Help plan my SE France and N Italy trip (please) with update

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

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beatle
Posts: 180
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:08 pm

by beatle

I booked my first airbnb: Bormio from June 28 - July 5. This will then give me a week to spend in the Dolomites afterwards.

Looks like most advice is for the Corvara region in the Dolomites. With only a week, I think will try to find one place, preferably in a small town where I can get groceries and still have lots of ride options.

*Looking in the Dolomites, I would like a small town for easy access to groceries. Is Bolzano a good location?
Last edited by beatle on Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

by axel

Bourg saint maurice is really a nice place to ride with a lot of passes and some balcony roads. In the Annecy area, both sides of the lakes are beautiful but the one closest to the aravis is IMHO better!

once you've done l'alpe d'huez, you could stop at briancon, just before the french border to climb lautaret + galibier (aka one on the most breathtaking pass of the alps ;) )

Rondje
Posts: 1028
Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2014 8:46 pm
Location: Netherlands

by Rondje

Last time I was in the Dolomites I stayed in 2 places but this summer I trying to do all my rides from 1 place. Booked this Airbnb in Canazei: https://www.airbnb.nl/rooms/8535259 Canazei isn't small small town, but its no big city either. It's just your regular wintersport town with plenty of restaurants and a supermarket etc. Also enough options for good rides.
To give you an idea of some routes I'm maybe riding, here some Strava routes:
Most aren't crazy long rides, but not everyone of the group of friends that are going ride as much as others, so we want to make it fun for everyone. You can easily combine some if you want to go longer or further and there are plenty of more routes and mountains if you go down the road towards Moena.

beatle
Posts: 180
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:08 pm

by beatle

Rondje wrote:Last time I was in the Dolomites...


Thanks for the rides! That kind of info is gold! And that looks like a great airbnb. Canazei might be just right for me. I think as long as there is a grocery store and at least a restaurant or two, I will be good.

Still looking though...

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micky
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Location: Vicenza
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by micky

Canazei is a very nice location, normally used by families so plenty of options for groceries/restaurants.

beatle
Posts: 180
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:08 pm

by beatle

Closest I could get to Canazei, for a reasonable price, is Vigo di Fassa. (!)

beatle
Posts: 180
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:08 pm

by beatle

Any advice on renting a car? Specifically can I find a rental cheaper than the big guys like Avis, Budget, etc.?

Also, looking to rent my gf a scooter in France, only in the rural areas. I imagine I might find something at one of the ski resorts. I'd like for her to be able to cruise along to a cafe stop while I cycle there. Maybe I am asking too much? : )

Also, what about Gap, France for a base for Huez et al? Maybe this is too far away?

basilic
Posts: 660
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:05 am
Location: Geneva, Switzerland

by basilic

Beatle, when they tell you you can have it all, they're lying.
You go on a cycling vacation, non-cycling gf in tow, and hope to keep her happy by having her ride a scooter? she'll dump you, and if she doesn't, she's useless and you should dump her (or not, if she has great legs, in which case all rules are out). Don't do that. Take a week to be on vacation with her, not cycling - venice, hiking, whatever she likes - enjoy it fully, then put her on a plane home.

Gap is not handy to Alpe d'Huez. If you head that way set up camp in Barcelonnette, surrounded by superb cols and the highest road in France (cime de la Bonnette).

beatle
Posts: 180
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:08 pm

by beatle

Haha @basilic: just had a talk with the gf last night about the trip. She said she is happy to do whatever though I keep asking her what she would like to do and so far just attend a class at a ballet company in Paris. Hiking is part of our plans for sure. But, she reminded me that I am better staying put for a while when traveling rather than a whirl wind tour. So I am looking to take a stop or two out of the plan and increase our length of stay in each spot. I am glad she knows me more than I know myself! So after Paris, it is either the alps of France or Geneva for at least a week to ten days and then to Italy to see some friends in Tucsany. GF will be leaving on June 28 so that last two weeks are just for riding. I guess i got in over my head with excitement!

