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Plans changed see new "looking for companions "

 

 

Gathering cyclist who have rough plans on route . Please add dialogue here 
https://www.warmshowers.org/node/227051

I'm looking for advice on how to Bicycle across Europe 

 eurovelo 8

 

I'm pretty openended and malleable so input will make my tour :)

I then ferry to Dieppe France  ...

 

          I have done 5 major tours across the western states of United States of America

I really enjoyed it camping  camping the whole way using my Hennessy Hammock

      I have traveled light and traveled fully loaded 

 

  I'm no stranger to bicycling in the cold . I have bicycled cross Colorado in winter  >>>   -10 degrees F , -20 Celsius.

through Utah with snow storms 

 I bicycle all over the place in the US>>> just the first time overseas so I'm a little nervous...

 

  if you have any advice for European tours or would like to join my Journeys

I'm open to go anywhere and everywhere

 

 

Thanks

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Hey there,

Hey there,

November/december is winter time ;-) might be dark, cold and icy roads for a few months. Most camping grounds in France f.e. will be closed and I think that will be the case all around Europe I guess.
Warm showers works, but not in every location (even if you see a host) you have to plan a bit in advance and contact people before planning your route.

Good luck!

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Not thé good Season

Try Spring at least 

Longer days 

 

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Thanks

Yeah, I thought about the cold and weather.  I've also cycle toured in snow in Utah spring and another time across Colorado in December, it was cold. As -10 some nights. It's al about gear and mind set . Butmaybe I can cruise down to the tip of Spain for a few months. What. Y'all think?

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your trip in winter

Spain or south Italy sound great to cycle at winter time. Might be on some days chilly, but not as nasty and cold like middle or north Europe (above the Alps). Also the canarian islands are nice at winter time. Similar to south Texas (Austin and coast). You may take a ferry from Spain to get to the island. 

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Thanks

This will be a totally different experience from western usa. Glad to hear the weather will be cool , I like chilly days

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Europe here you come.....

Head south! Check each country for wild camping laws first. In Germany its illegal to camp wild and comes with heavy fines if caught. Definitely recommend Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland, Holland, Luxembourg, Belgium, Denmark, Germany and Austria. Great counties to bike in. Some petrol stations offer free showers. Also you can try knocking on people's doors and seeing if you can camp in their garden.....works for me. And your right, everything is possible with the right gear and mindset. 

If you find yourself as far north as Norway, my doors will be open. Happy safe travels

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Thanks

Maybe if in still in Europe in spring I'll come visit ya

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weather and people

We have heard that there is very cheap trains from Paris to Perpignan, maybe check those out. In the south of France it´ll definitelly be cosy and warm... the weather might be a little milder on the Atlantic coast, Brittany is beautiful and wild, I can imagine it a good place for winter cycling. It´ll be wet fo rsure but the people are warm....in general France has been the best country in Europe for warmshowers for us, there is so many of them and the people all seem to love hosting and inviting you into their homes. Spain is much more difficult in that respect (less hosts and generaly less hospitable people) and also the wild camping is a little undefined, some people say it´s completely illegal, others say it´s fine if it´s only for one night or higher than 1000 metres of alltitude....However we´ve never had any problems...  Also be aware that unless you´re on the mediterranean coast,Spain is a very cold country in the winter! Mountains everywhere ! Bon Voyage!

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European Cold Weather Trip

I know this book doesnt start in Paris, but try this book for a recent bike trip (not mine!) along the Iron Curtain Trail in the winter from Finland to Bulgaria:
https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/1109128/the-cyclist-who-went-out-in-the-cold/
Maps: http://www.ironcurtaintrail.eu/en/publikationen/broschuere/index.html
More maps: https://www.amazon.com/Iron-Curtain-Trail-Cycling-Guide/dp/3850002780

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Why dont you take tour of

Why dont you take tour of west coast of Africa?

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Tell me more

Thanks, I'll look into that ;)

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Unfortunately I dont know

Unfortunately I dont know about visa requirements. I was just thinking I would spare my Europe trip for the summer days, since in winter times all the beautiful mountain passes like GrossGlocker, Stelvio etc.. are closed because of snow. But than again depends where you prefer to ride. If you want to ride along the coast, it might be fine. 

