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6 weeks in Europe- Love some help/suggestions in planning :-)

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6 weeks in Europe- Love some help/suggestions in planning :-)

Hi All,
So we are planning a 6 week trip to Europe from early July to late August 2012. We have "many" ideas but really can't quite decide what we should do. We are riding a Recumbent Tandem Trike & plan to warmshowers & camp on route. We have looked at many trips. We have a decently long time and are from Canada & thus it all seems like reasonable riding in terms of distances. It is our first trip and we'd like a variety (mind you no mountains) and are prepped to ride 25 to 60km a day. The Rhine Route interests us as does northern Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, The Netherlands and maybe Austria? We are not really planning Eastern or Southern Europe(Italy) at this time. A bit of France would be 'okay' but likely moreso on the next trip. If we ride from Copenhagen down to Germany & over into Amsterdam what would winds be like, would this make sense at all? It seems from what I am reading that most are pedaling the North Sea Cycle Route in a northernly direction.

Anyone with more information as to camping on farms/locals property (not for the free) but to get to know/meet people would be appreciated. I am also keen to hear of gear outfitting stores in Europe? Anyone that can provide me some names of some stores like we have in Canada or the U.S. such as MEC or REI but in Europe would be great. I assume they have them!

We plan to fly into one city and out of another and hope to ship our bike bag/materials to someone at our departure city destination. Any other suggestions on this would be great also. We also note that taking our bike on the trains is unlikely an option ;-( So I am wondering if anyone knows if a bus would take our trike? It does have couplings and it would be a just in case option. If anyone has any experience with this that would be great or any other suggestions (tranport trucks?)

Lastly, we have read in at least one spot of people taking their Tandem Recumbent Trike on the airplain not broken down, but whole so the baggage people see it and get what it is. Anyone done this or know of anyone that has and if any airlines that would take it?

Sorry, lots of questions... -first off is the plan so any info is happily welcomed!
Kiersten & Denis

2longing2bent

~o o
~ \-/\-*` \-/\-*`
(o)^-------^---(o)

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All the places you've

All the places you've mentioned are fantastic for touring. You might consider starting in Switzerland and going north along the Rhein to Holland and then west to east along the North Sea Route towards Denmark. I made the mistake of cycling that part of the North Sea route in an east to west direction and it was very difficult due to headwinds. The Danish coast of the North Sea Route is absolutely fantastic and not to be missed. If you have the time, you could also start in Vienna and cycle the Danube River Trail to Switzerland before going north along the Rhein. Good luck!

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The Netherlands

There enough possibility's cycling in Europe of course.
I'm from Holland and the North Sea route is very nice. You als can go in the north to the islands and go by boat to the next island (so "Island hopping) and continue in the east.
This is only possible from more or less May-October. In juli/august daily and the other month some days of the week.
You can see on http://www.fietsersbond.nl/fietsrouteplanner/fietsroutes-recreatieveplanner/
Unfortanataly it isn't already in English. But if double click on the "boat signs" you probably understand the times or can call the phonenumbers.

There more very nice "long distance routes" in Holland, regconises bij signs on the street "LF" followed bij a number. You will find them in the same website,too.

Another usefull website can be www.fietsrouteplaner.eu is usefull to for you.

In Holland I prefer the "farmer" or small campings. Mostly they connected to "Vekabo" and "SVR" ; mostly recognises by their signs/flag
http://www.vekabo.com/en/index.php
http://www.svr.nl/
http://www.natuurkampeerterreinen.nl/

Well, I'm living in Utrecht (a town in the centre of Holland). So if you would like to come you're welcome.

Astrid

WS Üyesi WS Üyesi kullanıcısının resmi
The Netherlands

There are enough interesting possibility's cycling in Europe of course.
I'm from Holland and the North Sea route is very nice. You als can go in the north to the islands and go by boat to the next island (so "Island hopping) and continue in the east.
This is only possible from more or less May-October. In juli/august daily and the other month some days of the week.
You can see on http://www.fietsersbond.nl/fietsrouteplanner/fietsroutes-recreatieveplanner/
Unfortanataly it isn't already in English. But if double click on the "boat signs" you probably understand the times or can call the phonenumbers.

There more very nice "long distance routes" in Holland, regconises bij signs on the street "LF" followed bij a number. You will find them in the same website,too.

Another usefull website can be www.fietsrouteplaner.eu is usefull to for you.

