Do You Want to go Bike Touring?

 

Copy of Normandy 2007 087

The “A” team in France, Suisse Normande 2007 

There is something very special about going on a cycle tour, and especially a foreign tour.  Whilst there are plenty of organised tours available to choose from, nothing beats organising your own.  With of course some good friends for company!

You have a number of options.  Logistically, the easiest is to use one or two locations as a base and then travel out to different places from there. A big advantage is that you don’t have to carry all your luggage each day.  Only for first arrival, and final departure. But many prefer a travelling tour, either from A to B, or a circular route, from A and back to A for the final departure.

But where to go?
The world is your oyster, however for many practical reasons (cost, time, etc) Europe has plenty to offer.  Below is a network diagram with this link to many European cycle routes

EuroVelo

EuroVelo Route 6 is a popular choice.  It starts at the Atlantic coast in France and goes thru 10 countries.  Heading east, the third country is Germany where the River Danube rises. The rest of EuroVelo 6 follows this river until it flows into the Black Sea in Bulgaria.  So lots to see!
The whole route is over 3,000 km long so you will need to choose a bit that excites you.  In addition to coast and river, you will pass historic castles, Roman forts, mountains, and much more.  A cyclist’s dream, especially as following a major river, it is mainly flat!
If you read my last posting you will know that the bit that excited me, was Serbia.  As I am currently researching Serbia, let me use it as an example of a bike tour. Where ever you choose to go, research and planning will be along the same lines.

Sign Velo 6

A sign post on EuroVelo Route 6 in Serbia

Search and you will find.  The internet will have everything that you need to know.  For example some useful tips from a newcomer to bike touring, cycling from Germany to S.E. Asia.  This part of their journey was thru Serbia in winter!

Whilst reading about other peoples’ cycling adventures will enthuse you, do not forget some of the other things which are very sensible and important to consider. For example:

EHIC-CARD_

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). If you are a UK passport holder, with this card you can get hospital and most medical care, free, even though Serbia is not a member of the E.U.  Check details here

Money

Another important consideration is money!

The many countries now in the euro zone have virtually removed currency problems.  The U.K is not in the Euro Zone, and nor is Serbia.  So no euros but the Serbian dinar, currently (Jan 2016) 160 to £.  Useless anywhere else so don’t end up with a pocket full of loose change!  Before you go you can order dinar thru your UK bank, but they will usually not accept any dinar that you have left when you return.  You can change £s to dinar, and dinar back into £s at banks and exchange offices in Serbia. For example at Belgrade Airport if you are flying.
In Serbia the use of credit cards is limited to big cities and then only at some bigger stores, hotels, restaurants.  You can also draw cash at ATMs in the big cities and some bigger towns.  So don’t rely on them too much!

Rain

And something else that you cannot always rely on is the weather.  Sunny Spain was no exception for these Anerley tourists.  A morning of torrential rain!  So it is always worth Googling the weather statistics.  For Belgrade, a good place to start a bike tour in Serbia, I learnt the following from weather graphs:

  • The hottest month is July, mean daily max of 27 c, which can make cycling difficult and unpleasant.
  • June is the wettest month (highest rainfall).
  • Perhaps more significant is the average number of days which have some rain per month (but might only be a light shower). On this count May has the most, 15 days, followed by June (13), as well as the highest quantity!
  • July has the least number of days when it has some rain, on only 9 days.
  • Comparing all the graphs, early September, before the days begin to shorten, might be a good choice.  It only rains on an average of 10 days in the month, but unlike sweltering July, the max temp is in the low 20’s. 

average-raindays-serbia-belgrade

Average number of days with some rain/snow per month. Yes, lots of snow in Serbia!

So that is a few things to get you started if you fancy a foreign cycle tour.  If your found this item interesting, have any queries, or want to see more about touring, there is a Comments box below.

15 thoughts on “Do You Want to go Bike Touring?

  • May 3, 2016 at 8:20 pm
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    I’m doing a camping tour of the new forest the first week in june,barry may also camp and jim may do b and b,base will be in holmsley campsite,which is near bransgore,burley,and Christchurch,do anymore of the club what to join us.i will stay for five days,which should allow for four days cycling.

    Reply
  • May 4, 2016 at 10:16 pm
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    I am looking at self catering from mon the 6th of june until Thursday,price 125 to 135 pound each,if we get 11 riders we can rent the three cottages that are up for rent,location near fordingbridge.but we need to book by the weekend,need names by Saturday.

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  • May 5, 2016 at 8:54 pm
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    we so far have six riders for this,jim,myself,john dadson,barry,ken,and Belinda.need two more to book two cottages.

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  • May 6, 2016 at 9:21 pm
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    Mark, put me down for the New Forest!

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  • May 8, 2016 at 8:10 pm
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    right just booked two cottages up at burgate farm near fordingbridge new forest.riders going ricky,jim,john eden,barry,john dadson,belinda,ken,and myself.just need to bring towels,cost is 130 pounds each for four nights,need the money no later than sunday.we will plan car sharing later,who can take a rider in there car,let me know on here or email.check the farms website out for more info.we don’t need to get there until 3pm Monday,and we need to leave at 10am Friday,should be a 2 hour drive.can people out on Tuesday let barry and john dadson know as they don’t have a computer.any queries ring me 0208 835 2839.

    Reply
  • May 9, 2016 at 7:38 pm
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    we need to pay for this by sunday,you can pay online at burgate farm holidays account number 60606464 sort code 20-99-40 or send a cheque to burgate manor farm holidays,burgate,fordingbridge,hampshire,sp6 1lx.price 130 pounds,add a note of Anerley bc.

    Reply
  • May 10, 2016 at 8:57 pm
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    we have one more place on the tour up for grabs who else wants to go,message me here or ring me,need to know by Friday or the price per rider is now 150 quid.

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  • May 11, 2016 at 8:19 pm
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    peter Roberts has taken the final place,just waiting on john eden to confirm,ricky,belinda,and john dadson.

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  • May 11, 2016 at 9:24 pm
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    Mark, confirming, yes I want to go!
    John

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  • May 12, 2016 at 6:37 pm
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    the farm’s number is 01425653908 for people paying over the phone,ive just messaged them to find out how to pay online.

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    • May 12, 2016 at 6:46 pm
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      Mark, I have just phoned, it was answer phone hopefully they will ring back, if you find how to pay online let me know!
      John

      Reply
  • May 12, 2016 at 8:00 pm
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    hi john ive just sent them money via paypal using there phone number.

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  • May 13, 2016 at 7:00 pm
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    Hi Mark, will try that!
    John

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  • May 14, 2016 at 1:36 pm
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    Mark, I have sent money by email, always a bit of delay I don’t have my own computer!
    John

    Reply

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