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Re: Ring, ring?

CTC Forum - On the road - 30 July 2014 - 12:40pm
The 'pingers' fitted to most bikes are useless.
I have the Dutch type 'Ding/Dong' bells fitted to all my bikes & they frequently get favourable comment.They are very effective at 50 metres range & are much preferable to a shouted 'coming through' or similar.
I always acknowledge someone moving with a wave & 'thank you'.

Re: Ten Miles a Day

CTC Forum - On the road - 30 July 2014 - 12:32pm
Lego-Ads wrote: I don't want this dry nice weather to end and my daily biking to get cut down
Welcome! Put some race blades (mudguards) on your bike and keep riding

Re: Hello & Help!

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 30 July 2014 - 12:14pm
I cannot comment on cycle touring solo but in general travel solo is far more rewarding.

Loire valley is a fantastic area.

Re language: Take a phrase book/dictionary (or loads of apps that do same) and always try in French first. It does not matter if you slaughter their language ... it is the fact that you tried French first that will generally ensure they will try their best to help. So never ever start with "Do you speak English?" but launch into what you think might sound like French (or prefix "Excuse/Pardonnez mon français"). (When I lived there and was looking to get my 2nd dog, my dictionary gave me the word for "puppy" but not the pronunciation and when not pronounced correctly the word was rather rude; yet everybody kept a straight face, provided loads of help and at one point somebody tactfully corrected my pronunciation. It was that I had tried that was important).

Ian

Re: Anyone use a trailer ?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 30 July 2014 - 11:58am
Yes that is exactly what I mean, thanks will order some locktite.

Can't believe my ukfixing 5M bar arrived this morning. Ordered late yesterday, £1.80 no charge for p&p and it arrived about a hour ago, overnight delivery and was packaged brilliantly.

Waiting for my skewer now but did order the one from Germany so might take a bit longer.

Dave

Re: Long distance MTB routes in the UK?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 30 July 2014 - 11:53am
Peddlars Way!! Truly a Freudian slip. Its the Peddars Way. A nice 2 day ride across Norfolk.

Back in the '80s when I got a mountain bike, I looked for decent off road touring routes. At that time there were very few published ones and so I often cobbled together what routes I could find.

Canal towpaths were good and could often be linked to make a route, eg Oxford, Grand Union and Aylesbury circuit. The Kennet and Avon is a good one, but linear. Some towpaths are easy, but some can be tough, rough and muddy if you want a bit more of a challenge.

The long distance trails are good and well described nowadays. Many are bridalways so can be cycled although they sometimes have annoying footpath sections. The Ridgeway, South Downs Way, etc can be connected with a bit of on road cycling to make a decent route.

I heard a radio programme a few years ago about someone taking a horse on the Offa's Dyke Trail. That would make a good ride.

The bottom line is that there are plenty of off road routes, but you need to be a bit creative to join them into a longer tour.

Re: Hello & Help!

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 30 July 2014 - 11:37am
Good advice above, although not sure immodium should be top of your packing list!

I am sure you will enjoy the trip on your own, possibly more so, dare I say it. I tour a lot on my own and realise that I see and appreciate so much more.

As a test, go for a short walk with a friend (urban or country). You will find that you miss much due to chatting. Also if you want to stop to look at something, your friend probably won't so you don't spend as much time as you would like. Then when your friend wants to stop, you probably won't be so interested. Then do the walk on your own and see how much more you appreciate it.

If nothing else, think of the kudos of venturing to a faraway foreign field on your own.

Re: Help with choosing bike type and/or commute through Lond

CTC Forum - On the road - 30 July 2014 - 11:26am
I have read 'Cyclecraft' and I think it is very helpful; definitely worth a re read. I will most likely do a Bikeability course a well. Looking at the Tfl bike maps, I've devised 3 routes possible routes I could take. One goes along and follows Hertforshire Road. The other two have one along the West of Great Cambridge Road and one on the east. They are both quite sinuous and are about 15.5 miles each, although the latter has to travel though the North Circular or you must dismount. I think I prefer the former. I guess it will come down to experience and confidence.

