Central Asia

The Din and Silence of India and Nepal (respectively)

Unable to secure a visa for Pakistan or China, I had to fly from Uzbekistan to northern India. Cycling with a Dutch couple for a week brought peanut butter and Sinterklaas into my life, which made life more enjoyable amidst the constant din of horns that comes with cycling through crazy India. After a little trekking in the Himalayas, I made my way into Nepal to enjoy the serenity and playfulness of the gentle Nepalese people. Happy New Year to everyone, may 2019 be a special one.          Tashkent, Uzbekistan to Siliguri, India 19/11/18 to 31/12/18

I wish these Nepalese signs were posted in India where the horn happy culture creates a din of honking all day everyday. I think my best idea to date is becoming a horn salesman in India, a lucrative endeavor undoubtedly.Helped cut and pack mushrooms with a family on a farm one night

Royal Enfield motorcycles are everywhere in IndiaPancake breakfasts in the foothills of the Himalayas

Kareri Lake in the HimalayasThis guy wins person of the day

Stayed with Hindu monk Swami G!

Met my new favorite Dutch couple, Tim and Gynn, in Uzbekistan and in India we biked togetherWhy is there a stadium built around this stretch of road? The bizarre police marching competition/ceremony that takes place daily at the border between India and Pakistan.


Monkey country again, red butts featured here

Golden Temple, Amritsar India

These Nepalese stools made of bamboo are lighter, stronger, and more aesthetic than any other I have seen in the world. Note the old bicycle tire used on the bottom.

Freezing through the Silk Road

A sprint across Azerbaijan and I reached the Caspian Sea, home of most of the world's caviar? While anchored aboard a cargo ship offshore in the Caspian Sea, I enjoyed typical Russian food and taught Russians how to play the card game Bulls**t. I wasn't as strong as the wild horses, the two humped camels, nor Borat in the cold steppe country of Kazakhstan, and so I took an old Soviet platskartny train into Uzbekistan. Biking the silk road in Uzbekistan has been a pure joy, enjoying old cities along the historic trade route, and the overwhelming hospitality of Uzbeks along the way who want to give me everything I could possibly need. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Tbilisi, Georgia through Azerbaijan, cargo ship across Caspian Sea, Kazakhstan to Tashkent, Uzbekistan 17/10/18 to 19/11/18


 Tashkent, Uzbekistan

When camping lately, my bike and tent are covered in frost by morning

Are these Uzbek children real or not? I was fooled multiple times while biking past these signs to slow down traffic, even smiling and waving before I was close enough to realize I was effectively fooledWhen staying with families in Uzbekistan, I sleep comfortably between thick cotton blankets next to gas heaters

 Uzbek gas tanks

Cotton carts of Uzbekistan 

Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Toolkit for biking in cold late autumn weather

Kazak oven gloves as second pair of gloves, like when Jim Carrey wore his second pair of gloves when motorcycling into Aspen, Colorado in Dumb and Dumber

Soviet Union shirt, gift from Azerbaijan home builder who missed the good old days

Turkish style hat, offering no warmth whatsoever for ears but superior style like the older Uzbek gentlemen

Uzbek cotton handkerchief for chronic runny nose



Khiva, Uzbekistan


Azerbaijan – Caspian Sea – Kazakhstan

KazakhstanI love you manti dumplingsModern day silk trade on an train between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan

Heating up the old soviet platskartny train with coalHonorary English teacher with Kazak studentsLifting power lines to allow massive gas tanks to pass through towns in KazakhstanCanned Kazak horsemeat, oh yes it's goodFirst double humped camel sighting

Wild horses of the steppe, Kazakhstan

Cargo crew workout boys

Kitchen on cargo ship across Caspian Sea Soviet tractors I have been seeing everywhere in Georgia and AzerbaijanCandy ladies of Azerbaijan!


Georgia On My Mind

While biking through the Blakans I helped make local plum brandy with a man on the side of the road, I survived the traffic nightmare that is biking in and out of Istanbul, and a race across Turkey has me into Asia now. I had heard good things about Georgia before arriving, and I have not been disappointed. The autumn season is in full bloom, the first I have experienced in three years, and harvest season means local men fill my hands with walnuts and freshly fallen apples as they greet me in the small farming towns I pass through.

Timisoara, Romania to Tbilisi, Georgia 10/9/18 to 17/10/19

This little guy was close to being my new travel partner, but he couldn’t quite keep upHay runners, gotta love emGrapevine/St. Nino's Cross of Georgia

Turks rival U.S. of Americans with their patriotic display of flags everywhereMosque construction, IstanbulFerry across the Bosporus StraightBulgaria

I had to amputate my girlfriend's foot

This Serbian farmer invited me for a drink of fruit brandy as I biked by his home. While we couldn’t speak one another's language very well, he understood that I wanted to help him distill his next batch. The photo here is him putting the lid over all the plums we had just poured in with old buckets. We then rolled bread dough into long strips to seal all the cracks of the still. Serbians make good use of all the fruit they grow on small farms and in their gardens, even fruit that is spoiling makes for good brandy ingredients.


