Best country/region to go bicycle touring in?

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Best country/region to go bicycle touring in?

Postby blastork » Fri Dec 18, 2009 10:20 pm

i just had this idea of cycling in some really scenic green places with hilly forests and castles round the corner and village home cooked food etc.. eastern europe?

australia i think is a nice place to go bicycle touring. but if you had a chance, where would be your ideal place to do a bicycle tour? i suppose france would be popular... also -- which particular region or location -- and why?



(by nice bicycle tour -- i think i mean one where you don't need to pack too much luggage and you can ride from motel/hotel to hotel easily within one day sightseeing and enjoying the local flavours at the same time. no rush.)
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Re: Best country to go bicycle touring in?

Postby hartleymartin » Fri Dec 18, 2009 10:42 pm

Probably somewhere around Europe. It depends what you make of your touring. I think that England would be quite good, though one would have to get used to the rain. I think that the Canal Tow-paths would be nice to explore, and towns are fairly close together (compared to Australia).
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Re: Best country to go bicycle touring in?

Postby tipsy.mcstagger » Sat Dec 19, 2009 12:32 am

hartleymartin wrote:Probably somewhere around Europe. It depends what you make of your touring. I think that England would be quite good, though one would have to get used to the rain. I think that the Canal Tow-paths would be nice to explore, and towns are fairly close together (compared to Australia).



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Re: Best country/region to go bicycle touring in?

Postby pine » Sat Dec 19, 2009 11:58 am

Bagdad or Afghanistan, but being a woman I would get too hot in the hijab and it may get caught in my big chaining . I think that would be the best place to ride.
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Re: Best country/region to go bicycle touring in?

Postby Cinder » Sat Dec 19, 2009 3:02 pm

Germany, I just came back from there and have promised next time I am going to leave more days for riding!
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Re: Best country/region to go bicycle touring in?

Postby tourdottk » Fri Dec 25, 2009 12:17 am

If you're heading for Europe, go to France! Friendly, great food, small country lanes and sooo much to see.
South America: Colombia. Accommodation everywhere, cycle culture, extremely friendly folk.
Asia: AHHH, those Thai beaches.... 8) and don't forget Japan!
North America: Oregon and California coast. Great set-up for cyclists (hiker/biker sites), you'll meet a lot of like-minded people. Great social event.
Ciao from San Pedro de Atacama, Chile,
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Re: Best country/region to go bicycle touring in?

Postby Kalgrm » Fri Dec 25, 2009 12:25 am

Laos.

Been there a couple of times with work and would love to cycle through it.

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Re: Best country/region to go bicycle touring in?

Postby DownUnder81 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 8:23 am

I recommend that you cycling the Romantic Road in Germany - from Würtzburg to Füssen it is only roughly 500km. You could do it in a week. There is a 15 - 17% gradient at Würtzburg and Rothenborg ob dem Tauber and the climb to Füssen can be a bit long. But it is worth seeing all of the green fields, castels, medivel towns and the landscape.

Northern Italy from Verona to Riva di Garda is a steady simple climb and the views and locations are great, only mayber 3 or 4 days worth of cycling, but the countryside is magnificent.

One country - Slovenia. Do it!

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Re: Best country/region to go bicycle touring in?

Postby lethoso » Wed Jan 06, 2010 5:42 pm

Europe for sure, though I do want to try riding through SE Asia sometime.

Countries I've ridden in:

england: great, weather is !! BAN ME NOW FOR SWEARING !! though. B roads were a bit scary though, english drivers are as bad as aussies.
netherlands: awesome. Bit flat and windy though, except for limburgh.
belgium: only went through wallonia, awful place. Flanders might be better.
france: very nice. Secondary highways are fine to cycle, drivers are nice and courteous. Would not recommend cycling on the main freeways though, Accidentally hopped on one heading into paris, wasn't fun.

countries I want to ride in:
- northern netherlands - amsterdam was as far north as I got, I want to see friesland.
- germany - seemed awesome when I was there on foot.
- everywhere else in europe except for Greece. Greek drivers scare me, plus it's hot as sin. If I want to bake to death on my bike, I can do that fine here.
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Re: Best country/region to go bicycle touring in?

Postby Pain Train » Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:51 pm

Switzerland. Great scenery, great climbs, great drivers and villages/cities aren't too far apart for touring. I stayed in a placed called Davos and rode in some of the mountains there with a local rider. I was 106kg back then and as you can imagine I was belted around by the local.

There's nothing quite like the feeling of decending one of those Swiss Mountains and seeing 85km/h on the speedo.
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Re: Best country/region to go bicycle touring in?

Postby Recycler » Sat Jan 09, 2010 1:58 pm

Northern Ireland, start in Belfast and ride anti clockwise. Great people and drivers.Lonley Planet has a book on Ireland, be there on the 12th of July for the marches . Recycler
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Re: Best country/region to go bicycle touring in?

Postby JustinS007 » Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:47 pm

blastork wrote:(by nice bicycle tour -- i think i mean one where you don't need to pack too much luggage and you can ride from motel/hotel to hotel easily within one day sightseeing and enjoying the local flavours at the same time. no rush.)

Europe +1. Austria the standout for me.

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Re: Best country/region to go bicycle touring in?

Postby il padrone » Fri Feb 12, 2010 1:03 pm

Where some friends of mine are going to head off to and tour later this year - Italy including Tuscany, la Cinque Terre, Corsica, Sardinia and Sicily. I'd so love to be going with them.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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Re: Best country/region to go bicycle touring in?

