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living and cycling in a european country

Travel Forums Europe living and cycling in a european country

1. Posted by fozzie54 (Budding Member 2 posts) 7y

Hello from australia.
I would like some advice please , having just retired and a road cyclist and fit, I have always wanted to live in a european country for a few months and ride everyday.
I don't mind where , prefer non mainstream countries, not Italy or France and just live and ride my road bike like a local.

Any suggestions would be great and appreciated .

Thank you in advance.:)

2. Posted by Blinq (Inactive 341 posts) 7y

The Netherlands is very bicycle-friendly. There are designated bicycle paths everywhere which are much safer than cycling on a public road. Most of the country is also very flat with only a few hilly areas in the south around the province of Limburg. For more info, see the Netherlands

You cannot remain longer than 90 days in the country without obtaining a Visa.

[ Edit: Edited on 01-May-2009, at 00:24 by Blinq ]

3. Posted by zaksame (Respected Member 571 posts) 7y

The West of Ireland is a cyclist's dream also. It can be wet and windy but the views along the coast can more than make up for that.
I would especially recommend West Kerry, it got some pretty steep hills but lots of low ground too for nice easy cycling.
Ireland is a little expensive, I know believe me, but if you can afford it, I think it's really worth the effort.
Best of luck
Zaksame

4. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5596 posts) 7y

Totally agree with the above answers.

Still, I have to add one thing about Ireland. Although I think it is one of the most beautiful parts of Europe (!), I did find the conditions for people who would like to go cycling actually one of the worst.
Main reason is the fact that roads are either congested with traffic (main roads) or in the case of minor roads, very narrow. It shouldn't be very dangerous if you watch out yourself but just let's hope that all people in their cars thinking that they are on a formule 1 circuit do the same...;)

Just an extra point of consideration.

5. Posted by Blinq (Inactive 341 posts) 7y

Quoting zaksame

The West of Ireland is a cyclist's dream also. It can be wet and windy but the views along the coast can more than make up for that.
I would especially recommend West Kerry, it got some pretty steep hills but lots of low ground too for nice easy cycling.
Ireland is a little expensive, I know believe me, but if you can afford it, I think it's really worth the effort.
Best of luck
Zaksame

Yes, I have to agree with that too. I have fond memories of my days as a teenager hitchhiking around Killarney. Killarney National Park especially has some of the most beautiful countryside anywhere in Europe in my opinion. I found the people to be very friendly towards me even though many used to recount the days of the Black and Tans which was a British paramilitary force back in 1921 whose job it was to target the IRA, but was notorious for attacking the civilian population. But as a Brit, I never felt threatened in any way at all and thoroughly enjoyed the hospitality they showed me.

Yet when I ventured north and crossed the border at Newry into Northern Ireland, attitudes changed completely and the hostility was palpable. It was an education, but I was glad to get back to the peace and serenity of the Rebublic of Ireland the very next day.

6. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3719 posts) 7y

I know you said you would prefer non - mainstream countries but Germany has excellent cycle paths throughout the country, and it's a beautiful place to explore.

This site gives some good info.

7. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 7y

I think the main question will be what you want.

"Ride the bike like a local" means to me using the bike to get to work and to shop. That is what the Germans and the Dutch do with their bikes.

There is a fundamentally different attitude to cycling in Germany and the Netherlands than to the USA and other countries. Germans and Dutch use their bicycles to go places, whereas Americans go places to use their bicycles.

In the USA and in other countries you load your bike in your car, drive to a nice spot, unload your car, chat with other cyclists and compare gears and then have a nice day cycling the countryside. In Germany you will peacefully walk along a sidewalk with one side paved smooth. Then some disgruntled cyclist will ring his alarm bell and yell at you "get off the cycle path, you ****head!" You jump away before you are run over. The cyclist is especially angry because s/he isn’t on hir bicycle to enjoy a ride. It’s a cold, drizzly day and your impedance is going to make hir late to work.

So ride like a local means renting a flat and living somewhere and taking day trips or 2/3-day trips by bicycle. Is that what you want?

"Ride everywhere" indicates an extended cycling trip through Europe. That is possible, there are several long-distance cycling paths that interconnect and make it possible to cycle from Gibraltar all the way to Istanbul, Turkey or to St. Petersburg in Russia. Is that what you want?

8. Posted by Redpaddy (Inactive 1004 posts) 7y

Two things to bear in mind - when cycling in Germany and Nederlands.
Germany is not bike respectful like Nederlands is. It is almost mandatory to learn how to cycle in Nederlands, whereas in Germany it's like "Get a bike as an extra - and learn". I've been to both countries many times - and Nederlands sweeps the floor with Germany when it comes to respect for cyclists. In fact, I've not seen a country anywhere in the world that treats cyclists with as much decency as Nederlands.