Welcome to Staunchy! Here I document my travels on a bike through Europe. Find out how I prepared for the trip, what routes I took and what I learned on the way.

Hey, hey!

I'm Katharina and I built this website. But more importantly, last year I caught the cycling bug. I decided to go on a long-distance bicycle trip, with just a little bit of a plan and no date when I would need to be back. The journey led me from Italy to the Shetland Islands and back to the Alps, in total more than 11.000 kilometers. And I loved every single kilometer, even when it was hard at times.

Eventually, I returned. The big elephant in the room was the question, what next? I didn't feel like going back to another job, in another startup. I had done this before and it felt like getting just another job would be a too easy answer, and one that would not make me necessarily happy. I decided to keep on cycling and exploring.

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Tour d'Europe

On the 23rd of February, one day after my 45th birthday, I started a big adventure. A solo bike tour across Europe, with no detailed plans and no planned end. I biked over 11000 kilometers, from Italy to Scotland. On my own. It was my first ever multi-day bike trip.

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Campsites along the North Coast 500

The North Coast 500 was one of my highlights on my trip! The nature is stunning and once I got used to the RVs, cycling on the little country roads was fabulous.

The majority of nights I camped on campsites, and many of them were great! While Google and Komoot were great starting points for finding places to stay, I found that many reviews were written by people with camper vans. That motivated me, to review the campsites I stayed on from the perspective of a cyclist.

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EuroVelo 1

The EuroVelo 1, also known as the Atlantic Coast Route, is a long-distance cycle route following the Atlantic coast in Spain, Portugal, France, Ireland, the UK and Norway. The EV1 one is the EuroVelo route that stretches the furthest from North to South. In total there are more than 11.000km available for biking. I biked only parts of it, namely La Vélodyssée from Nantes to Morlaix and in Scotland. But I plan to extend my coverage in April, with a bike tour around Ireland. I will update my experiences, once I completed that tour.

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What makes a great campsite for cyclists?

During my long-distance bike tour in 2023, I stayed at almost 80 different campgrounds. In France, England, Scotland, Italy and Germany. Many of them were great, few not so much. During the trip, I thought a lot about what actually makes a great campground, specifically for cyclists. Here are my main criteria:

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#5 - But. Why?

When I was meeting people on my journey, they had two questions. The first one, are you not scared? The second one, why? No, I was not scared. Very easy answer. But, the why question got me. Because I had only one answer. Because I can. And honestly, that was true. I never had the dream to go on such a long-distance bike trip. I simply wanted to have a significant break and a challenge that seemed worthwhile. I had money saved, and I had time. Good enough.

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Brooks Panniers and handlebar bags, and some more.

Once I got my Surly Disc Trucker, it was time to think about the bags that I would take on my bike trip. The first instinct were Ortlieb bicycle panniers, but it came differently. I got all major panniers from Brooks England, which proved to be a great choice. Durable, almost all of them are fully waterproof and great looking.

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EuroVelo 4

EuroVelo 4 is a long-distance cycling route connecting the Atlantic Ocean to the Black Sea, spanning approximately 4,000 km through diverse landscapes and cultural sites across Europe. I only biked the part in France, which is also known as Vélo Maritime, here are my experiences based on the 1156km I biked on the EV4.

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Planning my next bike tour, the Wild Atlantic Way

I returned safely from my first long-distance bike tour in late Summer 2023. You probably know this, as this site talks about nothing else. Right now I'm sitting in cold and dark Winter and I really want to get going again. In 2024 I won't be able to do such a long trip, or rather I decided not to do one, as I have another project planned, setting up a garden. That means I can be away for a month, max. This makes the planning quite a bit different than for this year, I have time constraints.

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EuroVelo 8

EuroVelo 8 is a cycling route that is as well known as the Mediterranean Route. And not for no reason! It stretches across the whole Mediterranean Sea for a good 7500km. From Gibraltar to Cyprus, roughly. I only biked the part from Pavia in Italy to Béziers in France, a total of 1143km. Here are my experiences.

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Planning for a
good night's sleep

The night before I started my bike trip, it dawned on me, that the days of knowing exactly where to sleep were gone. At least for the time of the trip. Every night I listen to True Crime to snooze away. That might not be a good idea on the trip. Looking back on the six months I spent on the road I can say, that I managed to find every single night a safe, though not always dry, place to get a good night's sleep. Here is how I approached one of the most important tasks on my tour.

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Mood: happy :)