Touring - Bike from Paris to Rome
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10-05-09, 06:51 PM
I am trying to plan a bike trip in Europe for myself and a bunch of friends for next summer. I thought that Paris to Rome would be a great trip, and was wondering if anybody had suggestions on routes for all or part of the trip? Or things I should not miss along the way? O if someone had a different route in Europe they think might be better? I just started doing the research, so I am not dead set on any particular route yet.
Thanks for your help!!!
Do you have a set amount of time or are you looking for starting and stopping points?
10-06-09, 05:23 PM
I am just looking for good starting and stopping points where I can see the most. My last biking trip was about 650mi in 7 days from Western Oregon down to San Francisco (~93mi/day average). I would like to keep a slower pace I think, so that I would be able to experience Europe more and have more of the day to explore. I am thinking in a time-frame of 2-4 weeks, but I am not dead-set on this.
I rode across France last year (June is the wettest month in France I discovered) and it is a great place to ride a bike. I rode a loop around Switzerland this year and it, too, is a great place to bike with well marked cycle paths that often are car-free.
It took me 26 days to go from Paris (CDG airport) to Normandy down to the Dordogne River and up it, up the Lot, and up the Tarn and then over to Avignon. I was doing 50-70 miles/day and resting every 4-5 days. I have written up a journal of that ride (http://www.biketouringtips.com/showJournalPages.php?jid=17). It includes my planning, route, and lots of pictures. It may give you some idea of bike touring in France.
I am in the process of writing up my Switzerland trip. While it would be hard to spend 4 weeks bike touring only in Switzerland, the 2 weeks of riding I did there involved both hard climbs and stunning scenery. You can see some of my best shots here (http://www.biketouringtips.com/showTipComments.php?tipID=1387)
Since France and Switzerland are next to each other, there is no reason you can't do both of them. You could do a big loop and start and end in Paris.
Another idea might be something like heading east from Paris, into Germany, down through the Black Forest to Basel, along Swiss National Route 7 to Geneva, and then go west or south back into France. You could fly out of Nice or Marseille, or take a train or ride back to Paris. You could also take a different Swiss Route and end up somewhere in Italy.
While I've been to Italy several times, I've never bike toured there. As you suggest in your original post, you could go from Paris to Rome, but that may require more time or longer days.
Whatever you do, be sure to ride through some of gorges in France. They are spectacular.
Any of these sound good?
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