Category: Le Grand Tour

Northern France: Julian Ralph (2022) And His Grandfather (1940)

A few weeks ago I chatted to Julian Ralph for The Cycling Europe Podcast. He had plans to cycle in the footsteps of his grandfather who, in 1940, had been evacuated from northern France at the start of the Second World War. This was planned as a ‘before’ and ‘after’ conversation. The ‘after’ conversation will be published as part of episode 052 of The Cycling Europe Podcast that will be recorded and edited on the ferry from Hull to Rotterdam next weekend. But in anticipation of that podcast – which will include my pre-trip thoughts about cycling around France, Switzerland and Germany during July and August – here is Julian talking about his plans for his four-day trip around northern trip…

Le Grand Tour: T – 1 Week – The Calm Before The Sun, Hopefully

Now getting to the pointy end of the planning. Just a week to go before I set off on the ferry from Hull, destination Rotterdam, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Germany and a return to The Netherlands and Rotterdam in early September. My mind has been on other things in recent days as I’ve been away for a few days, not on the bike, but with 120 12-year-old pupils on a school trip to the YHA hostel near Ambleside on the shores of Lake Windermere. An idyllic location. Well, it was before we arrived in our two coaches. The peace was somewhat disturbed by the inevitable noise but everything went to plan, including the weather which was sublime (until Thursday evening when it decided to chuck it down…)

The Kit Required To Blog, Video And Podcast Around Europe

Here’s a post that some will love but others with loathe… I’ve been gathering together my kit for Le Grand Tour for a few days now and there will, inevitably, be a rather clichรฉd picture of it all laid out on the floor (see previous big trip kit posts ad nausea…). Look out for that perhaps the day before I set off on July 2nd. It will be the usual standard stuff; tent, sleeping bag, packet of spaghetti (“You do know they have dried spaghetti in France don’t you…” some wag will quip)… But what usually gets lost in those photos is the electronic kit that, increasingly, seems to be standard. Although many will disagree…

The Cycling Europe Podcast: Episode 051 – Freewheeling In France With Lyn Eyb

France is a top destination for cycle tourists and, with its great diversity of landscapes – from windswept cliffs in the north to vast swathes of forest in the west to sun-drenched villages in the south to vertiginous climbs in the east – it has (almost) everything that a traveller on a bicycle might want to discover. Lyn Eyb from has been exploring and writing about France ever since she arrived in the country over a decade ago. She shares her thoughts with The Cycling Europe Podcast and takes time to answer listenersโ€™ questions about the practical aspects of being a cyclist in France.

green grass field

Le Grand Tour: T – 3 Weeks (Or Thereabouts)

After a spell of poor weather, summer seems to have finally arrived in the UK. A sign of things to come on the continent in July and August? The blast of warm air has come from the south – it always does I suppose – and I am hopeful of decent weather as I head off along Le Grand Tour. But I’m not counting my poulets just yet. The last time I mentioned Le Grand Tour back on June 5th, I was still somewhat uncertain as to when I would be catching the ferry but as of a few days ago, the date has been confirmed as July 2nd. With a return scheduled for the night of September 3rd, I will have nine weeks to achieve my objective of cycling around France, then to Andermatt in Switzerland and finally north along the Rhine back to where I started at the Hook of Holland. And I’m finally getting excited about the prospect of doing so…

France / French: Preparing For The Next Podcast

At 9am this morning – Sunday 12th – I’m going to record a chat with Lyn Eyb of It’s the second attempt to do this this week as on Thursday evening the Internet connection was so poor that we abandoned it as a bad job. Hopefully by choosing 9am on a Sunday morning, the Internet will be a little less clogged up with people watching Netflix, downloading games etc… Anyway, my discussion with Lyn will form the basis of the next episode of The Cycling Europe Podcast – episode 051 – and I’ve been doing a bit of preparation…

Le Grand Tour: T – 1 Month (Or Thereabouts…)

So, with The Way of the Roses trip over, the podcast published and the film released, and the Platinum Jubilee events nearly finished, my mind is turning to this summer’s trip to the continent; a ferry to The Netherlands, turn right at the Hook of Holland, along the coast of The Netherlands and Belgium, around France, into Switzerland and back to Rotterdam via the Rhine.

Le Grand Tour 2022: The Inevitable Animated Map

Subscribe to the Cycling Europe YouTube Channel Visit the dedicated Grand Tour page of to find out more about the planned 2022 cycle along some of western Europe’s most iconic cycle routes. Since 2009, has established itself as a valued, FREE cycle touring resource. There’s now […]