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Friday, 03 July 2009

Adventures Bicycletales: An Interview with Frédéric Linget - Page 5

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: Did you have any problems with the communication barrier on your trip?

No, no.  Of course, you can't discuss philosophy in every country, but if you can at least make yourself understood for the basics like you need to sleep somewhere, you need to eat some food, drink some water, it's very easy.  Just with your hands and arms you can make the sign of what you need and people will laugh or understand or both.  Usually people are very keen to try to understand what you mean.  It was never an issue.

I remember in Turkey, when it was snowing, a lot of vans would stop on the road and propose me a lift and I would say "No, it's ok, thank you."  It wasn't easy in the snow, but my bike was still working so I was going to ride. Once there was a guy who was really scared to let me continue riding because there were wolves in the area.  He saw that I was not understanding what he was trying to tell me, so he got on all fours and started to imitate a wolf, which was kind of funny on the side of a road.  When I finally understood I said ok, and got in his van because he looked really scared to let me back on the road.  I thought, my god, maybe some people were eaten by wolves.  Maybe it was in the paper and since I didn't read the paper I wouldn't know about it.  So, people are always keen to communicate and go all the way so that you understand. Even if we didn't share the same language.

INTRAVEL: The journals on your website are great, really informative and full of details and stories for each country you visited. How did you keep a record of your trip? Were you keeping journals each day?

Yes, just a few words at a time though. And then once a week I would sit down and do it a bit nicer.

INTRAVEL: What are your plans now that you are home? Will you miss Thailand?

Yes, I will miss Thailand, definitely.  I'm going back to work; going back to a normal life. I'm delighted to be back home in France, France is not that bad you know? But France is the most visited country in the world I've heard, and I didn't even know it. I really enjoyed the last month I did on my trip. I arrived at the Italian border with France, then I went up to Lyon, and then all the way to my home town.  I saw a lot of things on the way that I had never seen before. So my next trip will definitely be in France so that I can get to see it closely.

INTRAVEL: What would your advice be to other people thinking of doing a biking journey like yours?

One big thing is to prepare the visas carefully in advance. Physical training is not an issue at all. You can train on the way by starting slowly if you are not in good condition, and you will pick up endurance; it's very easy. And of course, pick a good saddle. That is quite important!

To find out more about Frederic Linget's cycling journey and to read his journals, visit his website at

©Kristen Hamill

(Page 5 of 5)
Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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