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Old 05-27-2014, 09:08 AM   #46
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Definitely on my favorites list (along with Manghen)

My buddy on Vivione in '07. He kept saying that his driveway was wider.

Yeap, that's it. I remember when a car came at me from the opposite direction and almost hit my left panier, although the speed was next to nothing.
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Old 05-27-2014, 09:14 AM   #47
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I brought my kids over in 2003. As we were waiting to get into Livigno, my elder son commented that it would be impossible to properly describe the scenery - it had to be experienced.

And that wasn't even a good part!
Yeah right? I made many photos but although they look great, still far from real thing... You need to be there to really appreciate it.
There are other parts in the world where the mountains are tall and the nature is beautiful. But I doubt that there is part of the world where the nature, mountains and roads to ride are all on one as in the Alps.
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Old 05-27-2014, 09:44 AM   #48
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Yeap, that's it. I remember when a car came at me from the opposite direction and almost hit my left panier, although the speed was next to nothing.
When I went up on the small side of the Gavia an uncoming biker was so startled when we both came around the same blind corner he almost rode right off the mountain.
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Old 05-27-2014, 11:35 AM   #49
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To FinlandThumper: what bike? And are you afraid of dirt?


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BMW F650 Dakar, metzeler Tourance tires. Definitely a friend of gravel roads and tracks. Finland would not be worth it for a pavement only bike.

I am all ears for dirt related rumors!
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Old 05-27-2014, 12:01 PM   #50
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My suggestion: skip Champagne, but def look into the Vosges 'mountains', from Strasbourg to Mulhouse. Lots of twisties and lots of traffic at the weekend. Another option is the highway 500 from Baden-Baden to the Rhein, with a few breaks in the 500 designation. Again, a very popular track at the weekend. If you do either of those, why not continue into Switzerland and Austria and then maybe into the Dolomites? A west loop into France and then entering Italy from there adds a lot of kms and the French Alps but I'm not sure you'd get your money's worth.

If I were to end up in the Dolos or Alps before heading to Porto Venere, I'd swing by Lake Garda or Lake Como, again it's busy by that time but a bike can get you through traffic. (I have found the west sides of either lakes to be slower going). I have a real phobia about northern Italy, the flat part. IMO it's too congested and the scenery is boring, so I'd make a run for it to Venere.
Very cool and thanks for the advice. The thing is, I am not married to anything as far as routes. I had considered part of the Grande Route des Alpes (northern part) if for some reason weather was a problem further east, and I have heard that the Piedmont region is nice. Maybe I will save that in case the weather is noticeably better around that part of Europe.

But certainly going in from the black forest is doable. Regarding the route from Baden Baden, I see you mean the road via Triberg? I see that in the Michelin green guide for Germany and wondered about it? This route sounds promising because it could allow me to head southeast across Switzerland and enter Italy near the Stelvio NP area etc.

Passing via Como or Garda is definitely an idea..

I have heard the northern Italy area south of the alps is not terribly interesting. I was hoping to follow rural routes but we shall see. I definitely plan to avoid Milan urban area...I can visit those without a bike.

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Old 05-27-2014, 02:21 PM   #51
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......
I have heard the northern Italy area south of the alps is very boring.
.....
fixed that for ya
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Old 05-27-2014, 03:04 PM   #52
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BMW F650 Dakar, metzeler Tourance tires. Definitely a friend of gravel roads and tracks. Finland would not be worth it for a pavement only bike.

I am all ears for dirt related rumors!
Ah! If you're going to Lago di Garda, book into a hotel in Tremosine for 2 nights and get a pass to ride the Passo Tremalzo. It's closed to motorized vehicles without the pass, and the pass can only be had if you're "vacationing" in the area.

Other than that, there's the Col du Finestre between Susa and Finistrelle - unpaved most of the way from Susa to the top - paved on the other side. But wait! There's more! From just after the pass going down to Finistrelle, you have the take off for the Assietta Ridge Road that will take you into Sestriere.

Of course, there's the old road on the Col du Tende in France. The north ramp is paved, the south ramp definitely isn't.

