A Small Journey Through Some European Countries
Me and some of my friends are planning to make a bike trip through some European countries, with a starting point in Lisboa, Portugal. It's still a plan, but we intend to shape it to reality, at least untill the end of 2013. Most of us are college students, therefore we can only afford to have 3 months of free time to make that trip. But since we're still young, I believe that it's possible!
Some countries that ocurred to us were, obviously, neighbouring Spain (Madrid and Barcelona), France (Cannes and Paris), Switzerland (Geneva), Belgium (Brussels) and the Netherlands (Amsterdam). Of course, I marked the main cities in each countries in order to have geographical references, so it doesn't mean that those will be the only cities we will be passing by. We would also like to take a look at the landscapes, specially the Pyrenees, Southern France, the Swiss Alps and/or the Dutch countryside. But all of this, of course, in no more than 90 days.
Anyway, we have an idea of the distance we need to "run", so that we can have time to enjoy our stay in these countries and interact with the different cultures. We thought of 100 kilometres per day, which we thing will be more than enough to take as much time as we need for sightseeing.
Since we are all young and students, money is somewhat of a problem. But I thought of sponsorships from Portuguese companies, so that we can make a trip that all of us would enjoy and represent our country outside national borders. Of course, financially speaking, sponsorships are very helpfull, considering our age.
Other thing I would like to post here is that we are open to sugestions (aka, all the help we can get!). If someone is interested in joining us, you can contact me in my e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
But please remember, as I said before, it is something that is still being planned carefully, and it is intended to be made only in 2012.
Thank you very much, and complements from Portugal.
Commuter & cyclotourist
It's eminently doable, and it should be a lot of fun!
Do you know the website WarmShowers.org? It's for touring cyclists who wish to offer hospitality to other touring cyclists--a place to camp, a meal, a warm shower (hence the name), advice, emergency help, and so forth. Many touring cyclists stay with a WarmShowers host every few days or weeks, even if they camp on their own or stay in hostels the rest of the time. A small group is better than a big group. I hosted two touring cyclists from South Korea who were passing through Oxford last month.
As you plan your trip, allow for some rest days, and keep your schedule somewhat flexible. There will be days when you need to rest or where you might want to explore the surrounding area without having to move camp.
The late Ken Kifer has some excellent advice for bicycle touring on his website. The Cyclotourer website is also quite useful, as are the articles on touring at Sheldon Brown's website. For more detailed advice, you might look at Piaw Na's book on Independent Cycle Touring or Raymond Bridge's book on Bike Touring.