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Lyon on Touring, Part 1

A highlight of each of the last 21 years has been my 8-14 day self-guided cycling tour along Europe’s grand rivers. A couple of years ago I wrote, “Cycling Along Europe’s Rivers: Bicycle Touring Made Easy and Affordable.”  I am pleased to be joining Bike Tour Finder to write a monthly blog covering various types for touring, route suggestions, and other discussion items.

I wrote my book and am undertaking this blog because many have asked me how to undertake these trips and experience these adventures. They are often surprised just how easy and inexpensive these rides can be with our approach, and how they are suitable for all types of riders. I will try and make my advice practical and easy to follow —a “how to” approach. I hope you can also start enjoying these wonderful adventures to Europe!

Let me start with my key considerations for planning my trips: (1) keep the trips to a reasonable period of time so they can be completed during limited vacation periods, (2) make them relatively low cost, (3) find interesting and varied locations, (4) identify easy access points, such as international airports for starting and ending a trip, and good train service along the routes, and (5) selecting routes that are generally flat— which means riding along rivers! Given that for the last two years I have taken these trips with my 9 year old son on our tandem, I will also discuss riding with a family — and how to have non-riders join you on a self-guided, unsupported, trip.

I will be back next month with my next blog: how to use trains and boats as your “sag” wagon.  Also, please feel free to email with questions.

Michael Lyon is author of “Cycling Along Europe’s Rivers” www.amazon.com , and works in the international business development and space sectors from his home near Washington, D.C.

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