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Thursday, November 05, 2009

2010 Tour of the German-Speaking Alps Proposal

After the Pyrenees last year, and Japan this year, I've decided that next year will have to be a return to the Alps, still by far the best and prettiest riding I've done anywhere. The proposal would be to fly into Munich mid-to-late June, take the train or ride to Austria, and immediately head towards Grossglockner highway, the tallest road in Austria.

From there, we will likely have to zig-zag over passes between Austria and German-speaking Italy, before making our way into Switzerland and ending up in Rosenlaui for 2-3 days of hiking to finish up the tour. We can then either make our way back to Germany by bicycle if we've got plenty of time, or we'll take the train back from the Interlaken area if we've run out of time.

Since Lisa and I haven't decided on whether we're going to bring the tandem or whether I'll be doing the ride on a single, this tour is likely to be either challenging (like 2007) or an easy-going tour (like 2003). Obviously, whether I/we are in shape will make a big difference in how tough the tour will be.

Training for the tour is easy: as usual, we'll make use of the Western Wheelers LDT (Long Distance Training series) as the backbone of the training program. If you do the entire series of C or D rides, you should be able to finish the Sequoia century in early June in a reasonable amount of time. There are 4 multi-day trips scheduled for the LDT series, and I will also run a qualifier ride in March. The qualifier ride is mandatory unless you've gone on tour with me before --- though even if you have gone on tour with me before, you are encouraged to show up anyway.

After the qualifiers, we will commit buy buying plane and train tickets.

I used to provided expected costs for this tour in dollars, but since the dollar has fluctuated greatly, I'll provide an estimate in Euros instead: 75 Euros a day a person should be expected. This includes food and lodging, but train rides, etc., might prove to be expensive --- I'll try to get those under control as much as possible.

As with previous tours:
  • You must be flexible with your diet --- staying in rural lodging often means eating whatever the family cooks for you.
  • You must be willing to handle adventure --- at the very least some dirt riding should be expected. Hopping fences and having to push your bike over a hiking trail is to be expected.
  • You have to be OK with not knowing where you're going to stay --- I rarely make reservations in advance.
  • You must be willing to carry your own lugguage. No SAG vehicle will be provided.
  • You must be self-sufficient as far as equipment is concerned. Don't expect me to fix your flats.

If you're interested, add yourself to the mailing list I've created. As usual, I'm going to restrict the group size to about 4 bikes. (I've never had more people want to go than I can take) If 3 weeks is too long a trip for you, you can come for less time (i.e., bail out early), but you're not allowed to join in the middle of the trip.

If you want more information, please read up on previous tours to decide whether my tours are right for you. In particular, you want to pay attention to the information packet for 2007 (or the 2005 one will work as well). If after reading all that you're still not sure, then the answer is no.

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