If you’re like me, the idea of traveling with a bike and all your stuff seems overwhelming. In my armchair, in front of a computer there is no simple way to figure it out. Maybe a crystal ball. . . .
I first looked into the idea of an international bike trip when considering meeting up with friends/family in France. They weren’t going to be available the whole time and I may as well think about doing my own thing for a week. I knew I wanted to see Mount St. Michel, so spun an itinerary off of that. I found 2 or 3 places that offered bike hire for a week.
The trip ended up not taking place, but planted the idea in my head.
Then when going to Sweden in September 2015 I Googled the top 10 sights to see while in Sweden and up popped the Göta Canal. I then referenced places to hire a bike and, voila!, it seemed do-able.
I never once considered early September to be out-of-season. The whole town of Sjötorp was closed down or so it seemed. I eventually found a small grocery to rent me a bike for the day. Actually half a day as it was by this time way past noon. I saw my dream of cycling the canal dissipating. But, wait! This is Sweden and the sun doesn’t set as much as hang in the sky. It didn’t get dark until way part 8 pm, so I did about 40 miles. Enough to get a feel for the World Heritage site. That evening I spent the night in a room also offered through the grocery. Sjötorps Vandrarhem och Rum.
Also on my trip to Sweden my friend Lotta talked me into going to Gotland. Actually I’d thought about doing it but thought it was simply a ferry ride. It turned into a much bigger thing where I ended up spending 4 nights. Before alighting in Visby (also a World Heritage site) I checked out bike hire and corresponded with a place. The next morning I hiked with my backpack and picked up a bike. Then shyly asked if I could leave some of my stuff. Yeah. Then asked—do you have a pannier I could borrow. Yay! All I needed next was a map and I was off.