Training/Vacationing in Europe - Where to Go?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Aztec, Mar 4, 2004.

  1. Aztec

    Aztec New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2003
    Messages:
    835
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am thinking about taking a month or two in the late summer in Europe (I live in California). I'd like to go someplace cycling-friendly so I can log a bunch of miles someplace other than home. This means I need to be someplace with decent roads -- someplace beat up or super-steep and narrow like the Amalfi coast in Italy would be bad.

    I'd look to rent a cottage or farmhouse. Someplace quiet, private, scenic, definitely not urban.

    I'm looking for ideas! Note: I don't speak any other languages beyond a tad of Spanish and Italian.

    Thanks for your thoughts.
     
    Tags:


  2. lischoux

    lischoux New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2004
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    0
    I hate advertising for my country of origin... but here goes:

    Luxembourg !

    Small, hence it's easy to get away from if you're bored.
    The roads are good and there are decent rolling hills (less in the south, more in the north (Ardennes) and east along the Moselle, Sauer, Our rivers).

    A lot of organized camping going on in the north as well, rooms and "chalets" are available for rent.

    To the East you have Belgium were you can take day trips to visit (and cycle) the Ardennes classics circuits, the Flanders circuits and eat greasy "frites" with a big glob of mayonnaise.

    to the South you have France (the Lorraine region and the Alsace, also a day trip worth) where you can cycle in the Vosges (mountains) and excellent wine region around Strasbourg.

    To the East is Germany. Some nice cycling as well along the border with Lux and through the Moselle and Eifel region (hilly).

    Overnight stays will get you to the Netherlands, the Belgian coast or further into France or Germany.

    English will get you far since Lux is very international. A lot of Ex-Pat's from the US, UK and AUS and NZ. Some told me that cycling in Lux is the "best they ever done".

    If you need more info I'll be glad to help. I have a couple of nice cycling route maps that I've done in 2002 and 2003 that I can send you.

    For the time being check the tourism site of Lux at http://www.ont.lu/

    Cheerio,

    L.
     
  3. KEEBLER

    KEEBLER New Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2003
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0
    I can would suggest Germany!!!

    I am originally from the states myself(New Jersey), but am now working and living here in Germany(by the way not far from the Luxembourg border--Trier area) I live in that area the Eifel, which lischoux mentioned(Simply beutiful) and can only say that riding here in Germany, Europe, is an excellent experience. so excellent that I plan on staying here!!

    I am making the trip to belgium, which is only 1hr 30 min, so I can check out the Prolouge of the tour de France. I believe there is no better place to cycle as here in Europe. Most people are very cycle friendly, and respect cyclist's on the road. lischoux is correct Luxembourg is an awesome country and home to one of the Posties. I drive weekly into lux, mostly to take advantage of the cheap coffee and gas prices :))). It is very nice to ride and like lischoux said, very international.

    In almost all of Europe you should have no problems getting around with the english language. I would however recommend learning a little of the countrie's language which you choose for. It makes the people see that your atleast trying and not an arogant person. I have become very good with the German language since I have been here, and the local people take a liking to the fact that you take the time to learn their language. It does not need to be much, since your only coming over for vacation(hello, Thank you, good bye) little attempts make a lasting impression


    If you decide to try Germany or Lux, let me know , maybe I can help somehow


    Chris
     
  4. Aztec

    Aztec New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2003
    Messages:
    835
    Likes Received:
    0
    I hadn't even thought about either Lux or Germany. Interesting. Spain, Portugal, and Italy, maybe France, were my initial considerations. I'll have to look into this more.
     
  5. ana-gerard

    ana-gerard New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Portugal! Come to the Alarve and climb the mountains with us!

    Ana
     
  6. Powerful Pete

    Powerful Pete New Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2004
    Messages:
    3,866
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, here goes with the shameless plug... :rolleyes:

    Toscana, or northern Lazio. Great roads, all the rural agriturismos/accomodation you need, wonderful weather, lots of riders, and the FOOD. And wonderful places to visit/things to do on the days you take off.

    And congrats on taking a month off to ride! I am jealous!
     
  7. dot

    dot New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2003
    Messages:
    268
    Likes Received:
    0
    I can't tell you where it's good to go and ride but I can tell where you must not go. Former socialist countries and soviet republics. Bad roads, no respect for cyclists at all.
     
  8. Denia

    Denia New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2005
    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ultimately - where do you really want to go? Most countries have plenty of great cycling routes so what are your priorities? What culture would you like to learn more about? (If cycling is your only priority why come all the way to Europe when the US has an endless supply of roads.)

    If you want to feel comfortable with the language then Scotland and Ireland are worth considering. Both have small populations and plenty of rural areas with quiet roads and magnificent scenery. If visiting an area that hosts major races then Italy, Spain and France are top of the list. Late summer is Vuelta time in Spain so you could choose to take in a stage and perhaps cylce some of the routes. If you want almost guaranteed good weather then you need to select a med country as by late summer much of Northern Europe can swing through autumn into winter and back again in one day.

