Rookie Cycle Tour from London to Trieste

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
Ivor Tingting
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Re: Rookie Cycle Tour from London to Trieste

Postby Ivor Tingting » 9 Feb 2019, 12:03am

nirakaro wrote:Ivor makes some valid points, but just as a counterbalance:
First long tour I did (and I'm certainly no marathon runner), I'd scarcely ridden a bike in the past four years. I did forty miles the first day, forty-five the second, and expected to be knackered on the third. I wasn't, and carried on doing three hundred miles a week for the next two months. That included crossing the Alps (1300m climb up the Simplon), and I didn't find that day more tiring than the others, as the five-hour climb was followed by virtually freewheeling twenty or thirty miles. Horses for courses I guess.
The passes from Austria to Italy (Brenner, Reschen) are quite low (~1500m), and virtually never close. I rode up to the Tauern rail tunnel at ~1200m on the 9th April last year and saw no snow at all. Or from France, the Lautaret and the Montgenevre, though higher, are major routes that are kept open except in the worst weather.
Continental hills are a lot gentler than English – and I suspect Welsh – hills. The slope is usually no more than 5-6%, and the amount you climb is pretty much the height you gain – you're not forever upping and downing like in British hills.
I agree that I'd want a tent, but we're all different; crossing the Alps only takes a day, so there's no need to camp at altitude, and I think the issue, given a good sleeping bag, will be rain rather than cold. And you can pretty much always find a room if necessary.
BTW I believe wild camping is prohibited in Germany and possibly Austria. You'd need to stay very much out of sight.


Cycling 40-50 miles a day is totally different trying to ride 90 miles a day. Not only is it a lot further but eating enough becomes critical and looking after your body. But I guess if the OP is into marathon running she is aware of fuelling her body and not cramping and bonking. Just because I ride a lot and run 5-6 miles most days there is no way I could compete as a runner nor would I start by running a marathon. I would probably start with much shorter distances.

Yes mountain passes or cols int he Alps tend to be more gradual in their ascent than some hills in the UK, but they can still be gradients of 8-10,12,15 even 18-20% and go on for a lot longer. The Brenner pass climbs to just over 1,300m in 32-33kms. The road up and down is literally a motorway. I think one of the Eurovelo routes goes up the Brenner pass and you ride away from the road on an old railway track. I rode it many years ago before the EV routes were conceived. If you want hard short very steep killer hills then ride in the foot hills of the Pyrenees in the Basque Country.
"Zat is ze reel prowoking qwestion Mr Paxman." - Peer Steinbruck, German Finance Minister 31/03/2009.

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foxyrider
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Re: Rookie Cycle Tour from London to Trieste

Postby foxyrider » 9 Feb 2019, 12:20am

Ivor Tingting wrote: The Brenner pass climbs to just over 1,300m in 32-33kms. The road up and down is literally a motorway. I think one of the Eurovelo routes goes up the Brenner pass and you ride away from the road on an old railway track. I rode it many years ago before the EV routes were conceived.


I rode over the Brenner in 2016, the motorway over is a motorway, literally :lol: , the old road is there, well maintained and takes longer to gain the metres from the north. Can't see where you5 ride on an old railway track, the rail line is till there in use.

It is one of the lowest alpine transit routes but getting to it is either a long way around or involves other fairly arduous climbs to get there more directly.
Convention? what's that then?
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thirdcrank
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Re: Rookie Cycle Tour from London to Trieste

Postby thirdcrank » 9 Feb 2019, 7:03am

When I first saw this I thought "Almost three months" to get some miles in. I was on the point of counting the total days until I realised that that's the date of the relevant event. The departure date is at some as yet unarranged time before that. I can see that somebody totally new to cycling could set off today to ride round the world and with no deadlines could ride themselves in, but here, the longer allowed for the ride, the less time there is to build up some cycling fitness before setting off. Over a week has now passed since this was first posted and we've had some poor weather. I wonder how many times the OP has ridden in that time. :?:

Tyre Lady
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Re: Rookie Cycle Tour from London to Trieste

