Western Europe By Bicycle

This blog is presented more for archival purposes than as a guide.  In fact, the routes we took were poorly researched, and as such, many of them were sub-par for bicycle touring.  I’ve learned a lot about route selection since this trip, and more recent tours have been superior for many reasons.  It helps to research the attractions and places you want to visit ahead of time.  That is easier to do now-a-days than it was in 2001 – but even in 2001, it would have been possible with guide books.  Another big improvement since 2001 has been our utilization of GPS navigation (and GPS maps).  We were slowed significantly by having to pull out the map at every intersection.  The Edge Touring Cycle Computer has been indispensable in planning and navigating cycle routes.  It is an amazing device; worthy of long distance bike touring.  Because it was such a long trip, this post is fairly lengthy.  Highlights were: riding the Slieve Bloom Mountains in Ireland, The Western Coast of Ireland, Everywhere we went in Norway, and everywhere we went in the French Alps

Day1 09/15/2001 Hounslow United Kingdom GPS Track and Map

This is an overview of our route.  We started in London, England, and finished in Madrid, Spain.  The straight lines between Ireland and the British Isles were on Ferries.  Also, from Scotland to Norway was on an overnight ferry.  Finally, from Gotberg, Sweden to Kiel, Germany was also on an overnight ferry.

This is an overview of our route. We started in London, England, and finished in Madrid, Spain. The straight lines between Ireland and the British Isles were on Ferries. Also, from Scotland to Norway was on an overnight ferry. Finally, from Gotberg, Sweden to Kiel, Germany was also on an overnight ferry.

 

Day2 09/16/2001 London United Kingdom GPS Track and Map

In Spain, anyone could go buy cigarettes from a vending machine

We are Happy to be in England!

Day3 09/17/2001 Beckenham United Kingdom GPS Track and Map

London Eye

London Eye

Big Ben in London

Big Ben in London

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Day4 09/18/2001 Sawbridgeworth United Kingdom GPS Track and Map

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Day5 09/19/2001 Cambridge United Kingdom GPS Track and Map
Day6 09/20/2001 Peterborough United Kingdom GPS Track and Map

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In Bitchfield, United Kingdom

In Bitchfield, United Kingdom

Day7 09/21/2001 Barrowby United Kingdom GPS Track and Map
Day8 09/22/2001 Mansfield United Kingdom GPS Track and Map

Near Ashford in the water

Near Ashford in the water

Near Chapel-en-le-Frith

Near Chapel-en-le-Frith

Day9 09/23/2001 High Peak United Kingdom GPS Track and Map

The terrible Trans Penine Trail.  It's probably OK if you have a mountain bike, but you have to carry a touring bike over tones of these barriers.  Terrible transpenine trail.

The terrible Trans Penine Trail. It’s probably OK if you have a mountain bike, but you have to carry a touring bike over tones of these barriers. Terrible transpenine trail.

Day11 09/25/2001 Warrington United Kingdom GPS Track and Map
Day12 09/26/2001 Deeside United Kingdom GPS Track and Map

Dennis at the Beatles Museum in Liverpool

Dennis at the Beatles Museum in Liverpool

Visiting Fran near Padgate Warrington

Visiting Fran near Padgate Warrington

Near Abergele, Wales

Near Abergele, Wales

Animals can go on the freeway in Wales!

Animals can go on the freeway in Wales!

Day14 09/28/2001 Bangor United Kingdom GPS Track and Map

Staying with Dennis' friend Rory in Bangor, Wales

Staying with Dennis’ friend Rory in Bangor, Wales

Day15 09/29/2001 Dublin Dublin Ireland GPS Track and Map
Day17 10/01/2001 Dublin Dublin Ireland GPS Track and Map

Staying with Dennis' family: Newla, Liam, Connor, and Barbara in Dublin, Ireland

Staying with Dennis’ family: Newla, Liam, Connor, and Barbara in Dublin, Ireland

Near Portarlington, Ireland.

Near Portarlington, Ireland.

Day18 10/02/2001 Dublin Dublin Ireland GPS Track and Map

This dog followed us for almost an entire day.  Near Portarlington, Ireland.

This dog followed us for almost an entire day. Near Portarlington, Ireland.

Day19 10/03/2001 Portarlington Laois Ireland GPS Track and Map

In the Kinnitty Forest.  Great riding!

In the Kinnitty Forest. Great riding!

In the Kinnitty Forest.  Great riding!

In the Kinnitty Forest. Great riding!

We met this man named Laurens.  He invited us to stay in his home in Birr, Ireland

We met this man named Laurens. He invited us to stay in his home in Birr, Ireland

Day20 10/04/2001 Offaly Ireland GPS Track and Map

Near Porturona Forest Park

Near Porturona Forest Park

We camped a night in the church in Kinvara because it was raining outside.

