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Messages - veloepic

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General Discussion / Re: Touring in Corsica
« on: May 02, 2013, 04:37:58 pm »
It is actually fairly easy to travel Corsica by bike. Unless you want a "full package", including guide and pre-arranged lodging, you really don't nead a tour company. Just pack your bike and bags, book a flight to Nice, France, then a ferry to Bastia - and your good to go! (you can also fly to Bastia directly - of a few other costal cities - but it is generally more expensive. Plus the ferry ride is cool!).

There are small hotels and hostels, B&B, etc. just about everywhere. No issues either finding food and water. Even the small mountain cities are well served.

I would just avoid the June-July-August period, as it can get really hot and there are zillions of tourists. Best period is April-May or September-October. Plus at that time, there is really no need to book lodging in advance (and they will be a lot cheaper).

I did that in 2000 with a small group of friends. Our tour started in Bastia and we cycled the cost counter-clockwise - with an few days in Sardegna - ended in Bastia 2 1/2 weeks later. And it's in the plans to eventually do it again.

Cheers,

Dan

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General Discussion / Re: Swiss Alpine Bike Tour 2012 - Photo Gallery
« on: October 26, 2012, 09:33:54 pm »
Quote from: Tav the trucker
...in Bromont
Funny, happens I will be riding Bromont tomorrow morning ;-)

Quote from: Tav the trucker
..Did you make any reservations for hostels,b'n'b,etc?...
We reserved the first couple of nights before leaving Canada. Then we improvised along the way. We were travelling in low season, so hotel/hostels/pensions always had room for us.

Dan (in Montreal)

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General Discussion / Re: Swiss Alpine Bike Tour 2012 - Photo Gallery
« on: October 03, 2012, 09:58:51 pm »
Quote from: raybagg
I hope you don't mind if I ask a few more questions as we seriously begin to consider our first mountain bike tour, following in your tire tracks. If you prefer I could give you my e-mail and we could communicate privately.
You're welcome to contact me directly: daniel.fortin@clubveloepic.org
Dan

4
Gear Talk / Re: Tablets/IPad or laptops
« on: October 02, 2012, 10:50:24 pm »
On my last trip (off-road in the Swiss Alps), I was carying a small Dell Mini Laptop. I found it to be very useful to keep our daily blog (Word document, not on-line) and copy the pics from our two cameras and sort them out. Did not care if wi-fi was available or not.
Dan

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General Discussion / Re: Swiss Alpine Bike Tour 2012 - Photo Gallery
« on: October 02, 2012, 10:33:50 pm »
@Daniel (from Switzerland): Thanks! Those are great pics you took. We climbed the Sustenpass wearing short sleeve jerseys only two weeks before you did!! We needed the wind jackets only on the way down.

@Ray: Thanks!! We did keep a blod on our mini laptop, but did not post it on Internet. We only posted on short trip report on our mountain bike club's web site (http://www.clubveloepic.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6390). Like the blog, it's all in French ;-)

As for logistics:
- Direct flight from Montreal (QC) to Zurich // Train from Zurich to Scuol the morning we landed.
- Cycled from Scuol to Evian-les-Bains (France).
- Short train from Evian to near Geneva / then completed by bike.
- For lodging, we stayed in small hotels or pensions, and stayed in Youth Hostel where available (note: Youth Hostels in Switzerland are fantastic!!).
- Food and lodging are on average a little more expensive than here in Montreal (which is equivalent to most large North American cities). There are much cheaper places to travel ;-)

This was our third similar trip in Europe...
- In 2004, we traversed the Massif Central area in France (from Clermont-Ferrant to Sete): http://www.clubveloepic.org/forum/portal.php?page=7 (sorry, it's all in French).
- In 2006, the French Jura area, then part of the French Alps, and finished in Provence:
--- Week 1/Jura: http://www.clubveloepic.org/JAP_fichiers/Jura1.htm (3 pages / in French)
--- Week 2/Alps: http://www.clubveloepic.org/JAP_fichiers/Alpes1.htm (3 pages / in French)
--- Week 3: Provence: http://www.clubveloepic.org/JAP_fichiers/Provence1.htm (3 pages / in French)

I also toured Corsica (and a small portion of Sardena) a few years earlier, and parts of Tuscany (IT) in 2008. I never got to posting blogs or picture librairies of those...

