I have been wanting to feature this story for a while, and it now seems like a good counterpoint to my earlier post about long distance cycling and upright bicycles. Not everybody finds it necessary to use a bicycle with drop bars for touring - especially not Katie Doncaster, who travelled on her Pashley Princess Sovereign from Strasbourg, France to Nessebar, Bulgaria.
This is Katie's Pashley, named Mathilda. As you can see, she sightly modified it for touring in terms of accessories and luggage: She added extra pannier hangers, a waterbottle mount, and a handlebar bag instead of the wicker basket. But the upright sitting position of the bicycle has very much been retained.
Katie and Mathilda travelled a total of 3,900 km (2,423 miles) together, passing through France, Germany, Austria, Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania.
Nights were mostly spent camping, with all the necessary equipment carried on the bike. Much of the trip was over flat terrain, but there were a couple of spots with some hills as well.
Katie's route took her through Austria along the Danube Bikeway, and it was neat to see some familiar places in her images. The most I have ever cycled on this route was 50 miles, which is laughable compared to the length of her trip.
I am amazed by Katie's accomplishment - who wouldn't be! 2,423 miles on a roadbike designed for touring would have already been beyond impressive. But to cover that distance on a Pashley... I put that in the category of "jaw dropping". Just to remind you, this is a 5-speed upright bicycle that weighs over 40lb (unloaded) and offers only one hand position on the handlebars. I would not be able to do it. But everybody is different. If Katie did it, it's certainly possible. Only you can determine what is possible (and comfortable) for you, and you never know until you try! Anybody planning a cycling adventure before the summer is over?