To be honest the tales of my parents and grand parents of touring in the mid twentieth century rather put me off touring - all that Hebden cord, YHA accomodation and long hours in the saddle on lumpy touring bikes. Wasn't i more of a racing whippet?
So for twenty five years my riding consisted of whizzing up and down dual carriageways, hurtling around wooden bowls and chasing around the countryside in a bunch of likewise deranged individuals. Of course there were long day rides and even centred bike based holidays but it wasn't until after such a trip to Germany that the seeds of an actual tour were sewn. I'd been working selling touring bikes for a few years and it only seemed right that i should experience what it was all about.
No little loop around the wolds or the awful prospect of the End to End, no i was going to cycle camp from Bonn to Innsbruck over three weeks using the Romantic Strasse as the basis for the longest stretch down through Bavaria. Talk about in at the deep end, too much kit, too long days, too little money but an experience that had me hooked! I ended up doing 1800km plus, going an extra 300km all the way to Salzburg when my return travel arrangements were changed while i was away.
Since then i've done a two week plus trip each year covering a good chunk of Germany, Denmark, Austria and bits of Switzerland. The kit has been refined, the bike upgraded, the planning extensive (its half the fun) and whilst tame by some peoples standards, it suits me. This year its mid-east Germany, next year, a significant birthday year, its Switzerland, i want to go back to Denmark, there's more of Germany to explore and, and....
Whilst i started out racing about, and i still do the odd sportive, these days the annual tour is the main focus of my bike riding.
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!