Day 1 & 2 Gothenburg – Varberg – Halmstad

Our friends at Fossilgasfällan, Fossil Free and Friends of the Earth are real change makers. Even though fossil gas is often seen as a climate friendly alternative to oil and coal, they understood that a new construction of a gas terminal in the harbor of Gothenburg would lock the infrastructure to fossil fuels for decades to come. They engage in this topic showing their commitment to a decarbonized society. Establishing a place where people can come together to connect and act really makes them being activists. Cycling along the coast line today, enjoying sunny weather and the beautiful scenery, we wondered: Are we activists now? Why is this trip more than just a holiday?

Maybe we have not become very visible until now, but we are activists already:

Starting off at the Climate Camp on Monday, we did not have a quiet moment to come together as a group while the GPS device did not work. This caused our first day to be quite chaotic. Today (day two) I felt we were functioning much more as a group, knowing where we were going and taking decisions collectively. It takes time to establish routines and principles for our ride. However, it is beautiful how we stand together and still taking care of each other, still wanting to do more than just reaching the next destination. We are doing this trip as a group and we are committed to making this group a place of freedom, understanding and acceptance. We are travelling on our own. We are travelling to get to a climate camp in an alternative manner.

Our message is becoming stronger with every kilometer we commit to cycle. We choose to connect two climate camps, knowing that they are located far away from each other which would require us to cycle long distances, especially in Sweden, where we didn’t schedule a lot of time. We are staying in Halmstad at the flat of a former cooperider, Isaac. He knows how one feels after a day of biking and awaited us with a vegan carrot cake! Thank you, Isaac!

Yes, we’re rolling again! / Es geht wieder los!

We're rolling again!

Please oil your chains and prepare to get rolling again:
We are pedalling to the Ende Gelände anti-coal protest in Rhineland.
We’re Starting on August 07 in Gothenburg.
–> Join uns on the 2017 ride!

Bitte ölt eure Ketten und bereitet euch auf die Abfahrt vor: Wir rollen wieder!
Dieses Jahr geht es zu den Ende Gelände-Protesten gegen Braunkohle im Rheinland.
Am 7. August geht es in Göteborg los.
–> Sei dabei! Hier geht es zum Routenplan

Day 3 / Nov 16

Rødbyhavn – Kellenhusen (58km)

18 riders. Average speed – 16.4km. Time pedalling 3.5 hours

 

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The crew with René from Bindernaes Efterskole

We are now in Germany having departed Denmark today and we are feeling good! A little sore, but high in spirits. This morning after breakfast we had a quick ride from Bindernæs Efterskole down to the harbour at Rodbyhavn. As we waited to board the ferry next to trucks and cars we were splattered by heavy drizzle, but a warm ride beckoned.

A journalist was waiting for us when we reached the other shore, so we should be featured in Fehmarnches Tageblatt soon. Having left the port we found the road was a little stressful, we pedalled along in the narrow bike lane of a fast highway for about 10k with both head wind and rain. We were safe but also felt a certain pressure; cars and trucks were overtaking at high speed and with such a large group of bikers riding single-file, there was difficulty in finding a rhythm suitable for all. Communication between the group was absolutely vital here.

 

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The reward after about an hour of that emotional strain was turning left as the rain cleared and riding south into a winding country road, passing windmills and fields with cattle and sheep. We took a break in this landscape and dug into more of the lovely snack bars that RudeFood http://www.rudefood.se (community food waste project in Malmö) donated to us. We were handed hundreds (literally) of delicious, organic, sweet energy bars. We are so grateful for these. They are keeping us pumped, especially in testing weather conditions.

In our break we also took a minute of silence to reflect on the tragic news from Paris. It feels rather overdue, but this evening we will have a bit of time to focus on how global events are unfolding and what their implications are for COP21.

