New Year 2018 – Cycling The Climbs of Halifax, The Banks of The Thames To The Olympic Park and The Beast From The East.

Its March 8th 2018, I haven’t a clue where January and February have gone and I am sat inside getting ready to post this up away from ‘The Pest From the West’ what feels like the last hangover of snow for this year. I wrote most of this ‘snowed in’ at home (…could have easily gone out if I wanted to) courtesy of ‘The Beast from The East’. Since the First of January, other than turning 33, I have cycled 897 miles, taking in 79,964 feet in climbing while cycling for 71 hours and 10 minutes. This, with my brain wired up the way it is, tells my I could have made it to the South of France, East Germany or even back to see Magdalena in Zurich. I would then be looking forward to cycling the ‘Axenstrasse’ and the ‘Gotthard Pass’  instead of being sat here in Halifax itching to be travelling again and seeing something new with all these miles. It’s been a testing new year but also a very rewarding one, with every type of weather throwing itself in front of me and the bike. My miles have been mostly commuting with a couple of really significant rides thrown in for good measure, including a trip down to London to cycle The Thames and to The Olympic Village. Unlike last winter, when having an automobile meant I could shy away from adverse weather when I wasn’t feeling like riding, this year it was ride or don’t get there after my decision to commit fully to being a cyclist by selling it last March.

So….. January, Another New Year and as with most people, when a new year comes around, I started to set some new goals and think about what I might do in the year ahead. I decided that I would try and do 120 miles a week for the full year, building on the 100 that I was trying to do between my ride to Italy and Christmas. As I did the previous year, I stayed in on New Years Eve in order to get up bright and early and attack 2018. Last New Years Day seems a lifetime ago and was a massive learning curve for me, as I set off to do the coast to coast and failed due to a failure to prepare, which is covered in its own blog and in its way pushed me on to cycling across Europe and to be where I am today. So back to this new years day. Due to my approach of daily rides spread across the whole week as opposed to big individual rides and although it was great weather again, I decided to keep it quite light for the first day of the year. I cycled the 47 Mile round trip to Methley Village in Rothwell (Leeds/Wakefield), to see a good friend of mine and co-incidently one of my main supporters when i’m Cycling Into The Unknown. We Had a New Year catch up, filed up on cheese on toast and I headed back, hitting premature darkness and a flash flood on my way into Halifax. All you need to know about that ride is covered in this ‘Relive’ video below.

Following the first day of the year it was straight back to the grind for the next 4 days, cycling the daily 9.7 mile, 100ft commute from Halifax to Cullingworth, giving me my near 20 miles a day midweek.

A great present and gesture from my good friend Steven Murphy.

By the weekend of the same week, the New Year energy was still flowing and I was keen to get as many of the ‘CYCLING CLIMBS OF YORKSHIRE’ ticked off as I could, So I decided on a massively testing ride for January 6th. Three of the Climbs in one ride, Shibden Wall and Ploughcroft Lane, none of which further than 5 miles from my house and the toughest one 10/10, the legendary Trooper Lane, a mile away. Strava information found here:

I’d advise anyone who lives anyway close to this to have a go… what a rewarding ride, 10 miles, 1,940ft of climbing in just over an hour of cycling. There was a lot of cobbles and digging deep but a very worthwhile ride topping my first week of 2018 up to 135.1 miles. Thanks to the this ride and my ongoing persistence, by the 15th January, I had completed my first Strava challenge, A challenge to do 7,500 Metres of climbing throughout the month and by half-way I had done 7,600 Metres with 23 rides since New Year’s Day. By the evening of Tuesday 23rd of January, I thought I had experienced the most snow we were going to see this year as I had to walk my bike through a the fallout of an unexpected flash snowfall from Denholme to Ovenden. Being as unprepared as I always am, I did this with my cleats on, along with not very appropriate gloves that led to painful stinging and a long drawn out thawing process. Little did I know that this was going to be remembered as a minor event by the beginning of March, well lets be fair, it was a snowfall that didn’t even get honored with a name.

