Biking Europe is a great way to make sure you don’t miss any sites or cultural experiences, like you possibly would via train or car.
Here’s some cool tips for getting the most out of the eastern part of Europe by bike:
10 Tips for Cycling Eastern Europe:
1. Pack Lightly: No surprises here, right? Avoid carrying any saddles on the front if possible and don’t have bags overhanging too close to your tires (experienced cyclists know how dangerous this is; if you’re a newbie, you don’t want to learn how dangerous it can be!)
2. Drop a tent any old place, forget the hotels and hostels: Don’t miss a minute of that fresh eastern European air!
3. Beware of trigger-happy hunters: It never hurts to research the areas you’ll travel ahead of time to ensure your safety. Same goes for walking in the woods at home — if you’re not a hunter you’re putting yourself at the mercy of a hungry hunter whose likely been waiting for hours just to hear/see something moving around so they can shoot it. Stranger things have happened!
4. It’s easy to make friends: So true of Europe. You’ll quickly realize just how snobby North America has become over the last 100 years or so. If you are a snobbish type, don’t take that baggage with you or you’ll have a lonely trip!
5. Obey local customs: The video mentioned the obligatory 3 shots of rakija (a strong fruity wine/brandy) when socializing in Srpska. Don’t be rude and refuse the local’s generous offerings, unless you have a really good reason.
6. Don’t be picky about what you eat/drink, cycling takes a lot of energy: Ugghhh! 12% cream chocolate milk? I think I’ll be a little more discerning, but the hosts are right about making sure you get food in your belly on a regular basis.
7. Trip planning has risks: Not sure I got what they were saying here. Fail to plan, plan to fail right? (chime in with your own thoughts in the comments.)
8. Pay respect to the past: Many of your relatives fought or were tortured/killed in many of these countries (just pick a war). It’s hard to fathom, since the country-side is so tranquil and innocent looking for the most part. Say a prayer when you see the war-ravaged bits, if that’s your thing.
9. Don’t just pedal, enjoy the experience: Nuff said on this one. Cycling isn’t the easiest way to travel the country, but you’re still there to enjoy the experience.
10. Dance, dance, dance: Hey, these two sure had some fun along the way, didn’t they?