip. I dispose of the box on arrival (large biffa bin at the airport). On my return I buy a cheap tarpaulin from a DIY shop. I have never had any problems in either direct.

Re: Signs - Minutes or Mileage

CTC Forum - On the road - 11 May 2015 - 3:46pm
Tonyf33 wrote:foxyrider wrote:There are some cycleroute signs in Handsworth, Sheffield that use time rather than distance - I'd post a pic but Streetview isn't new enough! Anyhow, the signage suggests Rotherham is 40 minutes and Meadowhall a mere 30 minutes.
Is that accurate or not?
Google maps gives a just over 4 mile distance to Meadowhall by road (a fair few minor roads not the car route) and a generous 10mph speed considering it's downhill all the way, is the signposted route suggested the one that goes all the way around the golf course?

From where the signs are i could by road in @ 15 minutes to M/hell, maybe 30 to Rotherham centre. The route they take you goes out around the airport then along the canal tow path, 30 minutes to 'hell would be about right, to Rotherham not sure which way they take you but i'm guessing something similar to Brinsworth so 40 mins quite doable. The return however is mostly uphill......

Re: CTC Poly Bike Bag and Easyjet Questions

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 11 May 2015 - 3:28pm
I can't help with those two specifics but...

The CTC advise printing out this page (http://www.ctc.org.uk/sites/default/fil ... ikebag.pdf) to prove that the bag is a "bike bag" for the benefit of any airline jobsworths

See their other advice here (http://www.ctc.org.uk/cyclists-library/ ... /bikes-air)

journey of a lifetime (book)

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 11 May 2015 - 3:10pm
Folks my good friend Dave has just finished his book on touring across America,its a super read with lots of funny stories on places and people ,also good info on the route.
all money made on the sale will go to charity
dave is a great bloke does a lot for charity so please dig deep
you can order the book from www.dds4op.com just click on journey of a lifetime to order
thanks

jags.

Re: Hebrides tour

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 11 May 2015 - 2:21pm
jamesgilbert wrote:Yet another option (but again you'd need to check train times to see if it's feasible):

- Leave the car at Tyndrum
- Train to Oban, ferry to Castlebay
- Cycle up through Barra, Eriskay, the Uists and the southern bit of Harris (3-4 days)
- Ferry from Tarbert to Uig on isle of Skye
- Cycle across Skye to Armadale & short ferry over to Mallaig (2-3 days)
- Train from Mallaig to Tyndrum

+1 Excellent route. I have done it twice.

Al

Re: Signs - Minutes or Mileage

CTC Forum - On the road - 11 May 2015 - 2:12pm
thirdcrank wrote:More generally, I'm amazed that so much effort has gone into this discussion with little comment about the rubbish "routes" which are being signed. Marketing has been mentioned and that's about it. It's often one more way of advertising "how much has been done for cyclists" so why don't they get off the roads and show a bit of gratitude? The mar... word here really is marginalisation.

Not always, although I have educated a few councillors that the reason cyclists are on the carriageway rather than the adjacent shared-use paths is often because those paths are unrideable junk. It's amazing how much ride-through videos highlighting the hazards helps, even if the councillor cannot/will not ride a bike around their own constituency themselves.

I'm trying to persuade our local cycling campaign to take control of the routing network for precisely this reason. It sucks that we need to DIY, but I can't see how else to stop the county council signposting routes that are Simple, Obvious and Wrong because they're sat 40-60 miles away and have forgotten that they built a barrier that prevents use by most cycles (including the hybrids that their construction contractors ride, but not the racing and folding bikes that the highway officers ride), that they let the borough council build a ramp that blocks a cycle route, or that they've let a surface deteriorate to the point that it damages bikes if they exceed 10mph!

Signposting different routes for bikes makes sense in King's Lynn. There are many paths/tracks, bridges and even level crossings which are closed to motor vehicles but open to bikes and that cut miles off of some journeys.

Re: Hebrides tour

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 11 May 2015 - 2:05pm
Yet another option (but again you'd need to check train times to see if it's feasible):

- Leave the car at Tyndrum
- Train to Oban, ferry to Castlebay
- Cycle up through Barra, Eriskay, the Uists and the southern bit of Harris (3-4 days)
- Ferry from Tarbert to Uig on isle of Skye
- Cycle across Skye to Armadale & short ferry over to Mallaig (2-3 days)
- Train from Mallaig to Tyndrum

Re: Hebrides tour

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 11 May 2015 - 2:02pm
the buses on the islands are all set up to take bikes, we went from the buttof lewis back to stornoway to save retracing our steps. (and the time thing).

