Cycling UK Forum - Touring & Expedition

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Updated: 9 weeks 5 days ago

Re: morocco - sticks and stones...

13 February 2016 - 9:15pm
I've travelled Morocco quite a few times. The whole stylo/begging thing is partly down to the tourists who visit. Some of the guide books even recommend taking pens to give out to kids. So some tourists take a box of pens and happily throw them out the car window, and then some cyclists comes along to hear, "stylo, stylo..". You're just another rich tourist to these kids, so try and remember it's not 100% their fault. And they are just kids, they don't yet understand geo-politics. Humour pretty much always works in the stylo situation, a little French goes a long way too.

Aggresive kids chucking stones? Never experienced it. Overwhelmingly the kids have been very funny and friendly. Lots of them ride bikes to and from school, so plenty of opportunity for you to be a kid again and have races. I would expect some kids in Morocco to be aggressive, but just like I'd expect that everywhere and expect it to be an absolute minority.

Hotels overcharging. Maybe, maybe not. Any different to anywhere else? You can easily book online in most places, even smaller towns. You can get the price up front, and then walk away if you don't like the price. If you walk into a place holding your credit card, then maybe you'll be charged maximum rate. But that happens in the UK too (I used to work in the industry), and all across Europe. Decide the price you would like to pay for a night, and then walk/cycle around looking for places and asking for that price. Often they'll try and throw in the price of dinner, which may or may not be a good deal. But if you look at the average UK hotel which throws in breakfast, is breakfast really worth an extra £5-10?

Definitely go, it's great for cycling and culture. The coast is where you'll have more hassle (and traffic), in the same way any tourist heavy location is a hassle. But even then it's trivial unless you're of a very sensitive disposition.

cheers,

Re: Touring Cyclist Club .... a new resource

13 February 2016 - 9:10pm
Being a devotee of CTC, Cyclechat and CGOAB this site is definitely going on my list whatever the politics involved if any.

Re: morocco - sticks and stones...

13 February 2016 - 8:52pm
Cycled that area last year, mainly in the high Atlas. Never had a single problem with kids - they were usually very friendly and even helpful. I think it sometimes depends on your mind-set - if you go expecting the worst then you may find it. Dogs can usually be out-stared and shouted at.

We booked all our accommodation online in advance. That avoids all the bartering hassle that you really don't want at the end of a long, hot day in the saddle.

It was a fantastic place to cycle - I'm sure you'll enjoy it!

Tour of southern Turkey - suggestions?

13 February 2016 - 8:47pm
A friend and I will be flying to Antalya in May for a 2-week cycle tour, staying in accommodation which we'd like to book beforehand if at all possible.

I've come up with a very rough idea of a route, starting NE to Konya, across to Izmir via the lakes and Pamukkale, and then back to Antalya mainly via the coast roads, going inland for any sights worth seeing.

We particularly like hill climbs, the higher the better!

Does anyone have any experience of this part of Turkey, cycling or otherwise? Any general advice about cycling/touring in Turkey (i.e. food, accommodation, customs) would also be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

Re: Lonley Planet or Bradt?

13 February 2016 - 6:50pm
I think we have the rough guide but I'm another fan of Bradt. Lonely planet seems to lack the small town detail that bike tourers need.

Re: Review of Ridgeback Expedition 26"

13 February 2016 - 6:29pm
I was looking here breton which shows the flatbar version.


http://www.ridgeback.co.uk/bike/expedition


You are right, they are V's - have checked elsewhere - must be a mistake by Ridgeback's publicity folk.

Re: Navigation - Garmin

13 February 2016 - 5:41pm
freeflow wrote:I'll think you'll find that a phone like a Sony Xperia Z3 compact gives a garmin a run for its money in terms of battery life.
The Garmin can be charged in just the same way as a phone.
On its own the 810 is guided at 15 hours typical usage (what ever that is ) and "plus" 20 hours with official external battery pack.
I have not had long enough rides yet to check out its battery life.

