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Bike the Baltic now complete.

Riga02

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…

Riga01

•    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

Dinner

•    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.

Welcome in my living room, come closer

•    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.

windmill

•    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.

Uphill

•    We still have 10 more countries to cycle through!

See photos of the last stage here!


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