Where to Live in Europe?

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

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kampiakseli
Posts: 109
Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2012 2:47 pm

by kampiakseli

I've been riding in Girona, Alicante, Bergamo and Lucca.. I'd go even more souht. Malaga is great riding location. Nice city. The tourist are on Fuengirola or Torrelmolinos. Bueotifull climbs starting from the city. Deacent airport. Mayby too hot on mid summer...

by Weenie


Mr.Gib
Posts: 3602
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 4:12 pm
Location: eh?

by Mr.Gib

nachetetm wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:46 am
I always find funny when someone, usually from across "the pond", talks about Europe like some homogeneous entity that can be consider as a whole.
We are talking about dozens of countries, with an even bigger number of different languages, cuisines, cultures and governments that are very different to each other.
No way - really? I would have never thought. :roll: Seriously, I am an academic with a data driven understanding of global geopolitical issues. If I had doubts about any language, food, culture, politics, etc. I would have ruled those places out. Eastern Europe is ruled out despite some great riding.

It's all about the riding. A good road network so I won't get bored. Smaller, quiet roads, good climbs, least traffic - what we all like. I just need a good base town that has the amenities and vibe needed for a multi month stay.
Last edited by Mr.Gib on Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:33 pm, edited 3 times in total.
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.

Mr.Gib
Posts: 3602
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 4:12 pm
Location: eh?

by Mr.Gib

PinaRene wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 4:41 am
For me that would be close to Albertville in France - maybe the little village of Mercury. Close to Geneva - Close to the Italian border and all great climbs close to you. ( Madelleine - Galibier - Col de Croix de Fer - Col de la Forclaz ) and many more
Interesting, I have ridden this area and thought it was great.
PinaRene wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 4:41 am
There is a cyclepath from Albertville to Annecy if the wife doesn't fancy to ride on the roads also used by cars.
Mrs. Gib is as hard as nails. She might kick your ass if you said this to her in person. :P
Image
Last edited by Mr.Gib on Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:21 pm, edited 4 times in total.
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.

mrfish
Posts: 1666
Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2007 12:49 pm
Location: Near Horgen, Switzerland

by mrfish

I've been cycling in quite a few countries and have visited most of Europe on holiday or for work. I would highly rate Switzerland. It has better roads, better drivers, better public transport and better scenery than 99.9% of other places in Europe mentioned. It is ridiculously expensive, but if money not an issue and you speak a little German the Eastern half is hard to beat. Only exception on the recommendation is if you are under 30 and want a party atmosphere. In that case go elsewhere.

Otherwise in summer I really liked Southern Sweden. Not somewhere most people would think of but i could happily spend a summer there, although some luck is needed if taking a trip as the weather can be unreliable. Iceland might be fun it you're into wilderness and gravel roads.

PM me if you want to discuss Switzerland in detail.

Mr.Gib
Posts: 3602
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 4:12 pm
Location: eh?

by Mr.Gib

@mrfish

Been over many of the significant climbs in Switzerland during a two week climbing orgy. You are 100% right. Nearly verything is better is Switzerland - nearly everything except the price. While we have adequate resources, there is something crazy about $6 - $7 for a coffee when 1 km across the Italian border that same coffee is $1.50. Still, anyone who loves bikes should ride there at least once.
Last edited by Mr.Gib on Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.

mrfish
Posts: 1666
Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2007 12:49 pm
Location: Near Horgen, Switzerland

by mrfish

I was thinking after i posted that Munich or maybe one of the ski resorts in Austria might be nice if you want swissness with less $$$.

Another thought is to avoid the large mountains. My experience is that the foothills are better for cycling as there are more roads so you dont have to choose beteeen a 20km climb with 10%+ or flatish morotway down the valley.

Mr.Gib
Posts: 3602
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 4:12 pm
Location: eh?

by Mr.Gib

@mr fish

Wouldn't rule out rolling terrain, medium hills/mountains, but no problems with the big climbs. It's what we like, we're fit. The ideal area should have lots of both.
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.

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TonyM
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Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:11 pm

by TonyM

Mr.Gib wrote:@mr fish

Wouldn't rule out rolling terrain, medium hills/mountains, but no problems with the big climbs. It's what we like, we're fit. The ideal area should have lots of both.
If you like the mountains, then the Alps, the Pyrénéen, or the Dolomites....for example living near Bozen. The Dolomites looks beautiful and you have a little bit of the Italian flair (better is however to speak German). BTW the World Championship is approx. 100 km away in Innsbruck this year! In the Alps you could stay in Briançon for example. Lot of nice rides in the mountains from there. In the Pyrénéen you could stay in Pau. Nice city with the typical flair from South of France.

You could of course where there are much less people and tourist like for example in the Massif Central in France. That’s where Romain Bardet is training...

Or somewhere else in Spain, or somewhere else in Italy

So lot of possibilities.....actually too many...

You should give us more points that are important to you.
And also maybe the countries that you like...




Mr.Gib
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Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 4:12 pm
Location: eh?

by Mr.Gib

TonyM wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 1:22 am
You should give us more points that are important to you.
And also maybe the countries that you like...
Road network - that is the key. The ideal place should have a great variety of loops. Nice to have options from 80 km to 180 km. Quiet roads and some good climbing. As for the town itself it doesn't much matter. It just needs to be close to the good riding, and be big enough so it has good grocery options, bike shop, and a bit of action. Obviously, not a horrible, industrial place. My experience has been that most of the medium sized towns in areas with suitable terrain are beautiful.

