Thoughts on Bike Touring
We managed to sell our bikes for nearly the value in the states!
It's bittersweet as we had to choke down the humble pie of only having completed about one third of our original goal. But, being free of bikes opens up some travel options — we're thinking England/Scotland!
We have some suggestions for those of you who still might be interested in overseas bike touring even after reading our blog!
1) Plan, plan, plan no matter how much anyone says to wing it, especially the accommodations. Have a minimum of 3 options of places to stay marked down for each night before you leave and don't rely on technology!
2) Don't bring your kid. While Jonah is an amazing and highly flexible little adventurer, the biking leg of the trip really took it's toll on him and the added 90lbs of weight was too much for mountain routes. If you really want to bring the family then cut whatever daily mileage sounds reasonable to you in half and follow rivers.
3) Allow some time for culture shock and learn some of the language if you plan to ride out of tourist areas.
4) Plan for a short-ish stay with several options to extend and not the other way around.
5) Follow national cycle routes.
Still, we experienced Europe in a one-of-a-kind type of way by venturing so far off the beaten track and hopefully the memories from that part of the trip will do like wine and over the months all the bad stuff will sink to the bottom. Unless I hold on to pictures like this...dying in a ditch on the side of some Italian gravel road with only my cookies to comfort me.
But seriously, I think it was good for us and what we did was no small feat. My number crunching hubby figures that in both mileage and elevation gain we rode the equivalent of Grand Junction over Independence Pass to Denver and then
2/3 of the way back! That's almost worth bragging about.