Monday, 20 October 2008

TRIP OF A LIFETIME: The Beginning

After watching Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman go the 'Long Way Round for what must be the 20th time, I decided the time has come to sort out my own trip.

Obviously it's going to be pretty much impossible to pay for a three month journey from the UK all the way to New York, but I can try and organise a journey through parts of Europe.

The Ace Cafe

There are several places that are a must go at some point for any biker. The Ace Cafe in London is one of these, and luckily for me is only a 20 minute ride from my university. It's also somewhere I haven't been yet.

I have ridden past it on a trip back from Brent Cross shopping centre, but have never had the nerve to stop off yet. Even though I've been riding for several years, I'm still worried about making a fool of myself in front of other bikers!

The Nurburgring

Apart from the Ace Cafe, the Nurburgring in Germany is another must-see for me, and I'm sure for many other bikers. Getting the chance to try out my bike on one of the world's most famous racetracks is something I have to try.

The Ring is still under German road laws, and although there is generally no enforced speed limits, some areas actually are restricted. You are also not supposed to overtake on the right; though how strictly the Police enforce this is unknown!

Basic Route

The idea of riding through Europe is an idea I have had many times, but never really looked into it seriously. As I will have three weeks off over Easter, it seems as though this would be the best time to try though.

This gives me around 6 months to look into making a serious plan; but at the moment, a basic route would be to go into France via the Channel Tunnel, up through Belgium, across into Germany and the Nurburgring, south through Switzerland and then Italy, back into France and possibly into Spain depending on time.


View Larger Map

On a Budget

As a student this would have to be very much on a budget, so I will be looking in to cheap hotels and hostels, cheap travel through the tunnel, and cheap (yet rewarding) places to visit.

I also need to look at buying basics to carry on the bike; I have a 42l back box, but thats all at the moment. Instead of going for a very expensive Satnav, I recently bought a magnetic map holder for the tank; is this enough or will I end up getting very lost?!

Asking for Help

If anyone has managed to travel round Europe on a bike and knows of anywhere good to stay, interesting places to visit, or any information on roughly how long a trip like this would take would be much appreciated!

4 comments:

Jophiel said...

Hey there. What an awesome blog find!

I'm a bloke of 24 from Denmark who's preparing a trip similar to yours, except I'm going to Australia and NZ, and I'm doing it in January.

I was browsing around for other travel blogs (especially mc themed ones) and yours came up. I'll be following it regularly to learn from your experiences as well as my own :)

I saw you're studying journalism? At the moment I'm looking for "outlets" to share my experiences with a wider audience, and I'm considering writing for a paper while travelling. Maybe that'd be an idea for you too? Who knows, maybe you can even find a sponsor!

You'll find my blog at http://jophielsbigadventure.blogspot.com/

Best of luck!

PS: there wasn't any email, so I'm posting this rant as a comment

PPS: and yeah, long way round was a big inspiration for me as well ;)

Jophiel said...

Thanks for you comment!

Unfortunately, we're too small a country to have such specialized mags, but most big newspapers have a travel section. I'll contact them I think.

I'll mention your blog in my next post :)

Jophiel said...

By the way, this is an excellent e-book on travelling on a shoestring in general:

http://www.artoftravel.com/

AtlasRider said...

Just stumbled upon your blog. I'm looking forward to reading about your future adventures! :)