Andreas is not new to biketouring. He rode across California 4 years ago and enjoyed the freedom you have when you take everything with you you need to "survive" without restaurants and ho(s)tels. Together we had done quite some bikepacking trips in Europe and Asia. But I had never taken a tent, sleeping pad and stove with me so when we decided that we want to travel the world by bike for longer than just 3 weeks I didn't really know what that meant. We agreed that before going off for an entire year we had to pass at least a 2-weeks-test of biketouring. Our summer project was to cycle the italian and french alps for two weeks with our gravel bikes, a tent and sleeping pads we had just bought, and some other things we thought we'd take on a year-long adventure. We wanted it not only to be a test for us but also for our gear.
Yes, we did fight. No, we didn't feel at ease all the time. Yes, it was strange to call our tent "home". And yes, we started to hate porridge for breakfast, because there wasn't enough sugar in it. BUT: we had the time of our life.
Starting point was Geneva and we wanted our trip to end in San Remo (where our favourite pizza restaurant is). Andreas had planned a route with a lot of gravel passes and he was almost 100% sure they were all rideable with our set-up, which turned out to be true (except for the 2 hours we had to walk up Col de l'Encombré). Each day was unique and although I knew it would be an epic trip before starting it I didn't expect it to be one of my best holidays ever.