Tibetan plateau, China
Ok, tell me something about this guy who apparently likes to ride his bicycle.
Taneli has always enjoyed being outdoors and turning even the smallest trips into a some sort of adventure. Though it was only 10 years ago, when he really got an urge to spend more and more time outdoors, trekking, fishing and mountain biking. Finnish Lapland turned into his refugé, where he escaped to from his busy life in a city for multiple weeks at the time, both in the summer and the winter. Open horizons, beautiful nature and inhabited land fascinated him. The feeling of self sufficiency is one of the most satisfying things he knows on earth. He is a long distance A to B guy. He never walks the same trail twice and never riders the same route in the wilderness. He hates loops and turning back to where he has come from. Progressing toward the goal is what drives him.
Finally in 2014 he saw an opportunity to start the adventure he had dreamed of. In the age of 27 he left all behind to live a life of simplicity outdoors and seek the beauty of nature he has not yet seen and experienced. He also was set to a mission to see high mountains, those he had see once before, those he could possibly see only once again. He also wanted see Asia again, the continent that had been out of his reach since he had decided to stop flying for environmental reasons in 2010.
Wait, what do you mean by that you could see the mountains just one more time?
He was diagnosed with a heart disease when born, it is nothing too serious, but it needs to be operated, possibly rather soon. In the surgery he will get some cool spare parts into his heart. After the surgery he would be probably fitter than he is now, but as a downside he needs to start eating blood thinners to keep the new spare parts functioning with 100 per cent certainty. At high altitude thickness of the blood can vary unpredictably, which would make going to higher elevations risky. That is why this would be his last opportunity to see the high mountain ranger of this planet, mainly the Himalayas and the Anders.
Wou, good to go for it now then. What triggered the decision to get on the road initially?
For a long time, a big cycling trip was just a distant desire, which he tried to satisfy by spending a couple of weeks in the wilderness a few times a year and going through adventure documentaries and books. It was only in the summer of 2014 that the opportunity to make the trip revealed it self. Two things come together, they got separated with his long term partner and around at the same time his projects in the research company he was working in got finished. He sold nearly everything he owned and gave a way his flat. Everything was soon set for the departure, there was just one wore thing: his heart.
He would have the last heart check just two weeks before the planned start of the trip and there was a possibility that it could be either a call for a surgery now or the doctors would simply advice against the whole trip. Luckily it yet wasn’t the time yet and all seemed stable, unchanged. The heart specialist, a cyclist and a fly fisher him self too, understood his cause well. He was told: ‘You shall go, but get on the bike as soon as possible and come back for a check up in 2016’. That gave him around two years, before it was needed to be back in Finland again.
Taneli made the decision to get on the road in June, finished my work in the end of September, and got on the bike four months later in October 2014, a week after his last day in the office.
It is 2017 now, so it means that he had his heart check up in Finland already, how did it go?
Yes, he had it in December 2016 and got results in January 2017. And the results were… good! Or I mean not worse than earlier, no detectable changes, which is what he hoped for. Though he had made my peace with any result that he would get, this is something out of his hands in the end of the day, ins’t it? The next check up is scheduled to the end of 2018, which gives him nearly two years on the road again. Andes calling!
Who is gonebikefishing?
- Taneli Roininen – 30 years – Finland
- Worked as a researcher prior to his trip
- Still owns way too many bicycles
- Good at catching pikes with a fly
- Has walked 600km in the high Himalayas
- Often late
- Makes bad jokes, soon in Spanish too
- Studders, but that is not his problem