Countries, I guess the obvious three are France, Italy, and Spain. It would take something pretty special to consider others. Spain is attractive beause it would have the most reliable weather if we are there April, May, and June.
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.

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TonyM
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Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:11 pm

by TonyM

Mr.Gib wrote:
TonyM wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 1:22 am
You should give us more points that are important to you.
And also maybe the countries that you like...
Road network - that is the key. The ideal place should have a great variety of loops. Nice to have options from 80 km to 180 km. Quiet roads and some good climbing. As for the town itself it doesn't much matter. It just needs to be close to the good riding, and be big enough so it has good grocery options, bike shop, and a bit of action. Obviously, not a horrible, industrial place. My experience has been that most of the medium sized towns in areas with suitable terrain are beautiful.

Countries, I guess the obvious three are France, Italy, and Spain. It would take something pretty special to consider others. Spain is attractive beause it would have the most reliable weather if we are there April, May, and June.
For France I would say the Alps, South of the Alps, the Massif Central and the Pyrénéen have nice climbs and a good road network. The Massif Central is not that high but can be tough (remember Romain Bardet....). The Pyrénéen have nice climbs but not that high altitude like the Alps. The challenge in the Alps is to have quiet roads. Especially as from end of Mai with all the tourists. The Massif Central is however quite rainy until June. So the Pyrénéen could be one good spot for you. Living then in Pau or Tarbes. Not sure what you mean with “a bit of action”.

For Italy I would say the dolomites which have nice climbs and also a good road network. Something between the Pyrénéen and the Alps in terms of climbs. Living in Bozen or Meran would make it easy to go in every direction. The weather in April and Mai is however not always sunny. Remember that it is usually spoken German and not Italian there.

For Spain......I have no idea....
But for sure in terms of weather the best for April and Mai!

Antoine
Posts: 534
Joined: Tue May 03, 2011 6:36 pm
Location: France

by Antoine

Most non european pros are living in Girona, for good reasons apparently.
Andorra must be great too, D.Martin and J.Rodriguez are living there.
In France some pros are living in Nice, like Porte and Ewan but I don't think it's as good. Barguil moved to the area to do more climbing but he quickly came back to Brittany.
Most european pros are still living in their home city or area. R.Bardet in Brioude, good riding but the town isn't really exciting.
Some areas like the Cevennes or Ardeche have great riding with no traffic but are quite isolated.
Brittany doesn't have big climbs or great wheather (never too hot or cold though) but cycling is big there, like in Flanders I guess.
And from there you can easily go by boat to nearby British Islands or to the UK.
An indoor velodrome is going to be built in Loudeac.
Houses are not expensive if not too close to the sea.
In France the best coud be Corsica but local people are special, they are armed and if you do something wrong they blow up your house ...

basilic
Posts: 752
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:05 am
Location: Geneva, Switzerland

by basilic

Mr.Gib wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 3:47 am
April, May, and June.

Then skip the higher mountains, the high passes tend to open mid to late June. Also places like Annecy could have stretches of poor weather in April, I'd aim further south, maybe Gap, or the Provence (Aix is a nice university city, but maybe too much traffic). The italian Riviera has great riding (Sanremo).
But frankly, spending 3 months in any of these places without anything to do but ride, you'll go nuts. Id suggest (not that I have done that!) cities like Bergamo or Verona, situated at the foothills, vineyard roads, enough art and culture, and on the main train line from Milan to Venice, even Firenze or Rome within reach. If it's raining you hop on the train and explore. Or simlarly in Tuscany eg. The country is a frickin open air museum.
Last edited by basilic on Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

nachetetm
Posts: 88
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2017 8:54 pm

by nachetetm

Mr.Gib wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:01 pm
nachetetm wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:46 am
I always find funny when someone, usually from across "the pond", talks about Europe like some homogeneous entity that can be consider as a whole.
We are talking about dozens of countries, with an even bigger number of different languages, cuisines, cultures and governments that are very different to each other.
No way - really? I would have never thought. :roll: Seriously, I am an academic with a data driven understanding of global geopolitical issues. If I had doubts about any language, food, culture, politics, etc. I would have ruled those places out. Eastern Europe is ruled out despite some great riding.

It's all about the riding. A good road network so I won't get bored. Smaller, quiet roads, good climbs, least traffic - what we all like. I just need a good base town that has the amenities and vibe needed for a multi month stay.
I'm sorry if I offended you, but when I was living in the US I found myself explaining such differences among countries more than I would have ever imagine, even in people attending graduate school. I thought it was good to mention it just in case.

You already have a good array of suggestions but knowing better your preferences I think you should also include the North of Spain among your candidate places. Asturias and the West side of Cantabria are perfect for what you are looking for. The main issue here is that the weather is less predictable than in the mediterranean coast, but definitely not worse than in the Alps and in the months you are planning to go should be pretty good. And the climbs there are gorgeous; think of L'Angliru, Lagos de Covadonga, Fuente De, etc... Villages like Ribadesella, Llanes or Comillas are perfectly located by the sea and in biking distance of those climbs. Communication would be the weakest point there, but definitely not too bad.

basilic
Posts: 752
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:05 am
Location: Geneva, Switzerland

by basilic

yes to Asturias, absolutely.
But can a small town like Ribadesella hold your interest for so long, I don't know.
Why not do 1 month each in 3 places?

by Weenie


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micky
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by micky

Antoine wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:08 am
Most non european pros are living in Girona, for good reasons apparently.
Most non european pros used to live in Nice.
It's just a trend, and probably 10 years later they will opt for another place.
While the ones who makes lot of cash always opt for Momaco; they must have great training roads!

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