I don't think my current bike is suitable for this journey, however. It is not a well maintained Raleigh Pioneer 140. I would prefer something more suitable for the roads but with that comes the worry of theft. Apart from this 'bike vault' (http://www.camdennewjournal.com/news/2014/jul/bike-vault-be-rolled-out-bloomsbury-square-racks-lockers-and-showers) which I will have to check out first, there is no opportunity for indoor parking. Besides the essential deterrent of correct locking with good quality locks, I was thinking I could take the front wheel with me, replace the screws and bolts with more uncommon heads if possible, and painting the bike a more unappealing colour with 'not for sale' written on it. How effective is registering your bike and insurance?

One more thing, when buying a bike can you exchange a saddle for a more comfortable one for you before buying? Or do you have to pay for the bike with the existing saddle and then buy a new saddle?

Re: Hello & Help!

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 30 July 2014 - 11:03am
Welcome, Jon, and commiserations to your brother - daft thing to do before a cycling hol.

I've done a wee bit of Loire Valley cycling: if you like flat it's great. You can get the odd dose of Atlantic weather but that's part of the fun and not insuperable. I wouldn't worry too much about the language: even if your interlocutor has no English there'll often be someone nearby who can interpret.

I'd keep the distances down at first, obviously, and make the most of your surroundings. There's no great merit in pounding on for its own sake.

Couple of tips:

Take Imodium with you. It's available here but best be certain.
You can always get drinking water in cemeteries, they have water-taps linked to the ordinary mains.
Most small shops will close on Mondays. Exceptions will be some bakeries and service station shops. Supermarkets too, but then there's the bike-theft problem.
The "plat du jour" (set meal) in most restaurants is good value.

Any questions before Friday, fire away. After that I'm off myself.

John

Re: Ten Miles a Day

CTC Forum - On the road - 30 July 2014 - 10:36am
Hi all, fairly new here but this is a good thread to see what people are doing! I've put off getting a road bike for around 8yrs on the fear I'd always be the one on the path changing punctures. However in April I got my first bike (Specialized Allez) and although I didn't start using until mid May (Marathons and holiday's took over), I've been getting out 5-6 times a week and averaging 27.3 miles each ride.

I have to say I can't get enough and though I'm normally a fan of Autumn and Winter season, I don't want this dry nice weather to end and my daily biking to get cut down

Re: Bridge out on Lon Las Cmyru at Portmadog - options?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 30 July 2014 - 10:35am
Yes the bridge is still out. It is a fiasco of incompetence and intolerance. But it has all been covered at length elsewhere.

There is a convoy system in place at the most dangerous section which is a great safety benefit to cyclists on account of the narrowness of the road.
The detour still involves cycling on 7 or 8 miles of busy fast main roads though.
However, there is not really any other way to avoid some of these sections whichever way you choose.
Personally I would still use the coastal route as it is stunningly lovely, has more ice cream shops, pubs etc and has less ascent and descent (unless you really follow the Sustrans route into the steep coastal hills behind Harlech, which is a route unsuitable for heavily loaded cycling, IMHO).

The section from Barmouth to Dolgellau on dedicated cycle tack is simply fantastic. If you go inland you will miss it.

Re: Hello & Help!

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 30 July 2014 - 10:33am
ANTONISH wrote:I would stick to your original plan.
I started doing long touring rides in France in my fifties after hardly cycling for many years.
I'm still doing them at 73 (I'm sure there are others older than me doing the same).
The Loire valley is very nice for cycling.
Setting off can be daunting but I'm sure you will find that your fears are unfounded.
Edward Enfield (the comedian Harry Enfield's father) took a couple of similar trips to that you had planned. He wrote a book about his experiences (Downhill all the way) which is amusing and informative. It's a worthwhile read for someone planning a first tour.

