It’s the Unknown That Makes My Wheels Turn

Blue ribbon with wording: Story Winner, Cycling Together Warmshowers & EuroVeloContributor: Silvia Julián González

I am SIlvia J. Gonzalez. i am 54 years old and I am a long-distance cyclist, I travel alone and in self-sufficiency, and the bicycle has been in my life for a long time. I started to travel on roads in Spain, but I started traveling through Eurovelo in 2022 touring several Eurovelos 1, 4, 6, 7, 12, countries such as France, Switzerland, Austria, Czechia, Germany, Denmark and Sweden. After this great trip of 3 months my life on a bike changed completely, so in 2023 I ride the entire Eurovelo 15, the Rhine River and Eurovelo 17.

Woman bicyclist standing in front of her loaded touring bicycle.I have been able to ride great cycling routes such as LA VELODYSSE, CHÂTEAUX DE LOIRE, DANUBE, RHEIN, RHONE, ELBE, or KATEGATLLENDE in Sweden, routes as mythical as BERLIN-COPENHAGEN, CANAL DE MIDI, or NORMANDY in the north of France.

Traveling alone and in self-sufficiency makes the knowledge about me, my abilities in every way has made me grow as a person. Discovering new places every day kilometer by kilometer, getting to know the customs of each country or area, communicating with the people of each place. Also to discover a world of hospitality like WARMSHOWER, to share experiences and in my home to return that gratitude with the cyclists who pass through for my city.

I have learned that life surprises me, improvising what to eat or where I will sleep, is part of this wonderful way of traveling, I take my tent, my kitchen and my solar panel to be totally self-sufficient, there are days that I sleep in any discreet place and respecting the entire environment so as not to leave an impact, I also use the services that I need along the way.

You quickly realize that priorities change and basic needs, such as eating, sleeping and good weather become top priorities.

I also want to mention the great infrastructures prepared to be able to make these long trips, but also very beautiful routes and fewer days, and at the same time one of the questions that I get asked the most is that if I am not afraid, share that in these two great trips I have felt very safe and the hospitality of the people have made me feel calm.

On June 2nd I start my third tour of Europe, and this time I have chosen the North part, starting with Finland, and then going through the coasts of ESTONIA, LATVIA, LITHUANIA, POLAND, GERMANY, HOLLAND, BELGIUM AND FRANCE. I face a journey of more than 3 months covering new eurovelos 10,11,13,4,1 of more than 9000km that you can join me through my profile on instagram @plomoenlospedales.

And I want to encourage you to travel with your bike, to dare, to discover the best feeling of freedom, where you will know what your strengths are, how you solve unforeseen events from calm, but above all how you learn to enjoy every minute, every kilometer, every place.