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.
Reasons to travel by bike?
- See and experience places on a deeper level
- Ecology and ethics
- The freedom to move where you want, when you want
- Feeling of adventure
- Fitness and health are maintained as well as a wallet to thank
Most memorable cycling routes?
- Trip around Åland
- From northern Norway (Senja) to the end of the Lofoten (Å)
- A few different routes in the French Alps
Scariest things when travelling during the pandemic?
- Different countries have their own laws and regulations regarding the corona
- Cancellation of public transport
- Changed opening hours of campsites + shops
- People’s attitude to travel during the pandemic
- 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:
- More biking, less driving / flying
- Raising awareness of the benefits of cycling
- More and better bike lanes around the world
- Freedom to camp where you want (of course, respecting nature)
- The basic education curriculum would include coping skills in nature
Stuff without which you will not go on any trip?
- Merino layer
- Instant coffee
Bonus: Greetings to people who are planning a long bicycle journey?
Stop planning it and just go!
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.