Yesterday, relaxing in front of viennas hofburg with friends, I noticed a guy on a travelling bike in the distance. I immediately knew: I had to talk to that guy. He seemed to be on a bigger tour, considering the huge bags his bike carried. Leisurely pedalling through downtown vienna, I was able to run after him and he turned out to be an incredibly nice guy. Peter is his name, he’s Austrian, and he had just that day returned from a three month bike tour in south-east Asia. What a coincidence! He told me a little bit about his trip and I was quite impressed.
Selfish as I am, I immediately seized the opportunity to ask Peter for advice concerning my journey to Nice.
Peter on mapping and GPS: “I didn’t bring an iPad, smartphone or computer with me. I relied on locals and other travellers for valuable advice (or internet access), and on a physical overview map. Maybe I am a bit old-fashioned in a way that I don’t want to use GPS or electronic devices for orientation. Especially in Asia though, where most of the streets and paths are not mapped anyway, I was better off with a physical map. I wouldn’t recommend taking an iPad with you, because what happens if you drop it or it gets wet? How do you recharge it on the road? Especially in Europe, you can get a map at every gas station, so I wouldn’t worry too much about orientation.”
Peter on planning the journey: “I didn’t really prepare too much beforehand. As for sleeping, I brought a tent or crashed at random auberges that came up on my way. I didn’t waste my time booking hotels and stuff. If an auberge was full, it was full. Period. That worked out very well for me.”
Peter on saddles: “I’ve been very satisfied with my Rido saddle. Ive got it on all of my bikes. It takes off the weight from the sensible crotch area and therefore prevents too much punctual pressure. Plus it is flexible, and this suspension adds to the ride comfort.”
Peter on inspiration: “You should definitely check out ‘crazy guy on a bike dot com’! Lots of routes and reports from other bike travellers.”
Thanks Peter, it was nice and inspiring meeting you!