The Change Up

  • Crossing to the Isle of Wight
  • Entering Yarmouth on Isle of Wight, England
  • Seaside Amusement Park on Isle of Wight...love those!!!
  • Illuminated Parade in Shanklin
  • Beach rentals on Isle of Wight
  • Shanklin Beach
  • Shanklin bbeach on the Isle of Wight
  • Beautiful Campground on Isle of Wight
  • Awesome German camping neighbors!
  • Steve and I leaving the Isle
  • Rog & Dee & their baby...
  • Fiona...only other solo cycling gal I've met.
  • Foxes everywhere in London...normal?
  • Crossing Tower Bridge in London
  • Small beers at the Nigerian Restaurant
  • The Eye in London
  • Proper English scones!
  • Imax Movie in London

While cycling the Southern coast of the Isle of Wight was pretty (& hilly) and happening upon a nifty luminated carnival parade in Shanklin was cool, I was still struggling to be motivated to both write and engage back fully in my experience.  Sometimes in life a change up is needed…and at my five month point on the bicycle, it seems I needed it more than I realized. That change up came in the form of Continue reading

Entering England Wrapped in Plastic

  • Steel plastic wrapped
  • Wild camping in England
  • Me and Vinny!
  • Nice bicycle shop owner that fixed Steel's spoke and breaks!
  • Thames River locks
  • Thames River, Englaand
  • On the road again..la, la, la.
  • English countryside west of London
  • Wild Ponies in New Forest, England
  • Amish??
  • Milford on the Sea, England
  • Pony traffic issues
  • Illuminated Carnival parade in Shanklin on Isle of Wight
  • Most beautiful purple cabbage
  • Camping farm in Milton by the Sea
  • Milton by the sea, English southern coast
  • Dee and mum's recycled plastic hats!!
  • Very English lunch!
  • Port on Isle of Wight
  • Seaside Amusement park!! I love those...Isle of Wight
  • Cycling south of Isle of Wight, England
  • Thatched shops on Isle of Wight
  • Luminated carnival parade

I basically wrapped my bike in a sheet of plastic meant to protect a floor from paint. I duct taped some of my camping gear to Steel and wrapped the whole thing in the plastic (took the air pressure out of my tires, and my pedals and handle bars off) and checked it. Unbelievably the ticketing agent at British airways didn’t flinch. Steel arrived in great shape minus a broken spoke which I blame on me for not securing stuff better. I was met by Vinny Continue reading

Connecting in Italy – unexpected and expected!

  • Florence
  • Nightlife in Florence
  • Endless fields of sunflowers
  • James wishing on famous pig
  • Florence
  • Gelato Joint..one of many!
  • Tent problems!
  • Tony with our $1.50 bubbly!
  • Tony and I in Florence
  • Spelunking dog!
  • Florence
  • Florence
  • Michelangelo Campground cafe view
  • Fountains in Florence

I suppose the cluster-f!@# (hair-raising) events leading up to Florence, made the next series of events seem all the sweeter. Florence is where my old friend Tony (he’s not really THAT old, our friendship is. Ha!) and I decided to meet up. Amazingly we would be celebrating our 10 year anniversary of meeting, and this would mark the 7th country in which we would gather. I have not seen or talked to a friend or family member in months so I was excited to convene. However, I had one day in Florence before he would arrive. Continue reading

Italy Part III: Wild & Weird

  • View from campground cafe in Florence
  • International dinner at Warm Showers home
  • Rainy mosquito camping in farm field in Italy
  • The problemed Velo 7 & 8 signs
  • This goat wanted out!
  • Just outside Manua, Italy
  • Another cool bicycle cafe along the river in Italy
  • Plaza in Mantua where I nibbled
  • Path to castle in Borgetto
  • Borgettto, Italy
  • Borghetto, Italy
  • Borghetto, Italy
  • Sunset over Laga di Garda
  • Larga di Gada
  • Body Painting Contest in Bordolino
  • View before dropping into Larga Di Garda, Italy
  • Along cycle path nearing Laga di Garda area
  • Cycled upon city of Laga di Garda and rainbow popped out!

Oh my…I am hot and tired! I sit and begin writing this on my first train since coming to Europe after attempting to cycle half way to Florence yesterday but I ran into snags. I am supposed to stay with a Warm Shower’s host tonight (little do I know at this point what’s in store for me). Okay let me back up a bit…
Continue reading

Italy Part II: My New Strategy Came with A Bonus Meeting

  • In Trento with the Czech cyclists
  • Race staring line outside the hotel in Trento
  • Cycling in Italy
  • Dedicated cycling tunnels in Italy
  • Cool cycling art along cycle paths in Italy
  • Bicycle tourist info stand along path in Italy

After my crap cycling day, I devised some new strategies to attempt to make my cycling more enjoyable. First things first, eat a big, hearty breakfast – no excuses (for me that involves bread, butter (peanut butter if I have it), jam and yogurt (if available). This I did. Given the heat, I wanted to try getting on the road early and taking a break for a few hours in the middle of the day to write, and then cycling again later in the day. I did this too. I made it to the mid-sized old Italian town of Belzano by 11:30 am and stopped until 3:30 p.m. I wrote in a cafe and had a luscious lemon ice, a cappuccino, and a fresh Continue reading

