Spain, France, Switzerland and Germany

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
Cachao
Posts: 51
Joined: 23 Jul 2010, 11:56pm

Spain, France, Switzerland and Germany

Postby Cachao » 19 Feb 2012, 11:25am

[Note that this has been pasted in from the post further down]
Hello again,

We are back route planning now, and have included your suggestions so far.
The route is here and open to editing by anyone: http://goo.gl/maps/9QHR

A few key points. We will be leaving some time around 18th August and for around three weeks. We will be unsupported and camping. I'm not sure whether this is the correct place for the kit list, but here it is https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc ... G1mRkFOcGc The route runs eastward, starting in Santander and ending in Nancy. We generally ride about 80-100 miles a day but this time we will take some time to enjoy the culture etc.

So, what we would like from you is your knowledge of the regions; any scenic routes, convenient routes, interesting areas, places and things worth visiting, and generally anything of note. We've already got a few things on there (although I can't see the area iviehoff says the Spanish rock-cut churches are in) and hope you can add more.

Thanks,

Cachao and crazyferret
Last edited by Cachao on 21 Jun 2012, 10:51am, edited 3 times in total.

iviehoff
Posts: 2411
Joined: 20 Jan 2009, 4:38pm

Re: Spain, France, Switzerland and Germany

Postby iviehoff » 23 Feb 2012, 2:32pm

Cachao wrote:2. How do we cross the Pyrenees?

You cycle up one side and down the other.

More seriously, what you can't do is cycle through the Bielsa tunnel, which is roughly where you have drawn a line across the Pyrenees. Nor the Somport tunnel to the west. There is a road alternative to the Somport, although as the Somport is a major route you may not like the approaches. There are several smaller crossings in the area you can use, but since for a cyclist they often prove to be at least half a day's ride away from the next one, it is worth knowing the score before committing yourself. Personally I'd cross a little further east as there is lots of nice cycling in the region and I'd like to extend the trip.

On the Spanish side of the Pyrenees, look for the Michelin "Zoom" series of maps, they are the most accurate Spanish maps I have found, though still not without problems, and the additional scale of the 1:150 000 they use will make navigating a good bit easier. Likewise I'd use French IGN at 1:100 000 for any region where I wanted to explore the back roads a bit. In fact the IGNs usually have just enough detail of towns/villages that you can often choose how to leave town rather than leaving yourself at the mercy of the signposts that always point you onto the main road.

In approaching Santander, see if you can find time to route yourself through the village of Orbaneja del Castillo (Google Maps knows it), which is more or less due south of Santander. It is located on a section of the Ebro river which runs in a wonderful gorge. Then from the western end of the gorge head by minor roads northwards to the coast, through less well-known parts of Cantabrian mountains. Or, if you are interested, the region just to the west includes a lot of ancient rock-cut churches, which are an ancient monument of a variety little known in Britain.

If you really want available, take a petrol stove, but you'll find gas cartridges without problem, both Sp and Fr go camping a lot.

Greg
Posts: 162
Joined: 9 Feb 2007, 8:39pm

Re: Spain, France, Switzerland and Germany

Postby Greg » 23 Feb 2012, 3:09pm

You'll be passing by Mt Ventoux, which one highlight that you definitely shouldn't miss. It's not nearly as hard as people think it is, or at least it may be when it's blowing a gale, or when you're tired from a day's racing, have taken the wrong drugs and are racing up in the heat of the day. Riding it at touring pace with fresh morning legs is excellent fun and will give you plenty of bragging points, so make sure you do it.

Berne is a nice city, if expensive.

ossie
Posts: 1168
Joined: 15 Apr 2011, 7:52pm

Re: Spain, France, Switzerland and Germany

Postby ossie » 24 Feb 2012, 11:01am

I appreciate that its only a rough guide you have given us but your turn Westwards at Orange will take you over the Central Massif which is very lumpy - and empty. It will probably be quicker and more enjoyable to continue South West to Narbonne then Carcassonne / Toulouse before deciding where to take on the Pyrenees. Climbing may be your thing however but just a thought.

Agree with doing the Ventoux though, you may regret not doing it having passed so close. Likewise the Col du Tourmalet which isnt far from your proposed route in the Pyrenees . So avoid the Central Massif but bag those two climbs instead :wink:

andrewleck
Posts: 33
Joined: 6 Jan 2012, 8:46pm

Re: Spain, France, Switzerland and Germany

Postby andrewleck » 24 Feb 2012, 6:38pm

How have you arrived at that 'rough' route? how long have you got?

If you head over Ventoux and then continue SE you could go through the Verdon Gorge then loop round to Grenoble via all sorts of lovely climbs, (Bonnette, Izoard, Huez etc.)

Cachao
Posts: 51
Joined: 23 Jul 2010, 11:56pm

Re: Spain, France, Switzerland and Germany

Postby Cachao » 27 Feb 2012, 12:36am

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps/ms?msid=2 ... ,21.643066

Here's the map again, I've opened it up to editing so feel free to make your suggestions along this vague route.

