Spanish touring

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Scatterbunny, Apr 29, 2003.

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  1. Scatterbunny

    Scatterbunny Guest

    Thanks to those who provided advice re. new Spanish road regulations for cycling. In the end, our
    3-man club ride from Canterbury to Gibraltar was seriously marred by the Spanish road system. I
    made it to Gibraltar from Canterbury (1500 miles) in 16 days. The other two ended up on buses to
    get there.

    When I last cycled across Spain in the 1970s, there were main roads that cyclists could use. Now
    they have been replaced in many instances by dual-carriageway "autovias" which are simply motorways,
    and cyclists are banned. Sometimes there is a "via de servicio" - often the old "carretera nacional"
    which cyclists can use, but then it runs out without warning, or turns into a dust and stones cart
    track, and you are left in the middle of nowhere and have to chance your luck (illegally) on the
    autovia hard-shoulder or take some trek into the wilderness, miles off your route, as I did twice in
    40 and 50 mile detours.

    The golden age of Spanish cycletouring is dead. After five major tours of Spain, and as a fluent
    Spanish speaker, I find that regrettable, but I will not attempt another trans-Spain tour. The car
    rules the land. Such a pity.

    --
    Scatterbunny
     
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  2. This is only true in certain areas, like along the coast.

    If you cycle inland much of Spain is cyclists' paradise
     
  3. J-P.S

    J-P.S Guest

    On Wed, 30 Apr 2003 07:02:14 +0100, Gearóid Ó Laoi, Garry Lee scrawled: ) This is only true in
    certain areas, like along the coast.

    I would have said almost the opposite: the N-340 runs all the way along the coast from Barcelona to
    at least Valencia (I haven't been any further), and is a viable alternative to the autovia. More so
    for cyclists than car drivers, as cars tend to become stuck behind slow-moving lorries which they
    could otherwise overtake on the autovia.

    I would still think twice about cycling along it, mind you. Although there is a wide lane for
    (presumably) pedestrians and cyclists, I have seen it full of motor vehicle often enough. Spanish
    driving is also predictably hilarious. ¿Que?

    J-P
    --
    "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty
    nor safety."
     
  4. In news:[email protected], j-p.s <[email protected]> typed:
    > On Wed, 30 Apr 2003 07:02:14 +0100, Gearóid Ó Laoi, Garry Lee scrawled: ) This is only true in
    > certain areas, like along the coast.
    >
    > I would have said almost the opposite: the N-340 runs all the way along the coast from Barcelona
    > to at least Valencia (I haven't been any further), and is a viable alternative to the autovia.
    > More so for cyclists than car drivers, as cars tend to become stuck behind slow-moving lorries
    > which they could otherwise overtake on the autovia.

    Why on earth do car drivers need an alternative to the autovia? They're safer and quicker as well as
    having an order of magnitude less impact on the local neighbourhood.

    Ambrose (within earshot of the M6/M5 junction)
     
  5. J-P.S

    J-P.S Guest

    On Wed, 30 Apr 2003 11:14:38 +0100, Ambrose Nankivell scrawled: ) Why on earth do car drivers need
    an alternative to the autovia? They're ) safer and quicker as well as having an order of magnitude
    less impact on the ) local neighbourhood.

    The N-340 came first, and you do not have to pay tolls. In addition, the autovia only has junctions
    at large towns. My parents also find the driving much worse, and much faster, on the autovia. So if
    you don't like that atmosphere then the N-road is for you.

    You might as well ask why car drivers need to use A-roads when motorways are available. The reasons
    are the same, less the toll issue. Perhaps we should put green tarmac on all of our A-roads. Oh,
    don't tempt me.

    J-P
    --
    "... Grayling, like every other professional atheist from Professor Richard Dawkins down, brings in
    all manner of questionable assumptions about human behaviour that he doesn't for a moment address
    with the care, and venom, lavished on the New Testament." -- Private Eye #1035
     
  6. Jacques

    Jacques Guest

    On Tue, 29 Apr 2003 20:29:23 +0100, Scatterbunny wrote:

    > Thanks to those who provided advice re. new Spanish road regulations for cycling. In the end, our
    > 3-man club ride from Canterbury to Gibraltar was seriously marred by the Spanish road system. I
    > made it to Gibraltar from Canterbury (1500 miles) in 16 days. The other two ended up on buses to
    > get there.
    >

    Could you re-post or summarize what these new Spanish regulations are ? I plan to be there
    this fall.

    Jacques
     
  7. Scatterbunny

    Scatterbunny Guest

    Jacques wrote:

    > Could you re-post or summarize what these new Spanish regulations are ? I plan to be there
    > this fall.

    I'll send you a document about the regulations as an email attachment. The main problem is the ban
    on cycling on dual-carriageway roads. These roads are often the old "carreteras nacionales", linking
    one town with another, and where there is no suitable alternative route you simply end up marooned.

    E.g. Murcia to Granada. For the first section on the N340 there was a "via de servicio" - the old
    main road running parallel to the new dual carriageway where bikes are not allowed. Then
    similar on the N342 climbing up to Velez Rubio. Then it changes to the A92, with a short
    section of via de servicio to Chirivel, then after that town, the via de servicio disappears
    altogether. The distance to Guadix was about 70km, with no alternative route, so I cycled
    illegally on the hard shoulder, which would incur an on-the-spot fine from the Guardia Civil
    had I been caught. From Guadix there was a suitable minor road through mountains all the way
    to Granada.

    There were similar experiences elsewhere. Talking to Spanish club cyclists, as I was travelling,
    they all take their chances on the autovias where there is no alternative road. I would never again
    attempt a tour across Spain by cycle.

    It would be fine to fly to somewhere like Andalucia and just tour around, having worked out some
    routes, but the crossing of the entire country has been made almost impossible through the
    conversion of most carreteras nacionales into semi-motorways with no alternative parallel provision
    for the cycles that are banned from these new roads.

    --
    Scatterbunny
     
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