Then….. February and more importantly week 6 of 2018, my first little trip away from Halifax with the bike, down to London that because of the pure excitement and anticipation of the setting off to Italy from there last year, I now feel is our spiritual home in England. I did Monday to Thursday of this week commuting and then continued the cycle from work Thursday night, to The Train Station, down to Kings Cross and then cycled the last ten miles to Tooting, SW, to where Louise, after a long day, had my favorite Thai meal and a cold beer waiting at our apartment, A great end to the kind of days that I love… Getting Away With The Bike. A good sleep and then to visit a place I’ve been planning to get to for a while, The Olympic Park where we saw one of the very highest peaks of British Track Cycling with the 2012 Olympics. It was a beautiful morning as I set off towards The Thames from Tooting, and I felt a little tiny piece of ‘the freedom’ again, of being a stranger, in a new place, just cycling for me and nothing else. I cycled along the riverside, past Parliament and The London Eye until I reached The Tower of London, where I then headed North to the park after directions from a very friendly cabby. I approached it from the football stadium side, which was very impressive, although had the very deserted atmosphere that you can only really get from a very large yet empty car park. I cycled around, called to The Velodrome and then returned to Tooting following the route that I came in on. I returned to Halifax on the Monday morning and spent the mere 2 hours and 27 minutes on the train planning, writing and immersed in  imagining how far this cycling journey could take me through my life.

The Olympic Park, Stratford, London.

March – So the heavens opened and dumped a massive amount of snow on the country bringing the UK to a standstill. I am now, as I say, hiding from ‘The Beast From The East’ while excitement builds as I plan my trips to Ireland and Sweden in the next couple of months. Booking flights, ferries, bike boxes and places to stay via WarmShowers. I have been braving the snow and have only missed one commute to work this year despite the bad weather and that was down to heading over to the Velodrome by car on my Birthday…

Ireland, in April, will consist of riding through the amazing countryside from Galway to Dublin (via Limerick and Kilkenny) and after a ferry to Holyhead, will continue through Wales and England to London.

Sweden, in May, will be just to take the bike and explore the North with daily rides around the mountainous area of Ostersund – out of skiing season. I have never been to Sweden but I’ve heard it is one of the most beautiful places to be lucky enough to travel to.

Thanks for reading.

Craig Fee – Cycling Into The Unknown.






Things learned and to consider when resting your head on a cycling tour… Enjoying Camping, Warm Showers Hosts and Hostels. 

While cycle touring, one thing on the mind everyday if you are not cycling with lots of surplus cash or massive amount of pre-planning is the question of where you will be sleeping each night. I did a little bit of pre-planning for my trip but not enough to have every night completely sealed and free of an element of concern, therefore I ended up in a different types of accommodation. These brought different surroundings at different times on my trip, each which brought about its own feelings towards the different elements that go together to form a good place to stay, a comfortable nights sleep and ultimately a good experience of that specific place. In this blog I will be discussing each night of my trip and what specific thing that stay taught me about travel, about the world,  about myself, or about others. Apart from my two days off in this section of the trip, I was only staying in each city/town/location for one night, therefore where I slept contributed to a large part of my time there.

In this blog I will look at the first 14 days of my trip in which I cycled everyday apart from 2 and had some brilliant and unique nights and only really one that was not so favourable. Firstly below there is map of my first two weeks, there are 13 points plotted, 12 are different locations (two, which I stayed at for two nights – Luxembourg City and Zurich) and 1 point for London which is where I stayed the last night prior to departure. And as all good journey accounts, I will start and the beginning and finish with an open ending….

As I said, have incorporated my stay in London, the night before the start of the trip as I feel it was a valuable part of the experience, my only relevant night in England and is a good point of reference for the rest of the trip.


Night 0 – L : The Threadneedles Hotel, Threadneedle Street,  London, England… T : 5* Hotel… F : A GOOD START.  Prior to departure I wanted to spend quality time with the people I would miss most and to give myself the best chance of a good start with a really comfortable nights sleep as I knew that I would be heading for more lonely and less relaxing ones on my way to Italy. We spent the night in absolute luxury, and had everything you could ever want from a hotel for a good nights sleep and a comfortable departure. The last In-room mini-bar and his and hers bathrobes I would be seeing put it that way.


