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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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Old 7 Dec 2008
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A day's riding in Eastern Europe?

I'm considering a ride out to Ukraine and back next year and wondered if anyone could help with making a brief outline of the trip.

I'm looking at going through Holland, Germany, Czech Republic and either Poland or Slovakia into Ukraine. I'm then probably going to have to go 'cross country' to Kiev and, perhaps, on to Kharkiv.

I'm thinking of doing about 400 miles each day but I don't want to be riding for much more than 6 or 7 hours a day, (not including stops). I'll be sticking largely to main roads.

Can anyone tell me what sort of average speed I can expect to keep up riding in Eastern Europe? Also, how many miles a day would you imagine I'll be able to cover, stopping for the odd tourist spot and to meet the locals but not much else? I could be on my own or with another 2 or 3 bikes.

After spending 5 minutes looking at a map I've come up with the following very, very brief outline:

Tuesday: 4.30 PM - arrive into Hook of Holland. From there, use the autobahns through to Leipzig (420 miles) and stay there overnight.

Wednesday: Leipzig to Krakow (388 miles)

Thursday: Krakov to Rivne (363 miles) or Kiev (584 miles).

Friday: Rivne to Kiev (221 miles) or Kiev to Kharkiv (? miles)
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Old 7 Dec 2008
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Most of the countries listed (apart from Ukraine which I haven't visited yet) have a good main road infrastructure although a recent trip to Krakow last April highlighted a lot of new road building activity - probably a throwback to joining the EU and having grants to improve transport. Driving in East Europe is not desperately bad - you soon get used to cars coming at you head on in a kamikazee overtake manoeuvre and pot holes and ridged road surfaces are also prevalent. Off the beaten track, however, some roads are more in the nature of tracks but still good fun. Most people are very friendly and a couple of words learned in each language makes a lot of difference. Enjoy !
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Old 7 Dec 2008
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I think starting a 400+ mile stint at 4.30-5pm is going to have you knackerred for the rest of your trip. Why not stop off in Belgium for the night and make an easy day of it ?
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Old 7 Dec 2008
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agree with that, those are big miles, so your not gonna catch up much if you start sleep deprived, which you will be if your starting a 400mile trip at that time.

I certainly find big distances much more acheivable and far less tiring during daylight.

Tom
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Old 7 Dec 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldbmw View Post
I think starting a 400+ mile stint at 4.30-5pm is going to have you knackerred for the rest of your trip. Why not stop off in Belgium for the night and make an easy day of it ?
In an ideal world I would. I'd also like to spend some time looking around the battlefields and old WW2 / Cold War sites in France, Belgium and Germany. But we have to be in Ukraine by the Saturday and I'm wary about leaving too little time to cope with unexpected hiccups.

Would it be better, perhaps, to stop in central Germany on the Tuesday night and wind off the excess miles with an additional 50 or so on each of the following days? Or maybe to get the Chunnel into France on the Tuesday morning - extra miles but extra time?
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Old 7 Dec 2008
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In October this year I met several people who had just returned from Russia & Ukraine. One was a couple where he was German and she was Russian, so speaking the local lingo, the other party was two Germans.

Both were absolutely happy with travelling in Russia, but both encountered big problems in he Ukraine when riding the main roads: the police stopped hem at every roadblock, trying to get them to pay for some ludicrous fine. The first couple managed to get around the problems BECAUSE she spoke Russian fluently, the second group finally avoided the main roads - and thus bypassed these f***cken bloody suckers.
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