Testing, testing…

This has been a test broadcast of the “Brian is sharing his European bike trip with people” setup. Assuming WordPress doesn’t screw it up, notification should appear on Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter and in a couple of people’s email inboxes.

Actual content will appear in due course.

While you’re waiting, here’s a photo of my bike, loaded up for a short one-night trip out to Goldstream Park back in March of this year. My loadout for Europe will be similar, at least externally, but more on that later!

Loaded Up

Is it not a handsome bicycle?


The Rules (Supposedly)

Tripped over the Velominati site recently, rummaging through cycle sites as one does, and rather enjoyed their roadie-centric, tongue-in-cheek The Rules. I especially like Rules 5, 9, & 10. Some of them are utter nonsense, of course, and like all things the whole thing should really not be taken too seriously.

Much more laid back, though, is Some answers to just about any bike forum post I’ve ever read over on Surly Bike’s unexpectedly awesome company blog. Surly’s entire website is awesome, actually. I knew they made good bikes, but they make good website too.


Vienna to Nantes by Bike, May-July 2014

So, the trip. I first read about this trip sometime in July or August last year (2013) while surfing the web one very slow day at work. I’d just bought a new bike, was wandering through biking-related websites, and found a mention of this French group (AF3V) who were running a group ride from Vienna, Austria to Nantes, France in the summer of 2014 – details to follow…

I kept the website in mind, and they started posting a few more details in the summer and early fall and I started getting more and more into the idea of shipping myself and my bike off to Austria and riding 2000+ km across four countries over six weeks.

The nominal reason for the ride is to celebrate the fact that Nantes will host VeloCity 2015, an international cycling conference, and to link it symbolically to Vienna, which hosted the 2013 Velo-City event, as well as to raise awareness of the Eurovelo bike routes generally. For me, though, it’s primarily a chance to get back to Europe – I haven’t been there since 2007, when I was enroute to South Africa, and prior to that two backpacking trips in 1997 & 2000 – and do a really epic bike ride!

The AF3V page on the Randonnée Vienne-Nantes has a short one-page list of stages downloadable in PDF form, as well as the much more detailed 100 page long “route book” recently uploaded in PDF which has more detail about where we’re staying on the ride and such.

I’ve also created four Google Maps setups, both so I could study the route before I went and also to share the route with friends and relatives easily.

Map One is Vienna, Austria to Passau, Germany, up the Danube from Austria’s capital into north-east Bavaria.

Map Two is Passau, Germany to Überlingen, Germany, across Bavaria in a wide arc north of Munich following the Danube nearly until it’s end, then heading south to the Bodensee (Lake Constance) on the German-Swiss border.

Map Three
is Überlingen, Germany to Digion, France, into Switzerland along the Rhine, then into France until we meet the Loire River at Digion.

Map Four is Digion, France to Nantes, France, entirely along the Loire almost to the Atlantic Ocean.

The whole route is somewhere in the neighbourhood of 2200km. The towns (each white dot) are right on each map, but the exact routes might well not be. Still enough to follow along, mostly, and for me to explore virtually in the next two weeks before I go!

More soon!

blogtrivia ubuntu

Dusting Things Off

It’s been a surprisingly long time since I actually published anything on this blog, for a wide variety of reasons. A large part of why this blog existed was to talk about my involvement with the Ubuntu project, but I’ve drifted gently over the last four to six years from being a regular contributor to Ubuntu to being just another opinionated user of it. Interests change, projects get bigger and move in unexpected directions (Unity, to pick an old scab…) and things gradually drift apart. I’ve been renewing my hard-won Ubuntu membership mostly out of reflex for several years now, and will probably finally let it lapse when I next get that prompting email from Launchpad.

That said, I am going to be using this blog again, mostly to talk about bicycling (I have a really, really awesome and epic European bike touring holiday coming up this month through June & July!) and other things that interest me, but to keep the “what is this doing on Planet Ubuntu?” whingers happy I’ve finally used WordPress’ excellent category-based-RSS feature to (mostly) feed only actual Ubuntu-related material (should I happen to write any…) to Planet Ubuntu. Hopefully that frees me to write more without worrying if it’s “suitable for Planet U”…

If you want to read occasional postings from a bike ride from Vienna, Austria to Nantes, France starting in a couple of weeks and going through to the third week of July, though, please stick around!