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With only 58km covered, today was the first day that we arrived to destination in daylight, which was great for both morale and our limbs. A delicious fresh salad with loads of nuts, fruit and seeds was waiting for us at our destination for the night: a holiday home on the coast kindly lent to us by a friend of a friend, it´s big and comfy house that feels like quite a treat. The evening offers the chance to cook and eat together, organise the road ahead, contact the outside world (hi!) and play some games.

Day 2 / Nov 15

Farendløse Æblemost – Rødbyhavn (113km)

18 riders. Average speed – 17.3km. Time pedalling 6h45m

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With Jens who hosted us at his apple farm

Jens hosted us incredibly generously at Farendløse Mosteri; an idyllic permaculture apple farm not too far from Ringsted. We had cosy dinner (featuring produce from the farm) and an abundant breakfast before departure at dawn, feeling excited but somewhat nervous about the distance ahead.

 

The second day proved to be a greatly rewarding challenge. We began pedalling at first light, just before 8am knowing that we had a long day on the road and had two flat tires before 9am (five more would come during the day!). The time we were stationary we were aware that every minute spent fixing flat tires was an additional minute cycling in the dark. Nevertheless, the group held together. And we were happy to stay together and there were no long faces. Including breaks it took us 10.5 hours.

On the whole it was an overwhelming, bonding and exhausting experience (fuelled by the apples from the farm).

 

After we stopped for lunch next to Vardingborg castle, there was the option for less confident riders to take a train in Sakskøbing, jumping 40km forward, but again, we decided to stay together despite having already covered over 60km that day and having a further 50km to go.

Weather-wise we were lucky – there was less wind as the day before, not too much rain and an incredibly beautiful sunset.

Arrival in Bindernæs Efterskole, where we slept in a couple of classrooms, with access to the gym where we had warm showers, such an amazing feeling!

The group vibe is strong, inclusive and determined. The general feeling is one of gratitude and unity. We are powerful together and, having in mind all the new riders yet to join us, we have come up with a welcome ritual to introduce them to the group.

Day 1 / Nov 14

Copenhagen – Farendløse Æblemost (73km)

23 riders

 

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Departure in CPH

As a group of 23 bikers we left Copenhagen with a mixed feeling. On the one hand, excited, happy, looking forward to the journey, feeling a lot of support from the folks at the Omstilling Nu conference, but on the other disturbed, shocked and scared about the news coming from Paris. Many of us received messages of concerned family regarding the terrorist attacks. “Did you see the news?” was an often-repeated phrase in the morning as we gathered for coffee, bread, and pictures outside the Economy, People and Planet 2015 conference.

We are unsure what will happen as we approach France and we will do our best to stay informed. That’s as much as we can do now. We are also unsure about what this horrible event means to us, what it does to the movement.

 

We can choose to take it as a message of the urgent need for voices of peace to come forward. And that’s what we are doing, strengthening peace and standing firmly against deep systemic injustices that in the end create division and hate. Our hitchhiking team got incredibly lucky and got a ride directly to our destination. “In times like these”, the friendly lady who took them said, “we have to look out for each other; we have to stick together”. Which gives us a positive perspective that is definitely much needed.

 

These reflections come after 73kms of biking through Denmark. We departed at 10am and 7 and ½ hours later arrived to the apple farm that hosts us tonight. A rainbow framed the sky as we left the city (and many more would come during the day), which made us smile; we took it as an encouraging sign. Rainbows meant that there was a bit of rain (and also so much head wind…) but it was mostly sunny and enjoyable. A sunny day in Scandinavia – we should always be thankful for that!

 

There was two flat tires, a lovely lunch break in the beach in Solrød Strand and the two times that it started to rain heavily and we had to stop to change into proper rain gear the rain suddenly stopped as soon as we got back on the bikes… I guess that’s how it works, right?

Arriving at the farm was not a very funny ordeal because it is in the countryside and the GPS failed to guide us in the last direction for the last 6 kms, so basically we ended up biking in the wrong direction for a bit. Which after seven hours its exhausting. And then a flat tire just 1km before arrival (when it was already dark). But we made it!