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Old 06-06-2006, 03:15 PM   #1
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I'll be out of Iraq and back in Wiesbaden, Germany in about three months, hell yeah!

I'm thinkin' that I'm gonna take a short little trip somewhere, with my road bike (as in bicycle). Any recommendations on where to go, that's not too far away? (like under 8 hours on a train) I'd go for a cool city that I could do day rides out of, or tour from place to place. I'm in pretty good shape, so I'm talkin serious riding, like 60+ miles a day, I'm not trying to kill myself but a good combination of mountains and flats would be great. And roads that I can ride on of course, the less traffic the better. And if there's a good nightlife there, that'd be a plus.

Any ideas?

I was thinking maybe the Normandy area in France, I could see some WWII historical sights, but I dunno anything about the area. Or maybe along the coast in Italy . . .
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Old 06-06-2006, 09:13 PM   #2
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France has some seriously awesome places to bike. If you're a serious rider though, I would highly suggest Provence. You have mountains, roman ruins, and fields of lavender (in the right season). After spending some time in the Loire Valley and Dordogne, I spent mroe than week starting out at Avignon and riding a basic loop around it. (La Camarague, Arles, Nimes, Orange, Les Fontaines dr Vacluse and then all over the Luberon Valley). Then when I wanted a real challenge, I headed east to the foothills of the Alps near Nice/Menton/Peille/Monte Carlo/Italy. Met some guys training for the Tour de France.

In any case, if you're up for 60mi+ a day, you can pretty much do whatever you want. have a great time!


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Old 06-07-2006, 12:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by thatgirlwholaughs@Jun 7 2006, 04:13 AM
France has some seriously awesome places to bike. If you're a serious rider though, I would highly suggest Provence. You have mountains, roman ruins, and fields of lavender (in the right season). After spending some time in the Loire Valley and Dordogne,* I spent mroe than week starting out at Avignon and riding a basic loop around it. (La Camarague, Arles, Nimes, Orange, Les Fontaines dr Vacluse and then all over the Luberon Valley). Then when I wanted a real challenge, I headed east to the foothills of the Alps near Nice/Menton/Peille/Monte Carlo/Italy. Met some guys training for the Tour de France.

In any case, if you're up for 60mi+ a day, you can pretty much do whatever you want. have a great time!
[snapback]124636[/snapback]

hmmmmm . . . . looks tempting. Here's a few questions for you. How are the people, friendly? Not much traffic? Is it very touristy? If I got tired of biking for some reason, could I find other things to do around here? (maybe a silly question I know)

Thanks a lot!
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Old 06-07-2006, 12:21 PM   #4
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Yay! Welcome back...almost. My husband's stationed at Spangdahlem, so we're living in the Eifel region, which is awesome for cycling. A lady I know was just telling me about a trip they're doing through Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany - their particular route is about 160 km, I think they're looking at it as a long weekend thing, but you could cover a lot of territory if you've got a couple of weeks leave to play with. You could catch a train to Trier or Koln, and then make a circuit, maybe throw Luxembourg in because, well, it's there... The roads around here are pretty busy with cyclists during the summer, but slack off a bit during the fall, though the weather can still be decent. And there are tons of bike friendly routes, and if you get in touch with the German cycling group you can get all sorts of info about cheap B&Bs and hostels which are geared to cyclists, too. Plus, I guess you can stay at billeting when you're near a base, if they have room...

The Eifel is fairly hilly, not quite mountainous, then of course most of the Low Countries will be less strenuous! But it is pretty country and fairly bike friendly.

Stay safe.

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Old 06-07-2006, 03:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by tumblezweedz@Jun 7 2006, 07:21 PM
Yay!* Welcome back...almost.* My husband's stationed at Spangdahlem, so we're living in the Eifel region, which is awesome for cycling.* A lady I know was just telling me about a trip they're doing through Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany - their particular route is about 160 km, I think they're looking at it as a long weekend thing, but you could cover a lot of territory if you've got a couple of weeks leave to play with. You could catch a train to Trier or Koln, and then make a circuit, maybe throw Luxembourg in because, well, it's there...* The roads around here are pretty busy with cyclists during the summer, but slack off a bit during the fall, though the weather can still be decent.* And there are tons of bike friendly routes, and if you get in touch with the German cycling group you can get all sorts of info about cheap B&Bs and hostels which are geared to cyclists, too.* Plus, I guess you can stay at billeting when you're near a base, if they have room...

The Eifel is fairly hilly, not quite mountainous, then of course most of the Low Countries will be less strenuous!* But it is pretty country and fairly bike friendly.

Stay safe.


[snapback]124778[/snapback]


Hmmmmmm . . . that sounds good too. I remember really liking that area the few times I've driven through it. And it wouldn't be so far by train or car, because these other places in France would be a day or two of travelling. Plus, I got my adventure in Peru and now I'd just kinda like to relax, so if I stayed in Germany I wouldn't have to deal with the language barrier quite as much and its much closer, and I could check out the Battle of the Bulge area by bike. Hmmmm . . . .