So once you get to the butt of lewis, you could get a bus back to the bottom of harris, then back on the ferry and buses down the islands all the way back to barra. Why not? can always cycle a bit if you feel like it too. There are Worse places in the world to wait for a bus too.

Then ferry back to oban.

If the winds going the wrong way, then buses up to the butt, then ride back. Simple.

Id think about going in the hostels if you can, its not the average holidaymaker that youll find in there! and a bit more respite from the youknowwhats.

oh yes, good book on cycling on the islands, get it or have a look at one in the library if you can. Richard barrett . cycling in the hebrides

http://www.cicerone.co.uk/product/detai ... VCn8Relgw8

Re: Signs - Minutes or Mileage

CTC Forum - On the road - 11 May 2015 - 1:52pm
I think that including time estimates alongside mileages would be a good idea, particularly in urban areas where it might encourage more people to cycle. The times should be realistically achievable for any adult in moderate health who hasn't been on a bike since they were little. Particularly if the routes are direct and have priority over motor traffic (some hope, I know!) then a shorter ride than a drive may well entice many people.

In Birmingham, at least, I suspect there is little danger of suggested times being too ambitious. The Council are putting in bike infrastructure in the centre and on commuter routes, but only as far as 20 minutes' cycle from the city centre. I don't want to accuse them of being pessimistic about the average speed of cyclists, but I can RUN from my house to the city centre in 20 minutes and their infrastructure plans don't extend out as far as my house.

CTC Poly Bike Bag and Easyjet Questions

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 11 May 2015 - 1:35pm
I know this has been covered many times, but just a couple of points I would like clarified. I usually fly long haul with bike box so the poly Easyjet thing is new to me.

Firstly I thought these bags were a fiver, they now seem to be £12, is that right? As a CTC member presumably I can get a discount. Is that the platinum thing?

Secondly, has anyone actually had it confirmed by the Easyjet hierarchy that they accept these poly bags. Doing a search here, I find posts saying they were refused or had grief when using these bags with Easyjet. The Easyjet website just says use box or bike bag.

I am flying Southend to Jersey return (me £40 bike £70!!!).

Thanks in advance.

Re: Hebrides tour

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 11 May 2015 - 1:32pm
Are you committed to an End to End ride of the Hebrides?

As others have pointed out getting back to Oban in a week is going to be tough. Why not leave the car at Uig on Skye and take the ferry to Lochmaddy, plan a roughly circular route on the Hebrides, and return to Uig from Tarbet.

https://www.calmac.co.uk/article/2650/Hopscotch-14-Harris--Uists

You could explore Uist and Harris. Reinigeadal and Huisinis are well worth a look as also is the road out to Mealasta. The Butt of Lewis, apart from the lighthouse, is a bit disappointing

Re: Myanmar

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 11 May 2015 - 1:20pm
I went to Burma in Feb 2010, like Ive this was before the current liberalisation. Prices were cheap and things fairly basic. I think it is much the same now only prices particularly for accom have rocketed.

Road conditions were variable from good sealed to horrible broken up seal. You will be there in the dry season and it will be hot and dusty. You say Jan, I would advise missing very beginning as this wil still be holiday season for tourists and busier and more expensive.

You can now travel overland from Thailand and some have also continued to India, but that is more difficult. If flying in, then most go to Bangkok and then get a cheap AirAsia flight to Yangon. Visa easy to get in Bkk, but apparently long queues now.

Again I agree with looking at the LP site, lots of us there have been to Burma and there is loads of info. Use the advanced search to find relevant posts. Also look at crazy guy, a mate cycled there a few months ago and wrote it up on crazyguy. Something like the LP guidebook to Burma is a good starting point for places you will want to see.

Now you know lots have been there you will need to tailor your questions a bit. Tell me all you knows are very hard (and tedious) to answer.

Re: Signs - Minutes or Mileage

CTC Forum - On the road - 11 May 2015 - 1:03pm
I've made the point before, elsewhere (to the ivory tower) and probably on here, that distances in miles need to be shown along any extended off-road route in relatively deserted areas. I'm thinking in particular of disused railway tracks but there must be others. An inexperienced rider on that sort of path who suffers any sort of emergency for which they are unprepared (eg puncture or hunger knock) and who may have to resort to walking, needs to know whether it would be best to turn back or if they are "past the point of no return." I've been asked for this info myself by somebody I was able to help to continue happily on their way. (Fifty-odd years ago, a passing rider fixed a puncture for me and I've been fully equipped ever since and happy to repay my debt of gratitude to him to a younger generation.)

