The plan

TLDR: Having traveled Germany, Sweden, a bit of Normandie and southern England, Simon took the cargobike and trailer through Switzerland and France to Catalonia where we spent a month in the Pyrenees. After Christmas, Simon and a friend took the bikes across Spain and we spent three months on the Canarian and two months on the Balearic islands. Since September 22 we have been touring through Thailand.

So how comes we are on this trip?

Around the year 2008 or so, Simon saw a foto presentation of Claude Marthaler, a Genevan bicycle adventurer who cycled around the world for seven years. During the following many hours of bicycle messengering, the dream of cycling to Africa or India would not leave his mind. But he got his bachelor done first, then a master was only another two years away, then there was no money for such a trip. And when there was money, there was also a pregnant girl-friend and a fresh career as a scientific consultant for sustainable mobility at
So the dream of the lonely bicycle adventure turned into a plan for an inter-modal (in the sense of one container/vehicle being transported by another) family trip to Asia. The time frame was given by the German obligation to go to school from the age of 6 years on and Janina’s end of academic studies.
Based on the climate data found in the Fahrrad-Weltführer, Simon elaborated different Gant-chart type timings (click for odt-file) for traveling to Southeast-Asia via Turkey and Iran or via the Transsiberian and Philippines or Vietnam.

And then came Corona, fortunately a year before we meant to leave, so we toured Europe until September 22 and then took off to Thailand to spend half a year there.

The following map contains a bunch of places I would like to visit.

You can find a description of the map’s content here and open it in google maps here.
Note: once opened in your google maps app, you can always find our map there under Saved – (scroll down) – maps.

The following citations may help to give an idea about the philosophical background of our trip:

  • “Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything. Maybe it’s about un-becoming everything that isn’t really you, so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place.” -Unknown
  • „Der wahre Beruf des Menschen ist, zu sich selbst zu kommen.“ – Hermann Hesse zugeschrieben – Das ist nebenbei bemerkt auch die Anleitung zum glücklich sein. Wer bist du? Was kannst du? Was willst du? Was ist dir wichtig? Wie möcht
  • “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.” ― Ernest Hemingway, By-Line: Selected Articles and Dispatches of Four Decades
  • “Es gibt Wichtigeres im Leben, als beständig dessen Geschwindigkeit zu erhöhen.” Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi *1869 †1948 wikipedia
    Indischer Rechtsanwalt und geistiger Führer der indischen Freiheitsbewegung
  • „Intelligenz misst die Fähigkeit eines Wesens, Ziele in vielen verschiedenen Umgebungen zu erreichen.“ (Kucklick Granular 66)

How did it go so far?

We have have toured Sweden between Trelleborg, Malmö, Göteborg and Karlstad for four weeks and through northern Denmark for a week. Then we spent some time in Germany, participating in the Freilauf camp, the Tour de Verkehrswende and a week of non-violent communication at Sieben Linden. Then we backpacked to Ile de France and southern England. Since the nights got cold and our budget needed recovery, Simon took the cargobike to Spain by himself and we spent the winter in the Pyrenees and on the Canarian islands. After a summer in and around Germany, we took off to Thailand for the autumn and winter.

You can find more details in the Blog.

What gear do we use?

Initially an 8 gear 20 inch kids bike (kubikes) and an electric cargo bike with a foldable pannier which pulled a Thule trailer for two kids for the mother and kids. Simon rode his good old touring bike (26 inch, steel, MTB cycletech Andale). Later on, we replaced the kid’s bike with a lighter balance bike and Janina switched to a foldable electric bike (Tern Vektron S10) and Simon took over the cargobike, so mum could hop onto other modes of transport more easily while Simon could pedal on.

Should I take a year off as well?
Check out this tedtalk. Or if you’re the religious kind of person: For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. But in the seventh year the land is to have a year of sabbath rest, a sabbath to the Lord. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards.”