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Cycling In Europe

Travel Forums Travel Companions Cycling In Europe

1. Posted by Jlf25nz (Budding Member 9 posts) 9y

Looking to travel late/summer early fall 07 doing some volunteering/working with the plans of ending my venture in Europe on a bit of a biking tour. Wondering who has done this, who might want to look into it - not dead set on any route, not sure I would want to do this portion of my travels alone...

Best to have a bike from home? or okay to buy on the road?
Average daily mileage?
Best places to go (don't mind a challenge)

Thanks a bunch in advance!

Jackie

2. Posted by sunnyeve17 (Budding Member 7 posts) 9y

Hi!! I went cycling in Vienna and Hopfgarden, Austria last summer with my best friend and we had the best time. We actually didn't plan on doing this but decided last minute as soon as we got to Austria. We biked about 20 miles a day for three days and we felt amazing afterwards. The rentals were pretty cheap, although I can't exactly recall the price... Anyway, hope this helped a bit. Have fun!

3. Posted by pfeiffer (Full Member 211 posts) 9y

Quoting Jlf25nz

Looking to travel late/summer early fall 07 doing some volunteering/working with the plans of ending my venture in Europe on a bit of a biking tour. Wondering who has done this, who might want to look into it - not dead set on any route, not sure I would want to do this portion of my travels alone...

Best to have a bike from home? or okay to buy on the road?
Average daily mileage?
Best places to go (don't mind a challenge)

You can certainly buy a bike here (in Germany, for example); it'll be easier to get a bike set up for touring (with fenders, lights, etc., as desired). I would buy your bike bags in the same place -- so if you buy your bags in your home country then buy the bike there as well (or at least the racks).

Mileage is in kilometers (which are much more cyclist-friendly). In Europe you do not have the problem that cyclists face in the western US, for example, that one has to carefully plan where to find food, water, lodging. In Germany, and France, too, villages are quite close together, so there is usually an abundance of places to stay and even camp. You can ride as few as 30 to 40 km per day (20 to 25 miles) or more than 120 km (about 80 miles) if you are traveling lightly on a fast road bike.

Even though the book is not brand-new, I would recommend Nadine Slavinksi's "Germany by Bike: 20 Tours Geared For Discovery". This is part of a series (I think there is also a "France by Bike" book etc.). She did her tours on her own, while preparing the book. If you absolutely want a riding partner, you could try the Companions Wanted board at Adventure Cycling (http://www.adv-cycling.org/mag/companions.cfm), or even try a little English on any German cycling site (maybe start with contacting the ADFC). I am sure you will find even more guides to cycling in Europe, but you could do worse than to pick up a copy of Nadine's book. And when you get here, maps and tour guide books for cycling tours are plentiful (if, unfortunately, mostly in German).

It's a wonderful way to see Europe, especially in late spring / early summer when the days are sooo long.

-Kevin

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Kevin Pfeiffer

4. Posted by pfeiffer (Full Member 211 posts) 9y

I forgot to add that along the more popular routes, which would generally include most routes along rivers, you might find find so many fellow riders along the way (of all ages) that you wish you were alone.

A couple such routes, which actually might be quite nice for a first tour, would be in the Altmühltal (Rothenburg ob der Taube), and along the Danube (Donau).

There are also many organized tours. They will cost a bit more (some can be very expensive), but they offer perks such as pre-arranged lodging, transport of your baggage, etc.

Just typing "cycling Europe" (cycling Germany, etc.) into Google will give you so many ideas that you could spend four weeks just planning your tour. And then spring will be just around the corner.

Makes me want to pack my own bags. (But my next cycling trip is first to Mallorca.)

-Kevin

5. Posted by Jlf25nz (Budding Member 9 posts) 9y

Thanks to you both! I'm sure I it would feel quite rewarding to start off alone. Seeing as I'd like to do some traveling and volunteering beforehand would be less worry about timing that way also. I'll check out the book, I've been a book reading machine lately trying to figure out my game plan - I'll add that one to the list.

It is very tough to plan and not wish I was out the door tomorrow! You done this many times before Kevin? Anything a rookie should really know before getting out there? Looks like I may have to brush up on my German...or should I say, start learning...

Thanks again!

6. Posted by pfeiffer (Full Member 211 posts) 9y

Quoting Jlf25nz

Anything a rookie should really know before getting out there? Looks like I may have to brush up on my German...or should I say, start learning...

You can get along on English pretty well. I just a second look at the Germany By Bike book (amazingly I could find this on the bookshelf when actually looking for it) and it's a pretty good introduction. She uses DM (the old currency) for prices. You will be reasonably close if you simply read any DM prices as euros.

We've done perhaps five or six tours, ranging from four-weeks on the road with tent to a week in one location with daily outings, and everything in between. I would not plan to ride more than five or six days in every seven: four days riding, then 2 nights at the same location, then three or four days, etc. But this depends on what you want to see, how much time you have, distances, etc.

-Kevin
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Kevin Pfeiffer