So what to do if you have never ever cycled a longer stretch but are in good shape and have a simple commuter bike? Pack some food, fill a bottle with water and go ahead and start!
And so we did this at 7:38 am on August 18, 2018. We left my apartment in Märsta and headed towards Uppsala on our way to our destination Gävle, 150kms away. We hardly slept the night before so we were pretty tired already in the beginning. But we made 1, 2, 10, 30 km and one and a half hours later we arrived in beautiful Uppsala. It was time for some cookies, coffee and a little rest. Very good advice: If you are tired, rest! If you are hungry, eat! Our bicycle journey was not a competition. It was only about adventure.
And I as a runner realized already after one and a half hour of biking that I can get way further on a bicycle than by walking or running because the bike does a lot of work for you. Even my cheap bike that reminded me of my grandma’s old bike did the trick.
So we still had about 110-120 kms to cycle… But one more piece of advice came to me in this situation: Never ever think of the destination! We were biking because we wanted to be on the road in the middle of the adventure. Such a long distance just stresses you out for no reason. After leaving Uppsala we made two more longer stops (one in Björklinge for lunch) and a second one in Söderfors for lunch number 2.
During the second half of the trip we were biking across open fields which made the biking a bit harder because of headwind. But we were not in a hurry. Slowly but surely, we were pedalling towards Gävle. And we didn’t want to believe my eyes when we saw the sign saying “Gävle”. We have arrived! Unbelievable!
One more time: Sam is a two times Swedish classic finisher – which means that he has bicycled around Vättern, the largest lake in Sweden twice (300 km for 14 hours). On the other hand, Valentin just runs sometimes around his hometown and hasn’t sat on a bike for ages.
For me, if you can bike 5 km, then he can bike even more, 10, 20, 50, 150 kms. Take your time and you will make it. Because it’s no rocket science.
The day after (August 19 2018) we biked home. It took a long time but we arrived in Märsta again. Without any injuries or pain in our bodies. The biggest obstacle was actually to take the first step. The idea that we would bicycle 150 km a day was so scary that we were not able to sleep the night before.
But we can tell you that we would never forgive ourselves if we had not even tried.
And our dream was still there, and we got the proof: we can and we will bicycle around the world!