I’ve always been a fan of hills and mountains. Growing up in Pennine Yorkshire, they were an ever-present backdrop to my childhood but I remember travelling to France for the first time when I was about 14 years old on a school exchange to a small town just south of Lyon. The Alps began to appear in the distance as we trundled down the ‘Autoroute du Soleil‘ and I was transfixed. In the intervening years I have been able to stand witness to the grandeur of not just the Alps but many mountain ranges across Europe, including those to be found in the UK. After cycling from Tarifa to Nordkapp in 2015, one reason why I chose to return to live in Yorkshire was because I missed waking up and seeing the hills. There weren’t too many of those in the centre of Reading, my home town for the 15 years prior to the 2015 cycle.
Here in West Yorkshire, this is the view from my window when I wake up. Sometimes sunny, sometimes not-so-sunny:
It might not be the biggest hill in the world, but it’s a hill nevertheless and it’s mine. Well, not quite, but you know what I mean…
If you have listened to the most recent episode – number 34 – of The Cycling Europe Podcast, you will have heard the monologue that has been recorded by Laurence Warren. (If you haven’t, what are you waiting for?)
Podcasts are great in many respects, but what they can’t do is show you the pictures. I have good news! When Laurence sent me his monologue, he also sent some pictures, and here they are:
Those mountains put the hills of Yorkshire into the shade. Literally. I mention in the podcast that Laurence had also sent me a list of useful links for anyone who is thinking of taking a cycling holiday in Austria. Over to you Laurence:
“A good source of maps for each long distance route are the BikeLine books from publisher Esterbauer. The text is in German (Danube version in English) but the maps are excellent and there are lists of B&Bs etc…
And finally, if you are heading to Austria on your bike (or, frankly, anywhere…) how about a new cycling t-shirt from Vectorbomb?