A lightweight fixed-gear bike tour of France and Spain

About us and our trip

Our names are Adie Mitchell and Rob Sohmer. We went to high school together in New York City and are both on our gap year before going to college. We both have a love for cycling, the outdoors and creating things.

The things we like to create tend to be beautiful through their functionality. Between us we have built everything from bikes to kayak to bags. We have hiked in around a dozen countries and have been cycling together regularly for about a year.

In a few weeks we are going on a 2 month long bike trip in France and Spain. We hope that this trip will unite our three passions of making things, cycling and being in the outdoors. We are planning on cycling a southerly route through France and into Spain. Our trip is unique in several ways. We will be riding fixed-gear bicycles, the frames of which we built ourselves out of bamboo and carbon fiber. We plan on camping almost every night of our two month trip. Over several years of hiking and camping, we have come to follow the principles of ultra-light backpacking and are applying these ideas in new ways to travelling by bike. Particularly, we love the Make Your Own Gear (MYOG) aspect of the ultralight ideology. We have already built our bamboo bikes and will be making a lot of our own gear for camping and cycling.

This blog will follow our preparations for the trip including MYOG tutorials, and will then become a blog about our trip that we will update as we cycle. We hope this blog will be a reflection of our growth as independent adults, willing to create, adjust, challenge, and be inspired by the world around us.


6 responses

  1. Just stumbled onto your blog, I’m currently touring western Europe and I’ve got massive respect for attempting it with a Bamboo built frame! I’m touring with a friend and we’ve just passed the 1,000 mile mark and are currently staying on a farm near Carcassone, Southern France. Then we plan on cycling back to the UK through the coming months up the west coast of france, maybe our paths will cross one day!

    Good look guys,

    Joe Atkins

    April 16, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    • Hi Joe, just checked out your site, looks very cool. We always wanted to throw in some WOOFing, but we don´t have the time. The bamboo frames are working out well, the one-gear-thing is getting old pretty fast!

      May 6, 2011 at 1:30 pm

  2. michael

    Hi guys,
    Love the site! Wow, so you guys crossed the Pyreneese on fixy’s…congratulations! not for me though. I’m planning on cycling the northern camino route from Toulouse and was just wondering how the terrain was from Toulouse to Spain? I’ve done the main camino route from Bordeaux a few years ago and really enjoyed it and this time I was thinking of starting in Toulouse. Any advice/tips would be very welcome.

    June 25, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    • hey michael,
      we had a great trip and the midi-Pyrenees are a really nice non tourist area. if you are doing the northern route in spain im sure you are used to hills for i hear its really hilly. the midi-pyrenees are very similar to the last 30km into santiago, it’s a ride against the land so its up and down a ton. however, the hills are not bad at all and it’s nice to climb and then ride down. the camino itself is hard to find, the walkers trail is really a hiking path and doesnt follow the local roads at all, local tourist offices tend to have maps and sometimes there are places to stay. auch has a nice donativo but alot of small towns have nothing. we also found that in the basque region everyone loves if you greet them in the local language, opa i think. if you haven questions feel free to ask, we are happy to help.
      good riding!
      rob and adie

      June 25, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    • We found that section to be full of undulating hills…none of them particularly hard, but they add up. We ended up doing some pretty short days, but then again, hills were more of an issue for us, only having one gear. There are some lovely towns along the way, we especially loved Auch. When you are there, ask at the tourist office about places to stay for pilgrims. there is a nice little place (donation based=cheap) in the old bishop’s house.

      Adie and ROb

      June 27, 2011 at 12:25 pm

  3. Crazy guys you both. Nice site. May you both go further in the future?!

    September 11, 2011 at 4:10 pm

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