This last summer was pretty exceptional. I went bike camping regularly, and have kind of fallen in love with it. A friend who I rode ALC with and I embarked on adventures together to Marin, Napa, and the East Bay hills.
For several months we had been discussing the possibility of a tour, with a much larger group of people who were also ALC participants. We were, unfortunately, unable to reconcile the style of the tour – some people wanted hotels and day trips, while others of us wanted to live cheaply, camping, with a point A that was hundreds of miles from our point B. The idea was there, and it was solid, but it became more and more clear that we would not be able to make this happen with a group so big, with so many interests, abilities, financial situations, and preferences.
Slowly, the conversation among the larger group fizzled out, but remained strong between my friend and I. We were both on the same page about living a little more rough for the sake of our bank accounts and making this happen, and were both interested in bringing our touring bikes out for their intended purpose. So slowly, this began to take shape until we had a point A and a point B, and once we had that, we were pretty committed to bringing this dream to reality.
Now that tickets are secured, it feels much more real. In June, said friend and I will be riding bikes from Paris to Amsterdam over about two weeks of time, with multi-day stops in Bruges, Brussles, and Ghent. We will be in the Netherlands for one week, and hopefully having some friends who live in that part of the world come to visit us!
As we prepare, we’ll probably be posting things here. Fun things like:
- gear lists, including purchase location, reviews, and prices.
- fun, nerdy details about our bikes
- photos of our obsessive packing and planning
- route information
- the general ups and downs of getting ready to do something scary and wonderful.
Once the tour is underway, we will post photos once things really get going, and probably do the bulk of it after the fact. Depending on where we can find internet access, we may do more or less from the road – priority will probably be to checking in with our emergency contacts from the road.
I am already thankful for the help of friends who have risen above and beyond to help make this a reality, for those who are looking into contacts in Europe for us to play tour guide or host to two ladies and their bikes. I am also already struggling not to look at every inch of our proposed routes on google maps – I would love to see all of these things with fresh eyes.
Last week, I ran into a woman I know only through taking the train together in the morning. I told her about this adventure we’re planning, and she said ‘darling, that’s wonderful. it will be the trip of your life’. I replied saying ‘i hope not. I hope its the first of many’. To which she wisely said ‘you have hundreds more, but this will always be the first one’. I’m re-inspired every time I think about that idea.