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Re: Motorcycles using cycle designated parking

CTC Forum - On the road - 16 December 2014 - 9:35am
I've seen motorbikes locked to/parked alongside the Sheffield stands round here, and its never even occurred to me that it was a problem. I've never seen one locked in such a way as it took up more 'locking space' than a bike would, as the stands are well spaced, and the motorbikes have been considerately parked, so I'm happy to share the space with them.

If there aren't enough stands, then there needs to be more stands; that's a different issue. I wouldn't want motorbikes excluded, though, I'd just want more stands.

Re: bbc i player,scottish audax

CTC Forum - On the road - 16 December 2014 - 8:34am
Watched it on my phone this morning. Two things of note... 1. Proof that the sun does sometimes shine in Scotland
2. No women riders.

Would like to have seen a bit more of the mental side of doing long Audax's. Am thinking of doing a 100k when the weather improves and from there I'll see.

Re: Touring in remote locations - advice please

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 16 December 2014 - 8:20am
mercalia wrote:[quote="tatanab]There are individual state laws about "concealed weapons permits" and for some there are weapons on display. Not that it matters because it would be illegal. As a foreigner you are not allowed to own one. [/quote]
Now that is interesting to know. is that only pistols or also (assault) rifles? not own but also rent/borrow?[/quote][/quote][/quote]Each state has its own laws about no weapons/concealed weapons/weapons on display. They do no even recognise permits from other states. There really is nothing much united about the united states in many ways (driving licences, bank transfers etc). If you want to try various weapons then a visit to a range can work out because you rent whatever you choose for your time on the range. An English friend visited me when I lived there and he (a very good UK club shooter) had a very happy couple of hours banging away with guns he had not fired before.

Re: Touring in remote locations - advice please

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 16 December 2014 - 8:15am
The Southern Tier has to be my least favourite for exactly the same reasons as IRC has mentioned. I also got knocked off the bike in Florida by a stationary car no less. Stupid woman flung open the door of her giant truck thing and backed out bottom first hitting me in the process. It wasn't a pretty sight.

I quite fancy doing the TransAm but linking up with the Western Express so I end up in San Francisco as it's easy to get to the airport by bike. I would also love to do the Underground Railroad because of the history involved rather than the ride itself. My family were Quakers who emigrated to the US in the 1870's up until the 1920's and I want to meet up with their relatives who live in Ohio.

I had forgotten about goatheads

Re: Touring in remote locations - advice please

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 16 December 2014 - 12:11am
MrsHJ wrote:
Noted! Scurries off to check out the adventure cycling map. Hmmm, how did you hook Pittsburgh back into the transam or didn't you bother?

Didn't hit the Transam until halfway across Kansas. Away from the two coasts and big cities there are plenty low traffic roads. I used old Route 30 (Lincoln Highway) from Pittsburgh to near Chicago. Then took the Northern Tier for a few days. Then just followed quiet roads going in the right direction.

The Lincoln Highway was one of my favourite sections. A two lane road carrying only local traffic as through traffic is on the freeways built to supercede the Lincoln. As the former main road it goes through the middle of the small towns and is a pretty direct route.

https://www.lincolnhighwayassoc.org/

Re: Established touring routes?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 16 December 2014 - 12:00am
Might be something here to whet your appetite.
http://www.esterbauer.co.uk/international.html

Re: Touring in remote locations - advice please

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 December 2014 - 11:04pm
irc wrote:MrsHJ wrote:What was the southern tier like? I've read such diverse reports. It's on my possible list.

It was the least favourite of my 3 USA coast to coast rides. Why? Less varied scenery. The 900 miles of Texas was a bit samey in places. Far more sections of busy roads where the riding was on a shoulder with busy traffic a short distance away. Still worthwhile if you are restricted to a time window from late Sept to early Mayl when more northerly routes are .snowbound. High traffic days are a small proportion but stood out in contrast to other routes. While I was on the route I heard of 3 cyclists hospitalised after being hit by cars. And it isn't a busy cycling route. I only met 2 or 3 dozen other tourers while I was on it.

My favourite - Washington DC to San Francisco. 300 miles of towpath and railtrack to Pittsburgh. Back roads through the midwest and Great Plains then the superb Western Express route from Colorado to San Francisco.

Noted! Scurries off to check out the adventure cycling map. Hmmm, how did you hook Pittsburgh back into the transam or didn't you bother?