In the Dolomites, there's the Forcella di Lavardet between Santo Stefano di Cadore and points south.

I've ridden them all except for the Lavardet and Assietta. I snuck onto the Tremalzo (I didn't know and it wasn't signed) in 2002 and would have turned back were it possible. I made it through - more due to luck than skill.

I haven't been to the Lavardet with a bike that was at all suitable to gravel yet.

And the Assietta is on my list.

This probably really should move to a new thread.
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Old 05-27-2014, 04:15 PM   #53
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.....
In the Dolomites, there's the Forcella di Lavardet between Santo Stefano di Cadore and points south.
.....
Officially the SS465 is closed for all traffic after 2,5 km coming from the south and 4 (?) km coming from the north. So you are only allowed to walk there. (You can't miss the signs)

It was still doable last august, though
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Old 05-27-2014, 04:54 PM   #54
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This probably really should move to a new thread.
Yo, thinking the same thing.
2 different threads, really.
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Old 05-27-2014, 05:23 PM   #55
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I am going to (slightly) hijack this thread to ask a couple questions. First, the advice here is great and thanks to all of you guys with local experience for sharing.

My situation is this. I am arriving in Stockholm from the overnight boat out of Helsinki on 24 June. I have to be in Porto Venere IT on 7 July. For the 14 days between, I have completely free hands to ride solo, south via Copenhagen and into Germany staying a night in Schlessvig Holstein with some friends (just north of Lubeck) From there...? Don't know. The "direct" route is 2300km. I will hammer out the 700 from Stockholm to Copenhagen on day 1, which I have done several times. This leaves me with about 13 days and 1600km to do them in. I have ridden south through lower saxony and into the rhineland palatinate a couple times and will probably follow reasonable secondary roads south as I did previously. I prefer this to Autobahn especially on a 650cc single.

My main plan is just to follow the road as I find it and as weather permits. If the situation warrants, I was thinking of going as far west as Champagne and the Alsace, heading southward and entering Italy from France. But if the weather is good, I am thinking of going more or less south through Germany and entering the Alps from either the Black Forest, or from Bavaria.

First question: any route recommendations? Meaning from france, the black forest, or bavaria? Given how long I am riding I can easily get to just about any starting point. I am of course studying the routes discussed here, but if any of you German/Swiss riders could offer a northern fellow some routing advice, I would be grateful. I am not focused only on the mountains or the passes; I also do photography, cultural sights, decent restaurants. So a mix of things would be wanted.
.

With ALL those interests, a 700k stint to ferry, a night in Luebeck and a dawdle south through Germany and half of Europe, a fortnight is an AWFULLY short time....and cutting out Autobahns as well.

It all depends on what's most important to you.
Tick-in-the-box pass-bagging?
In depth wandering (time-consuming)...or surface-skimming?
Some dirt and backroads or smooth, quick stuff?
Off-bike stuff (walks/ lookouts etc).. or mainly riding?

All those impact greatly on time-consumption.
Best to start a new thread though...
Dirt is getting rare in the Alps, but here's some (Western Alps)
as of last year.
Scroll and you'll find dirt-sections dotted all over the place, from the Vercors to the Piemonte/ Aosta and Liguria across to the southern balconies of the Wallis in Switzerland etc.
For the eastern half, Austria, Friuli, Slovenia etc. try this.



The Panoramica delle Vette/ Friuli/ Italy

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glitch_oz screwed with this post 05-27-2014 at 05:45 PM
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Old 05-27-2014, 10:07 PM   #56
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Gentlemen, thanks. I am going to start a separate thread later on today to ask a few more questions. I originally intended to ask for a fast answer but I seems we are diverging so I agree, better to split this off. Thank you and let's return to this later.
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Old 06-05-2014, 02:02 PM   #57
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My route is done, but just one more question. On this route from Milan I'm taking the rt 2 which is going parallel to highway E35 -
http://goo.gl/maps/FlonW
Should I take E35 instead, and if so is it a toll road and can I pay at the toll booth?
Thanks.
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Old 06-05-2014, 02:50 PM   #58
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Route2 leads through endless towns and settlements, you'll be crawling along at suburbia-speeds most of the way.
The flat, industrial countryside is fairly uninspiring, too...
Take the 'Strada and pay your tolls as you go. Once on, each exit has it's own toll-booths and even the major Autostrada-segment-stations have at least one or 2 booths accepting cash.


