2007 Holyhead to Cardiff
So the long and short of it is, two guys got drunk one night and decided to ride from Swansea to Dolgellau… having done that, there was only one logical next step… The length of Wales in 2 days! We drove up to Holyhead on the Friday night and we rode into Cardiff on the Sunday evening… absolutely battered!
2008 Paris to Monte Carlo
The first unsupported long haul. An epic journey and quite an undertaking in those days! Without any mobile Nav, other than the maps we bought as we moved from region to region, it was a huge learning curve. Carrying a load of kit we didn’t need and pretty much missing all the bits we did need, we took on this 600 mile adventure. They said it couldn’t be done but it was merely the beginning of what was to come!
2010 Cardiff to Paris
So we thought we’d fill the gap between our last two rides. I seem to recall the Tory/LibDem Coalition was formed on the day we left… and my rear dérailleur decided to explode just outside Bristol! A possible omen of Nick Clegg’s career?! We were hugely hampered by a French dock worker’s strike, which delayed our over night ferry, and halved our opportunity to sleep, by 5 hours. This in turn shortened our next day of riding and, throw in a broken spoke, put us under huge time pressure to get to the Eiffel tower… but we made it!
2011 Holyhead to Cardiff (again)
Not content on doing it in 2 days, we thought we have a crack at a 24 hour challenge!! As it turned out 220 miles in 23 hours was the single hardest day I’ve ever lived through… and there’s been a few!
2012 Monte Carlo to Rome
Joined by Andy and Kev for the first time, we rode through rain that turned the roads into rivers, over climbs that lasted 3 hours, along Roman roads that didn’t turn for 10 miles and finally… finished in ROMA! A beautiful trip, through San Remo, Genoa, Pisa to name but a few!… oh and the pizza was sublime!
2013 Rome to Ljubljana
Two more Cadermen joined the party, with Dave and Owen making it six crazy fools riding across the back bone of Italy, up the Adriatic coast, through Venice and crossing into Slovenia. The famous Komen night preceded a somewhat tender ride into the beautiful Capital Ljubljana. Hale stones, floods and tea pot hugging… the elements turned this beautiful ride into a bloody tough outing.
2014 Ljubljana to Dubrovnik (Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia Herzegovina)
Pushing east brought about its own challenges but we simply weren’t prepared for what lay ahead. Having negotiated Slovenia and Croatia we arrived in Bosnia in good shape… Then we encountered the worst rain fall the region had seen for decades. Freezing temperatures, no road surfaces, land mines surrounding the road and bears in cafes… it had it all!
2015 Dubrovnik to Thessaloniki (Bosnia, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia and Greece)
We couldn’t leave a gap where we’d been forced to abandon in 2014, so it was back to Bosnia for two days to fill in the section we’d missed and conquer the route to the ski station. 10,000 ft of ascent in one day and we’d ticked that box. By the end of day two we were in Dubrovnik, yet another beautiful place. With an extra Caderman on board, Gareth, the seven of us headed south through Montenegro and took on the Kotor bay climb, which is probably the most stunning part of the route to date and well worth a visit if you’re ever in the region and at a loose end! We finished off the route via Albania (snakes, filth and some stunning scenery), Macedonia (Go to lake Ohrid…unforgettable and not remotely ‘orrid) and Greece (HOT!).
2016 Thessaloniki to Szeged (Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, Romania and Hungary)
5 countries, 5 currencies, 5 languages, 600 miles, all in a week! Another amazing adventure… more snakes, a brand new Caderman Ianto, a village that only sold honey, Sun set on the majestic Danube, a stereo typically Communist hotel, the randomness and kindness of Serbian folk, a brief stint in Romania and finished off in Hungary.