Who is Waldek Malina in his daily life?
Just an ordinary person. An Arcelor Mittal Poland employee, a steal worker, a lather turner, to be precise. I’m 46 years old.
Where did your passion come from?
It was a typical middle-age syndrome when I turned 40. I was a computer games fanatic before, computer games were my whole world. I’d almost never go out, not to mention any physical activity. I’ve got witnesses – my wife and friends.
So, it was a sort of a breakthrough in your life?
Yes. When I turned 40, I realised, after so many years, that half of my life was gone. I hadn’t achieved anything special, there was nothing I could be remembered by. I thought ‘Wow!’, and that was a wake-up call. I started to think: what could I do now? Suddenly I had a feeling that it would be nice to leave something behind.
I’d like to know what was first. Was it the fact that you had travelled a lot before, which made you come up with the idea of travelling the world on two wheels, or was it that you’d already had a bicycle, and you just thought that it would be great to see the world?
It was the idea that came first.
Do you mean: the idea to “re-create” yourself?
Yes. And a question: ‘What could I do?’ As I’m saying, I cannot swim, so I couldn’t cross the English Channel. I thought to myself: ‘Listen, Waldziu, why not go to the seaside on your bike and just take a dip?’. It was six years ago, so nowadays things like that are common, as bike tourism has become increasingly popular since then. I’m sure I wasn’t the first one back then either. So I said at home that I had such a plan and was going to do it.
What was their reaction?
“You’re nuts!” (laughter). How would it be possible for a man who had spent 10 or 15 years sitting and playing computer games… “What are you talking about?”. “Dad’s gone crazy”. But I didn’t worry too much. I had neither cash nor a bike, so I went to a second-hand shop and bought a bicycle which still works today, although some parts have broken due to age and have been changed. But nevertheless, it’s the same old bike. Cost me 300 PLN in that second-hand shop. I came back home, took a holiday from work, I said I was going to Świnoujście on my bicycle on Monday, Świnoujście was what came to my mind then. But at home they were still going on at me: ‘Come on dad, stay at home, and don’t be silly’. No. I am stubborn. First of all, no training. I never used to ride a bike before, only when I was younger. I did a couple of rounds around the block, and a few kilometres in the area, just to remind myself how to pedal. I bought some old travelling bags for nothing, and other junk like that, just to have anything. I started on my bike on Monday, and on Friday I was in Świnoujście. What still amazes me is that it wasn’t really very hard for me.
I bet your determination was what helped you…
Yes. I still think your mind and spirit matter a lot, as I don’t do any complicated training before my journeys. I hear that people who go on a journey do exercise and climb mountains to get ready. I don’t do any of that. If I know I am going somewhere, I know I have a task in front of me and I only need to succeed, just like that. And that’s how it started. First there was Świnoujście, a ride through all of Poland. I liked it and I felt that was what I wanted to continue doing in my life.
Were you a member of a bicycle club then?
No. Back then I didn’t even know that there were any clubs. My beginnings were lonely. Later I started travelling through Poland. I visited and explored our country, although I haven’t covered it all yet. I’m always saying that you can go to different places in the world, but Poland is such a beautiful country that one man’s life is honestly not enough time to see all great places here. But then I felt that I had to do more. More…
Well, how did it go with your first bigger expedition? What was the idea and why?
Ukraine, it was more difficult, because I don’t know the language very well. I can speak a bit of Russian, but it’s the Russian we were taught in primary school. I can communicate, but I’m not very articulate.
True, for many not knowing the language becomes quite a big barrier, when it comes to travelling.
I realised I didn’t need the language at all. I was going to quickly visit Mongolia, where I travelled on my bicycle this year. I was hoping they would speak Russian there, as it also was a post-communist country. In the 1990s, exactly like here, the communist regime fell. But people don’t speak Russian there, maybe with a few exceptions.
So how did you communicate?
You mean during my 16 days there? In Mongolian! (laughter). I learned five basic phrases, like: “hello”, “good bye”, “please, take the dogs away” – that was very important, as there were so many dogs, so it was the first thing I learned. Nochoj chor, which means: “take the dogs away”.
Do you remember all these words?
Yes. Exactly 4 years ago I went to Georgia and I can still remember about 20 words quite well. Things like that are always there, etched in our memory. But even if you don’t know the language, you can manage as well somehow. I can explain what I mean, I can ask about food, about somewhere to stay the night or how to find my way – I don’t have a problem with that. I can honestly say I really enjoy chatting to these people, and the more I talk to them, the more words I learn.
