Feed aggregator

Re: freecamping italy - abandoned places?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 6 May 2015 - 4:09pm
khain wrote:s but finding a suitable spot isn't easy, even in the mountains. .

Care to say more khain?

I have the impression that there may be more use of fences/wire etc etc in Italy than the UK.

Certain places when freecamping I do prefer to use a bivvy if weather allows it - avoids the "oh my god what's that odd noise/did I just hear a footfall on a twig" thing you can sometimes get within the confines of a tent.

Thanks for all the answers so far folks - in the meantime I think I'll put a few of those abandoned places into my Garmin.

I think there are a fair few abandoned places in the Abruzzo.

Re: 5 days tour in Scotland

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 6 May 2015 - 4:09pm
I had 5 days in Scotland last summer started in Inverness then over to Skye before going to Malaig and Fort William and back up to Inverness.

More info and some photos are here http://andrewwaterfield.blogspot.co.uk/ ... tland.html

Re: 5 days tour in Scotland

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 6 May 2015 - 3:52pm
Note that there is a bike bus service that runs between Durness and Inverness via Lochinver and Ullapool - it may help your planning.

http://www.inverness-durness-highland-bike-bus.co.uk/

Re: 5 days tour in Scotland

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 6 May 2015 - 3:17pm
Personally I'd avoid Glasgow/Inverness, you'll end up in tourist traffic. West is best is often said, but the Borders, Cairngorms, Sutherland are all great places to cycle.

I'd suggest you have a look through the Audax routes (http://www.aukweb.net/events/?Region=scotland), as these are created by (usually) locals who deliberately pick quiet and scenic routes. If you pick some routes (play around with the Perms on the site too) that appeal, then just link them with minor roads. I can think of a few nice routes from Edinburgh to Inverness via the Cairngorms, which can be just as scenic as the Glasgow/Inverness route but with quieter roads. Or I'd go from Glasgow and wander up the coast, rather than head inland to Inverness, maybe up to Fort William.

I think using the A82 is fine if it's part of a longer cycle, but to sit on it for most of your holiday would be a shame.

cheers,

Re: Tour de Yorkshire

CTC Forum - Racing - 6 May 2015 - 3:10pm
Anyone know where the attached wind turbine is? From the commentary it's somewhere near the Cote de Goose Eye (Oakworth / Laycock ?)...

Re: People who have cycled the Pamir Highway...

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 6 May 2015 - 2:58pm
Hi Serbring,

Hope you are well?

Regarding your sleeping bag issues, I had a Mammut three season bag, with a comfort temperature of -5c and a an extreme of -22. Needless to say that it never reached -22 but we clocked nights on the high plateau of -5 and slightly below that, this was in End June early July 2014. So do be prepared for some cold nights at altitudes over 3500m. If you can get a good second hand or new 3 season natural down bag I would personally recommended that, as it is better to be to hot than to cold, they also pack small and keep you very warm, just don't get them wet...

Security and protection wise, the whole of the GBAO has a heavy police/army presence due to a number of reasons both political and geographical. Having said that the areas most heavily policed by the army are the Amu Dara river area, making the border with Afghan/Tajik, there is a high amount of Herion passing through these areas and people on both sides of the border making money through the trade. Our experience was that the army (3 men in a car 1 uniformed the others not) turned up just as we were setting up camp asked how many of us they were and told us they would station a armed soldier by out tents until the morning for safety.

Pump wise definitely take your MSR multi fuel, they is a very limited stock of gas canisters in Dushanbe which are expensive and not easy to find. Petrol is easy to come by in the bigger towns in the Pamir and you will need your stove even if you intend to use homestays or not, certainly for the remote stretches.

Food wise my wife and I rolled with very thing we needed, we topped up in Khorog with some pasta, snickers and other small things. We stayed in 4 homestays, and camped every other night we were there. Personal matter of choice really, either stock up with the good quality food in Dushanbe or rely on towns on route, such as Kalaikhum, Khorog and Murghab. But note the food supply isn't the best in the Pamir. Have at least 4 days worth of food on you to be sure and so you can enjoy yourself and the Pamir.

We had around $1000 US, which included a few dollars emergency funds. regarding spending Euros I can't say, only had US dollar and Somani. You can change Euros in Dushanbe on Rudaki avenue though.

Have a great trip.

K

Re: freecamping italy - abandoned places?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 6 May 2015 - 2:35pm
If you're just in a bivi bag does it even count as camping?

I'd be more worried about personal safety than anything else. I've camped wild in Italy a few times and didn't have any problems but finding a suitable spot isn't easy, even in the mountains. I'm not sure if camping in national parks is allowed, I suspect not.

Re: 5 days tour in Scotland

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 6 May 2015 - 2:28pm
Lots of nice 5 day tours in Scotland but I would prefer: Inverness, Lochcarron, Ullapool, Durness, Lairg, Inverness.

Re: 5 days tour in Scotland

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 6 May 2015 - 2:24pm
NCN route 7 is far from the best scenery and while the track has improved it's not great for a road bike. It's not a great cycle at all to be honest.

