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  1. #1
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    Anyone done a good ~7 day bike tour through somewhere in Europe? Need help planning

    How did you plan your days biking to be on low traffic roads (dirt or pavement) as much as possible. Any good websites for route planning like this that tells you about how busy the roads are, or at least which roads are bike friendly with a nice sized shoulder for the majority of it? I am planning a bike trip with the lady for June. Looking to bike about 7 days, anywhere from 40-80 miles a day with no more than ~1-2,000m per day climbing. Pavement, dirt, or rail trails, no singletrack.

    We did a 'self guided' tour of Ireland last year and had a blast but all the company really did was give us a route, take luggage from hotel to hotel and organize our bike rentals. While that was nice, we could definitely do it cheaper and just carry our own gear each day so we are hoping to plan our own trip this time.

    If you have done a fun ~7 day long bike trip through anywhere beautiful in Europe hit me up and I'd love to see your route, or just get some ideas for how to plan for low traffic roads through cool areas. I HATE biking on busy roads. Anywhere beautiful in Euroland is on the table but right now we were thinking Italy (mainland or Sardinia), France or Switzerland.

  2. #2
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    Mar 2008
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    For france we got a hold of the michelin guide, you wana stay off the red roads yellow roads are ok and the white roads were paved country roads

    a few years ago followed the camino de santiago in spain, lots of cheap food & accomadation along the way, you can rent a bike from bikeiberia.com but you probably need 3 weeks for that

    7 days is not very long
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by couloirman View Post

    We did a 'self guided' tour of Ireland last year and had a blast but all the company really did was give us a route, take luggage from hotel to hotel and organize our bike rentals. While that was nice, we could definitely do it cheaper and just carry our own gear each day so we are hoping to plan our own trip this time.
    My guess is that they did a bit more than just that. Didn't they find and arrange hotels for you at each stop, and these hotels were bike friendly, in a way? Like, giving you a safe place to store the bike overnight? And then directing you to a good restaraunt, because, lord knows, you're gonna be hungry. I mean, they were ready for you, right?
    Now, they sorta speak English in Ireland, but, imagine biking thirty miles in heavy rain somewhere in Italy, you're tired, you're hungry, something is going on with your rear derailleur, and you're trying to figure out why the hotel clerk at the place you Booked.com has no idea why you're there, because his or her English is real sketchy. And all you want is a beer, food, a shower, and sleep. Oh, and there's no bike shop in town to help with that derailleur. Maybe that extra cost for the self guided agency won't look too luxurious. At least you'll have an emergency number to call.

    That said, if you like dirt mixed in with pavement, try Tuscany, and work in the L'Eroica route, which is well marked year round. Beautiful place. But, shoulders on those roads are rare.

    250 million dollars

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    I haven't done this myself but I would use the same tools I use here in the states when I'm planning a new route. OpenStreetMap has a good cycling base map and Strava Heat Map shows where most people in the area ride.

  5. #5
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    I just got back from Sardinia, Corsica and mainland Italy, France. Sardinia and Corsica on a bike would be fucking awesome. I didn't have enough time to explore the islands so I'll have to go back.
    You are what you eat.
    ---------------------------------------------------
    There's no such thing as bad snow, just shitty skiers.

  6. #6
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    If you want cheap how about the last section of the camino into santiago maybe the last 300-400 km of the 800 km route, IME about 60 km a day was a nice easy going pace, fly into Madrid and take the bus to wherever you want to start

    You can rent a bike from bikeIberia.com, they are nice bikes they will ship them anywhere in spain /portugal, it will be in your room when you get there and you just leave it in your room on the other end when you are finished

    130,000 people do the Camino every year and the locals have been catering to pilgrims for 1000 years, so there is lots of cheap n easy accomadation along the way everything from free (monestry) on up, it was 20-50 euro for an ok room with shower/shitter, you don't have to book anything just show up altho you are more likely to get a room by quiting earlier, food is cheap at 10-15 euro the pilgrims meal always includes a bottle of local wine

    the route is easy just follow the yellow clam shells painted o the ground

    the movie "The Way" with Martin Sheen was about the trip

    Septemebr was good weather 25-30C, july and aug might be too hot
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  7. #7
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    My PT did that on a light MTB last summer, and was thrilled with the trip. I think she used an outfitter. The Vuelta went through a lot of that region last year, and it all looked beautiful on my big screen. On my list.

    250 million dollars

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    A bud and I did a 25-day bicycle tour on the cheap in Europe in 1986 while awaiting our bar exam results. Winged it with Michelin maps. Dunno about current pricing. We camped mostly at cheap campgrounds on the edge of town (usually with showers) and stayed in a pension/sobe a few times. Bicycle touring in rural France is a blast. Italy less so because drivers are nuts. Yugoslavia (Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia now) was great. We averaged 140km/day and hit a bunch of high passes in the Alps, young man stuff. If I were going back (in the plans with Honey someday) I'd hit rural France.

  9. #9
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    10 yrs ago did the south of France we rode 5 of the 6 major cols of the TDF but you can get down on the flats when that gets tedious we found nice campgrounds in every small town in rural France with showers and sometimes laundry

    didnt see too many camp grounds in Spain I would have to say the Spanish are not campers we had tent and bags but we only camped 4 times so it would have been better to just go with rear panniers and stay in hotels
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    I found this guy on a roadie forum who's a 71 year old American ex pat living somewhere near Grenoble with his French wife. He used to be a big deal in American MTB in its infancy, was an editor of a national magazine at the time. Now he just climbs cols almost all year long in his neighborhood, and publishes TRs with pics. Lately he's gotten into unpaved roads up there, "stoner roads" he calls them. You know, that gravel grinder thing. But, man, you have to search unpaved out - he's taught me that there is a huge network of small, well maintained paved roads all over the French Alps. Some you see on the Tour, most not. Most are one lane wide after a certain altitude. America has nothing like it in our major mountains. Here's just one of his many TRs: http://forums.thepaceline.net/showthread.php?t=185746 Now, you have to register to see the pics, so, be nice. They're very uptight over there. Don't like curse words or conflict. Kinda nerdy. But, his stuff is a treasure trove of Alpine road biking TRs, well worth it. If you're into climbing, all you have to do is find a base, and you'll probably be able to find multiple rides out of one place for a good week. All up and down stuff, though. I have my eye on Annecy.

    edit: Once you register, just click on his name and thumb through his posts. There are an awful lot. My favorites are from three years ago and earlier, before he went gravel. Not my thing.

    250 million dollars

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