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Thread: Ardennes, Vosges, Black Forest, Stelvio, Italian Lakes

  1. #65
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    You have plenty of options, all are good for scenery and riding, just decide what is most important to you
    And there you have it, Gab.

  2. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasher View Post
    If you want to be in Como by lunch time surely the 4.5 hour trip is ideal?

    The fluella / Splugen route you posted is 6 hours excluding stops so even if you ride for 6 hours without a break you need to be away at around 7am, when two up we did not like doing much more than 1.5 hours between stops so I would allow 7.5 hours as a minimum for this trip, or 8 hours if a lunch stop is to be had.

    You have plenty of options, all are good for scenery and riding, just decide what is most important to you, doing the stelvio properly or taking in Julier and fluella, plus consider if you really can do a 6 hour ride before lunch bearing in mind you will be leaving the hotel before brekky even on a zero stop strategy.
    I need to be in Como for dinner, not for lunch.

    What I've worked out is that if the day before I add 1.5hr to my ride from Chur to Stelvio thru the Timmelsjoch, I can stop for that night in Livigno instead of Prato Stelvio and that would save me almost 2 hrs the morning after. If I do that I'll be able to do the Fluella (as per the route you posted) with an overall journey of ±7.5 hrs. I can leave Livigno very early in the morning and have a good lunch break somewhere up in the Alps

    I've done some 'zero stop strategy' in my life and I didn't really like it.

  3. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wapping View Post
    And there you have it, Gab.
    I'm very sorry for you. You must be a very frustrated man.

  4. #68
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    Can I suggest you have a "plan B" because if the weather is bad you won't want to be doing most of those passes unless you have no choice - and I speak from experience.

    The weather has a habit of changing very quickly in the mountains too.

  5. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by BRD View Post
    Can I suggest you have a "plan B" because if the weather is bad you won't want to be doing most of those passes unless you have no choice - and I speak from experience.

    The weather has a habit of changing very quickly in the mountains too.
    At the moment my plan B is to head straight down to Como and enjoy a (hopefully sunny) day at the lake. But I really hope the weather will have a bit of mercy...

  6. #70
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    I would go for a stop in Livigno, plenty of choice of where to go to eat and drink, I would recommend the "1816 Brewery" as a good fun place to go for a meal and a few beers, several Hotels right next to it to choose from. Hotel La Montanina is nice and has a great outside bar at one end of the Hotel and a nightclub - probably best avoided if you want an early start.

  7. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasher View Post
    I would go for a stop in Livigno, plenty of choice of where to go to eat and drink, I would recommend the "1816 Brewery" as a good fun place to go for a meal and a few beers, several Hotels right next to it to choose from. Hotel La Montanina is nice and has a great outside bar at one end of the Hotel and a nightclub - probably best avoided if you want an early start.
    Hey Rasher,

    Thanks for the tip. I'll definitely keep the 1816 Brewery in mind. Re: the accommodation, I've booked at the Bio Hotel Villa Cecilia. It was one of the few places left that could give me free cancellation until 48hrs before the arrival (you never know). And I can see it's only 3mins away from the 1816 Brewery

    I'll definitely avoid the nightclub this time

    What do you think about my plan? If I can get to Livigno the night before the ride you suggested doing the Fluella Pass should be doable in one day. Correct?

  8. #72
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    Of course, just assume 30mph average speed (excluding stops) for any mountain route and you won't be far out, then just add in your preferred stop time (15 min stopped for every hour moving + an extra 30-45 mins for lunch is a formula that is pretty much spot on for us)

    Typically on a days ride there is about 2 hours of stops, so we like to ride for 5-6 hours to keep the whole day at a fairly easy 7-8 hours, which is 150 - 180 miles in the mountains.

  9. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasher View Post
    Of course, just assume 30mph average speed (excluding stops) for any mountain route and you won't be far out, then just add in your preferred stop time (15 min stopped for every hour moving + an extra 30-45 mins for lunch is a formula that is pretty much spot on for us)

    Typically on a days ride there is about 2 hours of stops, so we like to ride for 5-6 hours to keep the whole day at a fairly easy 7-8 hours, which is 150 - 180 miles in the mountains.
    It does make sense

    Plan A at the moment is follow your advice: sleep in Livigno at the end of the long day ride thru the Timmelsjoch and do the Fluella Pass

    Which type of gps do you normally use? Google Maps on your smartphone or something different?

    I generally use my iPhone and never had issues but recently I'm having problems when using a saved map. Basically when I click on "go" it just doesn't recognise the route and make me start from scracth

    I've also downloaded Rever, which I really recommend for motorbike rides. The only downside is that it doesn't have the audio guide, so you end up constantly looking at the screen

  10. #74
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    Which Option?

    Rasher,

    A quick advice. Have you ever done this route

    Chur to Livigno Thru Timmelsjoch

    I was wondering whether instead of going north, east and then south to get to the Timmelsjoch I should instead do something like this

    Chur to to Livigno thru Timmelsjoch and part of Fluella (Albula?)

    I'd need to do part of the same route twice but if the north bit shown in the first link is not worth riding there is no point in me spending time to go up there just to reach the Timmelsjoch, which in the second option I could do in both ways as I'll have to go back to Livigno. That'd also allow me to do part of the Fluella Pass (I think the bit shown in the second link is the Albula) and not have to do it again the second day.

    What do you think?

