2014 Conclusion

Towards the end of this trip we started discussing what next, as we always do.  For the first time, the answer was not at all obvious.

We have been on a nine-year adventure.  Over seven trips, around 300 hundred days of touring, 28,000Km, we have ridden over much of western Europe.

Our trips have taken us, more or less continuously from Bergen, Norway in the north to Rome in the south, and from the Atlantic coast in the west to Hungary and the Czech Republic in the east.  We have ridden the great river valleys and the high country of the Pyrenees and the Alps.  We have ridden through the bleak Hebrides Islands and the flat country of Holland and Belgium.

So we are not at all sure what we might do next. 

We love the experience of touring, but we are not people who want to revisit places where we have been.  Our thrill is in the new and unexpected, and on the few occasions where we have crossed our previous paths, it has been incidental, not what we were looking for.

As citizens of the new world much of our joy of travel in Europe has been the discovery of the origins of our culture, much of which was not transported to Australia, but is never the less part of our heritage.

Europe seems to offer opportunities for the sort of bicycle travel we want that other parts of the world do not.  The population density means services are never very far, and this provides a level of freedom not available, for instance, in Australia, where the large distances require a level of preparation for, and commitment to a particular trip.

The bicycle culture of Europe, the defined routes on dedicated tracks allow very relaxed travel free of the noise and danger that comes with sharing roads with regular traffic, and the countryside is beautiful.

Lastly, the summer climate of Europe is normally ideal for bicycle touring.