Cycle Tour 2019

We’re off cycling again, this time from Kirkcaldy, Scotland to Athens, Greece (and maybe further?)

We’ve changed a few things since our first cycle tour where, frankly, we had no idea what we were doing and we’re putting together some handy guides for people planning their own tour which will be found on the rest of our blog.

This page will be used to update you on our progress and plans as they (inevitably) change.

So what’s the plan?

6000km. Scotland to Greece.

We’re using the Sustrans LEJOG (Land’s End to John O’Groats) route to get through Britain to Plymouth, then a ferry to Roscoff, France. From there, it’s a short cycle to join the Eurovelo 6, which runs across France, through Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary and into Serbia where we leave it at Belgrade. Then we’re on our own, using road maps and heading south through Northern Macedonia and into Greece. In Greece, we’ll island hop for a few weeks. Then, if we have time, we’ll head into Turkey and maybe Armenia.

A map of Europe, with a blue route snaking from Scotland to Greece
The route!

TOUR UPDATE: 26/06/2019

We left Kirkcaldy on the 1st April and on the second day hit a problem: Abi’s bike broke, the bottom bracket was threaded and we had to head straight to Glasgow to replace it. After a week in Glasgow waiting for rabies shots, we heading off again, Abi happy on a new second-hand bike.

In Carlisle and after a week of Lili on antibiotics from tooth pain, it was clear we were going to have to stall the tour for a bit. Lili had the tooth pulled and we got a train to Cambridge to be looked after by family. In the end, we spent a month there, writing our book and recovering. We also developed a new plan to save time and get to France asap!

Our new route took us to Oxford and then to Portsmouth where we got to ferry to Caen in France. From there, we followed the newest French Cycle route, La Velo Francette, to Angers, where we joined the Eurovelo 6. We’re back on route and back on track. Hopefully, it’ll stay this way.

Here’s a map of the new route:

A map of europe showing a broken route across the UK. From kirkcaldy, scotland to Carlisle and then from Cambridge to Portsmouth via Oxford. Then from Caen, France to Angers and beyond.

TOUR UPDATE: 27/01/2020

We arrived back in the UK in November and it’s been hectic trying to get back into normal life, hence the late update.

The tour didn’t quite go to plan. We needed to finish the edits of our book, Gears for Queers, and ended up spending a month in Budapest to do this. This put us well behind schedule again and we decided we would have to get the bus to Venice to save time.

Arriving in Venice, we realised we were still very low on time. We were going to have to rush many of the countries we wanted to see the most and possibly skip others. Was it worth cycling around Greece if we had to compact it into 2 weeks? Neither of us felt good about the next steps and the longer we spent in Venice the more we questioned our proposed tour.

In the end we decided to finish the tour in Venice. We’d been worn down and we were both desperate for some private rest space. Getting a flixbus back to Munich and then on to Brussels, we passed by cycle paths that we’d never considered exploring before. We realised that to get to Greece next time, we would have to get public transport and start further South and that that wasn’t cheating.

We finished the tour with one day cycling from Rotterdam to the Hoek of Holland where we caught the ferry back home. It was bitter sweet. Cycling in the Netherlands is always wonderful and we felt regretful about finishing. It felt like we maybe hadn’t done the right thing. We’re still unpacking our feelings about the tour, but we’re glad we’re back. It’ll be interesting to see if we can maintain a ‘normal’ life for a while.

Here’s our final map. From Budapest until Rotterdam, the route is by flixbus. The rest we cycled.

map of route