Appendix D: Resources

As before, I found Jobst's tour of the alps reports are worth reading but it requires an almost encyclopedic knowledge of his reports to make a lot of use out of them. When technology gets good enough that an easily searchable form of his trip reports can be carried by any tourist in the alps, I think the entire collection will be indispensable, since his encyclopedic knowlege of the passes, hotels, restaurants and what is good to do in wet or dry weather is very enlightening and valuable.

The OCD guides are also great. Unfortunately, I lost an argument with OCD organizers to get their original hand-drawn maps on-line, and the printed version of their guides are no longer produced. Without the original hand-drawn maps, the OCD on-line guides lose a ton of their value. While printed copies of the guides are still worth carrying, I found the organization so bad that I could not find the description of Passo Giau, for instance, until we were in Austria! While I still encourage membership in the OCD, I am very tempted to start an American chapter with more web-savvy folks who will set up active electronic mailing lists and use it to collect more and better information, as well as be more pragmatic as to what maps are actually useful for cyclists (seriously, for planning purposes, a graph with links denoting roads not to scale is more useful than a trace of the relevant Michelin maps).

For Switzerland maps, I carried the SwissTopo 1:200000 scale maps. This map is so good that at the end of the tour when I found a version that was double-sided (so I only had to carry one piece), I bought it so I could only carry just one map on our last 2 days of riding. An outstanding value at 19.2 CHF. Highly recommended, as it has many rough-stuff traversals right on the map as well.

For Italy, I carried the Kummerly+Frey Trentino-South Tyroll map at 1:200000 scale (regional map number 3 for Italy). It is nowhere as good as the SwissTopo or Michelin maps. Worse, the numbers on the map are frequently inaccurate. For instance, Timmelsjoch was listed at 2474m when it was actually 2504m (my altimeter agreed with the pass sign). No rough-stuff traversals are on the map, and frequently towns don't have altitude information. It was however the best I could do.

For Austria, I used the Kummerly+Frey Voralberg/Tyrol Map at 1:150000 scale. It suffers from the same problem as the Trentino map mentioned above (for instance, the retro-grades on Timmelsjoch were a surprise), but it didn't bother me too much since this was my second time through that part of Austria, so I rarely looked at it. If anyone can find satisfactory maps of Austria (matching the quality of the SwissTopo map), I'll be very interested, since I would like to explore Austria more.

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