I am trying to convince myself to go on what will be my longest tour - round the Baltic Sea, through nine countries, in July 2011.
I have already had great cycling experiences in Holland and Germany, and I am sure that Denmark won't have any surprises... The other countries are all new for me. I like surprises, but being prepared is better ;)
Can anybody recommend a route from Oslo to Stockholm? As the whole tour is going to be fairly long, shorter options would be better. Are there any marked long distance cycle routes?
What about getting from Tallin, to Riga and then to Kaunas and south to Poland? All suggestions would be welcome. I hope to cycle the whole route and not use public transport unless it is really necessary.
Reports about cycling in Poland often mention fast cars and big trucks - it's not that bad, is it?
about Poland .. just stay away from a big roads (as usual) and you will be fine ;-)
Thanks for the advice. I was planning to stay quite close to the coast and have seen that there is a route called "The Iron Curtain Trail". This trail would take me through the Baltic States and Poland. Hopefully it stays away from big roads.
"The Iron Curtain Trail" . .never heard of it ;-)
maybe I'm not polish enough :-) or ... it's a "wessi" name for it ;-)
I was surfing the web looking for information and I found this http://www.esterbauer.com/db_rtb_detail_int.php?buecher_code=ICT1-E
The first link is to a German cycle guide publisher... so I will buy it as there will be things for me to learn.
Maybe somebody has just invented the idea to sell more books! Hope not.
yeah .. looks like you are right .. must be invented to sound cool :-)
at the end it's just the line on the border .. except some places between DDR and West Germany (and some in the North) there is no real, visible indications, monuments, installations etc. telling you it's a Iron Curtain :-) I cycled places in the south and never have seen anything :-)
but . .it's a great ride anyway :-) .. and it's catchy name :-)
great PR for sure ...
if you'll cycle PL in the summer expect a lot .. a looooooot of people on the coast.
As it's a guide for cycling they are sure to have chosen quieter roads and tracks. I suppose the name was chosen, as you say, for marketing. However, following a route is always easier than not knowing where to go - and if I don't like parts of it, I can try different roads.
I know what you mean by lots of people on the coast in the summer. Suppose I'll just be another one in the crowd.
and I was wrong :-)
this trial it's a real thing :-) and very new
one of my friends, from Gdansk is even responsible for some of polish part :-)
btw. polish part is equal with EuroVelo 10
the trial should be ready in 2020 .. that's why I didn't know about it :-)
always happy to learn something new :-)
... the trial should be ready in 2020 ...
oh dear, I can't wait that long ;)
Thanks for your help.
Poland is blessed with a large network of secondary roads of varying quality. For most of the time, you will not need to be on any major roads with excessive truck traffic. In the summer season, trucks are actually banned from June 18 to August 29 (Friday 6:00 Pm to 10 PM, Saturday 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM, Sunday 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM).
Of course, coming in from Lithuania, you will be well off the Baltic coast, which is rather good during the holiday season. I’d go north from Suwalki to Gołdap and take the small roads to Frombork. While there are some great lakes, including Poland’s deepest, you will be skirting the actual lake district with the tourist traffic. Don’t miss the Stanczyki historic railway bridge near Gołdap, really a site.
In Frombork you can catch a ferry to the Gdansk spit and really be on the Baltic with water on both sides. Riding through the tri cites will be hectic, but they have developed a good cycling network. Rather than riding the spit, you can continue inland and hit Malbork castle and then work you way up to the Baltic, skirting Gdansk if desired.
You may find that riding a bit inland will reduce the traffic a lot. I’d ride inland and then hit the coast for lodgings and a bit of history.
Look at www.crazyguyonabike.com for actual ride reports. Most will state that Poland is great for cycling, once you get off the main roads.
All the best
Jary Poland via Spokane USA
Thanks for the useful information. Keeping off the coast seems to be the way to go. I have read a couple of reports on CGOAB, a great source of inspiration, and one of my favourite winter reads.
I agree with what many others have said: Poland has some fine roads. I was just there last week. There arent' too many motorways/carriageways/autobahns/super-highways, so the trucks are on what you would think would be a nice bike road. If you stay away from any roads that are designated with only a single digit, you should be ok. If you also stay off the double-digit roads, it will be even better. I also found lots and lots of quiet and very passable dirt roads. Poland is beautiful and full of great people. I'm really looking forward to going back. - Kate
Thanks for the reply. I'll remember to look for triple digit roads.
Good advice regarding counting digits on road selection. Here is a rules of thumb road selection guide, may help prevent having to give the finger to truck drivers:
The major Polish roads are alphanumeric: Letter Number, the lesser (and better cycling roads) are single digits, not possessing the alpha, just the numeric, For example:
European road E [0-9] map color red
Motorway (autostrada) A [0-9] red / blue (generally illegal to ride on anyway)
Roads to totally avoid, these are the ones that give Poland a bad name! Most of the roads in red on your maps qualify to avoid. At times you may wish to ride on one for under 10 km to avoid riding 30 km extra. At times there are shoulders.
Fast traffic road (droga szybkiego ruchu) S [0-9], often triple digits, map color yellow, National network
Proceed at your own risk, sometimes these roads are not all bad, use if they can save you more than 10 km. Ok for a short “get me to a better road quick” stint. I ride on a lot of yellow roads and many don’t have all that much traffic. Generally no shoulders.
National road (droga krajowa) 0-9 , map color black National network
Single digit category, 99% paved (more or less), you’ll do much of your riding on these roads. At times have traffic, Sunday when church gets out. Occasional fast driver, horse carts and tipsy cyclists. Sometimes the only major road in the area so traffic can be a factor.
Provincial road (droga wojewodzka) 0-9, Regional „county/state’ roads, same as above
District road (droga powiatowa), 0-9, same as above
The thin black lines on the map often are great roads, but can be a mix of dirt, cobblestone and a bit of asphalt
As Kate said, there are a lot of dirt roads. Dirt is a relative term. In much of western Poland, the roads can be rather sandy, not much fun really.
Also, never trust a road sign in the country with just one post. Kids like to turn the directions around for a bit of fun.
Jary Poland via Spokane