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Blog


Stories from the journey

Blog


Stories from the journey

Here you can find updates from our journey, and perhaps the odd post on pollution and how wonderful bicycles are. It would be our pleasure to hear your thoughts on the comments at the end of each post or through the contact us page.

Zola's thoughts

Posted on 14 Aug 2019, by Zola


It may be the wrong time for me to share my thoughts, as I am slightly annoyed at my humans at the moment and my views may not be entirely fair, but after such a long silence I think it is about time for me to write something about my adventures. You want to know why I am pissed off? Well, if you read carefully the previous post you may already have guessed… YES, I have been trimmed a few days ago! By a French lady!! And what is more, she was so diabolically happy about it!!! At the hairdresser, in Boiscommun I did hear several times Arianna trying to explain in her broken French that I was a Lagotto,...


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Cycling the fork (twice)

Posted on 11 Aug 2019, by Arianna


French people love to say “Bonjour!”. The number of times every day we enunciate the magic word is indeed countless. And of course we enjoy saying it back, usually followed by a quiet smile. Even if by now we are accustomed to this polite French habit, Daniel was still taken aback one morning when, entering the bathroom of a campsite near Fontainebleau - at the beginning of the fork - he heard a loud and confident “Bonjour!” coming from inside a closed cubicle. After a little hesitation he responded, although probably in a more sheepish tone (thankfully I wasn’t there to check). With this blessing, we set off to draw the fork, which crossed the forests of the Parc du...


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Cycling the down tube

Posted on 02 Aug 2019, by Arianna


After having cycled 553 km we finally reached the starting point of our bicycle-shaped route, namely the little known village of Vy-lès-Lure, in the Franche-Comté region. One may wonder why we didn’t choose a more acclaimed place to start our challenge in some glory, and indeed one should wonder… When I initially drew the bicycle route on Google maps, I intended to set both our departure and arrival in Zurich, at the bottom of the rear wheel. It was only after consulting the Euler theorem, to try and minimise the number of bicycle sections that we would need to cover twice, that I realised it made more sense to start and end the journey at two nodal points, the crank...


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Cycling in the heatwave

Posted on 27 Jul 2019, by Arianna


I do not sweat much. In fact, I typically sweat very little even during sport activities. So, upon realising that what I was feeling periodically on my knees was actually sweat drops from my chin, I immediately understood that something was wrong. True - the hill we were climbing at the time was not insignificant, and the lack of tree shadow surely made things worse, as did the frequent lorries struggling past us on the hot asphalt, but the reality was that the temperature was a painful +38°C on that day. The chin dripping onto my knee was really a novelty for me. Thankfully some of us could enjoy frequent cooldown swims in dirty, but probably rather pleasurable, lake (or...


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Crossing Switzerland

Posted on 22 Jul 2019, by Arianna


We didn’t choose an easy start. Setting off to cross Switzerland on the first week of our trip was, with hindsight, a crazy decision. The remarkably high percentage of people with dropped jaws that saw us climbing towards Simplon pass confirmed the madness of our endevour. Yet, we thought that if we could make it to Simplon pass, then nothing could stop us afterwards. We took it as a test… And what a test it was! With a road busy with trucks and fast cars and our painfully low average speed of only 5 or 6 kms per hour, the climb to Simplon pass was hellish. On top of that, the far too frequent tunnels with total lack of hard...


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13/07/2019 - Finally departure

Posted on 17 Jul 2019, by Arianna


And so, finally, the departure! The last few days have been absolutely crazy, and we have been regretting all the wasted moments spent doing little for the preparations - thinking as usual that we had plenty of time still… But we didn’t!! We were up until 2am the day before departure, trying to figure out whether everything would fit in the panniers. Thankfully, since we knew that we would carry more stuff than usual, we had upgraded my regular Ortlieb panniers to the “pro” version, meaning a whole 30L more of volume. Yet, even with the increased capacity, it was so close! I would have happily left behind the thermos, but Daniel didn’t want to hear about it. And Zola...


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The bikes are ready!