Postby Tyre Lady » 9 Feb 2019, 10:52pm

Hi All - the intention is to do what niks did and ride about 40-50 miles a day and build up to anything further. Est leave date will be sometime on Brexit day. Though just negotiating with work....so can't confirm yet.
Niks - defo will come back and tell ya how I got on (thx for advice on gloves)
MrsH - yeah it is an awesome event and the people are great. If you ever decide to do it - please do check in with me. 2014 was a really bad year where loads of cyclist had frostbite!!! Also this is my blog post on why am doing it https://tyrelady.wordpress.com/2019/02/04/a-low-carbon-zero-waste-journey-from-the-uk-to-trieste-and-geneva-back-again/ .....and currently researching to properly understand about greenhouse gases as I do believe in climate change. So am sure I will write a boring geeky post about it cos find there is a lot of grey and helps me to understand :p Whilst on the road will prob only update Twitter and Instagram and instead write some long blog stories after the event
Low carbon, zero waste running journey

nirakaro
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Re: Rookie Cycle Tour from London to Trieste

Postby nirakaro » 11 Feb 2019, 11:33am

I thought the obvious way to go was through Germany, but looking at the mileages, through France is only a day or so further. I've ridden to Italy both ways – up the Rhine or through France – and for my money, Germany's nice but France is nicer. So if it was me, I'd do it this way:
London to Newhaven is a more pleasant ride than London to Dover, and the landscape around Dieppe is easier and more enjoyable than around Calais. If you take the night ferry – and can manage on three hours sleep – you can be riding out of Dieppe at first light, and have a respectable day's mileage behind you by noon. Head for Chartres, skirting east of Rouen, then for the Loire around Orleans. All nice gentle rolling country.
Follow the Loire up to maybe Digoin, then there's a bit of a climb to the watershed between the drainage basins of the Loire and the Rhone. Down to Macon, then more gentle countryside to Grenoble. Very gently uphill to le Bourg d'Oisans, where the proper climb to the col de Lautaret starts. There's cafes at the top, where you can sit in the chilly sunshine and treat yourself to a beer.
Drop down into Briancon, then up again to the col de Montgenevre. If the col de l'Echelle is open (unlikely), it's a lovely quiet scenic ride, and lower than the Montgenevre - take a left at la Vachette, just after Briancon. Either way, once at the top, it's downhill or flat all the way to Turin. Turin's a bit hard work – there's maybe twenty miles of urban or semi-urban riding - but I don't think there's an easy way to avoid it. After that, pancake-flat all the way to Venice. You won't have to climb anything higher than a railway bridge.

Tyre Lady
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Re: Rookie Cycle Tour from London to Trieste

Postby Tyre Lady » 11 Feb 2019, 10:30pm

Thanks Niks (=Nirakaro cos I mis-read your name as Nikaro!!!)

At this moment in time, it will have to be via Calais because this is a low carbon journey and will cross via Le Shuttle.
The ferries dump pollution in both the ocean and the atmosphere and found they are 3 times more carbon polluting than the train.....

I might do this all over again in Nov but instead via France.....of course depending on how unhappy the EU will be with the UK
Low carbon, zero waste running journey

Ivor Tingting
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Re: Rookie Cycle Tour from London to Trieste

Postby Ivor Tingting » 11 Feb 2019, 11:59pm

Tyre Lady wrote:Thanks Niks (=Nirakaro cos I mis-read your name as Nikaro!!!)

At this moment in time, it will have to be via Calais because this is a low carbon journey and will cross via Le Shuttle.
The ferries dump pollution in both the ocean and the atmosphere and found they are 3 times more carbon polluting than the train.....

I might do this all over again in Nov but instead via France.....of course depending on how unhappy the EU will be with the UK


But the ferries will still sail. Do you think by you not using them will cause their business to collapse?

How long have you adopted an "environmentally" aware lifestyle? Is it because you have just started a new job/career in "environmental protection/sustainability"?

Me, I have cycled all my life so feel I have a few hundred thousand tonnes of carbon credit to take which ever ferry would be most convenient for me.
Last edited by John1054 on 12 Feb 2019, 8:21am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Removed LoL
"Zat is ze reel prowoking qwestion Mr Paxman." - Peer Steinbruck, German Finance Minister 31/03/2009.

Vorpal
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Re: Rookie Cycle Tour from London to Trieste

Postby Vorpal » 12 Feb 2019, 6:52am

Ivor Tingting wrote:But the ferries will still sail. Do you think by you not using them will cause their business to collapse? LoL.

How long have you adopted an "environmentally" aware lifestyle? Is it because you have just started a new job/career in "environmental protection/sustainability"?

