Bike the Baltic now complete.
The first section of the Trans Europa tour is now complete. Bike the Baltic, from St. Petersburg to Vilnius concluded with a 130km ride yesterday to our hotel in the heart of the old city. To give a sense of our first section here are 8 interesting events/facts…
• When we began the Tour in St. Petersburg the number of daylight hours was 18 ½, on arriving in Vilnius we are now enjoying 16 ½ hours of daylight. As much as we love daylight those extra 2 hours of darkness make for happier sleeps.
• Apart from restaurant meals our camp dinners have been;
- Spaghetti Bolognese
- BBQ Chicken with Celery Root and Carrots in Orange sauce with rice.
- Butternut Squash Risotto with Pork Chops
- Gorgonzola Gnocchi with pan fried Salmon
- Tomato Pasta with Turkish Meatballs
- Potato Salad, Beets and Grilled Sausages
- Thai Green Curry with Chicken, Zucchini and Peppers
• The cyclists have covered 1200km, including about 45km of “country roads”, our new euphemism for dirt.
• 10 cyclists began the Tour in St. Petersburg, 1 joined in Tallin, 1 joined just south of Riga. 1 cyclist is departing from Vilnius and 2 our joining the Tour here.
• We had 7 nights of camping during this stretch. 3 of our riders managed to only camp 1 night out of the 7 by finding indoor accommodation at our campsites.
• We used approximately 30 rolls of flagging tape to mark the turns each day along the route. For the benefit of the local environment the tape is biodegradable.
• Amazingly for the Baltic States we did not have any rain during our time on the bikes, and the only rain was some showers one night in Estonia.
• We’ve learned 3 new ways to say hello. Russian = Privet, Estonian = Tere, and Latvian and Lithuanian = Sveiki
• In 12 days of cycling only the last 2 days had anything that would qualify as a hill. The Baltic States provide a great training ground to get ready for the rest of the Tour and the upcoming climbs in the Tatra Mountains of Slovakia.
• We still have 10 more countries to cycle through!