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Re: 6 months in Western Europe - complete beginner

Cycling UK Forum - Touring & Expedition - 3 April 2016 - 9:41am
The longest I have toured is 4 months - Maintenance generally comes down to checking the rack bolts once a week, a bit of air in the tyres when it feels a bit sluggish, WD 40 on the chain when it rains heavily, proper oil on the chain when it dries up - halfway I got a bike shop to change the cassette and chain (about 5000km plus the 3500km they had on them before I started) on a day off - I always carry brake blocks - easy to wash out a set descending on very wet days - spare brake and gear cable and rack bolts are the only other spares outside of a couple of inner tubes

Re: Dogs on cycle paths - how many where you live?

Cycling UK Forum - On the road - 3 April 2016 - 9:18am
khain wrote:Dogs are not unpredictable - you might not be able to read their body language, but that's a different problem.
In many years of cycling I've had a "face plant" from a loose dog.
I've been pursued by dogs ranging from a Great Dane (had to get the police to deal with that as it was a regular occurrence so I suppose it was predictable )
to a Jack Russell - shouted at that and it ran back into a driveway only to reappear backed up by a Rottweiler - (I discovered I could still sprint)
I've had a playful border collie running out of a farm entrance and biting my shoes ( the farmer saw my point and I never had any problem after that.)
I've had foul abuse from owners of uncontrolled dogs who resent a request that they call off their dog.
When I was a child I was knocked over by a playful Alsation - this to the amusement of the owner.
My sister had four ridgebacks - she also had a cat which had lived amicably with the dogs for some years. One day the cat jumped down from the refrigerator and set on by the dogs and torn to pieces.
IMO no owner will know with 100% certainty what their dog will do. They are pack animals - they cannot be reasoned with and can only be controlled - something which many owners are unable or unwilling to do.
Some of us are wary of dogs with good reason.
I generally avoid shared use paths.

Re: 6 months in Western Europe - complete beginner

Cycling UK Forum - Touring & Expedition - 3 April 2016 - 9:03am
I have to admit that I don't do much with my bike whilst touring. I fix anything that goes wrong, and if it gets really dirty, I clean the worst off. I wipe the chain down and relubricate it. Petrol station paper towels or baby wipes are fine for that.

I've never toured for as long as 6 months, but I don't guess I would do much more, except that you will need to give it a proper clean & inspection now and again and replace some parts like brake pads. I probably wouldn't carry them with me, but buy them when it loked like the old ones were getting worn enough to need replacement. If you go off into the Finnish wilderness or something, it's a good idea to plan for not having access to a bike shop.

Re: Chris Boardman vid

Cycling UK Forum - Racing - 2 April 2016 - 10:02pm
Enjoyed that, thanks for the link.

Re: Chris Boardman vid

Cycling UK Forum - Racing - 2 April 2016 - 10:02pm
Enjoyed that, thanks for the link.

Re: I wasn't expecting that!

Cycling UK Forum - On the road - 2 April 2016 - 9:10pm
Hi,
On motorcycles they use a long slot so the wheel has to come out some way before the brake plate would disengage.

I not sure I like either of those pics that much.

Re: Critiques of routes for touring

Cycling UK Forum - Touring & Expedition - 2 April 2016 - 9:08pm
I wouldn't say that I had a bad time. I enjoyed being out in the country, seeing various wildlife, seeing historical buildings (e.g. the Priory at Canons Ashby - though I would have enjoyed it more if I could have gone inside - the advantage of actual touring where you don't need to make so much distance in one day.), and the achievement of the ride. I would have enjoyed it more had navigation been accomplished better. But, I enjoyed the day. I just want to do it even better next time.

Thanks for the advice about the prepared routes. I'll check them out. I've already started looking at a Gloucester route replan, but there seems to be a bit of a shortage of small roads northeast of Gloucester.

