The Mission

My name is Robert Ruttenberg and I like bicycles and I like adventure and I have got some time on my hands. Many years ago I rode across the United States. Now I am going to ride across Europe. I’m starting in Lisbon and hoping to complete my journey in Istanbul, where Europe meets Asia. Some day I may ride across that continent, too, but not this time.

I am flying out to Lisbon with my bike on Tuesday, April 14, 2015. I have arranged an airbnb and I am going to spend a few days exploring the city and getting organized before heading out.

I have planned very little of my route in detail, as it has been my experience that specific plans inevitably go out the window during such ventures. Spontaneity will be my guide. I will ride when I am restless and stop when I am tired. I have a tent and a sleeping bag and a stove and I like to sleep outside, and that is what I am going to try to do as much as possible, not only because it is cheaper but because I enjoy the feeling of self-reliance and adventure that comes with it.

Nonetheless, I do have a general route in my mind. From Lisbon I am going to ride through Spain to the Mediterranean Coast and then head east along the shore, likely passing through the cities of Seville, Granada, Valencia, and Barcelona. Then I will ride through France, still hugging the Mediterranean. Once I reach Italy, I may make a detour over the Alps into Austria or may continue due east to Slovenia. From there, I will follow the Dalmatian Coast, passing through Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, and Albania, before reaching Greece, where I will cut east, passing through Thessaloniki–and then finally onto Turkey and Istanbul!

I will be taking lots of pictures and I hope to write a fair amount, too. I will try to update this blog as often as possible, even if only with a few pictures and a brief note of where I started and where I stopped and how many miles I rode.

I’ll be carrying a GPS with me and I will be uploading my progress to Strava, a website where cyclists can share their rides. Check it out!

Be sure to leave your address in the comments if you would like to receive postcards!

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