Rondje
Posts: 1028
Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2014 8:46 pm
Location: Netherlands

by Rondje

All depends on your planning. I traveled thru Spain, France & Italy 2 years ago and moved around a lot. Only stayed in the same place for a week twice when I had people visiting/joining me. Rest was stay a few days to ride and move on to the next place. You can also ride in the morning (before it get's to hot) and then do tourist things together at the 2nd part of the day.

What to pick between French Alpes or Geneva, I got no idea. Swiss is more expensive then France for what I know. But looking at the pictures of basilic and other riders near Geneva it looks beautiful to ride there.
You just have to ask yourself, is the Alpe d'Huez really that important? It's a nice climb and got some nice history, but not exceptionally hard, and I know climbs with more bends. They just marketed themselves well which resulted it in being an "must ride" climb.

beatle
Posts: 180
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:08 pm

by beatle

So gf and I had a talk today and it looks like we will go from Paris to Geneva, base ourselves there for about 8-10 days and maybe take a day trip (or two) to the Grenoble area. Sounds like there are better climbs than the Alp d'Huez there so might miss out on that one.

I live in the desert and so I am used to riding very early in the morning, leaving most of the day for tourist type things. Also, my bike is a Raleigh Breakaway which can be packed into a suitcase for travel in case it is difficult for some small busses.

We have a great idea of what to do at this point. I will finalize a lot of this over the next month and post up the final itinerary, leaving some room for spontaneity. Thank you all for such great information. If anyone has strava maps or gps maps of the Geneva area or nearby, I would greatly appreciate those.

Lastly, if you live in these areas and wouldn't mind a fellow rider to join, i'd love to meet up. I am fairly fit, category 3 rider, but just looking to ride lots in the mountains and meet new people and taste new foods!

Cheers mates!

Antoine
Posts: 455
Joined: Tue May 03, 2011 6:36 pm
Location: France

by Antoine

Look carefully as Geneva is probably very expensive (like all Switzerland) and not such a nice city to visit. I haven't been there recently though.

It's not only the Alpe d'Huez, you have many others climbs nearby : http://bike-oisans.com/en/cycling-oisans/oisans-mountain-passes

Renting a car for one week or more should be around 25 euros a day, for example : https://www.sixt.com/

Some places are renting electric bikes http://www.cyclesetsports.com/fr/location-velo/9559-location-velo-electrique-moustache-dimanche-28-xroad.html but I've never seen scooter for rent (probably too dangerous anyway).

beatle
Posts: 180
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:08 pm

by beatle

Thanks. This segment keeps changing. We looked into Annecy instead of Geneva and are still making considerations.

basilic
Posts: 660
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:05 am
Location: Geneva, Switzerland

by basilic

To plan rides, in Switz. or in Haute-Savoie (around Annecy) I find this map very useful
https://map.schweizmobil.ch/?lang=en&bgLayer=pk&resolution=50&X=515894&Y=138478

Very accurate. Zoom in to find the smallest roads. White roads with solid and dashed lines are paved, even some of the one-line roads.
On the Swiss side you can select cycling routes (or hiking, etc). You can send me a pm if you have questions about riding in Haute-Savoie, local grounds.

beatle
Posts: 180
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:08 pm

by beatle

basilic wrote:To plan rides, in Switz. or in Haute-Savoie (around Annecy) I find this map very useful
https://map.schweizmobil.ch/?lang=en&bgLayer=pk&resolution=50&X=515894&Y=138478

Very accurate. Zoom in to find the smallest roads. White roads with solid and dashed lines are paved, even some of the one-line roads.
On the Swiss side you can select cycling routes (or hiking, etc). You can send me a pm if you have questions about riding in Haute-Savoie, local grounds.


Thanks again basilic. Are there group rides in the Geneva area? It is looking like Annecy will be our spot with a day trip to Geneva and one to Grenoble area as well. I think this is a good compromise.

Booked a place in Annecy from June 14-June 22. Hoping for a day trip to Geneva and to Grenoble area.

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