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Old 03-06-2013, 01:59 PM   #1
lurw OP
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1300 miles in one week, too much?

Hi guys, I plan on doing my first real road trip on my bike.

I plan on riding from Switzerland over the "Route du Napoléon" through France, along the coast to Pisa and then north again through the Toscana and Northern Italy.
It comes to about 1300 miles, I only have a maximum time of 8 days available, university continues again after that.

Do you experienced guys think this'll work? Or is it too long a route for only a week?


Also, what is there to be aware of? I have a large bag I'll try to strap on the tail which should be enough, considering I'll also be carrying a small rucksack.
I don't plan on making any reservations or big plans, I will just ride along and sleep wherever they have a room.
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:03 PM   #2
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Sounds like an awesome idea!
What are the average speed limits on the roads you will be taking? If it's 65 miles an hour, it comes to 20 hours of pure riding time, which over 7 days is really only 3 hours a day... But if you plan on stopping at the small towns and enjoying the life, it would take longer!

Good plan though! I wanna go on a trip too!
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:20 PM   #3
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Europe is far more condensed than the US, if one desires (Iron Butt) you can do 1300 miles in a day... but given sightseeing, meals, traffic density etc. you may well be pressed to get it all in in 8 days. use Mapquest or other GPS / mapping tools to "plan", we all have a different agenda when we ride.

good luck!
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:49 PM   #4
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First of all, sorry for posting in the wrong forum, I wasn't sure. What does "EMEA" mean?

Thank you for your answers! I think Google Maps said it would amount to about 24h of riding time, so that should be ok... I mean, ride half the day, go sightseeing the other half, right?

And if I notice time gets scarce, I can always hop on the freeway and haul ass.

Speed limits will mostly be 80 km/h or more (around 50 mph), rural roads. I'll try to avoid the freeways, if possible.

And of course, I'll take lots of pictures and post them here!
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:27 PM   #5
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On my Euro trips, I am hard pressed to get over 500km's/day on secondary roads, especially going through small towns and seeing pretty girls sitting outside cafe's and bars but, the motorways were a different story.
When I lived in the US, 1,400 km days were not uncommon but also, get on the small roads and it slows down a lot.
You have to figure out if the journey or the destination gives you more pleasure.
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:45 PM   #6
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250/ 300 mile day's are no problem over 8 day's. Just get you first day in, and work it from there. Sound's like you will have a great time.
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:48 PM   #7
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Thumb What Wheatwhacker said +1

You can scald the roads on the motorways and it'll scald your wallet with tolls in France. Watch for the radar and photo radars. Watch for the cops on FJRs. They love the speed, too.

Or see the country, the cafes, the girls, the curves - and enjoy the trip.
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:00 PM   #8
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Thanks! I will try to get far the first day, and then take my time.
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:44 PM   #9
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Route Napoleon is very nice for biking. The coastal route along the côte d'Azur is very nice too but there you'll get only an average speed of 40 km/h. It's an area with many speed limits of 50km/h and traffic jams in tourist season. If you want to enter Italy and get to Pisa in such a short time I would take a road higher in the mountains. Toll roads along cote d'azur are very expensive. I wouldn't take them. My advice: sometimes in France and Italy you go faster on the small countryroads (yellow and white on a Michelin map) than on the national roads (RN= red roads on Michelin) they have many roundabouts and industrial area's
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:52 PM   #10
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Thanks for the tips!
I know about the roads along the Cote being slow, but they are so beautiful! I think I'll just try and if I don't make enough kilometers per day I'll get on the toll roads or further north into the mountains, like you recommended.
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:58 AM   #11
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Hello Lurw, congretulations to your plan,
my first Trip on a Honda CX500C, back in 1983 was the same route you planned.
No tent but no hotel, it was late autumn and i just drove with a kind off naivity you only have when you are 19 years old. It was the best trip ever.
Never met more nice people.
You drive an area, where you can be in two ore three hours back in switzerland.
One point, the lengh is good to make, without stopping you can make about 40 kilometers an hour, never forget.
Looking at your bike, why not take only routes in the alps?
I often travel to Corsica and have to make the alps as a transit, from south Germany, and always regret not to have more time, doing some passes.
Heared from the plan to put the level off your vignette to 100 Fr. in 2015.
Brings a lot on the small routes.
Have a lot nice adventures, Hans
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:19 AM   #12
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EMEA = Europe, Middle East, Africa (I think).

1300 miles in 8 days is a piece of cake. For me it is anyway

Joking aside, 1300 divided by 8 is 162.5 miles a day. Throw in a couple of 300 mile "blasting it on motorways" days and that brings it down to 700 in 6 days which is 116. Quite easy when you break it down like that.

Some friends and I did Lido de Jessolo to Saint Tropez in a day which is around 420 miles. Our partners didn't talk to us afterwards though. Which was nice...
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:46 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by hensmen View Post
Hello Lurw,
[...]
Have a lot nice adventures, Hans
Thank you! Are you Swiss, too?

I'm 20 so I am probably not wiser than you were on your trip. I don't want to plan too much, but just see how it goes and adjust on the fly, so I think we think alike!

On the route I have planned, there are many twisty roads, so the bike is surely the right one, although it might get uncomfortable.

Judging from all the comments here, the route is about the ideal length and doable. I think I will try it!
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:42 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lurw View Post
Hi guys, I plan on doing my first real road trip on my bike.

I plan on riding from Switzerland over the "Route du Napoléon" through France, along the coast to Pisa and then north again through the Toscana and Northern Italy.
It comes to about 1300 miles, I only have a maximum time of 8 days available, university continues again after that.

Do you experienced guys think this'll work? Or is it too long a route for only a week?


Also, what is there to be aware of? I have a large bag I'll try to strap on the tail which should be enough, considering I'll also be carrying a small rucksack.
I don't plan on making any reservations or big plans, I will just ride along and sleep wherever they have a room.
Rule One is not to plan too much because you'll want to be flexible.

Unless you get trapped during the July-August period you should have little problem finding lodging along the way.

Your mileage/kilometrage will depend on the routing. Don't plan your day in distance, just enjoy the cruise and stop when you want to.

The Route de Napoleon is mostly a good ride, but IMO from Grenoble north is less so. If you want true mountain riding, take a look at this: http://grande-traversee-alpes.com/ro...-grandes-alpes
That alone will amuse you for three days from Thonon to Menton but you can cut it short along the way to head for Italy. Speaking of Italy, the coast route to Genova and down to Pisa is no fun, traffic is dense and there isn't really an alternative to the autostrada. Toscana is gorgeous for riding but may be too far for this trip. I'd recommend you include one or two of the Italian lakes and then back through the Dolomites if you have time. Much of northern Italy is flat and crowded.

Stop and have a coffee, smell the flowers, take photos, enjoy the moment.
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:55 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by RTLover View Post
[...]
Good info right there! Thanks.
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