This page was last updated Thu 24 May 2018.

Contents: Tours (1385)    Trails (96)    Sites (48)    Cycling info pages (155)    Organizations and clubs (71)   

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Europe (all)

This page lists all reports that for Europe including those that involve other countries too.
Click here for a list of reports that involve only Europe.
All descriptions are in English, unless otherwise noted.

Tours (continued)

Europe is small: London to Eindhoven
by Wieler Touring Club Café Wilhelmina, tour started June 2000
language: nl

The 450 km London-Eindhoven tour will take place at June 24th of the year 2000 when we will start at 02.00 AM Greenwich Mean Time at the Piccadilly Circus. The London-Eindhoven tour is part of our project ``Europe is small'' because the center of major European cities are all within 24 hr cycling distance from Eindhoven. In 1997 we did start at the Arc de Triomphe for Paris-Eindhoven. This year we will do the London-Eindhoven tour and in 2002 Berlin-Eindhoven will be on the program.

See all 2 reports by Wieler Touring Club Café Wilhelmina

Wien - Budapest in bicicletta
by Andrea Tonegato, tour started May 2000
Europe: Austria, Hungary
language: it

A short tabular tour description.

See all 3 reports by Andrea Tonegato

Radtour auf Korsika (Corsica/Corse)
by Hubert and Uschi Becker, tour started May 2000
Europe: France
language: de

Nice report - includes route details and photographs.

See all 3 reports by Hubert and Uschi Becker

Corsica's Wild West
Gorges of Southern France
by Norman D. Ford, tour started May 2000
Europe: France

Starting at the mountain acropolis of Najac, I biked for 17 days along incredibly scenic rivers--the Aveyron, Lot, Cele, Dourdou, Truyere and Tarn--rivers that meander through deep gorges and loop around ancient villages and majestic chateaux. En route, I rode through some of the most delightful villages in France, which in Languedoc included several fortified cliffhanger villages built by the Cathars in the 12th century and looted by Simon de Montfort. Other highlights on this ride included medieval Conques, St. Cirque La Popie, Entraygues, Estaing, Florac and the Cevennes, the immense Gorge du Tarn and an exciting ride over the mountains of Haut Languedoc to Carcassonne. The day-by-day report not only describes my experiences but also tells how to duplicate my route.

See all 13 reports by Norman D. Ford

Lands End to John O'Groats
by Alan and Pauline Lord, tour started May 2000
Europe: UK

1014 miles in 16 days - a photographic diary.

See all 2 reports by Alan and Pauline Lord

Cycle Touring in Sicily
by Tracey Maund and Colin Champion, tour started May 2000
Europe: Italy

The notes of ``[a fortnight spent] touring western Sicily in May/June 2000, staying in hotels.'' Includes fine pictures.

See all 6 reports by Tracey Maund and Colin Champion

The old fishermen's harbour at Cefalù
Umbria and Toscana (Tuscany)
by Thomas Driemeyer, tour started May 2000
Europe: Italy

A lively report, with many fine pictures. It touches some of the most beautiful places in Italy I have had the chance to see so far: Ancona - Ascoli - Norcia - Spoleto - Foligno - Assisi - Perugia - Passignano - Cortona - Siena - Firenze.

Ascoli Piceno is an almost perfectly conserved medieval town. The buildings are ancient, and many roads are narrow, winding, cobblestoned paths. [We] walked through [Cortona] all evening and enjoyed the beautiful views in all directions. It is a small town with many narrow and steep roads, and as always all buildings were hundreds of years old.

Siena was packed with tourists, but it still manages to remain a nice and friendly place, and not as overwhelming as Florence. I like Siena a lot [...] We had plenty of time to visit the beautiful cathedral, and the one wall they managed to put up for a much bigger cathedral, until the bubonic plague put a stop to their plans in the 14th century. We visited the museum, which allows climbing up all the way to the top of that wall, providing a tremendous view.