And since you've saved yourself a lot of time you can burn it on some nice bits
It'd take the 'strada to Airolo (your pointC)(make sure of Swiss vignette/ freeway sticker) and have at least a nibble at the old Via Gottardo, aka The Tremola. The old cobble-stoned (and red cobbles at that) is something special.

Swapping to this map...http://goo.gl/maps/N6Hig (~150k'm from Airolo, all of it SLOW +SCENIC!!)
The Tremola extends to point G.
I'd definitely skip the fairly uninspiring Nufenen Pass (your map C-D) and keep going north from the Gotthard pass into Hospental, then tack west across the Furka to Gletsch, up the Grimsel.

At the top of the Grimsel, a tiny, single-lane, time-controlled!! road leads to Lake Oberaar...this thing's a CRACKER! (slobber)

If it's too busy on the Oberaar (but only the locals really know it, anyway) try this one for similarly stumping views, entirely on your own. A tiny, true single-laner snaking through the high meadows to a lake/ dam.


Then drop down the Grimsel and across the Susten to close the day in/ around Wassen (and start off the next morning with a short return trip up the Goeschenen Gorge to Lake Goeschenen , the place will knock your socks off!) ...or zip up the quick+shallow Oberalp from Andermatt.
A few pics of the Goeschenen road here.

Quite a jam-packed first day, but hey...




The little Lake Oberaar road...(it's a dead end, private road but free of charge...just check for the allowed time-slots, or line up with the other bikes at the start of the road)











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Old 06-05-2014, 08:05 PM   #59
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Thanks again OZ. Excellent info!!
We reserved a hotel in Tujetsch, so based on your route I'll go for this:
http://goo.gl/maps/5AsdC
Are these roads all paved? How safe is the Tremolla like in case of a rain?
Also, where do I get the Swiss vignette?? Is it like a toll ticket?
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Old 06-05-2014, 09:18 PM   #60
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Thanks again OZ. Excellent info!!
We reserved a hotel in Tujetsch, so based on your route I'll go for this:
http://goo.gl/maps/5AsdC
Are these roads all paved? How safe is the Tremolla like in case of a rain?
Also, where do I get the Swiss vignette?? Is it like a toll ticket?
Yes, paved roads only. If you want dirt/ gravel, let me know.
There is a track from the Gottardo Ospizio via the Alpe de Pontino into the Valle Canaria and back into Airolo, but boy....not on a rental and definitely not 2-up







Things get a lot rougher + steeper further down.

There's another, more level track along the Lago de Lucendo.

Check this link and it'll show lots of stuff around the top of the Gotthard Pass, some gravel and also a pic with the time-slots of the Lake Oberaar Road (Grimsel-Top-Lake = full hr+10mins....lake-to-Grimsel = half-hour+ 10mins)

....as well as some Tremola pics (which was closed for roadworks at the time...we sneaked as far as we could).
Pics are not as good, as it's from 2007 and cameras were 3 megapixel then

Tremola no probs in the wet, just stay off the white center markings made from small quartz pitchers in the "red" sections of the road (the lower, Airolo part). The quartz is even slippery when dry.
It's a "slow" road in any case, it's too special to run in one hit, making for time.

Wassen-end of the Susten to Tujetsch is approx. 45mins ride....on a good day! Traffic is always slow and jammed up that steep, narrow chute to the Devils Bridge (5 min photostop!!).

Vignette = toll sticker, can be carried under seat.
Available at most/ all service stations/ money-exchanges/kiosks near or at the Swiss border. Don't know if they sell them at the last Italian AutoStrada toll booths before you cross into Switzerland.
Might have to get off the Strada for a few minutes to find a petrol station, of which there should be plenty as juice is significantly cheaper in Switzerland than in Italy
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