Lots of pedalling ahead – the whats, the hows and the whys of it

There is two of us, me and the other Mateusz (aka Głuchy).

We are starting our cycling trip in our hometown — Wrocław, Poland. Our aim for now is to reach Turkey by December. We are not time constrained, but winter is slowly creeping in in Europe, so we need to hurry to the Turkish coast in order to escape the low temperatures. Once we are in Turkey, we are planning to explore the coast and the mountains a little bit, maybe get a small job in a cafeteria or a bar to rest a little and earn some cash.

From Turkey, we have three scenarios that we are considering: 1) we spend the winter in Turkey and then cycle back home to Poland (unlikely); 2) we follow the classic bike touring route through Georgia, Azerbaijan, Iran and then all the Stans in the direction of China (sounds better but right now Iran is closed due to COVID-19); or 3) we take a ferry down to Cyprus, cycle south through the island and then take a ferry to Egypt in order to cycle down south through the whole of Africa until Cape Town (sounds painful). The last scenario is our dream scenario.

trasa rowerowa z polski do turcji
This map shouldn’t be taken too seriously. We have many routes in mind and the route may change significantly depending on the weather, roads and cycling safety conditions. Also, this road shows highways — we will not cycle on highways so the actual route will be much more twisted

Budget & costs

Let’s begin by saying that during this trip we are 50% self-sufficient. We own our means of transportation — those are our bicycles. Our home is safely secured on the trunk of one of the bikes — that is our tent. Our kitchen and the gasoline that keeps it burning is at the bottom of a waterproof bag attached on one side of the bicycle. The partial self-sufficiency helps lower the costs of this trip significantly.

We are aiming to spend 1K PLN per month — the equivalent of 220 EUR at the time of writing. I will let you know how it goes once we are back. Our only costs will be bike repairs, gasoline for our cooker, food (a lot of it) and occasionally tourist attractions.

In terms of the gear that we had to prepare for the trip, I’ve kept a very close record of all of my purchases. The total so far amounted to 8.3K PLN, including a new bicycle. I will publish a spreadsheet with all of my costs this weekend. The spreadsheet will be a good reference point because I had to buy most of the gear, including the bike.


Yeah, I hear that question a lot. I am not going to lie; when I made the decision to join the trip (it was Głuchy’s idea), I had no idea what I am signing up for. Not that this has changed a lot — I am writing all this while comfortably sitting in my chair. But at least I had a chance to think this through a bit.

When I made the decision to do this, I was just looking for an excuse to change things. Through various experiences in the recent months, I’ve learned that some people live very different lives than the one I was always taught is ‘good’ and desired. I wanted to change something, and I was just looking for an excuse. Głuchy told me about his idea and the decision was instant.

Right now, this trip is three things for me: 1) a physical challenge; 2) a lesson in physiology, health and fitness; and 3) an act of challenging the status quo. Let’s briefly expand on each point.

The physical challenge

The physical challenge is obvious. I have nothing to do with cycling. I have never cycled more than 100 km in one day. I am the sort of person who would do some sports occasionally, but most times I would sit in my chair and pretend to be smart. I am really enjoying the physicality of this challenge, for two reasons.

Firstly, because of the whole trip, I suddenly started to enjoy sports. I am constantly looking for opportunities to get outside and do something. Before, I always had to force it and do it as part of a routine. Now it’s a pleasure. I love this.

Secondly, because I am moving all the time, I am feeling better than ever. I have never before been this focused on my body, and I have never felt healthier. It feels good.

A lesson in physiology, health and fitness

Electrolytes, dehydration, overhydration, LTHR, heart rate zones, nutrition, longevity and many more are all topics that I stumble upon every day as I prepare my body for the trip. Now that I learn about them, I find many of them to be very fundamental knowledge that everyone should know for their own health. Unfortunately, I was never taught about them in school and I have never stumbled upon them before out of my own interest. I predict that this new knowledge could add a few more years to my lifespan.

An act of challenging the status quo

I want to be essentially homeless and live on an extremely low budget without much material possessions (I will have 4 tshirts, smelly) in order to test the assumption of the lifestyle that I grew up in. I also want to compare other lifestyles (cycling being one of them, but there are many others) to the modern, big-city way of life, to see which I like more. I don’t think that one lifestyle is universally better for all people than the other, but I do think that it’s a mistake not to try other ways of life than the one we were already born into living. If you don’t try, you assume that your reality is the best without giving a try to different realities, or you are too lazy/comfortable/distracted/”busy” to try and that’s why you don’t change it.

To sum things up

Everything is going to hurt, but it will be fun. I won’t have a smartphone, so please don’t be surprised if I don’t reply to your emails/LinkedIn messages/Whatsapp for the next 1-2 years. If you would like to follow our progress, please head to my Strava profile. From time to time we will connect our Garmin watch to WiFi and our routes should then automatically upload. See you on the road!


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