This year, 2024, marks my return to exploring and experiencing places on the planet by bicycle, as opposed to merely passing through and barely taking the time to absorb my surroundings.
One of my fondest activities when I seriously got into cycling in 2015 was to pedal somewhere random and just sit there, being present whilst taking it all in.
Then the challenge of covering long distances and seeing as much as I could along the way kicked in. Before I knew it, I had cycled across Canada on a fixie in Winter in 2016-17, a second time in the pandemic on a geared bike in 2020, around the continental United States of America in 2022 and in 2023 across Europe from its northernmost point in Norway to its southernmost in Spain.
My yearly trip to Kenya as a Savanna Cycling brand ambassador, which got renewed for 2024 – yay!!, is a prime example
Some days consist of serious distances in the saddle to properly reconnect with the country where I spent my formative years, such as the 106 km Mau Mau Loop with 1920 m of elevation in October 2022. This literally had me gasping for air, as it was in an area that was 2000 m above sea level.
So as a Canadian trying to keep up with Kenyans, it was quite a challenge, one that I have come to cherish as I fondly remember it.
Other days consist of a more laid-back cycling safari on my OPEN WI.DE. or U.P.P.E.R. in gravel bike mode. These are simply all about sightseeing which is a much different experience on two wheels than inside a tourist vehicle.
On a bicycle, one is within the flora and can have a better look and smell however also closer to the fauna (within legal and reasonable distances because the meanest animals in the Maasai Mara are not predators but herbivores such as the hippos, buffalos and elephants, according to what locals fear the most – not lions!).
For those into photography, it’s even perfect because the vantage points are much better on bikes (some do it on rental ebikes if they are lugging heavy gear or need pedal assistance), allowing them to bring home images that would have been impossible to shoot from a tourist vehicle.
Do I need to go all the way to Kenya to have amazing moments of exploring and experiencing the world on my bicycle? Of course not! London itself never ceases to amaze me daily. So, as long as I am on a bike, I will be able to enjoy it all and share it with you on this blog and on social media!