Off to Europe and it's gonna be a blast!

For Australian Cyclists travelling and touring OS

Off to Europe and it's gonna be a blast!

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Mon Aug 04, 2014 1:13 am

I'm heading OS for a couple of months.

Others from West Oz will be meeting up with my wife and me at various points .

Regrettably I am the only cyclist in the lot and it is not a riding holiday. However, the wheel is still going with me and I reckon I have it sorted far better than you guys. :mrgreen: Inside ten minutes I can break the unicycle down into three parts - the forks and the seat/seatpost that slide into the backpack. And the wheel that is tied, in it's own bag, onto the the back pack so it can go into the hold of the plane. And, unlike with a bike, the weight is just the 5kg of the actual unicycle. I can cart it around without a big box and so I can depart from a different airport than the one I landed at. Eat your hearts out.

We will be covering a wide geographical area around France, Switzerland and Italy. While I will not get to ride as much as I do at home, I will still, hopefully, use it a lot for getting out in the early mornings to explore a few back lanes and see the day at it's best. **

I'm particularly looking forward to fourteen of us sharing a pair of super-slow canal boats down the Bergundy Canal. Lotsa riding for me that week - I should be able to outpace the boats with time to make some side-trips. :D I'm also hoping to see Perth boy Daniel Ricciardo on the podium at Monza.

If the various data options I have in place work then I will try and post some pics of where I am in the hope of generating an unhealthy level of envy. :twisted:

Thanks to all those that have responded with advice and suggestions.

** I have taken the uni away in the past - interstate and Mauritius - and it is about the best mode of exploring - faster than walking and it encourages strangers to engage with me.
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by BNA » Mon Aug 04, 2014 5:15 am

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Re: Off to Europe and it's gonna be a blast!

Postby gabrielle260 » Mon Aug 04, 2014 5:15 am

Colin, have a great trip!
Look forward to seeing photos and hearing about the conversations you strike up due to the uni!
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Re: Off to Europe and it's gonna be a blast!

Postby Oxford » Mon Aug 04, 2014 7:06 am

I always wanted to learn to unicycle and I agree it would be a great ice breaker when OS. Have a great time, I'm sure you will. My OS holiday is only 5 weeks away and I have never looked forward to a holiday so much as this one. I hope you really enjoy yourself and looking forward to hearing your reports.
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Re: Off to Europe and it's gonna be a blast!

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Mon Aug 04, 2014 10:39 am

Oxford wrote:I always wanted to learn to unicycle and I agree it would be a great ice breaker when OS. Have a great time, I'm sure you will. My OS holiday is only 5 weeks away and I have never looked forward to a holiday so much as this one. I hope you really enjoy yourself and looking forward to hearing your reports.

Like you, I'm really anticipating a great trip. Especially as I will be spending a fair bit of it in the regions of France. Last time we stuck to Paris and only realised, after wandering afield in Italy, what we missed out on.

I am particularly keen about a week on a pair of canal boats with a heap of friends, and another week in an ancient mill in the Dordogne, again with a group.

I hope you enjoy yours as much as I am certain to enjoy mine.
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Re: Off to Europe and it's gonna be a blast!

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Mon Aug 25, 2014 7:23 am

With the fun I have been having I haven't had much chance to check in.

It's bee n as great and better than i expected and we have been blessed with better than average weather which, we are told, has been less than perfect this year. I reckon that I have still been managing around 60km a week, maybe more, but i need to log it before I am certain. While that is only about half my normal rate, it isway better than I had anticipated being able to do. I have been doing early morning rides of some substance across the cobble stones of Paris and Strassbourg in France, of Zermatt and Lauterbrunnen in Switzerland and am now in Envaux in the Dordogne region of France.

I found that Paris had more people venturing onto the roads in bikes which seems to be a function of nothing more than including marked cycle lanes across the city - qite a few years later than we have done in Perth. (Five years ago I just saw lots of Velib bikes sitting idle at their docking points.)

As I expected the unicycle has been quite easy in regards to train travel. And, as in Oz, people give me a lot of extra courtesy that they may not extend to regular cyclists. Plenty of people stopping me for pics so if you see any pics popping up pls post and let me know. I don't have many of my own.

Bon journey and au revoir.
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Re: Off to Europe and it's gonna be a blast!

Postby Oxford » Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:27 am

I had a unicycle gifted to me, I gifted to someone, they have now offered it back to me. Based on your comments I am going to try it again, I figure it might even help with my back therapy. But most of all if I can use it overseas like you do and encourage people to talk to me, then that is the big plus. Thanks for the inspiration and keep having fun OS.
Building more roads to prevent congestion is like a fat man loosening his belt to prevent obesity.
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Re: Off to Europe and it's gonna be a blast!

