Well, it was my idea to cycle to the med, and as we said – “its only 1000 miles, how hard can it be?”…..
The answer is both “very hard” and “not too hard” – depends whether you think about it after a days cycling or after a week on the beach! To be fair, it was tough and a huge challenge, and very tough in places, but it is a very achievable challenge and we didn’t do anything superhuman to achieve it. It was good for us, we enjoyed the challenge, but it wasn’t that bad! Overall, it was 22 days cycling, 1000 miles, 105 hours riding, and 28 days with breaks. We took 6 weeks as we had lots of time on the beach.
Considering it was my idea, Mel probably enjoyed it the most, and we’d both do similar again (Mel would tomorrow!).
I would add, we were VERY lucky with the weather, getting wet on the first day or so only, then it only ever rained on a day-off or overnight…. Had it rained daily we’d have hated it….
- Very challenging and rewarding, and bizarrely quite relaxing!
- Some nice sights and a great target of hitting the med
- Met some nice and interesting people
- Lots of silly challenges, finding campsites, food, fixing the bike etc – as you are in the middle of nowhere a lot of the time it is challenging to test your preparation and skills to just get things done
- Good company and riding partner 🙂
- Mels dodgy knee caused no issues!
- All our GPS planning and equipment did the job
- The Weather!
- Mostly good route – 95% marked, 95% of that off road.
- Mainly traffic free
Not so good bits
- It will find your weaknesses, in our case, my knee 🙁
- It will break you and/or your equipment, and whist challenging it can be worrying when things go wrong
- The route is really rough in places – some “single track mountain biking” type, but only maybe 1-2% is that bad.
- The route skirts around some nice places and villages, and you have a choice of a 5km in/out ride or just to skip it. As we wanted to make progress we skipped a lot of interesting places as we couldn’t face a detour! This was even the case for eateries for the first half where they were limited
What we’d change
- Our trip was “to get to the med” – not really to tour along the way. In an area we knew less well, we’d probably want to stop off and explore smaller places more frequently. So for future cycle trips, take m
- The tent was great and suitable, but if it rained we couldn’t cook – so perhaps a tent with porch may have been better?
- We’d take less weight – we seemed to have twice as much as everyone we met!
We put costs in to help others in their planning. Everyone is different, we mainly cooked at camp rather than eating out, and we are excluding all the costs from our “beach holiday” at the end as these are irrelevant. These costs are what it cost us to get to the med and back. So, nights away = 31 (29 + overnight ferry over + overnight bus on return). So 22/23 days cycling with 6/7 days off.
- Campsite cost: €403
- Food & Drink (DIY): €276
- Food & Drink (eating out): €200
- Other odds n sods (e.g. laundry): €26
- Ferry over: €150
- Return bus: €357
- UK trains (not included)
- Other transport: €19
So, around €1450 for 4 weeks trip.
NOTE: The ACSI camping card cost us €10 and probably saved us more than €100 – especially on the med, so if you plan this then research it.
Here is a list of stuff we're taking with us.... Each item seems to best, or best value for money. Lots of new toys which hopefully will have use after the event!
Listed here for interest, and of course we get nominal commission from Amazon should you buy anything from an ad you click here which buys us a beer from time to time. Thanks 🙂