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Updated: 27 min 5 sec ago

Re: UK to Prague via northern Germany

7 November 2014 - 11:00am
foxyrider wrote: Bikeline guides, although only in German are very good
The Elbe guide is available in English, also some others.

http://www.esterbauer.co.uk/db_rtb_allg ... eihe_id=RB

Re: UK to Prague via northern Germany

7 November 2014 - 10:54am
The ADFC (German version of CTC) maps are very good giving enough info to be useful without going to too many sheets. I also use the bigger scale motoring maps you can find in bookshops/service stations often in double sided sheets for not much money. Of course if you decide to follow the rivers the Bikeline guides, although only in German are very good - the Main for example is in one book costing @ £10 and includes hints on bike shops, restaurants and accomodation besides step by step instructions and very clear mapping.

Re: Planning My First Tour

7 November 2014 - 7:49am
Hello and welcome.
Planning a tour over 2 weeks concentrates and condences what you can do. Planning a tour over 3 months gives you huge scope but a bigger dilemma of where???

I would agree with someone who said decide what you want to see.... what are your interests? churches, historic buildings, hills/mountains? Art/Museums? Or the desire to follow specific routes; Rhine or Danube cycle routes.... This can then give you a basis to build your tour around. Once you decide where you want to visit you can develop routes.

Do not be too set on routes. (This why i like paper maps) Even on a day ride out from a fixed point i will ponder over a map and see something i like the look of seeing and alter a route...
When i was in Germany with my son a few years ago a closed YHA meant we had to divert from the route that was planned around staying at that particular place, find somewhere else in the nearest town to stay, and altered my following day's route...
You talk to fellow travellers who suggest other places to view/visit and decide to divert your plans....
Then of course weather and other factors may cause you to alter your plans. there is no shame in staying put in one place when the weather is dreadful or finding alternative transport (remember many continental buses take bikes). Even over a 2 week holiday i have changed plans due to weather; shortened a day due to rain, and have even had a wind in France cause me to alter plans.

Re: Planning My First Tour

7 November 2014 - 6:10am
Hi Progressive,

Congratulations, you have completed the hard part, making the decision to take time out and to go on tour for a while.

My advice would be.

Don't get too hung up on planning the trip. Setting too many points or deadlines can distract from the experience and possibly add stress, if you decide to turn left instead of right one day, then cool don't get hung up on schedules or routes too much!

By all means prepare for the trip, but you are intending to stay in Europe and to start with you will be in Western Europe where you able to obtain most things you may need, carrying too much from the off is worse than not enough. Everyone carries too much the first time I was told and so far that was true for me as well as everyone I have met on the road, you can get things on the way, but as someone else mentioned a stove is good idea, preferably a multifuel one its more to buy but a good investment and running on petrol will pay for itself over other fuel types! If you are wild camping you can survive easily on 5 Euros a day for food etc.

Not sure which port you are looking to leave from in the UK or where in the UK you are based? I have used Portsmouth to Caen or Le Havre quite often, there is an overnight ferry (either sleep on your mat or pre-book a cabin if you want to spoil yourself) and you can get a good cooked breakfast before getting off of the boat (use the restaurant with waiters at the front of the boat if it has them, it looks posh but its less busy, only fractionally more on price and you get mountains of toast and coffee!

Routes, France is great, its got lots of cycle paths using up the old railway lines. These old railway lines are quiet and don't have steep hills as trains cannot go up steep hills. A lot of western Europe is great for cycling.

I'm also looking to set off again from the UK around May, I have to come back to the UK by April to give my sister away (at last!).. The options are endless.. Enjoy!

Regards,

Gary
www.longbikeride.co.uk

Re: Planning My First Tour

7 November 2014 - 5:16am
It is worth thinking about the availability of good second hand bikes in your size. You are at the opposite end of the size range to me (5 ft3) and it took me 5 years to find a good used Dawes Galaxy that was not to far correct colour in my price range and not to old.

Old bikes can cost a lot if the rear spacing is narrow (freewheel no cassette) or you do not want down tube shifters.
I am not claiming that good used bikes are not out there but you will need to be patient and prepared to travel to find something.

Something like this in your size if available is probably the best place to start.

Re: Planning My First Tour

7 November 2014 - 2:00am
Thanks for the input regarding buying pre-owned foxyrider (and others). I must say, I like to think I'm a good judge of character and can usually tell if something is off. I also accept that buying pre-owned comes with risks. That said, I've had friends (and to some extent myself) who have been given advice on what to buy from 'reputable' bike shops which in hindsight was likely due to their stock at the time and desire to get rid of it.

In a more positive light, I have just sold a single speed road bike that I absolutely loved simply because I didn't ride it enough. I made sure that everything was in full working order, serviced it and genuinely would like the new owner to get the enjoyment from it that I had. I'm sure that much of the cycling community is of that mindset too.

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