Is there a special part of the world that you would like to explore?
It’s a very good question. I am more interested in the regions of the former Soviet Union, its former republics, as well as places in the east. Definitely not the west. I’m not very much into civilisation – France, Spain – it’s not my thing. The more uninhabited a country is, the more wild, the more I like it. It’s there where I feel best. I’ve done five countries. Maybe it’s not many, but you have to remember I did start quite late, at 40. And in every one of the countries the people, although they were poor – or maybe because they were poor – were so friendly. Especially towards the Polish, but towards tourists on the whole. I was surprised to find out that Azeris really liked Polish people. Wow! I didn’t even know they knew about us!
So the last trip was to Mongolia, and before that?
It started with Ukraine, then Georgia. I went to Georgia, because Ukraine was the first destination abroad I reached by bike. I went to Lvov. I stayed for a bit and came back to Sosnowiec. Travelling abroad gave me a taste for more. I wanted to go further, so that it would be more difficult. So I chose Georgia for the following year and I remember I had to take my bicycle with me on the plane, I was nervous flying with that bike. I have very good memories from Georgia, it was great, and, again, I liked it. People are so friendly in Georgia. But they spoke about Armenians, their geographical neighbours, in a negative way. ‘Don’t go to Armenia, just let go of the idea, we’re so friendly, but Armenians are surely going to hurt you’.
So that made you curious enough to want to go there and see for yourself?
Yes, exactly. Why do they speak in such a negative way about Armenians? A year passed, and then I thought it was time to go there, to see how it is there. And it turned out to be completely untrue. Armenians proved to be really nice, helpful people.
But I knew that they were in conflict with Azerbaijan, so I wanted to check how it was in Azerbaijan… Armenians don’t speak that bad about the Azeris, but the way Azeris speak about Armenians – you wouldn’t believe how terrible it is. I chose not to say, when asked, if I had been to Armenia. At the heart of their newly rekindled conflict is the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. So they still say that Armenians are such awful people. They hate Armenians.
So what is going to be your next trip? Have you made any plans yet?
I have lots of plans, but the biggest problem is the fact that I have a normal day job and 26 days of holiday days per year. Apart from biking, which is my passion number one, I love the mountains. I’ve felt drawn towards mountaineering, even more than towards biking. It started with great mountains. The Tatras, the Alps, and this year I’m going to try to climb a just over 5000 metres high Kazbek, so what I really need is enough holiday, both for my bicycle rides and for my mountaineering, and then there’s my family. I’m trying to balance it out, so that everybody, meaning both my family and me, are kept somewhat happy.
There are priorities, that’s understandable.
Yes, but my dream is to go somewhere for at least half a year to a year. You get the chance to live and function in a completely different way then, and you are free in your ongoing journey.
That’s an interesting point. How have your expeditions influenced you as a human being? Have they changed you in any way?
Yes, in a hugely positive way. As far as I’m concerned, I had always been a positive person, but I hadn’t been so open-minded about people before. My circle of friends and acquaintances was quite… closed before. But nowadays I always meet lots of lovely people both on my bicycle travels and during my mountain expeditions. People I meet are like me, we share similar passions and interests. Although we don’t know each other, when we sit down together, we always find a common subject to talk about.
So, a passion for something connects people…
Exactly. People I meet are also very active, just like myself. They don’t just sit at home, drink their beers and watch their telly, on the contrary, they want to do something in their lives. I am perceived like that as well. I would do even more if I only could. In my plans there is Baikal, Kirgizstan, Tajikistan, I’m also thinking about Chechnya – it is the small republics that interest me so much. It’s always eastward-bound destinations. Getting there costs most. But once you’ve arrived, everything is really cheap.
People still think that travelling to far away destinations always means a huge cost. Is it true?
Well, Mongolia was more expensive when it comes to the flight – there are no cheap airlines that go there. But Armenia, for example, the flight, transport, the stay, souvenirs – the total cost was PLN 1,600, and Azerbaijan cost me PLN 1,800 in total.
Do you always bring lots of souvenirs and keepsakes back with you?
