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  1. #1
    Senior Member mynameistom's Avatar
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    Anybody toured on their own in Europe? Some advice would be great.

    Right so my ex girlfriend is Austrian and when not at uni she lives in Vienna. This summer I'm going out for a week long party/conference for physics students in Split, Croatia. Unfortunately, I booked flights to and from Vienna a week before and then 5 days after this event (Running from 10-18 Auguest), with a view to spending time with the ladyfriend. As sods law would have it, we broke up a while ago and thus a week in Vienna is out of the question, and I still want to go to Split.

    So, rather then waste 140 and then blow more money on more (really expensive now) flights, I'm thinking I will take my flight to Vienna with my bike, stay at hers for the night seeing as she will probably be more then happy to let me, and then cycle the 700-800ish kilometres down to Split, arriving in time for my party week. Might as well make the most of a bad thing eh. I imagine the cycling is not bad down there either

    Now I've been cycling on and off for years so I should be fit enough, but I've never done anything like this before so it's a bit intimidating to say the least. BUT I reckon it would be pretty badass to do it, and then turning up in Split after such a long trip would make the week even better. I would probably get the train back to Vienna most of the way as I have much less time and will be absolutely destroyed after a week of drinking. Im 20 years old, so the chances of me staying sober enough all week to be in any fit state to ride any real distance imediately after is very low. Too many temptations like European spirits and Scandinavian girls eh. Ah to be young still

    So yeah, if anybody has any experience with stuff like this I would love some advice regarding hostels, stuff I should take etc. Feel free to tell me I'm mad or an idiot for booking those flights.

    Tips? Also I didnt know whether this belonged on Long Distance or Road, but seeing as this place is way more active I figured I would post here. This is my first post on bikeforums in a looooooong time.

  2. #2
    Primate Metzinger's Avatar
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    My advice:
    Get back together with the girlfriend.

    She sounded hot.

    Does that help?

  3. #3
    Senior Member mynameistom's Avatar
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    Hot, and very euro.

    But also completely nuts. I think I will go for someone a bit more...regular next time. Whilst I dont want to go out with someone just like me, I'm not going out with a feminist social activist vegan Austrian ever again.

    Ever.

  4. #4
    Primate Metzinger's Avatar
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    / thread closed.


    Best.
    Road Cycling Forum thread.
    Ever.

  5. #5
    . botto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mynameistom View Post
    Hot, and very euro.

    But also completely nuts. I think I will go for someone a bit more...regular next time. Whilst I dont want to go out with someone just like me, I'm not going out with a feminist social activist vegan Austrian ever again.

    Ever.
    switch macrobiotic for vegan, and it almost sounds like you're describing the ex who got me into cycling.

  6. #6
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mynameistom View Post
    So, rather then waste 140 and then blow more money on more (really expensive now) flights, I'm thinking I will take my flight to Vienna with my bike,

    Sounds like it could be a fun week, but it isn't a money saver plan. Flying the bike back and forth will cost more than the 140 pounds these days.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  7. #7
    . botto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
    Sounds like it could be a fun week, but it isn't a money saver plan. Flying the bike back and forth will cost more than the 140 pounds these days.
    not necessarily.

  8. #8
    Senior Member mynameistom's Avatar
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    I know it will be cheaper to just book more flights, but I figure this is an oppurtunity to do something I havent done before and would like to do. I need to contact the airline and see how much it is to add a bikebox.

    It is going to be very expensive. I need to get panniers, plus hostels, food, train fares and the like it will be very expensive for such an impoverished (ha) student. But I think worth it.

  9. #9
    Lost AngryScientist's Avatar
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    make sure to bring the camera. definitely do it. definitely an adventure.

  10. #10
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    ok. you got a few days to get to split.

    there are a few options.

    1. forget the nutty lady, you will find more on the road...

    2. train to Villach or Klagenfurt. gets you that much closer to Croatia.

    3. ride via hungary, keeps you in the flats more than the route through austria.

    4. train to hungary, or ride to the border from vienna airport, that is like 60 km. then take the train to nagykanizsa via Budapest - Hungarian ladies are hot - you will save 3 or 400 km of riding...

    or just leave the bike in vienna and take a budget flight to split try skyeurope.com

    good luck.

    robi

  11. #11
    Senior Member mynameistom's Avatar
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    Well I've spent the last couple of days planning so I have a bit more of plan.

    Vienna to Split in 7 days riding in the height of summer is ambitious even for a young lad such as myself, it's a hell of a long way and I'm not used to the heat and that level of hills. So I will probably get the train down to Zagreb. From Zagreb I will ride SW to Rijeka (Apparently 190km, add a bit more for the fact I will be taking smaller roads and hey presto that is two days riding). So If I arrive in Vienna on the 3rd, get the train to Zagreb on the 4th, and set out on my bike on the 5th, I will be spending the night in Rijeka on the 6th. That gives me 4 days to get form Rijeka to Split, which is along the coast so touristy and will have no shortage of hostels and B&Bs as long as they arent full up.

    Rijeka to Split is 350km, so I might have time to get a couple of ferries across to the Islands along the coast for some more interesting riding. That is probabl what I will do - the more I think about it the more I think Vienna to Split is a bit far. But I dont want to wimp out either so I think this makes for a good compromise. Then on the way back I will get the train to Zagreb from Split, and ride back from there via Slovenia. That way I dont repeat any roads and get a days rest and recovery after a week of excess (they will have to be toned down slightly ) before getting back onto the bike. To clear it in my head I'm going to do rough Itinery.

