Search found 30 matches

by L+1
6 Jul 2021, 8:29pm
Forum: Touring & Expedition
Topic: Quiet route Oban-Kilmartin Argyll
Replies: 3
Views: 225

Re: Quiet route Oban-Kilmartin Argyll

The best on road route for cycling between Oban and Kilmartin is to follow the Sustrans Caledonia Way.
You would need to cycle from Oban to Taynuilt via the superb Glen Lonan. Once in Taynuilt you need to get yourself on to the B845 to Kilchrenan and then follow the road on the west side of Loch Awe ( the quieter side). You will eventually arrive at Ford at the southern end. It’s not a huge distance but lots of tiring ups and downs!

Then there is a short stretch on the A816 to get to Kilmartin - but it’s unusually flat for that route. Traffic speed is quite high.
There is an off road option to avoid the A816 for that last stretch but it was very rough and muddy a couple of years ago. Carnasserie Castle (where the rough stretch goes) is worth a look though if you have time

The String of Lorne route is almost impossible to cycle along most of its length. It’s a challenging walk. If you do want some off-road, the Midmuir Drove Road - between Musdale near Kilmore and Kilchrenan has a better surface. The Scotways website (Scottish Rights of Way society). Their Heritage Paths site has very good info about track surface/quality etc.
There is also the West Loch Awe Timber Haul Route high above the public road on the west side of Loch Awe - but I think you would be better on the public road.
If you are on the road in the vicinity of Kilchrenan, be alert for a badly damaged cattle grid. Several beams broken, awaiting repair. think it’s at Collaig near Kilchrenan.
by L+1
24 Jun 2021, 11:50am
Forum: Cycle Camping sub-forum
Topic: Elgin to Fife to Elgin with cycletravel link and campsites used with links
Replies: 5
Views: 282

Re: Elgin to Fife to Elgin with cycletravel link and campsites used with links

I hope you enjoyed your tour.
How did you find campsite facilities at the sites you stayed on - washrooms, camp kitchens etc. Were they strictly controlled for time slots etc for each family group - or is that not happening? Was there a lot of extra cleaning going on?
by L+1
23 Jun 2021, 12:02am
Forum: Bikes & Bits – Technical section
Topic: Saddle width - sore butt!
Replies: 22
Views: 1064

Re: Saddle width - sore butt!

Could it be that the quality of the foam inside the saddle has deteriorated, changing the degree of support it provides?
2 years seems a bit meagre for a branded saddle - but maybe if the bike is stored in a warm place or sunlight……?
If the synthetic cover fabric still looks good, it might not be obvious that the interior has aged
by L+1
22 Jun 2021, 2:03pm
Forum: Touring & Expedition
Topic: Accommodation on Caledonian Way
Replies: 2
Views: 347

Re: Accommodation on Caledonian Way

I’ve not completed the whole route but I’m familiar with the southern end in particular. In a more normal year, there would be a good supply of B and B in the towns/larger villages - Campbeltown, Tarbert, Oban/Taynuilt and Fort William. And others sprinkled along the route out-with villages. Normally I would expect each village to have at least one B and B.

I think a lot are closed this year - especially the ‘old fashioned’ sort with just a room or 2 in a family home. On the other hand there are very few tour buses on the roads, so you might get into hotels which normally only want mass bookings.
The independent B and Bs can be hard to find. You need to look at all sources - Scottish Tourist board, Air BnB, even just trawling Google maps for any reviews or pins.

Watch out for the Calmac ferry to Campbeltown going out of service. Because Calmac don’t have any spare ship capacity, that ferry is fairly frequently sent elsewhere, as it isn’t considered essential.
Usually it’s big news on local Facebook etc.
But Calmac have a bad habit of showing ‘good service’ on a route which doesn’t run daily, on the days it isn’t scheduled to run. Even if the ferry is hundreds of miles away and they know it won’t be in service on its normal route the next day.

