Alternatives to California in Europe

Questions about bike hire abroad and everything light bike related. No off-topic chat please

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claus
Posts: 257
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2008 10:04 pm

by claus

Which places in Europe (most likely south of Spain or Italy) are comparable to Northern California wrt cycling conditions, e.g., weather, hills/mountains, (relatively) cycling friendly?

I'm looking for some place which allows me to ride basically all year long (very little rain, no snow, warm enough, i.e., most of the time 18 deg C or more).
Moreover, it would be nice to be able to live without a car (local shopping for food etc).
As a bonus, the cost of living might even be lower.

These are just my first set of "requirements", I probably find some more later on.

Marin
Posts: 2818
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:48 am
Location: Vienna Austria

by Marin

Basically, South of Spain or Italy. Greece could work too, especially wrt cost of living.

by Weenie


Stefano
Posts: 244
Joined: Sun Dec 19, 2010 4:24 am
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan

by Stefano

Are there any bargains/ good places to be had in northern europe? I am looking for both cycling and XC skiing

claus
Posts: 257
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2008 10:04 pm

by claus

I was looking for something more specific than a (part of a) country, e.g., some towns.
Preferably with some "first hand" experience from people who lived and rode there for a bit.

AJS914
Posts: 2042
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

I lived in Montpellier, France. The riding was lovely but there were no mountains. It looks Napa valley out in the countryside. It's probably not particularly cheap unless you were willing to live in a village outside of town though I'm sure it's dramatically cheaper than California. Living in town, walkable to everything is probably pricey.

What about Girona where lots of the pros make their homes?

Portugal is going to be cheaper than Spain.

Marin
Posts: 2818
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:48 am
Location: Vienna Austria

by Marin

Was going to mention Girona, club mates go there regularly.

damond
Posts: 160
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:47 pm

by damond

Girona, Barcelona, Murcia in Spain;

Monaco or Nice in France (not particularly cheap);

Portimão, Lagos in Portugal (not that big mountains though...)

Just out of curiosity, the timing of your posting is interesting...does it have anything to do with the US presidential election?

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Tomstr
Posts: 572
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 5:04 pm

by Tomstr

I'd like to second Girona in Spain. It has all you're looking for. Cost of living can be good if you're not in the centre of town.
Ride it like you stole it

BruceCarnevale
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Jan 06, 2007 4:36 pm
Location: Aachen, Germany

by BruceCarnevale

Many of my friends also love Girona, especially for the cycling culture there.

You might try the south of Gran Canaria. I go there several times a year. Lots of pros go there in the winter (Contador, Cancellara). It's not too expensive to live there as somethings are taxed less - it is kind of a customs-free zone. Perhaps a bad example, but gasoline is quite a bit cheaper than on the mainland. There are several smaller cities on the southern coast, Playa del Ingles and Costa Rica are musts-to-avoid if you care about living in a nicer city. They are fugly, but none of the south is really beautiful with perhaps the exception of Puerto de Mogan and maybe Arguinegin. The mountain villages can be quite quaint, slightly touristy.

You can ride short-sleeved the entire year, it rarely rains in the south and has some hard-core climbing: google "Valley of the Tears." I posted a pic on ww of it. The only problem is that there are only three bigger climbs from the south and really nothing flat - even the flattish southern coastal rode is hilly. If you ride 130km and longer you, can explore a lot more of the middle and north, tho.

Not a place for Campagnolo. The shops only stock Shimano and SRAM. Renting a bike is exorbitant, too.

If you want more info, let me know, I can write in more detail.

claus
Posts: 257
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2008 10:04 pm

by claus

Gran Canaria sounds like a very interesting choice, esp. after I read the weather statistics on wikipedia and compared it to Girona (and as long as the postal system works, I could get Campagnolo parts if needed :-)

Please post more details, thanks!

axel
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2016 3:43 pm

by axel

Stefano wrote:Are there any bargains/ good places to be had in northern europe? I am looking for both cycling and XC skiing


In france the Vosges are pretty cool for xc skiing/road cycling/mtb.
When you stay around Gerardmer there is serious climbs!
More it's a great place to do some xc skiing but i don't practice so i can't tell you more!
It's less expensive than the alps :)

BruceCarnevale
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Jan 06, 2007 4:36 pm
Location: Aachen, Germany

by BruceCarnevale

First check out some of the webpages on cycling on Gran Canaria.
http://www.cyclegrancanaria.com/
http://www.free-motion.com/en/gran-canaria/
http://www.cyclo-canaria.com/en/
http://happybiking.info/
http://www.lacicloturista.com/en/
They all want to sell you guided tours, which are a nice way to meet others, but look at their tours, the maps, elevation profiles and you'll get an idea of what's in store for you if you go there. You'll also see that most only cover the southern half or third of the island. The last link is to a cyclotourist ride in December with a really hard mountain time trial on the final day.

There is also lots of info on climbbybike.com and other sites on the individual climbs.

What might also pull you toward the Canaries, however, is GC's proximity to Tenerife. There are fast and slow ferries to that island from GC, which will offer you lots of other climbs to ride. It's no wonder that many pros ride there in the winter.

Afa where to live is concerned, I mentioned Puerto de Mogan and Arguineguin. What exactly are you looking for? If you want to live on the coast, they are nice, kinda quaint and not too small. If you want to live in the mountains, there are plenty of places to do that, such as Mogan, St. Bartolome, St. Lucia, but you might have to go to the coast to buy some bike stuff.

I mentioned no Campy because I have a Campy-equipped bike permanently on the island and one time a tiny spring in the left brifter broke, which left me with nothing else than to rent a bike - they cost more per day than a compact car! I took the shifter back home with me (in Germany), fixed it here and reinstalled it there, plus brought a replacement in case it happens again. So bring anything that can wear out to avoid long waits for packages from the mainland.

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euan
Posts: 1498
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 11:20 am

by euan

Could always move to California in Scotland
"Step forward the climber and all those who worship at the altar of lightness" - R. Millar

campbellrae
Posts: 546
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:20 am
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

by campbellrae

Yeah, our weather is great :lol:

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xpert
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Joined: Thu May 18, 2006 5:20 pm
Location: Cyprus
Contact:

by xpert

Come to Cyprus!

by Weenie


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