For Australian Cyclists travelling and touring OS
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Heya all, a mate and myself have been planning a trip to Europe, which will involve Britain, France, possibly Switzerland, and Germany, abt 5-7 days in each. We'll be there around August-September.
Will mainly be planning on staying in London and Paris for the first 2 locations, so not really worried too much. Planning on some sightseeing in Switzerland and Germany though, and bikes came to my mind.
A thought was perhaps to base ourselves say in a bigger town (e.g., Munich), and then do some day (or two day) trips riding out of the city, so was wondering if anyone has any recommendations. We're both not-super-fit, recreational cyclists, so nothing too heavy...
1) is it feasible? or any alternatives?
2) can we get bikes, where from, and how much?
3) anything else you can think of
Just an idea at this stage, looking for feedback. Will post more definite info as we plan it. Cheers!
have a look at this site, it might be interesting!
www . mikesbiketours . com (the site manager doesn't allow to link it, because I'm new)
You could do some tours in the alps, but don't forget they are very high
Have a nice trip
For Munich I would suggest setting that as a base if you need some time to relax. Regensburg for example has a very historical centre (middle ageds). It is 90 min. North from Munich via fast train and probably a nice ride that would take a bit longer. From Switzerland to Munich for example you also have access to the Black Forest and Augsburg. (Stuttgart seems not to be a good place for cycling.. I've been there once before however didn't get a chance to get a good impression).
Lake Contance is on the Swiss / German border and offers some good relaxing riding.
Lake Constance, I wouldn't recommend really. It's a very nice place, I have to admit, and there are loads of cyclists that's true. But it's the main holiday destination for the over 60`s. My parents go there quiet regular (they are over 60) and complain that there are only old people.
My favorite destination is Lake of Garda in Italy. Best place to be is Torbole on the north side. There are loads of MTBer, Windsurfer and it's a good place for freeclimbing - that means aswell young people (between 25 and 45).
have a good trip
London is very expensive...you can alternately pick up cheap commuters in Amsterdam, or the Benelux, they have good road bikes too but you will need to ask specifically for these. Riding across Holland is easy and they are very cyclist savvy.
If you get the chance, a good ride is by Lake Como in Italy and then a climb up to the Ghisalo Chapel...its a shrine and cycle museum dedicated to famous cyclists with Coppi's memorial there.
The Cote d'Azur is beaut too , south of France, also known as the French Riviera. A good spin along there via Nice, Cap'd'Ail, Cannes and into Monaco is always fun, and then there's the awesome ride from there into the Cinque Terra - the Italian Riviera. Each little bike shop have their own jerseys so that makes for a few memorable souvenirs. Stay in youth hostels along the way and eat plenty of fresh fruit beside the Italian riviera while you take a dip at the beach!
Lock your bike well.
Ride safe, cheers, 5*R .
Italy is a great place to ride, I have ridden in the centre of italy within the alps and its an experience never to forget, these are the same routes the professionals take. Italy has so much wonderful scenery and towns will greet you well and great places to stop by and down the south the coastlines are incredibile. There are many places where bikes can be borrowed, loaned etc. that i came across. Lake Como as mentioned by 5*R is beautiful.
Another location which i found really beautiful and great to ride was in scotland, it suits everything road, mtb etc.
I have to agree with 5*R lock your bike well unless your planning to ride in japan where you have to remember where you parked it as there are thousands of bikes everywhere unlocked and to me they all looked the same, it seems the country goes by trust.
I haven't toured any of the places you mention but imagine that if Munich is a large city that you'd be better off basing yourself somewhere nearby but smaller so that you don't spend the first and last bit of every ride negotiating city traffic?
Actually I have toured teeny little bits of Germany while touring Netherlands-Belgium-Luxembourg with a friend in late August 99.
When I went to Spain the following month I ended up basing myself in a couple of towns for 3-5 nights instead of touring from place to place every day. That meant I could leave early for a long day ride without a load, stop for a long lunch in the hottest part of the day and return late knowing where I was going to stay etc.
