Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Cycling in Europe - Wrap up.



I suppose the first stage of my hopefully global cycle tour has reached a conclusion. In retrospect, It has been a fantastic journey through some simply amazing places, and most of my most vivid memories are ones that no guidebook guides you to. The tiny villages, amazing people, the freedom of having no permanent home and a truly open road only available when travelling by bicycle will be with me in my mind forever.

I can only imagine how hard it will get in the future stages as I sacrifice even more luxuries: running water! electricty! English language! but the the hardest part of the trip up until now have not been western luxuries or physical difficulty, but the mental aspect. The highs and lows of life on the road, even for a few months in such an easily accessible continent such as Europe a very strongly felt. Lots of lonliness, but also plenty of times where nothing could dampen my spirits. By far the good outweighed the bad. The summits of the hills and mountains were usually the summits of my mood and crawling into a wet sleeping bag in a leaking tent by myself for two weeks I have generally assumed as the low point.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to connect with locals when travelling, they are 3/4 of the experience itself! With some very minor exclusions, everyone I have met so far have been amazingly generous people, inviting a stranger, not to mention a hairy, grimy foriegner stranger riding a bicycle into their homes, feeding me, and giving me somewhere to stay and sending me on my way with a smile on their faces.

Now, with anticipation, I will wait until I have saved up enough money to continue, and do it all over again.

3 comments:

Lorraine a. said...

Hi Kyle, I have been trying to comment since yesterday, it won't let me .. here goes - that's a beautiful part of the world you are in, looks so peaceful and green. Lovely .. N x

Gnz said...

Hey Kyle, Im at a tiny hotel room in Swansea. I had to stop for some days for work and to make repairs to my bike. My brake pads were completely out so I replaced them and installed new cables and I also took this chance to service my hubs and swap to bar end shifters which I think are the best thing since sliced bread! I will be posting a pic of my new setup soon. I really want to get on the road again and give another push hopefully all the way to Anglesey in some three or four days... the problem now is that Im stuck with bad weather so I will keep working for a few more days. Anyway, nice site, I see you have linked some of the pictures from my server, stealing my bandwidth eh? nah just kidding.

cheers,
Gonz

Gnz said...

Hey, another thing... remember that thorn bike with kid trailer parked next to Nandos in Bristol? It was still there as I passed again trough that street on my way back! funny thing eh?