Myself and tom are looking to tour around Europe on racing bikes. We both are starting are training now, and are preparing to do this next year in July/August. We are passionate about achieving this enormous task; due to people we know losing their lives to cancer.
I’m really needing help as we are just starting to plan are routes etc, and was wondering if any1 could point us to any good websites or anything u may know of. We plan to start in London go through to places such as Amsterdam - Berlin - Prague - Vienna - Munich - Geneva - Paris and back to London. Overall we are estimating it at 2500 miles. We are looking to this in and around about 1 month, so yes almost doing 100 miles a day. Now it seems impossible but we both are starting to train and as we are both very fit people hopefully we can get up to fairly decent standard, despite knowing biking is completely different to just running.
Also if u know any good websites etc for training I would love to know this to.
Talk to the experts at http://www.rad-forum.de
I can tell you only about Berlin - Prague - Vienna - Munich:
Berlin-Dresden look for info on the Spreewald cycling route
Dresden-Prague look for info on the Elbe-Moldau cycling route. There are some good cycle touring books out there covering this stretch, one is
Bikeline Radtourenbuch, Elbe-Radweg Teil 1: Von Prag nach Magdeburg (Taschenbuch), ISBN-13: 978-3850000307.
BTW, if you cycle not to Berlin but to Magdeburg you can hit the Elbe cycling trail much earlier, saving you about 150 miles in distance.
From Prague cycle in the general direction of Brno. There are cyle routes this way, but I don't know them at all. I could look it up though. They continue all the way to the Austrian border, I think one of the best routes from Brno to Vienna if you want to avoid hills and mountains is via Laa an der Thaya.
From Vienna you simply take Donau cycling route to Deggendorf and then follow the Isar to Munich.
Guides: Cycling Guide Danube Bike Trail: Danube Bike Trail: part 2, from Passau to Vienna ISBN-13: 978-3-85000-160-1
Isarradweg Radführer von Scharnitz bis Deggendorf/Thundorf: Mit Stadtduchfahrtsplänen 1:75000, ISBN-13: 978-3936990348
Map: Donau-Radweg Regensburg - Bratislava 1 : 125 000: Radtourenkarte (Landkarte) ISBN-13: 978-3854915515
For Bavaria it is possible to order a free map of all cycling routes in Bavaria from a government website ask about this at the forum I gave you above.
all maps/guides are available from amazon.de, you can try ordering through other amazon websites too if you enter the ISBN number and search
Also look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EuroVelo
[ Edit: Edited on Jul 24, 2008, at 5:42 AM by t_maia ]
BTW, I would personally plan to do this in about 45 days. Doing 100 km (62,5 miles) per day is not unusual for fit cyclists on racing bikes in Europe, plus you would have time 1) for unforeseen emergencies and 2) to see a bit of the countryside you are touring. Plus cycling routes do not always take the most direct way, so is the cycling route along the Danube from Passau to Vienna significantly longer than the Autobahn that goes through the hills.
Note that Munich-Geneva-Paris involves the Alpes and I would definitely not plan to cycle 100 miles / 160 kms in this terrain. Similar applies to France, there is a reason the Tour de France is so hard and demanding.
Vienna to Deggendorf along the Danube however is 410 km (257 miles) and completely flat, only the incline of the river and the wind work against you here. I think it could be doable in 2 1/2 days if you are really fit, there have been instances where very fit riders have gone from Passau to Vienna covering 360 km/220 miles in 2 days (with the wind and the incline in their favour). Similar is true for Deggendorf-Munich which is roughly 170 kms (106 miles).
Found the map that is recommended for the Spreewald forest: ADFC Radtourenkarte, Blatt 9, Brandenburg, Spreewald, Maßstab 1:150 000, ISBN-13: 978-3870730697
You also want to look at http://www.radweit.de/ - there is an amazing collection of routes between big German cities, you should be able to find something useful on getting from the Dutch border to Berlin there.
Regarding Munich-Geneva-Paris: Have you considered switching Geneva for Basel or Zurich? Would save you considerable amount of distance and heights needed to climb as you would be skirting the Alps. Passes in the Alps are no laughing matter, even if you have crossed the Rocky Mountains or other high ridges before. Especially the Swiss Alps are scaringly steep.
[ Edit: Edited on Jul 24, 2008, at 9:50 AM by t_maia ]
Ah cheers m8 thats quality, will get straight onto lookign at this.
Never thought about changing geneva, but from what ure saying i will def look into this and see what maybe a good alternative. i mean even by geneva i believe we are gonna start to struggle if we are not already tbh. and i had told my other friend that we are gonna have to increase the time we need for this, so thanks for that input to m8.
For Switzerland look at this website: http://www.veloland.ch/en
I checked and there is a national cycling route that is relatively flat for Switzerland, it is the Mittelland Route and runs from Lake Constance to Lausanne with possible connection onward to Geneva. So it is possible to get to Geneva and avoid the Alps at the same time. Still it is a considerable detour of almost 140 miles compared to the alternative Munich-Basel-Paris (865 vs 1100 km, 540 vs 680 miles).