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Cycling in winter is not

Cycling in winter is not ideal but it's definitely doable. I cycled across France last January and I had some good fun. Had to stop at 6pm though, it was dark.

From Belgium, you can cycle down to Spain on the Eurovelo 1 Atlantic Coast Route and it should get warmer as you head south.

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I'll check that route out,

I'll check that route out, thanks 

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Andalucia / Spain

Andalucia / S Spain in the winter is ideal cycling territory, it can be cold inland but generally warm & sunny during the day. Morocco is also a good option especially south of Marrakesh. Ferry from Algeciras or Tarifa.

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Thanks,  I land in UK and

Thanks,  I land in UK and want to see if I can get a few weeks of cycling in there in mid Oct,  then head south to warmer days

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Pondering plan

I'm pondering ferry to Bilbao Spain then hug the coast to Portugal then  eurovelo route 8.  Maybe down Italy if I need warmer weather by December...

 

Thanks

 

Aaron Scott Bullock 

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Haha, only just noticed your

Haha, only just noticed your happy winter photot! You´ll be absolutely fine anywhere you go in Europe.... Portugal, Spain, south of France will be a warm ride....we were in Murcia last winter and it snowed the first time in 30 years, everybody got very excited. Between Malaga and Marbella there isn´t really a cycleable road along the coast, some bits we´ve heard you have to actually go on the motorway... so the mountains inland are most likely the nicer way. Generaly in the mediterranean part of Spain inland cycling is wilder and more beautiful. October in England will be no problem. Where you think you´ll take the ferry from? 

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Thanks, I plan to take ferry

Thanks, I plan to take ferry from Portsmouth to Bilbao . .. yeah I'm wondering about scenic routes , nice shoulder ,lower traffic, preferably on coast,  but if it's major road no fun...

 

Thanks

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Sustrans cycle network England

Have a look at the Sustrans routes. https://www.sustrans.org.uk/ncn/map/route/route-4 Sustrans is a network of cycle routes on and of road. It is all not perfect. They have a number system where you can follow arrows along a route, sometines on very beautiful cycle paths sometimes on small roads an sometimes it is just an annoying game of hide and seek and being send round the houses.... Have alook though I gave you the link for route 4 which is potentially a nice way out of london. I only ever cycled on it from Bristol as far as Reading and that´s actually a nice ride, mainly on the river Thames and the Avon and Kennet Canal (you are allowed to camp over night on the locks of the canals anywhere in England- an ancient law...). Make a good plan of how to get out of London (or maybe take the tube out of town, should be able to put your bike on the tube-maybe not during rush our, not sure)! It is a busy place... I only ever tried cycling in once from the north east and got stuck on the M25 ring road. Had to be ferried across a motorway bridge by a patrol guy in a jeep... so following one of the Sustrans routes coupled with a map or a ride plan is advisable I think.

Last year we cycled from Portsmouth to Woking, just south of London and then on to Bristol. The whole London commuter belt was a nightmare, traffic traffic traffic. It gets nice once you hit the south downs.

The other option is to take a ferry from Plymouth, there´ll be one to Santander or Bilbao. Cycling in the west country is great (between Bath and Plymouth and further down into Cornwall even more beautiful) quiet lanes, friendly people....

saludos y pedales

Sylvia

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Stay South.

