Cycling partners

Here are the people I cycled with during my trips.
Andreas Schwab

When: I cycled with him every summer from 85-94

Distance: ? Not counting one day trips probably around 20'000 Km

Cycling style: Very similar to mine. Slow, without many breaks. He usually used smaller gear than I did. And liked to start and stop earlier than me. Otherwise we were virtually clones. Lots of riding next to each other, talking. At the time the perfect cycling partner for me. Nowadays of course he would drop me after 2 Kms, so no more cycling with him. (Until I get in better shape)

Best point: Came cycling with me! And let me do the plans! I probably never would have gone cycling he hadn't come with me in the beginning! And since we started together we really had very similar cycling styles!

Worst point: Won more mountaintop sprints than I did.... We used to sprint on top of every pass, usually he won. But then of course the years he felt weaker he just announced that he wasn't going to sprint.

Janne Corax

When: May 96, in East Tibet

Distance: Roughly 1500 Km

Cycling style: Faaaaaast. Really fast. Claims to like to get up early, never noticed that. Actually we almost never saw each other, he usually was between 1 hour and 1 day ahead of me. But very good company in the evenings. If we met of course. Actually he's pretty flexible, can get up early and late, long days, o.k. short days as well, with me he usually had to do short days to wait for me.

Best point Never gives up. Without him I wouldn't have reached Lhasa. Similar interests, so we always knew what to talk about. And knows how to repair bikes as well!

Worst point Too fast for me even when I'm in good shape. It was really hard sometimes wondering when he was, always had the feeling that I had to go faster. I wouldn't have gone slower if I was on my own actually, but wouldn't have felt "chased", would have been more relaxed. Must have been tough for him as well, always waiting.

Daniel Birchler

When: Dec 96-Sept 97, Calcutta-East Turkey

Distance: 11'000 Km

Cycling style Very early starts, lots of breaks (one an hour) relatively fast, getting slower towards the evening, early stop. To make it short, the exact opposite of me! Not very flexible, So our compromise was: early starts (horrible), slow (hey, can't cycle faster in the morning), many breaks (No problem, I started smoking during the trip), and early stops (What? Already?) Very very high frequency!

Best point: Same humour as me. Knows how too repair bikes, likes to repair bikes, and carries everything you need to repair bikes. Likes to wash stuff as well, incl. my tent and shoes!! Rides a bicycle, not a tractor! And his frame broke!!! While mine didn't.! Even if he looked after his bike much better than I did! One of the greatest triumphs of my live!

Worst point: Early starts, and after 4+ years on the road not very flexible. Not allowed to ride next to or right behind him on climbs. Overtaking him might be possible, but it's strictly forbidden to say a word while doing that. Not even swearing at the heat and high percentage of the climbs. He'll think you (the guy with the red face and sweating like a pig) are trying to make fun of him. But that only counts in climbs. Flat, you can ride next to him, sing, swear at him, whatever, doesn't bother him.

Stefanie Rief

When: Dec. 96- March 97, Calcutta-New Delhi


Cycling style: Cycling with Dani there was not much choice. But didn't like the early starts that much either. A bit slower than Dani, enjoyed the breaks, and the early stops. Very regular cyclist.

Best point: Relaxed, easygoing.

Worst point: Made fun of me when I wore my cycling shorts. Something about chicken legs!

Miho Fukahori

When: June 01-August 01, Ulan Bator-shortly after Baotou

Distance: 1000Km

Cycling style: Her first cycling trip, so she just did what I told her to (mostly) Late starts o.k., even though she usually got up way before me. Liked the long days, cycling until it almost gets dark. But wants more long stops than me. For food. Since she's my wife obviously my best cycling partner

Best point: Let me sleep in the morning as long as I wanted.

Worst point Complains about the mountains even when it's flat! O.k. small hills. Wants to eat non-stop. Wanted to use our drinking water to wash!