The virus and the syndrome

IMG_7802Have you ever heard of the Stockholm Syndrome? No? Ah, then make yourself comfortable and let me tell you the legendary tale. (What, yes, you did? – Shut up and let me tell you my version anyway!)

Once upon a time, there was a kid living in a suburb to Stockholm. She was one of those kids who took pride in being a “90’s kid” despite the fact that she merely experienced four years of the glorious era – oh, did we not provoke the older kids! Anyhow – enough of that, the kid dreamt of fire-sprouting dragons, of mountain trolls and of great battles and quests. She read books about them, painted them, and wrote her own stories about them.

But somewhere deep within, she had to face reality, a fierce reality where magical creatures and magnificent beasts didn’t bear existence. That’s when she discovered the terms of bicycle touring – and she was captured immediately. It seemed just amazing; the endless road, the grand mountains and the countless encounters with the locals. Thus her dream was occupied by a new quest; to someday ride her way to China.

It was all she could ever think of; the first thought that came to mind when she woke up and the last before she fell asleep, and it lasted for so many years, and yet it didn’t fade.

In 2014 she decided to give herself and her love a real shot, and went touring from France to Montenegro. It was the most well-spent weeks of her life, and she got the love for her captor confirmed. There was all she ever expected; a hand full of mountains, a pinch of growling stray dogs, a bunch of amazing people, and a nuanced colour panel of weather – from heat and drought to cloudburst and thunder.



Now, as you could see, she had become… hold on, is this really the tale of The Stockholm Syndrome, in which a woman who was taken hostage during a bank robbery fell in love with her captor?

Nah – in fact, this is something complete different. This is my tale of how I got bike syndromed.

And watch out! Or you may catch the Bike Syndrome too – if you didn’t already…

Here are a few symptoms that might indicate an infection:

  • All you ever talk about is bicycle touring
  • You don’t go anywhere without your maps
  • You even bring out your maps as an ice-breaker at bars
  • You love beer and bread and chocolate despicably much
  • You dance in the rain
  • When you finally get your salary you think in terms such as “this will afford this long on the road…”
  • Your eye for good camping spots is on autopilot (except for when you actually need one)
  • Anywhere flat is a good place to sleep; asphalt is heaven compared to craggy rock
  • The typical bike tan will always reveal your true nature
  • You rage when you see a stolen or demolished bike, it might actually be the most evil crime in history
  • Every petrol station is a luxury house
  • You make daily conversations with your bike

Be aware that if you got more than five of these symptoms you might already be infected and should consider to see yourself to a doctor. Hopefully they will prescribe you a doze of touring.


Elvira, aka Virus (ask my sister about it)