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Unplanned encounters en route

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Unregistered anon_user's picture
Unplanned encounters en route

I'm considering embarking on a multi-month tour across Europe over summer-autumn this year and was wondering if I could tap into the WS community's experience. I'd like to hear what people's experiences are with unplanned encounters en route. For example, how often would you come across other cycle tourists (firstly who you just chat with then part ways, and secondly who you then join up with)? What is the longest you've gone without having any meaningful interaction with anyone? Are there particular regions which have a much greater density of cyclists on a similar plan? My biggest fear about this trip is the potential isolation so it would help to get a sense of what life is like on the road in this regard.

WS Member WS Member's picture
My best advice is chat to

My best advice is chat to anyone you can and dont worry about the language. A handshake, laugh and smile mean the same things in any language. I often get chatting to people when I ask them to fill my water bottles. Dont be shy.

I run into touring cyclists but they are always riding towards me. I stop and swap sweets. How do the other tourists seem to be coming downhill when Im going up.

WS Member pgr555's picture
Meeting up in Europe

We rode Germany, Netherlands and Belgium in the summer of 2014. It was great. Touring in Europe is much more common than we have found in the US. Many people (especially younger cyclists) speak English. We stopped daily for long chats with people, had numerous people offer to ride with us when we asked directions, and had folks invite us to stay. Also met many cyclists at campsites. See our journal on crazy guy for more info:

www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/phylneilstandemadventure2014

enjoy the tour

Unregistered anon_user's picture
When you say 'Europe' do you

When you say 'Europe' do you know you are talking about a continent? It's not a small local area so your question is a bit like saying 'how long is a piece of string?''.

What's a 'meaningful interaction'? Only you know that. In Western Europe there is a strong cycling tradition far more developed than the East. That's all that can be said. It's about you as well as who you meet. If you stop in backpackers hostels at night you'll get company.

WS Member WS Member's picture
I am going to answer to the

I am going to answer to the topic: the unplanned encounter en route.

I've got one for you and its hard to beat: I encountered Volcano Calbuco eruption during my 2015 trip, I was 40km away from it.

Now... I'd say mine is pretty much up there with the rarest encounter.