Black to Black has been an excursion a long time in the making. The idea spawned from the tandem excursions of two of our trepid trio in 2007 navigating their way from Lands End to John O’Groats (the southern to the most northern tip of the UK). Whilst raising money for a Parkinsons charity, Tom and Woody learnt the appreciation of seeing their native homeland via pedal power and sampled the pastiche of wonder that is the Great British Beer Garden. Through the toil of the 1500 km trip, light relief was provided by not only the scenery on show but the subtle nuances and personalities of over 50 pubs and the charm that came with each. The long days en saddle were punctuated with stops at some beautifully scenic spots along with some endearing traditional British pubs that powered weary legs to keep pedalling to see what was in store next. (For those keen to know, The Eagle and Child pub in Stavelely in the Lake District came top of our standing at the end of the trip. Several lovely beer gardens, great staff and a cracking beer to boot meant this pub was impossible to beat). A few trials and tribulations were endured as to be expected, but the trip was a huge success; however, a swift repeat performance became hampered through studies, location and generating an idea to top the Tandem Trip 07.
Flash forward four years and their displacement to main land Europe (Tom in Vienna and Woody in Berlin) combined with the long held yearning for more cycling adventures lead them to contemplate tackling double the distance on a trip to encompass ten different countries across the eastern side of their enthralling home continent. Thus the Danube (or Donua, for locals) 2011 was borne. Enter Anton. The third member of the current crew will join up with Tom and Woody for this European adventure from across the pond in Canada sharing equal excitement and enthusiasm for the journey ahead. For Tom and Woody, the tandem has made the journey to mainland Europe for its second major outing and for the three of them this represents unchartered territory. And all the better for it. Once again the challenging days will be alleviated by an attempt to find the most enticing beer garden on offer along the shores of the Danube. No doubt there will be many, but the unknown is the beauty of the trip, and stumbling across a local dispensary after a 140km day to enjoy a refreshing local tipple shall make the long days all the more rewarding. Once again a charitable cause is at heart. This time the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation is the very worthwhile cause and all donations would be much appreciated. The 3000 km in 24 days will be a tough task but riding to raise money and the prospect of some stunning scenery is enough to subside any trepidation on our behalf. We shall update the blog as often as possible to keep you all in the loop with how we get so for now enough of the back story and more to the journey itself:
Black to Black: The Forest to the Sea
Ciao for now,
Woody, Tom and Ezra Anton