Introduction: Looking for a better way to travel - No More Taxi Drivers - CycleBlaze

Introduction: Looking for a better way to travel

It's January. It's snowing and windy. And I have arrived in Istanbul, happy to be back in this great city. But there is no time for sightseeing: in the next week or so, I plan to acquire all the gear I need to spend the next few months touring Europe.

Now that I'm here and seeing firsthand how unseasonably miserable the weather is, I'm questioning my timing and route, as everyone I've shared my plans with has already done. I know I'm going to be uncomfortable a lot of the time, and I think that's exactly what I need. I've done my research, I have some flexibility with timing and route, and I know how to keep myself warm and dry. I'll take it as slow as I need to.

I didn't intentionally choose winter; in fact, I didn't plan on bike touring at all on this trip. But I met so many touring cyclists while backpacking through Central Asia that the idea gradually formed. I could totally bike through Europe! Why not? After the aggravation of crossing Asia by crowded buses, crowded trains, crowded vans, crowded 4x4s, and taxis--taxi drivers are the worst for bad driving, ripoffs, and having no idea where they're going--the challenges and rewards of bike touring would be welcome.

So here I am. In January. With no bike touring experience, minimal winter camping experience, and some winter biking experience (but plenty of general winter experience). It's going to be great. But I really hope this fierce Istanbul wind stays in Istanbul.

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