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Of summer

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Ayer cycling along the whole English southern coast (I can tell you it’s quite a fair bit!) I crossed the channel eventually on a boring ferry and then cycled through Belgium Netherlands and Germany along a rough straight line west east towards Leipzig. I did use mainly cycle routes/way/paths  and depending on the region, the design of them is very different !

I stayed at several Warmshoes hosts (5during the whole trip) with was very enjoyable because there are nice people and because it’s good after days in the “wild”;)   Some conversations with like minded people and some extra comfort…

Since I am in Germany I am enjoying very much thcountry generals speaking. Cycling is here made very easy and enjoyable food is cheap and good. People are friendly.

Great time ! Now heading to Leipzig for an even more great time for a new chclocamp !!! Yeeepeee

2012 !!! update part 2 !

Saturday, August 4th, 2012


PHOTO LINK

I just wrote a big sum up to keep up to date, so see last post to know how I spent winter in trains and van, and know about my way back from Morocco through Portugal, Spain and Sardegna, Italy, Alps to Grenoble for the great Cyclocamp…

The next summer trip started just a couple of weeks after arriving home, I got my bent out of the attic an started to cross France right in the middle, towards Brittany. I reached Concarneau on time for the Velorution Universelle. Great fun with the big french family of bike-freaks-friends. From there, I went to Brest, where a good friend of mine who works on a tall ship. I ended up member of the crew…. and crossed over to Falmouth, England ! From Falmouth, I cycled Cornwall, Devon (through the Dartmoors) , Dorset to arrive to Weymouth where a good friend of mine lives: Nick my former flatmate from Scotland. A great unhealthy break !

I arrived in Weymouth for a Week end, and eventually left it on Wednesday… of the next week !!! I really felt home there, hosted by a top  friendly bunch of metal heads, I’ve had a great weeks going out for several gigs and pubs crawls, discover of the Cheddar Valley, went twice on Portland, been a freegan cause I like it and I was running out of cash (complicates bank stories for me in the UK)… I made a short trip HH/train to Bath, visit very much enjoyed, hanged out in the traffic free town. Well, to be short, it has been an greatly awesome and tiring big week of rest 🙂

Now its time to move on, direction Dover !

PHOTO LINK

 

2012 update !

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

First update indeed since a reaallly long time, a LOT of things happened in my life since that miserable time in Romania, after the Rosia montana camp, and the loss of our bikes…
We first started to do some Woofing in the eastern Transylvania, at an English lady’s place, trying to set up a forest garden in a gorgeous area, off all grid, in a forest packed with bears… From there it has been possible to do a a few other very different woof experience in both, more traditional, and more organic/activist orientated. Great and cold time, till december 2011.
We then went back to Vienna for a while, I felt very comfy there, so I stayed for a couple of weeks, sort of organising a bit my future long in advance… and Ana wanted to get quickly back home, so she hopped on a bus straight to Grenoble… I left Vienna with an interrail ticket in the pocket, and started to travel by train for a month; I visited some friends in Germany, before heading home for Christmas through Basel. A week with family and friends, and then I left again to be in Prague for the new year. From there, I went for a few days in Warszawa then to Berlin, and ending my interrail in Paris, for a crazy week along with the velorution crew !

End of January we experienced a strong cold wave, and meeting my best friend who cycled to Africa the year before made us very quickly decide to buy a cheap (very cheap) van stuff it with an awful lot of stuffs of all sorts, pack it with tools, spare parts, wheels and top it with bikes plus 2 mid tall bikes. Direction: Africa. Mid february, We started the trip by a tour of a few bike workshops in southern France (Marseille, friends in Montpellier, Pamiers and Perpignan) to give away some parts from the Ptit vElo danS la Tete.Then we drove through Spain, and arriving near Murcia in the middle of the night, the gearbox broke… A damn pain in the ass for a renault trafic… it took us 2 week, and more than the price of the van to fix it… we even had to hitchhike back to France to buy one that would fit… 40 types of gearboxes released in 5 years for these vans…  The one we found was not even quite the same, gears were a bit different, and a cable sticked out the floor to engage the reverse 🙂