Night 1 – L = Arneke, France. T : Warm Showers Host … F: WARM SHOWERS INTRODUCTION. The main thing to note about my first night in mainland Europe was that it was my first night ever alone abroad, my first night ever being hosted by strangers and my first experience of the power of the Warm Showers network. Warm Showers is a website where you offer your house as a place to stay for travelling cyclists, this is done out of kindness coupled with the hope that one day you will be able to take advantage of that same benevolence from somebody else when on your own travels. This is built upon a feedback principle where you let the site know how you found staying with the people in question. My first night was with Lucille and Julien in Arneke and was a good way to start my experiences sleeping abroad as they lived a very different life to me treating me to a mattress in the spare bedroom and fresh green bean soup made from the vegetables in the garden as we talked about our approaches to cycle touring and music.

Night 2 – L = Bernissart, Belgium. T : Camping… F: BAD WEATHER CAMPING. The weather is a factor, if not the biggest on a comfortable night when camping alone. On arrival at my campsite in belgium which I had found on the internet the night before, the weather was at best uncomfortable. It was to be my first night of camping alone outside england and was going to be a wet one. The rain felt like rather than falling, was being poured and as we know the mere suggestion of rain when putting up or packing away a tent is met with a painful grimace. Luckily everyone else was in caravans therefore there was a space underneath quite a large tree where I could just be dripped on rather than in the shower. I was signposted to this by the very helpful ranger who when arrived was sat watching TV in his caravan rather than manning reception as only the absolute desperate would be looking to camp in this weather at this time on a tuesday. He put on his coat and ran across to take my booking. I set up the tent as it got dark, went to the local pub for a belgian beer, fell asleep listening to the rain and then packed away onto my bike and left early in the morning.

Night 3 – L = Charleville-Mezieres, France. T : Warm Showers Host… F: SELFLESS FELLOW CYCLISTS. So following a wet night in Belgium, I was looking forward to at least having a roof over my head and a shower in Charleville, this came courtesy of Vincent Maurice whom I sent a message to, more in hope than anything else, the day before while camping in the rain. He answered on the morning of the stay to say ‘Hi Craig, Yes you can stay at my place tonight, no problem. I finish working around 6 pm, so we can meet from that time’ and it was as simple as that, its amazing to me that a complete stranger could be that accommodating to someone that they had never met before and that was just the start. He sent me his number, so when I arrived at his address, I rang him and he was down the road with his bike picking up his washing from the laundrette. It is always a nervy time seeing your host for the first time because of the anxiety of what how you may act towards someone offering you help if you don’t like the look of them or feel uncomfortable. Anyway Vincent had an immediately disarming personality, partly due to his comedic, very small, very round, John Lennon style glasses and french beard (he later actually turned out to be a Beatles fan) and partly the fact he had just just picked up a nice clean set of towels. We went back to his apartment, he showed me the space on the bedroom floor that I would be sleeping on, gave me a camping mat and we went out for food. We went to the local pizza place and I thought the least I could do was pay for his food but he was quick to inform me that when you are hosting them, you are the one to show the kindness and quickly paid for mine, which is an easier battle to lose when only one of you speaks the language of the lady in charge of the till. We then spoke about and listened to music for a few hours and went to bed. I came away with a liking for the french band ‘Tetes Raides’. The next morning on his commute to work, I followed him down to the river, we had a photo and he pointed me in the direction of Luxembourg and I was off.

Night 4 and 5 – L = Luxembourg City… T : Camping… F: FRIENDLY GERMAN NEIGHBOURS. I arrived in Luxembourg at the Kockelscheuer camp site and began to set up camp for a two night stay there. I would like to get in at this point that the campsite there is brilliant, it is really big, with very helpful staff and everything you need for a comfortable short or long stay in a beautiful city with a short bus ride to the centre every 10 minutes. Anyway back to pitching up. As soon as I had locked up my bike and started to roll out my tent, I was greeted with a ‘Halo’ and as I turned around I was faced with a large glass of red wine and the smiling face of Sigrid, a headmaster from a high school in Germany who was touring europe with her husband, a retired teacher, Roland. Before I knew it, my tent was left flat, I was a couple of glasses into the wine, had a handful of snacks and was playing ‘Uno’ with the most accommodating German people I had ever met. This perked my mood up so much, I felt like I was really travelling now, meeting new people and really interacting with them. Their hospitality and kindness was something very touching. I stumbled around setting my tent up at around 10pm.