Today I frequently used my phone to tell me where I was. Until the battery ran out - near the end of the journey. Next time I want to have more than one charged battery. A cycle computer would help as if I need to 'turn right' with no street name after 5.2km, then I need to know when I"ve travelled 5.2km.

BTW: I live in Leicester. I typically either take a train out from, or a train back to, Leicester. I can very easily plan long routes around Leicester itself, but I find it more interesting to go further afield. Putting the train into the equation allows going further than an out and back trip. I have cycled around Leicester and to/from towns/cities around Leicester quite a bit. So, some of the novelty has worn off.

IMHO using Google Maps to repair navigation errors is a little bit dangerous. As even if a cycle route is selected, it seems to insist that you find the nearest massive and busy A-road, and ride along it.

EDIT: If it's a good idea, I can solve the Stratford-upon-Avon --> Leicester leg by simply heading east from S-U-A onto the Fosse Way, and then following the Fosse Way all the way home. Good Roman road. Straight as a die and takes me nearly home from all the way out there.

Re: I wasn't expecting that!

Cycling UK Forum - On the road - 2 April 2016 - 9:00pm
Brucey wrote:terminology aside (there are many different names for the same thing and the same name can apply to different things too), you are usually better off with a nut and bolt. The reason for this is that the fitting needs to be pretty snug in most drum brakes; a loose fitting may just rattle and drive you nuts, but if it doesn't do that it may well cause a cup and cone hub adjustment to work loose, because the brake plate is usually trapped between the cone and locknut....
Does this mean you don't like this?
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gloss_p.html#pacman

Re: Critiques of routes for touring

Cycling UK Forum - Touring & Expedition - 2 April 2016 - 8:57pm
I'm sorry you had a bad time.

It's difficult to know how much was down to the route you planned and how much was due to deviating from it.

The first thing is though that Google Maps really aren't the best maps to use for route planning. I'm guessing that the raised bit across a farmer's field might have been a bridleway (or you were lost) - if you use Richard's cycle.travel it should tell you if a section of road is surfaced or not. Also Ordnance Surveys' 1:50,000 scale maps are an excellent resource and give you lots of information about the type of route. These are viewable online, but the buying a few paper ones would be a good investment. You can always go to google streetview if you need to.

Have you thought about maybe following some pre-prepared routes? cycle.travel has guides to different bits of the National Cycle Network. Or you could get a book of circular day rides in Oxfordshire (I'm assuming that's where you live). This Phillips guide is now a bit long in the tooth, but should still be useful and at £1.81 from Amazon is an absolute steal:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Philips-Cycle-T ... 0540081957

I'd be wary of relying on electronic navigation - a gps can just as easily take you up an unrideable track. What I would suggest is using a gps (or smartphone) to tell you where you are —as opposed to telling you where to go. If you prepare your route as a gpx track you can then load it onto your gps or smartphone and follow it. It won't stop you taking wrong turns, but it will tell you that wean you're deviating from your planned route and enable you to find your way back to it.

Re: Critiques of routes for touring

Cycling UK Forum - Touring & Expedition - 2 April 2016 - 8:44pm
Thanks BMLBuzz, I'll take note of your advice when I replan the route.

I do take note of the advice in this thread. E.g. my final Oxford route followed Richard Fairhurst's suggestions even more than the routes I listed in this thread. Unfortunately my poor navigation meant that my actual route was different from the planned one.

Re: 6 months in Western Europe - complete beginner

Cycling UK Forum - Touring & Expedition - 2 April 2016 - 8:40pm
Thank you everyone for your latest replys.

I got another question, it probably will sound silly to all of you but....

I got most of stuff, I've used bike for last 5 days everyday. Today i was riding and Gps took me on some trial, muddy and basically not quite cycable path. Then it startet raining so i had great opportunity to see what else i need to be ready. Anyways..

question is, once i am on my trip, how do i maintain bike everyday? I came back and bike is muddy, chain etc. Someone said to me that all i need to do is to make sure bike is:

- not soaking wet while raining and not riding
- i shoud have a brush to be able remove dirt, sand and mud if necessary
- apart from that bike no need any other maintanence apart from obvious things like adjustments and replacements and repairs

I bought Cinelli Hobo bootleg if it make any difference...

