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Re: camp site recommendations for Derbyshire

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 2 September 2015 - 2:57pm
We stayed at common end farm Swinescoe, A small campsite with simple, but good faciltites, toilets and showers and washing up facilites.
fitted my requirements perfectly.
would certainly recommend them and hoping to go back at some point, to do some of the other trails in the area.

Re: What do you do when the going gets tough?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 2 September 2015 - 2:42pm
Sometimes the correct answer is to give up, particularly if you are likely to put yourself in jeopardy or seriously inconvenience others if you continue. Otherwise it is just down to your ability to cope with mental or physical discomfort.


CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 2 September 2015 - 2:37pm
Wanting a cycling map is asking too much for these countries, you should be happy if you can find a reliable road map. Of course in Spain they have beautiful survey maps at 1:50 000 but they are small sheets so you have to buy lots of them, and thus they are only justifiable for detailed local exploration. Of course there may additionally be some specific publications in relation to long distance cycle routes, which probably mainly means Spain rather than Portugal.

In Portugal, your problem is to find reliable maps of any kind, let alone cycling maps. I think the only complete road map of Portugal are Satnav maps - the introduction of Satnav was delayed in Portugal while the companies drove a mapping car along all the roads, as only 40% of roads were shown on any published map, a local resident informs me. Among paper road maps, I find the Turinta maps the most reliable published maps, though sometimes it is useful to have another map as a second opinion, or a focus of discussion with a local informant to verify the existence of roads on the map, suggest roads not on your map, and indicate which of the inconsistent representations on your maps is the more likely. The general situation in Portugal is that large roads have been pushed through, but the old roads are still there for you to cycle on, but the signpost only points to the next village on the old roads, which may not be shown on your paper map.

In northern Spain and along the east coast, I have been pretty pleased with the Michelin "Zoom" mapping http://travel.michelin.co.uk/spain-159-c.asp which is mostly at 1:150 000. It isn't 100% right, but it's the best you'll get without spending a lot of money on 1:50 000 survey maps. Still difficult at this scale actually finding that little road out of a village, and you'll get confused by minor local roads not shown on the map. But as indicated, it only has partial coverage of the country, but it may be the bit you want.

Re: French trains

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 2 September 2015 - 2:34pm
SNCF run the whole lot (trans. national system of railways...). You're right - their high speed trains - Trains of Grand Vitesse - require you to book your bicycle in advance; their local trains, mostly, don't have to be booked - just roll up and get on. When searching for these services on-line, or indeed asking for tickets/timetables when in France, the key info is these local services are called TER (trans. regional express trains... although it has to be said, some of the TER trains aren't so express!) The timetables, both printed and on-line have little bicycle symbols above the bike-friendly services but I've never been turfed off a TER yet! Actually, it's not so different to UK trains, really!
Sorry can't help with CTC bags - I've folding bikes - or velos pliables, as they say
Hope that helps.
EDIT: have just looked at a sample timetable and I can't see the little bicycles any more! SNCF tt.jpg

Re: looking for a companion: BURMA/LAOS or BUENOS AIRES/USHU

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 2 September 2015 - 2:19pm
Helgazz wrote:1) coming to Bangkok and cycling around Burma and Laos and coming back to Bangkok.
2) coming to Buenos Aires and going down to the South to Ushuaia.
I am looking for a travel companion for this trip. I have no preference regarding male/female, I am just looking for cheerful easy-going person, who love adventures Probably around 30-38 y.o.
I think you will find Mae Sot/Myawaddy is the only feasible bicycle crossing from Thailand to Myanmar at the moment, though there may be some others you can cross with bus assistance. It is certainly the only Thailand-Myanmar border crossing we hear of cyclists using with any regularity - some months ago I gave a link to a report of someone trying to use another one further south who discovered from a nasty man with a gun that he had better go back to town and take the bus. I think it is still just too dangerous to cycle anywhere near Kengtung - it is the centre of the "Golden Triangle" opium producing area and run by gangsters. So although the border is open at Tachilek, it may not be necessarily be useful, as you may need to fly between there and the rest of Myanmar. I don't think there is any land border open between Laos and Myanmar, and those borderlands there are gangster country. I don't know what the present situation at the Ruili-Muse border crossing to China is. I think you need to spend some time on the Myanmar branch to work these things out. But you need to leave behind the idea that if you see a road on a map you can cycle on it in this part of the world. Also if you cycle in Myanmar, you mostly have to stay in hotels and tourist places. You can sometimes stay in monasteries, but if you try being too alternative in Myanmar you will quickly meet the police - Myanmar has not liberalised freedom of movement for foreigners to the same degree as the former Soviet Union. Phil66 has a more feasible plan for cycling around this part of the world.

