It is easy to appreciate the amazing scenery at these destinations, but what about the story behind that journey? This trip was more than visiting the location, tasting great food, and relaxing at beautiful lakes. The whole goal is to create a deeper connection between me and the natural history of the area. I am Ranganath Nagaraju, I am a Senior Development Engineer at Engibex, currently working for Tremec (Engibex client).
Technical features of E-Bike:
- Brand: Cannondale
- Model: Trail Neo 4
- Shifting system: Shimano 9-Speed
- Battery Energy: 500Wh
- Assisted speed: max 25 km/hr
- Gear Ratio: 11-36
- Range Normal mode: 70 Kms*
- Range Max torque (Turbo mode): 30 Kms *
*These ranges are verified on flat roads, the range will vary with reference to the slope of the road and the weight of the bike.
How everything started
This is a short note about my bicycle trip “Tour to Milano”. I started from Oostende, Belgium, and the destination is the gorgeous city of Milano in Italy, spanning over 4 countries and a life without a home for 20 days. For the next 20 days, I planned to camp at camping sites, live, and eat in a small one-person tent and Cycling is the only means of transport. Well, it is an e-bike MTB Cannondale which I will be using. With 24 kgs of a backpack, I left Oostende on August 6, it was a hot mid-day summer. The sun was bright and hot to dry my wet shirt in seconds, my first day ended in Ellezelles, Belgium at 11:30 pm. That day, it went totally dark by 11: 00 pm, and thanks to the bike headlight which was bright enough to make things in front visible.
Night in the garden
I had tougher days too, on Day 3 I did not get a camping site to stay for the night. And only due to some kindful people, who let me put my tent in their garden, I could survive the day. And that day moving door to door and asking for shelter not only punctured my bloated ego but also made me realize how very important society is and how very significant the people who contribute selflessly. The most challenging night
How my tent filled with water
Later, the most challenging situation was on August 14th, it was around 11:30 PM, and I had just slept after planning for the next day. Initially, I felt water dripping in the tent, but in minutes it turned into a pool of water. It was the first rain in August and it was pouring heavily, I quickly shifted all my stuff to the nearby shelter in the camp, and was wet from head to toe, adding to the problem; at night the temperature dipped below 10 C, the only place to take refuge was WC of the camp, I could not sleep the entire night because of cold. I somehow survived the night, it was the next day a lady at the tourist info point helped to lend me the tent for a day, so the next day I could sleep, later stop at a sports store and buy a waterproof tent.
Night in Andermatt
Another tough experience came on day 17 (August 22), I reached Andermatt, Switzerland, and I camped at the mountain and was prepared for the cold night, it’s no secret, that night the temperature was supposed to get below 5 C. Around 3 am I felt the water dripping inside the tent, I woke up in surprise: how could the water enter a waterproof tent? I suspected that the tent is warmer than the surrounding so the entire fog will condensate onto the tent. Now the only refuge again was camp WC.
The next day I reached the tip of the Gotthard pass, standing at 2106 meters height the feel of accomplishment is priceless, and the view of the Swiss alps is a bonus; thanks to all who helped me on my way.
Final point: Milano
Finally, on Day 20 I reached Milano, the city is beautiful and nostalgic to me (7 years ago I was studying master’s in Milano). I was greeted by a few of my friends who were following my journey on Facebook and Whatsapp. A memorable, full-of-life, and adventurous trip came to an end.
Management lessons I learned during this journey:
- If you need to get the right information– speak to locals.
- Learn to speak the local language, even a two words greeting makes a big difference.
- Schedule the task as per the available resource, not the other way.
- A spare is always safe to have because whatever happens, the show should go on.
- When it is taking more effort and longer time, it means we are traveling in the wrong direction.
- Motivation will be effective before the start of the day, not at the day’s end.
- If the break is longer, it reduced the motivation toward the goal.
- Give up the ego in front of a greater objective.
- Finding a solution with a group is 100 times easier than finding it alone.
- Do not create a traffic jam following your own goal, because other goals are equally important. Jams can only create chaos.
- Permanently fixing the problem is 100 times better than temporarily fixing it.
E-Bike cycling tips:
- Try to switch off the electric mode, when driving down.
- Try to drive on Normal mode as much as possible, so you can extend the range.
- The remaining range of kms displayed on the digital screen, should be reduced by 20% on flat road to get a reliable range of kms and this will change with reference to slope. Cycling to the mountain, the range will become 1/5th of value displayed on the screen.