I'm looking into cycling around Europe and would love some first hand advice from people who have already cycled Europe!
- recommended budget
- bike to use
- places to go
- how to cycle i.e. which roads to avoid etc
- how to fix repairs/avoid repairs etc
- or anything else you'd advise on
I'm hoping to go summer 2018 once i've finished my masters degree and had time to save some money.
Thanks to all those who comment and if anyone would consider tagging along with then please ask!
I toured the U.K. and France with a bicycle in 1977. To do that I modified my racing bike with touring wheels, added a bike rack for panniers and attached a handlebar bag.
This Web site has useful information: http://www.downtheroad.org/Equipment/Wheels/Bicycle_Touring_Wheels_Spokes_Rims.htm
In the U.K. I got help from the Cyclists' Touring Club: http://www.cyclinguk.org/
I stayed mostly in hostels in the U.K. and country inns in France. People were incredibly friendly everywhere I went.
I remember eating a lot of Scotch eggs as I biked around the U.K. I stored them in the handlebar bag.
P.S. I still have the bike.
[ Edit: Edited on 19-Mar-2017, at 05:20 by berner256 ]
I don't mean to be rude, and I understand your enthusiasm, but your question about the A-to-Z of cycling is a bit pretentious to be answered with less then writing an entire book.
I can only give you a couple of recommendations:
- Get a sturdy hybrid type bike, preferably with front suspension and - most important - of the right size for you.
- With over one year ahead, start cycling now. By doing this you'll be around people who can give you essential information.
Wishing you the best for your project.
For a bit of light reading on the subject, check out Rob and Pol's blog from when they cycled from Africa back to the UK. There's some more European based cycling blogs on here too, but I can't remember them as much as Rob and Pol's Maybe they can be found using the site search.
We went on regular cycling trips when I was a teenager, but things were different then - no smart phones for starters which meant carrying around detailed paper maps to help us find our way. I somehow doubt many cyclists do that at the moment. At least not in Europe where the online mapping is of a pretty high standard.
Mostly we stayed in campsites which meant taking a tent with you as well. Just panniers for carrying everything. Obviously you have to keep your packing as lightweight as possible. Count on washing clothes every day so you don't have to pack too much. Our bikes were nothing special, though for a longer trip you'd want to invest in a decent one. And we put extra comfy seats on to try and save our bums from hurting too much
My dad did some really big tours in his younger days, cycling all around Europe, then all around Australia, then most of South America until he gave up on that lifestyle. His cousin on the other hand still goes on multiple large cycling trips each year and has done for about 40 or 50 years. He also guides cycling tours now. To me, it's just one of the most fantastic ways to travel around. I really would like to do more of it! I rather envy your plan
Moderator note: unfortunately this was all copy pasted content from elsewhere for spammy purposes, so I'm removing it from here
Here is the source article though which is worth reading.
[ Edit: Cleared the copied content ]
I agree with the observation about river valleys. The Loire, with its beautiful chateaux, was a highlight of my bike trip.
The French built a bicycle path following the Loire River. It is 800 kilometers long and was completed in 2012 at a cost of 52 million euros. It covers the regions Centre and Pays de la Loire and there are 6 cities and more than 20 railroad stations along the path. A quarter of it will be on bicycle-only paths. You can take the train with your bike. Check this web site: Bicycles on the train http://www.cycling-loire.com/main-news/velo-loire-train
There are also accommodations for you to rent a bike in one city and drop it in another. There is a way to fit bicycling into almost any vacation plan. It's a bit easier to go from west to east because of the prevailing winds, but it isn't a major concern.
There is a complete map of the entire Loire a velo route at the following web site. You might look at Belle Rive in the Plus Beau Village of Candes St. Martin on the Loire for your rental. Tel:
+33 (0)2 4795- 9811 or +33 (0)6 7666-2259 They no longer have an active web site, but the Loire a Velo web site has campings listed. http://www.cycling-loire.com/
Good luck and have a great time.