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  1. #1
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    NEWBIE Seeking European Bike Tour HELP!

    Hello everyone, my name is Spencer, I am 20 yrs old and I am planning on doing my first Independent(unless anyone wants to join with me?!-Seriously) EuroCycleTour and I need YOUR help! My horse(a green 2004 Magna named Glacier Point, lol) will be my ride AND NO I will not throw her away, we've been through too much togetheir =). Anyway, she's a 15 Speed(when she's working correctly) and she doesnt like to be roughed up too much(can't take a whole lot of pressure so I can't take her over the pass.)

    I(we) are interested in Cruisin from a point A to point B somewhere(anywhere) in Europe that departs from and ends at two of the following cities that I can fly to from the US which are....Munich-Barcelona-London-Paris-Amsterdam-Frankfurt-Rome-Venice-Stockhom-Lisbon-Madrid-Manchester-Glasgow-Shannon-Dublin-Amsterdam-Brussels-Milan-Athens- and Zurich. I need to put togetheir a Route from Euro destination A to Euro destination B, and I am here for advice from the pro's to help me pick a most favorable route for me to travel on.

    Now, I realize there are many variables as to which route to travel such as...my conditioning, my skill, my ride, my time, my desire, exc. So here's a bit more info to help put this sucker togetheir. My Conditioning is pretty good as I am young and in good athletic condition. I have always been a local biker but have not advanced to anything that required more than one day. I know I am up for the challenge and am ready to move ON! My ride really is the Magna(chinese junk), unfortunately I was'nt kidding about that, lol. But hey, If she breaks in half at midpoint I'll be alright, I'm up for the adventure. I know basics of the mechanical aspects of my bike and will thoroughly review before trip. My time is pretty wide open as I am a full time student of Financial independence and am in a position where I can Flex like you've never seen before! I was thinkin of this Spring as the weather starts to get more nice. And my desire is strong to go on this trip, but I'm wide open to suggestions and where to ride precisely. I have done minimal research on Irleland and the UK but thats about it. I would like something that I could cruise preferably for less than 7-days at no more than maybe 50miles a day(average). I'm not in a race, I just want to see the sites, enjoy an awesome ride, live a lil adventure, meet some people, and do it all while packing inexpensive food and water to drink, camping/bumming/Hosteling my way every night, and just reviving myself and making sure I'm still alive.

    I see there are many Europeans and Worldwide bikers on here and am asking for any help, please. I would appreciate any recommendations or tips If you have them. Mostly on recommendations about particular biking routes that sound like something I would be interested in. Thanks in advance you guys for hearing me out!

    To the Future and the next ride!"
    -Spencer

  2. #2
    Senior Member Fixedwheelnut's Avatar
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    How about the Bike Express? I have not used it myself but know others who have and been ok Smiley
    http://www.bike-express.co.uk/
    Don't stop pedalling

  3. #3
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    You might also ask this question in the Touring forum.

  4. #4
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    Sounds like you've got a start -- at least you have put some thought into this already. Seems like you've read the other thread, too.

    You might think about the North Sea Cycle Route. It will give you all the countries with shores on the North Sea, including Britain. It's sort of self-guided stuff, and the part of the route I did across Northern Europe was pretty good. It enables you to head off in directions such as Brussels and Amsterdam. The route in Britain is from Scotland through to north of London, but then you can probably use some of Sustrans' other routes to get you on to Dover for the Channel crossing, or vice versa. There are ferries across the North Sea to Scotland integrate into the route.

    The NS Route also gives you the option in Holland of following some of that country's other bike routes, such as the Oeverland Route, into Germany or Belgium and on to France and beyond.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

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    Thank you so much you guys. So far I am heeding all advice. And currently looking into this "North Sea Route." Thank you!

  6. #6
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com has dozens of bike tour travelogues, also in Europe. You'll find lots of good pointers there. And by the way, if someone refers to areas such as Germany as "North Europe", don't believe them . There's a whole lot of bikeable Europe further North.

    I'm moving the thread from Long Distance to Touring.

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  7. #7
    Senior Member xilios's Avatar
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    Another option is to start in the spring from southern Europe (Spain, Italy, Greece) and follow the warm weather north. The Swiss passes open late May early June, I'm sure it's the same for France. Starting in Spain you can cross the Pyrenees heading to France. If you decide flying into Greece contact me, there are some things you need to know getting out of the airport.
    cheers

  8. #8
    Left OZ now in Malaysia jibi's Avatar
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    I would recommend staying south in the spring and heading north as the weather "may" get better.