Stay South as much as you can. From Santander or Bilbao you could think about heading to Burgos or Leon and picking up the Camino Santiago west to Santiago Compostela. You don't have to be Catholic or religious to do it, people do it for many reasons. Mid Oct is okay in that part of Spain. There is a very good system of Refugios ( pilgrims refuges )  that are very reasonabley priced. € 3 to 7 when we were last there 6 years ago, You might a lot of nice people on the way. From Santiago head South along the coast of Galicia and on to the coast of Portugal South to Algarve . We have spent many Oct/Novembers there and can still get 20, 25 even 30 celcius, 70- 80 F. Portugal is one of the cheaper eurozone countries to travel and has interesting and varied scenery and great food and wine. Most of the campsites there have much cheaper prices between Oct to March. http://www.roteiro-campista.pt/wp/?ait-dir-item-category=campismo Here is a guide to campsites ( in Portuguese ). I have camped all through Winter down there in tent and with good tent and sleeping bag have been warm enough. Maybe it gets down to freezing sometimes at night but not often. South of Spain also warm enough in Winter. Morocco also a good idea. Last time there 6 years ago we got cheap basice double rooms for € 4 - 7 a night. Beutiful country and head as far South as Agadir etc and you can get 30c in January. Head to the mountains and it will be snowy and cold often. If you get to Greece check the deals they have on the ferries. We went from Thessalonki as far South as Santorini always with a half price deal. Spent the whole month of Nov on Santorini 7 years ago and had amazing weather of 70 - 90 F every day. Locals said it would normally be 50 - 70 F then. We searched cheap deal on internet and found small basic but nice apt for € 300 a month. Others found cheaper. Take the ferry further South and spend the Winter on Crete, which is big enough for plenty of day trips if you find yourself a base. Please welcome to stay with us in Finland if you would like somewhere even colder than Colorado. My record was cycling in minus 37 celc or minus 34 F. It helps to be mad. Hope some of this helps. Enjoy your ride. Regards, Jim Fullwood.

 

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Camino Santiago across Spain.
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Map

I've been looking for a map the best I found is 

Camino de Santiago

https://goo.gl/maps/7Yx3tCs1FHA2

 

My guess is that once I'm on route I'll let a million amazing people and will not need a map 

 

Thanks I am really considering this route. 

 

Is it doable with 700x32 tires

You are a God Sent

May the Almighty guide my path 

Thanks

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Yes

Yes, it is ok to use 700 - 32 tyres. That's what I did it on. There is sometimes an alternative route running nearby which uses more roads rather than paths the walkers use. I used them when needed. The Camino is usually quite well marked, I never had too much of a problem. In Summer many Spanish cyclists only use the walking trails but they are usually very lightly loaded ( warm to hot in Summer ) and ride mountain bikes.

In the Refugios ( pilgrim hostals ) walkers always take priority over cyclists and sometimes you might have to wait until all the walkers have arrived before they see if there is a bed for you. But now it's Autumn you should have no problem with that. Summer is  a zoo, but a fun one. There also specially designated hostels every day within cycling distansce where you wont have to wait. Walkers also stay there too. Basically the idea is that a cyclist has a better chance of riding an extra 10km to the next place rather than a tried walker. When you get to your first hostel you need to sign up and get your pilgrim passport and guide to all the hostels. This used to be free. There are now many private hostels where you will pay € 7 - 10 but I notice there are still many local municty or church operated that still only cost € 3 - 5. Also once you get to Galicia ( also some other places ) many of them are Donativo ( you pay what you can afford ).

Many times I arrived tired and hungry and other pilgrims would often notice this than invited me to eat with them and hand me wine. Other times I did the same. I always overcook. A lot of people end up living on the Camino working at a refugio. I would not want to spend deep Winter in Castille Leon though, that's the coldest place in Spain.

Good luck and cycle safe ;-)

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that is a good map by the way

that is a good map by the way. It is easy to cycle the Camino in a week. I took almost 3 as I wanted to be there longer. For an even better experience find a safe place to leave your gear and walk it. Both are great. I have even met people doing on horseback and with donkey. Plenty of characters on Camino.

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Comino de Santiago

Thanks so much, do you recommend I start in France ? If so where. I land in London on Oct 10th.  Was planning ferry from Portsmouth to Spain on 16th.  Or will Bilbao to Santo Domingo then Camino de Santiago.  

 

Also. Where do I get this passport. 

 

You have greatly sparked a flame for this journey.

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Camino Santiago across Spain.

Hi, if it was still Summer I would say yes, cycle back east a bit and start in France. The traditional starting point for the Camino Francaise is the small town of St.Jean Pied de Port in France , 30km away from the small village with large old abbey of Roncevellas ( Ronceveux in French language ) over the border and across the Pyrennes in Spain. It is about 210km along the coast and then inland from St. Jean de Luz. You could also start in the big beautiful city of Pamplona, 155km from Bilbao or Logrono 130km away. But dropping straight South down to Santa Domingo de la Calzada is the nearest place and maybe if weather is not so good you might want to choose that starting point. To get your pilgrim passport you would either go to the pilgrim office in the bigger cities or in smaller places direct to the pilgrims refuge ( alberge / refugio ) and just say you would like to cycle the Camino. Tourist info would probably direct you to the right place. How is your Spanish ?