See all 20 reports by Thomas Driemeyer

Crossing the Appennini
Camino de Santiago
by Silvia Jarrett, tour started May 2000
Europe: Spain

Santiago de Compostela, next to Rome and Jerusalem, is an important pilgrimage route for christians. According to the legend, the apostle Saint James is buried in the cathedral. Modern science has disputed the fact that the apostle ever reached Spain, however, thousands of people annually make the pilgrimage either by foot, horse, or on bicycle. The historical atmosphere and the spiritual adventure, as well as the physical challenges, cast their spell on the contemporary traveller.

Marche, Umbria, Toscana
by Thomas Driemeyer, tour started May 2000
Europe: France

Ascoli Piceno is an almost perfectly conserved medieval town. The buildings are ancient, and many roads are narrow, winding, cobblestoned paths. We stayed at the youth hostel, which is an 11th-century tower. We were the only guests. The picture on the right shows the hostel tower. (Trust me, it's not easy to make good pictures of tall structures from narrow winding streets.)

This sets the theme for most of the towns and villages we visit for the rest of the tour - they are all incredibly charmingly ancient and authentic, unspoiled by tourism and past centuries and, in some cases, millenia. It's like people living in big living monuments of the past, and making it look as if it were the most normal thing in the world. I don't think you can find this anywhere else in the world; even the French are much quicker mingling old with new.

None of this, of course, stops the Italians from hurtling through their charming cobblestoned streets with noisy little automobiles or deafening two-stroke motorcycles.

See all 20 reports by Thomas Driemeyer

Cycle Tour of the Marche Region
by Allan Nelson and Konrad Orlowski, tour started May 2000
Europe: Italy

The Marche region lies to the east of the Apennine mountains, and has every kind of terrain you could wish for. From long sandy beaches on the Adriatic coast to rolling hills and valleys leading to the high mountains of the Sibillini in the south of the region, and the highest of them all, Monte Vettore at 2,476m.

According to one book I read, Marche is 69 percent hills, and 31 percent mountains. Certainly, if you're not going up, you seem to be going down, and only on the extreme coastal strip is there flat riding to be had. On top of that, it has more castles and hill top towns than you can shake a stick at. Like Umbria was a few years ago, Marche (apart from the coastal area) seems to be one of Italy's best kept secrets, and that's fine by me!

This one was probably a little tougher than our previous tours of Tuscany and Umbria even though the mileage was a little lower, but it was well worth every extra bead of sweat, just as enjoyable, and I'd go back tomorrow.

See all 3 reports by Allan Nelson and Konrad Orlowski

Piano Grande di Castelluccio
Three weeks through the Baltic Region
by Hans Jürgen Stang, tour started May 2000

Of the 65,000 km+/- surface of Latvia about 39 % is covered by forest. Besides there are over 3,000 lakes and 12,000 waterways. Our journey to Saldus gave us a first impression of the beauty of Latvia's landscape: many forests, numerous waterways and occasional little lakes. Estonia has about 1,5 million inhabitants. 450,000 live in the capital Tallinn. Estonia also has dense forests and many open fields. There are not many hills but in return many moraines and far reaching moors as well as extended sandy beaches in many parts of the country. This vastness which we have felt and experienced for a few days had a calming effect on us and besides made us feel a new form of open-mindedness towards the people there and viceversa.

I was challenged by a 23 km long chalk and gravelled road before I crossed the border at Subate to Lithuania. Once again there were hardly any road signs. To my surprise the topography started to get quite hilly and the wind started to blow too. I made a break at a lake with wonderful yellow blooming water lilies. I offered some nuts to two passing locals. Shortly afterwards they invited me to stay the night. But as it was very early I politely refused and continued. Just a few kilometres further along I noticed some deer in the meadows.

