Now go on and download the book itself by clicking here! Remember that you don’t have to have a Kindle to read a Kindle book downloaded from Amazon; you can read it on your PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android or Windows 7 phone. More information on how to do that is here. There is no excuse 🙂 Thanks to the many people who have so far downloaded Good Vibrations. It would be great to get some feedback either here at http://www.apsykes.com or even better on the Amazon page where you downloaded the book in the first place.
Dear Mr Sykes
I am intrigued! Lucy Perkins of Sustrans pointed me in the right direction after I had been on the ECF web site looking for info on Eurovelo 5, following an idea I had to cycle to Assisi where for the last seven years my wife and I have stayed for two weeks in the summer. We have journeyed by plane or train or car, but I have an idea to cycle (she will go by faster transport) in around two years after I have retired. So here I am on your website: I will buy the book and download to the PC. My own cycling is limited although I had a winter when I cycled to and from work each day (15 miles each way) so I need to get ready for such a journey and have no illusions about it being easy..
However, one thing which I would like to ask is the amount of ascent: on the film I saw the zigzag road to the St Gotthard Pass; what was that like? Was it the toughest part of the journey: how long was it?
I may have further enquiries but will read the book first. I do not have a website
Thanks for getting in touch. I’m quite humbled by the fact that people at Sustrans are pointing people like your good self in my direction. It reminds me of someone a few months ago who said ‘when it comes to the Eurovelo 5, all roads don’t point towards Rome, but towards http://www.apsykes.com ‘ which made me smile.
I think the great thing about cycling is that you can be a novice and still do big things on a bike. I still consider myself to be a novice. I look on the Internet and read books who have done wild adventures to far off places, living off foraged food in some long forgotten jungle and compared to them I’m pretty low in the cycling hall of fame. But that’s what’s so nice about the whole thing. Believe me, having cycled 15 miles each way to work recently you are well into the ranks of being a committed cyclist so your trip to Assisi sounds like a natural step up, just as mine was from London to Brindisi.
The picture you noticed of the switchback roads up towards the Gotthard Pass was probably this one: http://apsykes.com/2010/08/04/the-long-winding-road-to-ticino/ which was actually the road down from the summit towards Airolo heading south. It’s at the top of this stretch of road where I first had my spoke problems. On the northern side of the pass, especially from Andermatt to the pass itself, the road is less of zig-zag route, more of one, long upwards climb hanging onto the side of the valley. The most difficult portion of the Alpine climbing was the day before I got to the top when I cycled from the end of Lake Lucerne to Andermatt itslef. The few kilometres immediately prior to arriving in Andermatt were tortuous. The road, within a relatively short horizontal distance climbs several hundred metres. I’m glad I did it the day before cycling from Andermatt to the St. Gotthard Pass. But bear in mind that I’m no Bradley Wiggins and when you read the book you will read about my encounter with cigar-smoking Claus who puffed his way to the top without too much bother 🙂
Prior to the Alps, climbing the Vosges was a minor challenge and then again in Italy I had to cross the Appennines via the Passo della Cisa which was a climb only beaten by the Alps. From there on south there were many ups and downs but as you are travelling ‘only’ as far as Assisi, many of these will be avoided of course.
I wish you every luck in your quest and don’t think you should hesitate one moment before embarking on what will hopefully be the first of many highlights of your retirement. The only regret will be by your wife who will wish she joined you on the bike. How about a tandom?
Good luk and do keep me updated with your plans and trip itself.
Enjoy the training.
(not ‘Mr Sykes’ btw – that’s just for school 🙂 )