Where to this year? How do you top riding your bicycle from Los Angles to Boston? How can you possibly have more fun on two wheels? Well how about riding from Paris to Istanbul with four good friends?
The Paris to Istanbul route is an old trading route which goes back hundred of years dating back to the time of the crusades. However is probably more famous for the train which ran from Paris to Istanbul and was known as the Orient Express. Or maybe it wasn't the train itself which was famous but was made famous by the book "Murder on the Orient Express" Whatever the case the ride holds the same sort of mystery and romance of east meets west. Starting off in the the classic city of Paris and riding into the mystery of Istanbul. We will cross though France and Germany, following the Danube Bike path for 1400 kms, into Austria, Bulgaria and Romania before we get to Turkey. The total ride is 4000 kms and spans a total of 50 days. I have read a journal from one of last years riders and it does sound like a totally different adventure from last year. The distances each day are smaller, but then there are lots of other challenges, bad roads, confusing directions, wild dogs in Bulgaria and foreign languages. Speaking of which being that I only speak redneck will be a real challenge for me.
This year we will be camping on ride days and staying in hostels, pensions, and hotels on rest days. None of that staying in nice comfy 5 star motels every night. I like sleeping in a tent, and am really looking forward to it. However landing in a great big bed and having a great shower was really nice. I guess I should also qualify it by saying I like camping when it isn't raining. I hope it doesn't rain.
I said I was riding with four great friends. So let me introduce them. Curt from Pennsylvania, I meet on my first bike ride from Vancouver to Calgary. I had broken my leg and had just gotten off my crutches. I had my cane with me on my bike and was hobbling around. Well every time I turned around there was Curt to help me out, pulling me up hills, handing out encouragement, helping me stretch, you name it. We had a great time. So Curt and I then went on the Pedal The Peaks ride in Colorado where we meet Clare from California. Clare quickly caught Curt's eye, which with her irrepressible spirit isn't hard to understand. By this time I am back running with the running group at the university of Calgary, where I met Don. Another adventurer just looking for a place to adventure. You just have to keep guys like that around! But then when you think you have met adventurers you run into Jim. I meet Jim on the Pacific Coast cycle trip which was from the Canadian border to San Fransisco. But then you heard all about Jim in last years blog. So how can you beat a group like that.
Don and I have been out riding quite a bit. Hopefully it will be enough. You just never know. We are looking forward to eating strudel, drinking beer, tasting some good wine, and having a great adventure.
Having fun everyday!