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Bother - CalMac Summer Timetable Lochboisdale to Mallaig

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 8 January 2015 - 4:19pm
Just before Xmas I was looking at the CalMac timetables and idly thinking about possible trips for 2015 when I noticed the service from Lochboisdale to Mallaig. This looked very promising as I've been thinking of doing a trip from Oban, up through the islands to Harris over via Skye and then mainland via Applecross to Ullapool, return via Lewis, Harris, Skye, then Moidart and Mull. The only bit I didn't like was the double crossing of Skye. This route offered the chance to avoid that (by doing a loop through the Uists and then crossing to Mallaig). Unfortunately having now seen the Summer timetable it seems this route is an experimental winter only service (3 years test), bother! I wonder what will happen after the 3 year pilot?

Re: LLC and Wales Questions

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 8 January 2015 - 2:53pm
A thread about options at Porthmadog...
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=89071&p=806175

Re: How limiting is a rigid bike?

CTC Forum - MTB - 8 January 2015 - 2:31pm
As the OP, some of the early posters were correct in guessing that my interests laid more in pootling off road touring than full on MTBing. For the past year or so I have been enjoying riding an old rigid Rockhopper for this purpose which has been great fun.

I thank all the posters for their responses and I particularly like some of the more adventurous pictures

Re: Belgium fixed base recommendations please

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 8 January 2015 - 2:16pm
I went over there with the OH this year - 4 days near La Roche-en-Ardenne at a great little campsite next to the river that lets you light campfires (http://www.campingmaka.be/), another 4 days at the campsite in Brugge. Both were good but I think there's much more to get your teeth into in the Ardennes - hills and climbs and whatnot- as opposed to pancake flat Brugge and the surroundings. Still, we really enjoyed the contrast and the OH is not a big cyclist so it was good to engineer in some nice flat easy riding in the north, including a circular ride to the coast + picnic and sunbathing and a trip over into Holland. I wouldn't rule out spending some time in each part of the country, especially if you're coming over on the ferry from the north anyhow - but I would definately spend more time in the south.

/edit - doh, I meant last year.

Re: Belgium fixed base recommendations please

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 8 January 2015 - 2:01pm
I'll second any of the recommendations above, and suggest that you add Ghent to the list. I quite liked it there, and it has the advantage of being within a day ride to many of the tourist destinations in Belgium, including Bruges, which is touristic, but pleasant, coastal areas, which are worth a visit for variety (although flat), Brussels and Antwerp. Ghent also provides access to a network of pleasant canal-side routes. When you want a route that isn't so flat, you could head southward. It's a bit hilly towards Endingen and Ronse. And a bit more hilly in the Wallones region (Vlaams Gewest).

If you'd rather just long rides & scenery, then the Ardennes has clear advantages over northen Belgium, but it is quite hilly; comparable in many areas to Cornwall, or the Peak Disctrict.

Re: Belgium fixed base recommendations please

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 8 January 2015 - 1:19pm
Thanks Chocjohn9 & AndyK, both very helpful

Re: Los Angeles

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 8 January 2015 - 1:11pm
Saw this about a trip similar to yours on an entry about riding through Wales and thought it might be useful

http://www.biketouringtips.com/showTipC ... eadEntries

Re: Journal of my recent ride across Wales on LLC

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 8 January 2015 - 10:51am
Nice write-up and photos, thanks for posting. I must get around to doing the LLC, it looks great! Seems you were quite lucky with the weather, despite the hazy conditions.

Re: Journal of my recent ride across Wales on LLC

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 8 January 2015 - 9:45am
Thanks for posting this. I did the Lon Las a couple of years ago finishing up in Cardiff . Your journal makes me wish I'd kept a similar record, it also reminds me of what a great route it is.

Journal of my recent ride across Wales on LLC

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 8 January 2015 - 1:44am
In the second week of September, 2014, I rode from Holyhead to Chepstow on the Lon Las Cymru (and on to Beacsonfield, where family lives).

I have written a detailed daily journal of the ride with dozens of photos for anyone interested.

It was a challenging ride with plenty of uphill everyday. After the strenuous climb before Barmouth, I used A and B roads to avoid the steep climb south of Dolgellau and north of Llanidloes. Even with those changes, I had a great time and would recommend it to anyone wanting to get a full taste of what Wales has to offer.

Re: Saving faces

CTC Forum - On the road - 7 January 2015 - 11:18pm
The research is actually focussing on cyclists at the moment. Fairly rare to get 20mph+ full facial collisions any other way. Particularly with the mollycoddling that drivers get.