Re: TOURING 2015

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 December 2014 - 10:54pm
I'm looking at doing the route from Bangor to Chepstow and then carrying on to home in Taunton. 5 days B&Bing is the plan...

Re: Touring in remote locations - advice please

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 December 2014 - 10:29pm
rualexander wrote:mnichols wrote:But other than the bears, pumas, wolves, coyotes, racoon's, skunks, snakes, scorpions, tarantulas, psychopaths, water born parasites, hypothermia, desert heat, altitude, lack of food, water, motels and phone signal...its quite a nice place?
You missed out mosquitoes, which are large and numerous in the Canadian forests.

And the Goatheads.

Re: Touring in remote locations - advice please

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 December 2014 - 10:27pm
MrsHJ wrote:What was the southern tier like? I've read such diverse reports. It's on my possible list.

It was the least favourite of my 3 USA coast to coast rides. Why? Less varied scenery. The 900 miles of Texas was a bit samey in places. Far more sections of busy roads where the riding was on a shoulder with busy traffic a short distance away. Still worthwhile if you are restricted to a time window from late Sept to early Mayl when more northerly routes are .snowbound. High traffic days are a small proportion but stood out in contrast to other routes. While I was on the route I heard of 3 cyclists hospitalised after being hit by cars. And it isn't a busy cycling route. I only met 2 or 3 dozen other tourers while I was on it.

My favourite - Washington DC to San Francisco. 300 miles of towpath and railtrack to Pittsburgh. Back roads through the midwest and Great Plains then the superb Western Express route from Colorado to San Francisco.

Re: Default tourer?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 December 2014 - 10:24pm
simonhill wrote:
I wouldn't say they are the default tourer, I've yet to see a European rider one.
I came across two folk from spain (possible that they weren't both spanish - can't remember) on LHTs in cagliari, sardinia.

By the way, Brixton Cycles seem to fit the disc trucker with tektro discs rather than BB7s - can't remember the reason (easier access to spares and fitting them?) But it seemed to make sense when talking to them. I'd encourage anyone in London thinking of a LHT to check Brixton Cycles out.

Re: Andorra, Port de Cabus

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 December 2014 - 10:13pm
Checking out the photos on satellite view is often useful. There are "posted" dates, which give dates like 2007 - 2010.
It's probably similar to this from Tor to the top
http://www.panoramio.com/photo/41058394
and better down from Tor.

I'd take my road bike down (700x28 Gatorskins, usually), but allow a fair bit of extra time - i.e. assume 7-8 mph for the upper section and 12-15 mph for the lower, rather than normal downhill speeds.

Re: Default tourer?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 December 2014 - 10:07pm
Had my LHT 2 1/2 years now. Very happy with it. Can't really compare cos only had 2 other bikes before, it is certainly better than my last MTB convert.

I'd wanted one for a while but didn't like the spec of the stock bike and would have had to spend lots converting to straight bars, etc. When they brought out frame only and started doing 26" wheels in any frame size I immediately ordered from my LBS.

Mainly Deore build, more than adequate for the job.

Love it, would be looking at it now if it hadn't been left behind in Dubai! Awaiting home delivery in the morning. Still it saved me carting it back from Gatwick on a frosty morning.

About 22,000 kms so far, 14 touring and rest day rides, local stuff, shopping, etc.

If it disappeared tomorrow, I'd order another exactly the same. Nuff said.

I see more Surlys than Thorns, just as well cos the Thorns are ugly. The frames look too small with the sloping top tube and long seat post. The Surlys look like a proper bike.

I wouldn't say they are the default tourer, I've yet to see a European rider on one, but they are more international than most brands. I have recently seen some on the road in Japan and also a shop selling them Thailand, plus an Aussie mate has one.

Re: Andorra, Port de Cabus

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 December 2014 - 9:34pm
Thanks for your replies RickH and MrsHJ. I have almost made the decision that we should not go over the Port de Cabus and instead go south out of Andorra and then loop back to the north after getting into Spain. I don't need to finalise that decision for a couple of months so can remain flexible for now.

I have had a look at Google street view from the top of the Port de Cabus and it is indeed an unmade track (off road suitable for mountain bikes, but not road bikes). Google street view also provides some photos along the route down through Tor to Alins and these show an unmade track, though the age of these photos is unknown. I did find a video that was posted on Youtube in 2013 which showed this as a track, but again the actual date of the video is not known, only when it was posted. I contacted the tourist board in Andorra to ask my question, but they only supplied me with general information about cycling in Andorra. With a bit more detective work I found a hotel in Alins (Spain) which is a the bottom of the road/track down from the Port de Cabus. I thought that for sure they would know if this remains an unmade track, however they sidestepped my question (or perhaps didn't understand it, they replied in Spanish) and only offered for us to stay in their hotel. I probably should ask them one more time.

