This year's little bike ride is following another river, the Danube, from it's source in Donaueschingen, Germany, some 750 miles to Budapest. This is the first half of the Danube cycling route - the second half would be to follow the river all the way to the Black Sea through , Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova and Ukraine. Maybe next year for that.
My last trip to the South of France back in September 2017 failed on the blogging front. I had decided to take only mobile phones for writing blogs, but it simply wasn't practical. I got so fed up with the lack of decent internet connection and ability to manipulate images that I simply gave up after about a post and a half! So this time I am taking a small 10 inch laptop with me. It's pretty lightweight and slips into my rucksack without being too noticeable. Hopefully this will allow me to do a bit more writing.
I have invested a little more in the bike for this one;
a new Brooks Flyer saddle
a Redshift ShockStop suspension stem
which between them should hopefully take some of the bumps out of the road.
A new sleeping matt was a necessity as the old one developed a leak on the last tour, meaning I had to wake 3 times a night and re-inflate it! I have gone for a Klymit Static V2;
And I have decided to take a leap back into the solar power game (almost half expecting to be disappointed) with a new solar panel to strap over the back paniers and use when camping - this Anker PowerPort 21W;
The trip begins with a flight out to Stuttgart in Germany and then a local train up to the source at Donaueschingen, where I have a hotel booked for the night before setting off the next morning.
This is a well travelled route - part of the EuroVelo 6 cycling route, so there should be plenty of other cyclists around. That's one of the nice things about camping on these tours, generally there are other cyclists to cross paths with and swap stories or share a beer with. Hopefully English speaking as my German is awful!
UPDATE: Having researched quite extensively I have invested in a bike trailer. The option I have gone for is the Free Parable T2 single wheeler.
My initial trials of this suggest that I will find the weight much easier, being centred low and behind the bike. The bag on top if water proof and easily big enough for all of the gear which previously would have been in two pannier bags and strapped over the top of them. I intend to strap the solar panel to the top of this trailer bag to try and soak up some rays while travelling. My only concern is getting this on and off trains! Could be fun...