At Cortazu we encourage adventure and unique experiences. These words don't quite do justice for what our current ambassador Lennart has recently manged to achieve! Traveling 10,000 Kilometers all by bicycle, read on to find out what inspired him, and the struggles he has faced and overcame along the way. Check out his Instagram here!
Let’s get to know Lennart a little bit better by asking him some questions about himself, his travels and why he’s working with Cortazu!
HI LENNART, TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR YOURSELF
Hi, my name is Lennart, I’m 29 years old I work and live in Amsterdam. In April 2021 I left my home town by bicycle to try and cycle all the way from Amsterdam to China! About ten years ago I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes but I promised myself to keep living life to the fullest, hence why I want to show the world that even when you are diagnosed with T1D you can still achieve things you wouldn’t imagine to be possible to begin with!
WHAT ATTRACTS YOU TO TRAVELING SO MUCH?
I believe traveling, and especially traveling by bicycle, gives you the ultimate form of freedom. Each and every day is an adventure full of surprises! I’m not just talking about the variety of places you get to see (because there is so much more to a country than just the touristic highlights), but by going my own pace every day I get to find camp spots, talk to a lot of different people that show so much hospitality and experience the nature and culture in a much more intense way than that I would have done if I traveled by car or airplane.
YOU HAVE TO EXPLAIN US. WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO GO BY BICYCLE?
Haha, that’s a funny story actually. A few years ago my girlfriend and I were on a holiday in Kyrgyzstan, where we rented an old Russian model Lada Niva. Of course we had to run out of gas at some point, right? And so we did. We were in the middle of nowhere sitting next to our car, when we were passed by a few cyclists from the UK and Germany.
We got to talk to them and immediately I felt that this is something that I wanted to do myself as well. Cycling the world, fueled by nothing more than just your legs that do the world. When we got home I immediately started to check out what I needed to do to make my dream a reality and here we are!
INSPIRE US. WHAT’S YOUR GOAL WITH THIS TRIP?
The ultimate goal is of course to reach China, and cycle one of the most famous cycling highways in the world, the Pamir Highway, located in Tadzjikistan. At the same time I want to create more awareness around Type 1 Diabetes and raise funds for research that can help improve treatment and perhaps contribute to a potential cure. More info at: www.lentochina.com
The first 5000 kilometers have gone really well and have brought me to Georgia, where I’m writing this short story for you to get to know me a little bit better.
WHAT’S YOUR BEST MEMORY FROM YOUR TRIP SO FAR?
Phew, that’s a big question. There are just too many to choose from. But one that immediately comes to mind is from when I was in Turkey. I was cycling together with my girlfriend, who took 4 weeks off from work to join me on the bicycle, and we were climbing a very steep mountain. All of a sudden a truck stopped, warning us that further on the climb, it would only get worse. We kind of waved them away to try our luck and did not think much of it. When we set up our base for the night, we heard a truck stop again, it were the same guys that warned us. They brought food and drinks and we shared our meals, listened to music, and had great conversations (through Google Translate) until the sun set and they went back home to their families. It’s moments like these that really make this trip so special!
WHY DO YOU THINK YOU MATCH WITH CORTAZU SO WELL?
I remember sending Cortazu and email to get in touch with them, saying: ‘I see that you are young, adventurous and from Amsterdam. So am I, want to grab a coffee?’ And I think that’s what they are all about. Showing that all you need is good quality gear to go on an adventure and make memories that will last a life time. And at the same time I love how they support re-greening projects of Justdiggit, it makes them an organization, that doesn’t only talks the talk, but also walks the walk.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE CORTAZU ITEMS?
I am super happy that I am able to wear some of their high quality coats. When I left Amsterdam in April, I must say that the weather was pretty sh*tty! So the Hard Shell cout (burgundy) came in excellent to keep me dry on a rainy day. Even in Turkey, I had some days where it just poured down from the sky so I make sure to put in on the top of my bags in case I need it!
Also, their stretch jackets make the perfect jacket when I go downhill from the mountains and make sure I don’t get too cold on my way back to the valleys.