See all 5 reports by Hans Jürgen Stang

Lake
Italy 2000 - From Rome to Florence by Recumbent Bike
by Wayne Joerding, tour started May 2000
Europe: Italy

Was the first bicycle tour in Italy? I have no idea but Italy is probably the most popular destination for bicycle touring next to a trip to the local ice cream shop. And in Italy, the most popular destination is Tuscany. It's not surprising, Tuscan wines, renaissance treasures, warm summer nights, and rolling hills, what visitor has ever been able to resist the charms of Tuscany whatever the mode of transportation.

Everyone chooses a tour for different reasons, depending on their interests and experience. I had two reasons for wanting to visit Italy, history and the check-box effect.

I mostly like to travel in order to see historically interesting locations and wonder at the human drama played out at those locations. For a child of western civilization (although my European friends my find that claim presumptuous for an American) one can't find a richer stage than that provided by central and northern Italy. My route would take me from Rome, the seat of the most important civilization of the ancient Mediterranean through the lands of the earlier Etruscan civilization, to the birth place of Renaissance Europe, Florence. Along the way, my route promised pleasant scenery and good food. I found all of the above and more in my trip.

See all 7 reports by Wayne Joerding

North Cape - Gibraltar, Approved by Guinness Book of World Records
by Erik Straarup, tour started 2000

The trip was an attemp to beat Fritz Hansens record from 1999. He did the trip in 20 dayes and nights, 3 hours and 12 minutes. I also went for his average of 289 km a day.

Why alone? It gives you some satisfaction, to know you did the trip alone, and without any help. If you bike in a group, you have to adapt yourself to the groups choice of route and daily distance. When you are alone you are completely free to follow your own rhythm.

See all 4 reports by Erik Straarup

Map
The Bicycle Expedition Denmark 2000
by Jakub 'Kuba' Kronenberg and Tomasz 'Bruno' Bergier, tour started 2000
Europe: Denmark, Germany

``The Bicycle Expedition Denmark 2000...'' it sounds quite serious... actually we just gathered ourselves together, packed our bikes and a few useful (as we thought then) things, and we started for our road. We had an ambitious plan to reach the most northern point of Denmark - Skagen, where the Baltic Sea mixes its waters with the North Sea, by the way going round the entire Denmark and a piece of Germany. The plan succeeded, the whole thing took us a bit more then two weeks, and gave us great memories and absolutely new experiences.

[...] the most amazing, the most unique and for us probably the most important thing in our expedition was the idea of such a trip. The fact that you drop everything, get on your bike and take free time from a common world for two weeks, you disappear. You eat too little, get wet, don't wash yourself, freeze, get stiff, sleep in bushes, but you are happy - you ride. This ride is incredible experience. The most fascinating fact is that everything you need for your life is on your bike's carrier.

Starting from a certain moment we stopped locking our bikes. They were left with all our possessions while we were shopping or sightseeing. An excellent example of the Danish safety is provided by the micro-shops situated in front of many countryside houses. Self-service includes not only choosing the goods one intends to buy but also paying!

Around the lakes (French Alps, Switzerland, Jura)
by Jean-Pierre Jacquot, tour started 2000

These pages are a recollection of our 2000 summer tour. Ending a century, and even more a millenium, should be memorable. As you will read, it was, but not exactly for the best of reasons:-) This year destination was suggested by Martine: not directly and not consciously thought. Not even willingly:-) One day, she mentioned lakes as a good holiday destination. She was refering to Chambon, secretly hoping we could pitch the tent once and for all near a nice beach where she could find inspiration for excuses for letting me going alone on daily rides:-) Lakes? Yes, that's an idea! What about visiting some of the great Alpine lakes: Annecy, le Bourget, le Léman, Neuchatel, ..?