Yes and I’ve never experienced any problems with transporting them. When it comes to border control, nobody argues. I like getting small keepsakes from people. Each of the souvenirs has its own history. You see, I love tea, but I hate coffee. I drink tea by the litres. Azerbaijan was a tea paradise. Fresh tea, water poured from samovars. When I was on the road, biking through towns and villages, there were people every 5 kilometres standing there with samovars and inviting you for a cup of tea. Sit down first, have a sip, and then we’ll talk. Mongolian tea really surprised me. It’s called sute cai, and it’s served with milk and salt. When they gave it to me to taste, I thought: ‘My goodness, I’m never going to drink tea here again’.
Was it possible to get to like it?
After three days I was a fan. It was delicious! Not only that, I think it strengthened my body, because my tiredness used to disappear after two bowlfuls. It was quite filling too.
Isn’t it so that even meals taste differently in places like that? It’s because of the people and the atmosphere, isn’t it?
In Mongolia, for example, you sit in a ger, wrongly called a yurt, and, as you were saying, there is a family, the ger, a stove, and a pot you cook in. You get your tea in one bowl, and butter in the other, because you’re supposed to have your tea with butter. You scoop the butter with a spoon, you eat it and then take a sip of your tea. Milk with salt, butter. Milk with salt, and butter again… And it goes on like that. Contrary to what you may think, after three days it all tasted very good. I must add I had no stomach problems at all during my stay there. I always try to integrate with people I’m staying with. I observe their demeanour. If they eat with their hands, I eat with my hands too. If they sit on the floor during their meals, I do the same. I’m their guest.
You respect their culture.
That’s right. I don’t want to push my customs on them.
But they surely ask you about your culture and customs typical of where you come from?
I’ve come up with this simple thing: I always take a 30-40 page photo album with me, in order to be able to show them Poland and my family. There are photos of the Tatra Mountains there, of the seaside, my work, and so on.
You make friends that way.
Indeed, it’s a very nice way to start a conversation. If they ask me if I have a wife, I go and grab my photo album and show them I do. I show them my children on the photos, the youth, and, here you go, the conversation has started. It’s so nice. I always take lots of small things with me, like bows, stickers, biking wrist bands, sweets for the children. I feel very gratified and fulfilled to be able to give back to these people and to return the favour. I want them to remember that somebody from Poland came to visit them.
Surely there is a special place in your home where you store all your keepsakes from your journeys. Is there a trunk, in which you store them, or are they exhibited?
I leave them out. I like waking up and being able to see them. Some stuff is hanging on the wall, it brings memories back, but it’s the fridge door full of magnets that is the most important place.
Then I’m not going to ask if there’s a huge map of the world hanging there too.
Oh yes, I do travel with maps. I purposely don’t use a GPS. It makes everything too easy. I use maps. And sometimes, when I get lost, I reach various places I haven’t planned to visit at all and something interesting happens. It’s there where adventures begin. There’s a smidgen of risk, a bit of stress, but that’s what I like about my journeys. Planning everything, which hotel you are going to stay at, a tight schedule, as you have to be somewhere on time… No, it’s not for me.
Do you plan and organise your journeys in any special way or are you completely spontaneous?
I start with choosing a country. Let’s say I want to visit the Baikal next year. I don’t go around telling everybody, there’s no need. There’s still plenty of time. Something might happen, I can have a fracture, you never know. If my flight is in May, I start thinking about it at the end of April. There is Internet, I read a lot, and I look for people. I try to get in touch with somebody. For example, when I was going to Armenia, I thought it would be nice to get to know some Armenians. I realised there were Armenians trading at our local market. In Będzin or Dąbrowa Górnicza. I went there, I found some trouser sellers, and I had a map of Armenia with me. I approached them, I told them I was going to visit their beautiful country and asked if they could give me some advice. They invited me to their home. We chatted, they told me what was worth seeing. I also asked them to write down a few basic words and phrases in Armenian in my little notebook. For example: ‘I am a tourist from Poland’. ‘I’m looking for a place to stay’. That helped me a lot. Somebody over there became glad: ‘Oh, so you know Armenians?’ ‘Yes, they live in Poland’. In the same way, I found a Mongol woman on the Internet, she’s originally from the capital, Ulan Bator, she lived in Poland and liked Polish people a lot. And she was eager to help. I sent her a couple of emails and she replied asking me to come over and saying I could stay with them or even leave my bicycle cardboard box there. There’s always a problem with the box, because you need to assemble the bicycle back together and continue your trip, but the question is: how to transport it back?
So, where do you leave your cardboard box?
