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Re: Lon Las Cymru - 4 or 5 days

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 27 May 2015 - 7:30pm
The bridge was very much closed to all vehicles, pedestrians and bicycles when I was there two weeks ago . I don't know about the trains.

I went around the estuary along the busy trunk road. It added about an extra 8 miles. I'm not aware of any alternative route across.

On the other side of the estuary there's some very strange car convoy system in place along a 3-mile stretch of road. The section of road is open only to one direction of traffic at a time. A works van follows as an escort at the back of the convoy of vehicles. When the van reaches the end of the 3 mile stretch its then the turn of the convoy of vehicles going in the other direction. So on and so forth.

I ignored this and went on my merry way along the stretch of road getting strange looks from vehicles coming the other way. I couldn't see any roadworks in progress or any reason for this bizarre system to be in place. Perhaps I missed it!

Re: Problems I never knew needed solving

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 May 2015 - 7:15pm
Funnily enough I went out last night for a quick blast on my newly rebuilt Raleigh titanium, 23mm Schwalbe Stelvio light tyres, I'm 105kg, had them at 115/100 which was just a bit of guesswork and lo and behold no problems comfort wise.
I was able to hold a much higher gear ratio up the hills (compared to my day bike with 32mm lightweight folder/25mm gator) including big ringing' it up a short 2.5-3% incline at 20mph...seated! The vital thing was no discomfort comparatively.
I've just fitted some 28mm conti 4 seasons and disappointingly they measure 26mm fitted to my DT Swiss R1.1s
Will see how they go.

Re: Problems I never knew needed solving

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 May 2015 - 6:52pm
I can't ride on drops and have been on and off them several times before leaving it flat bar. Always feels like I am hunched over and can't get the same power on drops, then trying to curl my fingers around on the drops to shift down, I can't grasp it and need everything at my fingertips.

OP you went from one extreme to the other. Mine was a bit harsh on 700x23's so I got Marathon Plus in their thinnest one, only one up from a 23 @ a 25 but those tyres in particular have a 5mm layer in them, it makes them one of the heaviest tyres and grip isn't as good as slick 23's but I am sure just that alone would take a lot of your problems away, front and rear. Just have the M+ tyres set on about 80 psi. Best tyres I have ever used, my only criticism is they don't grip well because they have a tread on them and they don't have a smooth line down the middle of the tyre.

Thing is those tyres mean I can go down canal paths and stuff, with slick 23's you'd have no chance in the wet although thats more down to the rider's own skills.

Sitting upright and sorting out slightly comfier wider tyres was all I needed to do. Its always going to be real harsh if you just switched.

In fact I was using a carbon frame that soaked up all the vibration and hated how flexy it was, so went back to my cheapo cheapo aluminium frame, that does have a carbon fork. The foam grips on my bars are a lot thicker than Cinelli bar tape, I have a semi-padded saddle, it all adds up.

Re: Police Had Pulled Over a Driver

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 May 2015 - 6:35pm
Every single time I had to take my documents to the police station the next day, or whenever I could get there.

You would think that sooner or later you would decide it was easier to carry your documents in the car, to avoid all this hassle.

Re: Police Had Pulled Over a Driver

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 May 2015 - 6:09pm
When I was 17 with my mates in the car I got pulled every night. Every single time I had to take my documents to the police station the next day, or whenever I could get there. No explanation, no reason, no paying my petrol costs or compensating me for the time it took to drive to the station, nothing. I think there should be some sort of counter claim form for this so you can claim back some money for the inconvenience. What it all hinges on is that there wasn't a lawful reason to stop someone and demand that they produce their documents and that person should be compensated.

I almost got fired one morning because of it. What would I be able to do if me being held up getting pulled over (without a reason, as it was every time) had caused me to get fired? Absolutely nothing and that is my point. Cops need to be held accountable for their actions, cops of all people, especially when they are barking up the wrong tree. When they pull you they say stuff like "You seem nervous" lol. Nice mind trick you've got there, what else have you got up your sleeve, come on, impress me. I should have said "I am pretending to be nervous".

What I was nervous about, was being held up for work and potentially losing my job because some asshat thought it right to pull me over without any reason. They even ask stuff like "Where are you going at this time" lol. Well here's a clue - I was driving there quite happily and was going to get there on time until you came along, HURRY UP.

Re: Lon Las Cymru - 4 or 5 days

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 27 May 2015 - 5:40pm
Oh - is that Pont Briwet bridge open to cyclists or did you take the detour (or train?). Nothing I can find online has any recent updates on the status of the bridge.

Re: Problems I never knew needed solving

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 May 2015 - 5:31pm
I don't understand the whole lightweight tyre thing. When I rode TT weight mattered. I was at my lifetime lightest and those 20 years of racing where wonderful. But for a training or touring ride tough tyres where the thing to have. "Modern Cyclists" don't seem to get the fact that however lightweight your plastic fantastic bike is the roads are still covered in glass particles, dead hedgehogs and thorns. The weight you save being at your lightest body weight with your super carbon bike gives you the space for some "heavy" puncture proof tyres.
After all no one would be stupid enough to buy a super lightweight bike if they were carrying excess fat
. Would they . . . . ????
Steel frame bikes for me for ever!

Re: Police Had Pulled Over a Driver

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 May 2015 - 5:13pm
I think you'll find gendarmes almost invariably respectful. When They answer the phone they say blah di blah 'a votre service' as a salutation. Now crs, that's another matter.

Re: Police Had Pulled Over a Driver

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 May 2015 - 4:59pm
I have been in a car 3 times that has been pulled over. All times have been in a foreign country.

