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  1. #1
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    Looking for a nice romantic cycle for two...

    RIght, so myself and my fiancee are looking to go on a cycle holiday this summer. Neither of us has cycle experience, but we're both in reasonable shape. I've seen some tours on the internet that are 30 odd miles a day and that sounds pretty easy.

    Anyway, we're looking for somewhere that would be nice and couply and relaxing.

    Can anyone recommend anywhere? We've seen a few tours (links below) that look interesting - but some tips from seasoned bikers would be much appreciated!

    Vienna to Budapest
    Loop with Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Austria, Germany.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    Start bicycling now before you go. You'll be using different muscles in different ways, and being sore at the end of the day is not very romantic.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  3. #3
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    I can't speak to the European tours but I am sure there are some very nice ones available. I assume you are from the UK.

    +1 on the getting your bodies broken in before the tour. I'd suggest a month of riding before going. Your bottoms will be very sore at first. You will need to ride through that. It should happen in the first day or two and be gone after about 2-3 days. You don't want to have saddle soreness at the start of a "relaxing" tour. 30 miles a day is not bad but can be tiring if you are not in shape after 2 or 3 days. Additionally, I would highly recommend spending extra time getting your fiancee (assuming the fiancee is the female) comfortable on the bike. I have always found women to be the toughest to get comfortably fitted on a bike. I sincerely hope it is not difficult to get her comfortably fitted.

    Also, since you are new to riding, I would stick to a flatter tour or a tour that has frequent rest days between rides.

    Enjoy the tour if you decide to go for it.

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    Thanks for the advice lads.

    As I said, we're both in reasonably good shape and work out regularly - we're just new to cycling.

    What sort of break in would you recommend? Was thinking maybe some light cycling in the gym for now and 1/2 short 2/3 day cycles in July. Gonna go for our big trip at the end of July.

    Any thoughts?

  5. #5
    Look! My Spine! RubenX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
    Start bicycling now before you go. You'll be using different muscles in different ways, and being sore at the end of the day is not very romantic.
    And be sure to try out saddles.

  6. #6
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
    Start bicycling now before you go. You'll be using different muscles in different ways, and being sore at the end of the day is not very romantic.
    +1000

    "Reasonable shape" and being in good cycling shape don't always equate to the same thing. Cycling muscles are usually developed by cycling, not running, weight training, etc.

    Thirty miles a day seems like a short day. Most tours I've heard of are 50+ miles a day.
    Can you ride AND climb for 30-50 miles or more and keep up with the others in the group? If not, start riding now so you'll be in shape for the tour.
    Also, cycling on a road bike will familiarize you with the workings of the bike, like, when to shift, riding in a group, braking in a group, basic bike check over each morning and after each stop or break, looking/listening for potential bike problems, etc.

    Take lots of pix and post them here when you get back.
    Last edited by RonH; 06-01-08 at 12:40 PM.
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  7. #7
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    I'm guessing you're based in England. Are you?

    Any river route in Germany will be easy and romantic. The Moselle is a top one, as is the Danube. The Main (where I am) is also great. There are literally too many to list here, but most of them are flat and scenic.

    Are you set on Germany or German speaking areas? In my not-so-unbiased opinon, Germany's bike routes are the best.
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  8. #8
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    Folks - thanks for all the advice!

    Quote Originally Posted by RonH View Post
    +1000

    "Reasonable shape" and being in good cycling shape don't always equate to the same thing. Cycling muscles are usually developed by cycling, not running, weight training, etc.

    Thirty miles a day seems like a short day. Most tours I've heard of are 50+ miles a day.
    Can you ride AND climb for 30-50 miles or more and keep up with the others in the group? If not, start riding now so you'll be in shape for the tour.
    Also, cycling on a road bike will familiarize you with the workings of the bike, like, when to shift, riding in a group, braking in a group, basic bike check over each morning and after each stop or break, looking/listening for potential bike problems, etc.

    Take lots of pix and post them here when you get back.
    Well, see I was thinking that being new to cycling that 30 miles a day would be doable with not much training, but I guess I'm wrong It's a self-guided tour, so no group to contend with and it's mostly cycle paths and the like. But yes, I haven't a clue about how bikes work so might be worth a bit of training.

    Will do

    I'm guessing you're based in England. Are you?

    Any river route in Germany will be easy and romantic. The Moselle is a top one, as is the Danube. The Main (where I am) is also great. There are literally too many to list here, but most of them are flat and scenic.

    Are you set on Germany or German speaking areas? In my not-so-unbiased opinon, Germany's bike routes are the best.
    Ireland. We're pretty much decided on the Vienna to Budapest one. It has the advantages of going through three countries and also starting and ending in large cities with international airports

    We're thinking 2 days in a spa in Budapest afterwards to recover.

    But we have a list of easily 20 tours, all of which we were very keen on and a lot of German ones, so if this tour goes well, we'll be back on the bikes again!

    ------------


    So can anyone recommend a routine? How much training do I need to do to be able for 30 miles a day on flat cycle paths?

