Tour reports

Here you will find reports from some of my tours.

Training Presence at Nordkapp (2018)
In my last cycle touring episode we gained insight into the Big Picture. There we proved that there is no such thing as an intelligent "Master plan" in Nature. We now turn attention to one particular form in the Nature: the humans. If we look at it objectively, there is nothing special about this form, except maybe its narcisoid self-proclamation as a pinnacle of evolution and awareness of existence. The best proof that all of that is pile of bullshit is the fact that humans are constantly nervous, worrying about the outcome of their actions, restlessly in search for something better and rarely fully at ease unless they take a drug.  
The virus of the mind affected me as well, as I have realized it unfortunately very late in life. Considering the average life span for men in my country, I have about 5400 more days in disposition. It doesn't seem very much, so I thought I should make the most of it. “Carpe diem” as the Romans said. I decided to give the practice of “Presence” a try and the first opportunity to do that was on a short cycling tour to Nordkapp in Norway.

Big Picture for Little Money (2017)
The best proof that there is no such thing as a "Master plan" in Nature is human evolution. When man rose to his feet and with a disproportionately large head significantly increased his center of gravity, the likelihood of falls and hip fractures increased by few tens of times. The evolution thus physically handicapped humans. Even on the intellectual side man did not perform as brilliantly as he likes to think. They don't say in vain that ten Doctors of Science can not answer the question of one chimpanzee. Who is then more stupid? The one who asks a silly question or the one who can not answer it? Was Socrates, who knew only that he knew nothing, smarter than those who think they know everything? These are the fundamental issues that accompany me recently, when everyday human speech often seems a mere sound pollution to me. Like the noise of motorized leaf-blowers. If you want to answer the fundamental questions, you have to rise from the foundations, you have to separate, go, remove, annihilate. Only from a distance you shall find all the answers. That is why I had to leave my country this summer again, to keep my mind in a reasonably healthy condition. Just a small change was needed: the cycling journey to the Wild East, to Romania and Bulgaria. More >>

Bogota to Quito (2016)
The need to travel ended definitely 300 years ago. At that time Gulliver in his four epic trips found everything that was still unexplored on Earth: the islands of Liliput and Blefasku with dwarf inhabitants involved in endless wars over hard-boiled eggs, the kingdom of giants Brobdingneg, the chaotic country Balnibarbi with its lofty rulers on the floating island of Laputa and finally, the land of horses Huihnhnm's with their primitive human-like servants Yahoo's. If there is a truth in the saying that the real journey is the one from which you return changed, then the last Gulliver's journey was a hit in the black center. Literally in black, because after his return from a year's stay at honorable Huihnhnms he became pessimistic, he could not accept the coexistence with his English compatriots in which he saw only a poor cosmetic lifting of barbaric Yahoos. If you too suffer from Gulliver's syndrome, maybe from some journey or maybe you caught it at home while observing the world around you, then I have a therapy that will definitely improve your situation: go to South America. More >>.

Erzurum to Yerevan (2016)

Once in a lifetime everyone returns to the basics. For example, by asking oneself how it all began? The Big Bang theory says it all started from the singularity and in less than a second everything we know today was created, including such complex organisms as, e.g. the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology. Some people however doubt about it and, missing probably the spiritual component of the problem, resort to the age-old interpretation of the Bible. There the creator fixed everything in six days. But - surprise, surprise – just a few centuries later, the creator changes his mind and sends the Flood over his creation. They say that to err is human, but it is not really fitting for the creator. The thing was ripe for a thorough investigation, so I went along the path of Noah – to the research path in the Caucasus. More >>.

