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Peace in the Ukraine

Ukraine is a huge country and an amazing place to visit. Don't be put off by stories of trouble, the Russians are very far away and the anxiety to be accepted by Europe just means you will get an extra warm welcome. Away from the highways there is little tarmac and no road signs at all, which makes navigation tricky. We had a Polish speaker with us to ask directions to the next village, otherwise it was a case of stopping a local and pointing to the next destination on the map.

Our journey started in Lublin in Poland and went through a succession of charming and elegant central European cities with some wild and remote country in between. We ended in Cluj, Romania, from where there are cheap flights back to Luton. For anyone wanting a less advenurous destination I would recommend Transylvania, good roads, easy communication, excellent food and good facililities.

Our route

I would recommend big wheels and fat tyres but the Circe Helios tandem coped admirably. With the new Packaway Frame it takes about ten minutes to dismantle the bike and put it in the bag. Putting it together takes about the same amount of time as you don't have to worry about fitting everything in. The bike survived both flights without any damage, although the Ukranian roads took a bit of a toll on the headset and gears.

Our friends had their Apps inspired Ukrainian Tractor tandem, which mde for slower but much more comfortable progress. Big wheels, an extra long frame and the luggage evenly distributed combined with with a very upright riding position for comfort and manoevreability. Years of tandeming experience have gone in to this bike.