Category: Travel

Le Grand Tour: Day 0 – Halifax To Hull (17km)

Welcome to Le Grand Tour! I can’t decide whether the cycle officially started in Halifax when I shut my front door behind me or whether it will start when I get to the Hook of Holland tomorrow. I’ve compromised and called this ‘first’ day, ‘Day 0’. Now I think about it, that’s not a compromise is it? Oh well…

Le Grand Tour: T-1 Day – Packed!

I am packed! I can thoroughly recommend gradually gathering your kit together in your living room in the ​weeks before the off. The packing process is much easier and all those ‘have I remembered…?’ questions have (hopefully) been answered well before the off. As for the clichéd ‘kit pic’ I’ve taken a slightly different approach, as you can see below. I set off tomorrow lunchtime; train from Halifax to Hull and then the overnight ferry to Rotterdam…

Le Grand Tour: T-2 Days

Just a couple of days to go to the off. I’m almost there, I think, with the preparation. The bike has been returned from its service, the kit assembled (if not packed), the last-minute purchases (nuts…) made, the train ticket to Hull booked, accommodation for the first three nights (four including the overnight ferry) sorted… All that remains is two days of procrastination (and a bit mor Wimbledon and wine). I finish work for the summer later today.

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 clichéd 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 FreeWheelingFrance.com 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 listeners’ questions about the practical aspects of being a cyclist in France.

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 FreeWheelingFrance.com 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 listeners’ questions about the practical aspects of being a cyclist in France.