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Old 02-15-12, 02:18 PM   #1
Horowitz
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Routes in Europe ?

Hey, sorry for the ignorance i am about to put forth.

I have been looking on the internet for a good (difficult) route which would take me through the french/italian alps, but i have found absolutely nothing. Time would be at disposition (1month+), a high level of fitness and an even higher level of determination.

I was wondering if someone could please help me out by pointing me into the direction of the most scenic/middle of nowhere routes out there, where i can really just get out on my own..

I am an extremely experienced camper, however i did my first bicycle tour only about a year ago, but it went well.

Thanks a lot, and sorry if this was answered a billion times
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Old 02-15-12, 02:42 PM   #2
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I am not sure about established routes. Get a map of france, locate the alps, highlight "D" roads that are white and look narrow and shown as scenic, and go.....as simple as that (IMO at least)!


Outside of Annecy:
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Old 02-15-12, 02:48 PM   #3
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The problem is finding"middle of nowhere routes" in the French and Italian Alps. The Alps are in the middle of a very populated area, and in the summer most alpine passes have a lot of automobile and bicycle traffic.

However, finding scenic routes is no problem. From Nice to Geneva it is all scenic.

Some of the nicest roads on which to cycle are those that end at the bottom of a mountain.
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Old 02-15-12, 03:21 PM   #4
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True....for really getting out on your own I recommend touring in the center of France....beautiful, rural, scenic, and challenging cycling. A whole month in the alps would be a lot of time.


Center of france has roads with nearly NO ONE traveling on them:








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Old 02-15-12, 03:53 PM   #5
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Some places are better to explore on foot, and the High alps are one of those places. There are a lot of cyclists on the major cols such as Izoard or Agnel, but they are all in spandex, and riding carbon.
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Old 02-15-12, 04:29 PM   #6
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you could start from the Italian side or the French side ..
say take the TGV Paris to Lyon,
then head out from there, book your return flight from Milan .

might have to send the bikes ahead, overnight train,
That is what my group had to do, no bike carrying car on the fast train.

we went from Paris to Berne CH, met the bikes there in the station.
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Old 02-16-12, 08:34 AM   #7
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You might check out the north sea route as well if you're looking at multiple countries. Everything from Sweden to England in a big circle.
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Old 02-16-12, 11:05 AM   #8
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Route des Grandes Alpes is a set route that you can ride at your own leisure, taking in the most impressive French Alpine climbs possible. You can spin off into Italy over Galibier/Lautaret. This route is ridden by many supported and commercial tour companies.
Here is some info on Italian Alp routes. Try and fit Stelvio Pass into the route, even if you have to backtrack.

Ive ridden in the French Alpes and some of the minor routes and non-through roads are better cycling then the big, famous, but busy passes. You can stop off and ride a few days routes around Grenoble.

The North Sea cycle route has its charms but there is no comparison if you want to do serious climbing. The Raid Pyrenee is another famous climbing route but riders often look at the clock and mile-ometer too much to beat the 100hr "deadline"
High mountain roads are passable between May and October. Summer holidays are v busy, expensive and too hot. The best riding is to be had in late May/June and Sept.

Last edited by MichaelW; 02-16-12 at 11:12 AM.
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Old 02-16-12, 11:42 AM   #9
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For a real challenge you could do the trans Pyrenees route, it is outlined in lonely planet's cycling france.

Dur, reading skills fail, michaelW mentioned the route


http://www.velopeloton.com/raid-pyrenees/

If that is not challenging enough for you then I don't know what would be.

Last edited by zoltani; 02-16-12 at 11:51 AM.
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