Bike Journal: Russia / Europe 2016

(Yellow path shows general intended path. Replaced by actual route in red as it unfolds. [ updated: Dec. 10]
Click icons on map to jump to that day’s post, or use index below.)

A bike trip 19 years in the making!
Across Russia and Europe on two wheels, one stomach and an infinite supply of snark.


Background / Planning

Social Media

Posted on: Saturday Dec. 10, 2016 @ 22:08 MST
Finish and Return to Canada
Following my recovery in Poland, I got back on the bike in early November, and made it as far as Bilbao, Spain by December 7.

For various reasons (I have to recover my cats back in Canada; also I am not allowed to stay in the Schengen zone much longer) Bilbao is the end of the trip and I am returning from here to Canada. I would have liked to make it to Portugal as originally intended, but it's not to be. And I still made it to the Atlantic Ocean, which is darn well close enough!

I arrived on Bilbao on Day 113 of travel - a little short of 4 months actively biking. Which means that I still have 37-odd journal entries (!!) to catch up on. Still planning to do that; they should hopefully come in (slowly, perhaps) over the next couple months.

In the meantime, it's, uh, been a slice!
Posted on: Friday Oct. 21, 2016 @ 07:07 MST
Re: Bike Trip
I hope you are better and recovering!
Posted on: Wednesday Sep. 28, 2016 @ 12:55 MST
Update: Delay in Poland
A quick update for those not following social media. (Typing is hard and slow, as will be explained, so nothing too long.)

Have encountered a bit of a setback: managed to cut my hand fairly seriously while opening a package of bike parts (with zip ties, etc.) - the knife slipped, went into my thumb, and within a few hours I was in the hospital waiting for surgery.

A week later, I'm out of the hospital, and facing a 6 week recovery before I can ride a bike again.

We'll see how things pan out, but for now, the plan is to wait around here (Wrocław, SW Poland), then if possible, resume the trip with a slight delay, but getting to Portugal by the first week of December.

Again, because I'm one-handed for a while, updates may be slower than hoped. But we'll see. Other than the hand, doing well enough. And there are worse places in the world to undergo an enforced convalescence...
Posted on: Friday Sep. 23, 2016 @ 20:36 MST
Re: Bike Trip
Good on you, Sean. following you every now and then. Impressive getting through Russia; do not let your guard down...Europe can de tricky too, esp. 'enticing' places south where it si easy to lounge around.
Posted on: Saturday Sep. 17, 2016 @ 10:52 MST
New route
Through Poland because... *shrug* changed my mind.

The route through Europe was never very fixed; it was just a "best guess" - I was thinking south because I didn't know how cold it would be (recall my original plan was to get a multi-entry visa for Russia, so I would have taken longer and not reached Europe until almost October.)

But yeah - for various reasons, changed my mind. Heading through Poland - friend in Wrocław - then through Prague and Germany - friend in Nuremberg, and will check out Oktoberfest in Munich. Then over to Switzerland, visit a friend in Geneva. And from there down through France and Spain / Portugal.

For now.
Posted on: Saturday Sep. 17, 2016 @ 03:46 MST
Re: Bike Trip
Sean, why are you in Poland? You were supposed to go to the south...not t Hungary?
Posted on: Wednesday Sep. 14, 2016 @ 08:29 MST
Current progress: In Poland! Blog posts: eh, they'll get here.
Sorry for not keeping up with the blog as frequently as I'd hoped. In case anyone is wondering, I am still here and am still ok! Just... it takes a while to write blog entries, and at the end of a day full of biking, I don't always have as much energy or time as I'd like (by the time I check into a hotel -- if I am at a hotel -- have a shower, and some dinner, it's usually after midnight, and the prospect of spending another couple hours writing is just... ehh.)

So I am slowly adding blog entries and will eventually get caught up! The key word there is just "slowly."

In the meantime, I am through Russia safely, and past Ukraine - just entered Poland yesterday (September 13)!

