Green Pedals

Posted: August 18, 2014 in Cycling
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arctic-cyler will cycle for Green Pedals – cycling for sustainable schools

The children are our future, and they inherit the world that we leave them. I want to leave them a habitable world, where each can lead a healthy and satisfying life. This is only possible if we treat the world as our home, look after it, and use its resources in a sustainable way.

Green Pedals (also on Facebook) is a movement to promote the topics of sustainability and health in our schools around the world. It aims to maintain a dialogue on sustainability, organise activities to encourage engagement in the environment and health, and work with schools to build sustainable infrastructure that exemplifies sustainability, stimulating engagement and ownership of this topic in local communities.

In September 2014 I will leave my job of 16 years, and my home of 21 years, and cycle 36000km from Eindhoven in the Netherlands to Adelaide, Australia where I was born. On my way I will meet people, I will observe, and I will write. What are the sustainability issues people face across my path, and how do they deal with them? Who are the people? What are their stories? I will also try to raise money for Green Pedals to promote this dialogue, and use to realise sustainable infrastructure in selected schools on my route.


Packing list for my world cycle: done!

Five weeks to go before I leave Eindhoven by bike, on the way to Australia. My apartment is looking bare. The boxes of my worldly possessions are ready for shipping to Australia. In a few weeks I’m having my early farewell party when friends can come and take things from my flat – mainly books and various odds and ends. The couple that will rent the flat after me are buying my furniture. That leaves a few possessions that can fit on my bike.

It all fits on the bike

It all fits on the bike

This will be the extent of my worldly kingdom in the next 2 years. Its always a choice of weight and volume against utility. Here is my packing list. All suggestions are welcome! :-)


With two months to go before leaving Holland to cycle to Australia, my equipment needed testing, and friends needed visiting. I cycled back to La Jonchère in France – where I spent 3 months as an exchange student in 1988-89. This was the start of my relationship with Europe.

And, yes, I am glad I tested my equipment. I need a new pedal axle, and the baggage-holder has broken off from the frame. I’m glad I have time to fix all that before I leave!

As I only had one week this year, I started in Paris – last year I cycled from Eindhoven to Paris, so that stretch was already covered.

Day 1. 145km. Eindhoven-Brussels: A day along the canals of Belgium, staying with Kevin in Brussels.
Day 2. 191km. Brussels-Guise: Following bike paths (existent and non-existent) along rivers and train-tracks to beautiful France.
Day 3. 205km. Guise-Paris: I was awake before the sun. It was crisp – well, cold outside. My tent had a layer of ice as I left it to start my morning ritual. Today was a long and eventful day. It saw me cycle 205 km into the Parisian dusk.
Day 1. 155km. Paris-Égreville: A ride through the old and the new. The old: beautiful Paris – overflowing with memories of the last 26 years. Bathed in warmth and sun, I cycled through memory lane. The new: Following the Seine upstream I discovered the meandering valley, and met my lovely Warmshowers hosts – Nicole and Claude – at their house in the rolling hills of wheat.
Day 2. 120km. Égreville-St Cyr en Val: Along a sand path next to the canal – on and on along the green, shady waterway. A bit bumpy, but peaceful and pretty. A cycle of solitude, finished with a lovely dinner invitation at the camping ground.
Day 3. 165km St Cyr en Val-Montbazon: Sun, castles, views overlooking the Loire, minor bike problems with improvised fixes. Very very bright. It’s summer. I like!
Day 4, 125km. Montbazon-Luzeret: Sun, sun and sun. Leaving the Loire valley, the hills are getting bigger, and the sun is bringing out the sweat. Rolling fields along the Indre River, and then a landscape of lakes in the Brenne region.
Day 5. 95km. Luzeret-Ambazac: South of the Creuse River, the hills get bigger, they said. They did. They also got more familiar, those hills, and I got more emotional. I am here again, and by bike – I laughed with joy. My arrival at La Jonchère was marked with thunder and lightning.

With the equipment tested, and all the farewells made, arctic-cycler is ready for the big trip. Bring it on!

Day 5. 95km. Luzeret – Ambazac

Posted: June 27, 2014 in Cycling
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South of the Creuse River, the hills get bigger, they said. They did. They also got more familiar, those hills, and I got more emotional. I am here again, and by bike – I laughed with joy. My arrival at La Jonchère was marked with thunder and lightning.

Read the rest of this entry »


Sun, sun and sun. Leaving the Loire valley, the hills are getting bigger, and the sun is bringing out the sweat. Rolling fields along the Indre River, and then a landscape of lakes in the Brenne region.

Read the rest of this entry »


Sun, castles, views overlooking the Loire, minor bike problems with improvised fixes. Very very bright. It’s summer. I like!

Read the rest of this entry »


Along a sand path next to the canal – on and on along the green, shady waterway. A bit bumpy, but peaceful and pretty. A cycle of solitude, finished with a lovely dinner invitation at the camping ground.


Click here for map and gpx download.

Read the rest of this entry »