Thank you very much for your attendance and active participation in the 3rd Olympic BaltiCCycle expedition from Beijing to London! To those fellow-travellers who cycled the whole route we thank for each day of 168 ones spent on the road. They are 3 New Zealanders, 1 Lithuanian and 1 Polish:
- Ryszard Karkosz
- Bill Kinghorn
- Sigitas Kučas
- Alison Walker
- Brian Walker
Special thanks for the only one woman among them – Alison!!!
Two next podium finalists are – Maryla Zielińska from Poland (162 days) and Bob Laing from Scotland (136 days). The person with more than 100 days score is Irish who made his début on BC routes – Aodhán Quinlan (103 days).
Thanks also to those who joined to cycle with us only for one day! They are 8 “ironmen” from Ise club, and 2 navigators Kenji and Katsu in Japan, our friends from former BC rides Janice and Doug in Washington, Mary and Regina from Cork club in Ireland, Polish and Lithuanian diplomats in Beijing and Dublin, and 5 cycling policemen escort in London.
An average attendance was 28 days per participant. Long-term travellers enjoyed our route. Our slogan – „Join us for a day, week or month”… or for the whole route – was confirmed totally. 82 people from 13 countries joined us – 28 women and 54 men. Women were majority only in the Polish team – bravo! We had more or less formal couples among us, and families connecting different generations. The youngest participant – Alek from Warsaw – was 15 years old. The oldest… we didn’t count years. You will find more details about participants on the attached list as well as on the photo gallery. Riders who held the record on the number of returns on the road were Irish – John and Aodhán, who joined us three times during the expedition.
John was also a driver of our van in Ireland and coordinator of that part of BC2012 route. Bob coordinated Welsh and English parts. Both John and Bob did their job on very high level, and everybody enjoyed well prepared routes. Thank them very much for the opening cycling facilities to BaltiCCycle in their countries!
Many thanks to all our drivers – without them our life would be much harder – especially to Bill, who exchanged a bike into a van in Japan and rescued the expedition, and to Ieva – the longest-term driver on the route (81 days). Débutants in this driver role – Sue and Vernon – were real professionals. Thanks to Mateusz & Wu in China and Clint & Hoon in Korea we could know their homelands much better.
We managed to travel according the schedule. We changed the route slightly only two times, when we had to take other ferries from China to Korea and from Korea to Japan. First time in the history of BC we crossed three continents – Asia (China, South Korea, and Japan), North America (USA) and Europe (Ireland, Wales, and England). Kilometres made by ferries and planes could be equal to those made by bike ~11 500.
We changed not only the continents but also time zones and seasons, slept in tents when it was -9oC outside and cycled when it was more than +40oC. The winter in China and Korea was friendly, the spring in Japan welcomed us with sakura (cherry blossom time), in US we met the hottest summer in the last centuries, and on the contrary in Ireland and Great Britain it was the wettest summer. We cycled under the sea level in the Death Valley and climbed by bikes on the mountain ranges more than 3 km above them. Five people climbed a new magic mountain on BC routes – Fuji.
We were guests of embassies, Indians in reservation areas, farmers, sport clubs, churches. We keep unforgettable memories of meetings with our Japanese friends. Heartily thanks to the Fujikawas for very warm welcome in their land, Masayo and her peace friends for praying together for the peace in the world and Takayama for his incredible offer to stay in his old Japanese style house in Tokyo… With infinite gratitude we remember those who we met on the road, who greeted us and shared our ideas, helped to repair bikes, offered a shelter or bottle of water, and provided the most valuable information about the local roads and sights.
Plenty adventures, experience, memories. Fortunately no robberies or loss of property, and no accidents – except very spectacular one with the first intervention of helicopter in BC history.