Twice in Italy. One I was small enough to not remember why, but the other time we got stopped by the Carabinieri. One of them was lounging against their Alfa smoking, and looking impeccable in his shades and uniform, the other was gesturing at us with a sub-machine gun. Unsurprisingly dad stopped rather sharpish. It turned out that they wanted to chat to us because we were English and were rather disappointed when dad answered them in Italian.

The other time was on the motorway in France with me, 2 other lads, and about 70 bottles of wine from Italy. We got stopped because we were 3 young men in a very loaded car. One of the policemen took a very detailed interest in an open jar of viscous fluid on the back seat. We got waved over rather quickly when the other copper cottoned on that it was honey and started taking the pee.

Re: Dodgy Dutch Bicycle Roundabout

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 May 2015 - 4:56pm
ferdinand wrote:Hmmm.

I wonder what the comparative traffic levels of the two junctions are?

F

If there is traffic at roundabout then I might consider using the bike lanes.

Re: Police Had Pulled Over a Driver

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 May 2015 - 4:38pm
661-Pete wrote:... - and this being France, I guess it wasn't of the "'ello 'ello 'ello!" variety! ...

More likely, "Good moaning. Wire's the fear?"

Re: Santander to Biarritz

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 27 May 2015 - 4:35pm
Completed this trip successfully. I wouldn't recommend it particularly, as the main section in Spain was on busy roads (marked as green routes on the Michelin maps) with cars and lorries zooming past ones' left ear'ole. Once in France you join the tail-end of the Velodyssey, so the route become more bike-friendly. The hills are numerous and although not too onerous, they become tiring for relatively unpracticed cyclists bearing heavy panniers. Some wonderful seaside places to stop although the weather was against us so we didn't get to play on the beaches. Next time I organise a group trip I'll stick to cycle routes.
Pleasant overnight ferry Plymouth to Santander
Great towns and seaside places to visit.
Good food and accommodation and good value in Spain, but a leap in prices in France.
Smooth 5 hour train journey Biarritz to Paris and Eurostar to London. Booking for bikes in advance is essential - we had to divide our small group between 2 trains even though I booked 3 months ahead.
Have fun,
Paul

Re: Dodgy Dutch Bicycle Roundabout

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 May 2015 - 4:13pm
Hmmm.

I wonder what the comparative traffic levels of the two junctions are?

F

Re: London to Paris - Dieppe camping

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 27 May 2015 - 4:03pm
Thanks for the advice, thats really helpful. I think you might be right, get on with it early on day 2 and have a good rest in the evening.

So pleased you mentioned lights, I definitely would have forgotten to bring them. Much appreciated!

Re: Butser Hill - proposed cyclepath for the missing link

CTC Forum - On the road - 27 May 2015 - 3:53pm
Maybe I panicked . . . . . . based on long & bitter experience over the years . . . .
Thank you for your email.

Please be assured that works are not yet complete - the footpath is yet to have a 20mm overlay constructed and the levels will be regulated where necessary to provide an even surface. If you would like to discuss this, or any other of the cycle route construction issues further, the supervising engineer on [ phone number ].

Kind Regards,

Re: What do you do with your luggage if sightseeing?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 27 May 2015 - 3:42pm
But it's quite natural to worry about one's belongings if they represent both a substantial financial investment and if you worry about what a predicament you'd be in without them (think: tent, spare clothes, washing kit etc. etc.). It's one thing to imagine that the risk of loss is exaggerated but quite another to say, OK then, I'll stop worrying!
I deal with the issue by taking everything seriously valuable to me (passport, cash, cards, camera, mini-tool and wetwipes!) on a belt and I put up with the down-side of looking like a Batman wannabee! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batman's_utility_belt
That way, at least I know I've got everything with me that I'd need to get me out of a hole - let's face it, if the bike in its entirety goes, at least I can get a night's accommodation, food and get back home if I've got me passport and funds available.
When I'm in town and fancy a wander, if I can't park the bike-plus-luggage somewhere either locked way or at least overseen by say a cafe owner, I make a judgement call about the environs and sometimes resort to taking the luggage with me, which is why I use only three separate containers - 2 front rollers and a rack pack... which makes them just about portable. That's when I remember why Ortlieb provide those straps!

Re: North Sea Cycle Route

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 27 May 2015 - 3:41pm
syklist wrote:Do you mean Frederikshavn to Grenaa?

I think the OP intends starting in Hamburg, Frederikshavn is not a very good start point!

try this site http://www.northsea-cycle.com/ daveg

Re: What do you do with your luggage if sightseeing?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 27 May 2015 - 3:38pm
Put a sign on saying "Back in 8 hours, please do not pinch".

Re: Tour of Switzerland

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 27 May 2015 - 3:29pm
cyclingovereurope wrote:JJF wrote:Switzerland has a network of cycle routes. I have used a few of them and found the signing very reliable.
Look at
http://www.veloland.ch/en/cycling-in-switzerland.html
I looked at it but i don't understand if those are all cycling route, only for cycles, or some of them are along the main roads

Where they follow main roads there is usually a cycle path/lane but most of the 'main' roads have very little traffic - most transit routes have motorways taking the bulk of motor traffic but even the passes have, for the most part, got wide carriageways so its rare to come into too much traffic conflict outside of the cities. Even there I've found navigation in the cities very easy (I've ridden through Basel, Bern, Zurich, Lucerne etc), signposting excellent and they easily take you in and out of the towns. One thing I have noticed is that there isn't a lot of bike parking anywhere, they don't seem to be bothered where you park in general.

Re: Shetland

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 27 May 2015 - 3:12pm
hopefully one day
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