Later on, the 9th of March, we arrived in Morocco. We started to sell a couple of stuff to get lighter, to give a go to street business, and to finance our local needs… we then had a good break at some friends in the countryside, very traditional, were people speak Arabic only.   great time. crazy people. amazing experiences.  We heard there that although the selling of old vehicle is prohibited in this country, that you can sell them in the spanish cities included in Marocco (Ceuta and Melilla). We were running a bit late on the climate time, Sylvain thought a lot to his girlfriend in France, the van was in condition always poorer (lost 2 indicators, stuck the diesel filter, broke 2 wheels, had a petrol leak, started warm with more and more difficulties) so engaging for the desert cross was probably not the best idea; it was also hot time in Mali. So we got rid of everything in a couple of weeks, went to Ceuta, didn’t manage a sale good enough, went to Melilla through the Rif (!!!) and sold the van there for the glorious amount of 270€

That was the end of a great month in an incredible country, incredible people.

We split up our path in Malaga, where I started a new bike trip on a tall bike. I stayed for some days at friends doing helpX beside Malaga, went for a week back home for the death of my grandma’,  and then really started an amazing bike trip. I went through Andalucia, to an occupied farm, trying to support lovely people who claim the access to the land, in a region with heavy unemployement, and land not being used appart as a reason to get europeean subsidies…

I then went to Portugal, to experience my first Rainbow gathering. Wonderfull week despite daily rain. Very peacefull and full of energy place and people. I enjoyed it, stayed a bit longer than the plans was, in order to be on time at the Pucelona, the Spanish national Crtical Mass this year in Valladolid; and visit on the way OpenEland. I’ve done it all ! Tough cycling there because of the moutains all over the place, but very enjoyable, and sustained with the help of lors of Cana and Tapas !

After the Pucelona, the next bike freaks event set up as a goal was the Ciemonna in Roma, Italy. So from Valladolid, I cycled to Barcelona, along with Marlene from Lyon/Nantes, very involved in Bike networks. Great country cross, almost all the time with west winds !

In Barcelona, we met many other friends that just cycled from home through south France and Catalunya (to avoid having to cross the Alp) to reach Barcelona, so we took all together a 24h ferry to go to Roma, and arrived perfectly on time to celebrate a very long WE of partys and critical masses ! Amazing Ciemonna !

From Roma to go back home well, to Grenoble for the Cyclocamp, I preferred to go to Sardegna in order to avoid northern Italy. So did 7 other mates. A first group went there quickly after the Ciemonna, I went there alone for 2 or 3 days, and then 3 friends joined me on a tiny island, just off the south western Sardegnan’s coast, called Isola di San Pietro. Amazing place, amazing experiences. we then cycled all along the coast from south to north. I went alone again for the end, and especially for the Alps crossing. From Genova, I took a train to Cuneo, to win a day for the cyclocamp, I was a bit late, and from there, I cycled in a straight line, passing by the Col d’Agnel (2744m, second highest pass in Europe) incredibly long, steep, and wild then col de l’Izoard (2360m) and then col du Lautaret (2060m). all that in 2,5 days, including the way down to Grenoble campus

Sad news…

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

We went to a reclaim the field gathering (reclaimthefields.org) and there is also a resistance against an horrible mining project. Rosia Montana gold corporation (Canadian based comp) invested massively here and don’t like people who are against their projects… so our bicycles (plus 2 others) disappeared… (4 bicycles and a trailor have been stolen here, all well locked and hidden at night, left for less than 2 ours in a place where almost no one go except the “security staff of the gold corporation” )

What this company does here is really insane and horrible,they buy everything, land, people’s life and consciousness, police, mayor, and even the priests!!
here:
http://rosiamontana.org/en/categorii.shtml?x=32839&cmd[321]=c-1-32839&cmd[316]=x-322-32839&set[319]=selected-32839
you’ll find out more.
PLEASE spread the word as much as you can to your networks,because the gold corp also bought most of media so they are only nicely advertised for… and in western europe, almost no one has ever heard about this whole thing that started to be planned more than 10 years ago. Now it mus be quickly know because the Romanian government may change a law to autorize the private company to expropriate peoples from their land. this will also open the possibility to other new really bad mining projects all across the country.

