What it's like to cycle alone

Tsminda Sameda, Kazbegi
Tsminda Sameda, Kazbegi

I'm still in Kazbegi. Unfortunately I got food poisoning and spent most of the day in bed. I will elaborate on my stay in Kazbegi in my next blog. Today I'll give you some sorts on what it's like to bike tour alone.

Diesmal nur auf Englisch, sorry. Deutsch beim nächsten Mal.

Loneliness

I don't feel lonely just being alone. In fact I quite enjoy the evenings alone. When the weather is nice, cooking something, drinking a hot beverage, reading and writing. I'm never bored and quite busy actually. There's always something to do. 
No I'm not lonely in the classic way what I thought being lonely is.
It's a different kind of loneliness. For me it's difficult not being able to connect with anyone because of language barriers. Indeed I feel more lonely when other people are around. It happens that for more than a week I don't have a real conversation. Often all I can express is where I am from and that I am cycling to China. So when I am with other people I soon get isolated and it feels awkward. And lonely. I'd rather be completely alone to be honest.

6000km and still going strong
6000km and still going strong

Physical

I feel great physically, better than I thought I would. There is the odd ailment that I have to nurse or take care of but nothing serious. I felt a bit more exhausted the last week or so but I think it may be because I am constantly around 2000m altitude.
I was afraid of getting sick more often, especially in cold and wet conditions added to the exhaustion but nothing so far.
Sleeping isn't the best. I think subconsciously I am a little scared being in the wilderness alone and I wake easily and often.

I wrote the above segment just before I got food poisoning. It's terrible. For a whole day and night I kept throwing up. Hardly anyone here speaks a language I can speak.

This sickness is really a tough challenge as I have to overcome it completely on my own. The tips from the internet are hardly useful as I cannot get any of the suggested foods (bananas, isotonic drinks,..) in the grocery stores. The worst though is the landlady of the guest house who keeps yelling at me in Georgian or Russian, probably because I spilled vomit all over the floor as I threw up in bag with holes in it. 

Mud sticking up the wheels
Mud sticking up the wheels

Motivation

The struggle is real. Many times I think the next part is going to be easy or boring. It hardly ever is. Yet still with all the obstacles - mud, snow, wind, rain, dogs, humans - I never had a moment of doubt about what I am doing or even about giving up. Sometimes, after reaching a specific goal after a particular tough task I feel very proud and happy about the achievement.

Often if I have set myself a goal (eg. reaching the Georgian border on a specific day or hiking to Kazbek base camp) I keep fighting for it with all I have to give. This is basically all I'm doing these days and achieving a goal fills me with an incredible amount of joy especially when a lot of challenges had to be overcome. 

Failing to reach a goal on the other hand is devastating. When I got food poisoning on the way to the Kazbek base camp I just couldn't give up. I threw up six times and still kept going. This was completely stupid. I was alone and approximately 5 to 6 hours from the camp with no energy left inside me. I set down and it took me a long time to accept that I had to go back and it brought me close to tears.

Fear

I am not afraid of anything really. Lots of people ask me this. What about wolfes/bears? I hear plenty of stories, urban legends, and it is just dumb. Statistically the number of fatal bear and wolf attacks world wide is about 2 to 3 per year, World Wide, including polar bears. This is insignificant compared to how many people die in car accidents, bike accidents, work related accidents and so on.

Humans are surely the biggest threat to me or anyone else, may it be accidents or intentional harm.

But of course I get scared at times:

- Dogs continue to be a big problem and are pretty scary. Just a few days ago I've been chased by a big, fast and ferocious monster. I'd say this one was the scariest so far. But it was downhill and I eventually outran the beast. The pepper spray I carry gives me peace of mind. I didn't have to use it yet though.

- When you are camping alone any noise or sound can make you feel uneasy or a little scared. But this is an adventure :)

Of course there are precautions to avoid animal encounters like not leaving food lying around or taking it into the tent; or making noise to scare animals like bears and snakes away.

Kommentar schreiben

Kommentare: 1
  • #1

    Felix Schröder (Freitag, 03 Juni 2016 06:01)

    Honestly it's an unbelievable achievement, which inspires me. Keep the spirit up bro and u are very welcome in beijing;-)