Italy Part I: Errors in the Alps

  • Lake Dobiacco and the Dolimites
  • Steel & I at Lake Dobiacco Campground
  • cycling accidentally up the mountain
  • Hotel on Lake Dobiacco across from campground
  • The
  • Cycling along rives in Italy
  • View of Dolomites while cycling
  • Interesting camping set up in Italy
  • Circling Brixon's vineyards
  • Paragliders in Italy
  • Nifty bicycle art along cycle path
  • View cycling into Lake Dobiacco campground
  • Restaurant at Dobiacco campground
  • Nice bicycle paths in Italy

 

Cycling in Italy is one of those dreamy types of things that I never really thought I would get an opportunity to do.  I especially never thought I would experience cycling in the Dolomites, or the Italian Alps -in large part because I never imagined I would be fit enough to drag me and loaded bicycle up mountains.

Continue reading

Over the Alps with Only Minor Mishaps

  • Evening concert in Lientz
  • Evening in Lientz
  • Wild flowers in Austia
  • Route 7 bike route to Lientz
  • Cool cycling art along Route 7
  • Cool dwelling along Rt. 7
  • Rt 7 to Lientz
  • Coming down the pass in Austria
  • Waterfall in Bad Gastien
  • Waterfall through Bad Gastein
  • Bad Gastien
  • Ride up alps
  • Steve & I in Campground near Bad Hofgastein
  • Steve with a new camping friend
  • Yard art
  • Cycle path to Bad Hofgastein
  • Cycling up the Alps

 

For the first time on this here cycling adventure, I bought a map. This goes to show that I was nervous about crossing the Alps. They look awfully high from a far and thought of getting turned around in them was weighing on my mind. Basically, all the cycling routes (Velo 7 and Alpe-Radweg)(http://alpe-adria-radweg.comAlpe-Radweg) take the same route from Salzburg up the Alps and begin to differ after the mountain pass.
Continue reading

Twists of Fate on the Way to Salzburg

  • Bier Garden leaving Bavaria
  • Riding by typical church in Bavaria
  • Entering Austria
  • River through Salzburg
  • Hohensalzburg Fortress
  • Anita cooking knodel
  • Storm rolling over Lake Waldensee, Austria
  • Bjoern & I pre-storm
  • Salzburg
  • Rock Theater pic I found online
  • Rock theater pic from online
  • Serious Pretzel options!
  • Old city Salzburg- thought funny I caught someone doing a selfy accidentally

 

Beep! Just one beep marks the arrival of the bakery lady dressed in a traditional Bavarian dirndl (dress). Out the back of a little truck, she sells fresh pretzels, breads, and an amazing plum covered cake –all made with locally grown ingredients. Each morning she arrives to the campground around 8:15 am. She beeps and the line forms at her truck. I loaded up for the day and then joined my artist-cyclist friend, Hubert, for our last breakfast along side the lake and alps. Continue reading

A Bit of a Problem Getting to Austria

  • Wild Camping Near Rosenheim
  • Ducks that came to dinner
  • Lake Chiemsee
  • Dinner at Lake Cheimsee
  • Lake Cheimsee
  • New Cycling Family
  • Hubert, the artist
  • Hubert at Lake Cheimsee
  • Changing colors of Lake Cheimsee

 

No rain while I packed up Steel after our night of “wild” camping, but shortly thereafter it came and refused to stop. I rode into a larger town of Rosenheim at about 10 am and found refuge in a bakery. It closed at noon, but the rain continued. I circled Rosenheim and found another restaurant. Six hours later, it was still raining and I felt I had worn out my welcome in the restaurant. Surely the rain had to stop, right? Steel and I headed out, and as it turns out, in an “unanticipated direction” Continue reading

Three Special Couples on My Turn to Munich

  • Helpful Bavarian cyclist
  • Camping too close to the river
  • Followed Gus to the Lake
  • Nice breakfast!
  • Gunther's got talent!
  • Cool wood heater & cool couple!
  • Outside their cool Bavarian home
  • World Cup Game Viewing camping style
  • Cool Church in Landsberg
  • Such a cute couple!
  • The sweet flower in Steel!
  • Largest Bier Garden in Munich!
  • Riia & Elahu & the amazing risotto!
  • Cute Couple 2 in action!
  • Cycling into Munich craziness
  • Nifty Munich Home
  • Cool Couple 3: Dee & Roger!

I dig twist of fate moments in life –like when a man dressed in wonderfully humorous bavarian cycle wear stopped to ask if I needed assistance. I asked his opinion between two routes towards Munich. He suggested the one that turned out to be a beautiful ride on mostly trails through forested area and along rivers and lakes. Given my surroundings, I opted for another undesignated camping area and set up my tent as close to one can possibly get without actually being in the river. In the end, it was actually too close Continue reading