RTW Planning – Cycling throughout Europe

(This post was written long before I decided to travel around the world by bicycle. I have kept the post, for historical purposes. At the time the post was originally written, the idea was to spend a much shorter time, travelling by trains, buses, ferries, and so on)

In my younger years, I regularly rode a bicycle. Whether that was to school, or for fun on the weekends. As I grew older, and, more likely, lazier, my bicycle saw less and less use. As I continue to plan for my round the world trip, I’ve been considering some of the ways in making my way through Europe. Most people that know me, know that train is by far my favourite way to travel.

SBB class RABe 523, number 523 012-3, at Zug, Switzerland. 13th June, 2005

Lately, however, my thoughts have been more directed at cycling instead. I’ve now come to the decision that this will be one of my primary means of travel, in conjunction with travelling by train. A perfect partnership, in my opinion. Use trains for the longer distances, and the bicycle for the shorter distances and passing through towns and villages that may be a little far off the railway network. Many of Europe’s trains allow for the transportation of bicycles. Now, while this may not be possible on high speed trains, such as France’s TGV, or Germany’s ICE, there are a large number of regional and local trains that do cater for bicycles. As far as ground transport is concerned, there’s nothing quite like the freedom of using your own legs to power your means of movement, and to give you the power of taking things at your own pace. It’s time I bought myself a bicycle, and to get used to riding them again!

A girl riding through Amsterdam. 2nd July, 2004
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  1. Raza

    24th November, 2014 at 04:08

    That’s a great idea! Traveling by train to farther places will save you time, but biking through closer villages and towns will let you see more of the country. Good plan. 🙂

    -Raza from http://www.thetravelixir.com


    • Stephen

      24th November, 2014 at 06:30

      Thanks for your comment, Raza! It really is a no brainer, isn’t it. As I said, best of both worlds. 🙂


  2. Travel with G

    4th March, 2015 at 03:36

    Great idea! Well, you know I love trains, too. But I think bike and train are a great combo. I haven’t ridden a bike in Europe – although I certainly had opportunities in Copenhagen (one of the greatest bike cities in the world), Amsterdam, Scandinavian countries, Paris. I’ve been too intimidated by the huge numbers of cyclists and all the rules of the road. Ha, ha. I’ve been a chicken.


    • Stephen

      4th March, 2015 at 07:34

      Since writing that post, I’ve decided to cycle all around the world. Suffice to say, I’ve been inspired by a few cyclists who have/are using a bicycle has their primary mode of transport.


      • Travel with G

        5th March, 2015 at 10:18

        Are you really!? Wow. I’m impressed. Just don’t eliminate trains altogether, though… I think a combination of both would be amazing. Whatever you do, I wish you all the best. Cheers, G.


        • Stephen

          10th March, 2015 at 00:06

          I probably won’t eliminate trains altogether. I still have that option. 🙂


  3. […] He had recently completed a journey, cycling from London to Auckland. Only a few weeks before, I had already decided to ride through Europe, but using the train for the long haul distances. Anyhow, back to […]


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