Cycle Touring Videos

Cycle Touring Videos

 

Welcome to our Cycle Touring Videos from our France to China cycle trip, Canada trip and other cycle trips. I hope you enjoy them. The photos and videos are shot on a GoPro Hero 2, a Lumix GF1 camera and an iphone SE.

Safe travels!

Kelly & Michael x

France to China by bike Cycle Touring Videos

  1. France
  2. Italy
  3. The first 5000km (France to Iran)
  4. Iran
  5. Turkmenistan & Uzbekistan
  6. Kyrgyzstan & Kazakhstan
  7. Kazakhstan & China
  8. A Day in the Life of a Cycle Tourist

Other Cycle Touring Videos

  1. Canada
  2. Snapshot Canada: every 100km across Canada
  3. Farewell Canada
  4. Cycling the USA

The Cycle Touring Videos

France to China by bike Cycle Touring Videos

France

This is where the journey began at Sty Foy ski station in the Alps! We were working a ski season in the French Alps, when Kelly was in a ski accident, and was no longer able to ski, run, walk, or do anything, except cook and eat. The doctor advised her, that cycling would be good rehab for the knee… and so, with that, the idea of cycling to China was born. With absolutely no experience, next to no planning, and several injuries, we headed off – feeling… confident! Lucky for us the first few days were all down hill, followed by the rest of the week conquering 2 mountains passes. Read more about our cycle trip through France.

Italy

When we made it to Italy, we knew that we would be able to make it the whole way to China – despite what others thought. This was the first country we cycle the whole way across. Read more about our cycle across Italy.

The first 5000km from France to China

Unfortunately, we lost all our original video footage from the first half of our trip. This happened at some point during the trip, but we didn’t realise until we got home, and by this time it was too late to do much about it. We did however manage to retrieve this video about the first 5000km cycling through FranceItalyCroatiaMontenegroAlbaniaMacedoniaGreeceTurkey and Iran. Click on the country name to read more about our cycle trip through those countries.

 

Iran

We didn’t know what to expect when cycling through Iran, but as soon as we crossed the border from Turkey, we were welcomed by friendly and extremely generous people. A day didn’t go by where we weren’t given gifts of fresh fruit, water, smiles and waves. One of the hottest, but also one of my favourite countries on the cycle trip.

Turkmenistan & Uzbekistan

We were only able to get a 5 day transit visa for Turkmenistan, which meant 5 days to cycle 600km across a very hot desert on a very bad road. Luckily, we made it to the border in time. After Turkmenistan was Uzbekistan. The most challenging country during our cycle trip. Bad roads, injured dogs, boring scenery, a killer headwind, but some amazing people. Read more about our adventures in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Kyrgyzstan & Kazakhstan

When we arrived into Kyrgyzstan we were greeted with smooth highways, beautiful scenery and lots of cows, oh and mountains. We made it to Bishkek, and then from there cycled into the last Stan of the trip, Kazakhstan. Read more about our adventures in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan & China

The last few days cycling in Kazakhstan were cold! We were looking forward to getting to China and exchanging our bikes for backpacks. The cycle into China was easy, however the bad pollution lead us to hitchhike to Urumqi. Once in Urumqi we sold the bikes, and made our way to Beijing as backpackers. Read more about our China experience.

A Day in the Life of a Cycle Tourist

Ever wonder what it’s like to be a cycling nomad? This video gives a glimpse into the life of a cycle tourist, while we cycled through the Kazakh desert, during our France to China cycle trip.

Other Cycle Touring Videos

Canada

The cycle journey started on 27th June 2016 in Vancouver, British Columbia. We then spent the next 3.5 months cycling 7000km across Canada to Halifax. The cycle trip took us through the Rocky Mountains, the Prairie lands, the lake lands of Ontario, French Canada and finally the Maritimes.

Click here to read about our cycle trip across Canada.

Snapshot Canada: every 100km across Canada 

We decided to take a photo every 100km that we cycled across Canada. The idea was to put the photos together as a slide show in the hope that it will give a perspective of how the Canadian landscape changes coast to coast. I think it definitely puts the prairies and also Ontario into perspective in terms of distance. The road quality also changes drastically. In total we cycled 7000km across the country.

Farewell Canada: Cycling Canada to the USA

After spending the winter in Halifax, we were ready to start the next leg of our cycle trip, cycling to the US! This video is about our last week in Canada, cycling from Halifax to the US border.

Cycling the USA

Michael and I, entered the USA in Maine, then headed down the coast to Boston. We spent about 3 weeks cycling in New England, before heading West to New York state. From there we had a ‘slight’ change in plan!

 

Cycling Greece: conquering mountains, winds, storms, sun and the ‘feta and olives’ combo

cycling greece

6 weeks and we finally crossed into Greece

I was excited to eat my weight in feta, olives and stuffed vine leaves, though it turned out that cycling Greece was more expensive than anticipated. So unfortunately we didn’t eat out as much as we planned, though with the “Lidl-supermarket-take-over” – a new Lidl store on the outskirts of pretty much every town or city we cycled through. We were able to still eat most of Greece’s delights, at a more affordable price. We could tell we were going to enjoy cycling Greece!

