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EuroTour An area to discuss potential European trips, and to ask advice about long distance touring.

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Old 17-04-06, 10:54 AM   #1
Jelster
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Default Recommended Rides - 2-4 Days in Europe.

Where you go in Europe is entirely dependant on how much time you have. But here are some ideas for weekends and extended weeked trips.

Weekends (2 days)
If you have just a weekend, you really want a “target” somewhere within 200 miles of your ferry terminal. Anything less wont really get you far enough away from the urban centres, anything much more may but you under pressure to hit the ferry on time for your return leg.

Don’t forget that you have to ride to the ferry port first, which means an early start on the Saturday. If you can, take Friday afternoon off and catch a late afternoon/early evening ferry and get into France the night before. That way you can be on your way by 9am, fully refreshed with some breakfast inside you.

If you are restricted to just the weekend then I really suggest you look towards Belgium rather than France. Most of Northern France is fairly commercial, and it’s a struggle to get free of the Urban landscape. I often jump on the motorway out of Calais for a couple of hours just to give me a chance to get into “France proper”.

However, landing at Calais (or even better Dunkerque) and heading into Belgium gets you onto decent roads in a shorter time. Personally I’d stay on the motorway and head for Liege, 3 hours later you’re in the Ardenne, very nice roads and the scenery is excellent. Locals are nice, most speak some English, just don't be stupid riding through the villages...

If you do choose to stay in France for a weekend then I suggest you look at visiting the Normandy beaches, the route keeps you around the coast and there’s a few sites to see. Haven’t actually done this run myself but friends have and they tell me it’s a good weekend trip away. You’re not really going to get into the very quiet roads where you can really use your bikes performance, but it’s a good trip none the less.

Extended Weekends

If you’re able to add a Friday & Monday to your break, you can really get into some decent roads.

My number one choice would always be the Vosges region of France. Be prepared to take some serious time in the saddle though. 375 miles away from Calais lay some of the best biking roads in France. You don’t have to go to the Alps to find complex mountain roads with hair pins and tightening corners. Aim for towns like St Die or Colmar and use this as your base for the weekend.

Ideally you need to be out of Calais by about 8:30, and stop for fuel about every 100 miles or so. Take a break every 2nd fuel stop for coffee/food and you should be in St Die by about 5pm latest. It’s a long ride, but the next 2 days will be worth it, trust me, I’ve done it and keep going back.

Recommended roads:
D417 Munster – Geradmer – Fantastic road and is the only road outside of the Alps to win a gold award from alpineroads.com. It’s great in either direction, but I prefer going East/West.

D11 Trois-Épis – Orbey – D48 – Munster – More tight corners than you could ever wish for in a short space of road.

Another favourite of mine is the Jurra region, a bit further South than the Vosges/Alsace and not so mountainous, but again excellent roads. Head for Besancon, a lively but laid back town at the heart of the area. This is also about 375 miles, but again worth the trip.

Recommend Roads:
You MUST take the N57 South from Pontarlier and then onto the D6 towards Les Fourgs which will take you across the Swiss border. From there head through Ste-Croix to Vuiteboeuf. This will take you down one of the best series of hairpins around. Wide with good tarmac and great visibility, it has been the setting for many of my “on board” videos. Take time to get one of the group to do some off bike video footage, there’s plenty of room on some of the hairpins to park up and play film director.

Also out of Pontarlier, take the D437 North East which follows the river Doubs. A fantastic road which winds and sweeps it’s way through the French countryside. Take it as far as Maîche, then turn left and make your way back on the D464.

There are also some cracking roads to the South of Besancon.


So this concludes Part 1 of my Recommended Rides post. I'll add more as time goes on.

.
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Old 17-04-06, 12:30 PM   #2
Tim in Belgium
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Was out in the ardennes this Saturday, and can agree that there are loads of nice roads joining places like La Roche en Ardenne, Stavelot, St Hubert, Rochefort and Dinant. Great scenery and beers too (for at the end of the day). If anyone is planning a trip across and wants more details or a bit of guiding just let me know.
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Old 11-06-07, 08:41 AM   #3
YoungMan
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Default Re: Recommended Rides - 2-4 Days in Europe.

I was in the Vosges mountains recently. Good roads and stunning scenery. It looks German, but its French. Stayed at Arbreschville after visiting the battlefields of Verdun. You can climb several passes Like Col Du Donon. Great scenery, but its a bit of a hike unless you take the peage from Calais.

I am Zurich now after a few days in Biker Heaven - The Dolomites. Full of bikes from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy. I seemed to be the "Only GB in the Village". Stunning though - more info coming.
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Old 15-04-18, 06:57 PM   #4
ocatoro
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Default Re: Recommended Rides - 2-4 Days in Europe.

we've got a trip booked for the black forest in July.

we have been over and through before.. this time though we're heading off overnight thursday night and aim to arrive by tea time on friday. have 2 days riding/exploring/eating and then head back monday, ferry tuesday morning and home for lunch. more of a 5 dayer... but can be done in a more conventional long weekend.

the B500 which runs north-south through the region, as anyone who's been will attest, is truly made for bikers. not to mention any number of tributaries which run off it. not to mention all the black forest cakes when you fancy a break.

can also take a little spin over to the rhine valley in no time at all which is very very nice territory.
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Old 15-04-18, 08:16 PM   #5
Talking Heads
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Default Re: Recommended Rides - 2-4 Days in Europe.

Last time I was in the Ardennes, Spa Francorchamps was a public road and Freddie Spencer won the 250 and 500 GP championships.
Brilliant place would love to go back some time.
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