CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 15 min 50 sec ago

Re: Question about bike shipping by plane

50 min 19 sec ago
I flew with Pegasus and had the same problem with the website so I rang their call centre and they added a bike to my booking. I then paid at the airport. I don't think there was a limit for the bike size but I checked my panniers in separately to be on the safe side.They do have an English option so ask them about this and stopovers when you call them.


Re: My first touring 'fail'

1 hour 45 min ago
It could just be some innocuous palpitations or it could be atrial fibrillation, but you won't find out which unless it happens whilst you're connected to an ECG, meanwhile they will tell you there's nothing wrong if they haven't seen it for themselves. If you're getting it often enough, they can give you a portable ECG (Holter monitor) to record your heart continuously for 24 hours or even 7 days, but if they're not taking you seriously in the first place you won't get one of those. I was having runs of palpitations when I got into bed for donkeys years before it developed into AF. I've had a Holter monitor three times since I was diagnosed, but the only times they've seen it is when I call 999 and get taken in to A&E by ambulance. I'd previously had two Bruce tests on the treadmill as well, but they didn't find anything either.

Eating big meals and/or getting into bed are common triggers for AF.

If it happens again and it doesn't stop within 10-15 minutes, call an ambulance, because that's your best chance of finding out what's going on and because you risk a stroke if you ignore AF.

Re: Loved Spain, hated France

1 hour 45 min ago
My trip got postponed because I got food poisoning. Originally I had planned to be in France in late June or early July at the latest. Spain was still really quiet though right up until I got back.

Re: Loved Spain, hated France

2 hours 15 min ago
I tour for two week in France most years, usually the last two weeks in June. The roads are quite ,the accommodation plentiful and reasonably priced. I wouldn't dream of going there in July and August.

Re: Way of the Roses..an accident waiting to happen?

2 hours 20 min ago
531colin wrote:The sort of RIDER who runs out of road on Greenhow Hill will also run out of road on Peat Lane.
Greenhow Hill is a wide road with reasonable sight lines most of the time.
I have tried to link the start of the tricky bit of the descent of Peat Lane.....its the worst bit of film I have seen from the Google van....https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@54.074111,-1.769164,3a,75y,90h,49.44t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sIghmynM4PqmAnYEeH9kv2A!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
You can come flying down a straightforward descent (narrow, but open with reasonable sight lines) to be faced with this....the road dives into a tunnel of trees, the stone walls converge to line the gutters. The road is liable to be covered in debris washed down, there is no fast motor traffic to clear the debris. Right on the bend there is a stone water-bar in the road surface.......how close did you have to get to see it on the Google image? How soon would you see it plunging into the semi-darkness under the trees, wearing fashionable cycling sunglasses?
Follow down Peat Lane on Google until you get to the house on the left, and thats the worst of it finished......if you make the first bend, you will be going slow enough to make the rest.
There is an excellent farm cafe at the top of Greenhow Hill, I went there with a group of "new cyclists". We went up Peat Lane, (walking the steep bit), the plan was to return via Duck Street, but that was closed by a road traffic accident (one of the quarry lorries in the ditch). Nobody fancied going down Greenhow Hill, so we went back down Peat Lane. We got to just above my link (where the camper van is parked ) and everybody else got off and walked: I was the only one to ride down the tricky bit.
They all think I am reckless, I'm inclined to think they lack skill.........but perhaps I would have got off and walked if I had been on a fashionable bike with twitchy steering, narrow tyres and dual pivot brakes.
My view is that anybody whose brakes work can get down Greenhow Hill in safety if they exercise reasonable care, but I would not send an inexperienced rider down Peat Lane on their own.

Some good points there. Can't argue with the bit about not going down peat lane unless experienced rider, that's good advice to be fair. In many ways it's better going UP peat lane than Greenhow if you are going into Grassington etc. Yes a steep section at the start if going up, but it's very short and advantage is almost zero traffic.

Be tough with panniers mind

Loved Spain, hated France

2 hours 25 min ago
I'm back from my tour now. I had a great tour of Spain. I went from all the way down the Mediterranean coast from Roses, went inland in through the Sierra Nevada to Ronda and Gibraltar. Then I cycled up through the interior of Spain via Seville and Salamanca and northern Portugal and eventually to San Sebastian. Spain was such a great country to travel around with cheap plentiful accommodation and empty roads, particularly once you are away from the tourist areas.

I was going to cycle back through France, but it was a bit of a culture shock! I'd come in their peak holiday time and everywhere was full even campsites. Hotels were 80 to 100 € plus, in spain they were only 20 to 30€ mostly. French campsites were over €30 with wifi and electricity extra. The roads were worse than Spain and very busy. So I decided to call it a day and come home. I was pretty weary after nearly 6 weeks on the road and was pleased with what I did. It's a shame about France as I probably could have done it in a week and the terrain would have been easy. Maybe next time!

My highlights were Ronda, Seville, Salamanca. I did nearly 2000 miles and 88,000 ft of climbing.

Re: Edinburgh

2 hours 42 min ago
Hopefully there will be an expert along shortly but from Leith you can take the coastal path most of the way to Cramond and then head out over the Forth Road bridge. Maybe head down to Culross on the west fife cycleway.

http://www.sustrans.org.uk/ncn/map/rout ... unfermline

Could do part of this.

I don't recommend heading to Dunbar on the John Muir Way. It's just a mud track in places.

