Even though the biggest wave of the coronavirus crisis already seems to be over and life is slowly returning to normal, it is still worth looking at a few stories of people who have been traveling on recumbent bikes for a long time, and this crisis has thwarted their plans. How did they fight it and where did they have to stay?
Let us know in the comments under the article if you know about any traveler stuck somewhere and whether you know all the adventurers mentioned here.
Sylvia Halpern – Travels by Trike
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As you know, HP gifted me an e-assist Shimano Steps for my Scorpion. Before that happened my plan was to tour Costa Rica,Panama, Colombia and Ecuador. But since it is not possible to get e-assist batteries on a plane I decided to ride down the coast from a Portland to Berkeley. The Shimano Steps was installed in October and my tour was lovely but it was too cold for camping. I ended up staying in hotels which was very expensive. It is not unusual for hotels on the Pacific coast of Oregon and California to be over $100 per night. Ouch! A friend suggested I could buy an RV for less money. Other friends and relatives chimed in saying this was such a good idea, why wait? With the help of more friends that ride trikes and own RVs, I purchased a truck and travel trailer with idea that my trike could be securely stowed in the truck under a canopy. By early January I was driving around Southern California with my new truck and trailer with ramps to get my trike, Myrtle the Turtle, out of the truck bed for riding. This was an enormous change for me. I had been trike touring all over the world for the last 13 years. I had been on 6 continents and cycled through over 20 countries. This was my 1st time owning anything in over 14 years. Before this, I didn’t own anything that I couldn’t take with me in my trike panniers. It felt very luxurious. I had a bathroom with hot water shower and toilet, big refrigerator, stove, oven, microwave and a king size bed. Wow!!
For 2 months, I drove all over Southern California meeting up with trikers. It was so much fun. I could now meet people wherever and whenever with my trike in the back of my pickup truck. I was riding my trike more than ever and meeting a ton of fun people exploring new areas of California.
In March, I was in Palm Springs staying with a triker who is also a priest of a Catholic Church. Palm Springs has a big cycling community and I know lots of trikers there. My friend invited my to park my trailer at this time because there is a very big tennis tournament. I am a huge tennis fan and had always wanted to go to this tournament. Then the Coronavirus came to the US. Palm Springs cancelled the tournament. This was the 1st big event to be cancelled. Quickly, everything was shut down and we were instructed to stay 6 ft apart from everyone. My travel trailer was a perfect place for this and I felt very safe. As I was walking in the area, I saw people cycling and noticed they could keep 6 ft from each other but not 6ft from people they passed walking. It was at this point I decided to put my trike away until riding would be safe. Palm Springs is a desert and by the end of March temperatures were climbing into the high 90 degrees Fahrenheit and would soon be over 100. I had to find another place to live and wait out the virus. The biggest problem is that all campgrounds had been shut down and RV parks weren’t taking new people.
My sister lives in a beautiful boarding house in Crescent City which is in Northern California very close to the border with Oregon. It is a small town on the Pacific Ocean surrounded by redwood forests. The house had a vacant furnished room and I moved in April 1st. This is a quiet town with wide streets. I feel very safe riding my trike here. My trailer is being stored at a friend of a friend of a friends house. I don’t know how long I will be here but I couldn’t have picked a more beautiful spot to ride my trike and wait. Travel or touring will not be possible for quite some time. I’m expecting to be here for a year. This is a time we get to learn new things like patience, and humility, new cooking techniques and to slow down. I have also been learning more about photography and playing the piano. My sister loves to hike and there are many trails to explore along the coast and through the redwood forests. I am feeling very lucky to be here.
Matt Galat – JaYoe
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I am no stranger to postponing my tour. It’s become sort of a running theme actually. Car accident near Guilin, meniscus tear in Ningde, babies have been born, family members have been lost, and now a global pandemic. Every time I pause, I leave my trike where I left off and return when I can, resuming my world tour from China to the USA. This time, my trike is awaiting my return in the employee parking lot in the Silka Maytower hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I had intended to keep it there for a week while I visited my daughter in China during Chinese New Year. But while I was there, the epidemic turned pandemic had other plans. Now my tour is on indefinite pause while the world heals. I am wondering how the restart of my tour will go, and what stories will I her from the people I meet. The whole world has gone thru this together, and I am interested to hear about how other people in other parts of the world dealt with COVID 19. I look forward to sharing their stories of loss and triumph with the world. Just not sure when.
Irene and Joël – Cyclomigrateurs
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It can seem strange, but the coronavirus did not really change our plans. When we where in Thailand for one month (mid jan-mid feb) we had almost no problems, the same in Laos for the following 3 weeks. We were cycling Tim and Lucy on their new Azub tandem.
The things became to change in Vietnam, we entered just before the border was closed and were not welcome by the population, but we planned to stay only two weeks so it was not too problematic (except one night, when all the hotels rejected us and we had to camp in a cemetery…).
We had to make a small change in an emergency to arrive in Japan the day before the borders closed, it was a little bit stressing but OK. Now we cycle in Japan, as expected, and left Tokyo before the emergency rules begin. We are now in the Japanese Alps, everybody is kind to us and we can continue cycling. The only question is: When will we come back home? The project was to stay 3 or 4 weeks in Japan, but the problem is not there, it is in France…
David Brandenberger – Dave the Beaver
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Another change of plan, just before I wanted to ship my Solatrike from New Zealand to Canada. So I wait and see, when it’s over and start to plan then. This break I use to prepare for some other breaks in the future. I translate the Mulivisions show I did about the first leg (Czech Republic to Kyrgyzstan) into English, that I can offer a proper product. Then I start to work on the next Multivisions Show about the second leg (Kyrgyzstan to Australia). I expect to have a break in autumn 2020 for a half year where I will go back to Switzerland. At that time I’ll try to get some money with any kind of work and beside tour with the first Multivisions Show in different countries. (Switzerland, Germany, Czech Republic)
Darren Broadhurst – Everywhichwaybutlost
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I just arrived in Australia from Bali only to have Covid19 stuff up plans, so I’m currently waiting out the Pandemic on a farm in Western Australia. I did however complete the Munda Biddi Trail just before lockdown, a 1000km off-road trail that seriously taxed my cycling legs and the trike.
Note: Darren is on his way again.
Facebook / Youtube
We were on our way to the island of Sicily just before the outbreak really came in and we just took the ferry across and they told us we couldn’t stay on the island and we have to go back to the main part of Italy. So we came back thinking we will carry on the coast, on the north side of the coastline going up towards Neapoli. On our way back up somebody talked to us when we went through a village we were before and told us the lock-down is going to be serious and that we better stay there that they will give us an apartment in a local church. We have been here for the last 80 days. It is a very strict lock-down in Italy you couldn’t do anything at all. Even taking a dog for a walk was quite a problem because you are not allowed to go farther than 100 meters.
What do I do? Apart from going absolutely crazy, we look at our lives positively and actually the beach is only 87 meters away so we are technically allowed to go to the beach. It is hidden from a view but not hidden from the rubbish. We have actually picked-up 1200 pieces of plastic bottles there. I made some monuments on the beach to show what we have done and they are still there. You can see them at our Youtube channel. We have made 34 videos of rubbish on this beach and the beach is only 500 meters long. And this time here, when everybody is in the lock-down it is time to reflect and think about things, but are they know?. We have picked up 30 pairs of gloves dropped just on the way from where we are staying to the supermarket. I would like you to mention that we are not environmentalists or environmental activists, but environmental explorers, and we are exploring the 21st century we are just documenting on what we see and it is up to the human race what we do with it, but I hope we will do something.