Mon, July 14, 2008: Travel diary online in english too.
Date: 4th May - 4th July 2008
Duration: 62 days (including 3 rest days and 8 days visiting relatives and friends)
Distance: 7518 km or 4528 miles, about 147km or 88 miles per day
Countries: Switzerland, Italy, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria
Cities: Rome, Pisa, Genova, Monaco, Nice, Marseille, Toulhouse, Bordeaux, Paris, Lütich, Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Vienna, Linz, Salzburg
Bicycle: Longrider recumbent Fateba L1
Camping: Wild (100%)
- 7x flat tires: 4x front, rear 3x
- 2x rear tires: after about 700km (uneven tubes with a hole lead to damage of the tire itself), and 6500km (big hole)
- 5x broken rear wheel spokes, then
- 1x rear wheel: after about 5500km new rear wheel bought with a double wall rim and zinc enhanced spokes
The most beautiful moments of the trip:
San Benedetto di Tronto
Lago di Bolsano
Near Siena, Tuscany
Pont Alexandre III, Paris
Brandenburger Tor, Berlin
Departure at 9:15 from Steinhausen, 15 minutes after I packed the bike. 12:00 in Altdorf and 15:00 in Göschenen where I use the train to Airolo, since the St. Gotthard Pass is still closed. The ascent to Göschenen is hard, since it's the start of the tour, the bike is heavy and I hardly can push up or pull the bicycle when going up or down the underpass at the trainstation - a passerby helps me. In Airolo leaving it's downhill to Biasca, and outside of Osagna I camp. I eat salted biscuits, bread, cheese and bars, drink ice tea and water. I am tired and go soon sleep 20:30. Bye!
0km: Steinhausen (Switzerland)
Göschenen train station
Valle di Leventina
Valle di Leventina
Awake early, about 6:00 but is only at 7:00 I get up and leave. 7:30 leaving direction Bellinzona, then on Mt Ceneri about 310Hm, not so steep as to Göschenen. Light descent to Lugano, eat lunch. 12:00 continue to Chiasso, Como and then climb about 150Hm on 20km still hilly. Take the direction to Bergamo, then detour in Calco close to Merato south to avoid the traffic, some little space for me without bicycle lane. In the south it is more flat - beautiful cities after Como, then villages with shopping temples and petrol stations, reminds me of the U.S. Frequent traffic, a lot of activity, the North is vital and lot's of businesses, you realize it quickly. Village to village close to reach other, there is hardly any "free" space. Finally 18:30 near Ciserano direction Caravaggio I reach a small forest, a bird biotope, with the park bench where I camp. I'm tired, eat something, drink, wash my face and hands - again feel fresh and have energy again.
Piano di Magadino
Up 7:20, 8:10 departure. In the night near a car with 2-3 men who are still loud in the night listening to music and lively talk or argue. I go side streets, but these are still full of traffic, ie with about 50 trucks per hour. I try to avoid traffic but always returned to the big roads - almost no place - in other words. I ride then half of highway Soncino to Montichiari, then Mantova, which I circumvent on a higway-like road - strange. Before Goito an accident involving cyclist, cap, glasses are on the road, the bike damaged or ridden over, police and ambulance, congestion - no blood on the ground - hmmmm. It seems rather ended without injury? Mantova I partly circumvent as well on a long bridge, later I exit about 10km and turn into a park with bike icon - surprise! Near a canal bridge I rest 17:00. Fisher look after me and the land owner is looking after me without saying anything - but views say much - So, I depart again and ride 10km, first main road back on the road near the channel/river, my definite place for this evening and night 20:00. Some rain around 21:30, putting up the tent in the dark fast - at 1:30 the rain stops - it's short night.
6:00 awake, but only to get up at 6:30, and then quickly pack and get on the main road to Ostiglia, branches off to Borgofranco via bridge over the broad Po, continue to Sermide finally less traffic. Pilastri, Bondeno to Femera at 12:30, and remained there until 14:15, my knees are burned and prefer trousers. Continue toward Ravenna, and this wide side stripes to comfortably go without that trucks require to circumvent me in huge distance. Shortly before Ravenna, R. Mezanno again on a bicycle trail on the river Lamore an opportunity for a place to stay - otherwise little space. When I begin to eat Sergio approaches me, a touring cyclists, who lives nearby and immediately invites me to dinner, and I camp in his garden. A warm shower and washing clothes - a nice surprise and a fine dinner. His wife translated my english into italian and so we discuss until 22:00. Thank you all!
