This page was last updated Fri 06 January 2017.

Contents: Tours (17)   

Reports by Erik Nomden

All descriptions are in English, unless otherwise noted.

Tours

Two Lonely Cyclists
by Erik Nomden, tour started August 2016, submitted 5 January 2017
language: en, nl

For the first time Margarita and I go will embark on bicycle journey together. It will be the first time for Margarita that she will do a bike trip of more than one day and it will be the first time that she will cycle on a fully loaded bicycle. We will first start to cycle along the Danube in Austria and then we will continue to follow the Danube in Germany or we might take in some foothills or mountains in the Alps.

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Margarita on the descent to Saalfelden, Austria
The backroads of Portugal
by Erik Nomden, tour started May 2016, submitted 5 January 2017
language: en, nl

Marco Duiker and I embark on a small bike trip through the rustic heartland of Portugal. Rural Portugal has always been the place for the saudade, the ultimate sense of melancholy and loss, but now the youth has almost entirely left the countryside of Portugal, it is probably stronger than ever before. Marco and I will take the small backroads to see and to feel the saudade of nowadays Portugal.

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Marco on the way to Monsanto
Journey to Lalibela
by Erik Nomden, tour started January 2015, submitted 29 January 2016
language: en, nl

A journey to the heart of Dark Africa. Bike tour with Marco Duiker, Willem Hoffmans and Marc Dirckx in Ethiopia. From the big rumbling capital Addis Abbeba we go back in time, following small unpaved backroads through mediaevil style villages, leading to the glorious old testament evoking atmosphere of the rock-hewn churches from Lalibela.

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On the road in the mountainous heartland of Ethiopia
The Long Road
by Erik Nomden, tour started May 2011, submitted 29 January 2016
language: en, nl

My big trip through North, Central and South America

Part I: Cycling through South America. In eight months I cycle from Quito (Ecuador) to Tierra del Fuego (Chile), crossing numerous mountain chains, deserts, tropical rain forests and the windswept plains of Patagonia.

Part II: Cycling through Central and North America. In seven months I cycle from Quito (Ecuador) to The Canadian Rockies, crossing Colombia, the Caribbean, Mexico and the deserts, mountains and canyons of the United States of America.

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On the Carretera Austral in Chilean Patagonia
Scanuppia and other Trails in the Lago di Garda Area
by Erik Nomden, tour started October 2010, submitted 4 December 2010

The lake Garda is the mountain bike paradise of Europe and there are many roads that lead up into the mountains. Some of these roads are a challenge and some roads are a major challenge. And then there is one tremendous challenge: the Scanuppia, a concrete road that is leading upwards from Besenello to the small natural area of Scanuppia, which is the steepest ascent of Europe and maybe the steepest ascent of the World. Reports speak of gradients of 45 %. Whether it is possible to actually cycle there remains a mystery, yet there seem to be people who have made it. And so I would be able to do so myself, I try to convince myself. And while we are around now, we may just as well give it a try.

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Marco and me at work on the Scanuppia
The Lonely Cyclist in the Pyrenees
by Erik Nomden, tour started July 2010, submitted 15 November 2010
language: en, nl

From my home in Holland I have cycled over the Normandy Coast, the Loire Valley and the Auvergne and Cantal regions to Spain for a double coast to coast ride through the Pyrenees. First from east to west through the Spanish Pyrenees. Then from west to east through the French Pyrenees. This journey includes all the famous cols from the Tour de France but also some nice unpaved cycling routes in the Pyrenees.

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Vall de Boi, Spanish Pyrenees
Europe on two wheels - From Holland to Sicily and back
by Erik Nomden, tour started July 2009, submitted 12 December 2009
language: en, nl

For the tenth year in a row I am doing a medium to large cycling trip. This time I will be staying in Europe. The idea is to cycle through Germany and Austria to southern Italy and Sicily and to cycle back home over Sardinia, Corsica, France and Belgium. An overall estimate shows me that it will be around six thousand to seven thousand kilometers to fully realise the plan.

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The West Coast of Corsica
Shanti Shanti - The Lonely Cyclist in India and Nepal
by Erik Nomden, tour started September 2008, submitted 28 February 2009

The Old Jaipur Road is closed so we are forced to take the New Jaipur Road, which is an extraordinary busy highway. Luckily there is a service road which is much quieter. Cyclists, carriages with oxes and lots of walking people with loads of all kinds of luggage on their backs or on their heads: it is the really slow traffic that makes use of the two lane service road. In fact we are the fastest traffic on the service road. The highway itself is used by cars, buses, trucks, motorcycles, scooters and taxis and has got a minimum of six lanes on both sides. I have never seen so much traffic in one view angle. Still the traffic does not look like a complete mess. There are no dangerous situations.

Our first kilometers in Delhi are but the first of an overload of experiences on our India - Nepal journey. We will be cycling two weeks in Rajasthan, then we will go by bus and train to Varanasi from where we will be cycling to Nepal to explore the Nepal Himalayas.

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Friends on the way in Rajasthan
The Lonely Cyclist in the Alps
by Erik Nomden, tour started July 2007, submitted 20 October 2007
language: en, nl

A new cycle journey. I want to cycle from Vienna to Nice, a complete crossing of the Alps from east to west. Then I have to cycle a bit further to Avignon. The idea is to zigzag as much as possible to fit in as much exciting backroads and extraordinary landscapes as possible. Jeroen van Meijgaarden will join me the first two weeks. Then I will be on my own to complete the crossing of the Alps.

