Cycling from Munich to Italy

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Has anyone here tried cycling across the Alps to Italy? If so, how was it, what route did you take, and what did you bring?

 

So far in my research, I've found only one route - the Via Claudia, that is a bit out of the way for me - I want to leave Munich and end in the Dolomites.

 

Suggestions?

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I haven't done this, but some of my colleagues here, talk about that, all the time. One guy, did a big round trip in Scandinavian countries, recently. That was for around 1400 kms (in Norway and Sweden). An other guy went from Nuremberg to Luxembourg and this year, he's planning to bike through the Bavarian, Tirolian and Swiss Alps.

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Depends oin what conditions you want to ride your bike. If you're willing to follow single trails google up "trans alp mtb".

If you want to use roads your possibilities will be quite limited.

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My husband did it, on a 3-speed!... I'll ask him for routes later.

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I did a variation of the via claudia, but with some extra climbs, my pack list is below.

If you are doing a road bike tour, then the easiest way is to follow the valley's, but road or MTB you should just think about how many climbing metres you want to do.

My recent transalp (2 weeks ago) was 7000m which to be honest is pretty flat compared to some of the monster routes, which have 18 - 20000 climbing m. The way I did it was to look through bike mags and work out which passes I wanted to do. So I went garmisch through Mittenwald into Austra (landeck). From there through the Reschenpass. Then I added a couple of climbs, the gampenpass and then Stelvio pass. These kind of take you in opposite directions from the dolomites, but the principle os the same but I wanted to end up in Riva. Best bet, get a good map roughly covering the route you want, then try this web site, http://www.climbbybike.com/index.asp and search for route you want on this web site (there are loads others by the way) these show you the clims in detail with profiles etc...

 

easier if you have a look then ask away if you have more questions.

 

PS sorry for crap grammer and spelling. In a webex, it is dull!

 

Pack list

Bike Spares

2 x inner tubes

Puncture repair kit

Multi tool eg http://www.topeak.com/products/Tools

Bike Pump

Bike computer/gps (your choice depending on price) http://www.topeak.com/products/Computers

White and red lights

Helmet

 

Bike Clothes

1 x fingerless gloves

1 x bike shorts

2 x Bike shirts

2 x undershirts

2 x socks (1 for biking, 1 for wearing afterwards)

1 x waterproof jacket

1 x windproof vest/jacket

1 x pair arm and leg warmers http://www.gorebikewear.co.uk/remote/Satel.../MenAccessories

 

Normal clothes

1 x T shirt

1 x micro fibre fleece

1 x trousers (lightweight with detacheable bottoms to turn them into shorts)

2 x underwear

1 x running shoes/lightweight shoes

 

Other things

30L rucksack, this one is mine.. perfect size, able to hold a camelback, and has waterproof cover

http://www.deutergb.co.uk/products/all/Bik...s_Alpine_30/15/

Wash kit

Travel wash, wash sports kit every 2 days, dry overnight)

Sports lubricant.. (OK OK I know it's funny but after a couple of days between your legs could and will be very painful)

http://www.zombierunner.com/store/product11.html

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There is the Jeantex Transalp Tour every year in summer. You build a team with a second person, as long as I know that is a rule.

 

The next one is 28.Jun.09 - 4.Jul.09 and most people ride 30-gear racing bikes.

They even do have information in english on their webpage http://www.tourtransalp.de/englisch/

 

There is another event, for mountain bikers. 18.Jul.09 - 25.Jul.09 http://www.bike-transalp.de/englisch/

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I did the Explorer 2004 route from the webpage (http://www.transalp.info/english/index.php) a couple of years back. I can recommend it overall...although a few days were hell!!! It actually snowed on the top of Passo di Alpisella in July. So be prepared!! This route however starts in Obersdorf and finishes in Riva, so maybe it's too far west for you.

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There is the Jeantex Transalp Tour every year in summer. You build a team with a second person, as long as I know that is a rule.

 

The next one is 28.Jun.09 - 4.Jul.09 and most people ride 30-gear racing bikes.

They even do have information in english on their webpage http://www.tourtransalp.de/englisch/

 

There is another event, for mountain bikers. 18.Jul.09 - 25.Jul.09 http://www.bike-transalp.de/englisch/

Hi Siskebap,

 

but did you see this tour?? Not only does it not end in the dolomites, but it has 18km climbing meters... not exactly an easy one :rolleyes:

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Thanks everyone. You've given me some very useful information. Although I now feel like a complete wimp for merely wanting to go by road in convenient stages, instead of carrying the bike in my teeth, over the highest pass, by means of a goat path, through a blizzard, wearing only a spandex thong.

 

 

Sports lubricant.. (OK OK I know it's funny but after a couple of days between your legs could and will be very painful)

Oh, I know. A man should never be to proud to lube.

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There was an article in one of the last DSV magazines where two men did Garmisch-Gardasee in one day. I'll see if I can fish it out and see what route they used.

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Ok the route was Garmisch, Fernpass, Timmelsjoch, San Giovanni Pass, Gardasee. Nutcases.

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I want to take my first Transalp next year. Maybe I’m going to book it by Ulpbike or another supplier.

 

Has anybody done a trip like this?

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My wife and I just rode from Munich to Venice (560 km) with racing bikes.

 

The route we took was:

Munich - Kochel am see

we started late and had a head wind, so stopped a bit earlier than planned.

 

Kochelsee - Walchensee - Mittenwald - Leutasch - Telfs - Imst

Kochelsee - Walchensee hill was a bit steep. Probably easier to go via Tölz - Lengries - Sylvenstein. Leutaschtal is beautiful and has very little traffic.

