Category: Travel

Le Grand Tour: Day 57 – Kehl To Phlippsburg (123km)

The best thing about day 57 is that it wasn’t day 56. That’s not to say that day 57 will go down in history as being a great day of cycling but it wasn’t anywhere near as monotonous as yesterday’s cycle. And in contrast (because it’s not all about the cycling…), yesterday evening was fun chatting with Dave from Seattle, the German chap and the French family with their very funny two boys. Tonight here in Phillipsburg it’s just me and the chap in the next tent who I saw for the first time about 30 seconds ago. He’s wearing a dressing gown and a head torch. It’s not a look that I have ever coveted on a campsite but who knows? It’s only 9pm. The evening could yet turn out to be an entertaining one…

Le Grand Tour: Day 56 – Kembs To Kehl (120km)

About 80% of today was deathly dull. Why did I end up cycling the Rhine-Rhône Canal again after having cycled it north to south in 2010 and been bored just as rigid back then? I suppose it was because I ended up on the French side of the Rhine last night. Tonight’s short video is a boring one reflecting the day quite well… 

Le Grand Tour: Day 55 – Konstanz To Kembs (59km + Train + 19km)

Basel… You almost ruined my day. More later on that score. Basel aside, today was up there with one of the best days of cycling and I’m so delighted that I’ve been able to sample at least some of the delights of the shore of the Bodensee. It was the stuff of cycling dreams; beautiful scenery, nice weather, great cycle paths, fascinating places to visit and a satisfying distance covered. It’s one of those days when you are better off not reading this drivel and just watching the video.

Le Grand Tour: Day 53 – Valendas To Buchs (83km)

Life is getting complicated, for good reasons. I’m now in the Swiss town of Buchs and trying to plan tomorrow which will hopefully see me meet two people at either ends of the day; Ken, who is cycling 12 countries in 12 days (see his Twitter feed @highfielder80 for updates and the details of his trip) and my friend Claus (remember him from ‘Crossing Europe…’?) who I haven’t seen for many years, in Breganz, Austria in the late afternoon. I need a social secretary! I’m also hatching an interesting plan for Friday but more of that in due course…

Le Grand Tour: Day 52 – Andermatt To Valendas (62km)

And so this pan-European odyssey enters its final phase: the Rhine Cycle Route or EuroVelo 15. But before I could crack on with that this morning, I had some sorting out of loose ends from the penultimate phase: the Rhône Cycle Route or EuroVelo 17. I completed that route yesterday upon arrival in Andermatt but this morning finished putting together the podcast about cycling the Rhône. This included inserting a chat that I had with my neighbours on the campsite at Andermatt; a couple – Rich and Becca – from West Yorkshire of all places (my neck of the woods) who had cycled some of the route as well. The podcast was published this morning from café at the train station in Andermatt but you don’t have to go that far to find it: all the links are at CyclingEurope.org/Podcast.

Episode 058: Le Grand Tour, Part 7 – La Via Rhôna / EuroVelo 17

The Cycling Europe Podcast continues to follow Andrew Sykes as he cycles on his ‘Grand Tour’ of Europe. In this episode of the podcast he sets off from the Mediterranean resort of Sète and follows the EuroVelo 17 – the Rhône Cycle Route (known as the Via Rhôna in France) – to Andermatt, high in the Swiss Alps. Over 12 days he travels more than 1,000km from sea to source exploring the places and meeting the people as he cycles. The weather doesn’t always make life easy and there will be some challenging cycling along the way. It’s an epic podcast for an epic journey along one of Europe’s most iconic rivers but will he have the energy to climb to the Furka Pass on the final day of his cycle? The music is by Rob Ainsley.

Le Grand Tour: Day 51 – Ritzingen To Andermatt Via The Furka Pass (54km)

I did it! I arrived in my spiritual cycling home, Andermatt, a little earlier this afternoon after a lengthy, strenuous, exhilarating and ultimately beautifully satisfying climb to the Furka Pass. I’m now celebrating with the best CHF5 bottle of wine that the local Coop could sell me accompanied with some good old bread and cheese. This is what cycle-camping is all about!