You mention BikeHike, which is also my favoured route plotting website.

If we do decide to take the longer way round it only adds about 30km so that's not a problem. The scenery along that track/road did look very picturesque though.

Once again, thanks for your replies.

Andy

Re: Touring in remote locations - advice please

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 December 2014 - 9:34pm
tatanab wrote:mercalia wrote:I still think learn to fire a pistol and pack one preferably "make my day" type?There are individual state laws about "concealed weapons permits" and for some there are weapons on display. Not that it matters because it would be illegal. As a foreigner you are not allowed to own one.
Now that is interesting to know. is that only pistols or also (assault) rifles? not own but also rent/borrow?

The long list didnt mention tics? I understand theycan be bad problem

Re: TOURING 2015

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 December 2014 - 9:27pm
Nice - I'd be flying into Heathrow. With a little luck, my friend who lives in Esher will be able to pick me up. Then we'll ride to Euston and take the train to Chester. From Chester, we'll take the NCN 5 to Bangor or Holyhead (as a warmup) then take NCN 8 down to Cardiff, doing about 50 Miles a day (loaded with camping gear). Either ride back to Esher from Cardiff or figure out the trains.

Re: Touring in remote locations - advice please

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 December 2014 - 8:45pm
p.s. you forgot the wild dogs.

Re: Touring in remote locations - advice please

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 December 2014 - 8:43pm
I met a bear once, in Upper Michigan. Actually the same bear twice. I followed advice, and didn't have any problems. I have seen them from a distance a couple of times in other places, but have otherwise managed to avoid them (and be avoided).

I have also wild camped a couple of times, with only emergency gear because I couldn't make it to my destination for the night. One of those times was after a cold wet, day in the mountains. If we had not had the emergency gear, and been able to make a fire, we would have had to walk all night (off road, and before the advent of weapons grade lighting, so no chance to see well enough to ride) to keep warm enough to avoid hypothermia. At best, we would have had a really uncomfortable night.

Re: Touring in remote locations - advice please

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 December 2014 - 7:59pm
lisap wrote:Having ridden the Great Divide, the Southerrn Tier, the Pacific Coast twice over and round Florida I have seen very few bears, a few coyotes, lots of very lecherous old men, some turantulas, about 3 snakes and no scorpions.

McNichols you will be absolutely fine. Be sensible, take Halt dog spray, carry spares and maybe a Katadyn filter. I can lend you one if you need it.

Just go and have fun.

Chuckling here. Sounds like you've done some fabulous trips too.

What was the southern tier like? I've read such diverse reports. It's on my possible list.

Ps When we camped in Wyoming a couple of years ago I hardly slept in the tent due to fear of bears ( and because it was BONE CHILLINGLY COLD) but the closest we got was a bear road jam where everyone had stopped to see some in a gulley. Someone posted a link to someone the other day who cycled through Alaska and the Yukon I think and he had several close encounters of the bear kind.

Re: Andorra, Port de Cabus

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 15 December 2014 - 7:56pm
I once carried my bike down a very rocky valley and then a river bed into Spain based on french mapping in the Spanish Pyrenees. Apparently napoleon planned on building a road down from the top of Gavarnie into Bujarelo on the Spanish side. Not recommended for a fully loaded touring bike or the cyclist. Memorable border crossing though and it was pre euro so we ended up in Spain without any cash and strangely it was getting late ( carrying your bike down a mountain is not a fast activity).

Luckily there was a lovely camp site in the middle of no where (national park)that took credit cards and we had one of those meals that featured frequently with that group of "whatever I can find in my panniers" and had to cycle to civilisation in the morning for cash and breakfast. There was a cycleabletrack out on the Spanish side I'm glad to say and one day I would love to go back to the campsite as it is under the South side of the Gavarnie cirque which is very striking.

I do miss those days though, we aren't as chaotic these days and it leads to fewer dramatic events. plus everyone from that group has settled down with doctorates and kids and doesn't get out cycling nearly enough. That was also the trip where, ahem, maybe not!!

PS TRying calling the local tourist office or Mairie.
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