We camped a night in the church in Kinvara because it was raining outside.

Day21 10/05/2001 Galway Ireland GPS Track and Map
Day22 10/06/2001 Clare Ireland GPS Track and Map

Mark, a cycle tourist we met.  Pictured in Galway, Ireland.

Mark, a cycle tourist we met. Pictured in Galway, Ireland.

Day23 10/07/2001 Galway Galway Ireland GPS Track and Map

Near Clifden, Ireland

Near Clifden, Ireland

Day24 10/08/2001 Galway Ireland GPS Track and Map

Near Westport Ireland

Near Westport Ireland

Day25 10/09/2001 Westport Mayo Ireland GPS Track and Map
Day26 10/10/2001 Mayo Ireland GPS Track and Map

Near Ballina Ireland

Near Ballina Ireland

Day27 10/11/2001 Coolaney Sligo Ireland GPS Track and Map

The Gravestone of William Butler Yeats in Drumcliff

The Gravestone of William Butler Yeats in Drumcliff

Near Donegal Northern Ireland

Near Donegal Northern Ireland

Day28 10/12/2001 Donegal Ireland GPS Track and Map
Day29 10/13/2001 Letterkenny Donegal Ireland GPS Track and Map
Day30 10/14/2001 Londonderry United Kingdom GPS Track and Map
Day34 10/18/2001 Bangor United Kingdom GPS Track and Map
Day35 10/19/2001 Stranraer United Kingdom GPS Track and Map
Day36 10/20/2001 Dumfries United Kingdom GPS Track and Map
Day37 10/21/2001 Haltwhistle United Kingdom GPS Track and Map

Hadrian's wall.  Not much to see.

Battle of Heavenfield – Near Hadrian’s wall. Not much to see.

Day39 10/23/2001 Kristiansand Vest-Agder Norway GPS Track and Map

The ferry we took to Kristiansand

The ferry we took to Kristiansand

Herefossfjorden

Herefossfjorden

We met some kind folks in Herefoss who took us to stay in their Cabin!  What kind people.

We met some kind folks in Herefoss who took us to stay in their Cabin! What kind people.

Day41 10/25/2001 Herefoss Aust-Agder Norway GPS Track and Map

Near Kyrkjebygd in Nissedal

Near Kyrkjebygd in Nissedal

Day42 10/26/2001 Nissedal Telemark Norway GPS Track and Map

Some wonderful hosts in Nissedal took us in.  Thank you for being such kind and wonderful people!

Some wonderful hosts in Nissedal took us in. Thank you for being such kind and wonderful people!

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Flåvatn

Flåvatn

Flåvatn

Flåvatn

Fjågesundvegen

Fjågesundvegen

Kviteseidvatnet

Kviteseidvatnet

Seljordvatnet

Seljordvatnet

Kviteseidvatnet

Kviteseidvatnet

Day45 10/29/2001 Bø i Telemark Telemark Norway GPS Track and Map

Visitin our friend Sarah in Bö

Visitin our friend Sarah in Bö

Day46 10/30/2001 Langangen Telemark Norway GPS Track and Map
Day47 10/31/2001 Tanumshede Västra Götalands län Sweden GPS Track and Map

I'm not sure what is going on here.

I’m not sure what is going on here.

Day48 11/01/2001 Lysekil N Västra Götalands län Sweden GPS Track and Map

Low angle light in Sweden

Low angle light in Sweden

This is the perfect place to camp if there is Rain.  Sweden has rain shelter everywhere I've been.  I love Sweden for this... but I've also never been rained on in Sweden!  Go figure.

This is the perfect place to camp if there is Rain. Sweden has rain shelter everywhere I’ve been. I love Sweden for this… but I’ve also never been rained on in Sweden! Go figure.

We took a number of short ferry rides in Sweden where there was no bridge.

We took a number of short ferry rides in Sweden where there was no bridge.

Cyclesparet

Cyclesparet

Day49 11/02/2001 Kungälv C Västra Götalands län Sweden GPS Track and Map

Fart means "speed" and hinder probably means "hinderance."  Speed hinderance.

Fart means “speed” and hinder probably means “hinderance.” Speed hinderance.

Day50 11/03/2001 Kiel Schleswig-Holstein Germany GPS Track and Map
Day51 11/04/2001 Bad Bramstedt Schleswig-Holstein Germany GPS Track and Map
Day52 11/05/2001 Hamburg Hamburg Germany GPS Track and Map
Day53 11/06/2001 Rotenburg (Wümme) Niedersachsen Germany GPS Track and Map
Day54 11/07/2001 Landesbergen Niedersachsen Germany GPS Track and Map
Day55 11/08/2001 Landesbergen Niedersachsen Germany GPS Track and Map
Day56 11/09/2001 Bad Oeynhausen Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany GPS Track and Map
Day57 11/10/2001 Lippstadt Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany GPS Track and Map
Day58 11/11/2001 Meschede Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany GPS Track and Map
Day59 11/12/2001 Siegen Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany GPS Track and Map
Day60 11/13/2001 Herschbach Rheinland-Pfalz Germany GPS Track and Map

Moselle river.

