Pretty pics

Hi all,

It took some time but we had to sort more than 600 (!) wedding pictures but we did it :-)
We finally made a selection and put the pictures of the wedding online.
You can find them here.

Have FUN!

As promised here is the BIG NEWS: Magda is pregnant! :-D Magda already can feel that the baby is practising its legs so we are sure the baby will  love to cycle :-)

We will know in one or two weeks if it will be a boy or a girl so stay tuned…

All the best,
Marc and Magda

Zakynthos Holiday

Hi all,

As promised here is the update regarding our one week holiday on sunny Zakynthos, Greece between 7-14 May.

Zakynthos is the southernmost and third largest in both size and population of the Ionian Islands.
The climate is mild mediterranean with heavy rainfall during the winter and very sunny summers.  Due to this the island has a lush vegitaion and because of this the island has been nicknamed Fior de Levante (flower of the east ) by the Venetians. Next to this the island is  famous for its nesting beaches for the Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) and its rich flora and fauna.  A great place for biologist!
Not only the nature is of interest but also the varied culture of the island. Because of its stategic location it was the crossroads for numerous nations and cultures, ranging from the Romans, Byzantines, Venetians, French, England and now Greece. This resulted in very rich culture which is still visible today.

We staid in the Captains Hotel overlooking Argassi. We had an all inclusive package so we could enjoy the greek food all day long. Because we agreed to bring some things for the local travel agent we also got a room with sea view. Not bad :) I made a panorama from our view:

Panorama of view from hotel

The first day we took it easy and only visited Argassi and went for a walk along the sea. Argassi is a tourist town and mainly consists out of small supermarkets, souvenir shops and restaurants. The surrounding hills and the beach and the sea are full of life so we had big fun searching for fish, hermit crabs, anemones etc etc. And everywhere we went we were surrounded by the smell of flowers, hmmmm.
The second day we visited Zakynthos city. It is a nice little relaxed town with a small harbour and some small squares and shopping streets. People are living outside most of the time so there was a lot to be seen.

The third day we did a cruise around the island as we wanted to get a better idea about the island itself and we hoped to see some dolphins.  The weather was beautiful but very windy so we could not go around the island and could not visit all the nice caves they have. However, on the way back we were very lucky as the boat was followed by some dolphins and a few times we could see them very well.

The forth day we did a touristy bus tour as this was for us the only way to travel around the island. The island is big and especially the north east part is very mountainous so a car or scooter is necessary. We could have used the bicycle but then we would have had to camp somewhere :) During the bus tour we visited the most beautiful parts on the island. The first stop was on a hill above Zakynthos city offering a splendid view over the city and the harbour:

Panorama of Zakynthos city

Then we went up to the north. The north and north west are very mountainous and dry and here only specialised plants can survive. The only thing that can be cultivated there are olive trees. After a visit to a ship wreck, a monastry and after a small boat tour from Porto Vromi we headed south. The south and South East of the island is flat and humid with lots of farm fields, lemon trees and wine yards. And what is a visit to Greece without tasting the wine? So we also “had to” taste the local wines and we were very happy that we did not have to cycle back to the hotel :-p

The fifth day it was time to be a little more sportive so we made a bicycle tour along the south east coast of the island. The rented bikes were not that good, the weather was hot and the road more steep then we had expected so we cycled to a closer beach than planned. This proved to be  good decision as we were the only ones on the beach. We made ourselves comfortable in a small hut on the beach and had a great time walking on the beach and in the warm sea searching for all kinds of plants and fish. And when not we were relaxing and listening to the music on the Greek radio :)   

The sixth day we wanted to cycle to the sea turtle reservate at the south end of the island. Following a quiet road through the lush south part of the island we reached the Kalamaki beach without any problems. We went into the shallow sea hoping to see some sea turtles as in May and June they lay there eggs at this beach. And we were veeeery lucky as we saw on adult Loggerhead swimming closely past us :)

The seventh day we visited Zakynthos city once again for some tourist shopping and also to enjoy the greek coffee specialities like Freddoccino or Frappé, hmmmm.
We hope to be able to visit this island again one day as 7 days is to short for visiting this beautiful place. Like always, one picture says more than a thousand words so don’t forget to have a look at the pictures. You can find them here.

In two weeks we will attend a wedding in Germany i we will make many pictures for sure so stay tuned!
All the best, Magda and Marc

Doctor Who!? Me!

