14degrees off the beaten track
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Why Skateboard?

On the 25th of June, 2007, I sent my bicycle home and started out again from Switzerland on a skateboard.

What was I thinking?!

Why didn’t I just stay with the bike? Because another thing I like is to embrace the unthinkable. Doing things that many people choose not to do, because it appears impossible. The bike is a tried and true means of transport for solo long distance travellers. The skateboard however, is not so.

Plus, many of the other high profile long distance skateboard journeys were fully supported journeys. That is, the rider skates their board unladed, with a support vehicle of some description carrying their equipment. For me, that was not an option. The allure of showing that you can travel by skateboard unsupported was strong.

And so far, I have covered 1,500km on my board with a 15kg pack on my back, acheiving average speeds not much slower than those when I was on my bicycle.

Now you’d think that with all this talk about skateboarding, that I am doing this journey because I really like skateboarding. If you do think this, you are wrong. It’s not even about recumbent bicycles.

I really like getting out into the wilderness. Out to places where you can be alone with your massive surroundings. That’s why I liked Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan so much. The raw connection with my surroundings is what I really love about out of the way remote places.

This journey is about experiencing such environments. If I was to travel by car, I would alienate myself from my surroundings. The same about trains, busses, and airplanes. That’s why I travel human-powered. The vast majority of human-powered vehicles are open to the surrounding environment. Bicycles, skateboards…

On a skateboard or a bicycle or inline skates, or whatever your form of human-powered transport, you are more in touch with your surroundings.