Thank you everyone in advance... Youre my only source of knowlege at the moment :D

Thanks

Re: Does this annoy anyone or just me?

Cycling UK Forum - On the road - 2 April 2016 - 8:38pm
Well today I saw yet another example of declining standards. On the loop I did I was travelling along a narrow backroad. The road drops down a short but steep incline into a 90 degree left hand bend. This is totally blind due to the natural environment, tree's and hedges. I was doing around 20mph but braking as I approached the bend, it's blind and the road is disintegrating. I could hear a large car behind me and thought they'll wait it's too dangerous to overtake into a single track blind corner with no visibility. Errr no they went for it....... a police BMW X3 . I despair!

Then on return leg I was passed by a Volvo estate whilst crossing a medium sized roundabout. The car had effectively used the right hand turn lane to do the overtake on me and cut ahead. The back window was down with a 3 or 4yr old child hanging out shouting "get on the cycle path" . Start them young so they can carry on the shout as adult car drivers. So I did go off and use it........ to bypass the queue of cars( including said child ) at the temporary traffic lights. Normally I avoid it as it's a shared walkers, runners, dog owner path and I prefer being on roads for most of my time, it's more efficient in general and we're all going in the same direction.

Re: Critiques of routes for touring

Cycling UK Forum - Touring & Expedition - 2 April 2016 - 8:31pm
Commenting only on the bit I know, from Stratford to Gloucester:

From Wellesbourne south as far as Honeybourne it looks pretty good to me, but from there I would probably not go through Evesham unless you have a particular reason to. Nothing particularly wrong with the route, I just wasn't greatly impressed by the town when I've been there! Instead I'd head further south through Wickhamford and Childswickham before cutting west through Hinton on the Green. However, going via Evesham is probably going to be a bit flatter.

From Tewkesbury to Gloucester your route is ok as far as the airport. From there into Gloucester is a bit urban-ish but still ok. However, I'd take a route on the other side of the Severn, crossing on the A438 then heading south through Forthampton, Chaceley, Ashleworth (the tythe barn and quay, with pub, are worth taking a look at), and Maisemore. From the end of Maisemore pick up the the cycle path on the other side of the road immediately after the bridge and follow it via Alney Island (Britain's largest intra-riverine island, it's claimed) into the city. This is hilly at its southern end but the lanes are quite, in good condition and the views in all directions are just beautiful. You can see the Malverns, the Black Mountains and across the Severn plain to the Cotswolds. The view from the hill between Hartpury and Maisemore, on a good day, is one of my favourite things in all the world. And when you're in Gloucester, why not visit Peppers Cafe on Bull Lane, just off Westgate, near the cathedral? Not only is the food good and not too pricey, but it's run by a cyclist; a former RAAM entrant, no less!

Re: Critiques of routes for touring

Cycling UK Forum - Touring & Expedition - 2 April 2016 - 8:13pm
I did the Oxford --> Leicester ride today. Unfortunately, I went off-course several times. Ending up in Bletchingdon (! - way off course, meaning I must have been on the whole wrong canal) at one point. That wasn't so bad, as helpful people even drew me a very good map which helped a lot. Other errors were more serious. E.g. ending up riding several miles on the A5 when I should have just done a short dogleg on that road. No harm done, but I wasn't happy about that. Other errors were comical. Google maps: A raised bit of earth in a farmer's field is not a road!

I spent longer on the Rivers and Canals north of Oxford (and in Oxford) than I planned. This meant that I got a very slow start. The towpaths typically weren't paved, or the paving was old and in poor shape. I often felt that I really needed something with knobbly tyres for those bits.

