Recommendations on a year of cycling in europe

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

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benjaminm3
Posts: 49
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:17 pm

by benjaminm3

Hello everyone, I am looking for some feedback about ~10 months of cycling in Europe.

I’ve been relocated to krakow for a year for work, and I am toying with the idea of going to different countries every weekend to road cycle. I have a few questions, and I would love to get opinions!

My assignment started this month, and realistically I don’t think I’ll be able to get myself together to cycle on the weekends until October (I have some trips back to the US, would need to figure out some logistics). I’m a road cyclist, and I love climbing. I suspect that due to flight availability in/out of krakow, I will get 1 day of cycling per weekend, with the rest of it lost to driving/flying.

1. Given the cold winter out here, would figuring out a setup where I can go somewhere every weekend be worth it? (Let’s define worth it as ~20 weekends in the next 10 months)

2. I have a pretty decked out teammachine at home in the states, but I’m a little worried that it would get damaged in frequent travel. Would an aluminum frame be a better candidate for this kind of task? If so, any recommendations, particularly ones that might be things you’d uniquely find in Europe? (Current options I’m thinking of are canyon endurance, allez sprint, bmc roadmachine x, Cannondale caad, Colnago Master, trek Emonda)

3. Is there a bike case folks would recommend within Europe? My understanding is that airlines here are friendlier to bikes than they are in the US


4. What destinations are warm-enough to cycle in during the winter? I had Corsica, Lanzarote, and potentially some areas of Spain on my list.

Thanks very much in advance!

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tymon_tm
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Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2006 4:35 pm

by tymon_tm

wow, welcome to PL!

before you make friends with airport staff, and make plane your second home, check out your nearest area

Krakow isn't particularly nice city to live/ride in imho, BUT:

1) you've got Tatra mountains just 100km south, with LOTS of climbing, both at PL and Slovak side (I prefer the latter, better roads, less traffic)

2) a bit south-east, heading towards Limanowa, Nowy Sacz and Krynica, you'll find some nice hills, plenty of 2-4km climbs, good roads, some great views and if you're lucky you can meet Kasia Niewiadoma along the way :mrgreen: (she's from around there)

whole south-east part of PL and most of Slovakia is mountains on top of the hills. if you wanna make the weekend trips, rent a car and try Slovakia (Slovensky Raj, Zilina, Banska Bytrica, Fatra...), you can also do a ride around the Tatras (some 200km long). and then there's Czech Rep, not to far away either, where our own Adam Hansen lives and rides...

IMHO it would be really crazy to miss on that, esp since you're already there...

if you're looking for a nice morning/afternoon rides near Krak, try west and north-west (google "Ojcow", some picturesque roads up there) or south-west toward Wadowice.
kkibbler wrote: WW remembers.

by Weenie


benjaminm3
Posts: 49
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:17 pm

by benjaminm3

Thanks for the info, I definitely plan to check out the local area!

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kbbpll
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:56 am

by kbbpll

As far as cases, Trico Iron Case? https://www.sportube.com/product-p/ironcase.htm. It's heavy and maybe a little pricey but you'd have to drive over it to damage the bike. I don't know what would be specific to Europe for a bike case.

RyanH
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by RyanH

Hard cases are probably going to be a no go since you'll have trouble fitting them in most cabs. A pika packworks is probably the largest you can get and not have trouble. If I was traveling that frequently, I'd probably get a Ritchey Breakaway. It's going to be a lot more convenient through the airports and packing into the back of cars/cabs and you'll be hit with less fees.

nachetetm
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2017 8:54 pm

by nachetetm

tymon_tm wrote:wow, welcome to PL!

before you make friends with airport staff, and make plane your second home, check out your nearest area

Krakow isn't particularly nice city to live/ride in imho, BUT:

1) you've got Tatra mountains just 100km south, with LOTS of climbing, both at PL and Slovak side (I prefer the latter, better roads, less traffic)

2) a bit south-east, heading towards Limanowa, Nowy Sacz and Krynica, you'll find some nice hills, plenty of 2-4km climbs, good roads, some great views and if you're lucky you can meet Kasia Niewiadoma along the way :mrgreen: (she's from around there)

whole south-east part of PL and most of Slovakia is mountains on top of the hills. if you wanna make the weekend trips, rent a car and try Slovakia (Slovensky Raj, Zilina, Banska Bytrica, Fatra...), you can also do a ride around the Tatras (some 200km long). and then there's Czech Rep, not to far away either, where our own Adam Hansen lives and rides...

