Need Advice: Planning a 2-4 Month European Tour

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Merriman Zajac, Jul 27, 2004.

  1. Hey there folks,

    I'm planning to take a 2-4 month cycling tour of Europe in about a
    year. Although I have experience in trekking by other modes of
    transportation, I have never even been on short a multi-day cycling
    trek.

    My goals are to do a combination of two things. One, I want to hit
    the major "must see" areas like the Louvre, Versailles, Madrid,
    London, etc. But I would like to spend a good deal of my time cycling
    through the backcountry and visiting small establishments (for cheese
    tasting, etc.)


    Here are some of my questions:

    -Are there any pre-established "good routes?" I would like to travel
    longitudinally for the most part, perhaps starting in the South of
    Europe and ending up in the North.

    -In terms of roads: How should I plan to approach major cities? Will
    I run into problems with non-biker-friendly bridges, roads with no
    room for cyclists, etc.? Here in the US, some states are better than
    others when it comes to accommodating cyclists.

    -Repairs and equipment: Should I bring most of my spare parts, or
    should I expect to find compatible inner tubes, chain master locks,
    etc.


    Lastly, are there any really important bits of local knowledge that I
    should know (i.e. is cycling illegal on certain roads)?

    Sorry for the long windedness, and thanks in advance!
     
    Tags:


  2. chris French

    chris French Guest

    In message <[email protected]>, Merriman
    Zajac <[email protected]> writes
    >I'm planning to take a 2-4 month cycling tour of Europe in about a
    >year.


    Sounds great. Camping, hotels, hostels?
    >
    >
    >-In terms of roads: How should I plan to approach major cities? Will
    >I run into problems with non-biker-friendly bridges, roads with no
    >room for cyclists, etc.?


    Some of the more major roads can be pretty un-cycle friendly, or at
    least unpleasant, but it's not usually hard to find a reasonable
    approach into a city. If i can I would try an approach on a quieter
    route, but sometimes this just isn't possible.

    >Here in the US, some states are better than
    >others when it comes to accommodating cyclists.
    >


    ditto, Europe.

    >-Repairs and equipment: Should I bring most of my spare parts, or
    >should I expect to find compatible inner tubes, chain master locks,
    >etc.


    Parts are pretty standard - 27 inch tyres/tubes are hard to find on the
    mainland though 26inch/70OC no problem (Shimano is the same in any
    language...), bikes shops are fairly common in most places, and nowadays
    I always take a couple of phone number of reliable mail order places in
    case I get stuck.
    >
    >Lastly, are there any really important bits of local knowledge that I
    >should know (i.e. is cycling illegal on certain roads)?


    In the UK and most of the rest of Europe AFAIK you can't cycle on
    Motorways/Autoroutes etc. (equivalent I guess of 'Freeways').

    The best source of touring info in the UK is the Cyclists Touring Club
    (CTC) they publish info sheets on different countries and various
    aspects of touring, as well as 100's of routes that members have
    completed. They also have 'country advisors' (volunteers) in a lot of
    countries who can give advice

    It's free to members and I'd suggest you consider joining for the access
    to advice - I'm sure they will accept overseas members.

    <http://www.ctc.org.uk>
    --
    Chris French, Leeds
     
  3. james

    james Guest

    [email protected] (Merriman Zajac) wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Hey there folks,
    >
    > I'm planning to take a 2-4 month cycling tour of Europe in about a
    > year. Although I have experience in trekking by other modes of
    > transportation, I have never even been on short a multi-day cycling
    > trek.


    regarded by many as a premier source for euro cycle touring

    http://www-math.science.unitn.it/Bike/

    best wishes
    james
     
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