Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Bicycling companion

I have good news. My long-time friend, Daniel, will join me bicycling a few weeks in Vietnam. After three years living in Melbourne, Australia, he is moving back to Sweden. Why not stop by Vietnam on the way and bicycle a few hundred kilometers?

Daniel and I have been good friends for years. He is a well-traveled fellow who is easy to get along with, lives in the moment and is exceptionally open-minded. Thus, he makes a great traveling partner. For apparent reasons we have not spend a whole lot of time together the last three years. Australia and Europe are far apart. We have only had the opportunity to meet once a year whilst spending summer holidays in Sweden. Nevertheless, our past, long friendship makes it easy to reconnect. A few weeks bicycling in Vietnam provides the opportunity to catch up. We surely have a lot to talk about.

I have planned this journey for several months, and Daniel just had the possibility to join a couple weeks ago. As a result, we will not change any major plans in terms of travel schedule, route or destinations. I have the impression that Daniel is somewhat comfortable in this situation, though. As of now, he will join me starting the journey in Ho Chi Minh City all the way up to Hanoi, spend a few days there and then fly to Sweden. That equals about 5 weeks of traveling, 2600 kilometers of transport, 1300 kilometers of that on the bicycle. After Hanoi I will continue my route into the northwest Vietnam highlands, and two weeks later enter China.

My only concern is that I have been training significantly the last few weeks and are physically well prepared for bicycling longer distances. Daniel is by all means not fit, but bicycling a full day, about 70 kilometers, is a tough challenge have you not done any cycling previously. I know how I felt after three hours and 60 kilometers in the saddle with no rest. However, Daniel is the most stubborn human being I will ever know, thus I sense he will withstand the pain the first few days until he has built up enough strength to thoroughly enjoy the ride.

Since Daniel will only travel in Vietnam, mostly along the coast, he needs only the very basic equipment. He will attempt to purchase the bicycle in Ho Chi Minh City. Apparently there is a bicycle store carrying imported bicycles and gear in the back-packer area west of District 1. Panniers and other gear he will try to bring from Melbourne.

100 days of bicycling by myself could have been lonesome. I am happy to get company part of the way. See you on the road, Dan.

Daniel to the left, me on the right side. Summer 2005. The most recent picture I have of us both together.


  1. Hej!
    Kul resa ni ska ut på. Jag cyklade själv genom Vietnam, Hanoi - Saigon 2003. En helt otrolig upplevelse!!
    Lycka till!

  2. "Daniel is by all means not fit"??
    What are you trying tell me here?? ...must be a typo...it's the only logical explanation!! ;)

  3. Dude - it is not a typo. You are not a.k.a "knotan" for nothing ;-)

  4. Freddie LjungbergMarch 28, 2007

    Copy cat!

  5. Ops. Sorry mate. Meant unfit ("by all means not unfit"). See if you can live up to it :-)