Bicycle Tour Brussel to Genoa, Italy.

Discussion in 'rec.bicycles.rides' started by xcwhite, Apr 4, 2006.

  1. xcwhite

    xcwhite Guest

    We are planning on doing a credit card tour from Brussel to Genoa
    Italy. Does anyone have any advice concerning route selection? We are
    looking for a direct but scenic route. Any advice would be greatly
    appreciated.

    thanks,
    xcwhite
     
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  2. dorkypants

    dorkypants Guest

    xcwhite wrote:
    > We are planning on doing a credit card tour from Brussel to Genoa
    > Italy. Does anyone have any advice concerning route selection? We are
    > looking for a direct but scenic route. Any advice would be greatly
    > appreciated.


    You might say something about what time of year, and what your riding
    ability and experience are. If you're traveling June-August leaving
    accommodations to chance might mean some chance of not being able to
    find anything reasonably priced (for that matter, what do you consider
    "reasonable prices" for accommodations?). If you're riding in Spring or
    late Autumn, you may want to avoid higher elevations in case passes are
    closed. Do you particularly like or dislike climbing? Do you intend to
    do the journey entirely by bike or are you open to doing some legs by
    train, bus, etc.? What level of motor traffic are you comfortable
    sharing the road with?
     
  3. xcwhite

    xcwhite Guest

    We plan on starting the tour on June 25, and have to be in Italy by
    july 2. We are very accomplished cyclists and can easily handle 150 to
    200 km a day for a week straight. We plan on doing the tour with a
    credit card and a small bottle of woolite. Climbing does not bother us
    and actually prefer it being from Colorado, but obviously we will ride
    shorter distances in the mountains. If we cannot finish the tour in 7
    days, we will take a bus/train at the beginning and/or end of the tour.
    Traffic and scenery are definite considerations and will do longer
    days to avoid traffic and have a better riding experience.
    Thanks,
    Stephen
     
  4. dorkypants

    dorkypants Guest

    xcwhite wrote:
    > We plan on starting the tour on June 25, and have to be in Italy by
    > july 2. We are very accomplished cyclists and can easily handle 150 to
    > 200 km a day for a week straight. We plan on doing the tour with a
    > credit card and a small bottle of woolite. Climbing does not bother us
    > and actually prefer it being from Colorado, but obviously we will ride
    > shorter distances in the mountains. If we cannot finish the tour in 7
    > days, we will take a bus/train at the beginning and/or end of the tour.
    > Traffic and scenery are definite considerations and will do longer
    > days to avoid traffic and have a better riding experience.


    OK, I can't help you with Belgium and nothern France or Switzerland,
    but given the time period, I'd definitely recommend the Alps. The
    Grenoble Cycling Pages (www.grenoblecycling.com) has a lot of
    information about the passes reachable from Grenoble, as well as a
    members' forum where you can post questions. Membership is free.

    In France, I'd expect you can find accommodations readily at B&Bs
    (Chambres d'Hote). They are typically rural rather than urban, so
    unless they also offer dinner (Table d'Hote), you'd have to make your
    own arrangements for evening meals. The "Office du Tourisme" in each
    town should have a list of Chambres d'Hote.

    On the Italian side, the rough equivalents are "agriturismi", and the
    local "Pro Loco" or "APT" or "IAT' office will have information. I
    don't think the agriturismo system is as well developed or standardized
    as its French counterpart. Two- and 3-star hotels can be very
    affordable, and if you don't mind sharing a bathroom in the hall with
    other guests, 1-star places can be downright cheap.

    I haven't made it to the pass yet myself but the Col de Larche (French)
    / Colle della Maddalena (Italian) at 1991 meters is said to be a very
    scenic climb. On the Italian side you descend down the Valle Stura to
    the Po river basin. Or farther north there's the Colle d'Agnello
    (Italian) / Col d'Agnel (French) at 2744 meters, which descends down
    the Val Varaita to the Po basin.

    The Mediterranean coast should not yet be terribly busy with holiday
    traffic (peaks in late July through August). However, to my taste it's
    overdeveloped and not terribly interesting to ride. You might consider
    going through the Langhe wine country in southeastern Piemonte, and
    visit the bike museum in Novi Ligure (Museo dei Campionissimi) on your
    way to Genova.
     
  5. xcwhite

    xcwhite Guest

    Thanks for your advice.
     
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