. . . . these are going to be the longest 2.5 months of my life.
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Old 06-07-2006, 07:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Legitikick@Jun 7 2006, 04:21 PM
Hmmmmmm . . . that sounds good too.* I remember really liking that area the few times I've driven through it.* And it wouldn't be so far by train or car, because these other places in France would be a day or two of travelling.* Plus, I got my adventure in Peru and now I'd just kinda like to relax, so if I stayed in Germany I wouldn't have to deal with the language barrier quite as much and its much closer, and I could check out the Battle of the Bulge area by bike.* Hmmmm . . . .

. . . . these are going to be the longest 2.5 months of my life.
[snapback]124837[/snapback]
Battle of the Bulge area is nice. I had a job in Bastogne for two months and really appreciated being able to ride to luxembourg and back before/after work. Lots of hills, cows, and streams.
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Old 08-03-2006, 07:39 PM   #7
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The time's getting close!

Okay, I really need to decide on where to go now. The problem is everywhere I really want to go is too far away from Wiesbaden! I want to ride the Pyrenees area, but I don't want to drive forever.

Can you guys remind me of how beautiful Luxemburg and the surrounding areas of France and Belgium are? It sure would be convenient if I could be happy with that. But the real mountains down south keep drawing my attention. (Although I'll be spending the week prior in and around Salzburg, just not on bike.)
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Old 08-04-2006, 08:03 PM   #8
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Okay, no reminder needed, I've decided on touring around the Luxemburg area. I think I'll start in Trier, ride to Bitburg one day, then to Luxemburg the next day, then to Bastogne, what else should I see in this area? How about something in France? I need some reason to hit another country.
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Old 08-06-2006, 05:13 AM   #9
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Well, if you're going to be in Bitburg, we'll have to do a meet up - we're just 30 minutes away. Fact, we may even be able to arrange a bed for you, if you don't mind being in a house with a million kids...

We just spent a couple of days in Belgium, and it was, honestly, fantastic. We drove through via Bourscheid, Luxembourg, and if you headed that way you'd pass through a big national forest preserve type thing. Very scenic, and fairly hilly, but with lots of little, not heavily trafficked, windy roads through pretty villages. The whole Ardennes is green and hilly, with lots of WWI and II memorials and battle grounds so tons to see in that department. Once in Belgium, things flatten out a bit, and you could ride all the way out to the coast. We visited Ostend (of course it was rainy and blowing a gale) which is a little weird but in a charming way. Then you could ride either up the coast and into the Netherlands or down the coast to France and even to the Normandy beaches if you've got time. Then you could either catch a train back to Trier or ride back if you had time.

I have no idea how long all that would take you, but I did notice bike paths everywhere on the not-quite-main roads of Belgium, and they even have special bicycle-only traffic signals, so it's definitely bike-friendly. And the people were really, really friendly.

Language-wise, French is handy anywhere in Luxembourg and around Brussels, though if you don't speak Flemish (or Dutch) it's better to try English at the coast, I was informed by my cousins who live there. My daughters speak German fluently, and were able to read and mostly understand the Flemish, so if you've got German you're more than half-way there. Brussels is so international that English or German would be fine there, too.

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Old 08-07-2006, 02:29 PM   #10
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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(tumblezweedz @ Aug 6 2006, 04:13 PM) [snapback]133845[/snapback]</div>
Quote:
Well, if you're going to be in Bitburg, we'll have to do a meet up - we're just 30 minutes away. Fact, we may even be able to arrange a bed for you, if you don't mind being in a house with a million kids...

We just spent a couple of days in Belgium, and it was, honestly, fantastic. We drove through via Bourscheid, Luxembourg, and if you headed that way you'd pass through a big national forest preserve type thing. Very scenic, and fairly hilly, but with lots of little, not heavily trafficked, windy roads through pretty villages. The whole Ardennes is green and hilly, with lots of WWI and II memorials and battle grounds so tons to see in that department. Once in Belgium, things flatten out a bit, and you could ride all the way out to the coast. We visited Ostend (of course it was rainy and blowing a gale) which is a little weird but in a charming way. Then you could ride either up the coast and into the Netherlands or down the coast to France and even to the Normandy beaches if you've got time. Then you could either catch a train back to Trier or ride back if you had time.

I have no idea how long all that would take you, but I did notice bike paths everywhere on the not-quite-main roads of Belgium, and they even have special bicycle-only traffic signals, so it's definitely bike-friendly. And the people were really, really friendly.

Language-wise, French is handy anywhere in Luxembourg and around Brussels, though if you don't speak Flemish (or Dutch) it's better to try English at the coast, I was informed by my cousins who live there. My daughters speak German fluently, and were able to read and mostly understand the Flemish, so if you've got German you're more than half-way there. Brussels is so international that English or German would be fine there, too.


[/b]

Awesome! I'll let you know as my plans become a bit more finalized (you know how the military works). I have an uncle that was born in Bitburg so that was my weak excuse for going there, but now I have a second reason! I think riding to the coast may be a bit too far for a week long trip . . . well, maybe not if just did a one way ride and took a train back. Hmmmm, you've really sparked my interest now.

I don't speak any French or Flemish, but my horrible German is enough to get my around. Well, it was, I've probably forgotten it all over the past year.

As always, thanks for your excellent advice tumbleweed!
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Old 08-07-2006, 03:00 PM   #11
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Great, let me know your dates when you know - my in-laws are going to be around sometime in September, but we've got a sofa bed, so the offer still stands.

Stay safe!

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