One Year Of Bicycle Touring In Europe – 2012 Video Review

2012 was a truly incredible year!

Here’s just a small taste of what I did:

  • Spent 4 months skiing at North America’s #1 ski resort – Deer Valley.
  • Watched 12 amazing movies at the Sundance Film Festival.
  • Saw more than a dozen famous musicians perform, including A Fine Frenzy, Lisa Hannigan, Nellie McKay, Flying Lotus, Josh Kelley, Ingrid Michaelson, Natasha Bedingfield and more.
  • Crashed my bicycle three times while cycling in the snow and doing research for my new Winter Cycling book.
  • Rented out my condo in Park City, Utah, thus freeing me up to travel for the next year or more.
  • Rode my motorcycle across the deserts of Utah, Nevada and California.
  • Spent 25-days cycling around Iceland with my ex-college roommate, Brandon Roesler.
  • Spent an entire month touring around France, Belgium and the Netherlands.
  • Stayed for more than a week with my friend Fee and her family in the tiny village of Ludorf, Germany.
  • Wild camped in Luxembourg and saw the most amazing street performance ever in Metz, France.
  • Cycled across the Swiss Alps on a 10-day guided bicycle tour with Bike Switzerland.
  • Spent a week with my second family, the Rybickis, at their home and in the mountains of Livigno, Italy.
  • Rented an apartment in Istanbul, Turkey and stayed there for an entire month to tour the city and see the sights.
  • Rode my bicycle up the shores of the Black Sea to the city of Varna, Bulgaria.
  • Made 5-minute friends with Mormon missionaries in Ruse.
  • Spent two days reading and sleeping in my tent during a massive rain storm in southern Romania.
  • Made dozens of friends in beautiful Brasov, Romania.
  • Spent one week cycling through the mountains of Transylvania and frequently pushing my bicycle uphill.
  • Froze my ass off in Moldova after discovering a giant hole in the bottom of my left cycling shoe.
  • Crossed through the supposedly dangerous territory known as Transnistria.
  • Spent two weeks in the city of Lviv, where I saw people laughing, crying, loving and fighting with one another.
  • Rented an apartment in Krakow, Poland just blocks from the city center.
  • Explored the Wieliczka Salt Mines.
  • Traveled to 18 total countries
  • Used 11 foreign currencies
  • Spoke 12 different languages
  • And had the absolutely best year of my entire life.

Bicycle Touring Pro - 2012

Now that 2013 is just around the corner, I’m starting to wonder how I can make next year even better?

It’s going to be tough, but here’s what I have planned thus far:

  • I’ll be spending the New Year in Krakow, Poland.
  • On January 1st I am launching a new website for people who are interested in guided bicycle tours. It will be the sister-site to the website here at Bicycle Touring Pro.
  • Then I’ll ride my bicycle through the cold and snow to Slovakia, where I plan to spend a week or so skiing in the mountains.
  • Then I’ll cross through the Czech Republic and cycle back into southern Poland. I plan to visit a friend in Wroclaw before cycling north to the city of Poznan.
  • I’ll remain in Poznan, where I will then put the finishing touches on my new Winter Cycling book before launching it to the public.
  • I’ll then fly to South Africa and spend three months bicycle touring around the country.
  • I also plan on traveling through the neighboring countries of Mozambique, Swaziland and Lesotho.
  • Then I’ll fly back to Los Angeles, California, where I plan to spend a month or so visiting with my parents, friends and family.
  • After that I am going to be riding a motorcycle (possibly with my bicycle in tow) across the United Stats and Canada.
  • And what I do after that I’m not exactly sure.

Bicycle Touring Pro in Europe 2012

I want to take this moment to thank you for being a part of this amazing year… and I hope you’ll continue to follow my adventures in 2013 and beyond.

More than that, however, I hope that what I’ve done this year has inspired you in some small way.

So many people I meet on my travels are under the impression that what I do is out of reach for them personally. But there’s very little I did this year that you could not do.

The secret, I think, to accomplishing what you want most in life, is to know what you want to accomplish and then start taking small steps towards that goal every single day.

Determination, the willingness to get a little dirty and make a few sacrifices along the way is really all it takes.

I challenge you to give it a try this year. Think of at least one thing you REALLY want to do over the next 12 months and begin taking small steps towards that goal every single day. Before you know it, you’ll have accomplished what you set out to accomplish.

Take one small step toward your goal every day and before you know it you will have found a new job, ridden a bicycle across Europe, learned how to paraglide, taught yourself a new language and who knows what else!