It depends. Once I was stopped by a taxi driver, and I said I didn’t do taxis, and he asked me what I was going to do with the cardboard box. ‘How much do you want for storing it?’, I asked him. An equivalent of PLN 20. No problem, perfect. The guy wrote down the date, and he was there on the day and at exactly the time we agreed on, and so I had nothing to worry about.
Another time, when I was on my way to Armenia, I was travelling through Georgia – it was cheaper to fly that way. From Georgia I had to travel by a minibus (called a marshrutka) to the Armenian border. There I had to assemble my bike and travel on. One of the drivers put the cardboard box with my bike inside it on the roof of the bus and he came down. I asked him to tie it with a rope onto the roof. But he said it wasn’t needed, as there were railings around. OK, I thought. He got in and we went. They drive like madmen in Georgia. Full speed, cracked window panes. Just as I was falling asleep on the bus, I was suddenly woken up by a noise, a clatter coming from outside the window, and a shriek of brakes. The driver turned around to me and said: ‘You, Polish man, that’s your bicycle’, as he pointed outside the window. I saw my busted cardboard box lying on the street, cars breaking… This was my first day, I hadn’t reached Armenia yet and my return ticket was issued for 13 days from then! I got out and I just wanted to cry. I couldn’t see my bike, because it was inside the box. But I saw a broken helmet lying there, a loose screw, a saddle somewhere else – if one thing is missing you can’t assemble the bike back together. Even if I lose a pump, that’s it.
So you’ve had a few bicycle breakdowns?
A punctured air chamber is nothing unusual. I used to say about it because this bicycle has such a plain construction and it had to fall on a side without propulsion, it survived the fall without any major consequences. The only thing that happened was that the saddlepole was bent, but it was a minor thing. I found a car repair shop, a guy used his vise and his hammer and he repaired my saddlepole. Another time a boot came off, making it impossible to continue. I fastened it on with cable ties and found a welder, there is always one in every village, and he welded the boot back. These count as small breakdowns only due to the fact that my old metal bicycle’s construction was so plain, that not much could go wrong there. And that’s the bike’s advantage.
Do you keep a diary of everything that has happened during your journeys?
I always have my little notebook with me, and I write down everything there. Every day I note down what’s happened, so I don’t forget the details.
What’s the best time of the year to go on a journey like this?
May, June, when flight tickets are cheaper. They are cheapest during winter, but that time of the year is not for me as it’s not good for biking, really.
When it comes to our country, which places would you recommend for a bicycle trip?
I can only recommend places I’ve visited myself. Later on I joined the Cykloza biking club in Sosnowiec, and I went with the team to Mazury. It’s amazing over there! I’m more of a “go abroad” type of guy, but the rest of the team prefer Poland. They cover thousands of kilometres and they can tell you a lot about it. Mazury, Roztocze, the region neighbouring the Ukrainian border, Roztocze National Park, Przemyśl, Zamość, Kazimierz nad Wisłą, Bieszczady Mountains. I love Bieszczady and I return there eagerly.
What a coincidence, as I’m going to Bieszczady soon. I’ve never been, yet I’ve always dreamt of going there.
Then it will surely be a dream come true. I can really recommend these regions, but not in the season. It’s best to go in the autumn, when you can see the beautiful colours, the gorgeous landscape, and experience this amazing silence.
What do you look for during your trips? What fascinates you? Is it the landscape, the nature, or maybe the people, their culture, or is it about making friends?
I always place landscapes second to contact with people. I want to see how they live, how they manage. I want to chat with them, to sense them. I want to feel how it is to be in their skin… I love the landscapes too, because I’m not a fan of man-made things. I am somehow not interested in churches or beautiful cathedrals. If there’s a mountain, or a rock, that has been shaped by the wind – that’s a thing of beauty for me. Animals. That’s nature.
You travel on your own. Why? Is it because you think it’s easier or harder that way?
It is definitely more difficult. There are many people who would like to join me, as they know a bit of experience helps. But I’m not looking for a travel companion. When I travel on my own I’m not dependent on anybody. Nobody has to wait for me, and I don’t have to wait for them. After a few days there could be conflicts, as somebody might be tired and want to rest. There are days when I haven’t got any strength left, and then I do 30 km instead of 100. But somebody else might, on the contrary, have lots of energy that day. If I was in a group, I wouldn’t look for acquaintances and I wouldn’t meet new people. Adventures would surely pass by me and give me a wide berth.
Am I right in thinking that people approach you in a more confident way when they see you travel on your own?
