I remember Thursday mornings in year 8 at high school in Australia. Tech studies – woodwork. I dreaded it with a passion. 30 years later I am afraid of touching my bike – I might stuff it up. Not good if I am to cycle around the world. So, biting the bullet – Matthew and the art of bicycle maintenance.

Bike maintenance

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In this post I examine different options I have found in posting cycle routes on a free wordpress.com blog.

For my upcoming cycle adventure I want to track my trip, and post the route on my blog. I use a wordpress.com free blog. As many have noted in various forums, most iframe and flash elements are blocked due to security concerns on wordpress.com, which means it is quite difficult to post a freshly tracked route on your blog – especially when the post is created from the WordPress smartphone app.

In the past I have tracked my route with the EveryTrail smartphone app, and embedded the track on the wordpress.com blog using a flash workaround. This map often takes a long time to load, and is not visible at all when viewed from a smart phone. Much preferable would be an iframe element like on the TwistingSpokes blog. (Martin and Susanne from TwistingSpokes say they use a wordpress.org blog with a google maps gpx viewer plugin. WordPress.com does not allow plugins.) This loads quickly, and is also viewable on a smart phone.

It is possible to use iframe directly with google maps on wordpress.com, and so, if you can import your tracked trip into google maps, you can then post it on the blog. This can be done in several steps (which cannot be done on a smart phone).

  • Save the recorded gpx file. (Using EveryTrail, the download gpx file option is in the bottom right of the screen.)
  • Convert the gpx file into a kml file with GPS Visualizer. Save the converted kml file.
  • Open google maps in the classical interface. Go to My Places  and click on Create with Classic MyMaps.
  • Click on import and then load the kml file just created.
  • Click on the link button and then copy the iframe text. Post this in the wordpress.com post.

Below is the EveryTrail flash version of the map, and the iframe version described in this post.

For my blog, I intend to use the iframe version when I have more time and access to wifi.

Why plan in such detail? And so far ahead? Well, that’s my ordered side. Things need to be arranged. Leave nothing to chance. And that is exactly what a trip like this can never be like.. That also makes it exciting. Still, planning can help make broad global decisions that will affect the whole trip. And it is also a lot of fun!

In September 2014 I will be leaving Eindhoven, the Netherlands, to cycle to Adelaide, Australia, where I was born. After cycling through Europe in 2014, the second stage of my trip starts in Istanbul in Turkey around March 2015, and sees me end somewhere in South-East Asia. There are lots of options, and lots of decisions to make. Here is the current planned route.

World Bike Trip 2015: Route through Asia

World Bike Trip 2015: Route through Asia

At first I was a bit irritated when I discovered that, perhaps, my timing was a bit skew. I have planned too much time. Leaving Istanbul in February/March to get to Tajikistan on June 1 where I would meet up with my cycling friend Chris. But, hey, this is a cycle trip of a lifetime. No stress. No hectic agenda. I am going to take my time and see places not many people have the privilege to see. I am going to take detours. This route is the basis. I am now collecting ideas for detours – interesting places to see and things to do!

Here are the countries I will be cycling through with some thoughts on my route through them.

In Turkey I might stick to the Black Sea coast and enter into Georgia, Armenia, and possibly Azerbijan. But in the correct order. The relationships between the countries in the Caucus are complex, and in researching the trip I am discovering things I never knew existed – self proclaimed countries recognised by no-one except themselves – Abkhazia and Nagorna-Karabagh.

In Iran I may head south through Isfahan and Shiraz as recommended by Bernadette Speet. The major decisions that affect the global route take place in China. Strict laws in the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR), expensive (compulsory) tours that need to be taken there, roads blocked for tourists, length of Chinese visas, timing of wet and hot season in Bangladesh, lack of roads leading to massive detours on the Tibetan Plateau, the impossibility of crossing Myanmar. All these affect my route through China, and, inevitably, what the whole trip looks like. I would like to have a connected route entirely covered by bike – and I would like to see Bangladesh. The only option is to fly.

My planning continues – fine tuning the European and Asian route, and also putting together the third and final stage of the trip – the ‘South-East Asian’ leg.. :-)

My route through Europe, on the way from the Netherlands to Australia by bike is complete. Well, I have a draft route with lots of options. And I will definitely end up cycling something else. That’s part of the fun. Still, it’s nice to have a basic plan to make some timing estimates.

World Bike Trip 2014: Route through Europe

World Bike Trip 2014: Route through Europe

The starting date is 13 September 2014. Here are some expected dates (very approx):

  • Stelvio pass 28.09.2014
  • Trieste 05.10.2014 – then one week on the Istria peninsula
  • Thessaloniki 30.10.2014

I plan to arrive in Istanbul the start of December. Clearly I will have about one month extra up my sleeve, so, depending on how I feel, I will do detours on the way. One I have in mind is cycle to Athens, then take the boat to Chios, and then cycle up the Turkish coast to Istanbul. Let’s see.

Once arriving in Istanbul, I will take a break for about 3 months for the seasons to change. I will spend Christmas in Australia before returning to Istanbul to continue the trip.

Many thanks to lots of friends and people from the cycling forums for their tips and advice. A lot of it has been built into the route. In fact, in many countries, I have lots of different options for my route, which are visible in the links below. See how I feel when I get there. Here are the more detailed routes and notes on the different countries in Europe.

The planning of my route through Europe (as part of my cycle trip from Eindhoven in the Netherlands, to Adelaide, Australia)  is getting towards the exciting, most unknown part. For me, Albania and Macedonia feel the most foreign and exotic of my European destinations. I have read many people saying that Albania is ‘interesting’. I am looking forward with great interest to visit this forgotten but beautiful corner of Europe.

Lake Ohrid, Macedonia. http://myweb.unomaha.edu

Lake Ohrid, Macedonia. http://myweb.unomaha.edu

Like on earlier trips, I am planning a route, and letting people out there in internet land shoot at it. Here are my planned routes for Albania and Macedonia. 

All suggestions are welcome!

The planning continues – putting together a cycling route through Europe as part of my world cycle from Eindhoven in the Netherlands, to Adelaide, Australia.

This is a part I am really looking forward to. Coming down from the alps, visiting the spectacular city of Venezia (Venice), before cycling down the beautiful Balkan coast. The photos of that coast look amazing. *Excited*.


Skadar lake in Montenegro. (www.caingram.info)

Like on earlier trips, I am planning a route, and letting people out there in internet land shoot at it. Here are my planned routes for Italy, Croatia and Montenegro.

All suggestions are welcome!

Its time to get concrete. My rough plan of cycling from Eindhoven in the Netherlands, to Adelaide, Australia is done. I have handed in my notice, and am working through lots of paperwork and other preparations. Now its time to plan the route – in more detail.

Like on earlier trips, I am planning a route, and letting people out there in internet land shoot at it. Clearly there is a lot of work to plan a 25000 km trip. I have started with planning my route through Germany, and then Switzerland.

All suggestions are welcome!