There are a few bike-related posts that we wanted to do before the trip is a distant memory, as much for our future trip planning purposes as for other people’s reading. One of them is on bike trip food. Being on a 51 day bike trip compressed the complications of life to a few simple decisions: where to ride; where to sleep; what to eat. That really was the beautiful backbone of the journey. And this last one of course was a central part of every day. Naeva got really into helping with the cooking and would often prep breakfast or dinner all by herself.
- Camp stove (one burner, with screw on camping gas canister. These were hard to find in Austria and further East. We travelled with 2-3 at a time).
- Insulated zippered cool bag, cooled with frozen veggies during the day
- 4 bowls, 4 sporks, 1 3-L pot with lid, 2 serving spoons, Swiss Army knife, lighter
- Olive oil, balsamic vinegar, herbes de Provence
- The kitchen gear went in one pannier, with some other odds and ends. The food went in its own pannier, depleted and stocked daily.
- Some campgrounds had fridges and stoves, but we didn’t usually use theirs’
Our total daily budget was about 120 Euro, or $200 Canadian. Food made up a lot of this.
- Coffee and cake break (daily- yes, this was a travel essential 🙂 20-25 Euros
- Groceries (daily): 20 – 35 Euros. Germany was cheapest, Austria was 25% more.
- Dinner out, once every 3-4 days: 60-80 Euros
Most EUropean towns have a small grocery store, or at the very least a bakery. Bigger places have Aldis or or Nettos or Jumbos where you buy everything as you would at home. We’d try to go just once per day. Most stores shut down on Saturday afternoons and on Sundays, even the big shops, so we bought extra on Saturdays and had bulging paniers until we ate it all. We would supplement with food from markets or stands if we found it, but usually stuck to the big stores to keep costs down.
Many of the campgrounds in Germany and Austria had brotchen service, where you could order fresh buns the night before that would be delivered to the campground. WUnderbar!
We kept it pretty simple and routine to keep costs down and save the bewildering experience of aisle-hunting in unknown grocery stores.
- Yogurt (individual ones, bought the day before and kept coolish in cool-bag)
- Berries, one pint
- Instant coffee/tea
- Coffee cream/ Milk in a tetrapak – UHT shelf stable
- Buns (2/person)
- Salami (bought day before or same day, in cooler bag) – 100 g for 4 people/day
- Sliced cheese
- Tube of mustard, or mayo or jar of pesto
- Cuke or tomato
- Fruit (one piece per person)
- Something sweet – usually a Ritter Sport chocolate bar to share
- Pasta (yes, gulp, almost every night) with a plethora of toppings, like: sliced pepperoni with bolognese sauce from a Knorr package; pesto and roasted almonds and sliced cheese; Tetra Pak meat sauces (easy to find in Holland); canned tuna with canned tomato sauce; creme fraiche and frozen veggies (thanks Virginie!)
- Salad on the side, usually cukes/tomatoes or bagged salad mix. Knorr salad dressing was fast and easy.
- Some days we got really deluxe: rice (!) with stirfry schnitzel meat and veggies; boiled sausages with instant mashed potatoes and packaged red sauerkraut.
We were trying to balance diabetes on top of everything else, so probably had a few more sweet snacks than we needed.
- Fruit (1 piece/ day for snack)
- Pepperoni sticks
- Peanuts, cashews or other nuts
- Granola bars, available widely
- Ritter sport or other chocolate bar for back-up, or Hanuta choc wafer cookies
Beer was widely available in vending machines at campgrounds. We carried juice boxes for diabetes treatment, and otherwise drank water. As the temperatures heated up, the kids would get a pop on our coffee/cake break. And yes, Ian did haul a bottle of whiskey across half of Europe.