I've cycled a lot in Argentina, but cycling anywhere near Buenos Aires doesn't strike me as fun. Nor does cycling down the east coast of Argentina even once you had left BsAs well behind. The un-attractions include appalling winds, endlessly flat lands, unchanging views. When I was in Rio Gallegos with my bicycle and wanted to get to Comodoro Rivadavia, I got the overnight bus, because I knew I wasn't missing anything. At least in Argentina freedom of movement and wild camping is a normal part of life.

There is a lot of material out there on the web about cycling in these countries, you might benefit from researching some of it.


CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 2 September 2015 - 2:08pm

At this early stage of looking, does anyone know the best cycling maps/routes available (if any) for Spain and Portugal.

I'm aware of the Eurovelo routes, but not much available on a map form.

Kind Regards,


Re: Rear lights are driving me mad

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 2 September 2015 - 1:19pm
I have dynamo lighting and use a B&M Toplight on the rear of my pannier rack which gives a constant light and a Cateye barrel type light mounted on the seapost set on flashing mode. My commute is mainly unlit country lanes

Re: What do you do when the going gets tough?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 2 September 2015 - 1:03pm
I do sometimes dread that hill whatever and think over that and its all downhill
Convert your miles to hours in your head and think on that, this is what I did with long distance walking, three hours is not as far as 9 - 30 odd miles whatever your mode of transport.

Muscle pain or general fatigue is one thing a sharp pain or one that is there when a limb is in one position only generally points to ligament / joint problem.

I suffer unstable ankles for which I do daily exercises, and I did a 9 mile moor walk the other day and sprained my ankle the same one I did whilst running blind along a prom after winter tides
My boots were slightly lose (fell to the ground) so I tightened them up and there was no pain as I bared weight
Was careful till the finish, no problem next day and little / no swelling, years ago when this was a regular event I would be incapacitated for several days, only the exercises prevent that.
After a hard three hours in the saddle yesterday I could feel it when I stopped and walked but soon gone.

Re: Helmet Cams Are Inflaming Road rage

CTC Forum - On the road - 2 September 2015 - 12:51pm
Probably how the average driver thinks (contains strong language)

Re: Helmet Cams Are Inflaming Road rage

CTC Forum - On the road - 2 September 2015 - 12:38pm
blackbike wrote:If someone objected to cameras in shops I'd assume they were a frustrated shoplifter.
Not true for everybody. I dislike surveillance (CCTV everywhere) and I'm not a frustrated shoplifter (in fact not any type of shoplifter).

blackbike wrote:When some motorists object to cameras on our roads I assume they want their criminal behaviour and/or fits of temper to go unrecorded.
But I don't feel the same about (i.e. don't object to) cameras on roads (i.e. not speed cameras, etc.). And I appreciate that many of the same justifications could be used for both types of recording.


Re: VSF Fahrradmanufaktur

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 2 September 2015 - 12:17pm
Well, it could partly be semantics, partly how easily we're amazed and partly how we judge the difference between doing what it was designed for and doing it really well. I'm still amazed by my Rohloff, after 50,000+ miles it runs as well as it ever has, with the most minimal of maintenance. I know that's what it was designed to do, but it doesn't stop be appreciating how well it does it.

Re: Rear lights are driving me mad

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 2 September 2015 - 11:52am
I use a Samarium Cobalt magnet [very strong attraction] taped to the rear light hanger on the rack

http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_from= ... et&_sop=15

My lights all have a c.2mm thick steel strip taped to them. The strip needs to be vertical so the light doesn't fall off over large bumps, the magnet is about 25x10mm in area. Since I only ride at night on a bike with a rack this works well and is very easy to detach the light and keep in a pocket for later. It's not only annoying but dangerous when some light fingered tee double-you ay tee nicks the one you've left in place because it's a fiddle to remove it.

The magnet goes on the bike rather than the other way around because it would play havoc with any credit/debit cards that may be in the same pocket as the light...