 GeorgiaFirst for me on the trip, welcome to Georgia


Turkish honey comb for sale

Galata Tower, IstanbulAlexander Nevsky Eastern Orthodox Cathedral, Sofia, Bulgaria BulgariaTimisoara, Romania

Swiss Bliss with Mein Vater

After cycling around Germany and racing on the famous Nurburgring Grand Prix race track, I made my way to Switzerland to unite with my father. Hiking through glorious alpine mountains, enjoying Swiss cheese and German libations, and visiting castles and fortified cities in Bavaria made for a wonderful reunion. Now I move east quickly as summer comes to an end.          Hamburg, Germany to Timisoara, Roamnia 26/7/18 to 10/9/18

Looking down the Lauterbrunnen Valley in Switzerland

Freiburg, Deutschland

Rothenburg, Deutschland

Vineyards of Alsace, France

Gimmelwald, Switzerland

Austrian hunting tree standPoor weather obscured most of my alpine views in Austria

I asked my buddy Norman if he wanted to trade my bike for his German Volkswagon. I still have my bike…But then I traded it for something a little faster!

Rheinfels Castle, Deutschland

Meet Johann Pollinger, an Austrian cow farmer who built this small hydroelectric plant on his land to power his farm and home. He generates more power than he needs and is credited by an Austrian electric company. I have been skeptical of hydro power plants due to stories of environmental damage, but after staying one night on Johann's farm he showed me that on a small scale hydro power plants can work well within the environment. Great work Hans! Salzburg, Austria

My teammates before the bike race Rad am Ring on the famous Nurburgring Grand Prix race track in Germany

 Monastery of Notre Dame d'Oelenberg in France

While blackberry season has ended, apple, pear, plum, and sometimes little peach season has arrived!!!

 U-Pick flower farms in Germany operating on the honor system

Winner Buys the Beer in Belgium

On to Belgium where I met with old friends to celebrate Belgium's run to third place in the World Cup. This led to plenty of good Belgian beer consumption where I learned that the winner buys the beer. Further north I learned more about my Dutch roots, meeting family and seeing the birthplaces of my Oma and Opa. I find it a strange coincidence that my fatherland is a country with such a strong history of cycling and wind energy, two things I am deeply interested in.          Paris, France 19/6/18 to Hamburg, Germany 26/7/18

Classic Dutch windmillIt's blackberry season in Northern Europe, and I am consuming at least one kilo of them daily as I bike through the Dutch and German countrysideBelgian bike lanesBrussels, BelgiumGermans are quickly winning award for best use of solar for residential and commercial purposesI met Has Van Der Muelen, the most accomplished mountaineer in Dutch history, back in Argentina before he summited the tallest mountain in the Americas. We met again at his home where he continued to amaze me with stories of his expeditions.Haarlem, Netherlands, the home of my OmaDutch essentials- Note stroopwafels are some of the best cookies everThe Atlantic Coast, NetherlandsMust be in AmsterdamCyclists fill the bike lanes in HollandWorld Cup Semifinal viewing, Belgium vs France, in BrusselsBelgian music festival

Brussels, Belgium


Nederland, at last I have reached my fatherland!My bike is an art bike now!Roadside maps throughout the Netherlands help cyclist as they navigate the bike paths that cover the entire countryAmsterdam

Meeting my Dutch relatives for the first time. Danke veel Van Der Pols!Reunited and it feels so goooooodDelft, Netherlands

Belgian bike cultureBelgian chocolate I will dream of you foreverAlexandre Pirson started Sun for Schools in Belgium, a cooperative that installs solar energy systems for schools to educate youth about renewable energy and a sustainable future.

French Cheese Changed My Life

Biking through plenty of rain from Northern Spain across the Pyrenees into France. Learning from the French to enjoying the finer things in life, like good cheese, has been enlightening and my life will never be the same again.          Madrid, Spain 25/5/18 to Paris, France 19/6/18

Paris, FranceFamily photos on an old French manufacturing plant

Spanish supermarket jamSolar, solar, solarCastle of Murol, France

My first plateau de fromage, and my life will never be the sameAuvergne, FranceToulouse, FranceCol du Tourmalet, France

Sadly my cloudy view on the way up Col du AubisqueCan you ask for a better morning view when camping?

