England to Italy

CyclingBantam Posts: 1,299
edited September 2009 in Road beginners
Hi All,

I am planning on riding from Bradford to Milan in late may next year for charity and was hoping to get some advice from people have done a lot more touring than I (Which is nil at present!).

In terms of fitness I am comfortable that I have enough time to get this up to scratch and there are plenty of threads pointing me in the right direction.

In terms of the trip its self what advice can people give? I will be looking to camp as I go and am under the impression that most french villages have sites so will finding a pitch be as straightforward as it seems?

How do people plan routes? I was going to plan something on somewhere like Bike Route Toaster and then highlight it on paper maps I can take with me? How do you know if there are area's to avoid (I.e. route a to b has much better scenary via c as opposed to d). What should I set up in advance? Anything or can I just book as I go and get up and just ride as far as I want each day?

I was planning on spending around £600 on a bike. Will this be sufficient to ensure the ride is not ruined by a heavy bike struggling to get over the hills etc. What should I look for in a bike.

I will also plan on travelling very light i.e. small tent, 2 changes of cycling gear and a couple of 'normal clothes'. Should I need to take a lot more than I would originally think?

What about fundraising? Does anyone have any pointers about raising a decent amount? I will ask friends and family but that will only get a modest amount. Is it worth writing to companies or phoning them or the local paper (I am fundraising for the Bradford Burns Unit in conjunction with Bradford City F.C so there is a lot of local publicity about it currently etc)

Apologies for the long post, anything at all would be of use. Thanks in advance.

I have also posted this in Tour and Expadition however not sure how many go in there and it is a beginners question!




  • Hi Ben,

    If you repost this in the touring section you will likely get a couple more replies.

    As for the bike, make sure you get a triple chainset to help lug your gear up steeper gradients. You should be able to find a new bike with triple chainset for £400. Then buying spares and tools with the rest.

    If you are going it alone I would probably take 3-4 spare inner tubes, 2 spare folded tyres, spare chain, all necessary allen keys and tools, pump, wet weather gear etc. It all depends on the distance and number of days you expect it to take. Most importantly, take some assos cream or similar.

    When are you going, and what training are you doing at the moment?