Introduction - The Long Journey East - CycleBlaze

Introduction

This blog is going to be a journal of my upcoming bike tour starting across Europe and wherever I may end up afterwards. I'm writing to share my adventures with family and friends (who have been pestering me to keep them updated) and to look back on in the future. I can't promise it will be updated daily or with loads of text as I only have my phone but I'm sure there will be lots of beautiful photos to share of the journey.

The Route (Phase 1)

 The first part of the trip will start in Calais and head south east through France, Germany, hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey and Georgia. This should take around 3-5 months depending on how long I stop off at places along the way, but there is no rush really. From here the plan is undecided. I would love to carry on further east but traveling though Iran and some of the Stans are no longer possible by bike unfortunately. It is now looking like I will need to catch a flight to carry on my trip but this is something to think about for the future. My plan changed as of yesterday (1 day before the start) to start though France rather than the Netherlands so this shows my take to route planning. I'm sure the route will also change a lot too as I hear about new places I want to visit.

How? 

I hope to wild camp whenever I can to save money and to cook a lot of food on my stove, however I'm sure I'll occasionally be tempted to eat out and stay in hostels along the way. I've also signed up for WarmShowers - a platform similar to couch surfing but specifically for bike touring - so I'm hoping to make use of that too. I think I'll experiment with a schedule of 5 days cycling and 2 rest days to recover whenever I reach a larger city.

 Why Cycling?

 I believe bike touring is the best way to travel, it allows you to explore places off the beaten path and to see the world with a clearer view. It also makes the traveling much more about the journey day to day, being fully exposed to all of the elements and enjoying the natural and man-made beauty of the world in full force.

To change it up every now and again I'm hoping to go hiking for a few days at a time in the mountainous regions I'm travelling though (as long as I can find somewhere to leave my bike). Hence why Ive packed a 40L rucksack on the rear rack. The weight of it is pretty noticible on the hills but I'm hoping I can make use of it.

The scale of this trip is a little daunting to me right now as I've never done a bike trip over a week before and outside of the UK. I have been thinking of a trip like this for a long time now though and I'm glad the time has finally come.

I weighed the bike before leaving the house and it came to a whopping 42kg (without water). To be fair I did throw in at least 5kg of food as it probably would have gone to waste at home and is cheaper than constantly buying stuff along the way. 

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Clothes alone weigh 4kg😬
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Leaving home on the steel horse
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Keith AdamsGood luck with your journey!

I'm currently on tour myself, with only a phone to compose and post updates. Here are three things I'm finding very helpful.

1 I am carrying and using a Bluetooth keyboard that I use when I want to write longer posts. It was inexpensive, is light weight, and folds to minimize the space required.

2. I am also carrying a small HD card reader with the correct USB end to plug into my phone. I can pull the SD card from my camera (I am using a point and shoot model rather than just my phone's built in camera) and read / select / upload images without first transferring them to the phone.

3. My camera has a feature that enables it to be a wifi host. Using an app from the maker of my camera, I can connect the phone to the wifi and copy files from the camera to the phone's onboard storage

Just my $0.02.
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2 months ago
Pat GoodallFINALLY... have logged in to follow your journey with you. So you will be hot/cold/wet and possibly a bit miserable at times, but know that this wonderful planet and all its glorious countries are there just waiting to be explored, and we couldn't be prouder of you for doing just that!. Love and Bestest wishes for safe travels. The Goodalls 🥰
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3 weeks ago
Ollie SpaltonTo Keith AdamsHi Keith! Sorry I never got around to replying to this. Thanks for the advice. I will definitely consider the keyboard for the future to allow me to write more. Considering buying a decent camera too to capture all the beautiful places.

Best of luck on your journey too!
Ollie
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1 week ago