Story of couple’s epic three-year cycle journey advised in gorgeous espresso desk e book Bike Life by Lannoo
Most people ride bicycles for exercise or to get to the office or to shops. However, there is an opportunity to use pedal power for a bigger purpose – to see the world and change your life. Just like the couple Tristan Bogaard and Belen Castello did.
You’ve spent the past three years on an epic bike ride, covering 15,000 km in seven countries and three continents, from California and Oregon to Italy, Spain and Norway to the dizzyingly extreme landscapes of Central Asia.
You have driven on one of the highest roads in the world, been breathtaking by epic glacial valleys, peaks and fjords, and have driven over volcanic Martian plateaus. And the adventure was recorded for posterity in a stunning coffee table book called Bike Life published by Lannoo.
Tristan from the Netherlands and Belen from Spain are both talented photographers and the band is full of the incredible pictures they took along the way. The volume also contains descriptive descriptions of the ups and downs of the Odyssey as well as valuable tips on sleeping, eating and drinking, as well as making each country bike-friendly.
It goes deeper, however. The prologue states: “In this book we will examine what it means to travel by bike. The pros and cons, the healing, life-changing effects it can have on you … and your visual and mental understanding of the world we live in. On your bike, you take a different approach to prioritizing what’s really important in your life. ‘
Scroll down to take a look at some of the fascinating photographs in a book that, as Lannoo says, breathes adventure …
Norway’s Atlantic Road near Trondheim, described in the book as “a joy to ride a bike” and “unforgettable”, although apparently it can be “quite busy and the weather is stormy” in summer so an out of season visit is recommended
This eye-catching picture was taken in Lofoten – the “most famous arctic islands in the world”.
In Lofoten, Tristan and Belen stayed in this stylish, whimsical structure designed by an architectural firm called 70 ° N Arkitektur. It’s called The Syklisthuset (or Cyclist Accommodation) and is, as we are told, on a hidden piece of land right by the sea … built to accommodate passing cyclists and keep them safe from violent winds, no fee, no guidelines.
The book describes Norway as “one of the most remarkable places in the world for cycling” with “spectacular” roads to go up and down. Pictured here is Norangsdalen, a ‘beautiful valley’
Tristan and Belen loved cycling in Norway, also because of the friendliness of its citizens. A local family invited the couple to dinner and let them spend the night in their guest room, “all because we got to our ferry station a few hours early.” This picture was taken in More og Romsdal County
Belen riding her bike on an empty double ended car ferry crossing a remote fjord in western Norway
A “victory view” on Norway’s “roof of the world” – a mountain called Dalsnibba. The summit is at an altitude of 1,476 m and offers a spectacular view of the Geirangerfjord. The climb is not easy. Cyclists have to grind a hairpin road with a gradient of 9.6 percent, reports the book. But the good news is that bikes pass the toll booth for free “because they think you’re on your mind”.
Blissful prospect: Setting up a camp on the banks of a beautiful lake called Bergheimsvatnet
A water break on the ascent to the Stalheimskleiva, one of the steepest roads in Northern Europe. It has lung refractive gradients of up to 18 percent. On the plus side – there are some lovely waterfalls to see
Belen pictured in the spectacular Dolomite mountain range in Italy, a country that the book describes as a “bicycle Mecca”.
In Italy, the couple drove five passes in five days, which proved to be quite difficult with 25kg of luggage each. In the tips section of the book, it says: “The average height of a pass is 1,400 m, which can quickly add up to more than climbing the height of Everest – on your loaded bike. Plan your route carefully. ‘
A drone shot of Tristan and Belen cycling in Lanzarote. The book says, “With its volcanic formations varying from dark red to jet black and dry brown cracks, there is a wonderful range of colors to ride through.”
Belen rolls along the smallest of the Canary Islands, El Hierro. The authors say it is “full of natural wonders like rich forests, lava-sculpted rocks, and natural pools”.
A winding road that Tristan and Belen drove along in Gran Canaria is “known for its mystically shaped rocks”. They told MailOnline Travel that each island in the Canary Islands archipelago “is like a little world in itself and you can enjoy the very pleasant Spanish lifestyle”.
Tristan am Panj in Tajikistan. The authors describe this route as “not an easy place to cycle”. They say, “The sound of the river got more and more into our ears day by day, while the dust and the vibrating handlebars over the washboard and the remains of the road destroyed our motivation.” To increase the distress, temperatures reached 40 ° C during the day.
A breathtaking drone shot of the Panj River with Tajikistan on the right and Afghanistan on the other. Conditions in Tajikistan are tough, the book explains, but the hospitality of the locals helps. Tristan and Belen were regularly offered meals by complete strangers
Up, up and away: The Pamir Highway in Tajikistan, where more than 50 percent of the land mass is higher than 3,000 m.
All over Kyrgyzstan, you will find typical arched structures that will welcome you to a city or region, say the authors
Kyrgyzstan, say the authors, “has stolen our hearts”. And with landscapes like this, that’s not surprising
Ak Baital, the highest pass on the Pamir Highway in Tajikistan at 4,655 m. The authors say: “The ascent to the top offers a unique opportunity to see the importance of the oxygen we breathe.”
Biking in California amidst stunning redwood trees. The street in Humboldt Redwoods State Park is known as the Avenue of the Giants. This is “an absolute highlight”, the authors proclaim
“Oregon’s coast is characterized by rolling dunes and rugged cliff formations that make the entire trip so fun and enjoyable,” say the authors
Bike Life includes trips with a total length of around 15,000 km through seven countries and three continents
Bike Life: Full of beautiful photos, personal anecdotes, advice and reports on the many things Tristan Bogaard and Belén Castelló learned on their bike tours through Europe, North America and Central Asia
- To order the book, click on Here. Tristan can be found on Instagram Here and Belen Here.