More generally, I'm amazed that so much effort has gone into this discussion with little comment about the rubbish "routes" which are being signed. Marketing has been mentioned and that's about it. It's often one more way of advertising "how much has been done for cyclists" so why don't they get off the roads and show a bit of gratitude? The mar... word here really is marginalisation.

Eurostar Sun 14 June/Weds 24 June - Bike tickets available

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 11 May 2015 - 12:57pm
Bit of a long-shot .... we have a booking on the Eurostar Bike service to Paris (check the bike in at St Pancras for the freight service - no bags or dismantling req) - one of our party has dropped out which means we have a spare ticket - it's for the train at about 1400 (check in by 1300) on Sun 14 June - the cost, discounted, is £22.00 (normally £30) each way.

AND we have the same deal coming back from Brussels on 24 June at about 1600

NOTE: This is for the BIKE ONLY - NOT A PASSENGER - you'd need a separate ticket for that (tickets we have are non-refundable)

If you want to buy either ticket please PM

Rob

Re: A Sad Day for Google Maps

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 11 May 2015 - 12:46pm
I haven't added anywhere above 60°N to cycle.travel, because the SRTM elevation data only goes to 60°N and that's what's used for the hillshading on the map, for the route-planning calculations, and for the elevation profile display. Other sources of elevation data are available, but it'll be a lot of work to gather them together and to adapt the code to work with the various different formats, and it's not been my top priority.

The countries currently included in cycle.travel's mapping and route-planning are Andorra, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, UK, Ireland, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain.

(I am currently working on adding a couple more countries... but I'm afraid neither of them are Norway!)

Re: Hebrides tour

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 11 May 2015 - 12:43pm
Options for return to Oban:

a) Ride back.
Not really feasible if all the time you have is a week. The shortest route is Tarbert - Uig ferry, ride across Skye, ferry Armadale to Mallaig, ride to Lochaline, ferry to Mull, ferry Craignure to Oban. There's also the Kilchoan - Tobermory ferry, that works out about 5 miles further, or Corran ferry & Connel bridge (not via Mull) that's about 8 miles further than Tobermory.

b) ferry to Stornoway to Ullapool, ride to Inverness, train

c) ferry Tarbert - Uig, ride to Armadale, ferry to Mallaig, train

d) ferry Tarbert - Uig, ride to Kyle, train

e) ferry to Stornoway to Ullapool, Highland bike bus via Ullapool/Durness to Inverness, train
http://www.inverness-durness-highland-bike-bus.co.uk/
May be a bit late to book this.

Whatever, you'll probably need to investigate train timetables.

Re: Signs - Minutes or Mileage

CTC Forum - On the road - 11 May 2015 - 12:36pm
whizzzz wrote:This was just what I was thinking both, a time for a slow / new rider and a distance would cover those who "get" miles and those who would think "wow, only 10 mins by bike, I might give that a go as I think I can do that long on a bike..." but who might shy away from a 2 mile ride. I love the idea that more people might try riding to something as simple as this.
The slow/new riders would not believe that they could cover 2 miles in the time given, or get depressed and give up riding if they didn't. The fast riders would take the times as a challenge to beat, adding the given times to the segment names on Strava and encouraging everyone to take mad risks and knock down old ladies on their way to evensong and pregnant women pushing prams. Worst of all worlds, isn't it?

Re: Hebrides tour

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 11 May 2015 - 12:08pm
Getting back to the start (Oban) can be pretty difficult as far as I am aware. I am planning an Outer Hebrides tour - Vatersay to Butt of Lewis for next May and I had been planning to drive to Uig on the Isle of Skye and take the ferry to Lochmaddy on North Uist then take our 2 bikes on the bus to Eriskay (island connected to the southern tip of South UIst) and onto the Island of Barra and cycle to Vatersay;

Here's a link to bus services in Scotland and travelling with a bike;

http://www.travelinescotland.com/cms/co ... bike.xhtml

When we get to the Butt of Lewis we will be cycling to Stornoway, staying over night then taking the bus to Tarbet on Lewis to get the ferry back to Uig on Skye.

I have walked and cycled in the Outer Hebrides before and one thing not to underestimate is the strength of the wind. I remember one day planning to cycle from North Uist to South and only getting as far as Benbecula because the wind was almost blowing me backwards!

Re: A Sad Day for Google Maps

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 11 May 2015 - 12:06pm
jamesgilbert wrote:The new version is very slow for me too, but even with the old version I rarely used google maps for route planning as there are much better services out there (http://cycle.travel/map being one of the best in my opinion).

It seems a bit challenged geographically speaking. It finds Gol here in Norway, and can plan a route over to FInse but it then places Gol in Oslo and expects you to take the boat from Oslo to Haugesund (?) There is also virtually no information on the map north of Oslo...
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