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#1539183 - 11/27/23 03:53 PM Tips for my Trip in January
TichuTom
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Underway in Austria

I'm planning a trip from Vienna to Zurich in the end of January. It will be my first long Winter-adventure and it will only take place if there isn't too much snow.

Do you think this is a good idea? Do you have any recommendations? (especially route, bike parts & equipment...) No worries, I will avoid the alps wink

thx for your help smile
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#1539200 - 11/27/23 07:32 PM Re: Tips for my Trip in January [Re: TichuTom]
Keine Ahnung
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To be honest, I don't think January is the ideal time to go on a tour like this. Either there is a lot of snow or the weather is rather cold and wet and uncomfortable. If I had the choice, I would either choose another month for such a tour or - if the month is fixed - do a tour in the south of Europe.
Gruß, Arnulf

"Ein Leben ohne Radfahren ist möglich, aber sinnlos" (frei nach Loriot)
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#1539300 - 11/28/23 06:41 PM Re: Tips for my Trip in January [Re: TichuTom]
veloträumer
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You can try to take regional roads, but cycling paths you can't be sure to use, because not free of snow. So important cycling paths like Danube cycling path (Euroevelo 6) and Bodensee-Königsee-Radweg (Berchtesgaden - Lindau, but is more critical). If taking the roads, you should know, that there is a lot of snow mud at the road, even smaller lanes, because snow is at the side and cars splash mud. Even sometimes landscape is touched by intense dust, especially close to water.

Of course, nobody can tell you a serious weather forecast. January can change within a few days totally. I had once a short trip in Northern Germany, beginning with ice, snowy conditions, but sun, -8 °C, most cycle paths closed, not ridable. A windy, rainy day with 4 °C, all snow nearly snow smelling, but ways aside roads are muddy, finishing with warm weather and sun, 8-10 °C. You get milder climate close to the rivers and lakes. So maybe EV6 is an option, but sometimes changing to the road. Upper Danube valley is more critical than lower parts. You can change later easily from EV8 at Stein am Rhein to Zurich. Cycling paths in Switzerland will be in better conditions than in Germany and maybe a lot them free of snow for local commuters. In most sections you have the possibilty to change to a train.
Liebe Grüße! Ciao! Salut! Saludos! Greetings!
Matthias
Pedalgeist - Panorama für Radreisen, Landeskunde, Wegepoesie, offene Ohren & Begegnungen
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#1539314 - 11/28/23 08:31 PM Re: Tips for my Trip in January [Re: TichuTom]
derSammy
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Hard to say. For sure, the Alp mountains are no option, actually almost all passes will be closed due to meters of snow.

If you stay on lower altitudes, it's not easy to predict, which conditions you will find in practice. Do not expect any winter service on dedicated cycling routes, be prepared for the necessity to share the main road with cars and trucks.

You can be lucky and find a snow and ice free route like let's say along the Danube river. But it may also happen, that there will be weeks of high snow level and your cycling is restricted to roads with winter service.

Bike parts?
Nothing special - apart one thing: Spike tires. They make you little slower on asphalt, but are absolutely beneficial in icy condition. You will not slip on ice with them at all. On muddy conditions they may also slip, but not as sudden and uncontrolled as on non-spike-tires on ice.

Equipment: Dress sufficiently warm but, not that much, that you sweat too much. Following the onion principle and stripping off certain shells if too warm, is key. It's not easy to find the sweet spot between not to freeze and not to sweat.
Hand cloves can be found within the Skiing equipment of outdoor shops. Dedicated cycling gloves are often not warm enough. Warm shoes and usage of overshoes is suggested.

Where do you wanna stay over night? If you intend to sleep in a tent (campsite or "in the wild") there are certain specific aspects for winter camping to consider.
Komm wir grillen Opa. Es gibt Koch und Suppenfleisch!
Satzzeichen können Leben retten.
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#1539361 - 11/29/23 01:34 PM Re: Tips for my Trip in January [Re: derSammy]
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Originally Posted By: derSammy
If you intend to sleep in a tent (campsite or "in the wild") there are certain specific aspects for winter camping to consider.

Here, one should keep in mind that "wild camping" is forbidden in Austria, Switzerland, and Germany. Additionally, most official campgrounds will be closed in January/February.

As already mentioned above, I would consider choosing another time for this trip or move it to the far south of Europe.
Gruß, Arnulf

"Ein Leben ohne Radfahren ist möglich, aber sinnlos" (frei nach Loriot)
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#1539601 - 12/02/23 01:38 PM Re: Tips for my Trip in January [Re: TichuTom]
TichuTom
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Underway in Austria

Thank you for your help schmunzel. I will decide in January whether I will undertake the trip or not. If there is too much snow, I will travel to Zurich by train. Either the entire journey or partially.

Fortunately, I can choose my travel time (departure between mid-January and first week of February). I hope to catch a good weather window. Btw: I will be staying in hostels, BnBs and maybe warmshower-hosts.

Because the weather is expected to be better in the south: Could it be worthwhile to plan the journey via Klagenfurt and Venice (instead of Danube and Bavaria)? In this case, the last part of the trip from Bellinzona to Zurich would be by train.

However, if the snow conditions are like they are currently in Vienna, I will definitely forget about the trip grins
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#1539664 - 12/03/23 08:59 PM Re: Tips for my Trip in January [Re: TichuTom]
veloträumer
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Originally Posted By: TichuTom
Because the weather is expected to be better in the south: Could it be worthwhile to plan the journey via Klagenfurt and Venice (instead of Danube and Bavaria)? In this case, the last part of the trip from Bellinzona to Zurich would be by train.
If you just take the route in the Po plain from and Italian lakes from Venice to Bellinzona, maybe yes. It isn't such snowy and temperature a little bit higher, but is still winter, too. Even there could be rainy days, which isn't really better than cold days. I remember a tour in March with 8 °C and heavy rain the Gardasee. In Austria and the Alpine part of Friuli you don't get better conditions, because it's inside the alpine climate, even if go more south like Wörthersee etc. Winter in Slovenia is stronger than in the German Allgäu, generally. It's a little bit changing in Carinthia and the lake area, if looking to spring 2 month later, getting warm earlier than on the north side, but can't expect this in January.
Liebe Grüße! Ciao! Salut! Saludos! Greetings!
Matthias
Pedalgeist - Panorama für Radreisen, Landeskunde, Wegepoesie, offene Ohren & Begegnungen
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