See all 5 reports by Jean-Pierre Jacquot

Corsica by bicycle
by Norman D. Ford, tour started 2000
Europe: France

In autumn 2,000, I spent 19 days cycling around this compact Mediterranean island on some of the most spectacular seacoast and mountain roads on earth. Day after day, I pedalled along clifftop roads high above the sea with a balcony view of the wild, rocky coast. In the interior, I cycled on quiet backroads through rugged gorges and to ancient villages perched high in the mountains. Traffic was mostly light and each night I stayed at a comfortable hotel in mountain villages or at beach resorts or fishing harbors or under the massive walls of medieval citadels. My route took me completely around Cap Corse and to the awsome heights of the col de Bavella, and I visited Corte, Bastia, St. Florent, Ile Rousse, Calvi, Porto, Ajaccio, Propriano, Porto Vecchio and Bonifacio. Day by day, this report describes exactly how I did it with loads of advice to help you experience Corsica by exactly the same route.

See all 13 reports by Norman D. Ford

France 2000 - Provence and Camargue
by Stefano Lugli, tour started 2000
Europe: France
language: it

Avignon - Nîmes - S.tes Maries de la Mer - Arles - Avignon.

See all 10 reports by Stefano Lugli

Tourmalet - The Hard Way
by Geoff Husband, tour started 2000
Europe: France

The statistics are frightening, the Tourmalet is a ``Hors Catagorie'' climb, the most difficult of all, and a rare beast indeed. The Col is at 2115 m, nearly 7000 feet, the second highest in the Pyrenees and by repute, the most difficult. If you look at the Michelin map you'll see the road, previously marked in yellow, becomes made up of red and yellow dots. I've only seen this on a couple of sections of road in France and means that the road is very dangerous. But for the cycletourist it has two saving graces, firstly it is generally a steady though hard climb, the second is that it is so stunningly beautiful that by the top the part of you which will hurt most will be your neck from craning around at some of the most spectacular scenery in cycling.

See all 10 reports by Geoff Husband

Top
Im Expo-Jahr auf dem Elberadweg
by Olaf Kantorek, tour started 2000
Europe: Germany
language: de

Bericht über eine Fahrradtour von Dessau nach Bad Schandau im Sommer 2000.

See all 6 reports by Olaf Kantorek

The Dutch Fashion - a 2-wheel tour of Holland
by Cynthia Gorney, tour started 2000
Europe: Holland

The plan: Holland, children, bicycles. We figured the rest would evolve on its own.
``Flat,'' my husband said. ``The whole country is flat. Bike paths all over the place.''
A landscape materialized at once in my head. You can imagine the particulars: windmill, tulips, cow, canal, pedaling 12- and 16-year-old. Sunshine. Waving farmer. Cheese.
``Legal weed,'' the 16-year-old chipped in.
``Not for you,'' I said.
We bought a Holland guidebook, with many photographs of Rembrandt paintings and elaborately gabled canal-front brick houses, but the Bicycles section was only two pages long and commenced with a photograph of a bike helmet. Ha! (We'll get to that in a moment.) We found what seemed to be a suitable Holland Tourist Board Web site, animated on-screen by a little mustached man who pedaled along as you plotted out various rural cycling routes, but every time I tried to download the maps my computer snarled at me and dumped the site.

So we gave up on the advance details, arranged for an Amsterdam apartment that came equipped with the owners' bicycles and landed on a breezy July morning at Schiphol Airport, which is grand and clean and extremely efficient; by lunch time, our bags piled up at the top of the apartment's staircase landing, we were bicycling. Before sundown the next day, we had grasped the essentials.
The essentials were... startling.
By that second day, I had began composing my own introductory bicycling brochure, to be handed at the border to uninitiated Americans with tulips in their heads.

Discover Amsterdam, City of bicycles
by Amsterdam city council's Department of Infrastructure, Traffic and Transportation, tour started 2000
Europe: Holland

This cycle tour is designed to show you Amsterdam's many varied and often surprising aspects. Not only does it take in the historic city centre, it also shows you other neighbourhoods, and demonstrates that Amsterdam is a city with 'green' credentials. The text provides information about Amsterdam and the measures that have been taken to make cycling in the city an enjoyable and safe experience.

The cycle tour is approximately 37 km long. Riding at a moderate pace, it should take you about 4 hours to complete. In Rembrandtpark in Amsterdam West, it is possible to take a short cut making it some 10 km shorter.