Posted on 10 Jul 2019, by Daniel


After months of design work, brazing, prototypes, trials, refinements and more brazing, the bicycles are finally ready! Zola is thrilled with the ride quality of the cargo bike, she jumps in there voluntarily and says it is even possible to sit and enjoy the scenery as we travel! Her only complaint is about the smell of the sweaty man at the back, her sensitive nose finds it all a bit much… The fabric of the cargo bay (expertly realised by Massimo Tonati from Armeno) far exceeds our hopes for how good the bike could look. Weighing in at around 22kg with the removable roof, and a little less than 20kg without it, it’s looking like the perfect bike to take...


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Zola's thoughts

Posted on 14 Aug 2019, by Zola

It may be the wrong time for me to share my thoughts, as I am slightly annoyed at my humans at the moment and my views may not be entirely fair, but after such a long silence I think it is about time for me to write something about my adventures. You want to know why I am pissed off? Well, if you read carefully the previous post you may already have guessed… YES, I have been trimmed a few days ago! By a French lady!! And what is more, she was so diabolically happy about it!!! At the hairdresser,...


Read More

Cycling the fork (twice)

Posted on 11 Aug 2019, by Arianna

French people love to say “Bonjour!”. The number of times every day we enunciate the magic word is indeed countless. And of course we enjoy saying it back, usually followed by a quiet smile. Even if by now we are accustomed to this polite French habit, Daniel was still taken aback one morning when, entering the bathroom of a campsite near Fontainebleau - at the beginning of the fork - he heard a loud and confident “Bonjour!” coming from inside a closed cubicle. After a little hesitation he responded, although probably in a more sheepish tone (thankfully I wasn’t there...


Read More

Cycling the down tube

Posted on 02 Aug 2019, by Arianna

After having cycled 553 km we finally reached the starting point of our bicycle-shaped route, namely the little known village of Vy-lès-Lure, in the Franche-Comté region. One may wonder why we didn’t choose a more acclaimed place to start our challenge in some glory, and indeed one should wonder… When I initially drew the bicycle route on Google maps, I intended to set both our departure and arrival in Zurich, at the bottom of the rear wheel. It was only after consulting the Euler theorem, to try and minimise the number of bicycle sections that we would need to cover...


Read More

Cycling in the heatwave

Posted on 27 Jul 2019, by Arianna

I do not sweat much. In fact, I typically sweat very little even during sport activities. So, upon realising that what I was feeling periodically on my knees was actually sweat drops from my chin, I immediately understood that something was wrong. True - the hill we were climbing at the time was not insignificant, and the lack of tree shadow surely made things worse, as did the frequent lorries struggling past us on the hot asphalt, but the reality was that the temperature was a painful +38°C on that day. The chin dripping onto my knee was really a...


Read More

Crossing Switzerland

Posted on 22 Jul 2019, by Arianna

We didn’t choose an easy start. Setting off to cross Switzerland on the first week of our trip was, with hindsight, a crazy decision. The remarkably high percentage of people with dropped jaws that saw us climbing towards Simplon pass confirmed the madness of our endevour. Yet, we thought that if we could make it to Simplon pass, then nothing could stop us afterwards. We took it as a test… And what a test it was! With a road busy with trucks and fast cars and our painfully low average speed of only 5 or 6 kms per hour, the...


Read More

13/07/2019 - Finally departure

Posted on 17 Jul 2019, by Arianna

And so, finally, the departure! The last few days have been absolutely crazy, and we have been regretting all the wasted moments spent doing little for the preparations - thinking as usual that we had plenty of time still… But we didn’t!! We were up until 2am the day before departure, trying to figure out whether everything would fit in the panniers. Thankfully, since we knew that we would carry more stuff than usual, we had upgraded my regular Ortlieb panniers to the “pro” version, meaning a whole 30L more of volume. Yet, even with the increased capacity, it was...


Read More

The bikes are ready!

Posted on 10 Jul 2019, by Daniel

After months of design work, brazing, prototypes, trials, refinements and more brazing, the bicycles are finally ready! Zola is thrilled with the ride quality of the cargo bike, she jumps in there voluntarily and says it is even possible to sit and enjoy the scenery as we travel! Her only complaint is about the smell of the sweaty man at the back, her sensitive nose finds it all a bit much… The fabric of the cargo bay (expertly realised by Massimo Tonati from Armeno) far exceeds our hopes for how good the bike could look. Weighing in at around 22kg...


Read More