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Old 02-06-12, 04:53 AM   #1
Nj2430
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Touring routes in Europe- mainly Italy.

Hi! So my fiancÚ and I are living in Pisa, Italy for 6 months and would like to find some appropriate rides for our skill level, which is verrrrry much beginners. As in, one week of riding. We've been doing rides that are 16-24 km and (4 of those) without any pains or problems, except the very uncomfortable cold weather! Thes rides have been near Pisa and very, very flat for the most part.

We love it! We're trying to get our hands on some books that have good paths, but to get them in English we think it will be a while. First, do any of you know a website that has maps with descriptions of the rides?

Also, suggestions would be great! I'm curious about if there's a route we could handle going through the Pisan Hills? Also, any suggestions of safe roads/paths that would take us to different cities, like Florence and routes through Tuscany and Umbria.

And if you happen to have any suggestions about other areas we are already planning on traveling, that would be great, too! We will be visiting Paris, Amsterdam, Zurich, and Vienna. For these tris, we may bring our bikes, but would likely be looking into renting to avoid bringing the bikes on long car rides and planes.

Thanks!
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Old 02-12-12, 07:14 AM   #2
brianogilvie 
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Originally Posted by Nj2430 View Post
We love it! We're trying to get our hands on some books that have good paths, but to get them in English we think it will be a while. First, do any of you know a website that has maps with descriptions of the rides?
RideWithGPS.com, OpenRunner.com, MapMyRide.com, Bikely.com, and Garmin Connect all have user-contributed cycle routes; the number that you find in any area reflects how many users there are. Some of these are just GPS traces without any comments; others are more developed.

CrazyGuyOnABike.com has many bicycle touring journals, which you can search by location. Although the focus is on long-distance touring, the journal authors often comment on the condition of roads, traffic, hills, etc.

OpenCycleMap.org has a cycle map based on the Open Street Map initiative. It shows cycle lanes and paths (blue dotted lines) as well as topography, so it can be used for planning. RideWithGPS offers it as one of the options for maps to use when planning rides. (I like RideWithGPS for that, since it gives you a fairly accurate elevation profile for the ride.)

Quentin May has some suggestions for bicycle touring in southern Tuscany and Umbria. The rest of his website is worth exploring too.

Finally, if you'd like suggestions for rides around Paris, let me know where you'll be and how long of a ride you'll be wanting at that point (send me a personal message or email me at ogilvie@pobox.com). It's easy to rent a city bike or hybrid in Paris; it's harder to find a touring bike or road bike to rent, though. Paris itself is fun to visit by bike if you are comfortable riding in city traffic. You can also take bikes on the suburban train system (RER and Transilien) outside of rush hour (but not in the Metro), so it's easy to get out to some of the forests in Ile-de-France, which offer beautiful cycling.

Last edited by brianogilvie; 02-12-12 at 07:16 AM. Reason: Added hyperlinks
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Old 02-22-12, 02:18 PM   #3
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Thanks a lot! The sites are great, and I'll likely contact you before we go to Paris.
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