For scenery the west is generally best. If you're ok on main roads the A82 between Crianlarich and Fort William is a fantastic cycle but might be a little busy in summer. You can either head up from Glasgow along Loch Lomond (there's an NCN route part way) or through the Trossachs from the east. Either way is a really nice cycle.

The north-west highlands and islands have probably the best scenery, though you won't see that much of them in 5 days. You could go from Fort William up the west coast as far as you can get then head down to Inverness. That would give you most of the best scenery, really a different class from NCN 7.

Weather-wise the east is usually driest and sunniest but has far less impressive scenery.

Re: Trailer vs Panniers

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 6 May 2015 - 2:19pm
BTW to anyone towing a trailer with a child in please refer to the operators manual for your trailer model. They usually give you a maximum recommended speed for riding at while towing the trailer. With my Burley D-lite that is 15mph. With another make I think it works out at 18mph. All that is a lot less than the 30mph someone on here claimed to be riding at. It may be safe at speed but personally I do not want to test it with my toddler, your choice of course (not the choice of the trailer occupant over the speed traveled). I have done 24.6mph (as I discovered after checking Strava at the end of the ride) but I got a stern telling off at the time and slowed down. The D-lite was very stable at that speed but at what speed does that stability go?

At what speed does the stability go? It doesnt!

I did 8,500 miles with my daughter in the trailer and we showed it no mercy, the two previous owners got more use out of it each than I did and we all agree the thing knows no limits.
Let the manufacturers stick on a 15mph limit to cover themselves against people doing something stupid at a speed greater than that.

As for not the choice of the trailer occupant, they loved it!

So we have three families here who have succeeded in pushing this trailer as far as they wanted through the toddler years of their children with never a moment's scare from the trailer. If that isnt good enough an indicator, what happens if you do go unstable and come off? The rider gets hurt and the child laughs at them as they ride relatively safely over the top in a trailer. I never felt that happy about a baby seat on the bike.

The only reason I can not make claims of 50 mph is because the aerodynamics would never allow it.

My trailer days are probably the happiest days of my life and my daughter loved them too. She did her first AAA Audax in it at three or four years of age, plenty of good descents on that too. I am totally relaxed about riding with the trailer as it was just so reliable and steadfast. Non stop hills around here and we would come down them at thirty miles an hour on a regular basis, going up was often a tenth of the speed.

Between us we have probably thirty thousand miles of experience of that trailer, often in very hilly terrain. I consider it well tested in real life and it passes with flying colours.
Somebody once described to me watching it go airborne behind me when traversing a speed bump (It may even have been Eileithyia from this forum).

Re: Trailer vs Panniers

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 6 May 2015 - 1:56pm
TBH I do not know. I was really thinking of caravans and what I have read about them snaking. I have read some things on trailers for cars about loading being important in the past. I can honestly say I have never had the snaking trailer but perhaps I just have not towed one for long enough and given time I will experience it. So far I have only towed our child trailer behind a bike and a kayak trailer behind a minibus a few times. These loads and the weight distribution between towing vehicle and the trailer are a lot different to car/trailer combo. I have towed a kayak trailer with a collapsed frame that meant the mudguard was rubbing on the tyre. I did not realise for some time resulting in a very hot tyre and nearly a blowout. That is the limit of the personal experience of trailers being difficult.

I would have thought the way the load is evenly spread in the trailer has an impact on how it handles. Also the design of the trailer also matters. I have seen a small tipper truck towing a tiny trailer before now with the trailer positively jumping around behind the truck. The driver would have been oblivious about it because there was no line of sight to the trailer. I guess that counts as extreme snaking.

BTW do you feel the cycle towed trailer is any different in how it handles to the car trailer? Perhaps a cyclist rarely exceeds the speed necessary for snaking. Afterall most trailer makers give a max speed limit for towing their trailers. My Burly is 15mph.

Re: Trailer vs Panniers

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 6 May 2015 - 1:53pm
I've towed with a bike and with a car.

Car:
Caravan
Trailers - four different ones over the years. Various loads from 12cwt of coal, and empty.

Bike:
Carry Freedom - various loads including TWO concrete blocks and zero load too.

Never ever ever have I had any snaking or weaving.
Make sure the weight is over the axle and not on the nose or tail.

5 days tour in Scotland

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 6 May 2015 - 1:53pm
Hi!
I'm planning to take 5 days off to see a bit of Scotland in August, but I'm not really sure where to go. The most important thing to get as much beautiful scenery as it is possible to pack in this short time. We'll probably be going with a few friends who only have road bikes so the road mustn't be too bad... We'd be wild camping (yes, I know, midges). Also we'll be coming from London so it should be convenient to get to/from (we might arrive by plane - cheaper - and leave on a sleeper train)
For the moment I'm considering the NCN7 route from Glasgow to Inverness - seems really good but I'm not sure if it's doable without stress in five days (with a train to catch on the last evening); and from what I've read it's not advisable to use road bikes on this. So any advice on this route or any other recommendation would be very welcome.

Re: freecamping italy - abandoned places?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 6 May 2015 - 1:37pm
Many thanks for the encouraging reply eileithyia - I was rather living in fear of some no no no nannying responses.