    Fly to Athens so it will be warm when you get here.
    Cycle to Patras, ferry over to Brindisi, via a stop over in Corfu, if you wish.
    then kind of head to where you are flying back from.
    You could head through a choice from, Naples, Rome, Milan, Venice
    Then into France, or if you like mountains, Switzerland.

    As you get going you will find out more about where to head for next , talking to people on the ground.

    I have been touring around Europe a long time now and still I am finding places to go and see.

    When you say "the sights", do you mean the normal tourist sights or , like me, famous mountains and gorges.

    let us know a little more of what you would like to see.

    I did a 3 month tour from Gibraltar back to the UK last year through Spain France Switzerland Belgium and Holland, kept away from big cities and enjoyed just seeing the countries, but you may want something different.

    george
    Last edited by jibi; 01-10-07 at 03:35 AM.
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  9. #9
    Member Zommaz's Avatar
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    I live on the North Sea route, but I have gone only short distances of it. Since this is a coastal route; if you're bothered by headwinds you might want to check prevailing wind directions at "tour date".

    It might be worth considering that the North Sea area is more than a bit different from the Mediterranean area in climate, landscape and culture.

    In Germany/Holland/Belgium the bike path network is fantastic, with dedicated bike paths literally everywhere, so some of the easiest biking is to be had there, I feel. I didn't really use a map half the time, because it's an easy place to be.

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    Ireland is a great destination, Ive been there 3 times. A 7 day tour should see you from Dublin to Shannon. The countryside is much better by the coast, esp the far SW in Cork.
    There are steep hills and small mountains but nothing too long.
    There is a good network of independant hostels with camping facilities.
    There are plenty of bike shops with rental schemes.
    If you need to bug out you can take your bike on the train/coach.

    7 days is not very long for a tour, esp if you consider the 1st and last as half days at the most. I prefer 2 weeks.

  11. #11
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Got to follow Jibi on start South in spring and work North. June in France can be hot- So what it is like further South can be a bit too much. Gibralar to the UK sounds a good ride to me and I have done it by car. Then if you want a real experience for a first time tour, Ireland is big enough to keep you going for a couple of Months on its own. So can the UK if you want it to. If you want to do the typical tourist bit of as many countries in as many days- you will miss a lot. Find a parking space in France for your tent- Find a bar and enjoy the Country and the people. Thats what I do ever year -except the bar just gets visited when I get back to the camp site- After a days Cycling round the local sites.
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  12. #12
    In Memory of One Cool Cat Blackberry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jibi
    I would recommend staying south in the spring and heading north as the weather "may" get better.

    Fly to Athens so it will be warm when you get here.
    Cycle to Patras, ferry over to Brindisi, via a stop over in Corfu, if you wish.
    then kind of head to where you are flying back from.
    You could head through a choice from, Naples, Rome, Milan, Venice
    Then into France, or if you like mountains, Switzerland.
    This is almost an exact replica of my first big tour all those years ago. But if you're gonna be in Athens anyway, don't--I repeat--don't miss the island of Crete. It's fantastic in spring.
    Dead last finish is better than did not finish and infinitely better than did not start.

  13. #13
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    I recommend flying into or out of Frankfurt Germany.

  14. #14
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    God bless the Europeans,hah, you guys are great! Thank you again for ALL of your wonderful ideas and tips! I am again in the midst of due diligence for this bike trip and am looking into everything you guyrs said, and so far it ALL sounds spectacular!

    "When you say "the sights", do you mean the normal tourist sights or , like me, famous mountains and gorges."

    When I say the sights I mean everything, but mostly non-normal touristy sights. I am an explorer. My motto is this..."First find out where the sheep are heading, and go the opposite direction." And that mostly serves me well.

  15. #15
    Member Zommaz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pitapan20
    "When you say "the sights", do you mean the normal tourist sights or , like me, famous mountains and gorges."
    If you're the explorer type, the lowlands of western Europe might be too easy.

    There are plenty of fun mountain ranges throughout Europe of which I unfortunately haven't been to many, but watch out for snow if you go early

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