Cycling Home - London to Cesena (Italy) 07/17

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  • Hello dear cycle touring enthusiasts,

    I am planning a little trip with my gf for June 2017. From my home in London to my original home Cesena (north of Italy, close to Bologna/Venice). I have close to no knowledge of the areas I could potentially cycle through, other than few bits I really want to swing by, so I thought I'd start a thread here to collect all the tips you might be willing to share with me.

    Thank you all for contributing.


    Route: I will edit this original post with the current layout of the route, at the moment is nothing but a straight line.

    Constraints (list will be kept updated):

    • I'd like to do this in 14 days, with a max average of 120/130km per day (which will drop over the Alps) so the total distance shouldn't really exceed 1800km (I know it's tight given the straight line is 1200ish.
    • Sleeping arrangements (in order of preference): campsites, wild camping, couch surfing, Airbnbs, hostels..

    POIs (list will be kept updated):

    • Arenberg Forest
    • Black Forest
    • Zurichsee
    • Furkapass
    • Tremola Pass
    • Milan
    • Bologna
  • Are you saying you want to go through, or around the alps? Have you done anything similar before?

  • Through of course, never done anything that long before

  • Two weeks is tight. Don't forget you are going to want to factor in some rest days as well. Those mountains are going to slow you down big time, especially if you have camping gear on you. Food is another thing to keep in mind, as well as Switzerland being super expensive.

  • 2 weeks is definitely possible, but it would be tight and you're not giving yourself much time to take stuff in (or a rest day as poetic says). if you're planning to camp you'll be carrying a bit of stuff too. you'd have to both be capable cyclists. riding as a 2 is actually probably slower than going solo.

    I don't have much else to add unfortunately. I've done my share of touring but nothing along your route.

    sounds awesome though.

  • add your current POIs in though and take it from there. Sounds like you've got enough already to me so it's just a case of joining the dots.

  • Two weeks is tight indeed, was basing it on a friend of mine who did it solo to Florence in 14 days (no camping gears).

    In reality we will be able to take more time if needed, two weeks is just indicative, but I'd say three is the limit (still anywhere between 80 and 120km a day)

    We've done touring trips this summer, with stages between 80 and 130.. but the Alps are a different story as @Poetic is saying.

  • It sounds like it would be awesome anyway. If you have the chance to take three weeks, do it. You could maybe think of taking the Rhine river route into Switzerland, as it would be mostly flat and a lot of cool places along the way.

  • Nice route! Although I can't see how to fit the Rhine river if then I want to do the Furka..

    Tips about the Blackforest? I'm looking at some saucy gravel sections, but no street view is not helping much..

  • A possible alternative would be to get a boat to Le Harve and come down through France before swinging East. I rode London - Biarritz this summer and Normandy - The Loire Valley - La Vienne - Perigord - Dordogne etc was all truly lovely. I don't know much about the route you're taking but it's another option I guess. You could still get plenty alpy coming at it from this direction...

  • I have considered that as an option, I'd have to skip the black forest though, on top of adding several hundreds km

  • I am also considering a potential alternative route, travelling through Paris and Geneva before crossing the Alps..

  • Hi, I live in the north of Switzerland, a bit to the west of your route. Have ridden in SW black forest (but rarely), and the Alps by Meringen (but not the Furka pass). Glad to try to help if I can. What's needed at the moment?

  • I would follow the following path.

    1. From London to Harwich by National route 1 + 51
    2. Ferry from Harwich to Rotterdam
    3. From Rotterdam to Bregenz by EuroVelo 15 along the Rhine river.
    4. Bregenz to Landeck, Austria by B197
    5. Landeck to Ostiglia (Italy) by Via Claudia Augusta
    6. Ostiglia to Ravenna by Destra Po Route + Ferrara-Ravenna
    7. Ravenna to Cesena by ... as many Piadine shops as you can ...

    The path is 95% (or even more) on cycle reserved roads and almost all signposted.

  • Hi, Have a look at this site which has plenty of useful info.
    They have a good section about touring gears and tips. Especially cycling intercoms.

  • Cheers for the input everyone, I am not progressing with the route too much as of now as I have other trips to plan first as coming up earlier, I will review all the info when I pick this up in the coming month(s).

  • Interesting route, seems easier to plan too since it's largely based on cycle routes.

    It misses many interesting cycling bits I would like to go through though.

    Have you cycled parts of this before?

  • Finally got rid of second job and have some time to develop this.

    Started doing the first steps of the route, and so far got to Givet in France. Next steps will probably go through Rochefort - Bastogne - Esch Sur Sure (north Luxemburg) and then from there proceed to the palatinate forest in order to reach the Rhine. Follow the Rhine to Freiburg, cut across through the Black forest to reach Schaffhausen and then Bregenz from there probably the Fluela and Umbrail passes to reach the Stelvio and descend into Italy.