it doens’t mean the end of our trip, but the end of the bicycle journey. we will now have to hitchhike our way…

from Budapest

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

As foreseen, I’m not good to keep this blog up to date since I don’t have often access to the web on my trip, then I have to get sorted with my emails, to put something on my “main” french blog, and then, if I’m not too lazy and still have some spare time, I can manage to write here…
This is the case right now in Budapest! Indeed I’m here for a few days, staying at a very friendly bike kitchen’s activists place, who kindly let me the use of her laptop. so here we go for a wee sum up of what we’ve been up to since last post from Passau, Germany.
I mainly cycled along the Danube, wich is not he éost exciting cycling ever, but still pleasant. Very easy, well sign posted in the german speaking countries, with quite a few different sorts of landscape, anda LOT of other people on their bikes.
the first “step” that caught me for over a week was next to Linz, western Austria, where was held the first ever CYCLOCAMP. It was an amazing meeting self organised by the bike kitchen people from Linz, Vienna and Graz (check out http://bikekitchen.net and http://cyclocamp.org )
Amazing time and experience, with very lovely and interesting people. Not so many of them (we were around a hundred), it wasn’t about the quantity, but it was all about the quality !
They inveited us in Vienna, to visit this nice city, as well as to sped some time in their bike kitchen. To get there, we cycled 11 of us together during a few days. Their were Spanish, Italian, German and French people along with. It was a very funny ride all together, with funny and friendly people, lovely time, with a good weather, eventually after 2 weeks of “UK alike” weather 🙂
We felt so good in Vienna, that we stayed way longer than was the frst initial plan… about 3 weeks! In the meantime, for some several and strange reasons, I decided myself to go quickly there and back home, hitchhiking in 2 and half days what I cycled in about a month… A trip within the trip. There I have had great hitch hiking experiences, lots of fun and interesting persons met on my way, I can’t really detail, but its was just great. dame for the way back to Vienna. we stayed there an other few days, before eventually managing to set off towards Bratislava. But only by small steps. the first day we completed only 20km, stopping at an amazing lake, populated by happy hippies, within a natural reserve, very nice area that should be kept secret. another 2 days down there… so pleasant!
From there we cycled in a big national ark were we tried to sleep, and one hour after pitching the tent, the forest keeper came along and asked us to move away, to a tent place “10km” away… we never found it and after 1h30 cycle by night, we pitched the tent next to a fied. second mistake, the farmer woke us up at 6 in the morning and kindly told us to fuck off within 5 min otherwise he would call the police… Austria was great, exept this time of leaving it…
This allowed us to arrive very early in Bratislava, having a breakfast in a park, and then visiting this small capital, as good tourists…
from there we kept on along the Danube, in boiling hot conditions, struggling to find way to bath, but we managed to find a nice and clean lake not too far. later on we slept direcltly on the digue without the tent this time, what wasn’t a good idea because of mosquitos… the 2 next days we kept on the Slovakian side of the Danube, on a digue with lots of gravels, so we rode even slowlier, and have had and other “mosquito” spot, and a last much better spot a bit further for the last night in Slovakia. We crossed over to Hungaria at Esztergom bridge, which is a very nice city, somehow touristy but still very nice.
From there the cycle route (eurovelo 6) was again here (we sort of lost it in Slovakia) and it was again easy cycling. This allowed us to arrive rather quicly in Budapest, just on time on a monday at 6 for the opening of the local bike kitchen, which is located is the attic of a huge bar, community friendly, nice bar. we left down our bike heavy loaded, with flag, and at night, a Vienna friend from the cargo bike collective (very nice thing) recognizes our bicycles and strated looking for us. He found us and invited us the day after to a sightseeing tour with a Budapest friend, of course on bikes! just great! Morever, he and his girlfriend are involved in a camp heldp in Romania en of September: reclaim the fields (http://reclaimthefields.org) we’re gonna go there!
Since then we also enjoy Budapest, we met again our french friends on a tandem, Adeline&Gab (blog vents d’ouest), we spent some time with our very friendly host (yesterday was a party at the green party) and we will try some baths…
travelling is great !

New TRIP !!!

