Sweatin up those mountains

The Alps are the first mountains we have encountered so far, but they sure as hell wont be the last….or the biggest.

I knew we would be in for a real work out, it may have even been harder then I expected because of the scorching hot sun and +30 degree weather, but I guess that’s better then cold wind and rain?

We encountered our first real mountain and after cycling up a steep road for 5 min non stop my legs were pretty pissed off at me, I told them to calm down and we just had a little more to go. Then after 1 hour of non stop burning pain and exhaustion my legs really couldn’t believe what was happening to them, nor could my lungs and heart. Over heating and dehydration can become a serious problem when working that hard but we were prepared with about 4-5 litters of water each to drink and poor over our heads.

The first and smallest mountain we cycled up took about 1hr to reach the top. As cars would pass us I could see faces inside that looked at us as if we were crazy. We are not the crazy ones! Crazy is to put all your money into a car. Crazy is to think we can all go on living the way we do. CO2 emissions show a 99.5% correlation with World Industrial Product  over the last 100 yrs.  95% of the energy used by us humans (including transportation) is from burning fossil fuels. If there are more greenhouse gasses in the air then ever before, isn’t it crazy to think we can go on adding to it? It is not just a coincidence that the more money we have, the more we consume and destroy the environment. 20% of people living in rich countries consume 86% of the worlds resources!!!

These are my thoughts that gave me reason to keep my legs pumping through pain and exhaustion over those big ass mountains!

We had about three and a half days of cycling over the beautiful alps and flying down into the valleys below at insane speeds. Yesterday after cycling up 16-18% elevation non stop for almost 4 hours straight, we reached the top of the pass at 1600m high and soared down the other side at our top speed so far, 91km/hr!! It’s not that fast in a car but on a fully loaded bicycle my eyes were watering from the wind and I was praying I could execute all those hard corners without slipping on loose stones, hitting a truck coming around the bend, or flying over the edge of the mountain. At the bottom I thought to myself  `maybe I should spend some money and finally get insurance´.              I guess cycling can be dangerous sometimes but that is mainly because of all the cars and dangerous drivers on the road. In most countries there are not a lot of cycle paths, if any. Here is a little example of we how humans have been investing.

Comparative World Bank   investment:

– roads                    98%

– rail                           2%

-cycle track       none!

Now think of all the people that would love to cycle to work and kids that would love to cycle to school but don’t because the roads are not safe for it.

It is past the time we should make some real changes, lets all tackle our own apathy! There is hardly a soul on this planet who is unable to make a contribution to a better world. One million small contributions make one million changes!

Sometimes I have to remind myself that instead of cursing the darkness, I should  light a candle.

Shaun

6 Responses to Sweatin up those mountains

  1. Wow shaun, I’m super impressed with everything you’re doing!! Not just with the biking…but when the hell did you learn how to type?
    I can tell you’re beaming with passion for this mission, and I’m so very proud of you…(and constantly worrying for your safety).. Stay great! Stay strong!! Stay HYDRATED!! Miss you! Come back to us in one piece!! Much love and faith in you!! Xoxoxo

  2. Hey Shaun, nice piece! You are absolutely right on about the true crazy people. With a small change in mentality the world opens itself, and you see everything so much more clearly from the saddle of a bicycle. Go by bike! It’s fundamental.

    I also feel obligated to say: if you don’t get insurance, at least take it easy down those mountains. Extra brake pads are easy to carry….
    I crashed coming down a mountain in Ireland – all by myself, no irresponsible drivers involved – which turned into three months with a broken foot and a seriously damaged bicycle… and a cheapo travel insurance plan SAVED MY ASS with the astronomic hospital bill.
    Protect yourself, take it easy. If not for you, do it for your loved ones.

    Just food for thought. Slow food, slow thought. Speed kills!

    Keep riding, no fear, no oil, and above all keep writing about it!
    Thank you!!!!

    Love n Joy,

    Charlie Brigham

  3. Hallo Shaun……u are right….it’s amazing what we can get our bodies to do huh…….a little slower on the speed would help this mama’s worries though……and yes insurance would be a good thing to have right at the top of your “Immediate Things To Do List”…..worth everyone’s including your peace of mind……glad to hear that all is going well so far….making the trip with you through your messages so keep ’em coming…..loving & missing u very very much….mama!!

  4. Damn dudes, how did i only just find out about your epic mission!? The casa community is really hittin’ the bikes eh! Sweeeeet! Safe ride, safe rollin’ and thanks for inspiring us all! Rubber side down!!

    Lily.

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