Guilherme Chavenco Cesar Pestana is a resident of São Paulo, Brazil, but he recently completed a 35-day bicycle tour in Europe. This is his story.
Where did you go during your bike tour in Europe?
I left Amsterdam in the beginning of May (2013). These are the cities where I slept: Haarlem, Den Haah, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Arnhem, Xanten, Dusseldorf, Koln, Bonn, Koblenz, Mainz, Heidelberg, Baden Baden (2 nights), Freudenstadt, Triberg, Freiburg, Mettemberg, Schauffhausen, Konstanz, Lindau, St Gallen, Zurich, Lucerne (2 nights), Interlaken (3 nights), Murten, Neuchatel, Friburgo, Vevey, Lausanne, Geneve, Annecy! So, 31 days of cycling and 35 days in total!
When you first started planning your bicycle tour, was there anything that you worried about or maybe even afraid of?
I was afraid of two things actually:
– The roads I would take was the first thing. But after a lot of research, I discovered that Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland are great places to cycle… and they are!
– Secondly, any problem with my bike. I don’t know many things about how to fix it. In the end, I didn’t really overcome this fear… I just started cycling and hoped that nothing would go wrong.
What was the thing you liked most about your bicycle touring experience in Europe?
The fact that I don’t need to worry about the transportation, about schedules. I decided when I wanted to leave, which route to take, when to rest, and so on.
What was the thing you liked least about your bicycle tour?
Being alone for so many days was harder than I thought. But to find someone to do this with me is very hard.
Another thing I worried about a lot was getting to a new city each night and trying to find a place to sleep in a hostel/hotel. This was more stressful than I thought it would be. Next time I will have a tent with me so I can camp, for sure!
What is one thing that you learned from the website at www.bicycletouringpro.com?
Learning about the definition of “credit card touring!” This really helped to convince my father to let me do this! And of course, it gave me confidence to do this as well.
Name three things you learned from your bicycle tour:
- I don’t like to worry about anything.
- I envy the cycling routes in Europe. These sorts of trails don’t exist in my country (Brazil)
- The bike traveler is always the center of attentions when telling stories.
Do you think you’ll conduct more bicycle tours in the future? If so, where do you want to go? And why do you want to go there?
Sure! I want to go to Norway! Maybe Sweden and Denmark as well. I heard it is beautiful and great for cycling.
What one piece of advice would you give to someone who is planning their first bicycle touring adventure?
You don’t have to have strong legs or even be in very good shape to go bicycle touring! Of course it helps, but don’t think you can’t do it because of those two things! Prepare yourself for an incredible once in a lifetime adventure!