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  1. #1
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    Touring Danube cycleway? Advice please

    Hello everyone!

    I just finished graduate school and I am currently very fortunate to have about 2 months free from April 20 to the end of June . Although I am from the states, I am currently living in upper Austria (I don't speak German! ) living right on the Danube! (I'm in Linz to be exact). This will be my first long distance tour, and I'm looking for suggestions for places to go, and on how to plan the specific routes. Here's my idea so far:

    1) Ride Danube cycle way up river from Linz to its source in Donaueschingen Germany. Before getting to Donaueschingen I think I should stop be Munich (80 km south of Danube).

    2) Donaueschingen is at the edge of the Black Forest, so perhaps the Black Forest is worth a cycle through? Need two days or more?

    3) From Donaueschingen I will head south down to the Bodensee (big lake) near Switzerland, Lichtenstein. I'm not sure if there is much to see here but I got the impression it was nice there so I would cycle around the lake.

    4) The Rhine river is close by and I would take the Rhine river north all the way up into the Netherlands of course visiting Frankfurt, Dusselsorf and ending up in Amsterdam.

    From here my plan is wide open. I could go to France and Belgium. I could take a boat somewhere else?

    To be honest the above plan comes from the fact that I have bought three books, one about the Danube cycle way, one about cycling the Rhine river, and one giving cycling routes in Holland. I just linked the three together. I am almost completely new to Europe and have no real idea of where to go what to see. If my plan above looks good, let me know. If I've missed some sights worth seeing along the route, also let me know. I am also open to completely different routes as well! I really just chose the above plan arbitrarily!

    Some info. about myself:

    I am in "o.k. shape" I would say. I have bike (brought from US), Ortlieb panniers (2 for front and 2 for back), tent (REI), sleeping bag (20 degree) and sleeping pad as well as all the other little items needed. I am looking to camp/hostel my way around.

    Thoughts off the top of my head: I am interested in nature scenes as well as famous cities. I know the Alps must be very beautiful and I am interested but I am not sure I am in shape for it. I could use some trains to help get around maximizing my time, but I am interested in the journey as well, not just the destinations. I have thought about following the tour de France, especially because materials would be easy to find, and I like wine country

    Anyway,

    Let me know what you all think, any advice/suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated! Riding partners for any length of it would be welcomed as well.

    Thanks so much!

    Seneca

  2. #2
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Senkill
    4) The Rhine river is close by and I would take the Rhine river north all the way up into the Netherlands of course visiting Frankfurt. Seneca


    I'd love to see you ride through Frankfurt. Your whole idea sounds great. I thoroughly recommend using the Esterbauer Bikeline map books. They have editions for all the routes you mention, and they are simply the best.

    You might also consider cycling the Camino de Santiago. Interested in Spain?

    How long have you been in Linz?
    Last edited by becnal; 04-09-07 at 02:06 PM.

  3. #3
    Studs Terkel Johnny_Monkey's Avatar
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    If you go to the Netherlands you could easily pass through Belgium.

    If you're planning on going to Bodensee from Munich see if you can do a detour to Fussen (if you haven't already been there).

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    @ becnal I have been in Linz for only 2 months (actually 3 but I went to China for a month) I am here actually because my wife got a job here for a year and I finished grad school last Spring so I thought I would work like a dog in Fall, save money, and come over for 6 months to visit.

    @Johnny I've never been to or heard of Fussen. But I just googled it, wow sounds great, I definitely have to stop by! The Castles sound great.

    Thanks for the tip, any more would be most welcome!

  5. #5
    cycling fanatic Ken Brown's Avatar
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    I think your tour sounds excellent. Since you have a lot of time you should have a lot of flexibility to modify the trip as you go. I am sure you will see many other cyclists along the way that will suggest things.

    If you want to see some of the Alps without a lot of climbing, follow the Salzach river from Passau to Krimml. Unfortunately you will then have to either retrace your steps back to the Danube, take the train, or climb mountain passes. Get the Bikeline or Schubert & Franzke guide for the Tauern bike path, both of which are available in English, and look at my writeup at http://webhome.idirect.com/~brown/austria1.htm

    As becnal mentioned, the Bikeline guides are excellent. Most of them are only in German, but the maps are invaluable. They cover the entire Rhine and Danube paths, plus there is one for Bodensee and many other routes.

  6. #6
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    Very nice, thanks so much for the info.