  9. #9
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    Also, thanks to whoever moved this and apologies for posting in the wrong section!

  10. #10
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    I would go for a flight to Bermuda. Being on a remote tropical island is way more romantic then many of the other places mentioned. And safer, I've biked there on a rental bike. Lots of fun things to do, duty-free shopping, pink sand beaches, caves, and local color.

    Off-topic (OT) Dublin is part of Great Britian, not England, correct?
    This space open

  11. #11
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    It may be that you can just hop on a bike and ride 30 miles without the least problem. Especially if it's absolutely level with no headwind, this is a fair possibility. But, if you do have problems, the middle of a tour is a bad place to find it out, and could just ruin the trip. So ideally, cycle enough beforehand to either get in shape or to know that you are in good shape for cycling. If you do expect to cycle 30 miles every day, be sure you've done it at least once before you go.

    If you do get into riding hills, even fairly low ones, or sustained headwinds, it can really be a chore. You need aerobic fitness for that, and if you're in fairly good shape (like if you jog and stuff), then you may be all right on that part. But it's also a major workout for a few of the muscles in your legs, so doing what you can to get them in shape or confirm that they're in shape beforehand is a good idea.

    I'm not an especially fast rider, but I recently did a 66-mile ride. One of the problems I had was that they expected everyone to be done by a certain time, which meant I needed to keep my speed just a little above what was comfortable for me. If you can ride at your own pace and take all day to do 30 or 50 miles, that'll help a lot. If you have a big group and they say "We're going to leave at 8:00 and be there at 10:30", that'll make it a bit harder on you.

    Also check into the types of bicycles to be used. The bicycles easiest for a beginner to hop on and ride are not necessarily the ones you want on extended trips. If you furnish your own bike, you want to be sure you know how to fix or adjust most of the things that could go wrong on the trip, and have whatever spare supplies you need for it. If someone else furnishes the bikes, I would think that's all taken care of.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  12. #12
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spunderbungle View Post
    Ireland. We're pretty much decided on the Vienna to Budapest one. It has the advantages of going through three countries and also starting and ending in large cities with international airports We're thinking 2 days in a spa in Budapest afterwards to recover.
    A very good choice. It does get a bit hilly at some parts, but it's an international route with a great deal of infrastructure. Also, riding the other way from Vienna to Passau, is a very easy route as well. I know lots of grandparents that do that one, so that speaks for it's ease and comfort.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member chrisch's Avatar
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    The loop through Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Austria, & Germany is also a good choice. I'm also a little biased since I live in the area. The route offers spectacular mountain scenery, safe and dedicated bike routes (i.e., very low traffic), and route signs making it almost impossible to get lost. Swiss trains permit bikes (for a nominal fee), so you'll always have an out if the trip becomes too much (shouldn't be an issue if the trip is supported by a tour company). It's also useful for getting up big hills that might not be your fancy. Good luck!
    TrackMyTour.com - An iPhone app for Bike Touring! See who's touring now and where.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken cummings View Post
    I would go for a flight to Bermuda. Being on a remote tropical island is way more romantic then many of the other places mentioned. And safer, I've biked there on a rental bike. Lots of fun things to do, duty-free shopping, pink sand beaches, caves, and local color.

    Off-topic (OT) Dublin is part of Great Britian, not England, correct?
    Can't afford Bermuda, but I certainly see the appeal. Was looking at some great ones in Canada and New England too, but since it's our first tour, we thought we'd go local enough. And nope! Great Britain comprises England, Scotland and Wales. The "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" adds in Northern Ireland (which is a country itself, not a region of Ireland like some people I've met on my travels think). Dublin is in the Republic of Ireland which gained independence from England in 1922 [/history bit]

    We've gone for the Vienna - Budapest one in the end, mainly because we can spend some time relaxing in Budapest and can fly into the start and end cities - yes, it was that close!

    StephenH - just what I was looking for, thanks! Might see if there's a 2 day tour around Ireland we could do (or rent bikes and make up one ourselves) just to see if we can manage it. It's self guided, so we can go at leisure. There's just one day where we want to get up early and do the cycling quickly cause the tour passes through Bratislava and we'd like to spend a few hours exploring there.

    Vienna to Passau looked good too and we'd read a good review of it here but just preferred Vienna to Budapest - maybe next time! Ditto the loop that goes through Lichtenstein. If it spent a night in Vaduz or somewhere in Lichtenstein, we might have been swayed, but the fact the tour left from Konstanz just about swayed us. Might very well be back though!

    Regarding the bikes - here's what the website says: "7 or 21-Gear Unisex-Bike (please indicate preferred number of gears upon booking), incl. panniers, odometer". I'd kinda have faith that the company would know enough about what they're doing to give out the right kinda bikes for the type of trip we're doing - but I might do a bit of research all the same.

    Again, thanks for all the advice lads.

  15. #15
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    Yep, that Vienna-Budapest tour company looks pretty good. Enjoy!
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