Update 1: Trans-Europe 2015 – 9 Weeks Away 4


Euro Velo Map of France

The map of the Euro Velo routes in Europe. We’re looking at France.

I received a huge response on January 1st when I revealed that I will be taking a three-month bicycle tour across Europe. Some of you wanted to know my plans and itinerary, so here is the first of many weekly updates to keep you informed.

Before I jump into the plan, I want to let you know who I will be traveling with. I am traveling with a gentleman by the name of Harry Friedman a.k.a. Crazy Harry. He has toured across the US, both east to west in 2013 and north to south last year along the Pacific Coast. I met him during a trip to Ojai with the Topanga Creek Bicycle Shop crew last April. Harry has been a mentor and an inspiration, as this was originally his idea to ride around the world.

Route Planning

Harry and I had met last week to discuss our next steps. With only about 10 weeks left, we need to figure out what our route will be like. Our main concern was getting out of Spain. There hasn’t been any documentation that we have come across showing us how to ride into France without crossing a set of mountain ranges called the Pyrennes (you know, the one the Tour de France always mentions). Harry took it upon himself to figure this logistic out. As a result, we will rent a car, drive from Madrid to Riaza, enjoy some wine at a winery, drive to Biarritz and then ride to Bordeaux. At Bordeaux, we will enjoy a few days drinking more wine before we set off and begin our bike tour towards Tours, France.

From Tours, it is up to me to plan out the rest of the route. Fortunately, I’ve read two different blogs that document the route from the Atlantic Ocean all the way to Black Sea using the Euro Velo 6. The first tour is by a guy name James Chassee on crazyguyonabike.com. James actually lives in New Orleans and did the trip by himself in 2010. James’ 69 days on the Euro Velo 6 was well-documented with maps and tips, so we don’t get lost. His writing was useful and funny, with his sarcastic sense of humor. The second blog is by another gentleman named Matt Krog. Matt’s blog had some insights, as he was camping more than James did, so that was useful information. Unfortunately, Matt’s journey on the Euro Velo 6 ends at Budapest where he heads Southwest towards Rome.  I will take the information from both blogs and use them as a baseline for our route starting from Tours,  France all the way to Constanta, Romania.

 

Phone size comparison

The LG A275 is incredibly tiny. Look at it next to my Garmin.

 

Equipment

The only piece of equipment that we have purchased is an unlocked, quad band, dual sim cell phone (LG A275). The phone arrived yesterday, and I got to test it with my mom’s AT&T sim card. It works perfectly in the US at least, and it’s so tiny.  Hopefully, it works when we are abroad. We will be buying sim cards from each country, in case of emergency or if we need to call our Warm Showers hosts.

Another thing we decided is to just bring one stove as we will be traveling on a highly populated route where food options are plenty. The stove will be used to boil coffee or water when we are at camp. That’s it for now. I’ll have another update next Friday.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.


About Johnny Lam

Johnny is an avid cyclist who enjoys bicycle touring as well as anything bicycle related. Johnny has traveled the entire Pacific Coast by bike from Vancouver to the border of California and Mexico. He’s also toured through-out locations in Southern California. Johnny is also a League of American Bicyclists League Certified Instructor (LCI) and also completed the Adventure Cycling Association’s Leadership Training Course (LTC). He is an active member in Los Angeles bicycling community being involved in organizations like the Los Angeles County Bicycling Coalition (LACBC), C.I.C.L.E. (Cyclists Inciting Change through Live Exchange), and Bike San Gabriel Valley (Bike SGV) by taking part in ride marshaling, pedestrian & bike counts, and other volunteering opportunities.


4 thoughts on “Update 1: Trans-Europe 2015 – 9 Weeks Away

    • Johnny Lam Post author

      @Ron – You’re mistaking me for my brother-in-law, Sang Hyun. In any case, thanks for the link. I will be carrying a solar panel to power our devices so probably won’t be building a phone charger.

  • CJ Wang

    Johnny: instead of buying SIM card in each countries, try the T-Mobile simple choice plan here. You can roam in 120+ countries without paying the roaming charge. 20 cents per minute calling any where in the world. The best part: unlimited data plane in 120+ countries. You also get unlimited text message too. Basically, if you don’t make or receive any call, it is $50 per month. You then cancel it when you come home. I did try it last year in Spain, Italy, Germany and Netherland without problem. You won’t get 3G high speed but fast enough to use as GPS.

    • Johnny Lam Post author

      @CJ – Thanks for the suggestion. I think it may work out to be cheaper to go the sim card route but I’ll talk through it with my travel partner. Other issue is that we don’t have an unlocked smart phone. That’s additional cost. Great idea though.

Comments are closed.