Long distance bicycling holds an interesting attraction for some. It's the sense of the unknown that both draws and detracts. It draws you to some of the most amazing experiences and encounters of your life and some of the most difficult circumstances in the moment. The planning alone would give most people heartburn. It is an exercise in planning the most unplanned journey imaginable. So to better serve you I have provided the details as best I can.
May 18 - 24th Dover, England.
We plan to stay here for five days to recover from the flight, reassemble our bike, set up our phones and shop for some items we can't fly with, ie. stove fuel.
May 24th - Take the ferry from Dover to Calais, France.
At this point we have 90 days to ride 2,800 miles through France, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium and back to Calais, France. On the map below, the red spot marks where we will start in Calais, France. We will head counter clockwise creating a long loop and end up where we started, in Calais, France. Taking the ferry back to Dover we will spend another couple of days repacking our bike before we fly back to the U.S from London.
That's it in a nutshell. You now know as much as we do, well almost as much. Our day to day, is, well, day to day. Get up, greet the day, eat breakfast and start to ride with the wind at our backs (hopefully) while following the directions laid out on our GPS. If all goes well, at some point in the day, we will stop to find a place to stay for the night. Listed below are the options for daily accomodations.
Campgrounds. Apparently Europeans love to camp so there are plenty of campgrounds. Armed with a great app, we hope to have few problems. If you ever plan to camp in Europe check out this site https://www.acsi.eu/en/
Warmshowers. This is an online site that is specifically designed for bicyclists and people who want to host them in their home. There is no charge and most of the hosts provide dinner and breakfast. Take a look, it's really quite genius. https://www.warmshowers.org/
Hotels. We have found Booking.com to be a great app to get reservations.
Air BnB. On our trek across the U.S. last summer, we stayed in a few places that felt like home. Every once in a while you just need the creature comforts.
Wild camping. This is for when, at the end of the day, you have run out of options. It is exactly as it sounds. You find a piece of ground off the beaten path and pitch your tent.
Yes, this is not for the faint of heart, and, yes, we are experiencing the pre-trip jitters. But, it always seems to work out in the end and we are glad you are going to be riding along with us from the comfort of your home.
I really enjoy writing the blog, but what I enjoy most, is that others enjoy it as well. If you know of others who would like to follow our journey, please feel free to forward our link to them.
Keep on Rollin,
Scott and Sarah