2012 Tour Czech Rep. and Poland

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kawa9999
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2012 Tour Czech Rep. and Poland

Postby kawa9999 » 27 Feb 2012, 3:05pm

Hello together,
I am currently planning our next trip in Summer 2012. We Plan to Cycle 4 weeks partially across Czech Republic and Poland. We are cycling on 28 Touring bikes, with MTB gears.
So I am checking which is the best route to follow, we are basically looking for a quite straight line. I am trying to find a route to avoid roads with heavy traffic, even if a couple km would be still fine even with some traffic.
Having to ride a couple of Km more to avoid traffic would be fine.
Climbs: We do not like them. But we can survive them if long and not too steep (let's say 4%). Also if steeper but very short are fine as we can just push.
Now the current plan is more or less as follows:
We will start in Munich and first take the Train to Passau. From there cycle to the lipno Lake in CZ over the border (there seems no way to get around that quite steep climb to get from germany to CZ, unless having a big detour). From Lipno we will cycle to Cesky krumlov, and from there to ceske Budejovice.
Then take the train to Brno, and from there I am staring having Problems.
The idea was to go via the flat part brno, prerov, cesky tesin. But there seems no real alternative to the big roads.
BTW, how are three digits roads in CZ?
Alternative to follow the Greeway brno krakow, but that would mean to to the hilly part north of brno. That looks nicer but also some hills to get from 200 to 700 meters above sea.
How Steep is that part? And is it worh more km?
From prerov we thought to pass south of ostrava to Bielsko Biala and then krakow. The from krakow via Lublin more or less to Augustow and to Gdansk.
There we will finish our Tour.
Any general advice on the route or any kind of other advice is also kindly welcome.
Thanks a lot to everyone for the collaboration !
manuel

iviehoff
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Re: 2012 Tour Czech Rep. and Poland

Postby iviehoff » 27 Feb 2012, 4:53pm

kawa9999 wrote:Then take the train to Brno, and from there I am staring having Problems.
The idea was to go via the flat part brno, prerov, cesky tesin. But there seems no real alternative to the big roads.
BTW, how are three digits roads in CZ?
Alternative to follow the Greeway brno krakow, but that would mean to to the hilly part north of brno. That looks nicer but also some hills to get from 200 to 700 meters above sea.
How Steep is that part? And is it worh more km?l

CB to Brno by train will probably be fairly slow with a change or two.

There are cycle routes everywhere in CzR, so little need to cycle on big roads. Though you will be cycling on dirt road from time to time on these routes. From Brno head for Olomouc rather than Prerov, as the former is well worth a visit (the Czech Oxford) whereas the latter is mostly worth avoiding (the Czech Crewe - alright not quite that bad). You have two reasonable possibilities. As you noticed the main Brno-Ostrava long distance cycle route (which coincides in part with the Greenway, but that deviates off the main long distance national cycle route), goes through a rather attractive hilly region north of Brno. The climb is persistent rather than steep, and spreads that 500m over about 30km. You come off the hill into Prostejov, and could train it from there to Olomouc as it is just wheatfields from there, and makes it more easily doable in a day.

Alternatively, take a train (fast and won't take very long) from Brno to Breclav, and from near there you will find the Morava river, which has a cycle route following the river to Olomouc, which will at least be pretty flat.

From Olomouc to Ostrava, the main cycle route finds the flattish gap through the hills, and mostly follows a couple of rivers, and an easyish connection between the two valleys much favoured by invading armies in earlier times, called the Moravian Gates. You can visit Helfstyn castle overlooking Lipnik nad Becvou (up a hill like most castles, I'm afraid) which was built to guard it.

This will dump you in the cross-border Silesian basin industrial area, which includes everything from Ostrava to Katowice and around, and has a population over over 5 million, so are you sure you really want to cycle through this area? Though any more rural alternative route will involve more serious hills.

I have posted on this same subject before in more detail, so try searching the forum.

slowpeddler
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Re: 2012 Tour Czech Rep. and Poland

Postby slowpeddler » 27 Feb 2012, 5:00pm

Not far from Ostrova and ot the north of Brno are the Beskidy mountains, this is heaven on earth. They are not high and just wonderful. Silesia is rolling countryside and then the rest of Poland to the north is the North European plain (ie flat)

http://www.polandforvisitors.com/travel_poland/beskidy

Write to the Czech tourist office in Ostrava, I picked up the (free ) cycle maps when I was there giving the routes around the Polish/Czech Border. I'm sorry to say I only threw them away a few weeks ago thinking I would not be going back. The Czech's are really promoting green tourism so they should have some good material for you.

If you want something different, in Krakow, have a go at the cycle tour of the socialist/realist architecture of Nowa Huta! (get the route leaflet from the tourist office.) It is really interesting or I am just sad.

http://www.rowery.org.pl/krakow/touringkr.html

Cycling is not so developed in Poland but the Copernicus map series show bike routes. I would take a look when you get there. I certainly wouldn't shell out too much on large scale maps. Regional tourist offices also have some good material.

Away from the towns you are in paradise.

This is my favourite part of Europe, fabulous history, great food and drink, inexpensive and wonderful scenery.

Always, but always, lock your bike up!