Night 6 – L = Saarbrücken, Germany… T : Camping… F: SAFETY, MIND CHANGE. Sometimes you pull up to where you are going to stay, whether it be a campsite or someones house and think… is it too late to get out of this situation? and could I do it without causing obvious offence, and end up being too polite to follow your best advice and stay anyway. This was one of them occasions at ‘Am Spicherer Berg Campingplatz’ in Saarbruchen. Firstly the cycle through the town gave me a bad feeling, it was very grey and unfriendly and as soon as I saw it, it came across as more of a settlement than a campsite and it became apparent that everyone else actually lived there in their static caravans. I asked the woman about the prices and before I knew it the deal was done. She showed me into the middle of a field that was basically a circle of grass circled by families that lived there, many of which chose to constantly wear no shirt and stare at me like I was from the future. I set up my tent and began to worry for my safety, I asked the woman at the counter who came across very grumpy if I could leave my bike in the building, she showed me into the communal room of the reception, I locked it up and regretted this too as I began to walk away from it. Anyway as the night went on, more visitors came and I ended up moving my tent to next to a couple of motor bikers, we then went and had drinks with the locals who I ended up having a good time with and the receptionist even ended up getting turning out to be one of those people who just looks that why by default but actually likes a bit of charm thrown her way. Never judge a book by its cover, I never usually judge anyone although when you are alone, nearly a thousand miles from home your brains safety alerts just begin to take over.

Night 7 – L = Strasbourg, France… T : Warm Showers Host… F: HOSPITALITY BEYOND WORDS. There is being kind enough to give a traveller somewhere to sleep for the night,  there is feeding them and then there is providing an amazing private bedroom to sleep in and having so much trust in a stranger that you will leave to go the airport at 5am and let your guest get up, use your apartment as they please and then let themselves out. This is how I was treated by my Warm Showers host Anke in Strasbourg. From arrival to when I left I was treated as a member of the family in an amazing city centre location. A four course meal, encouragement to treat the place as my own, to come and go as I pleased and a great nights sleep.

Night 8 – L = Basel, Switzerland… T : Warm Showers Host… F: LOCAL KNOWLEDGE / EXPERIENCE. I will be forever thankful to my host Andreas from Basel for one of the top 3 most memorable moments on my trip. following the preparation of my bed and our evening meal, Andreas asked me if I would like to go out and swim in the river and I said I was very tired and may want to relax. He then said ‘you have got to swim in The Rhine while your in Basel’ and I thought what am I thinking, I need to grab every minute of this trip with both hands. He, just like the other hosts was very generous and told me I did not need to take any money out as I was his guest. He paid me on the bus and then we walked to the edge of The Rhine beside the Museum of Contemporary Art, packed our things into waterproof bags, tied them to us and jumped in. The moments that followed as the river took us through the middle of the city with ‘old’ Basel on one side and ‘new’ on the other are the reason I will always be thankful to him. Sometimes you just need someone with the local knowledge both to know the significance of certain local customs and also to know how and where to do it like a local. An experience I will never, ever forget. Alive in a place of pure beauty. We then sat on the side of the river with lots of other people, drink in hand, watching the sunset. 

Night 9 and 10 – L = Zurich, Switzerland…. T : Warm Showers Host… INVALUABLE CYCLING KNOWLEDGE. When staying with others and having time to relax and talk to them they can often, as well as having local knowledge, be a fountain of information about cycling in that place too. Magdalena, my host in Zurich, had cycled every hill in around around Zurich and the Alps and was perfect to help settle my nerves and to prepare for the next few days. She talked me through the journey from her house to my next stop in Andermatt in the Alps and had lots of brilliant stories about the amazing trips she had undertaken which were all relevant to the climbing that I would be doing over the coming days. There is more information on Magdalena and the Alps in my ‘Gotthard Pass’ blog.