If you read the background, you will note that the OP is not just a participant in the events, but working for them in sustainability development. To that end, I think it perfectly reasonable that they minimise journey emissions.
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thirdcrank
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Re: Rookie Cycle Tour from London to Trieste

Postby thirdcrank » 12 Feb 2019, 7:38am

Background
I'm supposed to be at 2 running events to be part of their sustainability development and to run in their respective 10K (27 April) and marathon (12 May). Am helping events to reduce the amount of waste generated, reduce litter being tossed onto the ground in the event and to encourage participants to BYOB. The events are happy to pay for my air fare. However in the light of COP24 have decided human powered transport is the best way. (My emphasis)

nirakaro
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Re: Rookie Cycle Tour from London to Trieste

Postby nirakaro » 12 Feb 2019, 11:11am

Ivor Tingting wrote:How long have you adopted an "environmentally" aware lifestyle? Is it because you have just started a new job/career in "environmental protection/sustainability"?

You seem to know a lot more about the OP's abilities, motivations, and lifestyle than the rest of us.
However it might be wise to take a step back and ask yourself, what relevance such a patronising – and frankly insulting – question has to any of the points discussed in this thread?

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mjr
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Re: Rookie Cycle Tour from London to Trieste

Postby mjr » 12 Feb 2019, 1:42pm

Ivor Tingting wrote:But the ferries will still sail. Do you think by you not using them will cause their business to collapse?

Ah, the fallacy of personal impotence. In time, if people don't use ferries or airlines, prices fall and eventually they get replaced by smaller ones or fewer services.

Ivor Tingting wrote:Me, I have cycled all my life so feel I have a few hundred thousand tonnes of carbon credit to take which ever ferry would be most convenient for me.

And yet the roads are still full of cars. Do you think you not using them has caused any of their businesses to collapse? :twisted:
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Re: Rookie Cycle Tour from London to Trieste

Postby ANTONISH » 13 Feb 2019, 9:35am

Tyre Lady wrote:Thanks Niks (=Nirakaro cos I mis-read your name as Nikaro!!!)

At this moment in time, it will have to be via Calais because this is a low carbon journey and will cross via Le Shuttle.
The ferries dump pollution in both the ocean and the atmosphere and found they are 3 times more carbon polluting than the train.....

I might do this all over again in Nov but instead via France.....of course depending on how unhappy the EU will be with the UK


When you take Le Shuttle, you will have to be transported from the pick up point to the Folkestone terminal by motor vehicle similarly from the Calais terminal to the drop off point - presumably you took this into account.
Not sure about the ferries dumping "pollution" into the Ocean - I'm pretty sure they have holding tanks for foul water, sewage etc.
There are laws against discharging bilge water at sea - an oil slick can be traced to a specific vessel and prosecution can ensue.
I'm not sure if the ferries burn low grade bunker fuel - this is very polluting and there are large shipping companies that use it - doubtless someone will know.
Where does the 3 times as polluting come from? - per passenger mile? per tonne mile ? - or is it our old friend "studies have found" ?

Tyre Lady
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Re: Rookie Cycle Tour from London to Trieste

Postby Tyre Lady » 13 Feb 2019, 6:38pm

Ahh yes - ferries will still sail, trains will still run and planes will still fly....

As for Le Shuttle - Have to use one of the technology operated vehicles and decided this the least polluting choice since the journey distance is the shortest unless they let me cycle thru the tunnel :)

Here's where you can get an idea of some of the figures:
The train is 28 g/km from here: https://www.delijn.be/en/overdelijn/organisatie/zorgzaam-ondernemen/milieu/co2-uitstoot-voertuigen.html

From the Carbon Independent Source: http://www.carbonindependent.org/sources_ferry.htm
For a ferry, took the lowest estimates of CO2 emissions being 0.20 kg / mile (equiv to about 125 g/km)

So guess was wrong.....it is 4 times more polluting than the train.....unless my calcs are wrong?
Low carbon, zero waste running journey

PaulaT
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Re: Rookie Cycle Tour from London to Trieste

Postby PaulaT » 13 Feb 2019, 7:51pm

Tyre Lady wrote:So guess was wrong.....it is 4 times more polluting than the train.....unless my calcs are wrong?


Well you don't seem to have included the huge carbon footprint and environmental impact of actually constructing the tunnel nor the energy required to keep the tunnel operational. Until you do so your calculations would seem to be woefully incomplete.

Tyre Lady
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Re: Rookie Cycle Tour from London to Trieste

Postby Tyre Lady » 13 Feb 2019, 7:58pm

Yeah - gets all complicated and the train becomes just as polluting as the plane especially as the electricity could be from a coal fired power station. But do feel free to do the calculations.
Low carbon, zero waste running journey