In 2017, novice long-distance cyclist Craig Fee set off on a continental odyssey to cycle from London to his friend’s wedding in Florence, Italy. But had he bitten off more than he could chew? In his new book, Cycling Into The Unknown, he tells the story of the journey and in this episode of the podcast, he reflects upon the experience of setting off on a make-it-up-as-you-go cycle across Europe…
I continue to spend much of my time writing book four, my account of cycling around Europe in the summer of 2022. I have passed the half-way point in terms of time although not distance and am currently working on day 34 of the cycle. Below is what I have written for day 33. It was a day not without its self-inflicted challenges, mainly to do with my inability (on that day at least) to read my map… The completed book should be available in some way, shape or form towards the end of 2023 or early 2024. Look our for ‘Le Grand Tour’.
Following my arrival in the Alps (see previous posts) I embarked upon a two-week trek along (most of) the Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB), one of the world’s classic hikes. Keep scrolling for a selection of photos but before you do, I did manage to squeeze in some cycling whilst passing through Paris on my way home. Yesterday evening, with a hiking colleague from the TMB group who had also made the correct decision to take the train home rather than fly, I cycled from my hotel down to the Eiffel Tower. This morning I set off again on a short Parisian odyssey on one of the Vélib’ eBikes taking in the Louvre, Champs Élysées, Arc de Triomphe, Seine (a bit bumpy of the cobbles!) and back to the Gare du Nord.
Destination reached. Now for two weeks hiking around Mont Blanc.
I was a little concerned by the accommodation situation this morning. But in the end it turned out OK. A cheap room – by Annecy standards – turned up on Booking.com and I snapped it up. It’s a ground floor room built for those with access needs. It would have been perfect if I’d had the bike with me. But I don’t…
And today, a bus. If I’d set off at the crack of dawn I could have caught a direct regional TER to Dijon. There are a couple every day from Paris Bercy station but I didn’t and neither did I fancy a long wait until the later train. So, I caught a TER to Laroche Migennes (no, I’d never heard of it either until this morning) where I could catch a ‘TER Bus’.
I’m off on my summer travels… but without the bike and initially on the train. Or, rather, quite a few trains. My plan is to get as far as Chamonix by Saturday afternoon where I will meet up with a group of people for a guided hiking holiday – the Tour de Mont Blanc – and I am current awaiting the departure of my next train from one of Paris’ lesser-known stations, Bercy.
If you are a member of Cycling UK and pay your £4 every month, you will hopefully have had the opportunity to read my account of last year’s Grand Tour that appeared in the June / July 2023 issue of Cycle Magazine. (If you are not a member, why not?? It’s a bargain and the magazine is one of the best cycling reads that you can get your hands on; real people, real cycling, real stories…)