I’m going to try my hardest to make 2013 the best year ever… and I hope you will do the same.

Thanks again for your wonderful support… and here’s to an incredible New Year!

Bicycle Touring Pro - camping in Europe 2012


20 thoughts on “One Year Of Bicycle Touring In Europe – 2012 Video Review

  1. Anton says:

    Awesome! thanks a lot for your blog!

    Have a great new year and even more adventures and fun times : )

    A quick question, what do you think, would you have managed this lifestyle if you were with somebody else ? Married, kids ?

    I love to travel and I was looking for a partner who would be willing to go anywhere and do some crazy stuff and not care about earning money to get a nice car. She is actually all that on outside, but on inside I can feel that she wants a warm and cozy home, a nice car, nice clothes and adventure is not really her thing after all. Don’t know what to do now, be kind of egoistic and still take her everywhere or try to make her life be the life that she wants…

  2. Andreas says:

    Love it Darren – if you do an eBook on how to take amazing travel pictures I’ll be your first customer! Your camera skills have come an incredibly long way.

    Merry Christmas buddy!

  3. Merida says:

    Wonderful description of an absolutely fabulous year’s experience. Good on you! You’ve done an excellent job of encouraging me to follow suit.
    Can’t wait for your new book on winter camping/bicycling to be released and I’m looking forward to your next tour and story.
    Congrats…Good luck in 2013….Merida

  4. Denny Francisco says:

    Congrats, Darren!
    You’ve discovered and savored more in one year of travel than many people experience in a lifetime! Think about that! Not many of us can escape the demands of a job and family responsibilities for months at a time. Travel always renews my spirit even if only a week or two at a time. Keep up the good stories and enjoy the wonders of our planet and people!

  5. John Pah says:

    You are simply great, how I wish taking up cycling younger. Never mind not too late I hope ( been cycling for 3 years) . I am 67 and my 4 cycling buddies are around 70. We do tour with our foldies, but short ones, less than 5 days, in our own country (Malaysia) and Thailand. We do about 80 km average per day, and we are planing China and Bali (Indonesia). Me and my friends are very inspired with your achievements and pick up a lot of good tips, keep it up, hope to see more Asians doing this in Asian countries.

  6. Ken says:

    Well Darren, it has been an absolute pleaseure to partner you along part of your year through your photos and prose. I’ve really felt I’ve been there with you on some of your posts because of your incredibly personable style and likeable character. I wish you all the best for 2013 and hope you achieve all you set out to. Maybe I’ll get enough dough to buy one or two of your publications to help you out along the way. Slange Ava!

  7. Ken says:

    Slange Ava should read slàinte mhath – “meaning good health” in scottish gealic. Maybe you could change my post 🙂

  8. David says:

    Inspirational! – You look truly alive Darren and living every minute of your life. Thank you for sharing your experiences and encouraging others to try cycle touring. Best wishes for the New Year.

  9. darron says:

    Great video, but maybe I’m getting old. I really think it would benefit from being slowed down a ltitle. So much to see, but not enough time so see it all. Next year sounds great fun as well.

  10. Bill says:

    Darren: Great video. Congrats on an outstanding 2012. You’ve inspired me to do my first self-supported bike tour, in the Eastern Sierra, in 2013. Best wishes for another outstanding year in 2013;))

  11. Don L. says:

    I’ve been real happy I accidently came across your website several weeks ago. It’s been extremely interesting to watch your experiences. In addition to being Blessed, I think you have a lot of self-determination/motivation that many of the rest of us need. It’s so easy to make excuses not to be able to do something, but you don’t seem to have that character flaw. I will probably continue to watch and read about you from time to time during the 2013 year. One thing I think you might consider if not already… If you married one of those European girls you’ve had contact with then you could get a two person tent and the nights spent in it would be much more enjoyable!!

  12. BARRY NERNEY says:

    Thanks for the inspiration Darren.2012 was certainly an amazing achievement. I loved the video though I would like it to be slower so as to enjoy each pic more. Could you set it so I can scroll through at my own pace?

  13. Scott says:

    I also loved the year in pictures. how can anyone not love them? I have one criticism, though. You didn’t credit the music. It was an awesome choice and I want to get that song. Can you post the information?

  14. Angelo L. Coletta says:

    I enjoy following you. I have given notice that I am leaving Akron on my bike May 2014. I plan to cycle to the east coast and follow it north through Canada. Then Iceland. Then Norway and all points east and south.

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