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KristiansrouteYaaaa, party here! The bicycle guide of the Kristians Route was published yesterday 🥳💃🎊🎉! After an unclear release date ("around 1 May", "no, week later", "no, maybe this week anyway"), completely unexpectedly it arrived yesterday after all.

And as you can see from the photos, Remy and I are already busy processing orders by now.

Would you also like to order the guide? It is in Dutch, but the maps are very useful. In the coming weeks I will write an article How to use the Dutch guide as a non-Dutch speaker. You can do so in Via Gaia's updated webshop. Here you will also find some sample pages. More information in English about the bicycle route: Kristians Route.

And speaking about the website: the Dutch version is recently updated and Remy and I are working on the English translation of a lot of articles. We think it will be done the end of May.

kristiansroute1kristiansroute2kristiansroute3kristiansroute4img 3303img 3311

...and a lot of wheels

ter heijde aan zeeRemy and I are going to do something exciting: we are going to Spain for three weeks WITHOUT our bicycles. We already practiced a bit last year to go on vacation without a bicycle and that went pretty well. Spain, of course, lends itself perfectly to a bicycle vacation, but this time we choose to travel through Spain by train and on foot. We both take a large backpack with us and stay overnight in hotels and B&B's. Writing an On-Two-Wheels newsletter is out of the question, due to the lack of two wheels. And counting the wheels of the train is such a hassle. So no newsletters during the vacation this time. What has happened to us? Well...

sportschoolThis week I went to a gym for the first time in my life. I want to give my stamina a boost and loose some weight. And this time, before I go on a long trip in staid of during the trip. Because I'm swimming in the sea since September last year, I'm cycling less, but because of the swimming I got very hungry. In short, I exercised too little and ate too much and I'm seeing and feeling the consequences.

img 9253Originally we intended to be on a plane heading for the Canaries Islands to cycle there for four weeks. Everything was almost setup, plane was booked, work was delegated elsewhere, house was let-out… Instead I’m writing this blog post now on the couch with my laptop at home..

For those who are interested: I will give an online presentation at Rob's Bikecenter on Friday evening at 8pm. This is broadcast live through their Youtube channel and Live Stories at their Instagram account.
The presentation is in Dutch, but you can enable subtitles which are automatically generated by YouTube. You can find it on the bottom right on the video player.
 For an impression: see this video. This is an introduction clip of four minutes.

Introductie lezing Het Olavspad op twee wielen

Hooray, It’s finally here!! 🎉🥳🥂
The Dutch bicycle guide ‘Het Olavspad’ is published and how special this feels!! Even my pen is speechless: “……..”
In the mean time I'm jumping all over the place and am besides myself with pride!

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Like to order?

You can order directly through me (Via Gaia) or after may 12th in the Netherlands at travel book stores and stores for travel bicycles and in Norway at:

Save the date!

santos dealer rob s bikecenter zuid holland

On Friday evening on 28th of May, at 8 pm, I’ll be giving a presentation (in Dutch) on Het Olavspad Op Twee Wielen at Rob's Bikecenter in Maasland. You can follow it live on their YouTube channel.

"A journey becomes a pilgrimage as we discover, day by day, that the distance traveled is less important than the experience gained." - Ernest Kurtz

On May 8th the Dutch bicycle guide will be published about the pilgrim route from Oslo to Trondheim: Het Olavspad (The St. Olavs Way)
How much I have looked forward to this, to bring you this wonderful news! These last weeks were full of redactions and checks, advices and corrections. Work on the millimetre scale. Literally! It is at the printer at the moment, but available for order in advance. My very first bicycle guide! I hope this is the beginning of many more to come...

This guide is presently only available in Dutch, but will be translated to English in the future. When there is sufficient demand, the guide might be translated to Norwegian en German as well. If you interested, please contact me.

Het Olavspad Fietsgids

Het Olavspad
Gudbrandsdalsleden Noorwegen : Van Oslo naar Trondheim
Fietsgids bij de pelgrimsroute naar Nidaros

A bicycle guide in Dutch on the St. Olav’s way. Published in a format that fits in a bike handlebar bag or in a map sleeve on top. It is spiral bound so pages can flipped over easy. This bicycle guide is in full colour, richly illustrated and contains:

Read more and start your order...

For all the North-German, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish readers who want to order the guide: I might be able to bring it along with me this summer when I go to Norway and Sweden again. Saves on shipping costs (See the part about planning further along).

And now?

Well I had hoped to have plenty of spare time to cycle the world around once more, or to the moon and back. But instead I’m hopping in between destinations far outside my comfort zone (but are oh so very interesting): giving presentations and interviews.