We baled out because the ferry was off, but with hindsight I think we could have got one of the many small road courier companies in Campbeltown to take the bikes to Glasgow and we could (probably) have got the service bus to Glasgow. Strictly speaking the bus doesn’t accept bikes. And of course it gets busy when the ferry is cancelled.
by L+1
20 Jun 2021, 7:01pm
Forum: Electric bikes
Topic: Mixing and matching eBike battery / motor / controller...
Replies: 15
Views: 667

Re: Mixing and matching eBike battery / motor / controller...

I think if you moved your query to the ‘Electric Bikes’ section on the forum - or at least alerted them to your thread - you would get a more detailed reply.
Someone will know if what you are proposing is possible, or at least suggest where else you can ask.
by L+1
12 Jun 2021, 8:39am
Forum: The Tea Shop
Topic: Rape oil
Replies: 35
Views: 1387

Re: Rape oil

Apparently the ‘hay fever’ problem is actually sensitivity to the scent - some of the volatile oils can cause allergic reactions. Worst in warm/hot weather as the oils vaporise.
There’s a lot of Rapeseed flowering just now in my bit of NE Scotland. It’s popularity comes and goes but it’s back in favour this year.
Several farms are making artisanal ‘cold pressed’ Rapeseed oil, with associated health benefit claims. Some available in major supermarkets……
by L+1
10 Jun 2021, 9:41pm
Forum: The Tea Shop
Topic: Who's had the vaccine?
Replies: 1352
Views: 37046

Re: Who's had the vaccine?

simonineaston wrote: 10 Jun 2021, 9:17pm Colleague in thirties, had both vaccines, tested +ive last week...
That’s unfortunate. How did they find out? Symptoms or a routine test?
From what I understand that’s going to be the risk for the unvaccinated - mildly ill vaccinated folk still shedding virus into the environment.
by L+1
2 Jun 2021, 1:28pm
Forum: Touring & Expedition
Topic: Travelling with a touring bike on a train in the uk
Replies: 184
Views: 10397

Re: Travelling with a touring bike on a train in the uk

Just tested a ScotRail journey from a location I know has no ticket machine/staffed station, dated 1st of July. Only option offered was ‘collect from machine’ - and offers of various staffed stations, some more local than others. One probably 70miles by road!
An unfortunate development - perhaps due to staff now working from home? Or postal department closed in favour of Smart Card uptake?
It would be interesting to know what the telesales dept have to say....
The Abelio franchise is being ended early - something else to bother Michael Matheson and/or Graeme Dey about?
by L+1
2 Jun 2021, 12:51pm
Forum: Touring & Expedition
Topic: Travelling with a touring bike on a train in the uk
Replies: 184
Views: 10397

Re: Travelling with a touring bike on a train in the uk

The Scotrail smartcard/Scotrail club 50 Smartcard allows online purchasing and the tickets loaded to a smart card via an App. The smartcard then has to be validated by ‘tapping in’ at your departure railway station. At least on the West Highland line, remote stations do have the validators, even if they don’t have ticket machines/ offices.
As far as I know you still have to phone Scotrail for a cycle reservation number ( no ticket). But in my experience Scotrail train staff do know where and how many bikes they are expecting. And I find the phone service easy to use too.

Never tested this out though ....all planned for 2020, and well, you know how that went.....
by L+1
2 Jun 2021, 10:39am
Forum: Family Cycling
Topic: 9 year old son comfort
Replies: 5
Views: 434

Re: 9 year old son comfort

If your lad isn’t keen on padded shorts or a padded liner, make sure his normal briefs have as few seams as possible. It’s surprising how brands differ - better quality brands e.g M and S are often much better constructed than supermarket own brands. Have a check and suggest he puts them on inside out to get the seams/overlocker thread off his skin.
Maybe buy him a couple of pairs of ‘seamless’ briefs just for cycling?
Check his trousers too for hard seams.
If you have anyone in your household who can do novice dressmaking, it’s easy to make simple ‘board shorts’ with an extra gusset, moving the crotch seams and giving a smoother seating area.
I think from your other posts you’ve increased your distance substantially too.....maybe he needs a more gentle build up?
by L+1
1 Jun 2021, 8:09pm
Forum: Touring & Expedition
Topic: Bikes in Room - UK Hotels - Which?
Replies: 12
Views: 1121

Re: Bikes in Room - UK Hotels - Which?