 Col du Aubisque, France

Thanks for hosting Hugounet in Auvergne, FranceFirst sighting of the Pyrenees Orleans, FranceWindmills dot the farms of northern France and southern Belgium Clermont, FranceSome of the best cheese in the world comes from these French cowsFrench postal service by bike!Meeting up with my French friends Vincent & Melanie in Toulouse, France. We met over 2 years ago and biked together through Baja California in Mexico for three weeks.

Plateau de Fromage #2, merci beaucoup Debilly family!

Back in Europe

Morocco 4/5/18 to Portugal to Madrid, Spain 25/5/18

A procession for the celebration of San Isidro in MadridToo much sweat has eroded my handlebarBut the journey continues!MadridCould this be the greatest family of bikers?

Typical rural town in Portugal

Plenty of old windmills on the old Portuguese farms

Solar farm in sunny southern Spain

 Tapas! Bullfighting in Madrid Madrid Madrid


Narrow white washed streets of Portugal

My last mint tea in MoroccoThanks to the generous folks at Boa Vista Restaurante in Portugal. After biking 10 minutes in the country, the owner of this restaurant invited me in for a great meal and a taste of port as we listened to traditional Portuguese fado music. One of the best first hours I have spent in a country so far.Why not use a solar panel to charge your electric bike?

Procession outside Sevilla, Spain

Big wind farms in southern Spain

Hash and Hotel Rooms in Morocco

While biking through Morocco, one might think that the men are incredibly gregarious by the way they flag you down from the sides of the road to talk and share a tea. That was what I thought at first. But soon I realized that most of these men saw me as a potential customer for local hash or a hotel room, and they used their unique selling skills that only a Moroccan is born with to try and convince me that what they were offering was exactly what I needed at that point in time. But not every Moroccan had a sale in mind, and I thoroughly enjoyed my jog through the country while I spent a little time out of the European Union. The Rif mountains of northern Morocco were surprising green given that I always imagined the country to be one big desert, and the hilly farming areas near the old city of Fez presented as many colors as spices were available in the local markets.          Northern Morocco 23/4/18 to Algeciras, Spain 4/5/18

Moroccans made one of the better water carriers I have seen for their donkeys

Tasty tangine right off the coals

The blue city of Chefchaouen, my favorite in Morocco

I heard that large stone wheels like this are still used to make olive oil


Gaining Weight in Italy

I remember meeting an Italian back in Sudan. I asked him what I should do when I biked through his country. "Eat food" he said. I did just that. After arriving in Naples, Italy I took a ferry down to Sicilia to bike the entire length of Italy. Along the way I received the warm hospitality of Italianos who made it their sole purpose to show me their cities, sample traditional food, and explain to me what makes Italy great. After finishing Africa, my first weeks in Europe has been an adjustment: great roads, old cities rich with history, cultural norms of the developed world. The transition has been fun and I know my taste buds are pleased as well.     Jerusalem, Israel 11/3/18 to Italy to Morocco 23/4/18

Siena, ItaliaThis is my take at the same photoCyclists always have a way of finding one another. I met French couple Cristian and Patricia last year in Botswana on the road, and sure enough we crossed paths again just 2 weeks before they finish their bicycle trip around the world.Made more than one stop at the Termes (hot springs) in central ItalyTurning an old bike into street decoration. Good work Cinzia!Melani teaching me how to properly lock my bike in RomeTypical Italian country home in constructionWhen Federica and I had a little trouble with the recipe, we made Cannelloni a la Chicagense (Chicago style Cannelloni) by cutting pasta tubes with scissors

 The Amalfi Coast

Neapolitan street art

Fresh local produce in Italy makes for great lunches on the roadTwo cyclists analyzing Italian high society Cefalu, Sicilia

This list of Sicilian foods to try while biking the island was given to me by a local. If anyone reading this ever visits Sicily, you are welcome.

Expressing my passion for Roman sculpture

The Western Wall in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem Old CityMy last pizza in Italy before taking a ship to Morocco

Afternoon gelato became a part of my daily life in Italy. I really don’t know how life will continue without it. This is the first time in my life I am scared of the future.

Genova, Italia All these photographers took the same photo I could bike forever in TuscanyGuess what grows in Italy…hazelnuts!!!

Fontana di Trevi, Roma

Italians get a thumbs up for the use of solar I saw throughout the countryPizza da Mihcele, arguably the best in the world, with MariateresaGrazie mille a Francesco e Mariateresa, mia famiglia Napoletana!

Antipasti in Salermo. Grazie Pamela!

Back to mainland ItaliaLemon processing plant, Sicily

Ferry to Sicily When I first arrived in Italy, I learned that pasta truly is a part of daily life.

Napoli, Italia

Italian lawn art with old wine jars

This guy wins biker of the day awardAt the market outside FirenzeMotos rule the streets of old Roman citiesDuomo, Firenze