Was a cool night slightly below 10C, cooler than last night. Around 7:15 up, a little pastry for breakfast and a cup of hot water. Then before Ravenna highway, returning 50m, but finally circumventing Ravenna completely via Russi, then Cervia, reaching the Adriatic Sea (Mediterranean Sea), 12:00. The attempt to stay close to the sea isn't always possible, otherwise max 30km/h for cars, and so, it will be very good. Near Rimini more traffic, very dense. After Catholica, and then climb to Pescara - so far the best section of the journey, great nature with natural forest, less agriculture, very beautiful, enjoy it despite climbing about 50-100Hm. Then down to Pesaro, evening traffic, fast, end to the sea immediately after Fano, after Metaurvilla, near the river Metaur I search for a site to camp, and about 2-3km inland in a gas industry complex I find something, a nice place near the river - a car approaches me, and the driver says he would close the gate, which is still open when I entered (didn't notice the gate at all). I say I'd like to camp, he says he would keep the door open for me, and I should close it tomorrow when I leave the place . . . absolutely great, the simplicity of things in Italy! 18:00 tent put up. Thanks!
Camping at Sergio's house, Mezzano
Adria / Mediterean Sea
Adria / Mediterean Sea
About 6:00 awake, 7:00 departure. I close the door behind me as agreed. At the coast to Faconara where I stay on the SS16 and apparently bypassing Ancona I think, to the point where the bicycle ban is coming - I understand the road with 2 tunnels was quite risky, so I drive to Ancona finally, and in the middle of the city I decide to go direction Portonovo, which means about 200Hm ascent, but great view on the city. At the end of the city on top of the hill also the other road from the city is joining - that is the alternative for cyclists, several cyclists with racing set in groups ride the route. Once again, 100-150Hm to near Monte Conero, then exit to Sirolo or Numana, then in Porto Reconti sea level, back to the sea. There, I take a siesta, 13:00 to 15:00 to avoid the strong sun. Eat lunch, etc. 15:10 continue to ride, partly shaded by various cities on the sea, the traffic is moderate, almost no trucks because highway goes parallel. I ride further and miss good opportunities on the river bed for camping. Close to S. Benedetto di Tronto I camp finally. Thanks!
San Benedetto di Tronto
Awake 6:00, 6:40 departure, still cool, rather flat direction Pescara. In Montesilvano seamlessly to Pecara, where I shop quickly. Small climb to Chieti, cyclists I ask for directions because no signs. After I make in Monepello siesta, 12:30-14:30, after I continue the bike feels strange, sluggish, and rear starts to get an eight. Spoke broken? No. A flat. Small thorn in the rear, exchange tube. Old tube is very uneven and with less pressure led to unevenness of the entire rear wheel with all the weight. After 30 min I reach Popoli, 17:30, bike shop found, which centers the wheel again and a new tire replacement and new tube, Euro 20 (Euro 15 centering, Euro 5 hose). Wheel removed without prior taking baggage off! Riding further and take route to Avezzano, which means riding Forca Caruso, in Cortofinio it has a public water ource where I tank water again - even 20 curious people admire me and ask me all kind of questions. Reaching about 1000km! Up and down to Castel di Ieri where people are rather closed - funny. Nature is wonderful, wild, rocky then green. I ride until 20:30, beautiful place alongside the road, it's very quiet, no noise. Thanks!
1000km: Corfinio near Pescara (Italy)
8:00 awake, it was cool night, had for 2 hours cold, after 2:00 warm enough. 9:00 departure uphill, steadily, driking and eating bars, cereals when I'm at the top. 10:40 on the pass Forca Caruso, eating, then departure, little further down the valley, great! Very nice area. Continue through Avezzano, Tagliazzo I get lost for the first time, and very much so - all roads lead to Rome, and there are signs showing show to Rome on a mountain (Monti Midia) 1400m altitude, after 250Hm I drive back, take flatter route, reaching Colle Civitelle pass at 978m, then to my surprise everything downhill to Carsoli in 600m, and even more, deep valley, Arsoli, wonderful. Shortly before Tivoli I find a place on a river, and it starts to rain. 18:30. Thanks!
Forca Caruso (1100m)
Colle Civitella (978m)
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- Page 1: Quick Facts, Fixes, Highlights, Switzerland, So 4.5. 2008 Steinhausen (Switzerland) - Biasca, 125km () ...
- Page 2: Mon 12.5. Vicovaro - Rome - Caprarica, 120km (7:16), Tue 13.5. Caprarica (Restday) ...
- Page 3: France, Wed 21.5. Antheor - St. Raphael - Toulon, 160km (8:55), Thu 22.5. Bandol - Marseille - Salin de Giraud, 131km (8:23) ...
- Page 4: Wed 28.5. Royan - La Rochelle - Lucon, 140km (7:10), Thu 29.5. Lucon - Chinon, 158km (8:10) ...
- Page 5: Netherlands, Fri 6.6. Maastricht (Netherlands) - Zeeland, 137km (7:26), Sat 7.6. Zeeland - Arnhem - Almelo, 156km (8:45) ...
- Page 6: Fri 20.6. Wolfsburg - Brandenburg, 166km (7:55), Sat 21.6. Brandenburg - Berlin, 139km (8:40) ...
- Page 7: Czech Republic, Mon 23.6. Dresden (Germany) - Litomerice (Czech Republic), 158km (9:02) ...
- Page 8: Fri 27.6. Krems - Linz, 172km (10:14), Sat 28.6. Linz (Austria) - Rosenheim (Germany), 212km (12:02) ...
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