Cycling through Germany and the Netherlands
920km – 7 days – Live curious.
As I had the idea for this cycling trip, I thought “5 days, easy!”. First, I thought about doing it in 4 days. Well, if I would have been in cycling shape it might have been realistic. Anyway, as you guys know I was only climbing the last 4 months. Oh, stop, the last 12 months actually. After my Budapest challenge I suffered from a knee injury, so I needed to stop cycling for a while. Nevertheless, I figured 5 days are gonna be fine. I saw it from the perspective of a well-trained athlete (cycling) and I did not think about my injury from last year.
So, I went for it and the day before I started my tour I sat on my bike for the first time after a year. I’m not gonna lie, in the Netherlands I cycled also a bit, but nothing over 20km and with a simple city bike.
After the first day I was done. 170km over hilly terrain was too much for me and I immediately felt my knee. I was panicking – how should I survive another 750km?
I bought a couple of packages of Voltaren and “just” went for it. First I had to set down my pace. Secondly, I needed to cut down the distances. I can’t count how often I thought about giving up. It rained 6 out of 7 days, and not just a little bit. I was soaked for 10 hours everyday on my bike. My moral was on the bottom every day. But once I entered my extremely lovely Lebenshilfe-houses it was worth it. I am here on a mission, a mission of experience and reflection. All the pain and suffer are not important. I was about to discover something new.
All of my hosts were full-hearted and just genuine people. With everyone I had a connection and great conversations. Some of them treated me like their own son. I felt pretty guilty about it to be honest, but hopefully someday I can give back what I have received there.
I have learned about different approaches that Lebenshilfe Germany offers. I had dinner with everyone and it is very refreshing how honest and direct the people were. Great fun, I can imagine that this job keeps you young. Everyday a new challenge comes across and it is never the same. People are changing day-to-day, hour-to-hour, minute-to-minute… That’s what we do. We learn and develop with every breath. But this is what makes life exciting.
It was an enriching project. I am more than grateful to have met all those people on my way. Thank you so much. Also thank you to Lebenshilfe Freising for the great organisation and Texas Instrument for the support.