Following numerous episodes of soul searching I finally came to realize that enjoy cycling more than an average person. While I enjoy many flavors of it, such as road cycling and mountain down-hill riding my absolute favorites are endurance and touring rides.

My dream is to visit as many places on a bicycle as I could. Somehow biking[1] feels to me just the right way to explore the world. Last year I joined my very first cycling tour along the river Rhine. That tour had its ups and downs. I learned a lot and wrote about the lessons in earlier posts. post1 post2

This year me and John are expanding our comfort zones. While we’re still within the safe confines of Europe we’re not going for hotel accommodation. Instead, we’re going to camp. Hopefully, we will learn new lessons and don’t repeat the previous mistakes. Step by step we make our tours more challenging and more exciting.

Our destination this year is Northern and Western France. We’re starting off from city Dijon to which get by a high-speed train. French TGVs disallow assembled bikes onboard so we had to purchase so-called TranZBags and partly disassemble our bikes (note that I leave the tent attached to the bike):

To fit the bike comfortably inside the bag I took extra steps and removed the seat-post and pedals. That should also minimize the risk of broken spokes.

I hope we won’t have problems. Just in case we purchased 1st class tickets expecting fewer passengers and fewer confrontations.

From the outset our gear list is much shorter than last year which is plenty remarkable as we haven’t camped and instead stayed in hotels and hostels. Here’s what I’m bringing:

  • bike repair kit (napkin, pump, spare tube, 2x multi tool, leatherman knife, tape, zip ties, plastic gloves, chain bits)
  • flexible bike lock
  • TranZBag (for transporting bicycle on trains)
  • 2x 60g tubes of chamois cream
  • 3x packs of hydration tables
  • swimming trunks
  • hiking towel
  • inflatable sleeping mat
  • compact summer sleeping bag
  • cash wallet
  • 15000mah portable battery
  • passport
  • bank access code generator
  • head torch
  • notebook and pen
  • Garmin 62s and one set of spare batteries
  • credit card wallet
  • leg warmers
  • phone
  • one extra cycling shirt
  • ultra-light wind-proof jacket (packed into red sack)
  • one extra cycling bibs
  • arm warmers
  • one extra set of socks
  • medicine
  • compact digital camera (not shown)

This is the stuff I’m going to wear on me (helmet is not shown):

This time I’m not taking any kind of rain gear because it is pointless in summer heat. I’m also not taking any food. Instead, we’ll scout for grocery stores along the way.

I won’t publish anything during the ride but I’ll keep some notes for a report upon our return. Wish us good luck!

[1] walking, hiking, climbing are the other preferred means