    First bit of route here below, again, any thought and input are more than welcome.

  • Finished the first actual draft of the route, all the other segments are below. Now I need to put it back together to understand if I am doing something stupid.

  • Final combined.

    Need to cut a 200km somehow. Potentially scrap the last 300km in Italy since shit cycling/landscape anyway

  • Solid final route here below.
    Cut a good 3000m climbing, same length as previous version.
    I am happy about it, a good amount of canal/river cycle routes that will make it quick. Should be able to do this comfortably in 19 days.
    Any last minute tips just shout them this way. We are setting off on the 30th of this month.

  • Hi,

    First, sounds awesome!! I'm also thinking of cycling to Italy this summer, although probably the other side of August, heading into September (so that the trains home are cheaper and the weather slightly cooler).... You've definitely thought about it a lot more than I have though!

    Anyway, I thought I would share my experience from a trip I made last year.

    I decided at the last minute I was going to go from London to Barcelona. "Last minute" meaning 1 months notice (at least, that's what I gave work!) but included several weeks that were quite hard (night shifts, long days, job interviews) so there was a lot going on and I didn't really have much time at all to prepare, other than buying a ferry ticket to France. I did, however, manage to rope a friend into the trip with me - I found that invaluable and, indeed, he ended up having a great time (even if he hated it - and me! - at the time).

    I can give you more details another time if you require (pm me to remind me to post ;-) but from memory we did about 1500 miles together, from Dieppe to Perpignan/the French-Spanish border. It took us 20 days but we had 5 rest days in that time - the first, a 24 hour period after 10 days of touring, and then 4 days altogether after another 4 days (as we were meeting some other friends who were on holiday in France). I then had a rest of a week (my friend had to go home) before doing the final stretch onto Barcelona on my own.

    At the beginning, we were doing about 80-100km/day. By the end (indeed, after the first rest day), we were doing up to 150-160km/day. So don't worry about not being fit enough or anything - you will get there :-) The key point was that we just did 10 miles/hour essentially all the time, so our daily distance was merely a function of how many hours we rode (more as we grew in confidence about camping etc).

    Also, in terms of clothes and other stuff, don't take anything! We were lucky to have friends along the way that we saw, so dumped a load of stuff at the first opportunity. You really don't need much - shoes, one pair of socks, one pair of cycling shorts, one pair of light trousers, one tshirt, one longsleeve shirt, a (waterproof) jacket, sunhat, helmet... I think that was about it.



    PS, the mountains actually turned out to be a lot of fun - I didn't need to walk once, but there were times we were very slow (2mph). Just make sure you have a good granny gear and don't plan them too early in the trip (but I can see you have already taken that advice elsewhere)

  • AAhhh!!
    Very long discussion,,,

    Well, I am a bike lover. I have joined 2 communities in my town. They are very active about the trips and events for cycling and bike tours. Have you ever go to Bicycle Tours in Spain, If no then you should definitely go. You will find out amazing landscapes there for camping as well as riding.

    You can go through these sources also for finding bike riding communities:­c-bike-ride-links-colorado-mountain-coll­ege-campuses-together/­-july-anti-nationalist-community-bike-ri­de/

    These sources are really helpful.
    So enjoy your ride

    Cheerssss.. :) :)

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  • Belated update regarding this:

    We cycled this as scheduled from the beginning of July, finishing it 1976km and 20 days later.

    The route, weather, and pace of it worked out like a charm.

    We cycled to Dover, took the ferry across to Calais and blasted through flat northern France and Belgium. From Mons to Bastogne and then along the Sure valley, Belgium and Luxembourg pleased us with lushly green cycle routes and pleasing landscape. Saarland in Germany was a bit too flat for our taste, but Vosges, Alsace and Lorraine made up for it. We were well oiled and into the routine by the time we tackled the Black Forest and its climbs, literally hammering it all the way to the Obersee. Once we entered Austria we were ready ad eager to do the Alps, Arlberg, Reschen, Umbrail and Stelvio pass were all fabulous, including the cycle routes linking them. The descent into Italy was somehow melancholic, and most of the charm was gone once we passed Garda Lake, making room for sheer eagerness to finish and complete the route, despite the lack of interest in the flatness of the Padana flat.

    Overall a very nice trip, maybe on the fast paced side of touring, with less than common spare time spent wandering "off-route".

    Few pics

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  • Some more

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Cycling Home - London to Cesena (Italy) 07/17

Posted by Avatar for giofox88 @giofox88