Europe 2016 Considerations

When

May/June 2016 for 10 days. (I toured for much longer than that)

Where

Several destinations under consideration so far: Lisbon <> Dublin; Greece <> Italy; Berlin <> Prague <> Slovakia; Lithuania <> Kiev

What to Expect

As everyone points out to me, this trip will be different than my typical bike trip, for a variety of reasons. I’m used to buying maps at the airport when I land, doing what I want, when I want, and dealing with adversity along the way. In touring I’m close to 100% self-sufficient on a day-to-day basis.

Part of the preparation for this trip is going to try to end up with something that works for those who are going that still, to me, encompasses “touring”. Factors include but aren’t limited in comfort level, costs, and pre-planning at the very least!

And that doesn’t even include what to see along the way (You mean there are other things than castles in Ireland?)

What you need

Well, that’s the purpose of the rest of this. In many cases I’ve included notes to the actual equipment I use. In general, my focus for my gear has become light, light, light. However, that’s not really a requirement. I think since I started I’ve replaced one to two items each trip to decrease weight in order to get where I’m at, and spread the cost out over time. But I survived the first trip of 4,500 miles with all my non-high-tech stuff so there’s a lot of ground in-between.

Cost

That being said, equipment cost could be non-negligible. Most everyone has some basic equipment, so the cost there is likely to be primarily either panniers or a trailer (pannier vs. trailer is a cycling religious debate).
Airfare is likely to be ~ $1,000.
Someone asked about renting a bike instead of dealing with their bike and/or bike transport. Bike rental is likely $25/day, which makes rental comparable to shipping a bike. Probably not a bad option.
Food costs are likely to vary depending on the decisions as to where food is coming from. I tend to make and prepare all of my own food, for money reasons, dietary reasons, and because, when cycling, I eat a LOT more food. My expectation at the moment is breakfast and lunch as a group, and dinner being more up for grabs.

Lodging costs will again, vary based on the decision for where and how we’re staying. Advantages to camping include a much lower per night cost, and being able to find a place to stay for a crowd of people. Minuses include needing to have camping equipment, being slightly more limited on where we can stop (Ireland has a LOT of B&Bs), and more vulnerable to the weather (although I think every campground I stayed at had a fairly large indoor or sheltered area).

Who

Really, there don’t appear to be a lot of people I can talk into this. Those having expressed some at least vague interest in going:

  • Rick
  • ?Marnie
  • ?Mike & Marie
  • ?Chris C
  • ?Wayne J
  • x Jim R (maybe next time)
  • ?Charlote H