Moselle river.

Near Moselle river.

Near Moselle river.

Day61 11/14/2001 Cochem Rheinland-Pfalz Germany GPS Track and Map
Day62 11/15/2001 Traben-Trarbach Rheinland-Pfalz Germany GPS Track and Map
Day63 11/16/2001 Trier Rheinland-Pfalz Germany GPS Track and Map

We paid a quick, cold visit to Luxembourg

We paid a quick, cold visit to Luxembourg

Day64 11/17/2001 Kœnigsmacker Lorraine France GPS Track and Map
Day65 11/18/2001 Metz Lorraine France GPS Track and Map
Day66 11/19/2001 Charmes Lorraine France GPS Track and Map

French Solidarity with the United States from September 11th, 2001

French Solidarity with the United States from September 11th, 2001

Day67 11/20/2001 Fougerolles Franche-Comté France GPS Track and Map
Day68 11/21/2001 Vellevans Franche-Comté France GPS Track and Map
Day69 11/22/2001 Les Grangettes Franche-Comté France GPS Track and Map

Lac Le Doubs

Lac Le Doubs

Near Lac Brenet

Near Lac Brenet

Near La Grange Royet / Le Bambos / Route de Mouthe in France/Switzerland

Near La Grange Royet / Le Bambos / Route de Mouthe in France/Switzerland

Near Derriere les Crets

Near Derriere les Crets

Near Derriere les Crets

Near Derriere les Crets

Near Derriere les Crets

Near Derriere les Crets

Day70 11/23/2001 Bassins Vaud Switzerland GPS Track and Map

Our feet were always so cold for months.  I'd wear plastic bags, with wool socks on top, with another plastic bag over the top.  After many months of this, upon my return home, I had numbness in my feet.  In fact, the numbness lasted almost a year after the trip.  I'm not sure if it was the long term cold or the contact with plastic.

Our feet were always so cold for months. I’d wear plastic bags, with wool socks on top, with another plastic bag over the top. After many months of this, upon my return home, I had numbness in my feet. In fact, the numbness lasted almost a year after the trip. I’m not sure if it was the long term cold or the contact with plastic.

Near Cabane de

Near Cabane de

Near Arzier Le Muids France

Near Arzier Le Muids France

Near Arzier Le Muids France

Near Arzier Le Muids France

Day71 11/24/2001 Cernex Rhône-Alpes France GPS Track and Map

Near Saint Pierre d' Albigny

Near Saint Pierre d’ Albigny

Near Sainte Reine on D911

Near Sainte Reine on D911

Near Saint Pierre d' Albigny

Near Saint Pierre d’ Albigny

Near Sainte Reine on D911

Near Sainte Reine on D911

Day72 11/25/2001 Saint-Pierre-d’Albigny Rhône-Alpes France GPS Track and Map

Messages for the Tour de France Riders

Messages for the Tour de France Riders

Near Saint Jean de Maurienne

Near Saint Jean de Maurienne

Col du Glandon - it was "closed" so we alkyd our bikes over it.

Col du Glandon – it was “closed” so we alkyd our bikes over it.

Col du Glandon - it was "closed" so we alkyd our bikes over it.

Col du Glandon – it was “closed” so we alkyd our bikes over it.

Day73 11/26/2001 Allemont Rhône-Alpes France GPS Track and Map

Alpe d'Huez - I made it to the top in 55 minutes on my touring bike.  The TDF riders do it in 40 minutes... but they don't have a 2 pound disk drive digital camera strapped to their racks!

Alpe d’Huez – I made it to the top in 55 minutes on my touring bike (this is not the top). The TDF riders do it in 40 minutes… but they don’t have a 2 pound disk drive digital camera strapped to their racks!

Alpe d'Huez

Alpe d’Huez

Alpe d'Huez

Alpe d’Huez

Day74 11/27/2001 Le Périer Rhône-Alpes France GPS Track and Map

Loving the French Alps scenery

Loving the French Alps scenery

Day75 11/28/2001 Gap Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur France GPS Track and Map
Day76 11/29/2001 Volx Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur France GPS Track and Map

Us at Pascal's apartment in Marseilles.

Us at Pascal’s apartment in Marseilles.

