So it all came down to this. After 3 years of work, preparation and training, I was now finally departing on the longest and furthest journey of my life, all alone on two wheels. It was going to be the climax to The Dekatria Project and two years prior, I didn't even have a license yet. It's quite amazing what a bit of perseverance can do to your life.
The eventual ride started the 19th of July 2013, and on the 18th of August I was home again, after riding 8182km (5084 miles) across the European continent, crossing 13 of its countries.
The route took me from my home in The Netherlands through Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Germany, Switzerland and Italy before boarding a ferry to Greece in Brindisi, in the south of Italy. I then toured Greece, before going back home through Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia and Austria.
Ever since primary school I'd been inexplicably obsessed by the country, doing presentations on it, making my own booklet with useful words, sentences and even the course of the back-then still existant Drachme. Mention the word 'Greece' anywhere in my environment, and you'd have my immediate attention... but why, I have never been able to explain. I think that part of this ride was also to go and find out.
A little bit of love can go a long way
The ride was also a stand for suicide prevention - I asked everyone I met on the way to write the name of the person they loved most in their lives on my helmet. From the 6th to the 13th of September 2013, this helmet along with 4 t-shirts would be auctioned off in support of To Write Love On Her Arms, a non-profit organisation dedicated to suicide prevention, amongst other things (You can still donate on this page if you like!).
The Greece 2013 Ride Report
Day 1 & 2: Bastogne (B) & Schwarzwald (D)
Day 3 & 4: Rudolfstetten (CH) & Iseo (I)
Day 5 & 6: Florence & Montefiascone (I)
Day 7 & 8: Rome, Sulmona & Manfredonia (I)
Day 9 & 10: Brindisi (I) & Igoumenitsa (GR)
Day 11 & 12: Patras & Kalamata (GR)
Day 13 & 14: Tenaron & Astros (GR)
Day 15 & 16: Athens & Lamia (GR)
Day 17 & 18: Veria & Ioannina (GR)
Day 19 & 20: Vlorë (AL) & Ulcinj (MNE)
Day 21 & 22: Zabljak (MNE) & Blagaj (BIH)
Day 23 & 24: Povljana (HR) & Postojna (SLO)
Day 25 & 26: St Johann im Pongau (A) & Friedberg (D)
Day 27 - 29: Rotterdam (NL)
Addendum: The Secret Sideproject Péus
Uncut footage & randomness vids
The video album on the Facebook page