Re: Touring Cyclist .... a new resource

13 February 2016 - 1:50pm
robgul wrote:...the Forum then displays at full screen width (that, of course, retains the Forum within the main site, q.v. my earlier comment) - and the option is still there to go to the Forum in full screen.

Rob
Improvement but you've still got the double vertical scroll bars which is "just horrible". Have confidence and set the forum to be full page (like the CTC do). If the site is interesting enough, people will return. It is the 1st time I've seen people use a "windowed" forum as the main use of the forum (with small text to "Full Screen" once you've arrived at the windowed one).

Needs to be a very slick site. As people often comment Crazy Guy on a Bike is a fantastic resource but were t to start-up today with it's current User Interface and design it would probably not get enough activity to work.

Ian

Re: morocco - sticks and stones...

13 February 2016 - 1:34pm
Children will chase you, sometimes on foot and sometimes on their bikes, but no malice is intended. Ignore the constant cry for stylos. Be prepared for stones if you try and take photographs of women without permission. Being chased by dogs is the scariest, though 'chased' is what happened. I wasn't mauled.
I've spent months in Morocco, High Atlas, Anti Atlas and the coast. Loved every time. Locals are fantastic, warm and welcoming. Usually paid 100 - 200 dirham for hotels per couple ( basic accommodation) or wild camped.

Re: Best camera for touring

13 February 2016 - 11:02am
eileithyia wrote: Oh so different to the days of carrying my big slr around strapped to the back of the saddle, so had to stop, get it unstrapped and off the bike... out of case, point, focus, shoot by which time the particular lighting effect / cloud etc had changed and the scene had changed......
I used to feel the same, but a bar bag changed the way I use the camera on a bike. It's in the padded bag ready to use, lens down with a UV filter, set to automatic and on standby. With the exception of those who take photos while riding, I doubt there's a quicker sequence between spotting a shot and being on the move again, while still keeping all the other options open. The only delay is when I decide I'd like to use another lens, but currently saving for a 14-140 (28 - 280 equivalent) which I'm hoping will cover all my requirements.

Re: Best camera for touring

13 February 2016 - 10:44am
hamster wrote:The limitation is the lens, you cannot get the sharpness and light gathering through a phone camera. Nor any controllable depth of field, focus point, etc etc etc.
I was once told that one of the most important aspects of photography is knowing your camera, working to it's strengths rather than fighting it's weaknesses. This was way before the time of digital, let alone phone cameras, but I think it's even more true today. In any given situation there's a choice of shots, getting the best one for whatever camera you have with you is an art. Not one I claim to have mastered, but the more I use the same camera the more selective I become over pressing the shutter.
Guardian photojournalist Dan Chung, covered the London Olympics with an iPhone and a pair of binoculars, demonstrates the point rather well. He makes no claim that it's as good as camera as a DSLR, but the shots speak for themselves.
http://www.wired.com/2012/08/covering-t ... inoculars/

Re: Touring Cyclist .... a new resource

13 February 2016 - 9:38am
UPDATE : a couple of changes this morning based on feedback ... we aim to listen and respond!

The main "MENU" has been moved to run across the site, under the heading rather than in a column on the left - the Forum then displays at full screen width (that, of course, retains the Forum within the main site, q.v. my earlier comment) - and the option is still there to go to the Forum in full screen.

Rob

Re: Touring Cyclist .... a new resource

13 February 2016 - 8:43am
Psamathe wrote:One comment on the forum implementation: allow it to take the full window. Having it embedded in the page ends-up reducing the size and you (or I) end-up with two vertical scroll bars, one on the full page and another on the forum "window". Nightmare and seriously limits it (and will not encourage people to join). I appreciate it is early days but I'd put this near the top of your priority list. (I appreciate that you have link through to get it full page using new tab/window, but not ideal and something some wont appreciate.

Ian

Thanks for the comments - the readability, scroll-bars etc are obviously of paramount importance - it's all about the amount of "real estate" available with the display, be that PC screen, tablet or phone.

