Get this, do that, build a bike.

We’re getting close to actually leaving on this trip and there is a lot left to do. For starters I have to build myself a touring bike. I know in my head exactly how it will be down to every millimeter and every part, but it doesn’t exist yet, which two months out isn’t the most reassuring thing. But now that this will be my second frame I have a lot more confidence in the fact that I can get it done. After all, I have done it all before. We’ve finally got most of our stuff together for the trip which is good, just a few odds and ends to pick up. It’s still a good bit of work to get done in under 60 days but I think we will both manage.

It’s only now that I’ve really started to grasp how big of an undertaking it is to go from having never done any touring before to trekking through all of Europe in one go. There’s a lot to research and learning just on the touring side of things, but there’s also so much that goes into planning any trip of this length. Where do we go? How do we get there? What will it cost? Will we have enough time? There are a lot of question we’ve figured out and still more piling up yet to be answered.

So far our two biggest aspects of planning have been the route and legal stuff. Early in our planning we found out that our time in most of Europe is limited to just 90 days so we had to adjust our plan accordingly. At the time it seemed like a big problem, but it’s actually ended up being a pretty good thing. Having the limit to our time in Europe is letting us add a lot of other cool stuff to the trip by starting in Turkey and ending in Morocco. As soon as I started looking at what to see in Istanbul I realized that spending some of our time outside of Western Europe is going to be awesome. The more I look into it the more excited I get about the first leg of our trip. However, the time limit does make the planning bit more complex. Autumn has done an amazing job of figuring out how to get us through 12 countries stopping in 20 cities all in 90 days. You can check out the plan here. Leave us a comment or shoot us an email if you have any tips or know anyone along the way! It’s going to be a whirlwind of riding and trains but it looks like we’re going to make it.

I’ve also been thinking a lot about how different this trip is going to be from anything we’ve ever done. It’s a kind of abrupt transition from high school seniors to fending for ourselves in Europe. Moving out of your parents house is kind of a big deal, and moving into a tent in Europe isn’t going to make that transition much easier, but it will make it more exciting! I’m a little nervous about taking on full responsibility for my life but its going to happen sooner or later so why not all at once, right?

Note from Autumn:

We both knew it would happen, and we were right. Once we rung in the New Year (on opposite coasts), this trip suddenly became very close, and very tangible. I can’t say enough how excited I am, and now a little anxious too. A few weeks ago I spent an entire afternoon finalizing our tentative plans through the Schengen Zone. There’s a lot less biking than what would be ideal, but we both want to see as much of Europe as we can and still be alive when we reach Morocco.

As we start to really get into the planning we’ll posting more about training, preparation, packing lists, and thoughts on everything leading up until the trip.

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2 thoughts on “Get this, do that, build a bike.”

  1. Hi,
    I went to high school with Doug Altizer. I have been living in Germany now for around 15 years and have actually moved across the Atlantic 5 times now. I live near Heidelberg (a very popular tourist destination in Germany). You are certainly welcome to stay here if you want and my girlfriend also has a house in Bilfingen near Pforzheim.

    I see you don’t currently have plans to be too close to here, but if you were to head through this way (in south-west Germany, near that spike coming out of France), I would recommend some time in Heidelberg then to Speyer and then biking down the German “Wine Street” starting at Neustadt toward France and maybe seeing a bit of France (Wissembourg) and heading back up to to Karlsruhe/Pforzheim.

    In the Summer and Fall there are lots of small wine festivals in all the small towns there in the area: http://www.pfalz-weinfeste.de/

    http://www.germany.travel/en/leisure-and-recreation/cycling/the-german-wine-route-for-cyclists.html
    http://www.outsideonline.com/adventure-travel/europe/germany/Germanys-Drunk-Bike-Riding-Day.html
    https://www.google.de/search?q=deutsche+weinstrasse+karte&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X
    There are tons of sites with routes and such under “deutsche weinstrasse”

    http://www.gastlandschaften.de/urlaubsthemen/radfahren/themenradwege/radweg-deutsche-weinstrasse/#accordion:1

    Drop me an e-mail or contact me on WhatsApp

    Regards,

    Darin

    Like

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