The Ride Across Europe Is Completed

// 6 July 2010 // 2 Comments » // Uncategorized

We cycled for 3 weeks and 2 days. We rode up and downhill on the hills of England. We had crazy fun on the ferry from Hull to Rotterdam. We enjoyed Holland, the cyclists’ heaven. We were terminated by the hills of Nordrhein Westfallen and Hesse. We loved Bavaria. We flew through beautiful Austria. We sprinted madly through Slovakia. We were flooded and bullied in the Hungarian puszta. We rediscovered our Transylvania. We are home.

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RideAcrossers

// 26 June 2010 // No Comments » // Uncategorized

We will update the blog as we cycle, however, being on the road impedes posting. We will be back with a lot of thematic posts gathered… across Europe. Currently we are in Vienna and I just want to mention two other tourers that joined RideAcross’ route and cause.

Anton Duma, the Romanian Wanderer. He made 15,000 km in the last year on his touring bike, he practically lives on his bike and is looking for himself in some sort of a two-wheeled introspection. Well, he supported our cause for as long as Holland is, from the port of Rotterdam to Nijmegen, pretty close to the German border.

Adrian Bienicki, the genuine Geezer. He joined us in Wels, central Austria. He was supposed to be accompanied by his extremely young son in cart pulled by his bike, however, transport related difficulties kept young Rumi at home, in Gdansk.

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Regensburg: Giddens and Cycling

// 21 June 2010 // No Comments » // Uncategorized

Cycling through Europe brought about Anthony Giddens’ approach on the politics of climate change. Together with pedals, cranksets and handlebars we are carrying environmental debate. So, in Regensburg, Bavaria, after a ‘blasting’ discussion with Andrea, a researcher at the University of Regensburg, I shall summarize the Giddens’ paradox from a discussion I had with the sociologist a year ago.


“It follows what I have called the Giddens paradox. We base future policies on too abstract risks. Society reacts when risk is genuine, but with climate change the risk will occur too late and it will be impossible to react, “says Giddens. When greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will be over acceptable limits, we will not be able to get back.

Structural change must take place also in terms of policies not only businesses, “says Giddens. “Until today we had only short-term policies. We must get back to planning, but planning downwards a regulated state, as it happened in the 50s till the 70s, “the sociologist smiles. Policies must be continuous and not determined by the four years that a party or coalition in power benefit.

New regulations, both supranational (EU) and national, will build a low carbon market, says Giddens. Until then, we must “avoid political polarization in relation to climate change.” Italy is an example of radical polarization of climate policy: led by Berlusconi’s right they play the skeptics, while socialists traditionally, support the fight against global warming. Same scenario: Obama has one of the most complex plans to fight global warming, while Republicans are violently opposed. Therefore, climate change policies do not take the struggle between left and right politics. Green is the new red.

Climate change policies will necessarily be ‘normalized’. It takes what I call a “concorder”, a concept to keep institutional consensus on the issue of economic and social effects of climate change and establish a “liability to the entire globe.”

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Sheffield – Hull

// 18 June 2010 // No Comments » // Uncategorized

The last fish n’ chips found us 25 km before Kingston upon Hull. Excellent and merely 5 quid. All inhabited places were carefully decorated with St. George’s cross anticipating the dullest match of the World Cup, England vs. USA. Football emptied the streets, a fantastically poor traffic gave us the chance to admire the beautiful English green desert.

After a 118 km ride we got to Hull and a kind hearted mechanic, Craig, tuned our bicycles almost for free. Calin had to change a pedal after an easy fall. Thanks Craig.

There was a funny part of this part of the trip: just before we got to the port there was a last ascent, 200 m elevation, that absolutely killed us. ‘Are we ascending towards the bloody sea?,’ screamed out Calin?

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Aaaaaand… we’re off!

// 12 June 2010 // 1 Comment » // Uncategorized

:)

All day we’ll cycle to Hull and get a ferry to Rotterdam! RideAcross has begun!

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Ed Brown Joins RideAcross

// 11 June 2010 // No Comments » // Uncategorized

Ed Brown decided to join the cause of RideAcross. He is a Sheffield native and have ridden a bike on and off for the past 25 years. He is going to ride with us for two weeks starting in Sheffield and ending up somewhere in South Eastern Germany.

“In recent months I’ve been riding with the CTC which is where Calin persuaded me it would be a good idea to ride across Europe,” says Ed.

The photo was taken earlier on this year in the hills directly above Sheffield, near Ringinglow.

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Henry’s Fundraiser

// 11 June 2010 // No Comments » // Uncategorized

Through the kindness of Mark Simmonite, owner of Henry’s Cafe Bar in Sheffield, I spent a few hours in the window of their lovely friendly pub cycling away and fundraising for Ride Across Europe.


I’ll take this opportunity to introduce Sandra Nundy to you all who has been an amazing support to RideAcross.eu since we started fundraising. It was Sandra’s idea to do this event, it was Sandra who arranged our Radio Interview and it was Sandra that arranged our media exposure through HR Media of Sheffield.

So let me thank Sandra again for the manner in which she selflessly dedicated her time to supporting our project. Please visit Sandra’s website at www.essentiallyhealthy.co.uk and contact her if you would like to find out more about Nutreas (the food of champions).