IMHO it would be really crazy to miss on that, esp since you're already there...

if you're looking for a nice morning/afternoon rides near Krak, try west and north-west (google "Ojcow", some picturesque roads up there) or south-west toward Wadowice.
This is a perfect plan, in my opinion. I would avoid flying with the bicycle. Instead just use the train. If still you want to go to Spain, or Italy, just rent a bike there.

Rondje
Posts: 1275
Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2014 8:46 pm
Location: Netherlands

by Rondje

If you are only planning to ride on weekends and maybe just 1 day, isn't it cheaper to hire a good bike for just 1 day then all the extra luggage costs for a bike? Not sure, but might be worth checking out, especially if you go to highly visited area's where the rentals are good.

For locations I can't say much, never traveled south in the winter months. Southern Spain and the Canary islands should be fine, maybe Girona is as well altho can't say that for sure.

benjaminm3
Posts: 49
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:17 pm

by benjaminm3

nachetetm wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 2:27 pm
tymon_tm wrote:wow, welcome to PL!

before you make friends with airport staff, and make plane your second home, check out your nearest area

Krakow isn't particularly nice city to live/ride in imho, BUT:

1) you've got Tatra mountains just 100km south, with LOTS of climbing, both at PL and Slovak side (I prefer the latter, better roads, less traffic)

2) a bit south-east, heading towards Limanowa, Nowy Sacz and Krynica, you'll find some nice hills, plenty of 2-4km climbs, good roads, some great views and if you're lucky you can meet Kasia Niewiadoma along the way :mrgreen: (she's from around there)

whole south-east part of PL and most of Slovakia is mountains on top of the hills. if you wanna make the weekend trips, rent a car and try Slovakia (Slovensky Raj, Zilina, Banska Bytrica, Fatra...), you can also do a ride around the Tatras (some 200km long). and then there's Czech Rep, not to far away either, where our own Adam Hansen lives and rides...

IMHO it would be really crazy to miss on that, esp since you're already there...

if you're looking for a nice morning/afternoon rides near Krak, try west and north-west (google "Ojcow", some picturesque roads up there) or south-west toward Wadowice.
This is a perfect plan, in my opinion. I would avoid flying with the bicycle. Instead just use the train. If still you want to go to Spain, or Italy, just rent a bike there.
Some of the thinking is that cycling would be the way I tour/see different parts of Europe, so that was the thinking there. (I know if I just wanted to cycle I could stay local)


As I understand it, European airlines don’t charge the way American ones do for transporting a bike. Is that not true?


With renting I’ll have to check out the different locations that I’m interested in and when shops are open - I’ll probably be dropping into cities late-ish Friday evenings and and flying out sundays - so there’s a good chance the bike shops I would rent from will be closed no?

ToffieBoi
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Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2014 4:54 pm
Location: Krakow, Poland

by ToffieBoi

Send me a PM, I can show you around ;)

jfranci3
Posts: 354
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:21 pm

by jfranci3

Are you going to have the same car all year? In my experience, cramming a bike case into a European rental car can be a space issue. For reference, a traditional bike case is about 2/3 the size of a twin bed, so it won't fit in a Fiesta. If you have a consistent car, you can put a rack on it.

How handy are you with an wrench? if you can take the fork off, you can get a smaller case. The smaller case will require more bags ,but not a single big area. Soft cases pack better than hard cases and protect just as well, store better, and are lighter.

If you're buying a new bike, AL isn't any less delicate than carbon. If you've got a decked out road machine and it's too precious for a scratch, I'd recommend a BMC Roadmachine Disc. It'll take 32c tires for some non-road adventures and is only 200g heavier than their Teammachine.

by Weenie


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