Sebastian Vik

Former World Cyclist

This morning I will be flying Stockholm-Lyon to resume my Sweden to India trip, if only for a couple of weeks.

The plan is to cycle from Meximieux outside Lyon (where I first took the train) along the river Rhône to the Mediterranean and Marseille. From there I will follow the coast along to Pisa in Italy. The trip will be from April 9th to April 26th and the estimated distance is a little over 900 km.

I will be sleeping like I did last time: in my hammock in whatever forests I might find along the road, or on the ground if the forests are scarce. There are no planned civilized stops but I expect there will be a couple. It is always nice to dress in normal clothes and walk around town without worrying too much about the bike.

Departure in 4 hours and 30 minutes!

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On the airport bus passing through Södertälje I saw the road I cycled five months earlier, under quite different conditions. It felt so far away, so distant and different that I started writing. I never wrote a poem in my life but one has to be the first! This one is written for my first child.

Through this land, feels like ages ago
I cycled a road wrapped in ice and snow.

The day I return to this treasured land
plants will grow at the touch of my hand.

Creating the future, splendid and yearned
the love of a soul close to mine will be earned.

In this future, of life and love
together we look at the stars up above.

With time and practice, our thoughts grow strong
our feelings radiant in delightful song.

Come spring and shoots fill our garden anew
in joy we contemplate the creation of You.

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Having

I am now pleased to let you all know that staying in the western part of Europe for too long has put my budget in a rather uneasy state. I have long doubted wether I would be able to make it to India, not letting too many people in on my personal budget issues.

Now however I have found, researched, had a meeting about and decided to follow a different path. It is a path that will lead me not down the roads to India but possibly back to the roads of Sweden, this time in a more comfortable time of year.

This project I am joining is indeed a good one, a project for the future! The only thing I feel bad about is letting my sponsors down and especially one of them: Cykloteket. If you ever need a bike, service, gear or advice, please go to them because they are awesome.

Now I am on my way back to work to earn the food on my table and later save money for the Project.

The future of this blog is uncertain. I might change the main topic from “World Cyclist” to cover new activities in the Project but the old material will remain available.

Until then I have a bunch of stories to publish about my cycling the Pyrenees, stopping by DropZone Empuriabrava, crossing an unexpected mountain on my birthday and making my final kilometers into Barcelona. Stay tuned!

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I failed my previous plan Back to the Road because of a broken rim. Tomorrow I will try again:  Toulouse to Barcelona, 392km.

Expected arrival: somewhere around the 15th, my birthday!

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Location: Toulouse, France.

Time: April 1st to April 9th.

After arriving in Toulouse and cycling my bike some 20km out of town I found my bicycle in worse condition than I feared. The rear-wheel rim had strarted cracking at the left-side spokes around about half the wheel. Some spokes had even popped out!

Antoine with his local knowledge and French skills helped me search through several bike stores and we finally found one that could order a new rim and rebuild the wheel. In the meantime…

Reckless

Reckless

The ball in the picture above happened to hit the girl in jeans, to all the boys’ laughter and, later, one boy’s apology. continue reading…

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After their previous article mentioned in my post Magazine Article: Vätternrundan’s Cykla, Vätternrundan (cyklavaettern.com) just published a follow-up article in the Number 2/2011 issue of the magazine Cykla, titled “1000-Milaresan rullar vidare”. Translated to English, it reads something like: “The 10 000km journey continues” (actually “rolls on” instead of continues but it doesn’t translate well to English).

The article continues where the first left off, telling the story up to my illness in Lyon, France.

The article can be read as PDF: 1000-milaresan rullar vidare or on pages 30-31 in the complete electronic magazine. Again, both are in Swedish.

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At 09:00 tomorrow morning I will take the train back across the French border to Toulouse to have a reunion with two of my former flat-mates from our time at university in Scotland before I once again take my bicycle on the road.

At first I shall only cycle from Toulouse to Barcelona, 392km, to taste the road and get used to wearing a t-shirt instead of two layers of wool and WindStopper to stay warm. It is about 200km in the wrong direction but it will be good to warm up before leaving safe haven for good.

Besides, I did not see much from the train but what I saw of the coastline past the Pyrenees was amazing!

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Location: Barcelona, Spain (my bicycle is in Toulouse, France).

Time: March 20th to March 31st.

I ate crazy amounts of food and did not move at all for more than two weeks. I regained the 10% wightloss I acquired during the first two months on the roads in the Northern winter. I finally went running with Kristoffer, a run that will go down in the history as one of my most epic. It was only a few kilometers but the stairs were plenty.

Starting at Plaça d’Espanya less than half an hour before sunset, passing Palau de Congressos de Barcelona:

The Road to Palau Nacional

The Road to Palau Nacional de Montjuïc

The pictures were taken 24 hours after the run, with the only difference being much, much less people and a few more clouds. continue reading…

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