To the US – Let’s go Baby!
So Marcus, what you been up to all these days? Weeeell I spent nine months on the road, cycling over 10,000 kilometers and ended up loving it.
If you haven’t checked out my four posts written about that trip, do it Here.
When I went through India I started to look in to what I really wanted to do the coming years and I hammered down some plans and slowly got to work. When I got back to Sweden in April 2018, first thing I did? Drink water straight from the tap in my friend’s apartment, ate äggmacka and started planning my future.
What did I need?
– Money money moneeey.
First I didn’t think I would need to do any other work because I was a Cryptocurrency-king, but that all turned sideways when the shit hit the fan in early 2018.
So as I got home I started earning money the normal way, by working. By selling fresh frozen fish on an Island named Orust (pronounced not like an Orc) on the west coast of Sweden. Knocking on doors, long-term building up a small community of loyal and very friendly customers. I quickly noticed how bad the local fish markets where on the Island, even though it’s quite known for good fresh fish. I did this from May-December 2018, six/seven days a week.
At the same time I edited all of those 300+ hours of footage that got accumulated while cycling to Nepal, it resulted in 39 videos (!!). You ever tried to work with footage from something that didn’t have a story build to begin with?
– As a matter of fact, Mjez!
So I know how much work it takes, but it was all worth it because I didn’t want to pressure myself creating the movies from the Nepal trip as I was cycling, that trip was all about me cycling, it was my trip, my dream. Now we’re in for a whole other ride, we’re not even in the same ball part anymore. Look at me, I’m writing blogs! – Which I hope you will find ExHiLarAtinG because I’m giving you me, and me is not only cycling, me is me.
Okey, now a bit easier to read, no more Yoda stuff.
As I got in to a flow with the editing and fish-selling I realized that I want to build what is now Bikeflow. Bikeflow is about experiencing the world for what it is; adventurous, fun and informative. My goal is to cycle a total of 100,000 kilometers. That’s more than two times around the equator and while doing this I’ll release videos, photos and blogs from the road. Photos as often as I can, videos at least once a week on Thursdays, blog posts every Sunday. I want to experience the world from a bicycle and I want to share it, so all it actually takes takes to work (and needs) is that the people (that means you) enjoy the content that I produce. So please do. I am very thankful for you reading this far ^^
Easy goes: Bikeflow is my travel channel with video, blog, photos. Me cycling the world and talking to people about what makes them get up in the morning. You find the links to my different social media if you look 10 centimeters to the left, a little bit down, there you go.
Further down the road I’ll be using an application called Discord. If you are familiar with it please follow the link.
If you want to get familiar with it and stay in touch with me, read about it Here.
Another really really neat thing is an application called Strava, there you can follow me and see exactly how I cycle every day! It also gets updated automatically here at the website if you would be too lazy to set up an account 🤗
Link to realtime following on website.
Now for the most important; Cycling4children.
Cycling4children is a fundraiser to UNICEF.
Why UNICEF Marcus?
– UNICEF wants to ensure that every child has the right needs fulfilled for survival. UNICEF also defend children rights and help them fulfil their potential. UNICEF is big enough to really make the money raised count. If more children around the globe survives and get in to education, more people will be conscious about their surroundings and together work for a better world. When the standard of living rises in third world countries, it rises everywhere.
Cycling4children is the name I use for the fundraiser but in time it will also become a stand-alone organization with its own website and social media accounts. During my travels I want to focus on children’s dreams and what the children want to do when they grow older. You can read all about it Here.
There are two ways to participate in the fundraiser. Either you one time give Here or you sign up for a Kilometer donation. Please consider to chip in for the greater good and for the children in desperate need of help. It is much appreciated!
Back to what’s been done.
During the summer of 2018 I got in contact with many different companies. I crawled the web for information about the products I would need to embark on my 100,000 kilometers. I went off and bought a white-board and hung it up on my wall in the living room just to be able to organize it all.
Since my first trip I have worked together with GORE WEAR, earlier GORE Bike Wear, the clothes they produce are, simply put, the best clothes I have ever owned, so I very much wanted to continue to work together with them.
Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about my previous bicycle, the bike was perfect in Europe but as soon as I got on tougher roads it was literally a pain in the ass to cycle so I needed to find I new one. Searched the web, watched videos and eventually sent an E-mail to SANTOS. Here I am today with a Zombie-Apocalypse-survival-bike; my Travelmaster 3+.
