Goodbye Oslo, here I come, Eurovelo. Europe is covered with a network of bicycle pathways, connecting Europe, connecting countries, showing beautiful places, reliving history, so I thought. So I took a close look at this network. Since I have finished the Pan Europe bike path I was on the lookout for a new project. WOuld it be the „around the Baltic“ route? Disadvantage here – getting the logistics of a 3000km tour, would be really tough. I cannot do this in one piece, that would mean a month off work, minimum. Cutting away the one big bay skipping Russian territory, would be an option but even 20 days… no way.
There is a route trailing the historic Iron curtain. Doing the complete one – again – at the moment Russia is no option. The whole reason I got sucked into doing bike paths around Europe is that I saw that Paneuropa sign in Krona and decided I needed to ride this. Because Europa. Because European values being super important to me. Equality of Humans. no matter where they are from. Because we (still) have a political system based on free elections and free will. Because Europe is the logical thing. Borders are for …nobody. Borders are plain stupid. Borders will not help saving the planet from ecological destruction. borders will reduce responsibility of each contender. Each country can say: „before coutry xyz doesn’t do this, we don’t.
No more real borders whithin Europe is for me the only way Europe can survive and the only way Europe can be a player between dictatorial or non democratic countries. Coordinating way more things does not mean to give up oneself – it means as a citizen I still can be German, Badner, but I can be European, too. In a world with about only one big democratic player, and the other big ones at the moment do not excel concerning Human rights, Europe needs to be strong and united.
I started this project before the Russian attack. Now this is even more important. Pan- Europe bike path means All of Europe. This only touches three countries, meaning two borders. Eurovelo will touch them all. eventually.
When the anomaly date came up and I had seen that the Eurovelo 12 passes right there, I checked if Flixbus can transport my bike to Oslo. Flixbus can. It’s a super tough tour, but with a good shower in Oslo that should work all right. Then came my Resistance friend with the ferry suggestion. That was even better. For the retour trip I had selected Gothenburg. This is only a tiny tiny part of the Eurovelo network but it touches two countries, I could cross one border with my bike. Good enough.
A long story how I selected this tour. Then came the practical application and when I tried to load the bike path between Oslo and Gothenburg I missed a piece which was supposed to go from Oslo to Moss. Probably this is online somewhere but – google is my friend and so I decided to take the first stage via google maps instructions as opposed to instructions via garmin. In the Cyech republic this would not have worked. From Prague to Rothenburg – I had the very first piece with help from google maps, but in pedestrian mode, because in this country google bike routes is not activated.
So I had a nice breakfast with my roommate in the hostel, and eventually packed my bike and set off. GORUCK and bike tour is a bad combination – my bike rack was super heavily laden with … lots of stuff I’d never have taken onto a bike-tour-only. Getting up hills was extra tough and this day I had started only around noon. But for once the gmaps instructions were excellent. no detours, no pathways when real life doesn’t show any. plenty of beautiful landscape.
Some lady with her bike was at the side of the street, I asked if shee needed help which resulted in me emptying the content of one of my bags to get to the multitool. Of course I learn from this – the multitool found a new home now. quickly accessible.
Part of the course went along old train tracks. So I could just follow here, this was away from any road, through calm landscape. Eventually I stopped to select a location to stay overnight, ended up with a motel at the E6, rode there
Empty little villages, but sporting a rainbow flag. Support for lgbtq in a tiny township. Kind of it would be nice if it didn’t matter anymore where you are from or who you are – only what you do and how you act.
Eventually I found my motel, had a decent portion of Fish and Chips (super crispy and delicious), went onto my daily mile, found a few red portals to interact with and then went back to the hotel to sleep.