Almost all Premier Inns will - they have a page on their website telling how bike friendly they are. Sometimes the staff on reception will apologise that they don’t have a secure lock up and you’ll ‘have’ to take your bike up to your room!
The only ones we’ve been in which didn’t allow bikes into the room were Fort William - maybe most bikes are too muddy? - and Glasgow Buchanan Galleries - a tower block with only 2 small lifts. Both had secure locking stores instead apparently. As it happened we were just enquiring.
If you are ever in Glasgow I would recommend the City Centre South or Charing Cross PIs instead.
by L+1
9 May 2021, 9:51am
Forum: Touring & Expedition
Topic: tour from Elgin, Grantown on Spey to Dunfermline then back via the east coast NC
Replies: 7
Views: 610

Re: tour from Elgin, Grantown on Spey to Dunfermline then back via the east coast NC

I’m not sure if you are already based in Scotland - but a word of warning about travel into Moray.
Currently Covid 19 cases are rising through Moray and particularly in Elgin. Very much against the national picture. The source or route of transmission within the community is not yet identified but the vaccination programme is being accelerated to younger adults than the rest of Scotland, to try to curb spread.

It’s likely that Moray won’t proceed to Scottish level 2 on May 17th(?). There are concerns about spread to neighbouring parts of Aberdeenshire and Highland regions.
Hopefully things will have stabilised by July but travel in June might still be restricted.
I’m sorry I can’t give any specific recommendations about camping around Stonehaven. I would think that outwith the town the surrounds are sufficiently rural that you would be fine for one night, so long as you were out of sight of anyone’s home.
No cycling on the AWPR of course. And traffic coming on and off onto the minor roads is often still travelling very fast.
by L+1
3 May 2021, 10:18pm
Forum: On the road
Topic: Cattle grids on cycle paths
Replies: 37
Views: 2189

Re: Cattle grids on cycle paths

The cycle path in the original post does indeed have cattle grazing in summer.
Surprisingly close to York city centre - I assume some ancient grazing privilege. I think the grassland - Clifton Ings (??) is an SSSI/nature reserve. In my experience the animals are quite laid back but fairly stubborn about where they want to lie down.
I agree those particular cattle grids are placed very poorly - several on corners with poor visibility.
But I’m always nervous of cattle grids generally - I’m the annoying cyclist who always has to get off and push!
by L+1
7 Apr 2021, 3:26pm
Forum: Using the Forum - request help : report difficulties
Topic: Forum Update Issues
Replies: 150
Views: 5378

Re: Forum Update Issues

Thank you for the replies to my query regarding the ‘edited by’ strap line.
I must have come upon a very speedy ‘copy text’ by one member and a simultaneous ‘edit’ by the original author.
I must admit to reading the forum and posting the occasional reply via my phone - making the various editing functions difficult to master.
Thanks again for the clear explanations/examples.
by L+1
7 Apr 2021, 10:15am
Forum: Using the Forum - request help : report difficulties
Topic: Forum Update Issues
Replies: 150
Views: 5378

Re: Forum Update Issues

I think we used to have a strap line below posts which had been edited by the author e.g. - ‘edited by L+1, edited one (1?) time in total’.
Is this now discontinued in the new style?
I ask because I was reading the ongoing Spa Cycles thread in ‘Goods and Services’ and a poster has quoted someone else’s full post, the original of which is now shorter with no mention of it being edited.
Personally I would prefer the fact that someone has edited their post, sometimes to remove ill chosen language, sometimes just to correct a typo or error, to be recorded on the original post.