In the last week I did my first longer trip with overnight stays. A good opportunity to test my equipment, my legs and my mental fitness for the upcoming big tour in July.
I started in the city of Winterberg and did the Ruhrtalradweg, a 240km long bike trail along the river Ruhr. It was really beautiful to see how a small river slowly gains more strength and becomes by the end a big water way for ships. The journey of the river reminded me about life. It starts small and slow and over time we gather more and more experiences and grow bigger. We go through some rough times and some smooth times and we always continue. Just like the river always finds it’s way, we do the same in our lives if we can let go and flow.
After finishing the Ruhrtalradweg I went to Düsseldorf to see my sister and nephews and on the last day I cycled back to my hometown Bocholt.
From my trip I learned 3 main things for my upcoming trip:
1) No matter where you cycle and how beautiful the landscapes might be, the difference of such a trip is made by the people you meet. I had so nice encounters with people offering me their backyard as a campground. During short breaks I had conversations with other cyclists and we had nice conversations. I realised how much I missed to connect to new people, something that was quite hard during the strong COVID19 period. It seems to me as if everyone is happy now to be outdoors again and to be able to meet other people.
2) This trip was physically challenging as I never did such a long trip before. But my legs will be ok in a few days. The real challenge of my big tour will be on the mental side. To sit on the bike all day long with yourself and your thoughts and emotions can be quite challenging. As one of the reasons for my Velosperanza project is the willingness to take decisions more from the heart and not from the mind, I am quite curious about how this mental state will evolve over time.
3) Reduce weight – that is a simple but important lessons. Although the tour profile was rather easy, I had some uphill parts in it telling me that ever Gramm will count when climbing up mountain. I already started to reduce my baggage for the trip.
On Monday I continue my training and will keep you up to date.
I think I need to change my route from Norway to Sweden as the Norwegian borders are still closed. I assume to start on July 8th, but I will decide in 1 or 2 weeks.
See you soon – best regards,