Pelago Tiny Top Five With Laura Kolari & Christer Ådahl

Pelago Bicycles supported Laura and Christer on their bicycle tour around Europe.
By cycling, you can easily explore the surrounding neighborhood – or travel across Europe.

Last year was a special experience for all of us, the theme of which is really still going on. Corona restrictions are in place and we are still getting used to the new normal, distances are kept, social situations are avoided. Long-distance travel has changed to a domestic short-distance tourism and outdoor sports have grown in popularity.

Since (almost) no one is travelling abroad at the moment, my social media feed has shown nothing but cottages, ice swimming and cross-country ski trails – the very Finnish style activities. Then, around the New Year, my attention attracted a rare occurrence: a cycling story and even from abroad. My friend shared an article about a couple who were cycling from Lofoten to France and I got curious.

I read the story and it quickly became clear that these slow travellers are familiar people through Pelago. Laura Kolari and Christer Ådalh embarked on a long-dreamed-of cycling trip as the pandemic momentarily eased its grip in the summer of 2020 with the intention of cycling from Norway to France.

After reading the article, I decided that if I had time to catch Laura and Christer before them returning to Finland, I would briefly interview them about a trip and a (slow) journey through the Europe cramped by corona restrictions. On February I noticed that our friends are in Algarve, Portugal, a country whose coronavirus situation was slipping at an alarming rate.

I didn’t want to bother our friends with a long interview so I came up with a short interview format with short questions and short answers. So without further ado, Tiny Top Five With Laura & Christer.

Laura Kolari is using Pelago Commuter Front Racks in her bike as she was touring around the Europe.
How far can you get on a bike? For example, from Helsinki to the Algarve. You decide.

Reasons to travel by bike?

  1. See and experience places on a deeper level
  2. Ecology and ethics
  3. The freedom to move where you want, when you want
  4. Feeling of adventure
  5. Fitness and health are maintained as well as a wallet to thank

Most memorable cycling routes?

  1. Trip around Åland
  2. Helsinki-Tammisaari-Hanko-Salo-Helsinki
  3. From northern Norway (Senja) to the end of the Lofoten (Å)
  4. Copenhagen-Hamburg
  5. A few different routes in the French Alps
Pelago Bicycles supported Laura and Christer on their bicycle tour around Europe.
Social distancing? It is easy to follow the restrictions when cycling and camping.

Scariest things when travelling during the pandemic?

  1. Different countries have their own laws and regulations regarding the corona
  2. Cancellation of public transport
  3. Changed opening hours of campsites + shops
  4. People’s attitude to travel during the pandemic
  5. Illness on the road

Things that you would change the world today if you could?

Of course, all the clichéd things like: world peace, climate change, the end of inequality, poverty and the corona, etc. But when talking about cycling & being outdoors:

  1. More biking, less driving / flying
  2. Raising awareness of the benefits of cycling
  3. More and better bike lanes around the world
  4. Freedom to camp where you want (of course, respecting nature)
  5. The basic education curriculum would include coping skills in nature

Stuff without which you will not go on any trip?

  1. Tent
  2. Camera
  3. Merino layer
  4. Headlamp
  5. Instant coffee

Bonus: Greetings to people who are planning a long bicycle journey?

Stop planning it and just go!

Pelago Bicycles supported Laura and Christer on their bicycle tour around Europe.
“Ride your bike, ride your bike, ride your bike.” – Fausto Coppi

Photos: Laura Kolari & Christer Ådahl

Laura is wearing a Pelago Cycling Cap Patch in Berry, Pelago Merino Sweatshirt in Moss and Pelago Commuter Front Rack. Christer is wearing Pelago Merino Sweatshirt in Navy and Pelago Commuter Front Rack.