Introducing the '7Countries7Passes' Tour

There is no better way to see the world, than from the saddle of a bicycle. From flatland forests, to mountain peaks; 'Life In The Saddle', as a cycle tourist, is a physical, visual and cultural discovery. 

I'm certain that this year's planned September bike trip - the #7Countries7Passes tour, will be no exception.


Inspiration

One of the great highlights of my 'Coasts and Cols' tour was the diverse cultural shifts; as I rode from Spain into the South of France, and then up the western coast. From the vast vineyards of Bordeaux, to the sleepy villages of Brittany; it was a mix that provided great interest, and a distraction from my aching legs.

The second notable highlight of the tour, was the mountains. I have a love-hate relationship with mountain summits; they provide challenge and reward, in equal measure.

It was these two highlight experiences that provided my inspiration for my 2017 trip. How can I cram as much cultural diversity, and as many mountain passes as possible, into one exhilarating tour?



Route Plan

Start location - Copenhagen, Denmark
I love travel. I don't really like planes, trains and automobiles. With that in mind, I always try to combine my trips abroad, to make the most of the airport/travel time.

This August, I'm racing the Hansen's Cykellob with the GripGrab team, so starting my tour from the beautiful Danish city of Copenhagen, shortly after the race, seemed like a great bet.


Checkpoints - Villengen (Germany) - Merano (Italy) - Corbieres (France)
Travel is always better when you can share experiences with friends and family. There aren't many of my riding buddies that would want to do 10 or 12 hour consecutive days in the saddle, but it is always nice to visit friends in far-off places.

On this tour, I begin with the guys from GripGrab in Denmark; then travel down through Germany to visit my sister in Villengen. From there, it's into the mountains to visit relatives in Merano (South Tyrol). Then finally, I head across the South of France to the Corbieres, where my good friends Gus and Sarah Farmer are based.


Finish - Andorra
Andorra has always been a mysterious country to me - an island in the mountains.

I've been keen to visit it for some time, and the Salvador Dali Sculpture in Andorra la Vella seems like a fitting place to finish. The sculpture symbolises the 'Nobility of Time'; suggesting how time rules everything, and you should make the most of every minute you have.



Route Highlights

  • Start: Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen (Denmark)
  • Checkpoint 1: Villingen (Germany)
  • Pass 1: Hochtannbergpass (1675m) (Austria)
  • Pass 2: Timmelsjoch (2474m) (Austria/Italy)
  • Checkpoint 2: Merano (Italy)
  • Pass 3: Stelvio Pass and Umbrailpass (2757m) (Italy/Switzerland)
  • Pass 4: Col de Montgenèvre (1854m) (France)
  • Pass 5: Mont Ventoux (1911m) (France)
  • Checkpoint 3: The Farmers' (France)
  • Pass 6: Col de Pailhères (2001m) (France)
  • Pass 7: Port d'Envalira (2408m) (Andorra)
  • Finish: Salvador Dali Sculpture (Andorra) 





Similar to the 'Coasts and Cols' tour, this would be a fully self-supported bike touring / bikepacking venture; wild camping en-route, and embracing the elements.

At this stage, this is all a provisional plan. Ideas change, commitments evolve, and plans develop.

On a cold and cloudy February day though, this is my #fuelfortheride



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