Postby Uncle Just » Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:07 pm

And you will one day mio caro padrone. But first you will go where very few will ever ride.... the Australian outback! :wink:
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Re: Best country/region to go bicycle touring in?

Postby kibnedyo » Wed Mar 17, 2010 10:50 pm

Ahhhhh all those corrugations. The Roubaix has nothing on an outback dirt road, mile after mile of rattling teeth.
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Re: Best country/region to go bicycle touring in?

Postby lacticacid » Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:36 am

Mountain biking in Portugal would be the dream destination for me... inspired by this article.... http://www.gonomad.com/transports/0711/portugal-biking.html
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Re: Best country/region to go bicycle touring in?

Postby stevepedlin » Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:24 am

New Zealand would have to be great place to tour for self evident reasons, Scotland would be nice by bicycle.

But being more realistic, I'd love to spend 2 months riding Tasmania in summer. In fact I just might get the opportunity next year.
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Re: Best country/region to go bicycle touring in?

Postby mianos » Fri Mar 26, 2010 8:33 am

We have a place in Slovakia in Eastern Europe. It's fantastic for cycling. I did a few everytail mapped photos: http://www.everytrail.com/my_trips.php?user_id=51002
Lots of flat or lots of hills and very few cars, specially up to the skiing areas in summer as they most end the mountains. Even crossings away from the border are very quiet compared to most places.

The main problem with Eastern Europe is, outside or the capital cities there is little to no English spoken.
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Re: Best country/region to go bicycle touring in?

Postby Cascadian » Sat Apr 10, 2010 6:10 am

Spain - lived there for 3 years. The Andalusian area (southern) is great with plenty of castles. I found Spain much better than France for cycling and the people are fantastic. Didn't get a chance to do the northern areas, but it's so vast ..

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Re: Best country/region to go bicycle touring in?

Postby geoffs » Sat Apr 10, 2010 8:44 pm

've cycled most of western europe. Italy is good but my favourite place would be the dordogne region of france.
Depends how long you have. We'll most probably do some of france and tuscany next time we go for a tour
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Re: Best country/region to go bicycle touring in?

Postby Mat_H » Fri Apr 16, 2010 3:54 pm

In 2003 I cycled for a few months from Hungary through Austria, Germany and Czech republic. My favourite country would be Austria. The people are great, the drivers courteous and there are hundreds of signposted cyclepaths across the country. The scenery was magnificent and the high Alps in the south provide a good opportunity for those who like the mountains. Austia has a good mix of mountainous areas and fairly flattish areas along the Dabune River and other rivers and lakes. Plenty of castles and other historical attractions. I navigated the Danube cyclepath east to west without a map no worries. The Tauern Radweg (cyclepath) was beautiful and there are towns reasonably close together. (no more than 8-10km's apart)

I have not done France, Italy, Spain, etc,etc but from what I have read they are great too. I found the roads and paths in the former eastern block countries to be pretty average and the drivers suck..in some areas I thought they were worse than Perth drivers if that is possible. The bonus with eastern europe is they are less touristy (but catching up) and cheaper. Dont expect to ride you bike into Prague at 6pm on a Saturday night and find accomodation easily. Everywhere else I found accommodation easily so no need to book.

All I can say is stop dreaming about it and do it. Best holiday of my life.
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Re: Best country/region to go bicycle touring in?

Postby nasz » Fri Jun 11, 2010 2:04 pm

I've cycled in 67 countries now and think Thailand is one of the best for food, respect from other road users, safety and accommodation.

Europe-wise - I suggest Italy. As for the UK - the tow paths are awful (unless you're on a mountain bike) and generally not bike friendly. France would be my second choice.

A lot depends on what you don't mind putting up with! Pakistan from my experience was very good, apart from dirty accomodation and suspect food. But the main roads from Karachi to Lahore were the best I have ever cycled on! Smooth as silk!
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Re: Best country/region to go bicycle touring in?

Postby lotramar » Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:10 pm

I live in northern Vietnam where I found many nice places for cycling such as Mai Chau, Sapa and Ha Giang area.
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Re: Best country/region to go bicycle touring in?

Postby lloydy » Sat Aug 07, 2010 7:33 pm

Of countries I've ridden in:-

England, excellent opportunities if you stay off the main routes which is easy to do. Super mtn biking too in the right areas.
Scotland, even better. Roads much quieter too. Outer Hebrides a must. Only problem is the weather, can be wet.
Wales, similar to England.

Spain - Mallorca, Andualucia both super for out of season road tours, especially the former, but would be way too busy in season. Drivers considerate despite the Latin temperament

Switzerland - excellent mtn biking and road riding. Very cycle friendly.
Cycling in Northen Italy, Austria, France & Germany mainly limited to mtn biking, again excellent.

Thailand - great variety of scenery once away from Bangkok, even the latter has it's attractions though cycling there isn't one of them.

Costa Rica - great for a road tour, some of the best scenic cycling I've done & wildlife amazing too.

Belize & Guatemala - super places for the Mayan sites, road conditions can be variable and hilly, but super all the same.

NZ - scenery can be great no doubt, but lack of available roads means it can be difficult to avoid the worst drivers I've experienced. Mtn biking north island disappointing.

Mexico - limited experience of cycling here, but wouldn't be top of my list with drivers to rival NZs.
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Re: Best country/region to go bicycle touring in?

Postby mvw » Wed Sep 15, 2010 7:38 pm

East Timor has some great roads for cycling. Spectacular scenery, very friendly people and little traffic. A mountain bike is recommended as the roads can be rough and hilly especially inland. Some of the coastal stretches east of Dili are a cyclists paradise. Be prepared to carry plenty of water and snacks also.. A fantastic place for an adventure
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