Greece turned out not to be the easiest country for wild-camping. The first night we spent outside a BP station, the second in a bush behind a “kantina.” Most of the time we had to resort to finding an official campsite or hotel as there was too much exposed farm land, shepherds and stray dogs. We also spotted “bear warning” signs, though with all the farmland I’m not sure where the bears would actually hide.

cycling greece
Camping out our first gas station

Meteora

At the beginning of the trip, I had planned to fly to the UK from Thessaloniki on 13th June, to surprise my Nan for her 80th. Michael was going to stay in Greece to “fine tune” the bikes. We were ahead of schedule, and actually needed to slow down a bit. If we kept going the rate we were going, we would have to spend a week hanging around Thessaloniki or the “three fingers”. So, we decided to take a 300km detour to Meteroa, as a few people told us it was worth seeing. To our discoverer the road to Meteora was extremely hilly and challenging. When we finally arrived, it was well worth the detour and heartache. Meteora is made up of strange rock formation, jutting out of the ground. Some of these rock formations had ancient monasteries located on top.

cycling greece
Meteora

Summer is here!

From Meteora we headed further east towards the coast – and what turns out to be a tourist hotspot for Serbians, Romanians and Hungarians. There were still the odd thunderstorm, but it was mostly was sunny. We finally got some hot, sunny days to go for a swim at the beach. We hit the coast near Platamous, then made our way, slowly up the coast, passing Mount Olympus and the ancient ruins of Dion. Finally we arrived in the Greek port town, Thessaloniki – where we had a much needed break from cycling.

Cycle touring definitely takes it’s toll

While cycling Greece, we were headed up a hill on a busy highway, battling the winds, rain or occasionally hot sun, I often question why I’m doing this. Why am I putting myself through all of the pain and suffering? I’m definitely aware that I bitch and moan more than Michael, he seems to love it all. I do however like the odd luxury. I often have days where I completely hate cycling, while other days I find it quite enjoyable. I’m sure if I could record the thoughts I have while cycling, then play them for you now, you will think I’m nuts. A mixture of exhaustion, dehydration, boredom, and excitement can do funny things to your mind.

One thing I have come to realise is that the side of the road is usually the crappest part of the road – broken glass, blown tyres, road kill (so many hedgehogs), stones. People also honk for every reason you can think of, and somehow we are just supposed to know what the honk means.

A week off the bike… I was excited!

This was my holiday! No more cycling Greece for me. I was in the UK for a week, and the time flew by. It seems like a dream now. My Nan had no idea I was coming, and was quite surprised to see me walk through the door. I was greeted with shock, confusion and many questions. “Aren’t you supposed to be cycling in the Amazon, or one of those ‘funny countries’?” “Where is your bike?” “Where is your boyfriend?” “So, who knew about this? I don’t know who to trust anymore, no one tells me anything.”

My mum was also over from Australia, so I got to catch up with her as well as the rest of the family. I’m glad I took the opportunity, even though it took a week out of a cycle tour, which means we are now cycling like crazy to make up the time. It was worth it – plus it got me out of fixing and cleaning the bikes. Thanks Michael.

cycling greece
Thessaloniki road sign

Another change in plans

After a week off the bike, spent in a comfortable bed, eating and drinking my weight in food and drink, picking up and few things from Go Outdoors. I headed back to Thessaloniki. Our original plan was to cycle North along the coast and cross into Turkey, and then on to Istanbul. Here we planned to sort out our visas for Iran. After reading a bunch of cycle touring blogs and threads that told of the horrors of cycling into Istanbul we decided against. We’ve both been to the city before – it’s beautiful, but it’s huge, in size and population and it’s just plain crazy, especially in the summer season.

Greek Island Hopping

We decided to take a ferry from Thessaloniki to the Greek Island, Chios. Here we spent Michael’s birthday. Unfortunately, there is only one ferry per week, with Nel Lines, which meant we had a couple more days in Thessaloniki. It wasn’t too bad. I got to explore the city, we changed/added/cleaned a few things on the bikes, and even went to a Bob Dylan concert – such a hard life. We only spent one night on Chios, as we discovered, the Iranian visa agency (Touran Zamin), messed up our application, and we only had 21 days to cycle 1600km across Central Turkey. Fun times ahead! So, from Chios we caught the ferry to Cesme in Turkey. Turkey you better be ready for us!

cycling greece
The ferry to Turkey

Europe leg – completed!!!

Cycling Greece was awesome, but we were ready for the next leg, Asia! Hotter, longer, harder. I think it’s safe to say, our training is now over, and the real cycle tour is about to begin. Who knows whether we’ll make it, but there is only one way to find out. Bring on Asia!!!

Cycling Greece Stats

Accommodation: 3 nights wild camping, 6 nights in a cheap hotel, 5 nights in an official campsite, 1 night with a couchsurfer, 6 nights at Nan’s house (in England – while Michael stayed with a CSer), 1 night on a ferry

Total days spent in Greece: 18 days in Greece and 7 days in England

Spendings: Too much – lost count – no more than 20 euro per day

Bicycle maintenance: New cassette, new front brake pads and new chain for me; new cassette, new chain, new clogs, new tyre, new front brake pads, new inner tubes (probably more stuff I don’t know about), for Michael. We also had both the wheels on both bikes, trued as they were a bit out-of-line

Punctures: Me: 0 – Michael: 7

Our little treats: Michael – ouzo and coke and helva; Me – chocolate milk and stuffed vine leaves