Thinking about taking a cycling trip to Europe

Anyone got any adventures they'd like to share?

Longest I've done was Leeds to Falkirk over a weekend, that was great fun and pretty liberating once I had got 50 miles from home image

As I'm getting married in 2 years, my holiday next year is on a budget so thinking about cycling down to Dover then visiting various European countries while either sleeping rough, spending nights drinking or kipping in hostels. My original plan is to go from France to Luxembough, into Germany going up to Dortmund then through Netherlands & Belgium and back to Calais where I'll get the train back up to Leeds.

Comments

  • Wow, how long did that take you?

    I'd love to do something like that but my stamina holds me back right now.

    Id love to cycle through the US though

  • When I was a teenager in a cycling club a handful of us stayed over in a club mate's house near Cherbourg and spent a few days cycling around the area, although we didn't travel around much.  That's about it unfortunately!

    I'd love to do the obvious thing and spend a few days cycling around the Alps while the Tour is on.  I've been up Alpe D'Huez on a coach and that got me going.  That, plus a big US trip would be ace - coast to coast or the Pacific coast (Curly's got me going on that one!)

  • Coast to Coast road trip is my dream, cycling it would be even better, take it slowly, take in the sights. Cycling monument valley must be amazing!

  • Next year I plan on catching a train with my bike to where ever the TOUR de France is staying for a few days ,and I will cycle/camp and get as much wine down my neck as I can .

     

  • Ricardo, I left early on the Thursday morning and was in my hometown of Denny just after lunchtime on the Saturday.

    95miles to Penrith, 95 miles to New Lanark then 35 miles to Falkirk where I ditched the bike and ran the rest image

    I had very little cycling experience and the bike I used was a bag of bones. I'll try and find a picture. I'd say just go ahead and plan it, do it for charity or personal challenge and don't look back.

  • I'd go further South.    If you are sleeping out or camping and cycling then good weather will make all the difference.  I know that means flying or taking a ferry or train further so adds to the expense but it'll be so much nicer.   You could always travel one way and then cycle back - that way you get the pleasure of getting closer to home each day.   

    I've done a few weeks cycling in the Alps and Provence and it is lovely - we've camped though and just ridden during the day - planning on a trip to the Pyrenees next Summer.   

  • @popsider

    how much kit do you carry. Was it minimalistor with big panniers.

    Would like to try a cycle holiday  carrying as little as possible but I cant seem to work out how little to carry.

  • Loads but we went down there in a car !   

    A few mates do an annual touring holiday though - they do it minimalist just taking a bar bag and saddle bag on their race bikes and fly out and then do 80 miles or so a day -  but stay in hostels not camping.  

    I think if I were to do it I'd get a very light tent and try and do it like that - maybe a set of panniers but not the full touring get up - I'd still like to be able to enjoy the riding.

  • Oh and a guy I know called Mike Hall has just ridden round the world - he did it travelling fairly light - it looked pretty grim but shows you don't need too much stuff.

  • I followed Mike Hall on Twitter during his journey. He didn't half race round the globe!

    All I took on the way up to Scotland was my running bag with clothes inside and a water bottle. I had my wallet on me to buy food on the way but always made sure I had a couple of bananas on me at all times image

    I'll be doing the same on this trip although may consider panniers to carry more clothes.

  • if anyone's interested in doing some long trips - quite often off the beaten track - then I'd advise you check out http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/

    it's basically a repository of blogs from a whole host of people who are doing trips throughout the world from short to long.  lots of useful stuff in there about equipment, gear, routes etc etc etc.  full of real world bikers and out and out nutjobs...

  • I quite like the idea of a cycling holiday, but none of this roughing it nonsense, ta very much.

    I prefer the idea of the trips where someone transports your stuff from place to place, you cycle - stopping off for coffee here, lunch there, a cold beer at another place... then catching up with your clean clothes and a shower at the end of the day image

    I shall be looking into something like this for next year!

  • I'd think you'd love this trip Wilks - http://www.spiceroads.com/tours/bangkok_phuket

    nothing overly challenging, fantastic hotels, great food, brilliant ride support, and of course great weather out of rainy season.

    we did it back in 2010 as we needed to get to Phuket for a wedding so thought what better way of doing something while we're there.  Spiceroads have a range of superb bike trips - we're toying with the idea of their new Phillipines one - and I'd recommend them highly.  we did their Northern Thailand MTB trip a few years ago as well

  • Hi Shanko,

    Sorry for getting back late to this forum, but I'm just wondering if you did this bike trip, if so, how did it go for you? Where did you go to ? How long were you away?

  • Shanko - wow, that's quick. 

    We did a cycling trip last summer from Swansea via coast of Wales to Mold, about 420 miles but it took us 7 days. I guess we could've been quicker but we did stop at places to see things or go for a swim. It was great. We camped most of the time, I think we did one youth hostel after a whole day's rain. Would like to do something similar this year.

  • why the actual F*** did you cycle to falkirk? image new lanark is nice though.

    I had a nice time mountain biking in andalucia, and in belgium (going from one trappist brewery to another).

    later this summer I'll be going to cycle in the Uists.

     

  • Me and an ex put our bikes on the train, down to Southampton then over to Caen.  Bikes are first off the boat and we arrived at our pre-booked boutique hotel (it was 23:00).  After that we worked to a rough route I'd planned and booked each night as we arrived in a place we liked the look of.  We took a small tent and roll mats in case we couldn't get into cheapish places like chambre d'hotes etc but only ended up spending one (cold) night in the tent.  Fab holiday.  We only took one pannier each.  If I went again I'd take a one-ring burner and a couple of nested pans to cook food from ingredients at all the amazing markets we stopped at.

  • I think, once ive got the marathon finished, i quite fancy planning a long ass cycle trip, maybe book and couple of weeks off and see where i go. Nice idea, but need to stop talking about it and just go and do it

  • Had to tell my wife about my planned trip to watch the Tour de France and she said she would like to come, so we are going in the car staying in a hotel but I can still drink as much wine as I like!

     

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