Definitely, but I am also the one who starts chatting with them, I’m open to them, and somehow it just works. If I had travel companions, I would talk to them instead. It’s also harder to manage on your own. If I’m lost on my own, I have to find my way myself, and if something happens, I ought to deal with it myself.
How long are your trips?
The longest one was 16 days. Doesn’t seem very long, but it’s not short either. I’m on the bike all the time. I covered 912 km in Mongolia. Maybe it’s not much, as Mongolia is such a vast country, but I was able to visit a couple of regions and get to know them during that time. The other thing is my holidays, which have to be planned in such a way that would let me squeeze a few different things in each year during this short period of 26 days.
Then you’re not as crazy as others, who leave their work and everything else, in order to travel?
No, absolutely not. My family and my home are my priority. I couldn’t do that, although I must admit I admire those who decide to take that step. I can understand their decision very well.
Do you think your family would like to go on such a trip with you? Do your children, for example, share their dad’s passion?
The children are all grown up now, but when they were little we used to climb small hills, although they weren’t very much into it. I have never pushed them to do it either. To start with, they followed me on the Internet, when I was going from place to place… and suddenly last year my son decided he wanted a bicycle. He’s starting to do longer distances, some marathons – he enjoys that. He started it of his own accord. My daughter, on the other hand, started to ride a bike under the influence of her boyfriend. But she also became more and more interested because that her dad was doing something fun. You can’t force anything!
If you could finish the sentence: “For me travelling means…”?
The whole life at the moment. A different kind of life. A stepping stone away from everyday life. I feel that if someone lives a mundane life – going to work, going home, having dinner, and the same again… a walk with their dog, and then repeat the same all over again every day, then it’s not a real life. When I know there’s a chance I will go somewhere in a month or two, then I’m really absorbed in it.
Surely your passion is contagious and it spreads to your loved ones?
And to strangers as well. I do my best. I used to go to travel lectures before. I remember I used to be jealous of these people, in a positive sense. But now I do the same. I listened to somebody back then, and it makes me happy that kids in school can listen to me now, and to know that maybe one day they can brave a journey. Maybe somebody will follow in my footsteps.
Where can we listen to your lectures and see your presentations?
I am often invited to schools, or travelling clubs, where I speak about my trips in mountain hostels. To start with, I used to describe my journey through Armenia on Facebook. Back then I couldn’t even imagine me standing in front of a crowd, with a microphone in my hand, talking about my journeys. ‘How on earth are you going to do this? You’ve never been on stage before’. It’s much easier to write. A friend of mine told me about a club called Namaste in Katowice. He suggested I could tell them about my journeys there. It was him who phoned them on my behalf and told them about me.
Then there was no way out of it after your friend booked you in?
That’s exactly the thing. I was so mad at him. ‘Why on earth did you get me in there?’ I remember when I was on my way there, it was a Sunday, and my hands were shaking… I spoke for two hours. But if somebody asked me what I was talking about, I wouldn’t remember any of it. I was in such a shock that I couldn’t remember anything of what I said. I heard them clapping, laughing. So I thought to myself, ‘not bad’. And that’s how it started. So today I have my friend to thank for publicising me.
Can you remember anything dangerous that happened during any of your trips?
There is one thing that I’ll never forget. A night with jackals. When I was in Azerbaijan, I was staying at some local Azeris’ house. It was just after I crossed the border. They literally took me from the street and invited me to their home. I wanted to sleep in a tent in their backyard. Shocked, they said no, as there were lots of snakes outside. So I said I would spend a night in a hammock in the backyard. No way, they said, there were jackals roaming the area at night and that’s dangerous. And so one day I read in a guide about a very nice old town, an open-air old buildings museum, a canyon, somewhere high in the mountains, at the end of the road. Of course I really wanted to see that. Unfortunately, there was nothing in the guide about that the route there was a 30-minute long uphill ride. I stopped every now and then, I took short breaks, and then I continued for a bit. It felt like an uphill struggle. At around 6 in the evening I realised I wouldn’t make it there before dusk. I put up a tent behind a hill. As I was falling asleep, I heard horrifying howling.
Did you know it was jackals?
