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Friday, 03 July 2009

Adventures Bicycletales: An Interview with Frédéric Linget - Page 2

Written by Kristen Hamill
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"Why go on a journey of 20,000 km … when 10,000 km would be enough by flying over the ocean? Why spend 12 months on the road when only 12 hours would be necessary in the air? Why so many efforts, when I could just sit and wait? Efficiency, speed, and very little effort - these are some really trendy values nowadays. By seeking and obtaining everything, immediately and easily, we lose both the taste of things and the appetite for life. In my opinion, we are missing the best of it. Cycling, on the contrary, is getting back to what traveling really means. Cycling is also about holding your own destiny with a firm grip rather than letting it wander; while you sit in the saddle, you are the only captain on board and you can choose to go wherever you want. You are free."


INTRAVEL: What were you doing in Thailand for work?

I was working as an engineer in a city factory.

INTRAVEL: Had you taken any similar biking trips like this before?

I've taken a few but for like, two, three weeks at a time. Nothing major, nothing with as much luggage. I'd been cycling in Thailand and Laos and it's a very warm tropical climate; you don't need to plan for camping gear, you don't need to plan for winter clothes, you can take very few supplies with you.  But when you go for a year, you have to carry something like 40 kilograms; you need a tent, you need a sleeping bag, pillow, you need a lot of spare tires and tubes for the bicycle because of course things are going to break on the way. So yes, it was really different.

INTRAVEL: Can you describe your route for me?

I started in Thailand, then went through Laos, Vietnam, China, and Tibet.  Through Nepal, then India, through Pakistan, into Iran, and Turkey.  Then Europe: Greece, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, across the French border and home to Châteaudun.

INTRAVEL: So you did you end up traveling through Tibet?

Yes, I did actually, during the Olympics which was very difficult, but I managed to get my permits.

INTRAVEL: And Iran, how difficult was it to get through there?

Adventures Bicycletales: An Interview with Frédéric Linget, Frederic Linget's cycling journey, cycled from Bangkok to FranceYeah, I got through Iran. It was a big, big problem to get the visa. When I left I had all my visas ready except for Iran because [my arrival in Iran] was too far from the date I left Bangkok, so I had to get the visa on the way. It took weeks and weeks and weeks, and because the French president is so talkative and arrogant some times - he said something like "I will never shake hands with the Iranian president - it was not very helpful for me. But then in 2008, it was even worse for Americans.

INTRAVEL: How did you calculate the carbon emissions you'd emitted in your lifetime?

It's quite simple. You take your passport, look at the stamps, figure out how many flights you've taken and the mileage and you submit everything into this calculator. Enter the number of millage of your flights and you get a number- I think I had 160,000 tons of carbon from transportation alone. There is a website where you can receive a spreadsheet of your carbon emission. And depending on your lifestyle and the carbon you emit for transportation, you also should compound that number to make up for the time it has already spent in the atmosphere. So all together I reached a number of 400 tons and so far I have compensated for 300.

(find out how to calculate your own carbon emissions at



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Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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