In the meantime, waiting for my website to get developed and my new video intro, I got in contact with a translation company – Språkbolaget – that could help me through out the years in translating all the conversations I will have with children all over the world.
My other partners; Sea to Summit, Jetboil, Axiom and Bihr are all companies producing world class stuff that I can’t wait to try out on the roads covering the North American continent. I lift my hat off to my partners, they keep me dry, comfortable and rolling.
For my first trip with Bikeflow I chose the US.
It has beautiful nature, an OK internet infrastructure and a very interesting population. Plus, I’ll get to develop my English vocabulary (and grammar, hum).
Long story even longer; I booked my ticket to Orlando, Florida three months ago. By that time, I didn’t have time. I was so caught up in my work that I couldn’t even plan my coming trip, I just knew that I had to book the ticket, so I did! Without knowing if I would be done with the editing nor future-secure an income for the trip but like a ticking clock, when I burn my safety lines the universe steps in. I know it sounds religious and it might be, I don’t know, it just always works out.
I speak only for myself and I know that with a shitload of dedication and a bit of humor when things goes wrong all can be achieved. So I entrusted that, since it has always worked out before. One week prior to my flight I got all the editing done, I found time to plan out my route in exact detail down to the meter and even got to hang out with friends and family 😀
The US is a special place, everything is bigger; I know from when I threw a burnt out cigarette but on the side walk back in 2008 at a Halloween party in California, with 30 feet of concrete surrounding it and 140,000 stomping feet making sure it would never cause a fire, resulting in a $458 fine and eight hours of community service.
Because of me getting in “trouble” with the law earlier nothing could go wrong now. I’ve never been so prepared as I was before entering the US nine days ago, I brought my three last taxation papers, photos of my family, police records in English, proof of residence, you get the picture, I brought it all. When I got off the plane in Orlando I knew that in two minutes I’ll be facing the judge of my future, will I be given three months or six months, will I be able to enter at all?
She gave me six months, maximum stay, of course without wanting to see any of my papers at all..
– What’s your purpose?
– Oh, Wow, well welcome then.
No trolleys allowed to carry the luggage, Happy Marcus! Sweat your ass off carrying a bike and three bags through the airport. Luckily I had made contact with Manny through Warmshowers and he promised that he would pick me up just outside and so he did.
In Orlando, just south of the city center, I’m right now sitting in an RV at Manny’s compressor repair service. Manny buys old compressors from all over the US, fix them up and then sells them. As a hobby, he cycles the world. I got here on the 28th of December 2018 and now it’s the 6th of January 2019. The reason for me staying so long is because of the holidays, I was supposed to get my panniers delivered around X-mas to Manny’s place but it all got delayed, “everything happens for a reason”, I keep telling myself.
I quickly understood that I want to learn Spanish during this trip, Manny is from the Dominican Republic and all his friends and family welcomed me with open arms, many of them speak perfect English but when they get together they speak Spanish. I’m putting my elementary knowledge to the test, pushing my dialectal buttons as hard as I can. With a lot of listening combined with an over exaggerated body language we make it work.
Every day is a new day of fun, there are about five people working together with Manny and they all make me feel like I’m part of their family. They invited me to a New Years Eve party which had a 1920’s theme to it, with a touch of South America of course. And yes I’m always carrying party clothes as I cycle! Manny lent me some stuff and the wonderful lady I’m dancing with is Teresa.
Many are the times I’ve been blindsided by how wonderful people that I don’t know a couple of minutes in to the conversations are. I always get surprised by how they greet me, with open arms and a kitchen full of food.
Last week me and Manny went for a two-hour bike ride. He really wanted to cycle some and I was in desperate need of trying out my new bicycle on foreign territory. My behind told me an hour in to the trip that it will give me some pain the first weeks, man I’m longing for that pain now!!
In a couple of days I’ll finally experience what I’ve been building up the past months.
The United States on a bicycle!
I’m ready, I’m free.
Let’s go baby!
– Now that you have read this far I want to say thank you! If you’ve already watched some of the videos I’ve done and like what I’m doing, please consider becoming my Patron.
Patreon is a website for creative developers and their community, you choose how much you would like to donate, smallest amount is $1/month, and together many small drips create a pond for me to cycle around in. If you would like to help me secure my future travels and the work I do please follow this link.