    I went down to my local book shop and found the bikeline maps for almost my whole route as you said Ken Brown. I am thinking now to go from Passau to Munich to Fussen then on to the Bodensee. Then I will only be on the Danube route for about a day and won't see much of this route.

    You think I should stay on Danube or leave at Passau? Any ideas?

    Thanks for the replys!

    Seneca

    P.S. sorry for my account name, but it's my gaming name, I wasn't thinking when I made my account on bikeforums.net.

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    That's a great plan. If you head to the north, along the Rhine it's very sceneric and historical till about Bonn.
    Then the Rhine-route has many problems because of factories and harbours. I should turn left earleier for a marvellous alternative, near Bad
    Go left to Altenahr, Bad Münstereifel and to Aachen. Then you miss Köln and Düsseldorf but you get (in return) Aachen and you could continue to Maastricht and in that case I should not skip Leuven and Brussels.

    But before you know is the programme overloaded.
    --- For the Bodensee and part of the Danube Radweg look for instance at the site www.cycletours.nl.
    It's dutch but they have an English branch. They give global but good desription of possible itineraries and must-see-places.

  8. #8
    angry young clown rollotheclown's Avatar
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    hey Senkill- I did Donau from Donaueschingen to Vienna last summer so if you have any questions feel free to PM me about that.
    "more clowns on more bikes, more of the time"

    "there's no such thing as strong coffee, only weak people"

  9. #9
    Senior Member chrisch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Senkill
    Hello everyone!
    3) From Donaueschingen I will head south down to the Bodensee (big lake) near Switzerland, Lichtenstein. I'm not sure if there is much to see here but I got the impression it was nice there so I would cycle around the lake.

    4) The Rhine river is close by and I would take the Rhine river north all the way up into the Netherlands of course visiting Frankfurt, Dusselsorf and ending up in Amsterdam.
    Hi Seneca,

    First of all, congratulations on completing graduate school! I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate than going on a bike tour!

    I live very close to Lake of Constance (Bodensee) and have cycled around the area many times. If you have to choose, I'd recommend staying on the Swiss side of the lake since it's mostly bike paths and void of traffic. The lake itself is beautiful and if you have time, check out the Library and Abbey of St. Gallen, located a few minutes away from the lake.

    Last summer I cycled from Switzerland up the Rhein before turning off at Duisburg. It's an amazing cycling route and you can't go wrong with it. Heck, look me up if you happen to cycle through St. Gallen. I have extra copies of the Rhein-Radweg 2 and 3 guidebooks that you can have. They'll guide you from Basel to Rotterdam, although it is written in German.

    Have fun! chris

  10. #10
    Je pose, donc je suis. gcl8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Senkill
    Hello everyone!
    I could go to France and Belgium... and I like wine country
    Wow. Looks fantastic. If you're still looking for more ideas, you could do the Loire. Fantastic châteaux. Historic cities. Easy and enjoyable riding. And plenty of wine. There's a marked route all the way from Blois (or Orléans?) to Nantes on the Atlantic coast (search for La Loire à vélo...oh heck, here you go: http://www.loire-a-velo.fr/).

    Have a great time!

  11. #11
    Senior Member chrisch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcl8a
    Wow. Looks fantastic. If you're still looking for more ideas, you could do the Loire. Fantastic châteaux. Historic cities. Easy and enjoyable riding. And plenty of wine. There's a marked route all the way from Blois (or Orléans?) to Nantes on the Atlantic coast (search for La Loire à vélo...oh heck, here you go: http://www.loire-a-velo.fr/).

    Have a great time!
    Hi gcl8a,

    Can you recommend a better map for the Loire? I'm looking at a PDF from the website you posted and it looks great! chris

  12. #12
    Je pose, donc je suis. gcl8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisch
    Hi gcl8a,

    Can you recommend a better map for the Loire? I'm looking at a PDF from the website you posted and it looks great! chris
    For my trip, I borrowed a 1:200000 Michelin map (I think that's what it was -- not entirely sure). The resolution wasn't great (particularly in towns); if you can find something with a little better resolution, go for it. I have only cycled between Amboise and Fontevraud, where it was pretty easy to just keep the river on your right and look for signs.

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    Je pose, donc je suis. gcl8a's Avatar
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    Hi and thanks for all the great posts again! I really appreciate the advice! I am looking at possible excursions mentioned, and Loire looks great!

    Bikeline makes a Loire map, I saw it today at the local bookshop in Austria. Again the language is German, but the detailed maps of the entire route from Orleans to the Atlantic sure look good! It's 1:50,000 as I recall.