Torino - Capo Finisterre
by Stefano Lugli, tour started 2000
Europe: France, Italy, Spain
language: it

Il seguente viaggio cicloturistico ripercorre una delle vie di pellegrinaggio utilizzate fino dal secolo IX per raggiungere le ``estreme terre della cristianità'' e il sepolcro dell'Apostolo Santiago (San Giacomo Maggiore). Durante questi 2000 chilometri si attraversa ogni paesaggio, dalle Alpi ai Pirenei, dal Mediterraneo all'Atlantico passando per zone montane e pedemontane, altopiani, prati, campi coltivati, fiumi, città d'arte, semplici villaggi, ecc., ecc. Il tratto in territorio spagnolo è meglio conosciuto come Camino de Santiago, Chemin de St. Jacques o Cammino Reale Francese ed è stato dichiarato ``Patrimonio dell'Umanità'' dall'UNESCO e ``Itinerario Culturale Europeo'' dal Consiglio d'Europa dal 1987.

See all 10 reports by Stefano Lugli

Camino de Santiago
by Stefano Lugli, tour started 2000
Europe: Spain
language: it

Chemin de St. Jacques - Camino Frances - da St. Jean Pied de Port a Santiago (Capo Finisterre). Useful practical information, maps, etc. This is part of the longer trip from Italy through France: Torino - Capo Finisterre 2000.

See all 10 reports by Stefano Lugli

Western Isles and Highlands 2000
by Andrew Clark, tour started 2000
Europe: UK

Ever since I bought my first ``proper'' touring bicycle I'd liked the idea of touring the Outer Hebrides and Western Highlands of Scotland. I'd done a limited amount of walking in Scotland before and had spent a few days travelling around Skye by car but I wanted to see more and a cycle camping tour seemed the best way of doing it.

[In 2000] I booked three weeks off work and bought a rail ticket from Liverpool to Oban and a ferry ticket that would allow me to travel from Oban to the islands of Barra, South Uist, Benbecula, North Uist, Harris and Lewis and finally back to Ullapool on the mainland from where I planned to cycle to Cape Wrath, the most North Westerly point of the British Isles.

See all 2 reports by Andrew Clark

Bike Iceland 2000
by Marcel Bolhuis, tour started 2000
Europe: Iceland

Includes a diary, maps, photographs, packing list, etc.

A couple of years ago I went to Iceland (with my family) by car, I always wanted to go back but instead of a car with a bike. A bike-trip through Iceland. For a few years, that idea, was only a kind of a dream. But time is running. I started to make a bike-trip from Holland to Norway. Besides the bad weather (wind, pretty cold days) I enjoyed the trip. Actually I didn't get any punctures. Perhaps that's the experience I'm looking for (guess not). So I finally decide to go to Iceland. It's a journey that asks some preparations.

I'm not going on my own. I couldn't get my friends as stupid, so I'm traveling with my sister, Dagmar (28). I'm 23. Both persons are studying at the university of Groningen.

We had to cross about three big rivers (big in the sense that you had to take your shoes off) and a lot of small ones. The first river is fun, when you are biking on Iceland you want to face a river that you have to cross (without a bridge) the second one is ok too, but when you just dried your feet and think that this was the last river and you see another one, you (at least I) wish that I was somewhere in the Jamaica sitting in the sun on a beach with a glass of beer.

River crossing in Iceland
A days ride to Port d'Aula - An october passage into the Spanish Pyrenees over rough track
by Stuart Kendall, tour started October 1999
Europe: France

Includes very nice pictures. I had come for a holiday in the pyrenees to ride some of the cols I had seen during telecasts of the Tour de France . ,I decided to to tackle something over 2000m in altitude inspired by a picture I had seen and a sense of adventure I made my decision . The Port d'Alua at 2260m on the French/Spanish border . Although myself a roadie (now converted roadie /mountain biker ) at my hosts advice I geared up for this ride as a mountain biker as the last 12km or so are on a gravel road and mountain and mountain trail.

