Back in January of 2012 we got the much-anticipated invitation to our friend Marius’ wedding in Koenigsee, Germany. If you’ve never seen pictures of that area, well, stay tuned. You will be shocked and amazed that such a magical place exists in the world! Without question we were going to this wedding and why not make a trip out of it? After all, how often would we be in the Salzburg/Koenigsee area? But where to go? After much deliberation and searches for good flight prices, we decided on a risky trip where we would fly into Munich, ride ourselves to the wedding, ride south to Rome, and fly home from there. Easy, right? Ha!
Our trips to Lithuania and Ireland were fairly simply by comparison because they were loops, so we were able to store our bike boxes and extra clothing at our starting point, knowing we’d be back in a few weeks to pick it all up and repack the bikes. Flying into Munich and out of Rome, however, has unearthed a whole new set of complications, not least of which is how we are going to transport our bicycles without their boxes and how will we carry the luggage holding our clothes and toiletries? Hmmm… At this point I turn it over to Kovas because transporting bicycles and packing them up is definitely his world. I’ll stick to route planning and city research.
We know we definitely don’t want to carry anything more than we need to and most definitely nothing heavy since we know we’re going to be passing over the Austrian and Italian Alps! So, after much deliberation and research, Kovas finally settled on creating his own line of fully custom-made luggage to carry both bicycles and clothes. He has hired a seamstress through Craigslist, bought appropriate (and sufficiently lightweight) fabric from a performance fabric store, designed the products, supplied the dimensions, and it’s a go!
As far as packing up the bikes, we’ll use materials we can throw away in Salzburg once we build the bikes up. This way we can roll up our bike bags as small as possible, attach them to the backs of the bikes, and worry about repacking and finding packaging materials in Rome.
As far as the route, we’re going with more of a “wing-it” approach after learning the hard way from Ireland that it is possible to push yourself too hard. This time we’re going for, “If it feels good, keep going.” Deep down I know that means we’ll still ride more than not, but at least we won’t feel locked into any one place. What we do know is that we have a few definite stops: Salzburg, Koenigsee, Kufstein (Kovas’ Dad’s home town), Venice, and Rome. Everything in between is unmapped – a true adventure.