Since I accomplished my bike trip through Germany (Expedition1000GER) – from Oberstdorf to Flensburg – people asked me the same two questions over and over again:
I actually never expected that the first question could come to someone’s mind so I never expected that I would be confronted with it because for me the answer is pretty obvious. Although I had to deal with shitty weather conditions for about half of the time I definitely would do it again. No doubts! Imagining that I wouldn’t have done it and didn’t make the experiences that I made throughout this journey doesn’t seem right to me. I don’t want to miss any of them.
I was in rather mediocre shape before I went on this trip so I wanted to find out if I was capable of accomplishing a 1,000+ kilometer bike ride without any training beforehand. Well, now I know I am! I met some wonderful people during this journey which also means that strangers became friends. I also saw places of my home country that I never expected to see. I visited beautiful cities such as Augsburg, Nuremburg and Bamberg in southern Germany. I even spent some time in an emergency room in Hildesheim. This was definitely not a sight that I planned to visit but it made this trip for sure unforgettable for me. The most thrilling part was definitely to find a place to stay at the end of each day. I stood at hotels, guest houses, hostels, camp sites, crushed a couch but my personal favorite was to camp in the wild. It always gave me a feeling of freedom to know that I’m the only person out there. So once again, yes I would definitely do it again!
That brings me to the second question which I had to think about for a while to figure out what I would do different next time.
The first thing that came into my mind when I started to think about it was the following question:
Would I take my old bike again and attach everything on it that I think I need throughout the trip or would I get an actual racing bike, optimize my gear to a minimum and try to cover the whole distance in the shortest amount of time possible?
Honestly, both ideas seem charming to me because both combine my passions traveling and endurance sports. However, when it comes to such a challenge my current focus is more on the traveling part. The sports aspect is more a positive side effect. I'd prefer to stop whenever and wherever I want and spend some time doing whatever I like in that moment. This leads me directly to the first thing I definitely would do different next time. I would take more time. On this trip I limited myself to a time frame of two weeks. Hence, I had to cover 70+ kilometers on average per day. This approach gave me only very limited time to spend at places where I really would have liked to stay longer. Sometimes it even gave me the feeling that I had to rush when I actually wanted to explore new places and thus I couldn’t enjoy all aspects of them.
Pedaling through the rain and sometimes even through thunderstorms brings me to the second thing I would do different next time. I would definitely add a solid rain poncho on my kit list which covers the whole body while cycling. Additionally I would take a pair of rain shoes to keep the feet dry at any time. It’s everything else but fun to keep moving with wet feet. I mean I took a rain jacket and even rain pants with me but the quality of them was definitely questionable. There is a saying that there is no bad weather, only bad gear. Now I agree with it 100 percent and the experiences I made with the weather on this trip clearly proved that it is quite naïve to believe that the weather would be great all the time only because the calendar states it’s summer.
So here my personal advice in summary:
If you've any further questions or you need some kind of advice for your next trip or challenge, don't hesitate to contact me.
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