06.26.09

Leaving venice

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:58 pm by Administrator

leaving venice tomorrow for Slovenia and my 50th country. running out of internet time doh!

06.17.09

how the gear is surviving after a month

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:24 pm by Administrator

The bikes seem to be holding together well after a month.
I had some troubles because I damaged my chain but thats fixed now.
The tyres and teh brake pads are wearing out fast and will need replacing by istanbul.
I’m still happy with my seat which is the one off of my specialized road bike. Nic’s seat is going ok but she is having more back end problems than me.

The keen sandals are going really well but the tan lines from them are hilarious.

Our tent has been great so far.

the sleeping mats both have holes in them and so really now are just insulators to the ground rather than matresses but we’ll hopefully be able to pick up some patches if we can find a camping store.

our stools were a great idea but they were pretty cheap and so probably won’t last much longer.

the msr stove is really good and we’ve been using unleaded petrol to power is and it is going well. It is the most widely available fuel and we use about 1 euro in fuel per week.

the tioga panniers are very waterproof but they aren’t likely to make the entire journey without problems.

The pack safety mesh that we use to lock up the bags at night is a great peice of mind and has kept the gear safe.

the bikes came with a 48 tooth big ring on the front of the bikes but I up graded it to a 50 tooth ring and I’m happy that I did as we have had the need to push the big ring a few times and its been good to get the speed when needed rather than overspinning.

06.12.09

italian maddness

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:52 am by Administrator

we’ve made it to italy. just a quick update as time is very limited on the internet. the pace of life here is so much more hectic than france. the country of france seems to wake up with a nice stretch and a croissant and then cruise off to what ever they feel like doing. Italy wakes up to a loud alarm, takes several shots of espresso and then scretches out the door to its scooter and then buzzes all day from the caffine. hilariously different to france.
anyway time is up.
Tc

06.07.09

The rhone valley and beyond

Posted in The journey journal, Wine and cheese and bikes at 3:01 pm by Administrator

If you want to do a week or so cycling then the section from Lyon to Avignon was great, flat and if you go in late May then teh trees are so full of cherries that I could litterally pick them while riding and keep myself fueled on the go.
We’re now in teh town of Villenevue Loubet near Nice and waiting to pick up Dan and Christal. We’re having a much needed day away from the bikes and giving the bodies a chance to recover. We haven’t had a full day off in 2 weeks and even then the last days off we’re full of running around Parisian sights with Jen. We even slept until 9am thismorning which was sooo nice. We’re staying with Jean Michel from the warmshowers website and he and his family have welcomed us so generously. Awesome stuff.
The road to here was a long one. Yesterdday was our longest day. 135 km. The hills weren’t steep but some were high enough to cause some hurt. We changed through 4 distinct geological units and so my nerd meter went into overload. The 3 people out there that are interested can email for details but I was a little over excited. There were also loads of bike paths for the day which was great and the road was stunning as only coastal roads can be. Some sections even rivalling my beloved great ocean road.
Well I’m off to do some bike maintenance.
Hugs
Tc

06.05.09

UPDATEY Goodness

Posted in The journey journal, Wine and cheese and bikes at 11:32 am by Administrator

OK so we’re currently n the town of Bandol on the mediterainian coast of France and I’ve realised that I’m never going to be able to keep upto date if I keep trying to add loads of detail. SO I’m gunna give a really quick run down since our teary fareweel to our initial cycle buddy, Jen in Paris.
We went to versailles and were amazed by the awesomeness of the gardens. The museum pass is invalueable in Paris as it saves you hours of queuing.
After Paris and a big thanks to Alexis for his awesome hospitality and putting up with us for 3 days we headed south.
Camped in teh bush and were nearly blown away by a thunderstorm overnight.
Hit the Loire valley the next day in Briar. Bloody beautiful town and this began the start of many wonderfully flat days and our first real tail winds that lasted all the way to Marseille.
The loire was beuatiful country side with lots of farming, white cows and old chateaus. Lots less inhabited and lots more organised than northern france.
From the loire valley we pushed a 120 km day, over a mountain range into the rhone valley. Stayed with Italian couchsurfers Samuele and his girlfriend and they were supernice and really looked after us after our longest day yet.
Then into Lyon for a quick stay and more awesome hosptiality from Jo and Tom and their kids. Lots of food and chats and fun. Tom rode 30 km with us out of Lyon and we went with the flat and the tail wind south. FIrst night stay in the field of a cool restauranteur, Bernoit and in a castle the next. Bernoit served us wonderful local cuisine of fried minnows and grenouilles (frogs). I never thought that my chips would be bigger than the fish on my plate.
We then made it to Avignon which is a pretty a ok city.
Then pushed south to keep the wind behind us and were planning to stay in Marseille. Unfortunqtely the city sucks and I caught 3 people trying to steal from us in the first hour. lucky that I’m on the ball or a guy would have walked off with Nics bag and 2 pickpockets would have got stuff. So after getting our fix of the Chateau d’if of Count of Monte Cristo fame we made a quick exit over the hills to Cassis. Then today we are heading along the Med passed Toulon. Its great.
One thing that we’ve really noticed is that there is a significant proportion of the french that really go out of their way not to go out of their way for you. Its not all of them, its not even half of them but there are an annoyingly large number of people in this country, especially the south, that seem to take enormous pleasure in being rude and.. well to put it bluntly pricks! It really detracts from the great and helpful people that we have met.
In other news Nic has taken the pressure off of me by having the first stack (crash) of the tour. I really thought that it would be me that would bite the dust first but in Marseille yesterday Nic missed a small gutter and fell off cutting her knee. Nothing too serious (no amputations required) but it’ll sting for a while and we’ll have to watch it for infection and nastiness. She did pretty well as I would have cried if it had been me.
Anyway, time for lunch and getting back on the road so that we can meet Dan and Christal in Nice in a few days.

Love and hugs

Tc