Night 11 – L = Andermatt, Switzerland…. T : Camping… F: LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. Sometimes you just get to the place where you will be privileged enough to camp and say WOW!… following this; weather, company and all other factors go out of the window. On arrival in Andermatt, this was the case. I was met by the view at the beginning of this blog,  a beautiful green valley in the middle of the glorious Alps. I was at ‘Gotthard Camping’ in Andermatt and all I can say is that if you ever get chance to see this, do it! The picture speaks for itself, I slept brilliantly, as a person who was in the middle of a dream even before I fell asleep. At this point I felt like I was literally on top of the world.

Night 12 – L = Bellinzona, Switzerland… T : Camping… F: SHARING OF EXPERIENCES… Following one of my hardest but definitely most rewarding days in the saddle over the top of The Gotthard Pass I arrived at ‘Camping Bellinzona’ and had my heart set on a nice pizza due to me now being in Italian speaking Switzerland. I sat down to eat and talked through experiences and plans for cycle touring until it was dark with a girl who was also on a solo trip. A very relaxing experience and positive in the way that it planted seeds and information for future trips.

Night 13 – L = Milan, Italy…. T : Camping… F: BAD EXPERIENCE. SHOCK! ….and so, of all of the cities I stayed in, Milan is one of the most famous and one which I was looking forward to experiencing. Should be one of the best nights of my stay I thought, I was wrong . My plan was to stay a couple, if not a few nights at the Camping Village in Milan so that I could explore the city, yet my first night forced me out of there at the first available opportunity. Firstly, my mood was not the best due to the road towards Milan from Como having what felt like the most sets of traffic light that changed at the quickest pace in the world. This is not a good combination for a cyclist wanting to clock up the miles as I was basically setting off putting my clips into my pedals getting into a rhythm and then slowing to another set of light and stop again. This carried on for at least an hour. I arrived at The site and just wanted to relax. I paid 17 Euros for the privilege of being shown to a patch of what I could only politely call grass, it was basically rock hard mud with dad grass on it in which i bent half of my pegs. To make things worse, there was no area as big as my tiny tent that did not have tree routes making ridges in the ground and periodically popping out. Safe to say that in the morning the only thing on my mind was comfort.

Night 14 – L = Bergamo, Italy… T : Hostel… F: BRILLIANT HOSTEL EXPERIENCE. For some reason, although not really a part of the intense cycling part of the trip, when I think of my time away, Bergamo sticks in my head. Im not too sure why, maybe it was because I had made it all the way to Italy and was now in for a nice relaxing break with time to reflect. Anyway Sarah had found Bergamo Youth Hostel for me moments after she had heard the desperation in my voice the night before. It is a really good quality hostel, with friendly staff and is very clean. It is not quite in the centre of Bergamo but is not a bad walk away. I was allowed to store my bike in their storage area and had my every need catered for, even down to them ordering me a pizza from the local takeaway which arrived promptly on the back of a Vespa. The thing to note about this in comparison to the night before is that I was charged the exact same price for the night but this time I had a bed, great service, great location, a rooftop terrace with a view to match any other and the holy grail (a plug socket to charge my phone). I shared with a couple of other people, a travelling american from California and an Argentinian who was waiting to see which lower league Italian football side he would be signing for in the upcoming season, both a pleasure to share a room with.

Sorry it’s been a long one and thanks again for reading :).


Days 15 to 17 of the trip in brief, Pechiera del Garda to Florence and the baptism of the bike following my break in North Italy.

So…. following my last chronological blog regarding days of cycling, here are the remaining days to Florence. The last day I posted was Day 14 where I deviated from my route to head North-East to Bergamo.

Day 15: Lake Garda – Modena (Italy)
69 Miles (111 Km)
Head down and put the miles away today, not much to see .. couple of food stops and a tub of ice cream but other than that solid cycling. Penultimate ride before Florence tomorrow 🙂 .
Photos to follow.…/115809…/shareable_images/map_based…

Day 16: Modena to Florence
93.9 Miles (151 Km)
The hills between Bologna and Florence are brutal! One of the hardest rides I’ve ever done to finish the trip. Worth it though! 🙂 🇮🇹🚴🏻🎉…/115993…/shareable_images/map_based…

IN FLORENCE!, After 1,129.8 Miles since I set off from London on Monday 7th August, I’m here… thank you to everyone who has supported me, wished me well and kept me going with comments, it means more than you know.. now to celebrate!

