Generic Touring Thread

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  • The majority are segregated and flat to my experience, also much more suitable than NCN in terms of being flat, rather evenly surfaced and mostly well thought out. EV12 looks especially flat, a lot, make sure you factor that in (and the potentially induced boredom it might lead to)

  • Normally people are warning me how hilly a route is, so this is refreshing. We hadn't thought of that. Encouraging to hear EV is generally better laid out which I was hoping for.

  • I've done EV6 (along the Danube) from Donaueschingen as far as Bratislava and for most of the way it's either on car-free paths, bike paths alongside roads, or quiet back roads. EV15 (Rhine route) between Koblenz and Konstanz is much the same. Signposting on both was good; you might argue that it's hard to get lost following a river but you don't stick to the riverbank all the time and go through various towns and cities as well as crossing over at some places. I've followed part of EV13 (Iron Curtain route) around the Austrian/Czech/Slovak border which never goes near a major road, because there aren't any along those borders. I have a vague plan to do more of EV13, probably the section through Germany.

    The Bikeline books are good if they cover the parts you're interested in.
    https://www.esterbauer.com/
    E.g. parts of the North Sea route through Netherlands/Germany/
    https://www.esterbauer.com/db_detail_dru­ck.php?buecher_code=NORD1
    https://www.esterbauer.com/db_detail_dru­ck.php?buecher_code=NORD2

    Yeah, that looks flat.

  • This is great and will definitely help for the next route planning session. Cheers.

  • Fascinating to see different people's perspective, on such a long route I'd be far more aware of and put off by long flat stretches than hilly terrain.

  • @giofox I probably would too but more for my girlfriend, I'm conscious one bad experience could mean curtains for our touring holidays! Having said that we both agree suffering in private on a segregated path is better than being annoyed by cars on a dangerous flat road.

  • I am on the same boat don't you worry, but you'd be surprised to hear, as I was, that after a couple of days in the flatness of Saarland, she was happy to climb some hills in the Black Forest, so much so that when we reached the Alps she proposed to climb up Stelvio, with loaded bikes. Hope you guys have an awesome time!

  • I went on my first tour with my partner last summer to Ireland. We were both vaguely concerned about hills, the largest she'd been up was a Cheshire mountain (flat). Ireland doesn't have alps but it has some climbs in the west, but we found the easy pace of the day and plenty of very short days interspersed kept the ruining effect of big climbs to a minimum. She's now super keen for more tours.

  • @giofox Thanks, the Black Forest is also on my list. So many choices!

    @alialias I'm really keen to do Ireland but think after our last tours getting some European sun will instil enough goodwill to revisit this suggestion at a later date.

  • The part of Europe you're shooting for is usually wetter than UK

  • If you're after some sun, and segregated cycle paths are a priority, I highly recommend the SW of France - dreamy cycle paths through vineyards and pine forests, running behind massive sand-dunes and through beautiful cities and tiny beachside holiday communes. You can get the train down to Bordeaux/Biarritz etc without too much hassle...

  • @giofox Thanks, the Black Forest is also on my list. So many choices!

    In Triberg there's a cafe which claims to have been the originator of Black Forest cake. It's likely bollocks but the portions are great if you need to refuel. Also it's a false downhill flat from near there to either Offenburg or Lahr (not 100% on which, sorry, but I think it's Offenburg) so you can load up on boozy cake, get out of town and soft pedal for the rest of the day until you hit the Rhine; 40-odd km I'd guess.

  • Triberg also claims to have one of the tallest waterfalls in Germany, but it's just a very steep stream through a wood. And their 'world's biggest cuckoo clock' is a sham too. They also had some men-only car parking spaces.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Men%27s_pa­rking_space

  • I only stopped for cake. Seems it’s a town of wonders ;)

  • The Autour du Luberon looks stunning. We did a section to bring us back from Apt to Cavaillon (we took the greenway out there). It’s 240km total. There are a few steep parts but my partner managed and she doesn’t do a lot of cycling.

    This is the route we did, out on the greenway and back on the first part of the Autour (in reverse)
    https://ridewithgps.com/routes/30009312

  • We did St Malo to San Sebastián brakeless track packing back in the day, first 2-3 days undulating then pretty much flat all the way down the west coast till you get to the border. Great part of the world for cycling, decent roads and plenty of campsites/accommodation all the way down.

  • Long did that take you?

  • I think we did it in 9 or 10 days. It was quite some time ago.

  • The west coast is pretty good for riding but can be really hot and windy in summer. If anyone is doing long distances in rural France, this website is pretty good:

    https://www.eau-cyclisme.com/

    Basically helps you find taps, water pumps, fountains with drinking water etc. That said, banging on doors and asking for a refill seems to work fine.

  • Generally seemed to be a prevailing tail wind if you’re heading south though, well I’ve had that twice, @laner allegedly has head wind all the way.

  • My folks live out that way so I ride there a couple of weeks a year. There’s no specific pattern but the flatness when combined with a block headwind is a real ball ache. When it’s a tailwind though it’s amazing riding.

  • Eurovelo can be segregated, mixed or completely on small roads. It's a bit of a crapshoot to be honest.

    River routes might be your best option (Rhine, Meuse, Elbe) and maybe the canalside stuff in Belgium/Netherlands.

    The Vennbahnwegs in Belgium/Germany might be a good shout too. A Eurostar "Any Belgium Station" to Liege then the L38, L39 and Vennbahnweg from Aachen. It's not 100% traffic free but 95%. Some fun areas to camp on the way too.

  • printed this out overnight. 100m diameter base, should fit a medium sized drybag, attached with straps. Hope to test it out in the wilds this weekend. I think the 'cup' bit at the bottom isnt necessary, so will make another without that.


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  • nice! what bikes it sitting on?

  • on a Stooge MK4

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Generic Touring Thread

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