    Seneca

  15. #15
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    You will never find better bike maps than those by Bikeline.

  16. #16
    cycling fanatic Ken Brown's Avatar
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    If you are contemplating the Loire, buy the Bikeline map in Austria or Germany. I delayed buying a guide to the southern Rhine until I got to Strasbourg (to save weight), and could not find it in any bookstore or cycle shop, even though Strasbourg is on the French bank of the Rhine. I had to start my journey north without the guide and never did find one until I got to Karlsruhe, a distance of 113 km. It shouldn't have been that far, but lacking the guide I made some wrong turns.

  17. #17
    Caffeinated. Camel's Avatar
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    I didn't read all of the above replys, sorry if this suggestion has been made allready:

    Leave the Danube at Passau and cycle down to Salzburg. Then over to Munich. I haven't cycled the bit from Salzberg to Munich (took the train), but you should be able to piece together a rather splendid castle tour along the way. If inspired you could also include the "Eagles nest" as well.

    Becnalls suggestion for cycling the Camino Santiago is also an excellent one, perhaps to keep in mind for your next trip if not this one. I pieced together my own route ("winged it") from Paris to Roncesalves, then simply followed the classic route to Santiago. Inexpensive, good food, excellent company from all over the world (both cyclists and trekkers).

    ~Cheers from Siem Reap Cambodia!~
    mmmm coffeee!

    email: jfoneg (_"a t symbol thing"_) yahoo (_"period or dot"_) com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Camel
    I didn't read all of the above replys, sorry if this suggestion has been made allready:

    Leave the Danube at Passau and cycle down to Salzburg. Then over to Munich. I haven't cycled the bit from Salzberg to Munich (took the train), but you should be able to piece together a rather splendid castle tour along the way. If inspired you could also include the "Eagles nest" as well.

    ~Cheers from Siem Reap Cambodia!~
    My friend took train to Salzburg and cycled to Passau and thru Linz on to Vienna, staying on bike routes all the way. He said it's one of his most memorable trip. Off topic, Camel, you can take a fast boat from Siem Reap right to Panompenh. I did that in April three years ago. If you want to get to Thailand, you can then bike down to Kampongsom (Sihanuville, spelling), take fast boat to KohKong, and cycle into Thailand. Then you'll have traveled by boat thru Cambodian lake, and open sea. Very wonderful. I also traveled by boat from Stungtreng to Kratie on Mekong by boat, so I did river, lake, and sea.
    Good mentor= success

  19. #19
    Senior Member Gotte's Avatar
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    Hey, I'm going to the Black Forest. Our trip starts April 20th. Wierd. We'll be cycling from Stuttgart to Donaueschingen, but then down to Titisee, then Waldshut, bad sackingen (where you can walk across a medieval bridge to Switzerland), then upto Freiburg, across to Triburg, Rottweil, Turbingen, and back to Stuttgart.

    Or we may be doing a round trip encompassing Heidelburg, Karlsrhuer, Baden Baden, then down to Freiburg, and back to Stuttgart via some points in the route above.

    Becnal is right, though, those Bikeline maps are second to none. I got the Neckar Radweg guide, and it's invaluable, as is the Bett und Bike guide, which shows you the accommodation available in the area.
    We plan on travelling somewhere between 30 to 50 miles a day depending on the local attractions, and figure it will take around 7 to 10 days to see what we want to, so be warned, if you want to make the most of the Black Forest, you'll need more than a couple of days.

    Best of luck my friend. Maybe if the timing's right our paths will cross somewhere.

  20. #20
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    So, what are your touring plans looking like?

    You could ride the Danube up to more or less Lake Constance and then Basel in Switzerland, then follow the Dole River and Canal du Centre, which then links up to the Loire and goes all the way to the Atlantic?

    http://veloroute6.free.fr/html/carte_vr6.htm
    Last edited by becnal; 04-06-07 at 07:08 AM.

  21. #21
    Junior Member TomasV's Avatar
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    Hi Becnal,

    Thanks for this great link. I am planning to do a bicycle tour in France and south Germany this summer and your information in much appreciated.

    Tomas

  22. #22
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    I did the Danube bikeway in 04,almost the entire distance,met the nicest folks, ate well and slept well.one of the great bike rides of the world, the other being in the USA, the Pacific coast highway from San Francisco to MALIBU, which I did in OC-NOV o4 when I returned from Europe

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