I’ve been a mountain bike rider for a long time now, and as I’ve aged (read: too old/idle to be competitive in races, and too clumsy for single track) I’ve migrated to distance riding. Being Australian – by choice, not birth, I’ve ridden several chunks of the bicentennial trail, have ridden from Cairns to Cape York, and have done several other biggish rides, all involving camping, heat, flies and various degrees of discomfort – though in hindsight, they’ve all been fabulous – even the 43C ride around Bourke and Northy.
Then in 2013 I needed to see my family in the UK, so I combined a European ride and a family visit. Over several weeks (the first two with pre-booked accommodation) I cycled from Budapest to Yalding, which is about 45 km South East of London.
The trip was a blast; totally eye opening. People were friendly, the route was predominantly along canals, rivers and dedicated bike paths, and the food and grog superb. So, in 2015 I decided to do it again. Google Ozblokeonabikeagain for this trip’s blog
This time I was much more relaxed and better prepared, and decided on a much more adventurous route; from Passau to Budapest as a warm up, with a couple of mates – Ian Gay and Mariette O’Connell – then down to Rijeka via Zagreb, West around the Mediterranean across Italy and Monaco to France, on to the canal du midi, then Carcassonne, Bordeaux, and around Normandy’s coastline to Dieppe, where I caught a ferry to Newhaven. The whole trip was on my bike, and unsupported. This trip was blogged as ozblokeonabikeagain.
This trip I’m starting in Athens, and heading North West to catch the coastline I missed last time – Albania and Western Croatia. I’ll probably repeat most of the Italian and French legs, but will try to stick to Eurovelo 8, which is highlighted in orange in the image at the top of the page.
It’s hard to follow Eurovelo 8, as it’s not completely signposted, and is not by any means complete. This trip I’ll do my best to stick to what is its intended route, but be aware that it’s best guess, best efforts for the most part – and if I see something /someplace I’d like to visit that is not on the route, I’ll head for it more often than not.
I intend to finish up in Santander, but will hopefully travel around Spain and Portugal to get there. We’ll see.