Secondly, let me thank Sussie Pauer, Julia Keinert, Eleonora Bindi and Ian Sales for coming down to support me…

I hope you all enjoy the pictures…

Gosh just 16 hours left ’till departure…

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Pre-RideAcross

// 9 June 2010 // No Comments » // Uncategorized

Manchester to Sheffield via Snake Pass in the Peak District.

After 42 hours of  crouched sleeping in a slow coach we descended on the hot pavement in front of Manchester Piccadilly Rail Station. Temperature: 29 degrees, perfect azure sky, a Mediterranean weather, great for a crossing through the Peak District National Park to Sheffield. It took me 45 minutes to unpack and assemble the bicycle. Troop luggage with the rack on the back, I hereby salute the Chinese inventor of the raffia bag who literally saved me, and I could wrap my pad and sleeping bag.

Then I started to Glossop, gateway to the Peak District in what is called the Snake Pass.  The initial part would be painful at first: a climb of five miles with 15% slope incline. It is a source of excess lactic acid and utmost effort. Mountains are extremely perverted in England – actually they are some pre-cambriene hills with many ups and downs that require enormous doses of muscle power. The beautiful part was the long descent from an altitude of 600m (very high in British standards) to Ladybower reservoir, an area that we had crossed a year ago, Calin, Mark and me, riding MTB’s.

The last climb after a half hour rest, was an easy workout. Another 15 km of downhill and I met Calin at the entrance of Sheffield. By 10 more km and we were home. The planning part of Ride Across has began.

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Calin Gruia awarded a BTN scholarship for RideAcross.eu

// 25 May 2010 // No Comments » // Uncategorized

Calin Gruia was recently awarded a BTN Scolarship. The Bicycle Travel Network is an initiative dedicated to helping young travelers get out and explore the world by bike. Created by founders Darren Alff, Kate Harris, Alastair Humphreys and Tom Kevill-Davies, the Bicycle Travel Network is a real-life collaboration between a handful of prominent 21st century bike travelers from across the globe.

Tiberius Calin Gruia, 31, a Romanian citizen currently residing in Britain, was one of the winners of The Bicycle Travel Network scholarship, founded to help launch first-time bike travelers onto the open road.

And now for a Q & A session with Tiberius…


1. Tell us the plan for your trip.

On the 12th of June 2010 we will be embarking on a one month bicycle ride across Europe (England to Romania), hoping to raise 10,000 euros in support of Romanian children living in the alpine areas of Transylvania. The funds will be used to purchase bicycles and helmets for 30 pupils who currently have to walk 10-25km just to get to school.

2. Why did you chose this particular route?
We just couldn’t think of a better way of putting our passion (cycling) to a good use, other than riding for a charitable goal. Born in Romania, we’ve traveled and seen many places but haven’t forgotten our roots and the joy of supporting a good cause. I’ve left Romania hitch-hiking 12 years ago on 7th July so, since now we’ll be arriving around that date, it would be a bit like a “coming home” experience for me…

3. Why have you chosen to travel by bicycle versus another means of transportation?
The aim is to make a point and promote cycling as a cleaner, more efficient, healthier transport alternative. Cycling is strictly tied in with our cause and the aim for our trip. Oh, and did I mention I absolutely love cycling…? :)

4. Other than a great adventure, what else are you hoping to gain from your journey?
Details of our cause can be found on our website at http://rideacross.eu/?page_id=5. We’re hoping to raise the planned amount or nearest closest to it to achieve our goal and help the children of the Carpathians help themselves.

5. Do you have any personal fears about making long bicycle trip?
Cars. God, how I hate cars…

6. What has been the biggest hurdle in planning your trip so far? How have you… or how to you plan to over come it?
Finding the time to do it, getting enough time off work… but we managed in the end to get 4 weeks in a row. Thanks Work! Convincing people to part with their money for a good cause it’s always challenging but if you have a strong proposition to put forward you pretty much make it impossible for them not to contribute.

7. How are you going to use your BTN Scholarship?
We’re gonna put the money towards a pair of front panniers for my colleague Raul for the trip. The Darren’s Traveller’s Blueprint makes for fantastic advice and Tom’s book a source of inspiration.

8. What aspects of your journey are you looking forward to most?
If I’m completely honest, the grinding and the physical challenge somehow appeal to me a lot. The Dutch cycle lanes, the German Sausages and Weiss-bier, the Weiner Schnitzel and the Romanian Mititei I’m gonna devour… But most of all seeing a kid’s face upon receiving his new mountain bike is what motivates me most. Please visit www.rideacross.eu and make this dream possible. Thank you.

Congratulations again, Tiberius! We at BTN look forward to hearing about your bike travels.

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Cugir Municipality Support

// 7 May 2010 // 1 Comment » // Uncategorized

Cugir Municipality and its elected mayor, Adrian Teban, fully supports RideAcross and 2Celsius. The Town Hall shall provide the cycling related traffic signs. The partnership will be further extended on school greening, educational, and energy autonomy for public buildings projects carried out by 2Celsius.

Cheers.

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