Michael Musto, dragging himself away from the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, has contacted me with some questions about maps:
Have you seen examples of the Michelin maps? Yes, I’ve bought the full set that I need to get from my home town all the way to Brindisi. The scale is 1:200,000 although the “look” of the maps does change a little as you move from the north of the Alps to the south of the Alps and into Italy. 1:200,000 seems to be a good compromise between sufficient detail and portability! Do they also have elevation profiles for some of the roads? No, there are no elevation profiles of particular roads. Try and visit a site like www.sanoodi.com to make your own profile. I did find another site that produces bespoke profiles but I can’t find the post where I talked about it on this blog!! Let me know if you have more luck. Are the road maps overlaid with topographical contours? Yes, kind of. They are not quite contoured with lines but they are shaded to show the elevation of the land – see the scans of the two styles of map. The one on the left is the “northern” style of Michelin map (showing part of Switzerland – Interlaken and the valley leading up to the Jung Frau mountain – which is not on my route). The one on the right is the “southern” style of Michelin map (which does cover part of my route coming down through the Alps into Italy via Como). Hope this helps. If you click on the pictures, you should get a good, detailed image of what each style of map is like.
Michael goes on to mention the Touring Club of Italy maps which can be purchased via www.touringclub.com/store/ . I don’t really have any information about these maps but perhaps someone else out there does – please comment.
I’ll leave the rest of the post in Michael’s own words;
Carsten Hoefer, a fellow “Crazy Guy on A Bike” travelled through part of Italy’s interior. He appears to be a strong rider by riding 120 to 195 km per day (compared to me of course). His journal and others I have read seem to indicated in general that the roads that follow rivers and/or valleys tend to be heavy with traffic. The secondary roads are less travelled but seem to include a lot of climbing, apparently fun on hot days. The common theme about secondary road (harder?) routes is you see interesting places not “touristed to death”.
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