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

I been waiting for a while this new and long trip!
In the same time, as I said in my last post, rather old now btw, time flies!
So I’ve had great time back in Grenoble in our wonderfull association the “Pt’tit velo dans la tete” but its now over, and my great bike trip is on!
So Ana and me started from Grenoble the 2 of July, direction Switzerland. we already knew a bit about this country, but this time we got a lot more that what we bargained for 🙂 We wern’t expecting anything special, but a lot of happy and friendly things happened to us; Swiss people were very open and friendly people. From there Ana went to Basel to meet with a good friend of her for a 2 weeks females only bike trip. In the meantime, I’ve been on my own, riding mostly alone, going to visit other bile workshops in Bern, where I stayed for a few days. Then I decided not to go straight to Germany as I was first planning to, but I wanted to stay a bit more in this great country, so I travelled toward Interlaken, and Luzern. In Luzern I stayed one night at an old host/friend: Serge, a pragliding addict, very funny and friendly. This place were also the meet point with Alex, an other old friend (met first in Scotland), so I went with him to his parent’s place in Konstanz, Germany, next to a huge lake. Thereafter I travelled across Bavaria, under rather wet conditions, but people there made it anyway a great time. Cycling there is easy, safe and very enjoyable !
So far, this trip is going in such a way, that I can only tell postive things about it; everything is really pleasant!

Riding heavy

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

An other week riding a bike… I have had a week holidays and therefore decided to go cycling!
I went through the Vercors, then Diois, after home in Ardèche and then back to Grenoble, all that with a heavy trailer behind my bike, carrying moutain and winter gear, spare tyres and wheel and other stuff.. from home to Grenoble, I moved stuff like table, duvet, plants, and other winter stuff.. the weather has been absolutely lovely, now its over and in the rainy city I’m gonna stay at the workshop!

Time flies….

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

I didn’t give a lot of news about me in the last months: I did not have any spare time to spend time to write on a computer… The main reason is the fact that I’m lucky enough to live an exhilarating life, which is awesome. Indeed, since I’m back in France I experienced only exciting and lovely time: I met up with my family at home&gardens, then with most of my friends in Grenoble; then I went for a tandem tour that brought me and my best friend up on the Mt Ventoux, down south then towards west through the Cévennes; after that we met our girlfriends, swaped for a week on the tandem to get in northern France to the first Permafest (Permaculture festival), AWESOME. Then I came back to Grenoble to move in a big house of 8, and to start my new job for 6 months: I’ve been hired by my lovely association where I volunteered for a few years (I still do as my contract is 28 h/week, I spent about twice this time). This job is incredibly tiring exhausting exciting and I love it!! Basically I do most of the stuff needed to help the association to run. Our member get the access to 2 workshops where they find general and specialised tools, all the spare part for free except the wheels and volunteers that help them to fix their bike, maintain it, improve it change it and so on… Aside we do quite a few even in the city, and some other in partnership with other associations. Everything in this life, this job, this town is so stimulating, my days at the workshops last at least 12h, I meet an incredible amount of people everyday, and it’s socially very very interesting, as well as it is to learn a lot about exotic bicycle fixation! And of course with plenty of good old friends over here, a crazy flatshare, hem actually house-share, the mountains around for the great outdoor adventures and all that, it is just impossible to spend enough time on my computer!

Tandem fixation

Sunday, July 19th, 2009

Here in Grenoble at the Pti VelO dans la tEte, me and Sylvain are preparing the tandem since more than a week; cause it takes time to find the stuff, work properly… and to live and experience exciting time and people around here!
We’ve also been through some difficulties challenging us, for example to find a long axe for the rear bottom bracket, very hard. We did a hitchhiking trip to Chambery to a huge bike shop, and in the end we didn’t find it and we have to swap the 2 bottom brackets to move the crank from the front to the rear. Change some other or poor quality stuff, like old tube, an old screw doing the tension of the third brake, a holder for the rear handle bar, a new and adjustable for the front that we nicked on a bike of the stock, , realign the front wheel cause we did fall once: on a wet tramway, a few minutes after speaking about that… the thoughts creates! so we broke a pedal and scratch my knee and big toe. quite a lot small and big various things to do. A funny night out with Ben, a great biicycle man getting maried soon… and more about the tandem before we leave!

Time flies, even at home!

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

I spent a few days at home doing repairs and outdoor stuff; a quick jump in Grenoble; a WE in northern France helping out to mount a Yourte and then back here to prepare the tandem and sort out a few things at home… soon on the road again for plenty of new adventures!
see you! F