  11. #75
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    That is not the Albula, I think you have a list of passes you wish to tick off your list, if you go to google maps and search for "Albula Pass" or "Julier Pass" it will go to the middle of them

    Your first route puts you on a lot of motorway, I assume in a bid to get to the Timmelsjoch, IMO not worth it, once off the motorway it is a long slog down the valley to Solden at the start of the TJ with lots of towns and villages, all very pretty but still a long slow slow slog after a load of boring motorway just to "bag" that one pass.

    It is you trip at the end of the day, but I have found it is easy to ruin a days riding by trying too hard to include a particular pass, or cram too much in, these days I try to aim for 5-6 hours riding between locations (160 - 180 miles) and make up the best route I can within those limitations.

    No idea of Sat Nav, I use a Garmin, none are perfect, they will all make silly choices, my top tips are:

    Use plenty of waypoints, use a name for them so they mean something to you (Such as Stelvio in 10 miles) as this helps you know where you are and what is coming up and to place a Waypoint at the start of each pass as well as the top, this will stop the sat nav sending you under a mountain in a tunnel because it is quicker to do that and then go back up and down the ramp on the far side of the mountain, obviously once you hit the "Start" waypoint for a pass you know you are on the right road and should ignore the sat nav if it tells you to turn around....

    ...I learned the hard way after entering a tunnel and missing out riding a pass I had planned (can't remember where now, but it was most annoying!)

  12. #76
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    Just going back a step. The aim is to get from Chur to Como, in two days, including Stelvio and Splugen. And some other passes. Right?

    I'm with Rasher that the lengthy detour to Timmelsjoch isn't worth it. However, it is easy to include all the others - and all of Stelvio (which, unlike Rasher, I do think is a good ride! Everyone's different).

    Personally, I'd probably go from Chur to St Moritz (Fluella, Stelvio) and then there are a couple of good options from St Moritz to Como. This full day lets you do Albula, Julier, Splugen and (my favourite of this group) the San Bernardino - but does then lob a chunk of motorway on the back end of the day. But if it's just Julier and Splugen in bad weather, it's a half day – or you could do Splugen and San Bernardino or any other combination

  13. #77
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    Great options there.

    I probably should say the Stelvio is half a good ride for me, the West ramp is pretty decent, especially the twists and turns towards the top, but the East ramp is very tight and a lot bumpier and I find does not make for a nice flowing ride. I do recommend everyone tries it to make up their own mind / tick it off their list, one of the best passes for those who like to hang around looking at lots of other bikes as it is always busy at the top.

    The other issue can be traffic according to many folk, but having ridden it 3 times, twice quite early in the morning and once late in the afternoon I found it pretty quiet each time, also been lucky to get it in decent weather on every occasion

  14. #78
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    Hi Rasher and Simon W,

    Many thanks for your reply.

    The reason why I'm planning to do the Timmelsjoch is because most of the people I talked to said that it is probably the best pass in the Alps - or at least one of the best. Isn't that true?

    The itinerary is as follows:
    Day 1 - London to Charleville Mezieres (Ardennes)
    Day 2 - Ardennes to Baden-Baden
    Day 3 - Baden-Baden SPA Route
    Day 4 - Baden-Baden to Kloten (visit a friend)
    Day 5 - Kloten to Chur thru Susten, Grimsel and Furka Passes
    Day 6 - Chur to Livigno thru Timmelsjoch Pass
    Day 7 - Livigno to Como thru Fluella/Albula/Julier (as per route you advised) and Splugen Passes
    Day 8 - Como to Langhe (some good red wine)
    Day 9 - Langhe to Genoa thru Appennini Passes between Piemonte and Liguria

    Checking the route at the link 1 in my post #74, it seems to be the fastest to get from Chur to Timmelsjoch. If I tried to take the route at the link 2 suggested in the same post it would take me even longer. And if I wanted to avoid the motorway it'd be pretty easy to do so as I could get from Feldkirch to Innsbruck using the B road, which goes parallel to the motorway.

  15. #79
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    Is the Timmelsjoch (Passo del Rombo) one of the 'Alpine greats'? Yes, of course it is, thousands of walkers, bikers, car drivers and bicyclists have gone up and down it just for the experience.

    Is it worth deviating maybe miles to tick it off? That depends on the individual, the time available, maybe the weather on the day a bod finds themsemselves at the bottom / the middle / the top and just about anything else. Two things are near enough certain, the pass has been there in its current form for over half a century; it won't be gone in the next 50 or 100 years. So, ride it if it suits you or save it for another time. It really is up to you.

    Similarly, it's up to an individual whether they take the B roads that runs parallel to many motorways. There is no guarantee that the B roads are necessarily great roads, the locals spent many millions of pounds to build a motorway for some reason. Sometimes it's because the former B road really was crappy. Some obstinately ride every B road they can find, doing it out of nothing more than pride and bragging rights in the pub. Others take a motorway because it is sensible to do so. You can slot yourself anywhere you like on the spectrum, nobody will know.

  16. #80
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    All I am saying is:

    Chur to Livigno thru Timmelsjoch - Highways (Y) Tolls (Y)
    Total time: 6hr 45min

    Chur to Livigno thru Silvretta Road and Timmelsjoch - Highways (N) Tolls (Y)
    Total time: 8hr 25min

    Chur to Livigno thru Silvretta Road and Timmelsjoch - Highways (N) Tolls (N)
    Total time: 8hr 45min

    As you can see there isn't a massive difference between option 2 and 3. And I reckon the 2 is probably the best. Option 1 takes Silvretta Road off the list, which is a shame.

    Not sure why option 3 (no tolls) still goes thru the Timmelsjoch though. As far as I know if you come from Austria you have to pay?

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