A teacher at Henley’s Gillotts School is once again spending his long summer holiday cycling across Europe on his bike called Reggie. In 2010, Andrew Sykes who is the head of languages at Gillotts cycled from his home in Reading along the route of a long-distance cycle path called the Eurovelo 5 all the way to Brindisi in the south of Italy.He subsequently wrote about his experiences in the saddle in the popular cycling travelogue ‘Good Vibrations: Crossing Europe on a Bike Called Reggie’.
In 2013 he is attempting to repeat the feat but this time travelling from east to west from the iconic Temple of Poseidon in the south-east corner of Greece to the Cape St. Vincent in the south-western corner of Portugal. Once again Mr Sykes will be following a ‘Eurovelo’ route – this time number 8 – that follows the Mediterranean through ten countries and stretches to nearly 5,000km. There are plans for a follow-up book to ‘Good Vibrations’ and highlights of the journey will include the Greek capital, Athens, the relatively undiscovered country of Albania, the spectacular (but hilly) Croatian coastline, the towns and cities of northern Italy, climbing the Tour de France favourite Mont Ventoux in southern France before heading along the Spanish costas towards his final destination in Portugal.
“Gillotts have been kind enough to allow me an extra three weeks of holiday in addition to the six weeks we normally receive and I should be able to complete the journey in the two months that I have available. In 2010 the weather was not great – very wet and quite cold in places – so I am hoping for some hotter & drier conditions this time around. That said, I’m sure there will be times when I will be pleading for a little rain and the odd cool evening especially on Greece and southern Spain.”
Andrew’s book about his 2010 journey is now widely available in bookshops and online. You can follow his journey this summer by visiting his website CyclingEurope.org or by following him on Twitter @CyclingEurope. Even his bike Reggie will be tweeting as he travels; you can find him @ReggieTheBike.