I have no clue what the next trip may be...

Dan

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General Discussion / Re: Swiss Alpine Bike Tour 2012 - Photo Gallery
« on: September 30, 2012, 07:41:53 pm »
Quote from: pptouring
How do you like the jacket, socks, and gloves? Are they worth the cost?

The jacket is great, although a little expensive (280$). But it definetly does the job against wind and rain. You just need to wear appropriate base and second layers under it, depending on how cold it is.

Gloves: GORE-TEX Windstopper (60$)
Socks: GORE-TEX Universal Windstopper Socks (50$)
For the exceptionnal job they do, I consider these to be very cheap.

Dan

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General Discussion / Re: Swiss Alpine Bike Tour 2012 - Photo Gallery
« on: September 29, 2012, 09:02:52 pm »
Quote from: pptouring
What were you wearing for rain gear and how do you like it?
I have a GORE ALP-X jacket - Very lightweight, highly breathable and waterproof. Also have GORE gloves and socks for very cold/wet days.

Quote from: pptouring
Would you mind if I shared your link on FB?
Nope, go ahead!

Dan

8
General Discussion / Re: Swiss Alpine Bike Tour 2012 - Photo Gallery
« on: September 25, 2012, 09:46:51 pm »
Here are the links to the GPX files:

Planned route: www.clubveloepic.org/temp/SwissAlpineBikeRoute.gpx (right-click + save)
Actual route: www.clubveloepic.org/temp/SwissAlpineBike2012.gpx (right-click + save)

The short section that is missing between Grindelwald and Interlaken was done by train because of extreme bad weather (pouring rain in the valley and a snow storm up in the mountains).

Additionnal information can be found here: http://bikeland.myswitzerland.com/en/routen_detail.cfm?route=route1

Dan

9
General Discussion / Re: Swiss Alpine Bike Tour 2012 - Photo Gallery
« on: September 24, 2012, 12:00:30 pm »
Elsa,
Thanks!
the route definetely requires a mountain bike for at least half of the itineray... And although the paved or gravel sections would be rideable on a touring bike, the extra gearing a mountain drivetrain provides is a must on many climbs.
Dan

10
General Discussion / Re: Swiss Alpine Bike Tour 2012 - Photo Gallery
« on: September 18, 2012, 04:40:47 pm »
Thanks! For those who may be interested, I have the entire GPS track.
Dan

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General Discussion / Swiss Alpine Bike Tour 2012 - Photo Gallery
« on: September 18, 2012, 08:16:06 am »
Hello all,

Inspired by a short article in the Adventure Cycling Magazine last year, my girlfriend and I set out to ride the Swiss Alpine Bike Route just recently. This is a Mountain Bike route that traverses the Swiss Alps, starting in Scuol at the far east of the country, ending in Aigle near Lake Geneva. As we were travelling with loaded bikes, we ajusted the route in order to avoid a few high mountain passes and/or very technical sections that would have been either too hard or treatureous on loaded bikes. We extended the ride to finish in Geneva, from where we flew back to Montreal.

Route stats:
- 675 km (420 miles)
- 55 000+ feet climbing
- 16 days of riding; 2 days off/break

We had everything from very hot to very cold weather, fog, rain, and even snow. For lodging, we stayed in Youth Hostels, pensions (B&B) and small hotels along the route.

For those it may inspire to travel that absolutely beautiful area of our planet, here is a gallery of our best pictures:

http://s90.photobucket.com/albums/k258/DanVero/Swiss_2012/?albumview=slideshow

Enjoy!

Dan

------------------------------
Daniel Fortin, PREZ
www.clubveloepic.org
Montreal (QC) Canada

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