    August
    3rd - Fly to Vienna, stay with crazy ex girlfriend is she lets me, hostel/warmshowers.com if not.
    4th - Train to Zagreb, stay there for the night. Lots of places to sleep I imagine.
    5th - Leave Zagreb SW en route to Rijeka, find a sizable town approx halfway and find a place to stay. Maybe Ogulin.
    6th - Finish ride to Rijeka, stay the night. Find out if I can get a ferry to Krk the next day.
    7th - Ride down the coast, or maybe get a morning ferry to Krk, ride to the other end, and get a ferry back mainland. Try to get halfway towards Zadar.
    8th - Get to Zadar. The island Pag only needs one ferry - can get over in the morning and then ride all the way to Zadar.
    9th - Ride from Zadar to Sibenik, distances are pretty short now so I can chill out a bit, I'll inevitably be knackered by this point so will be glad of short days.
    10th - Short ride from Sibenik to Split, arriving with plenty of time to register for the physics conference and enjoy some wel earned beers in the Sun, on the beach.

    *Drunken Blur*

    18th - Get the train to Zagreb, stay there as I wont be up to much more.
    19th - Ride to somewhere halfway to Graz, maybe Slovenia, maybe just into Austria.
    20th - Get to Graz, stay.
    21st - Epic ride to Vienna or can split it into two if not feeling so great.
    22nd - Im either in Vienna or getting there. Either way I have to be in Vienna today for peace of mind.
    23rd - Fly back home exhausted and spend the next month working to pay the whole adventure off.

    Sounds like fun to me. Might give myself less to do on the way back, I dont want something to go wrong and risk missing my flight.

    So I need to buy a rack and panniers, contact the airline about taking on a bike box, see what the ex says about doing me a favour (har har), and learn about trains and ferries. And probbaly countless other things that I dont know about.

    I tell you planning this is fun enough. Nice to look at a map and go OH maybe I can go there

  12. #12
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    700-800ish kilometres isn't very far to ride solo ... sounds like you've got a good plan there. Just make sure you are back into the city you are flying out of about 18-24 hours before the flight ... just in case.

    And trains are usually pretty good about taking the bicycles in France, not sure about other areas of Europe.

  13. #13
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    you can definitely take bikes on trains in Austria and I assume SI and HR too. check out their official homepages for exact info.

    What time you get to Vienna ? why not take the train that day to Zagreb, that way you avoid crazy and you get one more day to ride, or a day to spend in cool Zagreb.

    The coastal road, at least the bits I have driven, Split to Budbrovnik are fairly flat but they can get crowded with day traffic.

    I think you will have lots of traffic heading into major tourist towns along the coast in the morning and the same heading out of them in the afternoon. you maybe able to ride such that you are entering and leaving towns when the traffic is going the other way....

    there are a bagillion camp grouns in Croatia so if you want, you can easily find camping site, just need a tent... camping out side of camp grounds is a no no!

    IF you are up for the ride, have the time, I can tell you that the plitvica lakes and falls are brilliant, but they are out of your way....

    have fun, post photos when you are able.

    robi

  14. #14
    Cycled on all continents JohnyW's Avatar
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    Hi,

    you checked that the trains in Croatia transport your bike? As far as I know it not possible.

    On minor roads that are 190 km Zagreb - Riejka. From Riejka to Krk is a bridge. From Basca (Krk) you get a ferry to Rab. There is no ferry to the mainland - but from Rab.
    I planned the coast instead of Pag.
    I would recommend that you take the ferry from Spilt to Riejka (or Venice) instead of taking the train.

    I'll go there the next two week. Then I have more information.

    Thomas
    My Travelogues: http://thomasontour.de (currently only in German)

  15. #15
    Senior Member mynameistom's Avatar
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    I honestly never occurred to me that trains might be a problem - never encountered that before. One guys website says he had no problems though - and I'm only looking at two train journeys hopefully. But I will look into it a bit more.

    Thanks for that bit of info about the ferries. Maybe that is better anyway, keeps me on the islands and avoiding the busy coastal road. However I think ferries might just be too time consuming and expensive to take a lot of them so I might just stick with a single ferry to pag. No idea if I have to book in that advance though.

    I get to Vienna 3pm, so I could probably dash straight to Zagreb, but I need somewhere to put my bike box and sadly it would be kind of nice to be shown round Vienna by the ex, she means well (most of the time). Hasnt gotten back to me still though, which is a bit worrying. I hope she isnt the type to refuse on the grounds that we broke up so absolutely cannot do each other small favours ever EVER AGAIN.

    Anyway, I'm going for a ride

  16. #16
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    well, at Vienna, you could likely leave your bike box at Sudbanhof or Westbanhof... check out their home pages for details.


    the islands will have less traffic but all of the islands I have been to had one main road and all traffic used that.... and they are all hilly too! Just keep that in mind.

    Robi

  17. #17
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    I'd check the trains: in some countries, trains are permitted on some trains but not others. Eg, in France you can't take them on TGVs. I imagine similar would apply for high speed trains in most countries. Fortunately, the trains that do accept bikes are cheaper...if slower.

    (I did take a bike on a TGV once, after my scheduled train was cancelled due to strike...it wasn't pretty, but I survived.)
    Specialized Tricross Sport 2009. Giant Yukon FX 3.

  18. #18
    Senior Member mynameistom's Avatar
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    Thanks all.

    Turns out, the crazy ex has made other plans. Probably off eating tofu somewhere, I dont know. So now I have to improvise. Probably for the best eh I dont particularly want to owe her anything

    Rode a great 100km in the sun yesterday, just under 4 hours. Was a lovely ride. Only makes me more excited to do this.

  19. #19
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    well, good luck in vienna, there are plenty of hostels... just check the net,


    have fun.

    robi

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