The Most Tedious Yet Top-Priority Bicycle Adventure Task

Undoubtedly, the most tedious, dull and vexing part of any bicycle adventure large or small is arranging the logistics, whether one is supported (has a team following in a car) or unsupported (travelling solo).

This is the most unglamorous yet most crucial aspect of such journeys, which for the most part will dictate how pleasant or unpleasant the overall experience will be.

Since my return from a two-week enchanting Kenya cycling safari experience as a brand ambassador of Savanna Cycling, I am dedicating this week to fine-tuning my exact route, my accommodation, my meals, my safety protocols, checking the weather, triple inspections of my bicycle (I have a seat tube collar that needs replacing which would have been a serious issue, for instance) and more.

These are tasks that are performed in an office-like environment as I sit in front of my computer tending to them so that on the ride, I can focus solely on the… ride!

Naturally, I am not focused on the entire trip from North Cape, Norway to Tarifa, Spain since a lot can happen along the way. If for instance I am delayed by one week, I have to redo everything. So it is best to do it in chunks or legs.

On this European trip, I have a number of “chapters” or segments that I have come up with to break down the journey.

North Cape-Stockholm, Stockholm-Copenhagen, Copenhagen-Amsterdam, Amsterdam-London, London-Paris, Paris-Basel, Basel-Lyon, Lyon-Girona, Girona-Barcelona and finally Barcelona-Tarifa.

So that means that I plan for one leg and once there, I take a mandatory break and use it to plan the next stage and so forth. That allows me to not lose my sanity by getting overwhelmed if I dared plan the entire thing.

Let me give you an example of how things can get frustrating.

Let us say that I am riding from Paris to London which requires a ferry crossing.

If the ferry is cancelled, that means that my arrival in Paris will change as well as the departure.

So that means that I have to cancel my Paris booking and try to move it to the following night. But! I might have decided to stay with a friend who can only host me that day since the following one they have family coming, so I have to make alternative plans and do the same for all the tour stops until I get to Basel.

If I tried to pre-plan the entire trip, I would be buried in logistical nightmares and would never make it which is why breaking it down is more effective and to be quite honest, more efficient.

As I write this, I am delaying the start of my tour by a few days because there are three cities where I am struggling to find affordable accommodation since I do not have friends, fans or contacts in that Northern part of Sweden.

This is an adventure but since I do not camp, I never gamble on cycling to a place without my accommodation sorted out because that could seriously mean sleeping outside, a prospect that I am not equipped for and to be quite honest, one that does not appeal to me because that is my preference.

So out of prudence, I would rather stay in Amsterdam where I have community, my computer, Internet access and where it is a familiar place and properly confirm everything from North Cape to Stockholm before booking a flight to the starting point.

This is how I eliminate stress from my trips. I have to deal with motor vehicles, winds, endless climbs and other issues that are a part of riding bicycles across continents so I make sure to take care of what I can control so that when the unforeseen happens, I have less on my plate.

So when will my trip start? Answer: as soon as I figure out accommodation in Enontekiö, Pajala and Luleå… and when my upset tummy chooses peace!

This is a post by JaBig, a Canadian DJ who is (as of this writing) about to cycle across Europe from North Cape, Norway to Tarifa to raise funds for World Bicycle Relief, in addition to embarking on a dream adventure of a lifetime. 

You can donate directly to World Bicycle Relief by clicking here or you can contribute towards his trip expenses GoFundMe by clicking here.