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Anyone ever ride Cinque Terre area in Itay?

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Anyone ever ride Cinque Terre area in Itay?

Old 04-10-10, 07:36 PM
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Anyone ever ride Cinque Terre area in Itay?

I was in the area a few years ago and took an afternoon trip out of La Spezia toward Cinque Terre, I chickened out after the fist tunnel and started to head back, Now that I have tunnels pretty much under my belt, I feel this need to complete a ride I did not finish.

I will be returning to Italy in September and part of the plan is to finish that ride.

Has anyone made this ride? What is the prevailing wind? Is it anything to worry about, like the wind on the US West coast?
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Old 04-10-10, 10:02 PM
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I didn't bike, but I spent 4-5 days there three years ago. It was FANTASTIC!! I would ride through any tunnel or buck any headwind to get back.

Tom
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Old 04-11-10, 07:22 AM
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I rode through the Cinque Terre heading north from La Spezia to Genova last summer. The scenery along this route is simply stunning and I would highly recommend it!

The roads curve round the coast high up on the edge of hills that fall steeply down towards the blue sea. It is certainly a challenging route as the road drops down to sea level on a number of occasions to pass through small towns in bays before steeply climbing back up 400m or so. I counted this happening three seperate times on the whole day that it took us to pass throught the park. I'm sure that you could increase/decrease this number, however, depending on which roads you choose to follow.

There was no noticeable wind when we visited and I suspect this may be due to the shelter afforded to us by the hills.

As for tunnels, I remember none of particular note in the souther section of the park. However coming out of the north you need to be careful. The road between Deiva Marina and Moneglia and the same again on the road between Moneglia and Sestri Levante, passes through a section of narrow old railway tunnels along the coast. Each tunnel is between 1 and 2km in length and there is only enough width for one car to pass through at a time. The traffic in each direction is staggered through a set of three or four tunnels at a time using traffic lights. Bikes are not allowed along this section of road but we decided to continue regardless. We joined at the end of the line of cars going in the same direction as us and sprinted through the tunnels as quickly as we possibly could. In the gaps between tunnels we would wait for the cars heading in the opposite direction to pass us before rejoining at the end of the next group of cars going in our direction. In this manner we were able to make it through both groups of 4-5 tunnels with only one stop in the middle of each section. This is certainly not for the faint hearted but there are other roads which connect these towns without passing through these tunnels but instead go up aned over the hills. We were just too tired towards the end of the day to take on any more hills

Hope this information is of use to you and some photos are below so you can see what scenery to expect
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Old 04-11-10, 07:28 AM
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Thanks for the info. How did you know that bicycles were not allowed in these tunnels? Were there signs?

I suppose another option would be to take a train past these sections.
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Old 04-11-10, 09:02 AM
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It is clearly signposted that cyclists and pedestrians aren't allowed in the tunnels although there is no way of enforcing this rule.

There are also signs at the beginning of each set of tunnels giving the times at which the traffic lights turn green, I think it was from 10-11, 30-31 & 50-51 minutes past the hour in one direction and 00-01, 20-21 & 40-41 in the other. By keeping an eye on the time it is therefore possible to assess whether you have time to make it through each tunnel before entering or if it would be safer to stop and wait for the next opening in your direction.

Anything else I can do to help just let me know.
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Old 04-11-10, 12:19 PM
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The Cinque Terre is one of those places where it is probably better to walk.
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Old 04-11-10, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by ironwood
The Cinque Terre is one of those places where it is probably better to walk.
I was thinking the same thing.
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Old 04-11-10, 04:02 PM
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Fantastic area. We stayed there about 4 days on 2008. Vernazza was our favorite town, by far. The hiking along the coast is so great, I wouldn't even worry about riding my bike too much. Now put me in the hills of Tuscany, and I want to ride my bike. But the coastline of Cinque Terre is so thrilling, I'd honestly forego the bike riding while in that area, unless I was able to stay more than a week.
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Old 04-11-10, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by ironwood
The Cinque Terre is one of those places where it is probably better to walk.
Originally Posted by travelmama
I was thinking the same thing.
The park is nearly 75KM. That is a lot of walking.
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Old 04-11-10, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by hoosae
It is clearly signposted that cyclists and pedestrians aren't allowed in the tunnels although there is no way of enforcing this rule.

There are also signs at the beginning of each set of tunnels giving the times at which the traffic lights turn green, I think it was from 10-11, 30-31 & 50-51 minutes past the hour in one direction and 00-01, 20-21 & 40-41 in the other. By keeping an eye on the time it is therefore possible to assess whether you have time to make it through each tunnel before entering or if it would be safer to stop and wait for the next opening in your direction.

Anything else I can do to help just let me know.
I made the ride from La Spezia to the start of the second tunnel. I felt very comfortable with road conditions. I also did not think the ride up the hill from La Spezia was not all that bad,

Except for the northern end of the part, how do the roads compare to the first little section I did, in regard to traffic, road width and climbs.

BTW I did do an altitude profile and was able to see that the rest of the road does not seem all that different from the section that I did.
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Old 04-12-10, 08:57 AM
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The quality and width of roads is not an issue at all from what I can remember and traffic was sparse even though it was height of the summer season when we passed through.

As for the steep climbs, I believe that these were encountered entirely due to our navigational skills (or lack thereof ). We were using a country scale map of Italy which only marked (poorly) one road through the park. When we came across a junction we simply picked the road that headed north or followed the coast. With a good scale map of the area I am sure an enjoyable route avoiding tunnels and unnecessary steep grades could easily be chosen.
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Old 04-12-10, 10:10 AM
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We spent a few days in Manarola last year and we walked the trail between there and the towns to the north. As much as I love to ride, I didn't see many places in any of the towns that I particularly wanted to ride. The road up across the top of the mountains looked inviting, but I didn't get up there to see it.


I've spent months in Italy and the Cinque Terre stands out as one of the places I'm drawn to revisit over and over. Have an awesome trip, however you decide see it.
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