Friday, May 28, 2010


Getting a bunch of stickers made up to give to people along the way.
Drop us an email if you would like some.

33 Days to go

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A poor excuse for an itinerary

So here is a map of our trip and it is about as detailed as it's going to get while we are in Australia.  Because of the weight of maps and books we have only bought the Lonely Planet for Sweden at this stage. We will hopefully swap it for one on Estonia , and so on throughout the trip.

FYI The lonely planet book on Sweden weighs in at nearly half a kilo! Times that by 10 and we’d be schlepping around an extra 5kgs – our clothing allowance.

We fly in to Stockholm, explore the city, and then ride to Gothenburg. That’s out first 450kms knocked over…
From what we have read there are plenty of campsites along the way, beside spectacular lakes and protected forests.
We would also like to explore Gotland , a small island off the East coast of Sweden that has around 100 medieval churches, the highest concentration in northern Europe. 

Then it’s across the Baltic on a 12+ hour ferry ride to arrive in Tallinn , the world famous capital of Estonia and we will hopefully be meeting some of Marcus’ extended family.

From Estonia we will ride through Latvia and Lithuania then make our way into Poland and then Germany. We imagine spending a fair amount of time in Germany as it is such a bicycle friendly country and it should be easy for us to get around. We would also like to go south to Munich where Miriam has a family friend (Hi Bill!) and we could get some guided tours from another keen cyclist. 

The Netherlands and Brussels are also on the list. We are looking forward to rolling into Amsterdam – The Mecca for cycling (and other recreational activities…).

We are planning to cross over into France at the beginning of October. So we basically have three months to get there, then 2 months in France and Spain and fly out from of Madrid December 1. In Spain we will be staying with Marcus’ cousin Nik , who may make a guest cameo appearance somewhere further north.

Miriam is especially looking forward to Paris.
Marcus is especially looking forward to opp shopping in the Baltic.

Our camping trial may have to be post-phoned until next weekend as it had been raining cats and dogs here in Sydney.

If you have any recommendations we would love to hear them, as our routes are not planned and we are happy to be guided by the good experiences of others.

35 days and counting

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Super Slow Sundays

So today we took part in the Central Coast ‘Century Challenge’ bike ride put on by the Rotary club. We only did the short leg that was 40kms and it was initially just to test out the panniers and get a feel for the bikes when loaded up. However, we also got to test out our new rain jackets. Marcus went all out with trying to emulate our baggage and included a tent, sleeping bags, sleeping mat, pillow, clothes, camera, tool kit, spare shoes, and even a set of knives and forks. At the early hour of 6.30am on a Sunday, Miriam weighed down her 2 panniers with a 2kg dumbbell, a selection of books, including one on decorating your home, another called ‘Campervan Crazy’ (all about decked out kombis) and some random unsuitable clothing all included to create the 10 kilo limit she’d set for herself.

All in all it was a lovely ride even though we rode with the rain streaming down our faces and into our eyes for about half the time (and had numb fingers and toes).

Our overloaded bikes also received more than a passing glance and the occasional comment. Our competitors flew past on their featherweight road bikes rendering us inert at our average speed of 15kms (barely a snails pace by comparison)

Now that we’ve past today’s little test we’re planning a weekend away. Combining a bit actual load weight and real camping and a trial run at being ‘self sufficient’. Hopefully its not raining but we have ordered wet weather pants from wiggle so there really won’t be any excuse.

Thanks to Jeremy for today’s photos and his patience, he had to stop and wait for us more times than he’s had hot breakfasts.

There is so much to write about but coming up shortly will be:
- Our rough itinerary (we would love your recommendations)
- Inventory of all the gear (if you think you'd fancy a spot of cyclotouring)
- The low-down of our bikes (brought to you by Marcus)

39 Days until departure

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Leather Saddle

Is a dairy of a life changing adventure across Europe.
A five month journey that will take us, Marcus and Miriam, on our bicycles
from Sweden to Spain and eight countries in between.

Along the way we will write about our discoveries
and hopefully share a part of the excitement and adventure with you.

Why the Leather Saddle?

For comfort, because it's the one part of a bicycle that get's better with
use, a well worn saddle is a story in itself.