NB: I realise that this isn't really 'Touring and Expedition' as it's a single day trip. However, I'm building up. And maybe sometime in the future I can fit in an overnight trip out -> sleep -> back again.

I think I want to completely change the way I plan trips, and do the whole trips going from village to village, wherever possible on roads that mostly go straight from one village to another. Rather than complicated routes on roads that are often not even labelled. I suppose I could rely on electronic navigation more. It's really helpful when you're going from Xby to Yby, when you are in Xby and find "Yby road", then half way along it changes to "Xby road" to tell you you're getting close, then you arrive in Yby. I really like it when that happens.

The trips take me a long time. Rough ground (e.g. farmer's field, unpaved or poorly maintained towpaths) slow me down. Having to worry about navigation, stop and check maps, ask people (note: I'm very thankful for the help, of which I received loads.) I can't do anything like the average speed I could if I rode over nicely paved roads that I know like the back of my hand.

On the way back I was supposed to go through Ashby Magna, Willoughby, and then to Countesthorpe. However, when I saw a sign saying "Countesthorpe 4miles" when I was still 2 miles away from Ashby Magna was too tempting to resist. That's the advantage of a more or less straight route though. Cheating doesn't make a huge difference overall.

I'm going to see if I can replan what I plan to be my next trip, Gloucester --> Leicester, to make it more 'village hopping'.

Re: Chris Boardman vid

Cycling UK Forum - Racing - 2 April 2016 - 6:42pm
I agree. I really like Chris. He's so level headed and good for cycling. Great that he's the policy advisor for British cycling.

Re: Chris Boardman vid

Cycling UK Forum - Racing - 2 April 2016 - 6:42pm
I agree. I really like Chris. He's so level headed and good for cycling. Great that he's the policy advisor for British cycling.

Re: getting to France/Holland

Cycling UK Forum - Touring & Expedition - 2 April 2016 - 6:04pm
I used Megabus to get to Toulouse and then back from Barcelona. Bought an extra ticket for the bike, which meant I got a double seat on the bus. Tickets are around £25-£30 each from London Victoria. I'd definitely use them again.

Re: This morning...

Cycling UK Forum - On the road - 2 April 2016 - 5:03pm
If there's no paint damage at the joint or arms then the alignment should be ok.
The other place I'd check is under the seat that the main tube didn't get slightly bent from the forces. That's where I bent the frame when I hit a wall.

hercule wrote:Another good reason to have a Streamer fairing - it wouldn't add any structural strength but it does help make the trike seem BIG!

That's the main reason I still use a Streamer Fairing after having got one.

Re: What should we have in our bunkhouse

Cycling UK Forum - Touring & Expedition - 2 April 2016 - 4:47pm
Planet-X Jobsworth toolkits seem to cover most of the bases (I haven't compared it with Yorpal's tool list) and a pretty reasonable price.

This one looks like it might be just the ticket:

http://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/TOJW30PCTK ... c-tool-kit.



Although one thing it doesn't have is a set of Allen keys (it has a multi-tool instead).

The toolbox with a place for everything should mean you can check at a glance whether everything is present and correct, just in case anyone absentmindedly forgets to return a tool to the box.

And when it comes to what to put in the vending machine you could include disposable latex gloves, wet wipes, and puncture repair patches.

Re: This morning...

Cycling UK Forum - On the road - 2 April 2016 - 4:29pm
I'm curious, where were your feet when this happened? On my trike the only way my feet wouldn't be in the way would be if my cranks were at 12 o'clock / 6 o'clock. I'm surprised that the light seems unscathed. Another good reason to have a Streamer fairing - it wouldn't add any structural strength but it does help make the trike seem BIG!

The boom on my Trice seems a pretty tough bit of aluminium. You might want to check the alignment of the cruciform, I've heard of frames failing at that joint and that sort of force would likely be a test for the best brazing.
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