9. May, 2018

About me

I'm a retired American living near Aachen, Germany. I ended up here through a complicated route involving military service, a second career in mobile telecommunications R&D, marrying Gudrun, my sweet Öcherin (Aachen dialect for "woman from Aachen"), seeing my daughters establish their lives in this region, and simply putting down roots.

Not counting time riding around the neighbourhood as a child, I started cycling seriously while stationed in San Antonio, Texas in my early 20s. I had a cheap 10-speed "racer," but, after joining a local bicycle club I bought a Raleigh International. It was my first truly nice bicycle. I rode it in criteriums and time trials around San Antonio and continued mostly road training for the next years.

I moved to Washington, D.C. in 1977, just after the Bikecentennial. It was through the publicity about the Bikecentennial I got interested in bicycle touring. I put racks on my trusty Raleigh, made my own panniers from a kit, and took off in the beautiful Shenandoah area southwest of the capitol. Touring on sew-up tyres! That one trip had me fully and completely hooked on self-contained travel by bicycle.

I continued also riding racing bikes, buying and selling three more over the next 30 years. But, I bought my first built-for-travel bike in 1985. It was a Trek 620, and I rode it on my first long tour in Germany from Geilenkirchen to Bernau on Chiemsee.

Work in mobile telecommunications R&D is high pressure, high speed, full concentration stuff. During my Ericsson career my bicycle riding was mostly limited to riding to and from work every day. For a while I did manage some road training after work and on weekends, and I did make a couple of short (max. one week) trips. Just before retiring I bought myself a Koga Traveller Signature bicycle with all the best touring bells and whistles. I also sold the remaining road bikes, so my path was now set. Enjoying the scenery, cycle touring when possible, and not worrying about speed would be the order of the day from now on. This website is a collection of my cycle travel experiences since my retirement.

I keep this page to keep my wife, children, family, and friends up-to-date on how I'm doing on these annual bicycle adventures. It also serves as a good way to look back at the trips I've made and enjoy them all over again. For all who take a deeper look, I hope you enjoy it. Suggestions for improvement are welcome.

Kind regards

Dan Grinstead