Current progress (in general):

For a quick one-glance idea where I am, the red line on the map above is usually kept pretty up-to-date (every time I have wi-fi access, anyway, which in practice is generally at least once every 3 days).

Social media is also kept mostly current, since it's easy to quickly do from my phone as I go along: Instagram for photos, Twitter for occasional additional commentary. (I will often, e.g.: make a tweet about something both to mention it in general, and also to remind myself about it later when I do finally get around to updating the blog post for that day - so you can basically think of the twitter feed as a summary/preview). I also do respond regularly to comments and questions on social media.

The SPOT gps tracker is exactly that - it uses GPS not internet, so is basically "always on" (except at night when I turn it off to save battery power, and then forget to turn it on again in the morning, *ahem*) and always up to date; refreshes every 30 minutes.

Anyway: closing in on the ¾ mark so not too far away from the end now - only western and (part of) central Europe to go! Anticipating an arrival date on the Atlantic coast of Nov. 3...
Posted on: Monday Aug. 22, 2016 @ 06:00 MST
Re: Bike Trip
Sean, I am following you. Very interesting reading. I hope you are ok, did not hear from you for a while. Good luck!
Posted on: Sunday Jul. 31, 2016 @ 23:31 MST
Re: Bike Trip
Hi Sean! It's Natasha, Sascha Ferley wife, we've met a couple of times in Vancouver Sascha told me about your Russian trip and it is so exciting!!!! I was checking your map and it looks you are planning to ride through Ufa. That's where I'm from and still have lots of friends there. If you want I can hook you up with my friends while you are there Let me know. My email: xxx@xxx, cell: xxx.

Have a great trip!!!!!!
Posted on: Tuesday Jul. 5, 2016 @ 01:11 MST
Re: Bike Trip
Bonjour Sean,

Nous nus sommes rencontrés sur la Transsibérienne, je suis avec on fils et un Porsche 928
Sommes arrivés à Vladivostok, prenons le bateau demain destination Japon

J'espère que tout se passe bien pour toi, take care
J'ai plusieurs photos de toi sur ton vélo, peux ti me dire sur quel support je peux te les envoyer ? par mail serait le mieux
Je te donne le mien : xxx@xxx

Amitiés  Philippe
Posted on: Monday Jul. 4, 2016 @ 16:34 MST
Re: Bike Trip
Kirk & Su said:

If you take a detour to Dubai

Thanks for the offer!

I don't know that it's in the plans, but who knows - I keep half-expecting that I'll get tossed out of Russia at some point for some random infringement of the rules...

Either way, will keep it in mind.
Posted on: Saturday Jul. 2, 2016 @ 16:50 MST
Re: Bike Trip
Hi Sean,
If you take a detour to Dubai en route make sure you stop in!
Otherwise best of luck with your journey and Watch out for those bears.
Best wishes.
Kirk and Su.
Posted on: Thursday Jun. 2, 2016 @ 20:10 MST
Re: Bike Trip
Hi Sean, we are following you closely!! haha, so you can't blog yet, but we can check the comments, that will give us an idea of what is going on. Did you get a bike yet?
Posted on: Thursday Jun. 2, 2016 @ 19:29 MST
Re: Bike Trip
Hope all is going well.  How's the borscht?
Posted on: Thursday Jun. 2, 2016 @ 05:55 MST
Re: Bike Trip
Thanks Alex!

Been a busy busy couple of days. I have a long post queued up for this page, but my blog is giving me issues posting it and I haven't had time to debug. Should be soon...!
Posted on: Wednesday Jun. 1, 2016 @ 03:15 MST
Re: Bike Trip
Hey Sean,

So cool to see you in Vladivostok! Try to find a trivia game! Will follow your journey.
Posted on: Sunday May. 29, 2016 @ 22:31 MST
Re: Bike Trip
Have a fabulous adventure!
Posted on: Saturday May. 28, 2016 @ 17:01 MST
Re: Bike Trip
Bon Voyage Sean!

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