Not really. It was only later that I remembered what the Azeris had told me about jackal herds prowling in the area. Suddenly I heard the howling getting even closer. Terrified, I grasped at my gas and my torch and I noticed something has touched the wall of the tent. When they were touching the tent walls, I screamed, I kicked and shouted, and then there was a moment of silence, followed by their running around again. It continued till morning – they could smell fresh meat, exported from Poland that is. I had terrible thoughts, because when you’re on your own in a situation like that you wind everything up. I thought, a tent is just a tent, it won’t offer me any protection. It’s enough if one or two jackals jump up, tear the tent apart with their sharp claws and drag me outside. How would a gas or a knife help me? They wouldn’t. All night was like that. It died down at 4 in the morning. I’ve been through similar things many times.
What about nice memories?
It’s the ones related to people.
Are you still friends with anybody you met during your trips?
Yes. I keep in touch with the Georgians regularly. I visit them, as I’ve been to Georgia 4 times already. We meet each other. People I met in other countries are my friends on Facebook, and that’s how we keep in touch on a regular basis.
Are there any places you would like to come back to?
Yes, a couple. Not whole countries, but a few places in a certain country, places I liked a lot but will never visit again. I just know there could be more of such countries and places. If I can only do one trip per year, I’d rather explore something new. I’d rather keep my memories as they are, I don’t want to go somewhere again and suddenly find out it’s different, I don’t want my perception of a place to change for the worse. I’d rather it stayed as it is.
Where can we follow your forthcoming expeditions?
I’m a very active person. I do something all the time, all the time in motion. I don’t blog, you need time to do that. I can’t really sit still at home. Usually I just put some info and photos on Facebook.
Are you planning to publish a book in the future?
As a matter of fact, I do think about it a lot. Everything’s ready, as I write down everything about my trips. My friend, the one who introduced me to the Namaste club, tries to persuade me to do a book, and it’s quite possible I will one day.
Then I am looking forward to it as well…
It would be nice to leave something behind…
What do you do during winter? Is the club busy with organising biking trips?
During the winter biking is usually not my main activity. Although I did some biking in the winter before, I’m not very fond of it. You get cold feet and a runny nose. I prefer to go mountaineering then. The club is always my number one, but I like doing winter mountaineering trips with my friends.
You have two passions and you need to make time for both.
True, and I’m already a bit worried about finding other ones. I’ve started cave walking, done it with my friends and I liked it. But it worries me I won’t be able to find the time for it all. I’ve tried rock climbing too. Great fun. But you need more time for all this, which unfortunately I don’t have too much of.
Do you try things because they’re something new? Do you often say ‘no’ because you’re not interested?
That’s right, I do want to try things. I’m not scared. We only have one life and, not only that, I feel it’s going faster now than before. It’s running out and I’m aware of it. I’m an active person, but, you never know, something might happen in the coming years, for example knee or back problems, and then I’ll have to take it easy. You don’t think about it when you’re 20, and it takes time and some growing up before you realise that.
What qualities should a traveller like you possess?
A positive attitude towards people and towards the world in general. It’s so important, it’s really prerequisite. Also, being able to believe that there is nothing that cannot be done. I don’t prepare physically for my trips. I didn’t find covering 900 km impossible, because I just knew I was going to succeed. And that’s how it still is every single time.
So after you’re back from a trip, do you usually lock yourself up in a room and tell everybody to leave you alone so you can rest for a week?
No way. It’s then when I’m excited. I feel a bit tired the first day, you know, the flight, greeting everybody… But on the second day I have so much energy! I feel my batteries are loaded to the maximum and my trip and my experiences filter through everything I do.
You want to tell people about it. To me, your presentations about the trips become new journeys in a way. Do you relive it all during your lectures?
You’ve hit the nail on the head; that’s exactly what happens. And it makes me look forward to a new journey as well. It doesn’t have to be a high-end thing, just anything, so it keeps me active. It would be nice one day to show how I looked before I started travelling and leading an active life. I was at least 10 years older then! My real memories and photos, everything started when I was 40. It was then that my life started.
What shall I wish you for the future?
I really don’t know, maybe to break a bicycle spoke?
Then that’s what I hope will happen during your coming bicycle expeditions… and other expeditions as well. I hope your bicycle survives all your trips and lasts for a long time.
I think my bike will definitely outlive me. It’ll be there after I’m done for others to enjoy it. Maybe for my children. I must tell them that when they’re old they can sell everything. The flat, the car… But not the bike. Keep it as a memory after dad. I can’t even imagine having a nice, new super bicycle with dampers and disc brakes that would make it so easy to ride in rough terrain. To me it’s meant to be precisely the opposite.