Hi all!

Sorry for the looong silence but it took a long time to get a new router (more than 2 months) and by then I was either learning for my PhD-defence or visiting Poland (more below).

Anyway, a lot has happened so let’s start.

First of all I want to announce that I survived 5 years of PhD-work and my PhD-defence with magna cum laude. Not bad. So I am a Doctor now, hoooray!! :)
A big thanks to all my friends and family who supported me through all these years! I am sorry that I could not give you the attention you all deserved and the mess I made in the office at times. My colleagues build me a nice doctor cart (a German tradition) and I had a BIG celebration with my friends afterwards. You can find the pictures here. They are mostly unsharp as I had forgotten to tell the Polish photographer to use the flash ;)

As you all know I like to travel so even during my preparations for my defence I travelled to the alps with my friends Mark and Jeroen to do some ‘’light” mountaineering. The weather was great, the mountains were steep and we did some great hiking near Kruen in the south of Bavaria. We visited the Wettersteingebirge and Karwendelgebirge and because of the loose rocks climbing was at times very tricky. But the views were as always unbelievable. The hardest trip was to the Meiler-Huette as we chose the difficult ascend and it was true. We had to climb almost 800 meters without a track, so it was real rockclimbing. The rocks were slippery and unstable so it was quite tricky at some places and the drop was looong. But we made it to the pass and were rewarded with a beautiful panorama. After we crossed the remains of an old glacier we could enjoy some good Bavarian food and beer in the Meiler Huette at (2374m). You can find the pictures here. More will follow soon…

Afterwards I had a short brake before traveling east, all the way to Tychy in Poland. Magda (my biggest blog fan and more) invited me for the wedding of her brother and I never say no to an invition, especially not to a polish wedding. The marriage was in the Catholic church (a big thanks to Magda for telling me when to stand and sit) and afterwards there was a great party with LOT’s of wodka, delicious food (kloesti, sausages etc, hmmm), wodka, dancing, wodka, funny games and mooore wodka. I had a great time with Magda and her family and I was second in the “carry a lady” contest. It was not that difficult as I had carried a heavy backpack in the mountains a few weeks before. Lady or backpack, what’s the difference ;)

Then Magda and I went to Zakopane in the Tatra mountains in the far south of Poland and had a beautiful but cold time down there. I wanted to do some mountaineering but things turned out different as most passes etc were already closed because of snow. Nevertheless we managed to do some nice hikes and although the pictures are not the best (I need a new camera) they still show the beauty of the Tatra Mountains and the typical buildings from that area. More pictures can be found here. I will go back there for sure :) If they only had heating in the hotel…

Next week I will visit Magda again and hang around in Tychy so who knows I will make some more pictures. In the mean time enjoy the pictures and the panorama’s I created using Clevr.

So stay tuned!

Router problems

Hi all,

Sorry for the looong silence but I don’t have internet at the moment as my router has died. As soon as this is fixed there will be a BIG update with pictures of my hiking holiday in southern Bavaria near Mittenwald and pictures of a Polish wedding I will attend next week thanks to Magdalena :)
So don’t despair and see you soon!


Roadbook is finished!

Hi All!

A short post but the content was A LOT OF WORK. Because….
The roadbook is finally ready! Hoooray!
So what is in there:

All the gps data of the places I staid for the night including recommendations for hotels
All the gps data and altitude of the passes I had to cycle
Information on where to find shops, water etc
Information on the roadconditions (2007)
Information on the Kora around Kailash (Tibet)
And MUCH more!

Feel free to use it if you are planning your next tour or want to read the details of my journey but please give a little credit (a link) to this site as it was A LOT OF WORK to gather the data. Here we go:

10 countries (I count Tibet as a country)
9 months
10.234 km
3807 km extremely bad bumpy offroad (37.2%)
Avarage speed 14,4 km/h
Cycled 29 higher passes, 14 between 4000 and 5000m and 6 of 5000m and more (Mont Blanc: 4811m)
Lowest temperature: -25C (Tong La, Tibet), highest temperature: +50C (Karakum desert, Turkmenistan)
Lowest altitude: -31m (Caspian see, Iran), highest altitude: +5660m, Droma La (Tibet)
41% of the time I camped

And last but not least I had to fix 3 punctures, endured 4 days of foodpoisoning and 6 months of stomach problems :-)

My final google earth file is almost ready so stay tuned for the next update!



Hi all!