Is there still a ferry to Santander ? I think so. Once I did the Plymouth to Santander ferry and from there had an amazing ride over the Picos de Europa mountains and picked up the Camino in Leon. But then you would see less of the Camino. 

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Camino Santiago across Spain.

http://santiago-compostela.net/tips-for-cyclists-on-the-camino/

Here is the official website for Camino. Should be lots of info here.

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https://www.caminoadventures

https://www.caminoadventures.com/where-can-i-get-a-pilgrims-passport/

This site also looks useful.

Hope you have a great trip ande get a nice Winter. I will envy you as I sit here getting ready for my 10th Arctic Winter in Finland cycling thru up to minus 37c. My first Winter here I really wondered if I had died and gone to frozen hell ;-)

best wishes Jim.

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nice to see the photo of

nice to see the photo of Seattel btw. My joint favourite city in USA along with Tuscon

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Thanks James

I am so thankful you told me of the Camino de Santiago.  

 

:-)

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Ultreya ;-)

Ultreya ;-)

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Eurovelo 8

After I cycle the Camino de Santiago,  I'll ride south through Portugal then eurovelo 8

Eurovelo 8

https://goo.gl/maps/Aasxb7dWfRF2

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Cycling on the Camino

I just cyled on the Camino in September and it was really nice (see TravelMap)! But you need a good mountain bike because it can get quite hilly and rocky sometimes.

Then you can follow the Camino Portugues from Santiago de Compostela down to Lisbon.

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Looks good. I met my wife in

Looks good. I met my wife in Portugal and we have been there many times so obviously we really like it. In Summer of 1999 I set off on a 6 month bike ride from England to Morocco which ended up as 2 years cycling and living in Spain and Portugal. So many nice places down there.

The bit where you go across Northern Italy in Winter might be a bit chilly. I much prefer cycling through 125 F in Southern Arizona August than freezing my ass off here in Finland so I would be tempted to spend at least 2 months in Southern Morocco. Good luck.

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Hey Aaron

Winter on the northern mediterraean coast can be really rainy, make sure you got your waterproof outfit ready!

Also, I'm currently in Germany on EV6 going down the Danube. I thinking about going in Greece after that, then back to France following the coast. Maybe we can meet on the road...

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Love to meet up, I land in

Love to meet up, I land in London on October 11th then hop on ferry to Spain then Portugal then eurovelo route 8

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Dover to Calais to tours, Camino de Santiago

Checking out routes from Calais to tours France.

To ride the Camino de Santiago,  if anyone has cycled this? 

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Greece!

The best scenery, warmest days, best food and socializIng will definitely be in Greece;) technically wild camping is illegal, practically you can camp everywhere (apart from touristic places in summer, so no problem for you). Don't stick to the eurovelo, see if you have time to cycle down to Peloponnese (mountains there also possible to cross even in winter).  Great coastline in Messinia  - far better than all the rest of eurovelo. Bike in long-distance buses is easy and cheap if u need it. And what about taking the ferry to Crete? The mildest winter and best food in whole Europe. Oh, take care when cycling in Athens!!! Feel free to get in touch with us anytime. Have fun! Greetings from the Andes

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Good ideas

I plan to fly to red Sea get a couple months of scuba diving in , then f.you back and cycle Greece and beyond.... 

 

 

 

Thanks for the input , I'll research those places

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Eurovelo 8

Hey Aaron,

Europe is milder than a lot of the United States in the wintertime. It can snow, but it is far more likely that it will rain and rain and rain during November and December. Having said that, the most snow I ever saw in 24 hours was in Bosnia in late December ... 52 inches ... I nearly missed getting home for Christmas that year. That was on the other side of the mountains than you'd be on ... they don't seem all that high, but there's a world of difference between where you want to ride and further inland. 

Have an awesome trip!!!

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Dalmatian coast and Northern Greece to Istanbul

Hey,

I am planing a bike trip through Dalmatian coast in Croatia and north Greece to Istanbul in december/january. I know it will be winter but I'd like to know if it is doable or too cold and rainy?

Thanks!