The Plan

The Plan: Two months of unassisted cycling and camping through Belgium, Holland, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic and wherever else our legs may take us.

The Route: Starting in Brussels and flying out of Berlin are the only given at this point. We plan to cycle parts of the Flanders Cycle Route, Rhine River and the Danube River. We will also be using the EuroVelo and regional cycling routes.

Accommodation: WarmShowers website (like couchsurfing for cyclists). We are also planning on staying at campsites, backyards of friendly locals or in the wilderness.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Our trusty steeds

Today was the day. Find a bike or go home. We had narrowed it down to several different models, all steel frame US/UK style touring bikes. If you want further details on choosing our bikes, you can click here. I was surprised at how few stores stocked touring bikes. My plan had been to show up and try out the showroom bikes but the reality is that these bikes sell so rarely that most shops only stock a few and order the rest.

We visited around twelve stores and after two full days of searching, we found our bikes: a Ridgeback Panorama and a Ridgeback Voyage. Dean at Simpsons cycles seemed to have all the answers for us and like clockwork, we were able to find almost all our bike gear there as well. Though many people told us it was better to buy a bike in the US and send it over, this certainly worked out well for us and ended up costing less because we get the sales tax exemption! Tomorrow we begin our Odyssey.

1 comment:

  1. Panorama bike has a good spec. I prefer the drop bars as more options on hand positions, so less pressure in one place. I think what has happened is the mountain bike hard sell has got people psychologically hooked into flat bars being the thing to have, hence the difficulty you experienced with ready access to trying out lots of touring bikes with drop bars. Either people have not ridden, or are too young and don't know any different, or they have forgotten that as kids there were no bikes without drop bars unless it was a 3 speed shopper with a basket!

    other advantage with drop bars is that you can get lower down in the wind to decrease your resistance, whereas flat bars you are upright and no other option to reduce drag on your body.

    Good plan for steel - even n the back of beyond you will find a welder if something breaks - aluminium you are stuck!

    Hope the ride continues to be good fun