Re: What do you do when the going gets tough?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 2 September 2015 - 11:47am
mnichols wrote:
Tough is different for all of us, but we all know what it is - so what do you do when the going get's tough?

I agree with the 'sectionalising' recommendations. I even do that when my commute home is wet, miserable and cold. I get to 2.5 miles and think 'only got to do that 9 more times' (and so on throughout the ride), it makes it seem easier. Many years ago I read a book by a former SAS trooper who wrote that when you're absolutely shattered, or feel absolutely shattered, you've only used 30% of your available stamina, real strength lies in being able to motivate yourself to start using the other 70%.

Don't know whether it's true or not - and of course digging too deeply may lead to unfortunate consequences, but I always remember it when I'm flagging and bucking myself up.

Re: What do you do when the going gets tough?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 2 September 2015 - 11:41am
I remember watching Eddie Izzard running a marathon every day with a knee injury, and being astonished at how he got away with it. When I ignored a painful ankle and carried on walking for just a few hours it left me with a recurring injury that forced me to quit fellwalking.

Re: And the Bus driver said....

CTC Forum - On the road - 2 September 2015 - 11:21am
Peter Jones said a similar thing on Dragons Den at the weekend. A guy came on looking for support for his plan to extend a cycle touring business. Peter Jones said in effect that there were already too many people blocking his way on the roads with their leisure activities and he didn't want to be involved with anything that encouraged more.

It was his Gerald Ratner moment for me.

Re: Helmet Cams Are Inflaming Road rage

CTC Forum - On the road - 2 September 2015 - 11:16am
It's not just helmet cams that inflame road rage though. Speed cameras do it as well - to the extent that they're often vandalised, smashed down or set on fire. Dash cameras and police videos don't do it so it seems to me that it's vulnerability that inflames road rage rather than cameras themselves - aggressive motorists go for things that don't look able to defend themselves. Maybe that's why some cyclists seem to suffer regular road rage where others don't.

Re: Parking

CTC Forum - On the road - 2 September 2015 - 11:03am
Many London stations are within Controlled Parking Zones, so parking on a nearby street isn't an option.

How do they afford it? I guess those, who are driving from further out and then taking a train to the centre, will be among the better paid.

Re: VSF Fahrradmanufaktur

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 2 September 2015 - 10:53am
PH wrote:pete75 wrote:PH wrote:Having got one I think they're well designed, well equipped and well put together but amazing - no

That's pretty much how I felt about my Thorn Raven, untill I loaded it up and used it for it's designed purpose, in the end though it wasn't worth keeping for the little use it got like that.

What you mean it wasn't much good when you loaded it up??

No, just the opposite. IMO a pretty uninspiring bike unloaded, a real plodder (Though plenty of people like that) Put four heavy panniers on it and it all made much more sense.
I was suggesting that you may change your mind about whether your bike is amazing if you get to use it for what it was designed for.[/quote]

Amazing means astonishing or awe inspiring - do you really think that a bike designed for heavy touring should arouse such feelings when it does the job it was made for . I'd be astonished if it didn't

Re: What do you do when the going gets tough?

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 2 September 2015 - 10:50am
Just to add -
Weather can run you down to a point of feeling like exposure, you might be on the verge, I have in the past refused to stop, knowing I am cold and hungry, not a mistake I make to day, so -
Preparation, food drink clothes navigation, emergency rations always, that's carry more than you think you need - and pace yourself - eat and drink regularly - when it gets painfull always stop and rest and eat etc, then it don't seem so bad.

Don't rely on others to navigate for you, so always check their workings.

Re: Rear lights are driving me mad

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 2 September 2015 - 10:43am
If possible, I will always use a generator light as I have found those to be more reliable than the battery type. The ones with a big reflector for fitting on the rear of a rack are my favourites (Dutch law demands such a big reflector anyway). Laternatives (perhaps as ana addition) are lights like the Secula fitted to the mudguard or to the seatstay. B&M also do a neat little wire bracket to fit them to canti posts. If you want something brighter than e.g the Secula, you can use a B&M 339 AS taillight for incandescent bulbs, and fit a Reflectalite led bulb instead. That will be quite a bit brighter, and still benefits from the B&M optics. You will not have a standlight, of course, so maybe this is something for a combination with a light that does have a standlight.
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