Postby outnabike » Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:52 am

ColinOldnCranky wrote:With the fun I have been having I haven't had much chance to check in.

Bon journey and au revoir.



Well done Colin, that's the way to do it, everything else will always be there later. Sounds like a great trip.
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Re: Off to Europe and it's gonna be a blast!

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Wed Aug 27, 2014 2:41 am

Oxford wrote:I had a unicycle gifted to me, I gifted to someone, they have now offered it back to me. Based on your comments I am going to try it again, I figure it might even help with my back therapy. But most of all if I can use it overseas like you do and encourage people to talk to me, then that is the big plus. Thanks for the inspiration and keep having fun OS.

On my experience you may be right. Two weeks into daily riding - just the three kms to and from the bus at the time - it dawned on me that my regular and persistent back-spasms had taken a sustained holiday. (Perhaps they went to you instead. :mrgreen: )
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Re: Off to Europe and it's gonna be a blast!

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Wed Aug 27, 2014 2:41 am

Oxford wrote:I had a unicycle gifted to me, I gifted to someone, they have now offered it back to me. Based on your comments I am going to try it again, I figure it might even help with my back therapy. But most of all if I can use it overseas like you do and encourage people to talk to me, then that is the big plus. Thanks for the inspiration and keep having fun OS.

On my experience you may be right. Two weeks into daily riding - just the three kms to and from the bus at the time - it dawned on me that my regular and persistent back-spasms had taken a sustained holiday. (Perhaps they went to you instead. :mrgreen: )
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Re: Off to Europe and it's gonna be a blast!

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Wed Aug 27, 2014 3:11 am

We have been in the Dordogne region for a few days now staying at an ancient mill well away from any towns or shops. Until today, the weather has remained excellent. I have dropped of the riding a little with all the extra drinking that the region is suited for though. I have been taking note of paths when we drive along canals and, as others have told me, they should be perfect for me. Perhaps even too easy as I do like a few long slopes to attack.

I'm seeing a wide range of foods and places to eat it in Europe atm, Even some vanilla slices with the same heavy sweet custard and thick icing that often finish my ride on Fridays. So I have been able to manage without my morning Sassys session so far. However, I still miss the chat, the staff and the look of the Swan River.

In a few days we head to the other side of France for a week on a pair of canal boats. We make our way slowly through a hundred or so kms and I expect then to do some serious distances at last. For the time we are going to be hosting the soon-to-be-State-Guv next week. We have known Kerry for over 40 years and she joins us for the week on the canal boats. We are designating the canal boats "The Viceregal Boat" and "The Viceregal Tender". Not having a red carpet it has been suggested that we buy a red tea towel and lay it at her feet.Perhaps get her to rename the boat with a broken bottle of champers. And certainly red maple leaf flag of some others with us will have to hoisted below the boxing kangaroo flag that we have bought along.
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Re: Off to Europe and it's gonna be a blast!

Postby DamoE » Thu Aug 28, 2014 11:30 am

Are you suggesting that you wouldn't mind your fellow unicyclists, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg to pick up where they left off last week to help Ricciardo out?Image
For a team that's traditionally slow in a straight-line, Red Bull somehow usually seems to always do better at Monza than expected, so we'll see.

Enjoy the trip - there's not much that would top a unicycle for striking up conversation; I wish I was co-ordinated enough!
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Re: Off to Europe and it's gonna be a blast!

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Thu Aug 28, 2014 4:52 pm

I wasn't aware. THis opens up the possibility of filling a void in RIcciardo's training regimen.

How does the title "Special coach (Unicycling) to RIcciardo" sound?
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Re: Off to Europe and it's gonna be a blast!

Postby DamoE » Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:48 pm

You may just have an opportunity there!
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Re: Off to Europe and it's gonna be a blast!

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Fri Sep 19, 2014 2:43 am

I had intended posting regularly on thr graet tims I am having. Unfortunately however my windows tab had a dispute with a locker that it lost so I have been limited to a smartphone. Not great for this formu even with tapatalk.

Anyway, back in a week so perhaps I can get a few pics and tales pasted.

I can, however, report that I did lots of riding in France and Switzerland and that the canal paths are every bit as easy as others suggested.

And I did get onto one of those "dutch bike" things of not particularly good spec nor fitting and it was damned ornery and uncomfortable. 47kms is more comfortable on a unicycle frankly.
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