05 November, 2014

European Bike Packing routes

Our friends Nick and Lael have been working on a project that we thought might appeal to our audience. We love combining touring with good food and drink, so read on and see if you can contribute.

European Bikepacking Routes
by Nicholas Carman
Two years ago, I wondered about bikepacking routes in Europe. My initial research returned little useful information, other than a few promising fragments and photographs. After eight months of riding, researching, and blogging from Amsterdam to Sevastapol to Athens, I have compiled a list of European Bikepacking Routes (hyperlink:http://gypsybytrade.wordpress.com/2014/10/29/european-bikepacking-routes/) as the culmination of our efforts.  Europe is a great place to explore by bike, off-pavement, and self-supported. Eat great food, visit fascinating cultural and historical places, and learn new languages in between incredible rides.
All routes are either mapped, signed, and/or available as GPS tracks. Many routes originate as self-supported off-pavement endurance races, multi-day stage races, or challenging routes for solo ITT. Some are government tourism projects.  Others are the creation of avid riders or cycling organizations to promote the riding in their home country. Lastly, some routes are repurposed walking routes, which may be done in sections or as a whole. The basic concept of this project is to awaken the world to the breadth of bikepacking possibilities in Europe, despite the lack of a single superstar route such as the Great Divide RouteBikepacking is a global phenomena, born of the passion to ride somewhere, off the beaten path, self-supported.
Use the route guide as a springboard to do your own research and riding. Some routes include significant paved sections, non-technical terrain, and uncomplicated logistics. Others are extremely challenging, with a necessary component of hike-a-bike. My favorite routes are the Traverse du Massif Vosgien (TMV) in Alsace, France, and the Bike Odyssey route in Greece, both of which are comprised of highly ridable dirt roads through beautiful mountains and villages. This is exactly the kind of riding for which a smartly-packed Camargue was designed!
However, this is an incomplete list, challenged in part by the myriad of languages in Europe. Any assistance to improve this resource is welcome, especially if you are able to share with cyclists in Europe in their native tongue. Read the full story and browse the expanding list of European Bikepacking Routes (hyperlink: http://gypsybytrade.wordpress.com/2014/10/29/european-bikepacking-routes/).
Tell your friends.  Share it online.



1 comment:

Brian Sims said...

Awesome I have a picture of that exact same street sign from Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland. It's a great one!