It's late now, so I'll look over the previous posts tomorrow. Thanks for the detailed help so far :)

And about the maps, I can speak rudimentary French and am planning to pick up some Spanish and German, so the maps don't need to be in English. (If anything it's more fun in a foreign tongue.)

crazyferret
Posts: 65
Joined: 15 Jun 2010, 8:48pm

Re: Spain, France, Switzerland and Germany

Postby crazyferret » 1 Mar 2012, 9:00pm

Hi
I am cachao's friend and will be cycling with him.

With regards to gas the stove has the resealable screw on valve type, how common is this in Spain and France and would it be worth buying one of these http://www.livefortheoutdoors.com/Answe ... in-France/ for the pierce type canister. We also have a meths burner that we could use if meths is much more readily available compared to gas. But as cachao said, we generally prefer gas.

This is the range of maps we are looking at using, it is roughly the same scale as the maps we used for last summers LEJOG, what are your opinions, bigger scale or smaller scale. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Midi-Pyr%C3%A9n ... ce=message

We will be starting from Santander and continue from there. We are planning to be cycling for between 3 and 4 weeks and hope to do about 1200 miles with rest days etc. we generally do 80-100 miles in summer but want time to take it easy as well to do some sightseeing etc.

What other highlights are there between Santander and the border?

What route should we take through the Pyrenees, it would be useful if you could mark the rough route on the map as a different line. Here is the link, it is free to edit. http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&tab=ml

What are your thoughts on the route after Toulouse, are there any other areas you would recommend or avoid.

From Nancy we are planning on taking the train to Paris then getting the Eurostar home.

Thanks for all the help

Cachao
Posts: 51
Joined: 23 Jul 2010, 11:56pm

Re: Spain, France, Switzerland and Germany

Postby Cachao » 1 Mar 2012, 10:08pm

iviehoff wrote:
Cachao wrote:2. How do we cross the Pyrenees?

In approaching Santander, see if you can find time to route yourself through the village of Orbaneja del Castillo (Google Maps knows it), which is more or less due south of Santander. It is located on a section of the Ebro river which runs in a wonderful gorge. Then from the western end of the gorge head by minor roads northwards to the coast, through less well-known parts of Cantabrian mountains. Or, if you are interested, the region just to the west includes a lot of ancient rock-cut churches, which are an ancient monument of a variety little known in Britain.


Is this the route you're talking about? (The map is open to be edited by anyone, so if it isn't, go ahead and draw what you were thinking):
http://maps.google.co.uk/maps/ms?msid=2 ... 9,1.352692

Thanks for the help - we'll try to do our bit on here too!

Cachao
Posts: 51
Joined: 23 Jul 2010, 11:56pm

Re: Spain, France, Switzerland and Germany

Postby Cachao » 21 Jun 2012, 10:47am

Hello again,

We are back route planning now, and have included your suggestions so far.
The route is here and open to editing by anyone: http://goo.gl/maps/9QHR

A few key points. We will be leaving some time around 18th August and for around three weeks. We will be unsupported and camping. I'm not sure whether this is the correct place for the kit list, but here it is https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc ... G1mRkFOcGc The route runs eastward, starting in Santander and ending in Nancy. We generally ride about 80-100 miles a day but this time we will take some time to enjoy the culture etc.

So, what we would like from you is your knowledge of the regions; any scenic routes, convenient routes, interesting areas, places and things worth visiting, and generally anything of note. We've already got a few things on there (although I can't see the area iviehoff says the Spanish rock-cut churches are in) and hope you can add more.

Thanks,

Cachao and crazyferret

mg2012
Posts: 20
Joined: 28 May 2012, 11:19am

Re: Spain, France, Switzerland and Germany

Postby mg2012 » 21 Jun 2012, 11:37am

If you have time go round Lake Constance (Bodensee) on the German side (Lindau/ Wangen) it's a really nice route along the edge of the Alps. But I guess you might be sick of seeing mountains after going through Switzerland :-)
Oh even found a page in English with some info:
http://www.bodensee-radweg.com/lake-con ... -path.html

Strassbourg is also quite nice but might be overrun with tourist in August. Don't underestimate the Black Forest it doesn't look much on the map but it's not much different to the Alps (but easier to avoid).

I'd also head up to Luxembourg and the Ardennes if you have a day or two at the end.

crazyferret
Posts: 65
Joined: 15 Jun 2010, 8:48pm

Re: Spain, France, Switzerland and Germany

Postby crazyferret » 28 Jun 2012, 3:43pm

hi
just deciding weather it is worth packing longs and waterproof trousers. Last year when doing our LEJOG we used them quite a lot wen starting and in the evenings, but not much in the rain.
thanks

andrewleck
Posts: 33
Joined: 6 Jan 2012, 8:46pm

Re: Spain, France, Switzerland and Germany

Postby andrewleck » 28 Jun 2012, 4:49pm

crazyferret wrote:hi
just deciding weather it is worth packing longs and waterproof trousers. Last year when doing our LEJOG we used them quite a lot wen starting and in the evenings, but not much in the rain.
thanks


just debating the waterproof trouser question myself. On the one hand could ride with just padded under crackers and w/p trousers, and they will offer wind proofing and they can double up as trousers for evening use (at a push).

On the othehand it is just something else to dry out, if wearing them all day will sweat inside them,unlikely to put them on mid ride as by the time I decide it is raining hard enough I will already be wet etc etc :?

And I have T-storms forcast for the first 10 days of my tour all be it with minimum rain fall.