I had never heard of this, but I just went over to Amazon to check it out, and for info it's 99p at the moment for Kindle.

Re: Hello & Help!

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 30 July 2014 - 9:46am
I would stick to your original plan.
I started doing long touring rides in France in my fifties after hardly cycling for many years.
I'm still doing them at 73 (I'm sure there are others older than me doing the same).
The Loire valley is very nice for cycling.
Setting off can be daunting but I'm sure you will find that your fears are unfounded.
Edward Enfield (the comedian Harry Enfield's father) took a couple of similar trips to that you had planned. He wrote a book about his experiences (Downhill all the way) which is amusing and informative. It's a worthwhile read for someone planning a first tour.

Re: Dog walkers or horseriders?

CTC Forum - MTB - 30 July 2014 - 9:34am
MichVanNic wrote:[
If you are approaching walkers etc why can't you slow down?

Why do you assume that I do not? The encounters I was referring to happened at walking pace. And I'm not a mountain biker!

Re: Camera question - what do you use

CTC Forum - On the road - 30 July 2014 - 9:26am
JamesE wrote:I asked this question a few months back and got lots of good answers. None of which I’ve followed up on…
how come?

Re: Anyone use a trailer ?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 30 July 2014 - 9:25am
theDaveB wrote:Well think I have ordered one of everything mentioned on this thread, so have spares and more spares.

How is everyone finding the little springy screws that lock the trailer to the skewer ?

My trailer has never fallen off but they don't feel great.

Dave

if u mean this

trailer 003.jpg

I used locktite to to stop it unwinding from its holder. The spring not convincing

Re: Long distance MTB routes in the UK?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 30 July 2014 - 9:23am
A quick recce of the routes online show that the Peddlars Way is good for cycling. The Ridgeway is mostly Bridleway. the Icknield Way has an official route for cyclists and horses, called the Ickield Way trail. The Wessex Ridgeway has a really detailed guide here which is showing a full cycling route as well. So the full route should be cycle-able, with the majority off road.

Re: Camera question - what do you use

CTC Forum - On the road - 30 July 2014 - 9:19am
I don't have one, but this was taken with a chilli tech action camera 120hd and was good enough to get the registration.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2stHmGD7SHA[/youtube]

Re: Dog walkers or horseriders?

CTC Forum - MTB - 30 July 2014 - 9:15am
Psamathe wrote:MDC wrote:Who gets your vote for the most irritating?
Abstain ... because our countryside should be for everybody to enjoy and we need to be considerate to all users.

So often on this forum there are "anti-motor vehicles" posts blaming drivers for anything and everything. Now we are "blaming" dog walkers and "blaming" horse riders. It is sounding like cyclists want everybody else to just get off everything and everywhere and have everything turned over for the exclusive use of cyclists.

A disappointing question.

Ian
+1
I couldn't agree more with this sentiment.

Re: Bridge out on Lon Las Cmyru at Portmadog - options?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 30 July 2014 - 9:01am
I don't know route 82 (inland)
However, we had an absolutely stunning day between Machynlleth and Porthmadog....its just a few miles of main road to get round the bridge that's down, and when we were there we had traffic lights that made the narrow bit of road one way at a time.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/52358536@N06/collections/72157645498977067/...our day 3

Re: Long distance MTB routes in the UK?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 30 July 2014 - 8:43am
the first one that jumps to my mind is the national trail- the Pennine Bridleway (NOT the Pennine cycleway). Its only 200 miles long though (and I dont think the top bit is fully sign posted yet)

Other than that you may want to look at something like the Greater Ridgeway - 360ish miles from Lime Regis to Hunstanton. It's made up of 4 signposted walking paths - The Wessex Ridgeway, The Ridgeway National Trail, the Icknield Way and the Peddars Way National Trail. At least some of these paths allow mountain biking (being bridleways), some are footpaths and I don't know the specifics of each.
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