March 2017 features not one, but four riders! Introducing four cyclists from Norway: Margot Lothe Pedersen, Mia Johanne Marie Lervik, Sverre Lervik, and Hildur Aase.
Tell us more about your earliest experiences as a cyclist…
Hildur: My first experience as a cyclist was in France in 1996 when we were 4 friends cycling together.
Sverre: My first experience was in Ireland in 2013 when Hildur and I had a week cycling trip using the tour operator’s map.
Margot: My first experience abroad was Cycling Coastal Thailand with SpiceRoads last year.
Mia: As a “long trip rider” my first experience was in Cambodia, in March 2015, with SpiceRoads, together with my brother, Sverre and his girlfriend, Hildur.
Tell us what you most enjoy about cycle touring and why you like to see the world by bicycle?
Hildur: I like cycling in a warm climate with guides that are sympathetic and know their culture and profession.
Sverre: I like to experience the world slowly.
Mia: There are several reasons for me to like to see the world by cycling:
1) It takes me to interesting areas where I’d never dared to visit on my own, or even together with the other guys.
2) It makes it possible to meet local people and learn about their lifestyle and conditions.
3) I like to do some training, and cycling long distance is a great opportunity to do it combined with a lot of other experiences.
4) I learn a lot about the history and culture in the lands we visit.
5) I love to cycle in Asia because people are so friendly. As we cycle, we get a chance to enjoy the beautiful views and breath in fresh air.
6) The routes are nice and the supported van is very functional and useful, especially when we have to take highway to avoid traffic.
7) In winter time in Norway it is cold, sometimes snowing or heavy raining, therefore it is great to visit Asia and cycle, light-dressed in the nice weather and temperature.
8) On the first 2 tours we were cycling together with people from different parts of the world, and we appreciated that very much. Some of them have become good friends and we are still keeping in touch. The last trip was arranged for our group separately, which had some advantages too, for example we were free to choose alternative routes, restaurants, and pauses without big discussions.
9) The food has been extraordinary. On the Cambodian tour, it was sometimes a little too simple, due to the lack of restaurants, especially in the northern part. But overall it was ok. On our last tour, our guide Yo was extremely clever to compose rich, savoury and various meals, always telling us what was in the different courses and how spicy it was.
Margot:I think Mia – in a good way -has expressed what we all feel!! (Thanks to her!!)
How many cycle tours have you been on with SpiceRoads and which has been your favourite?
Hildur: 3. Cambodia for their dramatic political history and all the children that welcomed us all the time.
Sverre:3. Same as Hildur
Margot:I have been on 2 tours with Spice Roads – Coastal Thailand and River of Kings Ride. They are both my favourites !!
Mia: I have been on 3 tours with SpiceRoads: Cambodia (from the Thailand border via Siem Reap to Phnom Penh), Coastal Thailand ( Bangkok to Khao Lak) and Kings of Rivers (Chiang Mai to Bangkok). It is very difficult to say which one has been my favorite. On every tour I was thinking the same thing “This is the best tour ever”. The last trip though “Chiang Mai to Bangkok”, I have to say, had the most beautiful scenery, great routes and very nice and clean.
Where would you like to cycle next?
Sverre: Croatia (with Hildur)
Margot: I should like to come to Asia or Thailand once more!!
Mia: Difficult to say, but someplace in Asia I hope. Our group has an average age of 72.5 years, so we are not able to choose the heaviest tours. The tour grade of 3 suits us best, and that means there are some tours we don’t have capacity for. Burma, Laos, Vietnam could be interesting, Sri Lanka too, if the tours are not too tough. Maybe SpiceRoads are willing to look at that problem?
In your opinion hat is the benefit of travelling by bicycle?
Hildur: Bicycling makes me happy and I have to exercise before I go.
Sverre: Exercising is fun and it is good to be away from a dark rainy winter.
Margot:Travelling by bicycle is amazing!!
Mia:In my opinion I have already answered this question. I just love it!
Anything else you would like to share with us?
Hildur: I had an accident this time and your guide and driver did an excellent job taking me to hospitals as we went along.
Sverre: local production of different produce is fun.
Margot: SpiceRoads as a company doing is a good job for their clients! Thank you!
Mia: My experience with SpiceRoads is very good. Both booking and paying system works perfect, and we also are very pleased with the contact with the company from beginning to end.
Thanks Mia, Margot, Sverre, and Hildur for sharing your experience with us! The four of you are testament to how much fun traveling by bike can be when you’re in good company!