Get out the door & stick with it.

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Looking for a Challenge

In the Spring of 2013 I was looking for a challenge. I was looking for a big goal to train for. One Saturday evening, 3 couples I was with planned a eurotrip. On the second week of their trip, they planned to meet with each other in Pisa for a week. So with a great smile I said I’ll bike from Holland to Pisa. Even though I didn’t know how far it was!

So I found my challenge

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They said that I couldn’t make it but I was invited to stay at their camping place for that week! So I made my plan. The Google maps route showed it as 1350 km by car. So I figured it would be a little further by bike. I made my route. Via Kerkrade, Bonn follow the Rhein German side and French side to Basel in Switzerland. After Basel there were the Blue lakes and Mountains! Then I tackled the uphill stages from there to Andermatt. Wow! What a nice surroundings! When I was resting, I would watch the masters stage of the Tour d’France on my iPad between the mountains.☺

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After a couple of climbing stages in Italy I made a sightseeing tour through Milan. I had never been to Italy so with my Dutch thoughts were, when I’m at the coast near Genoa it will be flat as in Holland with nice boulevards and beaches. Not at all! The route near the Cinque Terre was a route over Giro d’Italia trails. Steep hills with 10-16% degrees steepness. They killed my legs several times. But if you’re cycling easy it is ok.

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The last stage was the flattest of the whole “TourduPisa.”I took some pictures with the Pisa tower and enjoyed the sun! My arrival at the camping was overwhelming. I was so happy, and my friends had a big bottle of champagne waiting, so we partied that night. After ten days rest with sun, beer, and pizza, I took a flight back to Amsterdam. My friends took the bicycle in the car.

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In 2014 I was looking for a new challenge

Earlier this year, I was training for the Marmotte cycle classic in France and decided that after that I would go on a new cycling tour. With a world travel trip upcoming in October I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a plane ticket. So, I decided that I’ll bike to a city that was a reasonable distance. I had two options. Either Bordeaux, or Berlin. Bordeaux by train was a good option and the bike ride back was around 1500 km. Berlin was about 650 km away though. I decided to bike Berlin because Berlin in the summer is an awesome city! Two friends of mine visited me at the first weekend (I started on Monday) so I had to bike hard that first week but I made it. After that party weekend in Berlin, I went north to Hamburg and Bremen. One fun part of this trip was that I booked 16 of my 18 hostels by Airbnb. I was able to sleep for between 16 and 22 euro a night and sometimes even got my breakfast and lunch included. On my blog you can see the rooms, and I think it’s a nice option for cyclists.

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I biked back via Ost-friesland in Germany and Groningen Drenthe Friesland via the Afsluitdijk to Amsterdam. I started my trip with a 211 km stage and ended my trip with a 227 km stage. In between I biked around 110 a day.

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What’s next?

Now I’ve planned my new adventure, backpacking in Asia. Maybe I’ll buy a bike there and book some cycle tours. Does somebody have tips for cycling in South East Asia?

Paul Ram

About the author:
Paul Ram

Paul is a 28 year old freelance WordPress developer from Amsterdam who loves to cycle and go on adventures. Right now he's living the biggest adventure of his life. He doesn't have a home or have a job anymore, just his backpack ready for traveling. Visit his blog here.

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