Preparations

First a word on 2019.

Despite having bought new touring bikes in November of 2018, 2019 was a bust.
Between issues concerning family, health and work 2019, turned out to be a bad year for us.
Without going into details 2019 is over and 2020 is here and with the new year come new plans.

Having to choose a plan

Starting in May we will have four months free to tour and again we choose to ride in Europe. There are many reasons for choosing Europe, first and foremost it’s costs, variety of countries and cultures, a great infrastructure for cycling, diversity in terrain, in all countries the drivers are used to cyclists sharing the roads, availability of campsites, just to name a few.
After some number crunching we have come up with three plans which are +/-5000 km each.
So it’s about 133 days -33 for rest days, bad weather (or just chilling by a nice place with a few cold ones) that leaves 100 days cycling at about +/-50 km a day.
Now we’re sure after several weeks we will be able to cycle 50 km before lunch but this tour is about going slow and just enjoying nature.

Plan A (and our favorite) is a loop (clockwise or anticlockwise) visiting some places we cycled before and would like to visit again. Like Britannia, Normandy, the French Atlantic coast, Massif central, Po river valley and Venice.  And some new places like parts of France between the Atlantic coast and Massif central, and over the French Alps. Also the Eastern part of Austria and Southern/central part of Germany.

Plan B for us has to be a ride to Greece. This will be a bit more expansive as we would be taking a ferry (in high season from Greece to Italy. But this price is offset a bit by traveling through a few Balkan countries which are a bit cheaper. This route is also close contender because we’ve never cycled Southeastern Germany, Eastern Austria, any of the Balkan countries, Northern Greece, Western coast of Italy.

Plan C we think is also a good contender because it goes through France (which we truly love), Spain (with it’s central high plateau’s and remoteness were you cycle for hours or even days with nothing around). In 2008 when we cycled to Santiago de Compostela some remote stretches left an impression on us. Also ever since Monique’s first tour in 2006 to Barcelona we’ve always thought how it would be cycle back home.

So now we have narrowed our selection to three, it’s time to choose. I think about a month before we leave we’ll make the final choice.