Warsawa - Budapest - Venezia
by Louis Tousignant, tour started September 1999

My name is Louis Tousignant, a Canadian in his mid fifties, living in Nova Scotia on the Atlantic shore. Having cycled Copenhagen to Rome in 1998, and the U.K. in the mid 80's, it seemed a good idea to try Eastern Europe. As an eager amateur photographer, I particularly wanted to see Krakow, Prague and Budapest. Having had a grand time in Italy the year before, I also wanted to see Venice, a must... before one dies... Ergo this trip which I enjoyed tremendously.

This 52 day trip included 33 days of touring (3003 km for a 91 km/day average) and 19 days of travel and tourism. The load, minus water, was 20 kg, distributed in 4 saddle bags and one camera bag on the rear rack.

See all 4 reports by Louis Tousignant

Cycling Holiday 1999: Bordeaux to Toulouse
by Mick Carter, tour started September 1999
Europe: France

Here are some notes from the cycling holiday that we did in September 1999. It was a leisurely trip from Bordeaux to Toulouse passing through more interesting places than we expected. The tour included several spectacular medieval towns, picturesque villages, vineyards and chateaux. The landscape was varied, with rolling hills, impressive gorges and the odd cave to visit.

Cycling the Camino De Santiago
by J. Gaerlan, tour started September 1999
Europe: Spain

Camino de Santiago is a pilgrimage route taken in honor St James buried in Santiago. There are numerous routes starting at different points - all ending in Santiago. The most famous is the French route starting on the French side of the Pyrennees. Due to limited time, we are riding only part of the route - from Leon to Santiago - a distance over 300 kilometers, in about 6 to 7 days.

Two Weeks on the Road to Santiago de Compostela
by Michel Laliberté, tour started September 1999
Europe: Spain

Madrid, a cyclist's no man's land - Riding the French Basque Coast - From Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Santiago in 15 days - The Galician Coast.

See all 7 reports by Michel Laliberté

Puente la Reina
Austria Bike Tour
by Bob Parry, tour started August 1999
Europe: Austria

[This is our] online Austria photo album. We (Bob Parry, Ed James, Greg James and Bonnie Vargo) took this biking tour between August 11 to 26, 1999. We flew to Munich, Germany with our bikes packed in boxes, put the bikes together in the Munich airport and then took a series of five trains from Munich to Krimml, Austria for the beginning of our big adventure.

We traveled by bike from Krimml to Zell am See, to St Johann im Pongau, to Salzburg, train to Braunau, then biked to Passau (Germany), Aschbach, Linz, Mauthausen, train to Melk, then biked to Krems and Vienna. (Click map thumbnail to see trip map) Ed and Bonnie then continued for another week and biked into Hungary. We biked about 36 miles a day sightseeing as we went. We stayed in youth hostels and Pension's along the way. During the two week trip we biked about 365 miles, trained about 600 miles and flew about 10,000 miles.

See all 3 reports by Bob Parry

Radfahrer Willkommen!
Polder to Polder or, Full Circle in the Low Countries
by Lenore Kennedy, tour started August 1999
Europe: Holland, Belgium

An account of four and a bit weeks' cycling in the Netherlands and Belgium.

See all 2 reports by Lenore Kennedy

Avignon - Dijon
by Amici della Bici di Brescia, tour started August 1999
Europe: France
language: it

Nicely done, with pictures and practical information.

Jacobsweg 1999
by Regula Baumberger and Alois Renn, tour started July 1999
language: de

Wir folgen nun weitgehend den Spuren der Pilger, wobei wir mit unseren Rennrädern natürlich auf der Landstrasse bleiben. Das erste Pässchen - die Hulftegg - fordert etwas Schweiss und wir geniessen die Wärme in der Abfahrt. Das Tösstal ist am Montagvormittag von Autos entvölkert und schnell erreichen wir Schmerikon am Zürichsee. Hier gibt's Kalorien für die nächste Stufe. Die Sattelegg lässt uns reichlich schwitzen und bei leichtem Rückenwind beginnen wir langsam zu kochen. Die Passhöhe erläst uns und bis Einsiedeln sind wir schon wieder abgekühlt. Wir zünden in der Klosterkirche eine Kerze an, fällen die Bidons am grossen Brunnen und weiter geht's über den Sattel nach Schwyz, mit einem herrlichen Blick auf den Lauerzersee.