Day79 12/02/2001 Marseille Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur France GPS Track and Map

Pascal rode with us out of Marseilles for a little while

Pascal rode with us out of Marseilles for a little while

Day80 12/03/2001 Ensuès-la-Redonne Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur France GPS Track and Map

Sunset over the Mediterranean

Sunset over the Mediterranean

Day81 12/04/2001 Aigues-Mortes Languedoc-Roussillon France GPS Track and Map

Drying the sleeping bag under one of our shelters.

Drying the sleeping bag under one of our shelters.

Day82 12/05/2001 Agde Languedoc-Roussillon France GPS Track and Map

This is basically what we ate every day in France

This is basically what we ate every day in France

Day83 12/06/2001 Bizanet Languedoc-Roussillon France GPS Track and Map
Day84 12/07/2001 Quillan Languedoc-Roussillon France GPS Track and Map

Look - we're wearing shorts!  It was below freezing most of the trip, so this was a wonderful day!

Look – we’re wearing shorts! It was below freezing most of the trip, so this was a wonderful day!

Eau potable.  Yum.

Eau potable. Yum.

Dennis is a good juggler

Dennis is a good juggler

We were camped out in France, and this guy comes along.  He tried to talk to us in French, but didn't understand much of our French - even when I wrote it down!

We were camped out in France, and this guy comes along. He tried to talk to us in French, but didn’t understand much of our French – even when I wrote it down!

Day85 12/08/2001 Savignac-les-Ormeaux Midi-Pyrénées France GPS Track and Map

The tunnel from Spain to Andorra was still being built.  I saw a hole in the mountain, and a winding road going up over the hill.  I said to Dennis, "I bet that hole in the mountain is a tunnel.  We checked it out and rode in the dark for a couple miles - saved a big climb over the hill!

The tunnel from Spain to Andorra was still being built. I saw a hole in the mountain, and a winding road going up over the hill. I said to Dennis, “I bet that hole in the mountain is a tunnel. We checked it out and rode in the dark for a couple miles – saved a big climb over the hill!

Entering Spain from Andorra

Entering Spain from Andorra

Day86 12/09/2001 Catalunya Spain GPS Track and Map
Day87 12/10/2001 Ponts Catalunya Spain GPS Track and Map

Coconuts?  In Mercea?  Well, this isn't Mercea.

Coconuts? In Mercea? Well, this isn’t Mercea.

Day88 12/11/2001 Alcarràs Catalunya Spain GPS Track and Map
Day89 12/12/2001 Caspe Aragón Spain GPS Track and Map
Day90 12/13/2001 Castel de Cabra Aragón Spain GPS Track and Map
Day91 12/14/2001 El Pobo de Dueñas Castilla-La Mancha Spain GPS Track and Map

We found this abandoned stone hut in time for a freezing night.

We found this abandoned stone hut in time for a freezing night.

Day92 12/15/2001 Villanueva de Alcorón Castilla-La Mancha Spain GPS Track and Map
Day93 12/16/2001 Guadalajara Castilla-La Mancha Spain GPS Track and Map

It looks warm, but it was below freezing all day long. In fact, on this day, to the North of us in Spain, people were stranded in their cars on the freeway - some of them froze to death because they could not drive anywhere.

It looks warm, but it was below freezing all day long. In fact, on this day, to the North of us in Spain, people were stranded in their cars on the freeway – some of them froze to death because they could not drive anywhere.

Day94 12/17/2001 Madrid Comunidad de Madrid Spain GPS Track and Map
Day95 12/18/2001 Orgaz Castilla-La Mancha Spain GPS Track and Map
Day96 12/19/2001 Brazatortas Castilla-La Mancha Spain GPS Track and Map

Olive trees in Spain

Olive trees in Spain

Day97 12/20/2001 Montilla Andalucía Spain GPS Track and Map

Me sleeping on a bathroom floor.  Not one of my better nights.

Me sleeping on a bathroom floor. Not one of my better nights.

In Spain, places are closed a lot of the time!

In Spain, places are closed a lot of the time!

This dog followed us for almost an entire day!  Near Portarlington, Ireland

In Spain, anyone can buy cigarettes from a vending machine.

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1 Response

  1. hops says:

    Love the Sierra Nevada jersey.

    That Toyota Truck has a Loooong Bed.

    I hope the dog made it back home.

    I use to have those round glasses.

    Love the geometry in Donegal.

    Low Angle light means a VERY long sunset/rise.

    And FartLek means speed play.

    In Luxembourg I slept behind the police station.

    Numbness was “cold burn” I had it for 6 months once.

    55 Alp D’Huez is AWESOME!!

    Brie, Nutella, and Bread – That is all you need.

    C-O-L-D here is the link to the Cold Snap Tragedy
    http://goo.gl/1FR1PW
    and
    http://goo.gl/Zr9WKQ

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