Author Archives: Adrian

Part 15: Home

Zagreb was eerie and quiet, It’s Sunday morning. We park our bikes against a wall, take stock on our losses and figure out where to stay the night. We’re amazed by how thoroughly the thieves have gone through our stuff, right under our noses. They’d even taken care to remove cash from our wallets then carefully place them back in our bags. We’d been fleeced good and proper. We carry on looking. Phone, cammera, yep, gone. They’d even taken Jim’s jeans. We were livid, scratching our heads in bewilderment, how didn’t we wake up? Did they really gas our cabin? The truth is we’ll never know but we arrived in Zagreb feeling pretty down about it all. The weather had taken a sudden winter-ward snap. The cold fog was sucking the life out of us as we sat dejected on the pavement. Continue reading

Part 12: Albania Uncovered

Albania has a bit of a dodgy reputation for some reason. We approached the Balkan’s very own wild west with apprehension, I didn’t know what to expect. Peasants shitting in the streets, bent cops after our cash, gun toting drug barons lurking in the shadows and desperate thieves sniffing around our wheels! If rumour is to be believed then these are some of the sketchy folk we’re likely to come across in this part of the world… It’s a good job we don’t care about rumours, but is this really the most backward country in Europe? Is cycling here as dangerous as people say? What are we getting ourselves in to? There’s only one way to find out… Continue reading

Part 10: The Land of The Gods

A surreal feeling came upon us as we approached the Greek boarder, it could have been a small dose of culture shock or perhaps it was the drop in elevation going to our heads. It was certainly surreal. As we rolled through the baron scrub of no man’s land the customs and excise complex stood looming ahead, a structure of standards far excelling any buildings we had encountered on our passage through the Balkans. The significance of our arrival to Greece, the geographical pinnacle of our journey, added to our bewilderment. I presented my passport to the official, he looked at me and my vehicle. He actually laughed, an unexpected sign of emotion from a boarder rozzer, he waved me through then took a look at Jim “you bicycle from UK?…” Jim nodded. Yes we have! Continue reading

Part 8: The Time Traveler’s Bike

It was like we had travelled back to time somehow. As if cycling through one of my granddad’s memories of Staffordshire when he were a lad, we start our Serbian journey in little farming villages. Buzzing with activity, real work, real places, real people. As we pass them by everyone says hello or waves us on. Old folk watch the world go by their doorstep, farm workers ride on tractor trailers, children play in the streets and half a dozen escapee piglets scuttle off squealing down the road. People still grow their own food and collect their own fuel. Village shops, fascinating dimly lit little grottos, sell just about everything under the sun. Welcome to the Balkans! Continue reading

Part 6: A Small Story About A Big River

There are a million different ways to cross Europe by bicycle so picking a good route can be quite a task. Most of our route planning happens while we’re on the road, combining map reading and intuition to find the best cycling roads as we’re going along. The great thing about riding in Europe is that you’re not just confined to riding on roads, there are thousands of cycle paths all thrown into the mix too. We don’t have any maps of these cycle routes, we just seem to find them, or they find us. Many of Europe’s finest cycle paths follow the course of rivers, taking advantage of nature, so watercourses and their bike paths will no doubt play a critical part in navigating our way across the continent. Continue reading

Part 4: And Then Came The Alps!

In many ways it feels like this journey has shifted up a gear, the past week has been a tough one but probably my favourite so far. The first couple of weeks were such a whirlwind but life on the road is beginning to feel normal at last, we’re adjusting. I feel different, much more relaxed, more calm. Continue reading

Part 2: Buzzing Off Belgium

It’s a very strange life, cycling around like this. Riding the bikes is the easy part, time on the bikes feels like a rest sometimes just because there’s so much to think about as soon as we step off them. This life style is a completely new experience, It feels to me a bit like what being a gypsy or nomad must feel like. It’s like we’ve slipped through the net of normal society and already the stresses of modern life are beginning to feel a bit pointless. When you’ve only just enough time and energy to think about what’s immediately important, like how much water we have and where we’re going to sleep, a different perspective begins to settle in.  It’s taking a bit of getting used to but we starting to get the hang it now. It’s a good feeling. Continue reading

A Really Big Night Ride – The Dunwich Dynamo

No training program would be complete without a 120 mile night ride would it?! Well that’s what we thought anyway. We seem to have made it our intention to to ride in the most unpleasant conditions we can think of in preparation for the Really Big Bike Ride. We’ve done raging headwinds, torrential rain, heavy traffic and killer climbs so it seemed only natural to progress with some good old fashioned darkness and sleep deprivation. With this in mind we rolled up at the Pub on The Park in Hackney, London at half past 8PM to join the masses for the 19th annual Dunwich Dynamo! Continue reading