As I write this I am thinking of my departure tomorrow on a 3 week European Bicycle Touring trip with 3 other cyclists. Our itinerary will include sections of the Rhine Route, Lake Constance, northern Switzerland, Eurovelo 6 and parts of the Alsace Wine Route in France.
Non-cycling friends when told of the itinerary call it a trip of a lifetime, but it really is not as I have taken many cycling vacations, each a great trip in its own way.
I have taken guided rides in the past but this one is have I have planned and made the arrangements, something many find a bit intimidating.
We will only be carrying a change of clothes and a few other items in our panniers, I have made reservations at various types of accommodation including B & B’s, local inns and hotels. All are aware we are arriving by bicycle and say this can store them safely. From experience on past trips I know all these arrangements may not work out. On our Danube ride two of the hotels did not have the rooms available we reserved.
I make reservations in advance as I have found I then do not waste time looking for accommodation and do not need to rush to the next destination knowing I have a great place to stay within my budget when I get there. When I have not made reservations things have not always worked out well.
I am not worried about bike mechanical issues either, as I have been there and done that on previous trips. You can always get help whether it be a kind person in England who picked us up in a pickup truck and delivered us to a repair shop or the local citizens of a small German town who did not speak English but pointed out a repair shop which had no sign.
In one way it is a ride of a lifetime as I will experience riding along the famous Rhine River with its castles perched on the surrounding hills and medieval towns lining the banks. And there is the scenic beauty of cycling around Lake Constance surrounded by Germany, Austria and Switzerland with the Alps in the distance.
What is not to like about riding through the hills of the French wine country passing through villages with stone buildings.
Part of any trip of this sort is experiencing the variety of food and drink we can expect along the way. I am already looking forward to the apple strudel in Austria. You can check out some of my other European cycling rides by clicking the link.
Perhaps I am wrong after all, maybe this will be a bicycle touring ride of a lifetime.