We have been experimenting with different ways to integrate the Forum component into the main TCC website - the reasoning being that it MUST be part of the TCC and not a separate "semi-unrelated" Forum (does that sound familiar? )

To keep the technical part as simple as possible the whole site is almost totally based on an open-source Content Management System with add-in components - the Forum is one of those components and how it displays with the main site may change in the coming days - the option for full-screen that is there as an alternative will remain.

Watch the website for developments!

Rob

Re: Best camera for touring

13 February 2016 - 8:41am
hamster wrote:robing wrote:Smartphone.Phones are great for landscapes in sunlight
That's my holiday covered, landscapes in sunlight!

And off-the-cuff people pics that would simply be missed with a bigger camera less near to hand.

IQ, even with my ageing iPhone5, is very much par with the "good enough" threshold of a good p&s like canon s120. Great gps too with the always-on phone, works every time, really adds to the viewing enjoyment later. And the box-with-a-button simplicity is very zen, makes the process oddly deliberate, if that makes sense.

That said, if my photos were of things nearer than 3 or 4 metres, or for the OP, if some of the trips are off the bike, I'd probably buy a sony rx100 m1 or m2, or a second hand ricoh gr2, lovely cameras.

Re: Touring Cyclist .... a new resource

13 February 2016 - 12:47am
This is what I tried to do with http://www.biketouringtips.com . I started with the idea that bike tourists would enter useful information they knew or found out as they went on tours.

The site got its start when I pulled into a park that used to have a hiker/biker site that had closed the previous year. I wanted a place to put this (it was still in the guide books) where it wouldn't simply scroll off the front page and be lost. So, I created the above site with every entry indexed by topic and, if appropriate, by location. I also decided to make it a free site without advertising. It was up and running in 2007.

But, no one entered anything. So, after a few months, I started searching the web myself for interesting tidbits and entered them. I've probably entered 95% of the (more than 2400) entries. The other 5% point back to the website of the person who entered the information, which is Ok if it is something valuable to other bike tourists.

In the intervening 9 years, I've added my own journals, written articles, and created a way for bike tourists to organize their touring plans so they can be shared with others. Last year, over 50,000 entries were downloaded from the site.

Good luck with your endeavor. I hope you are successful and create a truly valuable site that helps people interested in bicycle touring get useful information and new ideas. But, be aware that creating a new site further fragments the location of information, making it harder to find.
I hope that you'll take the time to put an entry about it on my site. If not, I will, eventually.

Re: Touring Cyclist .... a new resource

13 February 2016 - 12:16am
One comment on the forum implementation: allow it to take the full window. Having it embedded in the page ends-up reducing the size and you (or I) end-up with two vertical scroll bars, one on the full page and another on the forum "window". Nightmare and seriously limits it (and will not encourage people to join). I appreciate it is early days but I'd put this near the top of your priority list. (I appreciate that you have link through to get it full page using new tab/window, but not ideal and something some wont appreciate.

Ian

Re: Navigation - Garmin

13 February 2016 - 12:08am
As I said above. I have my custom audax screen in locus maps which displays 12 fields. All readable. Plus a nice large section of map.

Re: the Janapar Grant - for adventurous young cyclists

12 February 2016 - 11:34pm
This is the kind of fund I would set up if I came into a large sum of money. Great stuff.

I'm just a little too old to apply though....

Re: Navigation - Garmin

12 February 2016 - 11:02pm
cycleruk wrote:One of the things with the 810 is the "pages" can be configured to show what you want. So, obviously, it shows speed and distance + perhaps heart rate and cadence on one page. Then another page can have time of day, run time, average speed, elevation and total ascent. You can configure the number of "boxes" on each page and what is in each box. I'm still working these out

You can if you can see them [emoji1]
With the Edge 500 I have set at two fields and rotate between the pages.
I plumped for the Oregon recently, looking for mapping capability, I've set its pages to 2 huge fields but interestingly I have the other portion of screen to 4 small fields which I, surprisingly, can read.

Re: Lonley Planet or Bradt?

12 February 2016 - 10:03pm
Your local library may do free eBook rentals. Mine does and it includes a wide range of Lonely Planet guide books. Well worth a try, then if it's any good you can buy it.
 
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