Daily distances in the Alps?

Discussion in 'EMEA' started by atomicalex, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. atomicalex

    atomicalex silly aluminum boxes

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    Myself and a GF have decided to do an Alps trip. We plan to autoZug it down to München, then ride over to the Dolomites, and then West. The route is not so much of an issue, but the distances. IE - how much to plan per day.

    She is riding her long-term F650GS twin with side cases and a top box, I'm hoping to have my F650GS single back on the road (don't ask) with Varioboxes and a soft bag on the back. Otherwise, it's the CBR (FSM, I hope not) with lots of softbags strapped on. :deal Regardless, we will travel relatively light and for nine days and plan to do the pension thing so we can sleep in real beds and take showers.

    We both have decent riding experience, and she's been around the Northern Alps once before, but not deep into the passes. Our goal is not to pound out every pass there is, but we do want to bag a few (ok, lots) and enjoy the scenery and the trip. I expect lots of picture taking and occasional trackbacks. We expect to be in the saddle for about six hours a day - three in the morning with a lunch break, then a further three in the afternoon. When things permit, we may ride further in the afternoons.

    What is a realistic kilometer count per day with all of the mountains involved? 300? 400?
    #1
  2. wsmc831

    wsmc831 Been here awhile

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    I'm in Munich currently after a 9 day ride with two friends around the alps. We started here and did Innsbruck to Switzerland to northern Italy. 1400 miles total, and we did as much riding as possible, about 35 total passes with gps routes custom made for us. I wouldn't suggest more than 150 miles a day average if you only want to ride 6 hours a day.
    Many days we were 8 + hours.

    Enjoyed Splugen and of course Stelvio, with another north of Lenz also epic.
    #2
  3. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    Yup - 200 ~ 300 kms per day, depending on how often you stop to just watch the scenery. This was this past July - 18 riding days with about 1000 kms of the total on Autobahns from and to Heidelberg.

    Very similar to past years - figure an average speed of 40 ~ 50 kph while moving.

    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. atomicalex

    atomicalex silly aluminum boxes

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    Perfect! Thank you!!
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  5. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    A couple of additional thoughts.

    If you're in an area with lots of riding (like the Dolomites), consider basing in a central location for a few days. This gives you the ability to just ride and enjoy without the hassle of finding a place each night and the daily packing/unpacking drill.

    I usually spend a couple of nights in the Andermatt area in Switzerland and the Arabba/Corvara area in the Dolomites. Lots of facilities and riding in the immediate area.

    Another strategy is to get a room early in the day (beat the crowds) and ride into the evening in the local area.
    #5
  6. mhpr262

    mhpr262 Banned

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    You are welcome to check out my "Dolomites" and "Three days in the Alps" RRs in my sig. When do you intend to arrive? Summer holiday in bavaria end in exactly three weeks, high season is basically over then and you shouldn't have any trouble finding cheap rooms.
    #6
  7. pip_muenster

    pip_muenster curious

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    +1

    Calculate 60kph as a moving average for European secondary roads, but less in the Alps.
    #7
  8. Cooltours

    Cooltours Rider of passion

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    My magic formula is 300 500 700...., km's obviousely, NOT miles;-)
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  9. Nadgett

    Nadgett Been here awhile

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    I just got back from a trip through Austria and Slovenia. 300 km a day is fairly comfortable. Our last day was 500 km, and left me planning to install a softer seat.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
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  10. Rinty

    Rinty Been here awhile

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  11. on2wheels52

    on2wheels52 Long timer

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    300km and 100 photos/day. It maybe doesn't sound like much but it's about what I ended up doing.
    You're going to have a great time.
    Jim
    #11
  12. Yojimbo

    Yojimbo Adventurer

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    Took my (now ex) girlfriend on two trips in the Alps, so taking our time and enjoying the sights was 250 km/day, with the occasional longer or shorter day. Back in my "pass hound" days, I would do 400+ km/day, but that's up and going by 8:00, and riding till six or seven at night, which I wouldn't recommend if you plan on finding lodging as you go. In that case, you want to pick the town and find hotel/gasthof/albrego by four-thirty or five, because things can fill up. And, the more I've gone, the more convinced I am that the time spent having a cappuccino and watching the world go by is just as rewarding as the time on the bike. Enjoy!
    #12
  13. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    BTDT

    :clap
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  14. atomicalex

    atomicalex silly aluminum boxes

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    To update...

    We've decided to plan 2000kms, München to home, with an optional side loop of 350kms if we are doing well. One of the things we have both discussed is that as we have never traveled toghether before and this will be the first real "adventure" trip for both of us. To that issue, we have planned two "escapes" that will allow us to end early if needed. The extra loop is in case things go super duper and we are making good time.

