How Do I Define My Route?
I am very interested in ancient architecture, beautiful natural places, cultures of various countries, interior design of noteworthy historical hotels and buildings. I also use the list of the Unesco World heritage sites and have visited more than 120 of these sites so far. Over time, I have created more than 1000 bookmarks in Google Earth, places that seemed to me of great interest. With this information, I plan my route to visit as many as possible of these places. I try to avoid main highways as much as possible.
In order to ride in the best climate possible, I planned my route from Europe to South East Asia over a period of almost two years. By starting in spring in Europe, I could ride Europe in Summer, the deserts of the Middle East in winter, the mountains of the Himalayas in late spring and summer and visit the north of India in winter. These almost two years allowed me not to be in a rush and I could spend several days in each of the most interesting cities along the way.
I use the application Oruxmaps on a Samsung tablet that is fixed on the handlebar. I create a KML route in Google Maps that I convert into a GPX file and upload it to the application. When I have internet, I download country maps in .maps format. The Oruxmaps application uses GPS to indicate the current location. It also displays the current elevation and remaining distance. This setup allows me to follow a predefined route on my tablet with GPS without the need for an internet connection.
I use the “Street View” option on Google maps to check the state of the road pavement. The website www.windy.com gives me information about the wind direction, temperature and rainfall during my daily rides. I also use the website www.graphhopper.com for the elevation profile of my route.
The more than 100 miles/160 km range of my batteries allows me to avoid camping every night. I spend the night in hotels, guesthouses or rooms offered by a family. I try to stay in historic and colonial hotels whenever possible. I usually ride early in the morning, starting at dawn, finishing my 125 kms average ride around noon or 1pm. I then have the whole afternoon to visit the village or city: monuments, markets, museums, buildings of interest…
What Do I Carry?
I carry a total of about 18 kilograms in 2 Ortlieb paniers and one additional Ortlieb bag put on top of my rear rack. Of these 18 kilograms, 5 kilograms are the extra battery, 2 electric chargers and tools. I have a cell phone and a Macbook computer. I do not carry a tent or sleeping bag. During my stay in Tabriz, Iran, I asked a craftsman to create a custom handmade leather storage bag to fit within the ebike frame between the 2 batteries. I have a Gopro camera. I replace my clothes along the way so I do not carry the clothes used in colder climate at all time. I do not carry an extra pair of shoes. I have an extra tube and tools to fix a flat tire.