Interesting experiences of yours - a long time ago I did once camp with a cheap dome tent on pretty disused cinder tennis court/football pitch in full view of the Sardinian town which climbed above it. I maybe wouldn't do something so visible in Sardinia any more as the place has gone upmarket somewhat, even away from the Costa Smerelda. My experience and yours makes a free standing dome/semi geodesic tent a good idea I think.

Re your tagline by the way - HG Wells was of course a great cycling fan - also a great fan of untramelled women as well though, whether on bikes or not

Re: Trailer vs Panniers

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 6 May 2015 - 1:33pm
Tangled Metal wrote:The speed that this happens at is not fixed but changes as the load in the trailer changes and TBH I think it is bad luck or bad loading of the trailer that gets the snaking.
So what's good loading of a trailer? I've never had one before the last year, for any vehicle.

Re: Trailer vs Panniers

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 6 May 2015 - 1:25pm
I've never had snaking with my trailer (a child one weighing 13,6kg empty and usually about 28-30kg full I think). I believe the sales blurb from Burley goes on about testing for stability and how the towing arm is off centre so the centre of the trailer is in line with the centre of the bike. This means there is not supposed to be much of a moment at the hitch but I do not know for sure whether that it correct. I have never noticed a side pull to my Burley so perhaps it is well set up. The most I have had from my trailer is a bounce onto one wheel when I rode over a big rock at a bit of speed when riding off road with it.

BTW to anyone towing a trailer with a child in please refer to the operators manual for your trailer model. They usually give you a maximum recommended speed for riding at while towing the trailer. With my Burley D-lite that is 15mph. With another make I think it works out at 18mph. All that is a lot less than the 30mph someone on here claimed to be riding at. It may be safe at speed but personally I do not want to test it with my toddler, your choice of course (not the choice of the trailer occupant over the speed traveled). I have done 24.6mph (as I discovered after checking Strava at the end of the ride) but I got a stern telling off at the time and slowed down. The D-lite was very stable at that speed but at what speed does that stability go?

IIRC with cars you accelerate out of a snaking trailer but I have never been in that situation. It is basically about changing the speed of travel so that the resonance of the trailer with the drive source is not met. Braking is supposed to cause even more issues. The speed that this happens at is not fixed but changes as the load in the trailer changes and TBH I think it is bad luck or bad loading of the trailer that gets the snaking.

Re: An answer to potholes

CTC Forum - On the road - 6 May 2015 - 12:42pm
James, I share your scepticism about resurfaced roads, but the local improvements I mentioned are good. The old surface was ground down flat (with raised manholes, etc) before several new layers of properly rolled tarmac were laid! Where the money came from I don't know.

Re: freecamping italy - abandoned places?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 6 May 2015 - 12:07pm
No experience of the abandoned villages. But had some strange experiences of camping in Italy.
1st night we were climbing up a valley road, had not found a place to camp as a thunder storm was gathering, last minute we found a car park with a flat grassed area next to a closed restuarant (the tent that had only been used once before never went up so fast), no one was around, no one bothered us etc.
Next night arrived at a campsite, no one around, worker turned up part way into evening and did some work in toilet block (later locked one but left one open), at one stage walked over toward us, i dived into tent to get money to pay, instead he walked straight past, ran a flag up a pole and walked off.... workers arrived next morning, we made no secret of the fact we were packing up but was never asked to pay up...

Couple of other times we found some corner on a mountain road to camp and were never bothered.... (we were in the Dolomites and linking back across to the Bolzano area).

I doubt you would have any problems.

Re: Trailer vs Panniers

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 6 May 2015 - 11:55am
Vorpal wrote:It is a good technique, and a child trailer tends to get more space on the roads, anyway. A child trailer, plus protectively positioned parent takes up more or less the same space as a car, and driver are more likely to overtake correctly. However, Norwegian drivers are generally more considerate than British ones. And I wouldn't expect quite as much space and care in the UK as Norway.
Indeed. However, you do have to be careful in Norway particularly just after knocking off time. We have had enough close shaves with vehicles with green number plates between 4pm and 6pm to know that not all Norwegian drivers are always that considerate. Generally if I am being tailgated whilst driving my car it will be a vehicle with green number plates or one with a number plate that starts with BS. Both groups seem to be in a terrible hurry to get somewhere.

Re: How limiting is a rigid bike?

CTC Forum - MTB - 6 May 2015 - 11:31am
reohn2 wrote:you being a Leghorn

I had to look that one up Only the English could bastardise the easily pronouncable Italian town of Livorno into Leghorn

Following your usually dependable and respected advice reohn2, I've ordered a pair of Schwalbe Landcruisers 26" x 1.9 and see if I can take to this riding off road thing - as long as there's no mud and my bike doesn't get dirty And my eyes don't rattle in their sockets
Syndicate content

Archive

  • Patron: Her Majesty The Queen
  • President: Jon Snow
  • Chief Executive: Paul Tuohy
  • Cyclists' Touring Club (CTC): A company limited by guarantee, registered in England no.25185. Registered as a charity in England and Wales No 1147607 and in Scotland No SC042541

Copyright © CTC 2015

Terms and Conditions