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Cycling the Danube - any tips

Mudgee, Australia
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Cycling the Danube - any tips

4 of us from downunder will be cycling the Danube starting mid May ending in Istanbul in 5-6 weeks (leaving the Danube at Sofia). Has anyone cycled out of Budapest or is it better idea to take the train to the outskirts? Also are the bike paths easy to follow as I believe from what I have read that there is not a lot of signs?

Shelton, Washington
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1. Re: Cycling the Danube - any tips

What signs? As a former 10 speed terror, I notice such things and saw none. The local cyclists know where the paths are and the rest of us guess. Actually they are part of a wide sidewalk system with a line down the middle-pedestrians on the curb, cyclists on the inside and fine Hungarian curses to those who stray or don't know about the split- mostly tourists. Suggest strongly that you contact a local cycle club.

Bikes (even knocked down for transit) are not allowed on the metro.

Bikes on the suburban rail line require their own ticket and must be boarded from the designated area into the designated train car. There is a maximum of four bikes allowed per car. If eight of you get there and only one carriage is available, I guess the others wait. On the other hand, Hungarians are very helpful and the train staff will probably help.

budapest
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2. Re: Cycling the Danube - any tips

Within budapest you can use online map to guide you thru the city.

http://geologika.hu/bicikli_en.html

Main bike routes are signposted with green signs. They are also marked usually clearly on the road itself but not always. As they are mostly meant for the local inhabitants they might have dead ends. To avoid ending up in dead end, use the map in the link above.

There are also numerous books with cycle routes for all hungary, usally in three languages: hungarian, german and english: frigoriakiado.hu/kiadvanyok/budapest_kerekpa…

If you are following eurovelo 6, here is interactive map for futas.net/hungary/…eurovelo6-kerekparutak.php

eurovelo.org/routes/overview-route-database/

Shelton, Washington
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3. Re: Cycling the Danube - any tips

Don't get me wrong. There are cyclists all over Budapest and I saw little 'cowboy' activity at intersections and on sidewalks. The problem with the bike route system is that it is not tied together for long continuous rides. You can cruise around the parliament square but then the route stops if you wish to proceed safely upstream along the Danube.

This town is much better than Chicago is but bikes, as you know, never get a fair shake in planning or road marking.

I did notice one thing which affects equipment. The standard lights-front and tail, are flashing led light bars. I don't know if this is an equipment requirement but it helps mark the cyclist coning at you in the dusk.

Have a great ride. Wish my knees and age would vanish and I could join you. Come to Seattle for the Seattle-Portland run. It's a good excuse to stretch your legs and see my corner of the US.

budapest
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4. Re: Cycling the Danube - any tips

Np worries, i am pretty keen biker myself so i regularly do it myself.

Actually upstream has reasonably good system on both sides of the danube, on Buda side upto Szentendre or so is cycleroad (with few "holes", read here suite101.com/article/bike-from-budapest-to-s… and on the other side has excellent bike road even further (Vác) - i do regularly 60-100 km trips upstream without too much problem. For me the issue is rather that there is too many cyclist to be able to really "push" as the speed differentials are quite big. So i end up biking on high way quite often :-(

Downstream I am not that well familiar with the bike routes there but i have seen velo 6 signs, maybe i will do a trip myself and let you know. Some friends of me has warned about the real dead ends there.

Anyway, going further to Istanbul, well, the facilities are not really improving further you bike from central europe...

Edited: 1:02 pm, November 08, 2012
Mudgee, Australia
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5. Re: Cycling the Danube - any tips

Thanks for the info everyone esp the links, we are aware of the not so good facilities along the way. We will have camping gear if need be but the main plan is to stay in hotels/hostels/pensions etc as we progress. We are not spring chickens either pbandeyhey, 2 of are in our 60th year but love our riding. In fact in our little town in central NSW we regularly ride with a bloke who is 82 and whilst he slows on the hills, he always gets there. He is an inspiration to us all. Is the Seattle to Portland run an event or just a good ride?

Shelton, Washington
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6. Re: Cycling the Danube - any tips

I was suffering a brainlock senior moment and confused upstream and downstream in Budapest proper. Of course upstream would have good routes.

It's not my age but football ravaged inees that finally forced me to stop cycling. I should have stopped football earlier.

The Seattle-Portland run is an annual event with hundreds of participants. Give it a look on Google.

Mudgee, Australia
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7. Re: Cycling the Danube - any tips

Have done so, very impressed with the bloke who has ridden every year. Thanks.

What code of football do you mean? it is an interesting term, in Europe it means soccer, in Oz it means Rugby League or Union or Australian Rules and in your country it mainly seems to mean American Football. EOD they are all hard on knees. Cheers

Shelton, Washington
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8. Re: Cycling the Danube - any tips

American style football was my sport. If you know about it, I played defensive tackle at 6'4" (1.96 meters) and 250 lbs which was a huge size in the 1950's game. Gone but not forgotten everytime I kneel.

A note on Budapest. The central town empties out on Sunday morning. Lots of space to ride.

9. Re: Cycling the Danube - any tips

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