See all 3 reports by Regula Baumberger and Alois Renn

Scallop shell signposts mark the route
Crossing the Carpathians by bike
by Györgyi Gábor, tour started July 1999

After four Tatra-tour I knew that I wouldn?t be satisfied with visiting only Zakopane; our goal was to cycle to Krakkow and than back to Hungary. I didn?t know that a guy from the team punctured, so when I cycled back, I found nobody. I had to continue my tour alone, but I hoped we would meet until the evening. In Zdiar during eating I was just thinking that I would have to get used to cycling alone, when my teammates apperared on the road. At the wooden house in the forest at the top of the first climb of Poland we turned not left as in 1997 or 1995, but turned right to north, to the Glodowka meadow. In my fifth Tatra-tour, with about 7-8 years of experiences in cycling I could discuss with the guys that if they don?t join me I could visit the famous wooden church of Debno 15 kms from there.

See all 26 reports by Györgyi Gábor

On the road
le Tour '99
by Magnus Käck, tour started June 1999
Europe: France

A logbook with photographs of a tour starting in Paris.

Land's End to John O'Groats
by Martin Wittram, tour started June 1999
Europe: UK
language: en, de

Travelling by bike in England, Wales, and Scotland. Another fine and very nicely illustrated report from the impressive collection of Martin Wittram.

See all 27 reports by Martin Wittram

Bicycle Rides in Belgium
by Gerald Soto, tour started May 1999
Europe: Belgium

Liège-``Bastogne''-Liège: May 29, 1999; and Pseudo La Flèche Wallone: May 30, 1999. The site also has many bicycle rides in England.

See all 4 reports by Gerald Soto

From Cumbria to Umbria
by Allan Nelson and Konrad Orlowski, tour started May 1999
Europe: Italy

Well it was so good, we just had to do it again, and catch some of the places we missed (actually, it's Tuscany as well, but it didn't rhyme). Same format as before, route maps, daily reports, planning info, packing lists etc. Another brilliant time, and we made some great friends.

See all 3 reports by Allan Nelson and Konrad Orlowski

Bike Tour of Tuscany
by Monica Foulkes, tour started May 1999
Europe: Italy

The road from Montepulciano to Pienza drops steeply outside the medieval walls, and I braked cautiously on the sharp turns after coming out through the dimness of the Porta di Grassi into the early morning sun. After almost two weeks of bike touring in Tuscany I had learned to expect these long descents each morning from the medieval towns that guard the highest hills -- and also to expect the equally long, grinding climbs up to them each evening. At first looking down on the honey-colored stones of the Renaissance church of San Biagio, the road wound all the way around it, then below it, before swinging out into the magnificent valley.

It was early morning in May, 1999, and we four NBW riders had the road to ourselves. Siena lay in sunny haze somewhere to the north, and to the south were rolling, poppy-covered fields, scattered olive groves and grape vines, topped by the occasional farmhouse. The descent was enticingly fast and the road was smooth, but I braked to look back up at the church and Montepulciano's jumble of red-tiled roofs and towers above, trying to freeze the memory. Surely, centuries before me this same sight greeted weary pilgrims trudging up from the Monte Amiata hills, or, more likely, soldiers sent from Siena to besiege the town and take it from the Florentines (both cities apparently captured and recaptured poor Montepulciano for hundreds of years, it's a wonder there's anything left). I could empathize with both pilgrim and soldier, having peered up through sweat-stung eyes at many a Tuscan hill town as I pedaled doggedly upwards.

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