In northern Europe the weather is not as much of a consideration nor is the several hours of siesta when everything in Spain is shut - ie if you arrive in a new town at 3pm you won't be able to get into a hostel etc until about 5pm.
Cheers for that. I ended up going alone later in the year, and stuck to the UK instead. Time reasons (only had 3 weeks), and also winter, visiting friends/family etc.
This will be handy info though, for when I actually do make it to the continent, sometime!
As for the UK, no joy this time. Time limits, length of day (winter), frequent travel, and (lack of) availability of a suitable bike for suitable hire cost was against me.
Thanks all though!
Hey there, if you are a keen rider, id steer clear of the big cities.. u need to get to places like the Black Forest area in germany...
Go down to places like Mainz, where there are plenty of trails that you can take into neighbouring countries.
France is fun but traffic is incredible, especially in the alps.
Italy is much better, less traffic and the locals will cheer you on. There are some good touring companies around as well.
Another great place to ride is Palma Mallorca, go to a place called Alcudia.. i can recommend a place there if you are interested, some great riding
You may want to hop on some cycling camps here and there
One highly recommended is Camp Dolomites, i have seen them mentioned around and im amidst booking 10days with them, their prices are great and they have Australian staff!!!!
Let me know if you need more ideas...
For trails/routes/guides etc in Switzerland go to www.!!! Spammer !!!.ch
They have a number of booklets for regions all over the country and trails which join international routes.
Cycling in Switzerland is incredible, there is plenty of flat riding if you stay on the valley floors or the serious, by Australian standards, climbing starts as soon as you leave the floor. The trails are well marked and follow quiet roads, specially constructed bike paths through fields and forest adn shared walking trails. You can also combine cycling with rail travel.
A mountain bike would be my choice of vehicle as it is nice to just ride for the enjoyment rather than have any training or fitness goals.
The attitude from drivers is much different to Aust. as bicycling is so much more a mode of transport and therefore all drivers were cyclist once and much more tolerant.
Hi all, just a few observation after spending 4 weeks in Europeâ€¦â€¦.again and again Iâ€™m surprised how people using their bikes in Germany and Franceâ€¦â€¦In Europe bikes are everywhere, people living on bikes, just fantastic place to be, and drivers are so understandable it is weird for us coming from Au. I have spent hours on bike and on couple of occasions I went for ride outside of Munich using local roads joining local â€˜sport roadiesâ€™ and what a great bunch of riders they are. Actually they are only bicycle riders in whole of Europe that wearing helmetsâ€¦.and I have not seen any Cervelos in there, mostly Colnagos, Pinarellos, BMC and local Focus brandâ€¦and yes they do ride in the afternoonâ€¦no morning rides thereâ€¦.
But I must say the best place to ride must be in Istria (Croatia), fantastic weather, roads are phenomenal, there are few cars on the road, and scenery is outstandingâ€¦bicyclist heaven and on similar note what a hell of place to drive in Paris, wow that what you call chaos, French drivers are lunatics, crazier ones then one in Boliviaâ€¦..(good luck Toolong!)
2011 Cervelo S3/SRAM Red in Black/Zipp 404/3T Team/Prologo Scratch Nack (racing)
2009 Felt TK2 track
2010 Cervelo R3/SRAM Red/Eastons EA70/3T Team/Fizik Aliante (training)Fulcrum Racing 1 (racing)
Many big cities in Germany (e.g. Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, Cologne...) have a great and easy to use hire bike system. You can find bikes in many public places. Each of them has a local phone number on them and a numeric code lock. You call this number, receive the code and off you go. When you're finished you just leave the bike anywhere in the inner city area, call the same number again und tell them at which road intersection the bike is and you're done. It's all booked from your credit card and certainly cheaper than buying a bike if day tours around cities is what youre after. The system is called 'call a bike' and is easy to find in a web search.
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