Next big tour?

RobinS

Veteran
Location
Norwich
Back in 2019 my wife and did our "European Tour 2019 - Year of the Headwinds", detailed in the member travelogues, UK to Nantes, EV6 to Bratislava, then the Elbe home from Prague. Since then we have been unable to do another tour, combination of Covid travel restrictions, Brexit lost our winter jobs which we used to pay for summer touring, we have also both had cancer, but we are now trying to line things up to do another big tour in 2023.
So, where to go?
Have thought of USA coast to coast - don't know anything about cycling America, and also pretty costly to get there and back, and how expensive is it there?.
Or, Cycle to the Sahara Desert (and back).
Or, Cycle to Istanbul?

Anyone any inspiring ideas or good route suggestions?

We will be 63/56 years old, not super-fit, are used to cycling 50-100km per day, and would plan to camp, but the wife does prefer to stay on sites with toilets! Constraints are obviously cost, time depends on visa restrictions (no more than 90 days in 180 in Schengen etc.), though we would be happy to be on the road for 4 or 5 months if costs were low.
 

gavroche

Getting old but not past it
Location
North Wales
Why not stay in Europe and do France from top to bottom, Spain ( same again) Portugal and Italy. That should keep you going for 4 to 5 months I should think.
 
Back in 2019 my wife and did our "European Tour 2019 - Year of the Headwinds", detailed in the member travelogues, UK to Nantes, EV6 to Bratislava, then the Elbe home from Prague. Since then we have been unable to do another tour, combination of Covid travel restrictions, Brexit lost our winter jobs which we used to pay for summer touring, we have also both had cancer, but we are now trying to line things up to do another big tour in 2023.
So, where to go?
Have thought of USA coast to coast - don't know anything about cycling America, and also pretty costly to get there and back, and how expensive is it there?.
Or, Cycle to the Sahara Desert (and back).
Or, Cycle to Istanbul?

Anyone any inspiring ideas or good route suggestions?

We will be 63/56 years old, not super-fit, are used to cycling 50-100km per day, and would plan to camp, but the wife does prefer to stay on sites with toilets! Constraints are obviously cost, time depends on visa restrictions (no more than 90 days in 180 in Schengen etc.), though we would be happy to be on the road for 4 or 5 months if costs were low.

First of all it's good to see you both hungering to get back out there after cancer. Kudos!

To be blunt, I find it hard to answer these questions because I tend to follow a reverse process and ask myself where I want to go. The bike route follows.

I spent three months cycling in the U.S. pretty much following my own route and was so glad that I hadn't (blindly) followed one of the traditional long distance routes. There were many tough days where I was glad that the next destination was somewhere I wanted to visit, not just another milestone to pass.
(The ACA routes are useful in the sense that we can get a good idea of the facilities for a bike tourist.)

So my question to you both is after the last crap few years where fires up the heart?

In any case, here's my tuppenceworth....

If you're looking at 4-5 months then the cost of air travel as a proportion of the total cost falls. That opens up new worlds.
I can't comment on Asia or Australia/New Zealand but Colombia would keep ye both occupied for that time. As would México. Expensive, perhaps, to get there, but relatively low cost when there. There's a different climate to consider, of course and altitude, certainly in a lot of Colombia but they are two places I'd happily return to. For more variety there's all of Central America, although Costa Rica & Panama are expensive and in my opinion, best visited without bikes. You could leave the camping gear at home and stay in cheap hotels. How cheap is up to you. In México, at least, the food is excellent, cheap and very tasty! Colombia not so much.

Wherever you choose the very best of luck!
 
OP
OP
RobinS

RobinS

Veteran
Location
Norwich
Well, I have been looking at routes and places - as I suffer from stress we are moving away from the idea of flying somewhere, so looking at Europe.
My latest idea is:
EV15 Rhine route from Hook of Holland to Mainz (D)
EV4 Mainz to Wertheim
D9 Weser-Romantic Road as far as Donauworth
Via Claudia Augusta southwards across the Alps and all the way to Venice
EV8 down the coast through Croatia, Montenegro to Albania.

Coming home:
Ride the SH20 mountain road over the mountains into inland Montenegro
North through Montenegro into Bosnia
Across to Serbia to join the EV6
EV6 North/West to Hungary then Bratislava in Slovakia
Haven't quite worked out which way home from there yet - may run short of our 90/180 days in Schengen so take a train ride or two.

This encompasses several bits we have ridden before, but in the opposite direction, and lots of new to us stuff. Anyone ridden much of this?
 

slow scot

Über Member
Location
Aberdeen
Well, I have been looking at routes and places - as I suffer from stress we are moving away from the idea of flying somewhere, so looking at Europe.
My latest idea is:
EV15 Rhine route from Hook of Holland to Mainz (D)
EV4 Mainz to Wertheim
D9 Weser-Romantic Road as far as Donauworth
Via Claudia Augusta southwards across the Alps and all the way to Venice
EV8 down the coast through Croatia, Montenegro to Albania.

Coming home:
Ride the SH20 mountain road over the mountains into inland Montenegro
North through Montenegro into Bosnia
Across to Serbia to join the EV6
EV6 North/West to Hungary then Bratislava in Slovakia
Haven't quite worked out which way home from there yet - may run short of our 90/180 days in Schengen so take a train ride or two.

This encompasses several bits we have ridden before, but in the opposite direction, and lots of new to us stuff. Anyone ridden much of this?

The Romantische Strasse is a wonderful ride. We did it via the Moselle, Rhine, Mainz, then east to the start. We ended up at King Ludwig’s big fairy tale castle whose name escapes me right now. We then crossed over to the Austrian alps, but heading east from there to Venice sounds brilliant.
Just remembered: Neuschwanstein Castle is the name.
 
Last edited:
EV15 Rhine route from Hook of Holland to Mainz (D)
I've done all of the Rhine with the exception of the source.
D9 Weser-Romantic Road as far as Donauworth
Done.
Via Claudia Augusta southwards across the Alps and all the way to Venice
Done.
There's also the Alpe - Adria route.


Not sure what you want to know? All well documented routes.

Lots of Rhine variations in NL, the bit between Cologne and the Dutch border is a bit industrial and meh. Eiffel National Park on the Dutch/Belgian/German border is a nice hilly diversion and there's also the Vennbahn (Aachen to Luxembourg) for an alternative.

Can't enter Venice on a bike but there's at least one (big, noisy) campground with bus connections.
My limited experience of Italian bike routes was that signposting was erratic. A GPS would have been handy.
 
OP
OP
RobinS

RobinS

Veteran
Location
Norwich
We have done the Rhine previously, but not the D9, and parts of the Via Claudia Augusta. Main questions would be, the EV8 down to Albania anyone know what it's like? Riding through inland Montenegro and Bosnia - anyone done it? Is it worth diverting to take in a bit of Kosovo, as well - this part of the world seems pretty mountainous is it going to be hard going? I am assuming that once we get to Serbia we can join the EV6 back to Bratislava/Vienna and there are plenty of options from there.
 
Top Bottom