If you followed reports from the ultralight cycle-touring page, than you know a certain Mr. Iik - a man with two distinctive features: he rides bicycles and has a charming, irresistible smile. After touring for two consecutive years in a civilized manner in France, this year Mr. Iik opted for a more exotic ground: Vietnam and China. What was the motivation for such a tour, he now cannot fully recall, but the highly probable guess is that it was not to lose touch with "true" cycle touring - means adventure, cultural shock, cheap accommodation and food, stealth camping, self-sufficiency, suffering and that sort of thing. More >>

Inspired by my own writings about the 100 cols tour from2011, I decided to enjoy the same route again this year. To make a little bit of a difference, this year I rode it in reverse direction. So, that makes it a "200 cols" tour. 

The mysterious and suspiciously cheap Romanian bus trip from Ljubljana to Torino turned out to be simple, swift and efficient. The bus arrived to Torino 3 hours earlier then planed, and so I had the time to make it close to Italy/France border the first day. Already the first day served me with everything - the sun, the rain, the first mountain pass and the first wild camp. 

Who's afraid of the Crocs? (2010)

It's been a long time since my last wheel revolutions in Africa.
I've been avoiding the Black Continent, beating around the bush, choosing other cycling destinations, but now I can't delay it any more. Despite the headaches with obtaining the visas and nightmares about lions lurking in the tall grass beside the road, I must face the challenge. Besides, it's the last continent where my current touring bike hasn't been yet.

I've choosen a particulary interesting itinerary, covering Namibia, Botswana, South Africa and Lesotho. This mini "coast-to-coast" tour in Africa has all the potentials to become one of my favorites.

In the town where he was not born lives a man who rides bicycles. He finds that this activity, more than many others, can be both very exhilarating as well as very frustrating, but never boring.

The man in question - let's call him Mr. Iik - has made several rides in the world (where exactly can be seen here) and last year he published a journal with a title "Dushanbe to Delhi", even though he never rode to Delhi but stopped at Amritsar, which is shorter for a whole 500 km. From this latter fact we can learn not to believe everything he writes! In the epilogue of that journal Mr. Iik expresses his doubts about the whole concept of bike touring and states that he will never do that again. And then, a year later, he forgets the promise and starts another tour, yet the longest of them all, a trans-continental tour of North America from the Pacific at Vancouver to Atlantic at the New York City! You really can't trust this man, can you? To avoid further truth-bending it's better that he doesn't speak for himself. We can safely assume that, having his diary and photos from the trip at hand, we can recreate his trip and make story-telling more objective and insightful then he would. A good side effect would also be the total absence of the word "I" in the journal - a rare case in english bicycle prose.

So, if you are interested what happened on this continental ride or what it has to do with Yellow submarine, get a pack of beer, a big bag of popcorn, lay back in your sofa and continue reading. On the second thought, make it a crate of beer: just in case the lack of hair-rising adventures on this trip starts to bore you a bit. More >>

Dushanbe to Delhi (Le Tour Fatale) (2008)

In the year 2005 I had an accident during my cycling tour in Tibet. I fell and broke the collarbone and had to end the trip that should have lasted 6 weeks after only 12 days. Ever since I had tried to come back to the region and finish what I had started.

In 2006 and 2007 I couldn't make it due to obligations at home and at work and in 2008 riots broke up in Tibet and the Chinese closed the region. For 2008 I figured out a substitute tour that included some of the world's top cycling destinations: the Pamir Highway and the Karakorum Highway. The more I looked at the itinerary the more this tour seemed an ideal one: breath-taking mountain scenery, rather good roads with little traffic, poor but friendly people willing to share what little they had with a stranger, a cultural kaleidoscope spanning 5 countries. If it were a woman, I'd call it "famme fatale". But it's just a tour, so I'll let it be: "le tour fatale".  More >>

Darwin to Perth (2007)

As I came to the sign "Perth 46 km" I become a bit sentimental. I remembered a moment on the opposite side of time and space, the end of the first day (Day 0) just outside of Darwin. I was at the kitchen of a caravan park and a young fellow asked me where I was going to. "I'm cycling to Perth", I said. I had a sum total of 41 km under my belt at that time. The other camper, preparing the meal at the kitchen, looked at me bewildered, thinking probably "What is this lunatic talking about?".  More >>

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