Appendix D: Maps and Guidebooks

For the Northern French Alps, I used an old yellow 1:200,000 scale Michelin map for the Rhone Alps. The 1:200,000 scale is ideal for tourists, and these maps had a lot of detail, including elevations of towns, passes, and train tracks. I was saddened to discover that these have been replaced by the Orange 1:275,000 series, which is what we ended up using for the Provence Alpes/Cote D'Azur (Map #527). These have much less detail and are less usable for cycle tourists. (Lesson: I should have bought up an entire set of the yellow maps back when they were available!) I did find the Kummerly+Frey 1:180,000 scale map of Provence/Cote d'Azur (#15), which shows the roads in great detail, but unfortunately does not have elevation information for towns. Nevertheless, I would recommend the Kummerly+Frey maps over any of the Michelins at this point. Mike also bought a bike touring map for the area, but in my brief perusal of it I found it exceedingly hard to read.

For Italy, we used the Kummerly+Frey #1 for Italy: Val d'Aoste-Piedmont at the 1:200,000. This is a great map of the area and one I would not hesistate to recommend.

For Switzerland, I used the 2nd edition (1996) of Strassenkarte der Schweiz which come at the ideal scale of 1:200,000. It might be hard to find at this point, however. There are 1:300,000 maps of Switzerland that have good detail and are quite usable, however, so that is less of a concern.

As usual, for cycle tourists I recommend that you eschew the usual lonely planet guides and go straight to the OCD series of guides. They are worth their weight in gold, and well worth the hassle of getting a cashier's check and registering as a member. For the Alps, these, together with Jobst's Tour of the Alps reports will suffice. Those with hybrids or an off-pavement bias might also wish to join the Rough Stuff Fellowship as well, but judging by what they consider "easy", the OCD guide's references should more than suffice.

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