 

Imst - Reschenpass - Glurns

We took the Bundesstrasse through the Inntal. I think there might be bike paths, but I read that they are gravel and rather stop-start. Over Reschen, you can take side streets for much of the way. There are bike paths too, but I suspect they are gravel. Near the top we were told that it would be ok to take the main road (which is less steep), but you go through some pretty dark tunnels and it might even be prohibited for bikes. Safer is the street that goes to the right, via Martina. Luckily (for us) there was a motorbike accident and they had blocked all the traffic for most of our ride through the tunnels.

 

Glurns - Meran - Bozen - Neumarkt (Egna)

Bike paths all the way. Downhill or flat all the way too. Just a few km near the start are gravel. They are improving these paths every year. Start early on a hot day, or you will get a strong head wind.

 

Neumarkt - Trento - Vigollo Vitaro - Levico Terme

You can also go via Verona, but this is much shorter. The hills outside Trento are very steep. The northern route would be easier, but everyone said that bikes are prohibited. Maybe there is a side street though.

 

Levico Terme - Borgo Valsugana - Bassano del Grappa - Cittadella

Beautiful bike paths through the valley and the gorge. After Bassano del Grappa, there is a bike path all the way down the river via Padua, but we decided to go with the traffic and cut the corner.

 

Cittadella - Camposampiero - Mestre - Venice

Lot of traffic, even on the side roads. Maybe we should have taken that bike path. We were wrongly told that bikes are prohibited on the bridge across, so we took the train for the last 5 km. From the train we saw bikes going on the footpath on the side of the bridge. Bugger!

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Fookin' hell Dicky, that must be 380km or more. Could you sit the next day?

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Gardasee in a day!!???

 

I can't say you'd have much time to enjoy it on the way though...

 

A couple of friends and I just mountain biked from Munich to Lake Garda in 7 days...

 

It's a lot more comfortable to stay in huts along the way, but we being poor students carried a tent and everything on the back of bikes and set out...

 

Also gave us a lot more flexibility in where we stayed and how long we could cycle for in a day...

 

Our route went something like this...

 

Day 1: Munich to just north of the Kaiserhütte in the Karwendel valley, all on road /bike track, 120km, via Bad Tölz, Lengries, and Sylvensteinsee.

 

Day 2: Out of the Karwendelvalley over the Plumsjoch pass (track), down to Achensee, follow the river to Schwaz and then up the hill on road towards the Weidenerhütte. We then camped in the forest on the track up towards the hut.

 

Day 3: Track to the Weidenerhütte, and then single track up to the Geisljoch (2300 and something). Single track downhill into the Zillar valley, then along the road to Hintertux. We started climbing the Tuxerjoch and then camped just below the Glacier...

 

Day 4: Up onto the Tuxerjoch via a track albeit a very small stoney one which is rather hard to cycle on gripwise... Then down the other side into the Kaserer valley, via a single track which is half cyclable, half having to push, and then finally down the road to St Jodok. From there we took a single track up towards Nösslach (again pushing (Schiebstrecke)), then along a track / road towards Vianders. From there a track up towards the Sattelberg where we camped 3/4 of the way up...

 

Day 5: Final push up the Sattelberg, all on cycleable track /single track towards the end if you're fit enough, then along a 10km ridge all above 2000m along various 'jochs' into Italy, complete with lots of old disused bunkers previously used to defend the border. Then 30km downhill into the valley to Sterzing for Pizza and wine, then up again up the Passo di Pennes (2211m), all on road, albeit difficult (1500m height over 16km), we then had a beer and started the first 10 km of the downhill and camped in the valley.

 

Day 6: Started the day with a 40km downhill towards Bolzano. Couple of hours look round Bolzano, then onwards along a cycle trail which joins up with the Sudtiroler Weinstraße and the Kalterersee, which is perfect for a little swim / watersport break. We then camped further along in a small forest in the valley of vineyards...

 

Day 7: Climb up out the valley full of vinyards, richtung Andalo (1100m), through lots of small villages with cool italian local bars, all on road. From Andalo down to Molveno, where i must say the lake is breathtaking, then along the road again and down into the next valley. from there headed up through Fiave, and over the Passo di Bennes? I feel that name may be wrong though. From which it is a nice long 20km downhill into Riva del Garda, a lovely swim, lots of beautiful italian women, and a big celebratory piss up.

 

If anyone is looking at doing any of that route at some point just msg if u want to know wat it's like. Absolutely beautiful at times, despite very difficult at times too! Would definately recommend the Jubiläumsweg (the 10km ridge into italy from Sattelberg).

 

Otherwise we also came accross another way you can cross the alps...

 

Every year there is a big organised Transalp race, not sure how much it costs but you get all your stuff chaufeurred, accommodation booked, and a bus to take you and your bike back at the end. It's over for this year as we happened to stumble upon the big piss up street party afterwards on the saturday night in Riva. Although some guys we were speaking to said they would have preffered our way, as they had no time to stop for photos / swims /general enjoyment as everyday was a race. Still if you fancy a challenge and don't like organising things then definately a good thing. Plus u get your own 'Mittenwald to Lake Garda in 8 days finisher' lycra suit lol.

 

Oh and we didn't do any training... though it might be an idea... I almost died.

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Oh yeah Total Km came to just over 500 and we didn'T really get lost...

 

Total height gain i still have to work out, but i feel it will be a big number...

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