In Holland I prefer the "farmer" or small campings. Mostly they connected to "Vekabo" and "SVR" ; mostly recognises by their signs/flag
http://www.vekabo.com/en/index.php
http://www.svr.nl/
http://www.natuurkampeerterreinen.nl/

Well, I'm living in Utrecht (a town in the centre of Holland). So if you would like to come you're welcome.

Astrid

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Hi, your trip sounds like a

Hi,
your trip sounds like a good idea, don't worry about the northern or southern direction, the wind comes mostly from west so you will have a fresh 'blow' between germany and the netherlands.
If you like to stay on private properties ask the farmers, very often they are nicer than they appear. It's not very common in germany but possible.
You could find outdoor stores in some midsize cities. Ask people. Often there are only small stores, not part of big chainstores like REI but they have a bigger range of products for cycling people.
Unfortunatly i don't now anything about trike transportation in busses. If you can get your recumbentTandemTrike with your couplings down to a size where it's not very (it's your interpretation what that means) much bigger than a normal bike, than you can take it in a regional trains. Try to avoid the 'rush hours' which are in the morning and late afternoon from monad till friday and at the weekends, especially sunday afternoon and evening. There is no weight limit and you don't have to put it in a box or something like that. There are lots of people who travel with big strollers in a train, also if they have twins. I hope you find nice people at the train stations. Asking is for free and about 50% of the employees could be nice and helpful. Good luck also for this, never give up.
I life in Berlin but during the week i'm working often north of Hamburg, in Quickborn. Send me a mail if this would be on your way, you are welcome.
Heike

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Your 6 weeks in Europe

Taking your trike in a train is nearly impossible in the Netherlands, but in Germany it could be possible in some trains, if they are not too full. This is always the case at weekends. There are special trains with special cabins for bikes and large pieces of luggage, and they are always used a lot on weekends. Some years ago we had luck and were able to take the train with our recumbent tandem incl. bike trailer, but thats always a risk.

I don't know what MEC or REI shops are, but names of stores to buy food in Germany are: Aldi, Lidl, Rewe, Edeka (and more). If you are looking for an outdoor store, Globetrotter is a large one with many shops in large cities (as Cologne, where we live). Blackfoot is another, also in Cologne.

Camping on farms in Germany is not very common, and it could be difficult to find the farmer/owner of the place where you would like to camp.
In the Netherlands are a lot of so called Minicampings, mostly campings at a farmhouse. In some areas, each farmer has such a camping for up to 15 caravans or tents. Sanitary facilities are often simple, but on the other hand these campings often have a nicer atmosphere than the large ones. Please note that it is not allowed to camp unauthorized in the Netherlands! In Germany it is often possible for 1 night only, many people do so at the river rhine.

If you travel along the River Rhine, we would be happy to host you (if we are here, please call early enough). We live very close to the cycle route.

All the best for your trip!

Heidrun and Martin

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Italy

Dear Kiersten & Denis,

in Italy you can find all the bike-route at this website: http://www.piste-ciclabili.com/ ; as you know Italy is the 1st country in the historical Unesco sites list and we have the 50% of the worldwide historical patrimony! So, everywhere you'll decide to go, you'll spent very good your time!

Millions of world pepole come here every year, also by bicycle (always in my city), so dont'worry!

If you'll send me an idea of your travel in Italy, I'll can prepare a draft of road map with my friend on italian forums!

And, of course, my house is open (not from 10th to 25th of August).

Ciao
Fausto

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Europe 6 weeks -Thank you all

Thanks everyone for all your great suggestions and information regarding our upcoming trip to Europe. It is greatly appreciated :-) We are booked to fly in and out of Frankfurt. We plan to head south and catch the Rhine, maybe slide into France, down into Switzerland up to take the Danube down to Salzburg & hopefully all the way to Vienna. We hope to head across via Nuremburg and will take the train back to Frankfurt if we need to due to time.

I have looked at the Frankfurt airport and it appears ridiculously expensive to store luggage and thus we are now looking for a place to store our Dakine Bike Bag & probably another duffel while we cycle. Ideally there is someone in Frankfurt that would be interested in being so kind. We'd also welcome a Warmshowers host home the first night July 4th. I will be looking into hosts/storage but if anyone has any other suggestions for bag storage they would be welcomed also.

Again many thanks, Kiersten & Denis
~o o
~ \-/\-*` \-/\-*`
(o)^-------^---(o)
2longing2bent