Day 17: ARRIVEDERCI! 😘 And so… the bike is officially Italian. I’ve just returned from the the bike shop ‘Florence By Bike’ where I have donated it, the lady who served me was very grateful and said that they have a very deserving boy to give it to called Giuseppe, a boy that loves bikes and helps them a lot at the shop. She made the process feel like a very appropriate ending and I am happy that it will now be rode around the beautiful city of Florence for the rest of its days

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Thank you to Florence by bike for my bag of goodies, very grateful

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Thanks for reading


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The Gotthard Pass, The Alps and Things learned along the way. 

I had never travelled alone before, I had never travelled in Europe before and certainly didn’t know anything about the Alps, let alone gone over them. It all started when I decided to cycle to Italy from London and in the early days looking loosely over routes I could take. It immediately became apparant that this unstoppable force was going to inevitably  meet an immovable object. Not only an immovable one, but also one that wasn’t for going around and in my mind a tunnel route was unspeakable, so the Alps had to be part of the route.. but I knew nothing about the place and certainly didn’t know any of the passes. A pass for the people reading who don’t know is just an identified place to go over a mountain range, a lower section used for going from one side to the other, historically used for travelling and the transportation of goods. 

   Once I had the Alps in mind, I came across a book called ‘Crossing Europe on A Bike Called Reggie’ by Andrew Sykes in which he chronicled a very similar trip to mine, but instead he travelled from Reading to the south of Italy. Anyway it was as simple as reading the book, liking the sound of his route over Gotthard Pass and putting that as part of my plan, no more research done. And so I set off, cycling into the unknown and quite enjoying the feeling that I would learn as I went along instead of having everything planned to the letter. 

My photo of The famous ancient cobbled road from the south. 

Due to the Alps being a very significant part of my journey, I had many conversations about it along the way with random people that I met and people who put me up at their houses. A fellow cyclist who was particularly knowledgable about them was Magdalena, a software developer who hosted me for two nights in Zurich. Luckily for me this font of knowledge came the day before I was to make my journey Andermatt in the mountain region and was a conversation that as well as providing a lot of information put me more at ease with the task ahead. Firstly she spoke to me about how, from living in Switzerland had become a massive fan of hill cycling and had done all of the passes in that region over the Alps and assured me that the Gotthard Pass was very manageable and that considering the journey I had already completed, I would be fine (I think she could read the anxiety on my face). 

My arrival at the summit. 

We then went on to speak about the geography of the area and the significance the mountains had in Europe. She told me how they were the peak of the water sources in Europe and a splitting point. For example, If you were on the top and got rid of your excess water (for want of a better phrase) towards Zurich, the Rhine  would take it to the North Sea, but if you turned and did it towards Italy it would be taken to the Mediterranean. The Alps between Switzerland and Italy are also a major separating point for language and culture, which was immediately noticeable in my short 17 mile trip over the top from Andermatt to Airolo and even more so as I went a further 30 miles or so to Bellinzona. On the north side of the ridge it is German speaking territory which the names of the towns reflect such as Andermatt and a few miles to the south we are in Italian Switzerland with the town names being a lot softer to the ear. The way of life and the food also followed suit with having my first Italian pizza in Ballinzona while still in Switzerland. This separation comes about with the south side of Switzerland belonging to Italy in the past. 

The view i got into Ariolo from the top. 

So the actual Gotthard Pass. The pass rises to an elevation of 2,106 m (6,909 ft) going from Andermatt to Ariolo after numerous switchback turns and falls into the list of Europes highest paved roads. As well as the tarmaced surface there is also a more historic cobbled road with follows the same pass which winds up to it slightly differently. This pass is the traditional one used from the 13th century to pass from the south to north and back again. This also, as I learned through speaking to other travellers who were walking also forms part of the pilgrimage route that is often followed from Northern Europe to Italy. 

