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.
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.
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.
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