Advice on road conditions?
Trying to get an idea of what type of road/weather i can expect on a trip from Scotland (Falkirk) to Italy (Milan). I'll be leaving on February 9th and only intend to take a few days to get down there, so probably sticking more to the major roads. I know it's not an ideal time to ride there, but i'd prefer to have my bike with me than having to come back to Scotland to get it, and need to get to Italy for mid-Feb:(
Any advice on weather/routes would be appreciated i.e. after Boulogne (i'll use Speedferries and they dock there) what's the best/easiest route thru to Milan.
Normally I'd suggest that riding in Europe in February would be a bad idea as it is mid winter so it's expected to be cold and you'll run into snow for sure in the alps.
Having said that , so far this winter has been the midlest on record (good old global warming) and snow has been pretty scarce in the alps. I was in Pisa in Italy for new years eve and was outside in the streets at midnight (as one does) and was only wearing a light summer jacket - it was about 12c so really mild. Normally I'd be wearing a thick winter coat and a hat and gloves by now but today it's just wet and windy in Belgium (where I am) but still very mild so the weather for your trip is very unpredicable.
My best and most reliable tip is to use the weather on the BBC website. In my experience it is reasonably reliable and covers all of Europe. www.bbc.co.uk
Hi chunkylover, i`ve never done that trip in winter but i`ve traveled to spain a few times in mid winter and found it cold all through france and northern spain, so i think your in for a chilly ride. Just thought i`d wish you well as i`m also scottish and from falkirk, cherrs.........marty.
The most straightforward route is on the Autoroutes (Motorways). These are fast (81mph limit) - well surfaced - well signed if you know intermediate city names (see below) - promptly treated and cleared of snow - have Service Stations every 20 miles or so - dedicated multi language radio (107.7fm) with road and traffic condition updates - BUT at a cost.
Tolls are not cheap. As a rough guide I allow as much in France for tolls as fuel - more in Italy. By bike my tolls last autumn to Milan were about £25- £30 one way plus £11 Mont Banc tunnel. Car tolls in France are nearly double a bike but in Italy bikes are charged as if they were cars!
I regularly go that way by both car and bike from Calais (18 miles from Bolougne) via, in France-
A26 to Reims and Troyes,
A5 and A31 to Dijon and Beaune,
A6 towards Lyon but only as far as Macon,
A40 via Geneva to Chamonix/Mont Blanc.
Tunnel into Italy-
A5 and A4 to Milan
Total distance about 650 miles.
Going down to Italy as well!
Its interesting to read your comments- I'm in the middle of planning a trip to Italy mid-Feb from London.
I want to get to Rome as I'd guess it should be a little warmer... if not sunnier too. And then back through Germany
Is it possible to reach the south of France in 1 day riding (8 hours)?
Leaving La Croix Valmer (south of St Tropez) at 4pm early last October it took me almost 10 hours to the Calais Channel Tunnel terminal without any breaks other than for fuel. That was riding at or over the limits, on Autoroutes.
A car at similar speeds should be quicker, needing fewer than my 4 fuel stops.
Milan in February
Greetings from Milan,
The weather here is mild it seems to be in spring but next week will be colder, so it is quite unpredictable, I have been last week to Spain in Valladolid for Pinguinos, and the temperature was 6° c in Milan, 12° c in Genoa 18° C in Barcelona and 7-9° C in Valladolid, Coming back the temperature in Cote d'Azur and the Italian Riviera was 18-20 C° about. Maybe it should be the train from Calais to Nice loading motorbykes too but you to have check with Sncf if the service is available at this time. If not Tunnel of Mont Blanc is the nearest gate to Italy for you. Do not hesitate to contact me for any help if needed in Milan
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