Cycling has taken me to places I would otherwise never have discovered. Cycling has released an inner adventurer in me. I have ridden (and carried) my bike in countries and areas I would never have dreamed of.
I have learned to keep my eyes open when I ride, appreciate the simplest things I pass and sometimes this also leads to discovering things others may not notice. Quite often it also requires venturing out in places where others don’t think to come. Off the beaten track.
Madone d’Utelle 2080m, Nice, France w/ Team Charlie – October 2015
When I train on my bike, I work extremely hard. Most often I have a structured plan that involves taking myself to some sort of suffering. It’s not pleasant. And it’s not fun. Of course I thrive on it, otherwise I wouldn’t do it. But it still doesn’t make riding my bike fun or pleasant during those training rides. And I often go solo in order to stick to my personally structured training plan. I am out there fighting against myself, physically and mentally.
Sunset in the desert, Al Qudra Cycle Path, Dubai – Winter 2014
But I never miss the moment to explore something special or beautiful that I pass on my ride. Whatever it takes. I will climb, crawl and carry to absorb just a few moments of life’s simple pleasures. I will break hard and turn around. I will sit and wait for a special moment. I will search for the right colours or the right angle. I will go to places where others don’t go, to see what others don’t see.
When I travel with my bike it is usually a combination of some or all of training, racing, holiday and exploring a new area of the world. And the more adventurous it can get, the better. It has almost turned into a mission for me. What can I find on my travels? Where can I ride to make new discoveries? Sometimes I take the road no one else takes. And sometimes I climb where not many others climb. Eyes peeled. At times I see the most amazing things. Other times there is nothing special to see. But most importantly I am having fun exploring.
Making discoveries, finding a quick escape from the hard work, or simply taking a moment out to rest in complete gratitude, makes any hard training session worthwhile.
Col d’Aubisque 1709m, French Pyrenees w/ Al Salam Club (Saudi Arabia) – June 2015
That’s why my cycling shoes will always be damaged! I go off the beaten track and I can’t be stopped. I expose my carbon shoes to walking and climbing through surfaces like sand, rocks, fields, mud, grass, streams, gravel, dirt, mountains and of course tarmac. I climb obstacles, walls and fences; and I trespass and break rules to go where no one else goes and see what most others don’t see. I even bleed on my shoes.
Behind the Hollywood sign, California – 140K sightseeing ride – April 2016
But I love it!!
I love all parts of exploring; the adventure, the uncertainty, the surprises, the awkwardness, the break, the rest from suffering, the nature, the beauty, the gratitude.
To travel is to live!
Karrebaeksminde, Denmark (AKA home) – June 2015