John

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familyonabike
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Re: 2012 Tour Czech Rep. and Poland

Postby familyonabike » 28 Feb 2012, 12:18am

We rode in South East Poland around the Tatra mountains and onto Krakow last summer, approaching from Slovakia. If you are concerned about riding in traffic do research your routes very carefully as our experience with some of the traffic on many roads in that area there was very very bad. We have ridden all over Europe and not experienced anything near as aggressive and disrespectful of cyclists as we did those few days, and not just with traffic density. On minor roads too where density was much lower the standard of driving was very worrying with little apparent concern for us of for their own lives when overtaking especially and passing close at speed. We were cycling with kids so perhaps we felt hyper vulnerable but none the less I was shocked and I'm not easily shocked by abhorrent driving behaviour! We had been thinking of touring further in Poland but after that experience would be very careful with detailed route research to avoid that kind of scenario. Of course some may relish the challenge! And it may be completely different in other parts of the country. In every other respect we had a great time!

This post from our blog, gives a taste of the impression the traffic made on us! http://www.familyadventureproject.org/2011/08/shell-be-coming-around-mountains.html
Last edited by familyonabike on 1 Mar 2012, 10:45am, edited 1 time in total.

psmiffy
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Re: 2012 Tour Czech Rep. and Poland

Postby psmiffy » 1 Mar 2012, 10:38am

I would totally agree with the post above (familyonabike) - I rode across Poland in 2009 and it is not for not for the faint hearted

kawa9999
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Re: 2012 Tour Czech Rep. and Poland

Postby kawa9999 » 6 Mar 2012, 2:59pm

Hi,
another Question. Is there a Map where I can see on a quite detailed View the Greenway krakow-brno and the Amber route?
reason. I have always been looking at the open cycle map. There is a route signed there with number 5, which actually I thought was the Greenway Krakow-brno.
But then looking here http://www.cykloserver.cz/cykloatlas/index.php
it seems if I look in detail in that map that the route 5 is indeed this: http://cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jantarov%C3%A1_stezka

Now I am a bit confused. The map by Sjocart seems also quite good but:
- Is there a way in that map to follow the Greenway? it appears just here and there on some tracks, but it is difficult to follow.
- can someone confirm thata the map is someway reliabale? Are there really al those Cycle-path/bike friendly routes in CZ?
kind regards
manuel

iviehoff
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Re: 2012 Tour Czech Rep. and Poland

Postby iviehoff » 6 Mar 2012, 3:39pm

Route 5 is the Czech national cycle network route from Brno to Ostrava. There are cycle routes everywhere, local routes have 4-figure numbers for example. (see next post for online mapping info.) You can also buy specific cycling paper maps locally, at fairly reasonable prices by international standards, and widely available; also a (heavy) cycling atlas at 1:100 000 of the whole country (fairly pricey but soon cheaper than buying a pile of maps). Slovakia has similar coverage. There are also free handouts available from tourist offices in some areas that promote cycling. For example, the Jeseniky mountains are a cyclist's paradise, if you like hills, traffic-free routes everywhere, and they lie between Olomouc and the Polish border, and free cycle route handout is available, though you need a base map to use it effectively. There is also a good cycle route from Olomouc to the Jeseniky which has a witchcraft theme.

The Krakow-Moravia-Vienna Greenways http://www.greenways.at/userfiles/Fiche_KMW_eng.pdf has a main route (green) and alternatives (blue) for much of its length. The main route from Brno to Olomouc follows Route 5. Route 5 from Olomouc to Ostrava is part of one of a greenway alternatives - the main route is hillier. The alternative route I mentioned from Breclav to Olomouc is a Greenway alternative.

There are also Prague-Vienna Greenways http://www.pragueviennagreenways.org/gwmap.html

Poland is another matter entirely, as has been explained.
Last edited by iviehoff on 6 Mar 2012, 4:57pm, edited 1 time in total.

iviehoff
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Re: 2012 Tour Czech Rep. and Poland

Postby iviehoff » 6 Mar 2012, 4:56pm

This website shows all Czech and Slovak cycle routes in detailed mapping - knew it was somewhere. http://www.cykloserver.cz/
Click cykloatlas. You have to go in very close to be able to see the cycle routes, so not much help for longer distance route planning. When you get in close, you will see all the 4-digit cycle routes I mentioned. They are colour coded to try help you follow them. Route 5 is coloured purple. But when you get in close, you should start to see that the map is remarkably densely covered with them, at least in some areas. We have nothing like that in Britain. But then we don't have the large number of agro-forestry roads closed to normal traffic in Britain that they have in Czech, which the cycle routes take advantage of.

The Czech word for cycle routes is cyklotrasy. http://www.cyklotrasy.info is a commercial site selling downloadable cycle maps. http://www.cyklotrasy.cz is the "administrative" site - it has definition of all the scheduled cycleroutes, listings of where they go through, but no maps. Despite all this cyklo-this and cyklo-that, the Czech word for bicycle, however, is kolo (doesn't rhyme with polo, rather it has short o's like in doll).

Here's a nice website showing some of the cycle routes in the Jeseniky mountains area. http://www.ejeseniky.cz/cyklotrasy.php More for a fixed centre holiday than a moving on tour. And some are pretty scary single-track MTB routes.

kawa9999
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Re: 2012 Tour Czech Rep. and Poland

Postby kawa9999 » 6 Mar 2012, 6:12pm

Thanks a lot !!!!!!