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Advice on timing for Amsterdam-Konstanz trip

Old 04-24-13, 07:30 PM
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Advice on timing for Amsterdam-Konstanz trip

Hi all! I've got a friend who's getting married in Konstanz this summer. "What a great opportunity to do a tour in Europe", I thought. My tentative plan is to cycle from Amsterdam to Konstanz, following the Rhine/Mosel and Eurovelo routes for parts of it. I'm planning on camping the whole way, except for the beginning and end of the trip.

I'm wondering about the timing, though. The wedding is July 20, and I'd like to take 2.5-3 weeks either before or after. If I go before the wedding, I miss out my favourite time of the summer in and around Toronto. If I go after the wedding, I get into (what I've been told is) the busiest time of the tourist season in much of Europe. Is it a case of "six of one, half-dozen of the other" or should I choose one time over the other?

My question's about timing, but I've never toured in Europe, so it would be great to hear some general advice about routes and what to see. The trip only in the planning stage, and is liable to change on a whim, so any and all advice is welcome!

Last edited by SuperTrouper; 04-24-13 at 07:31 PM. Reason: Clarified question
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Old 04-24-13, 08:07 PM
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Sounds like a good trip. I've taken a 10 day bike camping trip in Germany, and a lot of shorter trips, but never anything so long as Amsterdam-Konstanz. So I don't have any advice on that particular route.

But, generally, there are a couple of logistical issues to decide - like where you are going to fly in/out of/from. How are you going to get your bike there? Will you have a suitcase or other luggage that you *won't* be taking with you on the bike? Is all of your touring going to be on bike?

But aside from that, if you are set on doing the A'dam-Konstanz trip, you should probably do that first...because otherwise, the rest of your trip would be focused on riding to A'dam so you can ride to Konstanz...and you wouldn't have the kind of flexibility you might otherwise have.

Although if you have friends in Konstanz, maybe it would make the most sense to fly into Zurich, drop stuff off in Konstanz, do a ride from Konstanz into France, ride up through Paris, cross through Belgium, arrive in A'dam, and ride south to Konstanz again.
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Old 04-24-13, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by alhedges
Sounds like a good trip. I've taken a 10 day bike camping trip in Germany, and a lot of shorter trips, but never anything so long as Amsterdam-Konstanz. So I don't have any advice on that particular route.

But, generally, there are a couple of logistical issues to decide - like where you are going to fly in/out of/from. How are you going to get your bike there? Will you have a suitcase or other luggage that you *won't* be taking with you on the bike? Is all of your touring going to be on bike?

But aside from that, if you are set on doing the A'dam-Konstanz trip, you should probably do that first...because otherwise, the rest of your trip would be focused on riding to A'dam so you can ride to Konstanz...and you wouldn't have the kind of flexibility you might otherwise have.

Although if you have friends in Konstanz, maybe it would make the most sense to fly into Zurich, drop stuff off in Konstanz, do a ride from Konstanz into France, ride up through Paris, cross through Belgium, arrive in A'dam, and ride south to Konstanz again.
All good advice. My plan is to fly into and out of Amsterdam, so there wouldn't be any issue with cycling there to be able to start my trip. I'm planning on taking a hard-case bike box and seeing if I can leave it at a hotel where I'll book-end my trip. Other than that I'll be taking everything on the bike. I've got a friend who's willing to bring my wedding duds for me. Otherwise, I'd be the snappiest-dressed cyclist on the trail.

Part of the reason I chose Amsterdam as the start point was that I can get reasonably-priced flights there. It's also far away enough for a decent-length trip, but close enough that I can take my time and not feel rushed. I was going to take the train back from Konstanz to Amsterdam after the wedding -- with bike and panniers. Is that straightforward or is it a hassle taking bikes on the train?

I've considered flying into Zurich, but haven't researched it extensively. That's something worth considering.
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Old 04-25-13, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by SuperTrouper
Is that straightforward or is it a hassle taking bikes on the train?
Most of the international trains in that part of Europe are high speed trains, which are often quite poor at carrying bikes. For the most part, a bike packed to fly will meet the requirements, but options for assembled bikes are very limited. For some reason, ICE trains in Germany, while having the same 120x90 size limit as Thalys and TGV, specify folding bikes only...kind of odd.

All the non-ICE trains in Germany should take your bike, though.
https://bicyclegermany.com/german_trains.html

This page summarises the rules for most trains going in and out of the Netherlands. You may have to travel a more roundabout route on slow trains if you're bringing a fully assembled bike back with you.
https://www.nshispeed.nl/en/before-yo...cycle-with-you
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Old 04-25-13, 01:13 PM
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We actually did most of your proposed route, only the opposite way. We were coming from the south out of Switzerland into Germany, and intersected the Rhine Route at Waldshut, Germany near the Swiss Border. We diverted from the Rhine Route in Germany just east of Nijmegen, The Netherlands, making a loop into Belgium before riding another loop to Amsterdam.

If time is critical, I'd suggest spending more time from to the "Middle Rhine to Switzerland, than the more industrialized sections of the route from Rotterdam to the middle Rhine. That is one of the reasons we took the Route through Nijmegen instead of following the river into Rotterdam.

There are a couple of nice and relatively inexpensive hotels (Ibis?) on the bike path 2-3 miles from the Schipol Airport. If you want to visit Amsterdam, the train station is located under the airport. The hotel has a free shuttle to the airport. It is a short train ride into Amsterdam.That saves trying to keep your bike and gear safe in a city notorious for bike theft. Then you can just ride from the hotel to the Airport in 10-15 minutes. Schipol Airport has great bike boxes, and a quiet place to do the packing. However, with a hard case this is not an issue for you.

We were in that part of Europe from the first of August to mid-September. We had a lot of wet days I would also suggest touring after the wedding rather than before. That schedule takes some of the pressure off having to "get there." The worst case scenario in is missing a flight or being late getting back to work. Better than missing a friend's wedding!

A good source of information about high quality campgrounds:
https://www.eurocampings.co.uk/en/europe/

Most regional trains, while slower, do take bikes.

Last edited by Doug64; 04-25-13 at 07:59 PM.
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