Check out Spokes for more info around Edinburgh.
http://www.spokes.org.uk/links/local-re ... ggestions/

Re: My first touring 'fail'

2 hours 51 min ago
Gearoidmuar wrote:Atrial fibrillation affects endurance cyclists more than the ordinary man. You had some kind of arrythmia, but it could be several different ones. I would say from your description of the day, that you grossly overdid it. 90 miles on a hilly route into the wind for a 65y old (I'm 65 myself) is just too much. Because you can do it, is not sufficient reason to do it. Flogging yourself excessively is not good for you, in respect of the risk of getting atrial fibrillation. It sounds like you got ectopic beats which are common enough. I occasionally get them myself when I'm at top fitness and when I get them, at my age, it's a sign to me that my heart is getting irritated and I ease up.
More is not necessarily better.

P.S. I'm a retired doctor and have had the time to read this stuff in detail.
When I was young (I'm touring since I was 38) I used to do 70m av per day touring. I've cut that back and now average 50 ish and in hilly terrain less. I still enjoy it just as much.
Nareloc well done and its a case of being sensible rather than failing in my eyes.

Gearoidmuar I think your right us at the age of 65 or 64 in my case do have to moderate our efforts when out on our bikes but I think the problems at our age and perhaps older is that mentally we are still in our 20's.

Re: Brest to Presqu'ile de Crozon ferry, Brittany

3 hours 1 min ago
To help you I’ve phoned « Le Brestoâ »…fortunately my French is not so bad. They accept bikes for 4 €, but if you are 12, they prefer to have a reservation to reserve the places for the bikes. Bernard

Re: My first touring 'fail'

3 hours 51 min ago
I've had similar on long days, with heat and climbing thrown into the pot and you've got over a decade on me! It's basically your body telling you to take things a bit easier. Heat exhaustion, dehydration, physical effort all go into the pot so try to avoid them - in league with each other at least!

Re: Via Francigena

4 hours 5 min ago
many thanks for all the advise. I will follow up on your suggestions.

Re: My first touring 'fail'

4 hours 12 min ago
Thanks for all the tips. I do 80-100 milers fairly regularly - but not usually on a fully (25+kg) loaded touring bike, more on a 7kg racer so there is a big difference there. Usually on tour, my mileage is more around the 60 mark but the particular day in question was really a 'link' day, getting from one area to another. I find 60 miles an ideal distance giving time to enjoy the places I am passing through, plenty of stops, and a good hour or so for lunch. Thinking now of my next little venture

Re: Way of the Roses..an accident waiting to happen?

4 hours 31 min ago
Hmmm, shirley it's all about staying within the limits of braking performance? My wife and I got the loaded tandem down there last year on rear brakes alone. I'd managed to wear the front pads down to the metal innards and didn't want to score my rims. Cue one Arai, one vee and lots of steam at the bottom when I sprayed the Arai with water.

If you let it get away from you (or suffer brake failure), you're going to struggle to get it back under control.

Re: My first touring 'fail'

5 hours 21 sec ago
My Mrs has had a couple of periods of palpitations over the last few years. She has had every test known to man with no clue as to why it happened and was given a totally clear bill of health. It was quite worrying.
You can get carried away touring alone, I have done it myself. Whilst I would hesitate to suggest 90 miles in those conditions is too far at your age, personally I like to bumble along and do around 50 mpd which allows you to enjoy seeing things, meeting people and chilling.


Re: My first touring 'fail'

5 hours 29 min ago
I don't think it's terribly uncommon, even if it is extremely disconcerting!

I had an episode like that some years ago. After tests, etc., they put down to a combination of decongenstant, coffee, and stress. I get the occasional palpitation from time to time, but have been assured that it's perfectly normal. I am probably just more aware of them for having had the episode that I did.

If you experience more symptoms, do discuss it with your GP. I'm sure you did the right thing cutting short your trip and getting it checked. Take it a bit easier next time!

Re: Leeds Liverpool Canel - Shipley to Gargrave

6 hours 4 min ago
colin54 wrote:Don't know what it's like beyond Skipton.

Very muddy in 2011 when I slipped and came off. Fortunately I ended up in the bushes instead of the canal.

Re: Where to stay with bikes in Rutland?

6 hours 17 min ago
There are loads of places to stay around Oakham and Rutland Water. Bikes are a big thing in the area so I'm sure you wont have a problem.

I normally camp at the Old Rectory in Belton in Rutland. They do b&b and there are stables where you could store your bike. Not overly cheap in that area.

The tourist office no doubt has lists.

Re: My first touring 'fail'

6 hours 17 min ago
I am surprised you want to do those sort of mileages, it is a holiday & the best bit is to able to stop and just chill and take in the place rather than it just zoom by.

Brest to Presqu'ile de Crozon ferry, Brittany

6 hours 18 min ago
Has anyone got recent experience of taking bikes on this ferry? It seems the company that used to run regular ferries across the Rade de Brest (Azenor) no longer does so, so older posts on this board no longer apply.

The only regular ferry I can find is run by Le Brestoa twice a day between Brest Port de Commerce and Le Crozon. If anyone's used that this year, what's it like for taking bikes on board?

(What I'm actually looking for is a way to get a group of 12 cyclists from Le Conquet to somewhere near the tip of the Presqu'ile de Crozon, first thing in the morning, so we can then spend the day cycling back around the Rade de Brest to le Conquet. The best option appears to be get up early, cycle into Brest and catch the morning ferry, but if anyone's got any better ideas I'm open to suggestions.)




7 hours 25 min ago
We're taking our tandem up to Edinburgh for a long weekend, staying at Malmaison in Leith. I'm looking for recommendations for a 30-40 mile route for a day, setting out from Leith, as traffic free as possible but (preferably) on metalled surfaces. We don't mind a bit of climbing...

Thanks in advance!


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