Monday, January 5, 2009

Designing Your European Bicycle Tour Route #1 - Eurovelo

So, you're headed off to do a bike tour of Europe and you'd like to begin designing your route. Indeed, that's half the fun! This post will give you a few ideas and resources on how to start.

The Eurovelo Bike Route System as a Place to Begin

The adjacent map shows you a sketch of the Eurovelo bike route system. This long distance route network is briefly described in Wikipedia. But take a look at their web site for a comprehensive perspective.

At completion the Eurovelo network will identify and mark 12 long distance routes throughout Europe. Route number 6, for example follows the Loire River through France, then heads through a corner of Switzerland and into Germany where it picks up the Danube River which you follow all the way to the Black Sea. The great thing about these routes is that you can select a portion and follow it only in France, for example.

Route 6 is currently marked on the ground from Nantes, France as far as Budapest. About a six-week ride. But if you are just interested in a France, German or Austrian portion, it would do fine. The Eurovelo Route 6 website is here.

The web site description isn't comprehensive, though, so you'll need maps to complete your planning. Stay tuned for the next post on the best maps to use for your planning. We'll use the Loire River in France as an example.

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