By Sigurd Solberg
Cycling abroad makes for an exciting holiday, nice and challenging. Four friends have made successful journeys in 14 different countries over the last 17 years. Although they have experienced some uncommon challenges (including brain & heart infarction),they have kept their fitness and are still cycling!
We were 49-56 years when we started along Donau and have since cycled within the borders of Ireland (W), Poland (N), Croatia (E) and Spain(S).
Although we have experienced some common challenges (brain/heart infarctions), we have kept fitness and are still cycling. We are following the same kind of planning, adapted to age, conditions and experiences.
Our advice is: Do not go more than 4 persons together, carry your own luggage, spend the nights at hotels, perhaps bed & breakfast.
We have learned that four people are convenient, 2 double rooms, you can eat together, you can split up easily for one night – if you feel its necessary, its easy to arrange. To carry the luggage is something to learn.
You do not need much clothing. Wool is essential (also in summer), also daily washing (of something).
One pair of shoes is maybe sufficient. We use always watertight bags. Regularly you need only one bag for a 1 week trip (2 bags for 2-3 weeks). We often like to go down along rivers, it is a guarantee for nice travel.
How do we decide where to go? Desires and initiative counts. Often we want to visit people we have met at cycling-journeys before or who have visited us in Norway - sometimes we end or start the journey there.
Commonly we buy the air transport and two nights- the first and the last- in advance. The other lodging we arrange during the journey (if advice does not tell us that this will not be possible).
We have never lacked accommodation – from 87 spontaneously arranged lodging – every time, although difficult, was arranged.
Sometimes, these stories have become our most beloved moments: once a closed hotel was opened by help from the neighbors, another time we were handed over the hotel keys and locked the hotel in the morning - because the owners went on holidays.
In our last journey, in northern Portugal the first week of November, we happened to use the firm Cycling Rentals and their services.
It was an unambiguously positive experience, the most reliable bicycles we ever experienced, reasonable priced and very practically arranged (hotels, transport). Thank you!