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My bicycle is posing before the Mont Blanc
The Lonely Cyclist in Albania
by Erik Nomden, tour started May 2007, submitted 20 October 2007
language: en, nl

``Won't you get shot there?''
``Are there any roads out there?''
``Albania, isn't that in Africa?''

The reactions on my plan to cycle in Albania with my friends Willem Hoffmans, Marco Duiker and Marc Dirkx, make clear that there are a lot of prejudices about Albania. A lot is unknown about the country; there is no Lonely Planet Albania; Albania is largely ignored by tourists, businessmen and statesmen. Nobody knows if the prejudices so just to the country. Nobody seems to know what all those years of Ottoman regime, Italian regime and the complete isolation under Maoist communist regime of Enver Hoxha have done to the country. I want to know. The mysterious cloud that is still hanging over the mountain state, is reason enough to take a look...

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The Street of Girokaster, Albania
Highlands & Volcanoes - Touring in the Massif Central
by Erik Nomden, tour started September 2004, submitted 1 November 2006
language: en, nl

The canyon of the Tarn is one of the obvious highlights of the Cévennes National Park. Another landmark landscape phenomenon are the so called 'Causses'. Causses are the bleak and barren high limestone plateaus of the Cévennes National Park.

This site deals about a short but fascinating cycle trip that Willem Hoffmans and I undertook through the gorges, plateaus and volcano landscapes of the Massif Central. Cycling in the autumn means there are gew facilities but also few tourists, which gave us a whole new perspective of life in the French countryside.

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Willem in the volcano Landscape of Cantal
Arctic Dreams - Cycling to the Nordkapp
by Erik Nomden, tour started August 2006, submitted 23 September 2006

In the summer of 2006 I have cycled from Stavanger in Southern Norway to the Nordkapp. It took me 3.260 kilometer along fjords, across islands and over highlands. These pages put together stories, pictures, maps and information about the cycling trip.

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Me on the highlands of the Lyseheiene
Via Roma - A bicycle journey from Holland to Italy
by Erik Nomden, tour started July 2001, submitted 3 July 2006

I do not believe my eyes. Before us lies a wide, completely flat valley. A late evening sun shines over the valley below. The 2.400 meter high Monti Sibillini rise majestically out of the plains. This is one of the most beautiful valleys I have ever seen.

Willem Hoffmans and I set out from our homes in Holland for a journey to Italy. Through the Vosges, the Jura and across a lot of cols in the French Alps we reach the Italian border. In Italy we make a lot of detours through Liguria, Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio.

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Field of flowers in the Monti Sibillini in Umbria, Italy
Rock the Casbah
by Erik Nomden, tour started April 2003, submitted 6 May 2006

The landscape is completely flat. There is nothing at all, nothing but stones. And sand. Although there is nothing to see, the emptiness has its own beauty. There is a quietness coming over me despite the harsh circumstances. All the problems and possibilities of life seem to dissolve in the infinity of the landscape.

From Marrakech, we have cycled across the Atlas into the Sahara. In two intense weeks we learned to know a bit about the many faces of Moroccan society and we were able to explore the extraordinary Atlas-Sahara region.

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Off the beaten track between Zagora and Tazzarine
Santiago and beyond - Cycle trip in search of the heart of Spain
by Erik Nomden, tour started June 2000, submitted 25 April 2006

I am hanging around the Cathedral for two hours, just to see the people passing by. Half of the passengers are locals, the others are pilgrims for Santiago. The pilgrims are full of stories about physical endurance, injuries, loneliness, spirituality, will power, faith, love and hope. A young girl thinks of giving up. An old man tells that he has slept on a churchyard because there were no normal facilities anymore. A special experience is meeting an old man who has a tremendous charisma; the man is constantly radiating from a seemingly enormous reservoir of stimulating energy. If it is actually possible to reach enlightenment in the way that Buddhists describe, then this man must have reached that stage.

Account of an eight week cycle journey through east, west, north, central & south Spain.

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There are a lot of hills on the way to Compostela
Blue Skies and Dust Trails
by Erik Nomden, tour started August 2003, submitted 25 April 2006

Even in this remote western corner of Bolivia, I feel the impact of the political unrest. There is practically no traffic. In fact traffic is virtually impossible because around La Paz and the other big cities, people have thrown thousands of big stones on the road. I can easily circumvent the stones, cars and trucks cannot. The situation causes me problems as well. There is nearly no food available any more. There are only few villages and nowhere I can obtain anything substantial. I have to do with a few biscuits the whole day.

So far the trouble. Further, The Andes countries have the cyclist a lot to offer. High passes, deserts, rain forests. Add the colourful markets, nice villages and friendly people and you have the complete picture. Ehh.. nearly complete. The food in the poor villages on the Altiplano is occasionally substandard.

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Church of Sajama. Bolivian Altiplano
The Wheel of Life
by Erik Nomden, tour started August 2005, submitted 24 April 2006

``What road? There is no road. Just stones and rocks and rivers flowing over what is supposed to be the road. You cannot cycle there. Still there are some who try.

I do not know how, but they do. But it is impossible.'' An old English traveller tells about the road from Keylong to the Baralacha La. ``But I do not want to discourage you.''

We have cycled six weeks in the Indian Himalayas through Sikh, Hindu and Tibetan Buddhist country. We had to cross some of the highest cols of the world (5.000 m plus) to reach the stunning Ladakh, Nubra, Lahaul & Spiti valleys.

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Dhankar Monastery, Spiti Valley, Indian Himalayas