During my travels I always use a voice recorder as I am to lazy to keep a diary. The last week I finally listened to all of them and I want to share some of them with you. They show the hardship and adventures (including bureaucratic ones) I had during my travels and my opinion about the people and countries I travelled through. It is all very personal and sometimes my opinion is very colored (see India) so don’t feel offended. I hope you all get an idea what makes me ‘tick’ as a world cyclist and what kind of experiences you get when cycling over the world. The recordings are in dutch.

Have fun :-)

Why I prefer to cycle:

Russian soldiers at the Afgani border:

Fighting my way up through the storm on the Kyzal Art pass (4289m):

Small sample of the incredible Chinese Buro-crazy ;-) :

Beautiful hell of Tibet, climbing the Lhakpa La (5252m!) in an ice-storm:

First impressions of Nepal-paradise after 1.5 months icecold and remote Tibet:

Crazy India, an example after 24h waiting on the train and finally getting my bicycle:

Cycling in Mombay, India, on a big road and how to find a hotel ;-) :

Some cycling

Hi all!

There’s not a lot of news on the cycling front at the moment as I am working hard to finish my PhD.
I still had a little time to cycle however, and I attended various world-cyclist meetings in the weekends to give talks and to gather information for my next journey. I won’t tell you my destination yet but it’s going to be very sandy, very hot, very dry and very though :-) Oh, and camels will likely be involved at some point, too…

Last week I received the travellog of Toon (thanks!) and I am now working on the roadbook of my journey with detailed information for future travelers. It’s a lot of work so it will take some time to complete as my PhD thesis has priority at the moment.

However, the moving of the website is going well. Thanks to kindly sponsoring by Solid Hosting I now have my own domain at, hoooray! At the moment you’ll get linked back to this site but that will change within the next months (insallah).
I also added a link to the (german) website of the dynamo battery charger. It is a great piece of equipment to have as it makes you independent of power sources when traveling remote places on earth. You “only” have to cycle to charge the batteries. Have fun building one and don’t blow the fuses please ;-)

In the meantime enjoy the pictures of the German world-cyclist weekend in Dahn and the Dutch world-cyclist weekends in Twente and Leersum. The pics are not that special but now you’ll see that I’m not the only looney out there ;-)


Sheldon Brown: 1944-2008

Hi all,

Today I heard about the death of Sheldon Brown, famous cycle- mechanic guru.
The last years he suffered from progressive MS but despite this disease he remained optimistic and still hit the road using his nifty Greenspeed Trike.
He died of an heart attack on 03-02-08.

I learned a lot about bike mechanics from his website and I and the cycling community ow a lot of our knowledge to his extensive bicycle glossary
I really loved his optimistic view of the world and his humor; especially his Fools day jokes were marvelous. I even considered taking his ‘cycling helmet’  and ‘credit card’ with me on my journey :-)

He will be missed




Cracking Koga

Gute morgen all!

I just received an email from Toon from Louang Prabang (Laos) that the frame of his (aluminium) Koga has cracked (near the left back axle) a few days ago. He will go to Bangkok to buy a new bike (most likely a Trek) to complete the last two months of his journey so stay tuned…

I myself am back in the ‘Heimat’ again after some relaxing weeks in the Netherlands. I visited the hospital to get myself checked and according to the doctor I am ‘clean’ but the toilet thinks differently though :-) The docor thinks that because of the duration of the diareah, the hardship, foreign food and medicine the bacteria are not in balance anymore. So the following months I will have to build it all up again. Yogurt here I come :-)

In the meantime I am preparing a talk about my journey and working on my promotion but if I have time I’ll surely hit the road for some adventures. The google earth file of my trip is almost ready and I’ll put it online ASAP so don’t forget to have a look now and then :-)



Hi all!

Today I will leave for the pamir. I just visitied the doctor and everything is OK (a little underweight, I weigh 58 kilo now) and I have a whole load of pills to fight Giardia and any other possible disease and I got a polio shot as many Afghan refugies cary it. The clinic is very good but rather expensive but it is the only western clinic here in Tajikistan. The german doctor knows his job and also likes touring cycling :-)
So for whoever is in need the clinic is located behind the Chineese embassy. Here’s the address:
Prospect Medical Clinic, 33, Sanoi Street, Dushanbe. GPS: 38 36.145N 068 47.101E.

Ok, I’m off to the Pamir so see you later all!


Next Page »