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How I cycled to Amsterdam: my first bike touring experience (promo)

How I cycled to Amsterdam: my first bike touring experience (promo)

January 2020 · 2 min read · Amsterdam

In 2017 citizens of my country gained the possibility to cross the EU border without visa. It means, no longer collecting annoying documents for the embassy like "the proof I'm working at some workplace and have the shitty salary". You know, embassies like that stuff. So, the hobos like me from that year can easy travel in Western Europe :).

I created the facebook page and telegram channel, called it "Безвізова велоподорож" - translated as "visa free bike journey", or "travel on your bike without visas".

The idea was to cross the whole continent on my bicycle. After considering all the possible difficulties on the road, I decided to cycle from Uzhhorod (the westernmost Ukrainian city) to Amsterdam. I had no bike touring experience...

Map of my journey (red line). Ukraine - Slovakia - Chech Republic - Germany - Belgium - Netherlands.

Before this journey I cycled only short distances around my city, Kyiv. And once went to Carpathian mountains for few days biking with my friends.

My bike was the cheapest one from "manufactured by famous brand". Trek 3700. Also I had a road racing bicycle. I selled it for 300 euro - the bigger part of my budget for this trip.

I had 400 euro for it all. Planned to spend from 1 to 2 monthes pedaling.

Of course, I had to wildcamp everywhere and to avoid any paid sleeping. One guy recomended me to register on - thanks to him, I found a lot of hospitable people in different countries!

Other stuff for such a long trip I collected from my friends - pannier bag was very old, the guy who gave it to me wasn't using it for a long time. Or had it before - for example, camping tent, 6 years old. Or bought it on second-hand shop - my helmet.

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Another friend shoot me for the promo video:

Finally, I bought the cheepest ticket on a train from Kyiv to Uzhhorod. On my first day, I had to cross the border...

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To be continued.

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