From bike messenger to extreme bike tourist overnight

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Belgian bicycle messenger at his farewell party before his first grand tour

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – The fond farewell as a bike messenger converts to extreme touring

“The plan is to ride 4,000 kilometres in 60 days. And then about 150km to 250km in a single day, depending. That gives me time to enjoy a stop here and there. But I was looking at the weather forecast for the next week, and it is rain every single day.”


Notes: Messengers are tough enough on a bicycle, but there is a difference between riding 60-100km in the stop and start of city riding, versus the demands of extreme distance day after day. You get used to both, but it is truly different. Then you get the more extreme version where aspirations of 250 or more kilometres are in the cards. Those legs are quite different, as well.

This is one of the local bike messengers in Brussels about to embark on his first grand tour. Two months of riding taking him across the Pyrenees as he scrapes the French border along Switzerland and then Spain until he arrives at La Corogne.

A dozen or more bike messengers pitched up to see him off last night. A few beers two nights before the ride actually begins (smart move).

He is already slim, however I suspect he will be whittled down a a few more kilograms when he rolls back into town in a couple of months. No matter what you eat, tours always bring weight loss. What he has in mind, well, without a support car, he will have to rely on restaurants and a cooking stove to get essential calories. And he will burn far more than he will eat.

You can follow his ride on his Facebook page here… Hopefully it will fill will photos soon enough.

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