July 18th

I forgot to share that I made it to Athens. Of course, I texted my mom on July 13th, saying that I’d made it and was alright. However, I didn’t share it here. Some people keep asking where I am and if everything was okay. Everyone can relax, I’m good.

I had a lovely conference, met great new people and old friends, listened to inspiring research and shared my work on exclusion experiences among majority members as an explanation to radical right support. Obviously, we had loads of good dinners, views, drinks, conversations.

However, the last day “on the bike“ had been rough. My chain broke 2km into the last round, which was about 70km long and included two climbs. As this accident happened in the mid of nowhere and gas station employees were unable to help, I had to walk those 68km. Of course, I could have called a cab or the police. However, there is this stupid trait in me that makes me finish stuff no matter what. By then, I had cycled around 1430km and mastered all different sorts of challenges. I didn’t want to end the trip with a one-hour cab ride. Additionally, I had to get my bike to Athens, too.

The chain, a drink, a snack, and a lot of grit.

Cycling becomes even better when walking is the only alternative. I started walking around 06.45 and arrived in Athens around 17.00. I took only few breaks, especially in the beginning, to make progress before the heat kicked in. Stupidly, I had finished all my food the day before, expecting that it would be a quick ride and that I could have lunch in Athens. Luckily, I had my 4 liters of water.

The only reason why I made it in time was because of the mountains. The first 40km were uphill or even and I had to walk as soon as the terrain became flat. However, as soon as there was the slightest descent, I could let it roll. I must have looked ridiculous when leaning forward on the bike, desperately waiting for some speed, tail winds, a Greek God to push.

I made it. I had a good conference. Collected some money for Ukrainian Scholars in need (the campaign will remain open for a while, feel free to donate and share!). I had fun. I’m now waiting for my flight home and it almost feels like an insult to know that I’ll be there in 4 hours.

Thanks everyone for following and supporting this campaign.