My mind continues to be focussed on plans for this summer’s ride around (much of) the Baltic Sea. Although I am happy for the details of the journey to simply go with the flow of events (as was the case during the previous long European cycles) with accommodation and day-to-day destinations being decided upon on the day itself, I have committed myself to two ferry journeys; from Hull to Rotterdam and then, a few days later, from Kiel in Germany to Klaipeda in Lithuania. Initially, this gave me a maximum of five days to travel from the port in Rotterdam to its counterpart in Kiel…
However, I’ve just been looking at the practicalities of completing such a journey in the time required. It was always my intention to mix the cycling with some trains (not just during this first week of the eight-week trip but at various points around the Baltic) and for the journey from Rotterdam to Kiel, it would seem to make sense to make the roughly 1,000km cycle a train-bike-train sandwich. By taking the train from Den Haag (a shortish cycle from the ferry port near Rotterdam) to a place called Heerhugowaard on the Dutch coast and then, at the end of this first leg from Elmshorn in Germany to Kiel, I can knock around 400km off those original 1,000km. 600km in five days? Mmm… I’m not sure about that, especially when two of those days include train journeys which will take up time as well. Not quite back to the drawing board, but certainly back to my ferry booking with P&O for the Hull to Rotterdam journey. I’ve amended the date of this ferry from Sunday 11th July to Saturday 10th July. This means I will have six days to travel to Kiel; six days to cycle approximately 600km which seems far more reasonable, especially considering the flat terrain (although I do appreciate that cycling on the flat over extended periods can be utterly exhausting…). Almost all of the cycling during this part of the trip will be following the route of the EuroVelo 12.
Here’s a plan for that first week:
The Dutch and German coasts are strewn with campsites so I don’t think it will be a problem finding them in roughly convenient locations. The online map I’ve created – and continue to update when I receive useful information – can be viewed either on the Baltic Cycle page of CyclingEurope.org or accessed directly by using this link: TinyURL.com/BalticCycle.
The only issue that I might have in cycling along the Dutch coast was flagged up by Ken Wynn on Twitter last week. This is something I’ll have to keep an eye on nearer to the time:
Avoiding travelling through Amsterdam and Hamburg means that I can easily take the bike on regional trains as opposed to InterCity trains which are notoriously problematic when travelling with a bicycle. For anyone who likes these things, here are maps of the relevant sections of the Dutch and German train networks:
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Don’t forget that the most recent episode of The Cycling Europe Podcast – episode 041 – was dedicated to cycling the Baltic Sea Cycle Route / EuroVelo 10. More details on how to listen are below:
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