The first thing I did when I returned to Canberra (after laundry and catching up with my housemate), was pull an all-nighter to plan the route for my three month trip to Europe. I used EuroVelo as reference, plus itineraries from paid cycle tours and I was amazed by the vast array of long distance cycle paths available for my adventure.
My coloured pencils and vague lines aren’t too clear, but there are plenty of maps for the 14 stages. I picked the cities based on:
- Distance: keeping each ride between 60km and 130km
- Appeal: based on Google images or wiki searches
- Funny sounding names: the top three are Luleburgaz, Hadzhidimovo and Kyustendil
For the first three stages I’ll be riding solo from Berlin to Budapest and then I meet up with my good friend, Leo, who I cycled with in Tonga, in Istanbul. We’ll ride together for eight stages and aim to make it to Zurich in six weeks. I’m looking forward to sharing the touring fun and looking out for each other as we follow the Iron Curtain Trail. We’re both keen on being super planned and organised, but we’ll be choosing our rest days and stops a week at a time. There should be plenty of wiggle room to change routes and explore along the way too. My 25th birthday falls during this part of the journey, so perhaps I’ll be spending it in Blaegoevrad. After we reach Zurich, we split up and I go back to solo cycling and make my way back to Berlin, via The Netherlands.
I’ve added it all up and while it’s a tad ambitious, I hope to cycle 4600km across 54 rides. It’s all too exciting.