    My own preference is Spain, but then again I chose to live there so I´m biased. Most of the top pro teams do their winter training in and around the Costa Blanca region (Calpe, Javea, Denia, Moraira etc.) due to its climate and also the endless choices of hills and mountains routes within a short ride of the coastal towns. Most of these roads are quiet outside peak tourist season (July-August) and there are still hundreds of small traditional villages if you don´t want to stay by the sea. You could visit costablancacycling.com for a flavour of what´s on offer (this is a bed and breakfast villa run by an english/spanish couple).

    Good luck.
     
  9. treyva

    treyva New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2006
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Folks.


    I too am looking for some guidance on where to go for training in Europe. I'm not looking for a tour so much as a town where I can rent an apartment affordably for a couple months from July 15-September 15ish and get in some great day rides with some (but not murderous) climbing. I've considered France (I speak some French) and Italy (for the food), but am having a hard time getting into the specifics. Does anyone know of resources where I can find suggested routes, places to rent, etc?

    Thanks for the help.
     
  10. fondy2004

    fondy2004 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2003
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Dolomites in Northern Italy!!! You cannot beat that.



     
  11. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Messages:
    2,214
    Likes Received:
    39
    If you don't want to tour, but just to get in some great rides every day, check out: www.italybikehotels.com

    I'm considering this option for a trip next fall. There are hotels throughout most of Italia on the program, with quite a few on the Adriatic near Rimini. A guy in our club spent a week at Hotel Dory back in the early spring and said it was a great trip.
     
  12. Lucy_Aspenwind

    Lucy_Aspenwind New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Messages:
    454
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was born and raised in one of the countries you are considering. There are many excellent routes I used but they are all for mountain biking, specifically downhill. [​IMG]

    The tone of your message suggests you are looking for road riding, so with that, I cannot be of much help.

    Good luck with your vacation.
     
  13. Powerful Pete

    Powerful Pete New Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2004
    Messages:
    3,866
    Likes Received:
    0
    I can second the bike hotels, especially in the Rimini area (the only ones I have visited :eek: ). You can get nice hotels right on the beach, and then ride inland in Pantani country to your heart's content (this is a major riding area, you will be constantly running into groups and teams training with their team cars behind them, from 8 y.o. to 80)!

    On the plus side the Rimini area is also one of the biggest party areas of Italy. The sea sucks, but no one really cares... the... ehm... views on the beach more than make up for the crummy Adriatic. ;)

    Of course, not quite the same as riding deep in the Alps or Dolomites, but one should consider that a vacation does not mean turning into an ascetic...
     
  14. treyva

    treyva New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2006
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the suggestions, folks. I will definitely check out bike italy. If others are considering this as well, I also learned about a cycling community in Grenoble, France. You may want to check out this link as well. http://www.grenoblecycling.com/index.htm


     
  15. carmol

    carmol New Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2006
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    From 07/15 to 09/15 you can't go wrong with chosing, a country like Austria, (South) Germany, Switzerland, may be northern Italy (Dolomites, Alps). I'd rather not go to Italy (besides the northern mountains), South of France, Spain etc. in the middle of summer, as it's probably too hot there.

    You could chose the french part of Switzerland, as you already talk a bit of french and get a lot of different roads from flat over hilly to all kind of mountains in a lovely secenery with a lot of variation - from green flats with lakes to snow covered mountains. And if you get rid of Switerzland, you can easily go to one of the five neighbour countries, as none of them will be further away than three, may be four hours by car or train. ;)
     
  16. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Messages:
    2,214
    Likes Received:
    39
    Pete: Thanks for your input. One of the hotels sent me a nice cycling map showing details of 20 routes in the Rimini area, complete with profiles and elevation gains. Several include long 18% grades and 2000m of climbing; good thing the rental Scott"s and DeRosa's come equipped with triples.

    We're planning the trip for Sept-early Oct next fall. Hopefully the women on the beach will be somewhat covered in the cooler temps so we aren't distracted from the serious training rides to be done every day :)
     
  17. Powerful Pete

    Powerful Pete New Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2004
    Messages:
    3,866
    Likes Received:
    0
    Most of the hotels have a nice secure bike room to leave your gear, you will find baskets of fresh fruit and other riding food to take with you, and usually have regular rides with ride leaders who will guide you.

    The rides in the area are fabulous. Just keep in mind that you are dealing with Italian drivers (like me!) so the 'comfort zone' tends to be... less than what most of my N. American friends are used to. But once you are out of town it is nice.

    Great food in that area also, lots of seafood. Drop me a mail if you do come out and I will give you some suggestions.
     
Loading...
Loading...