How ironic: I write about a pilgrimage on the bicycle, about the wonderful Norwegian nature, about rest and relaxation, being outside all day, feel the sun and wind on your cheeks… And in the mean time I’m on a desk chair instead of a saddle, I hold a keyboard and mouse instead of my handlebar, and see the wonderful nature through my own texts and photo’s on a screen in front of which I’m sitting far too long, for months on end. Yes, much too long! You know it’s too long, when you discover things are disappearing from the screen and you start to check if it fell on the ground… Or when you write with pen and paper and start wondering where the save button went to… Or when Remy called me “pestkoppie” (Dutch for bully in an endearing way), but I understood “Paste-Copy”. Otherwise I’m fine. It would be very worrisome when objects disappearing from my screen are found on the floor in front of my desk chair.

Interview and presentation

To promote the guide, I started giving presentations and interviews. These are all in Dutch but if you’re still interested, you can find links to them on the Dutch part of the site viagaia.nl.
What’s interesting, even if you don’t understand Dutch, is that I have an introduction clip of four minutes for the presentation on Youtube, which gives you an impression of the St. Olavs way by bicycle. I narrated it my self, but you can enable subtitles which are automatically generated, on the bottom right on the video player. Enjoy! (4 min.):

Introductie lezing Het Olavspad op twee wielen

Planning

Meanwhile the preparation for the next journey is on it’s way, but it hangs in the balance if it is possible to go to Scandinavia this summer. The St. Olavs Way in Norway is a route on it’s own, but in the future it will be combined with a Swedish part and a route to connect the two pilgrim routes. Last summer it wasn’t possible to do the complete route because of COVID-19, so I keep my fingers crossed for this summer!

Remy and I have plans to cycle around too. A lot of them even. Depending on the developments around COVID-19 we made plans A to Y (yes, 25 plans are enough). More on that later.

About the newsletter On Two Wheels

Until recently I wrote this newsletter only during journeys by bicycle (as in Remy and I). The line between work and hobby for the development of bicycle routes is a fine one. Last summer I went cycling through Norway ‘for work’, but during that time the sense of being on vacation never left me completely. The writing about the journey was a logical part of the journey too, even though it could be seen as a form of advertising.

For now the newsletter of On Two Wheels will cover both the bicycle journeys and bicycle route projects for Via Gaia. Maybe the dividing line will become thicker or some other reason will come up to split the newsletter up, but for now I’ll leave it as it is. There’s always the option to unsubscribe if you don’t want to receive the newsletter anymore.

Warm greetings, also from Remy,

Gea van Veen

 

In this end of the year newsletter:

Veni Vidi Fietsie!

Veni vidi vici… I came, I saw, I conquered. Famous words of Julius Ceasar after a victory in 47 BC. Apart from the fact it alliterates nicely, the last word ‘vici’ sounds like the Dutch word ‘fietsie’ (spoken as ‘feet-see’) which is slang for small bicycle.
This phrase have become our words of ‘victory’. Not that the journey has been a battle, but there was plenty to conquer: ones own limits, heat, cold, rain, high mountains, deep valleys, breakdowns which on the move…

duindoorn"It is the unknown around the corner that turns my wheels"
Heinz Stucke

I was asked today if I ever get tired of cycling (apart from the obvious). This question was asked before a number of times and the answer won't surprise you: No, because cycling to me is not purpose, but a means to an end. A means to discover the world, to be outside, to exercise and keep myself fit and healthy. Because I'm lazy by nature and not competitive at all. Competitive sports are wasted on me. I'd rather spend my time in a creative way (play music and writing) and discover the world (being outside, traveling). But since exercise and health are very important, I try to combine the necessities of life with something enjoyable. Recently I made it my occupation (cycling and writing).

Annie Kopchovsky“Emancipation is: Sitting behind the steering wheel of your life." - Máxima Zorreguieta (speech 2014, Eindhoven NL)

It was 1894. At a time when numerous global adventures were taking place, Annie Kopchovsky from Boston wanted to prove that women were just as capable as men at achieving great feats. She decided to settle a wager about whether a woman could cycle around the world like Brit Thomas Stevens had about 10 years previously, and aimed to complete a circumnavigation in 15 months.

After learning to ride a bike two days earlier, and wearing a long skirt of the time, Annie waved goodbye to her young family and rode off on a 19kg women's bicycle on June 27, 1894. She carried with her only a change of clothes, a pistol and a placard advertising Londonderry Spring Water; this was part of a sponsorship deal where she also altered her name to Annie Londonderry…