Rear seat passenger without a belt I suppose... (Or front seat without an airbag)

Re: Experience of La Vélodyssée/ Eurovelo 1

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 7 January 2015 - 11:02pm
I think you need to pick and choose which parts of Velodyssey to follow.
The canal towpath is Ok, but can be boring. However, I liked the old rail line from Morlaix to Carhaix-Plougeres and there are several towns on the towpath worth stopping in, such as Josselin, Pontivy and Malestroit. The surface varies, particularly between Redon and Nantes and wider tyres are better.
From Nantes I avoided the published route and made my own way on small roads to La Roche sur Yon because it was more direct and avoided the many coastal resorts, which can be busy.
The section from around Arcachon to Cap Breton is endless very well surfaced, quiet, flattish paths through interminable pine trees. Easy going, virtually no traffic, but again, to me it was too quiet.
I suppose I averaged 40 miles per day on a loaded bike, with a few days of torrential rain and a constant cold headwind. I'd like to repeat it, with a few tweaks in pleasanter temperatures.
160km per day would to me be vastly excessive, but I guess it depends on your preference and fitness.

Re: Spain now included on 3

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 7 January 2015 - 11:00pm
22camels wrote:Still seems like it wouldn't help when it comes to making calls to local numbers in the country you are in? Looks like you'd be paying around 50p/min for that on pay as you go. So still better to get a local SIM.

I use Skypeout. Very cheap for making international calls. And as I get unlimited data on 3 I can use it anywhere. But I probably wouldn't need to make that many local calls when I'm in Spain. Occasional accommodation and stuff, but much of that you can do online these days.

Re: Saving faces

CTC Forum - On the road - 7 January 2015 - 9:45pm
good that the medical advances are helping individuals, lots of advances made through the military and fixing up soldiers. I found this interesting website re Queens hospital being at the forefront of plastic surgery BITD, lots of the work now archived is online http://www.gilliesarchives.org.uk/

The one thing that saddens me about the article is that as a byproduct it seems to once again support the cycling is dangerous meme, 'repairing our broken cyclists', and a picture with a helmet (that clearly had no impact on lessening the chaps injuries so why include it?).

It all adds up along with many many other articles including well meaning ones such as this, the conscious & subconscious bias in place when articles are written does have far reaching effects in the psyche and we end up with people like Dr.killer stating cycling is too dangerous..
Why couldn't the article be How the Royal London are fixing faces, just because the person described was cycling I'd bet cyclists aren't even close to being the majority 'group' of patients being treated, indeed the article goes on to say they treat many cyclists and carry on the description of cases, no mention of any other groups like say motorists who I'd reckon are top of the pile for such treatments.,

Re: LLC and Wales Questions

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 7 January 2015 - 9:45pm
The diversion, for the Brewit bridge, should be finished (fingers crossed) by the time you do your trip. Otherwise train is a good idea every 2hrs with space for 2 bikes. The other alternative is up and over through Rhyd (which is steep) but a nice drive, I haven't ridden it but many do:o)
Have a nice trip, I will wave if I see you go past our door:o)

Re: Loop of Wales - route advice please

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 7 January 2015 - 9:20pm
Stuart. Take the west side of the Conwy from Conwy town to Llanrwst and on to Betws y Coed. To get to Bala I would suggest A5 and then the back road in from either Pentrefoelas B4407 through Ysbyty Ifan or B4501 from Carrigydrdion. If you take the first one there is a back road to the south of Llyn Celyn which is nice.
If you are happy to miss out or drop down to and then back up there is a good route above the Conwy from Colwyn Bay B5113 all the way to Pentrefoelas (nice cycle friendly cafe just over the road from the pub)
Hope thats of some use )

Re: Loop of Wales - route advice please

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 7 January 2015 - 9:14pm
Thanks Dave. Valuable advice

Re: Loop of Wales - route advice please

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 7 January 2015 - 9:10pm
With those sort of distances I suspect that you will won't to stay on main roads; but from Machynlleth sustrans route 8 is tarmaced all the way to Dolgellau and is much more peaceful. Then the back road up towards Trawsfynydd is great and you can visit the forestry cycling centre with cafe (short bit of forest track) or take good back road loops and end up at Traws. I would take in Llanberis (Petes eats cafe) but not bother with the coast, you are never far from the noise of the A55, but Betws y Coed is ok (touristy) and the A5 out of Wales is ok, and you could divert to Bala and go over the Berwyns to Shrewsbury or Oswestry (which is nicer and nearer)
A lot of the main roads are the really the only route for heavy traffic and so get a lot of fast use, the side roads are much quieter
Have a great trip

Re: Touring with prescription glasses

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 7 January 2015 - 8:58pm
I have a pair of Oakley glasses with transitions lenses. They work very well night and day.

Re: And all she got was a penalty charge notice

CTC Forum - On the road - 7 January 2015 - 8:36pm
pete75 wrote:Those fake Minis are invariably badly driven but some might call it the motorists revenge given how much congestion and holdups the tram system caused in Nottingham when they were building the thing ..... They had a good trolley bus system until relatively recently - why did they get rid of it?

And in Bradford:
trolley7r.jpg
This was the last one in public service in Britain. But they may come back - in Leeds.
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