Selected photos of a bike tour in Northern Italy and Switzerland - CycleBlaze

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Selected photos of a bike tour in Northern Italy and Switzerland

Ray Swartz

In July, 2023, I did an 18 day tour of Northern Italy and Switzerland. Of the over 1250 photos I took, I've selected about 55. I rode through several river valleys (Piave, Brenta, Adige, Inn, Brembo, and others), so there are lots of water pictures.

It was a good tour. Switzerland is always beautiful. In Italy it was hot and humid. In Switzerland, it was rain and thunderstorms. An interesting combination.

One highlight was the Engaden (Inn River) Valley in southeast Switzerland. The milky blue Inn river starts near the Maloja Pass, which separates Italy and Switzerland west of St. Moritz, an area full of very pretty lakes.

The bike paths along the rivers in Italy are an inspiration and I saw dozens, if not hundreds, of bike riders on them. Some places I saw for the second time. The Valsugana (Brenta River Valley) is as beautiful as ever, though in July very busy. There are now Bici Grills right on these bike paths that offer food, drink, shade, toilets and even showers which make biking on these piste ciclabile even better!

The Adige Bike Path (which also has several Bici Grills) starts in Verona (I got on in Trento),\ and goes all the way up and over the Passo di Resia (and further into Austria). It was easy to follow, had lots of services, many wild sections, wasn't too steep until the last 10 miles, and was a great route.

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10 months ago
Brent IrvineTo Ray Swartz

Why not post a blog here rather than a link to elsewhere?

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10 months ago
Kelly IniguezTo Ray Swartz

I'd love to see a journal here also. You have me quite interested in Austria and Switzerland for 2024!

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10 months ago
Ray SwartzTo Brent Irvine

Brent and Kelly,


Thanks for checking out my photos. As you know, it takes time to write a detailed journal. I returned home a week ago and have just started writing the journal.

You may not be aware of this, but the website that I linked to, biketouringtips.com, is my own website dedicated to bike touring information and that holds all my bike touring journals, articles, touring plans and thousands of links to bike touring information all over the web. I started this site in 2007, long before CycleBlaze.com was created.

But, wouldn’t more people see my journals on CycleBlaze.com than biketouringtips.com? According to this site: https://www.theadventurejunkies.com/best-bicycle-touring-blogs/ , biketouringtips.com is ranked number 18 of the top 25 of bike touring blogs in 2022 (the ranking for 2023 hasn’t come out). CycleBlaze.com isn’t on the list

As such, I will continue to publish my journals and photos on my own site and link to them, when I feel it is appropriate, here on CycleBlaze.com.

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10 months ago
George HallTo Ray Swartz

I looked at your photos - it appears to have been a great tour.  As others have said, it would be good to have those photos in a journal here on this site.   I also took a look at your site - it appears to have lots of good information for a touring cyclist.

"As such, I will continue to publish my journals and photos on my own site and link to them, when I feel it is appropriate, here on CycleBlaze.com."

 I understand that if you have your own site you will want to post your journal on it - but you and I will have to disagree on what is "appropriate." It seems to me to be a bit inappropriate to advertise your soon-to-be-published-on-another-site journal here on this site.  But that's just my opinion, and others may well disagree. 

"biketouringtips.com is ranked number 18 of the top 25 of bike touring blogs in 2022 (the ranking for 2023 hasn’t come out). CycleBlaze.com isn’t on the list"

I looked at the link you noted for rating bike touring blogs.   It appears that a bicycle blog site owner must submit their site in order for it to be considered in the ratings.  While I recognized some of the sites in that list, there are many I had never heard about.  Some 8 or 9 (I lost count) of them were not written in English - while that's certainly fine, it negates their value for many of us (and yes, I know that some CycleBlazers are fluent in several languages). And there were some obvious notable omissions in that list, such as CGOAB and CycleBlaze.  Your site was listed in 18th place in that list, but the list only went as high as 21 (because of ties in the listings your site was actually the 20th site listed). That's a worthy accomplishment, but it seems likely that your site wasn't being compared with some of the heavy hitters in the bike touring website world (i.e. CGOAB and CycleBlaze).   I found it interesting that while the criteria for inclusion in the list stated that no wordpress.com sites were eligible, there was 1 site listed that ended with wordpress.com. 

You have developed a good site for bike touring information, and you should rightfully be proud of that - but using a dubious ranking to imply that people are more likely to see a journal published on your site than one published on this site is disingenuous.   I looked through the listing of journals published on your site and paged all the way back to 2007.  I saw a total of 9 pages with 20 journals per page, so a bit less than 200 journals. Almost all of them were authored by you - there are a few other authors, but mostly the journals are all yours.  Many of the "journals" are simply links to journals published on other sites - it's certainly not the same as the journals contained on this site. My point is simply that your site is not the same sort of bicycle travel journal site as CycleBlaze, and comparisons of the 2 sites are meaningless.  Your site includes a great many categories of interest to cyclists, and trip journals are only one of the many categories.  I find it hard to believe that people are more likely to see journals published on your site than if the journal was published on CycleBlaze.  

Perhaps you should consider writing your journal on Cycleblaze and then publishing a link to it in the trip journals section of your website.  That would certainly be in keeping with the manner that most of the journals are listed on your site.  I'll certainly read it if you do publish it here.  Best of luck, 

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10 months ago
Mike AylingTo George Hall

Well said George!

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10 months ago
Jon AylingTo George Hall

Great points from Buddy.

A quick Google or Bing search for "cycle touring journals" will quickly suggest the methodology of that ranking at theadventurejunkies.com doesn't really work. From my (incognito, to avoid bias) browser, Cycleblaze is the #1 result (congrats!) and CGOAB #2. I would suggest it gets a couple of orders of magnitude more traffic than any of these blogs. As Buddy says, heavy hitters. Since the ranking is supposed to be a pure comparison of SEO performance, leaving out the biggest competitors is ... hard to justify.

To be fair, the distinction here between individual, personal blogs and journals might matter. "Blog" is quite an old-fashioned term now that I'm seeing less and less, and "blog" doesn't bring up sites like Cycleblaze and CGOAB.

I was always  big fan of blogging - I think long-form personal writing was one of the good things the internet gave us. I'm also pleased to see Tom's Bike Trip ranking so high - that's a great site. But Cycleblaze I think is meant to be more than [a collection of] personal blogs: there really is a community here.

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10 months ago
Graham SmithTo Jon Ayling

Interesting to hear that ‘blog’ and ‘blogging’ are declining.
The words remind me of ‘bog’ and ‘bogging’. Neither are attractive to cycle tourers. The damage done to drive trains and bearings is very depressing. Journal and Journaling sound much more attractive.

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10 months ago
Wayne EstesTo Graham Smith

Blogs are journals written backwards.

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10 months ago
Graham SmithTo Wayne Estes

Wayne thanks for that info. I’m so last century with communication jargon. So out of date, I’ll never be an ‘influencer’.

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10 months ago