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Seeking Route Across the Alps

Old 12-29-06, 09:22 AM
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Blackberry
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Seeking Route Across the Alps

I'm hoping to cycle from Geneva to Venice this summer and I'm hoping to find a route across the Alps that doesn't have too much traffic or too many tunnels. Has anyone found a good way that he or she would recommend? Thanks!
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Old 12-29-06, 11:03 AM
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I don't know a specific route, but Touring Club Italiano publishes really good maps of Italy that show all the minor roads. Order them direct from TCI at www.touringclub.it or from www.trektools.com.

When I cycled around Italy (Tuscany & Umbria) last May I found that the really long tunnels usually had a very minor, unused road going over the top. In most cases this was the only road before the tunnel was built. I have a good LED taillight on my bike, I was really glad to have it for the one kind of long (1200m, 3/4 mile) tunnel I had to go through. In the one tunnel I went through, I turned on my blinkie light, hugged the curb, and rode the straightest line I could. Motorists were VERY courteous, including the big truck that waited behind me for oncoming traffic to clear before he passed.

I rode on a few mountain roads with roofs built over them to protect the road from avalanches, the taillight was good to have there, too.
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Old 12-29-06, 12:05 PM
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Here's another resource where you can ask: http://thorntree.lonelyplanet.com/

There is a bike specific forum called-- On Your Bike. good luck
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Old 12-29-06, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Blackberry
I'm hoping to cycle from Geneva to Venice this summer and I'm hoping to find a route across the Alps that doesn't have too much traffic or too many tunnels. Has anyone found a good way that he or she would recommend? Thanks!

Well, it is not clear if ya wanna travel thru the alps quite a bit, and then eventually leave them and end up in Venice...or if ya just want to get across the alps in one pass/swoop, and the continue on to Italy.

If the latter...be like Hannibal (the Carthaginian warrior, not the Lecter) and cross the Petit St. Bernard pass. It is southeast of Geneva and is one of the most underrated alpine passes. Ya climb a bunch of switchbacks in forested country and then have a gorgeous descent with views of Mt. Blanc.

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Old 12-29-06, 01:20 PM
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I agree, it would help to know what you would most like to do. Simply get from point A to point B, enjoy a good climb with great scenery, or avoid hard climbs?
I once crossed the Alps in eastern Switzerland going to Italy, crossing the Julier Pass and then the Maloja Pass. The Julier was lovely and had minimal traffic. The Maloja is strange in that there is virtually no climb on the Swiss side, but a long, superb descent on the Italian side. I've done it in reverse, too, and it's quite a climb up. It is nonetheless a true pass which divides watersheds.
An easy way of getting from Geneva to Italy is the take the train thru the tunnel under the Simplon Pass between Brig and Domodossola. It takes about 20 minutes.
If you want to reach Venice, heading toward eastern Switzerland may be your best bet. The approach to Venice from the Dolomites is quite nice. To get to eastern Switzerland from Geneva, you could either cross some low and fairly easy passes across central Switzerland, or cross some high passes in southern Switzerland.
You should probably ask yourself whether you want to spend more time cycling in Switzerland, or more time cycling in northern Italy.
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Old 12-29-06, 01:31 PM
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I have crossed the Alps many ways and my preferred route , for a single get over the other side, is Mont Cenis from Lanslebourg.

It has a lake and hotel at the top, beautiful

george
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Old 12-29-06, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Roughstuff
Well, it is not clear if ya wanna travel thru the alps quite a bit, and then eventually leave them and end up in Venice...or if ya just want to get across the alps in one pass/swoop, and the continue on to Italy.

If the latter...be like Hannibal (the Carthaginian warrior, not the Lecter) and cross the Petit St. Bernard pass. It is southeast of Geneva and is one of the most underrated alpine passes. Ya climb a bunch of switchbacks in forested country and then have a gorgeous descent with views of Mt. Blanc.

roughstuff
Yes, since I'm not the swell foop I used to be one fell swoop across the Alps would do just fine. Can't wait to get a good granny gear on my pack elephant.
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Old 12-29-06, 05:24 PM
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You need to climb some passes, that's for sure. Best way is Petit St Bernard, that's right. But you have to ride Aravis and Saisies to get to there. If you don't like climbing you can avoid them, but you'll have some extra miles (visit my homepage for profile information). After Petit St Bernard there's a long road to Aosta with a few tunnels, but you can avoid the tunnels: the old road is without tunnels, it's only for pedestrians and bikers. It's a little bit more time to get to Aosta. In the Po plane there are no further mountains. but sometimes there is a heavy wind and it feels like climbing. Good luck,
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Old 09-24-10, 10:35 AM
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You should check out this guy's Plan http://bit.ly/d6fkRI. He cycled across the Alps and raised money for charity while doing it. Apparently the training was intense but knowing that it was for a charity gave him a ton of motivation. I think he went from Geneva to the South of France.
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