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Cape-to-cape cyclist: Biggest challenge was ´boredom´

University of Copenhagen graduate Gijs Stevers pedalled his bike all the way from the north of Norway to the southern tip if South Africa. When he finally got going, he says, it was surprisingly easy

Gijs met a shower of rocks thrown by Ethiopian adolescents, sandstorms in complete solitude, and feared the man-eating lions of Kenya rift valley and the conflict-struck frontiers. But his biggest challenge was boredom.

Monday Gijs Stevers met up with the University Post, which has been following his road trip closely, before giving a talk at the Studenterhuset. He had flown in from his native Netherlands to give a speech about his 10 month long bike ride crossing Europe and Africa to learn and teach about renewable energy.

With a battery-enhanced bike, Gijs started his trip on the northern cape of Norway: “It seemed like such a big thing to do before I began the trip, but once I was on the road, it was actually surprisingly easy” says Gijs. To the University Post he explains that the 250 watt supplementing his muscle power, helped power an extra 70 or so kilo of baggage.

See the University Post announcement of him reaching Port Elisabeth, South Africa, ‘almost’ at the Cape of Good Hope here.

Oh if there were only … Føtex

Through mud, sands, winds, hills, rain and sun, what Gijs phantasised about on his trip – which would often take him 100’s of kilometres without seeing a single human being – was the Danish supermarket Føtex.

“Going into the store, and everything is just there, everything that you want. I missed that. And friends and family, of course”, Gijs smiles.

There is one thing that Gijs would change if he should do another trip like this. “I would definitely like to bring someone with me next time.”

See our University Post interview before his trip: ‘Five questions for a biker with a purpose’

Battle against tedium

“I spent a lot of time alone, and I must admit, it would get boring sometimes. When I didn’t prepare for workshops or seek out contacts for people I’d like to meet, there wasn’t so much to do”.

It was ultimately the workshops underway, and meeting with role models within renewables, that kept Gijs motivated and pedaling. He is now touring Europe to give talks about his trip and experiences, and is to seek work within the field of renewable energy.

See our University Post coverage of his trip on the links to the right.

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