    We booked our AutoZug tickets to München last night, if anyone else is around, we leave Düsseldorf on Friday, 20.Sep and arrive Sat 21.Sep. If you are out and about and see two loaded up baby GSs with dorky chicks on top, that will be us. Still have not decided on what to wear - it's between my leder and my Gore-Tex. Both have their strong and weak points.
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  15. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    JUST like a woman :evil

    Seriously - leather comes into its own while sliding down the road without your bike. Any other time, it's a bit of a PITA.

    Today's armored textile suits are almost as good, and just about equal at "Tourist Speeds". My usual gear is a first Gear Kilimanjaro and Aerostich Darien overpants. The entire outer layer is highly water resistant (NOTHING is waterPROOF). Under layers can be added or subtracted as temperatures dictate. The upside is that you never have to stop and mess with rain gear. I do carry a pair of rain covers for my gloves, but they take up almost no room in my tankbag.

    The programmed bail-out point is a good idea, and provides a nice reality check on the ride's progress.

    Have a ball, take lotsa pictures, and, of course, we want to hear all about it when you get back and get it all sorted out. :D
    #15
  16. pip_muenster

    pip_muenster curious

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    Keep in mind that temperatures can vary from +25C to 0C within half an hour when riding up a pass.
    #16
  17. atomicalex

    atomicalex silly aluminum boxes

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    You gonna say that to my face? :evil

    j/k!

    I'm leaning toward my Gore-Tex, but who knows. Depends on how I feel when I wake up, :1drink
    #17
  18. Chinchillin'

    Chinchillin' n00b

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    Greetings from Antwerp,

    This past summer was my second living in Europe. The previous summer I logged 3,000 kms, touring primarily within Belgium, whilst getting acclimated to the culture and accustomed to my living with a language handicap (read monolingualism).

    But during the last two winters I also did quite a lot of homework, bought (and studied) a heck of a lot of maps, trialed many apps, and with my confidence soaring by Spring, set off in June on three epic tours riding my BMW R1200S. In total my three tours covered 5,500 kms over the course of 25 days with no more than 400 kms ridden on expressways.

    The first trip was nine days through the Belgian Ardennes to Paris, Reims, the Champagne Ardenne and back to Antwerp.

    The second trip was six fabulous days spent touring the Eifel region of Germany where I strung together a series of routes I'd discovered courtesy of a German publisher catering specifically to motorcyclists.
    www.publicpress.de
    Man-o-man do they know how to pick routes! Brilliantly engaging maps!

    The third trip was 10 days riding north through the Rhone Alps, France and Switzerland after catching an overnight train south via the Dutch Autoslaap (think DB Autozug) from Den Bosch, Holland to Alessandria, Italy.

    Route planning
    After our overly long, harsh Winter and dismal cold Spring, I was loathe to plan too far ahead lest I get trapped by bad weather. Instead, my strategy had me comparing daily local weather foecasts to nearby scenic yellow/green squiggles every morning after breakfast, loading the corresponding towns and favored roads into my GPS until I had somewhere between 200-250 km routes loaded each day. Turns out the collective wisdom concerning 200km days being ideal is spot on, especially when you're limiting yourself to two lane rural routes. In fact, I'd call it prudent to guesstimate six hours in the saddle for an average 200 km route plan.

    Hotels
    Since by the time I'd loaded my routes into the GPS I also had my final destination for the day planned out, I quickly found the best means to book a room for that night was via the Michelin Hotels iPhone app (preferably over a Wi-Fi comnection courtesy of my hotel). The Michelin app seems to have the largest corpus of local hotels inventoried, includes a great set of filters, enables you to search by proximity to zip codes, and transfers you to Booking.com for reservation and payment. This strategy worked like a charm day after day.

    Reflection
    Looking back on the summer, I'm immensely grateful for having relied on the Michelin Hotel app as well as having various maps on hand from Kümmerly+Frey www.swisstravelcenter.com
    and freytag & berndt www.freytagberndt.com
    #18
  19. GiorgioXT

    GiorgioXT Long timer

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    Maybe I could be around there ...If you two are willing to do some dirt roads too (easy) , there are a couple (even more) of Mountain Huts easily reachable by bike that will offer sleeping+very good food in exceptional scenic locations. Mountain huts/ Rifugio often are good and cheaper alternatives to hotels

    My advice about dress : choose what you are feeling best, leather could be right for september, but if you don't mind putting up and taking off rain overalls.

    Kms : 250 to 350 are a realistic media riding 3 hours in the morning and 3 in the afternoon

    Routes : if you like some hints, please ask.
    #19