Another piece of trivia about this particular pass is that it has a rail tunnel going through the mountain and a road tunnel, both of which were the longest of their type in the world at construction. There are many other passes around that area which are all also worth looking into, this was just my little summing up of my experience of the pass in August 2017. 

Camping in Andermatt. 

Cycling it was one of the best experiences of my life, it repaid the effort it took to cycle a thousand times. The views going up and on the top were breathtaking and the decent into Ariolo was something that cyclists dream of. Also if you are planning to cycle it, there is a brilliant campsite in Andermatt in an amazing location of an Alps valley, pictured above. 

Thanks for reading 🚵🏼


Update. Days 11 to 14 of the trip, over the Alps and into Italy. London to Florence :)

Day 11. 

Axenstrasse (Switzerland)

Zurich to Andermatt (Switzerland) 70 Miles (112 Km) Where do I start with today, where do you start when it’s one of the best days of your life. Started this morning in Zurich with breakfast of marmalade on brown bread from my host. Then to co op for supplies of bananas and snickers and then off. As left Zurich the scenery was amazing, as I neared the Alps and went along the Axenstrasse it just got better and better. I literally at times opened my mouth and said WTF. It was that good. Beautiful lakes and fountains that pictures could just never do justice. And to top it off .. I was cycling it! . Amazing . So lucky to have this opportunity. Then the climb to Andermatt in the Alps, which if I’m honest I wasn’t sure if I was capable of. Took a breather in Altdorf and then dug in. I cannot describe the views or the feeling at the top. Got goosebumps when it levelled out.. and the best view from a camp-site I’ve ever seen. Anyway enough rambling. Thanks for all the support, it’s got me where I am .

Day 12. Andermatt to Bellinzona (Switzerland) 52 Miles (83 Km) 

Summit of my Alps section. 
Woke up to a view of The Alps that was out of this world, had breakfast and set off for a morning of cycling which without being dramatic was life changing and added even more to this life changing trip. With all things that are going to massively test us there is always an element of doubt. Reaching the summit of the Gotthard Pass when I left London on Monday 7th seemed like a pipe dream and a series of events that I hoped would happen but could only achieve by taking one day at a time. Anyway today, after nearly 800 miles, I hit my highest point of 2106 metres, and highest speed of 46 MPH … and proved to myself what I was capable of if I set my mind to it. Now onto completing the ride to Italy. Thankyou for reading. I’m now experiencing a mental thunderstorm and am hidden in my tent ⛺️⚡️🌧. Thanks for all the support. Craig

Day 13. Bellinzona (Switzerland) to Milan (Italy) 73 Miles (117 Km) 

Arrival on Italy 🇮🇹 

Long day today, due to EVERY traffic light, EVERY 100 metres for ten miles into Milan being red. Brilliant campsite last night and a nice breakfast of Apricot croissant and apple juice :). Nice riding to the Italian border and beautiful at Lake Como. Then city cycling into Milan which wasn’t so nice. Anyway il keep it short … I made it to Italy 🇮🇹 and feeling the love from everyone .. cheers …. Thanks for all the support. Craig

Day 14. A little update. So.. I got to Milan yesterday on Day 13 of my trip. As I wasn’t sure what the trip held along the way, as I was literally cycling into the unknown, I set aside a good amount of time to do the whole thing. I have done nearly 900 miles in 14 days as of today and got to Italy very early. I cycled to Bergamo today which is no longer going straight south on my journey, it is north east of Milan. I am not going to Florence until the 30th and flying back on the 1st, so am going to have a bit of a holiday / recreational cycling break in north Italy until Sarah meets me next Sunday in Lake Garda. I will be posting any riding I do in between and will also be still doing daily blogs about one thing or another. but just wanted you to know that as I have made it from London to Italy, I am chilling for a week or so. Thank you for all the support it has really humbled me and has helped me along more than you will ever know. This trip was always about getting to a better place and it has been amazing, I’ve seen and done things, I never thought possible… Thankyou 🙂

Thanks for reading 


A further update with no computer… days 5 to 10 cycling posts. London to Florence :) 

Day 5. Rest day in Luxembourg 🇱🇺. 

Day 6. 

Day 6. Luxembourg City – saarbrücken (Germany) 68 Miles (109Km) Woke up to rain this morning, not ideal when camping. Wet all day so I put the miles away pretty sharpish. Did first 45 miles without really stopping, just a toilet stop and a pop into Lidl ha. And Crossed the border into Germany for the first time. Camping here tonight for an early start to Strasbourg tomorrow. Photos to follow.

Day 7. 

Day 7. Saarbrücken (Germany) to Strasbourg (France) 78 Miles (124km) Amazing day.. Woke up to rain again but was made better by the fact that my bike was still there. Not a comfortable campsite to say the least. Think everyone else on the campsite lived there and didn’t like visitors. Anyway was quite happy to leave early. Nice ride through one of Frances national forests 🌳. And then …. arrival in Strasbourg – WOW. love it here! I’d have to say here and Luxembourg City are places I will definitely come back to. The city here is full of busy squares and amazing architecture- check the pics to follow.. and got a host from the cycling equivalent of couch surfing – warm showers. First time I’ve had an actual bed and not only that but the trust to come and go as I please while they are out and a four course meal made be Anke and her partner. Today I also got to virtually 500 miles in a week, which is about half way 👌Photos to follow.

Day 8. 

Day 8. Strasbourg (France) to Basel (Switzerland) 85 Miles (136km) Amazing day… again.. although my knee has been giving me problems today and the cycling even though along the Rhine was very repetitive. Two great hosts, last night and tonight have made it an experience I won’t forget. First proper bed last night staying with an art professor in Strasbourg who had an amazing flat in the centre and trusted me to let myself out after only meeting me the night before. Then as I say .. one loooong straight road down the Rhine and the arrival in Basel. Another brilliant host Andreas. Cooked me dinner and then Took me swimming in the Rhine.. one of the best experiences of my life ! Sunset and a couple of beers 🙂 cheers Photos to follow.

Day 9.

First view of the Alps 🙂 

Day 9. Basel to Zurich (Switzerland) 53 Miles (85 Km) A relatively short day.. but the hills have started, I am defiantly in Switzerland. muscle just above my knee playing up again so good job I finished for 2pm today and don’t cycle again till Thursday. Then a small matter of two days to go to andermatt and over the Gotthard Pass. I got my first view of the Alps today which was unbelievable . Can’t believe il be lucky Enlight enough to cycle there this week 🙂 . Also my bike fell over with the panniers on and decided to send the cog deep into my ankle that needed disinfecting, which knocked the life out of it.. Was quite relieved to get here as the last day of four is always a tough one. Rest up now with snooker and a pint. And full day with the feet up tomorrow. Photos to follow.

Day 10. Rest day in Zurich before the Alps 🙂 

Thanks for reading 👌

For the people not on Facebook :). A quick update with no computer… first 4 days cycling posts. 

Day 1. 

Day 1 . London to Arneke (France). 110 Miles (177 Km). Amazing day. One of the best I’ve ever had cycling. I’d recommend cycling around this area of France to anyone. Been put up tonight by a French couple who are also cyclists. Photos of the day to follow.

Day 2. 

Day 2 . Arneke (France) to Bernissart (Belgium) . 76 Miles (122 Km) rained as I left Arneke , stopped raining for pasta 🍝 in the centre of Lille, rained as I arrived to set my tent up, And stopped for a couple of beers 🍻. Not too bad ha.

Day 3. 

Day 3. Bernissart (Belgium) – charleville-Mezieres (France) 66.8 Miles (107 Km), Strava screwed up my additional 17 miles on the start of this ride, so it was really 83 Miles. Road closure plagued my first few miles in Belgium but after that it was head down and put the miles away . Saw the beautiful centres of Mons, Beaumont, Rocroi and Charleville. Riding was also much more enjoyable back in France. Photos to follow.

Day 4. 

Day 4. charleville-Mezieres (France) – Luxembourg City 87 Miles (140 Km) beautiful early morning along the river out of Charleville. Misty and no-one around. Hard miles when I realised I’d turned 75 miles into 90.. but nice end with good camp site, day off tomorrow and playing Uno and drinking wine with new German friends .. Photos to follow.

Now in Luxembourg.. 

il update properly when I get to a computer 🙂 

Thanks for reading 👌