If I could give another synonym to the word ‘Adventure’ it would be ‘Jonas Deichmann’.
A fearless man who has escaped in the wilderness on his bicycle, performed like a crusader, pushed his limits and conquered the extremes.
Born in Stuttgart and raised in the Black Forest, Germany, Jonas swears by living a life of an adventurer and is better known for his ultra endurance expeditions.
A wanderer, Jonas lived in seven countries while studying and as he matured, his quest for exploring the world transformed him into an extreme athlete.
His early age exposure to endurance sports helped him to realize his goal and soon he went on to set records one after the other.
Jonas Deichmann is the first and only person to have set cycling records for all three big continental crossings and a multiple world record holder.
In 2017, two World Records were set: first the fastest cycling across Europe and second across Eurasia. He cycled from Cabo da Roca, Portugal to Vladivostok, Russia in 64 days.
In 2018, he became a World Record holder for the fastest cycle ride of the Panamerica (Alaska to Patagonia) in 98 days breaking the previous record by a month.
In 2019, he achieved his dream of cycling the three big continental crossings by riding unsupported from Cape North, Norway to Cape Town, South Africa, finishing in record time of 72 days.
When not on the bike, Jonas works as a motivational speaker sharing his mindset and inspirational stories with audiences around the globe keeping focus on his series ‘The Art of Never Giving Up’.
I e-connected with Jonas at a recently held virtual cycling conference Digital WorldBike, where he spoke about his experiences on the road and gave insights into the mindset that makes such challenges possible.
Here’s a quick chat with the champion.
How does the world look like behind the handle bars?
The world is a beautiful place with so many hidden places and friendly people. By travelling on the bike I have experienced incredible hidden secrets of nature. Something new every day and that’s what motivates me. I won’t be wealthy in the end but rich in experiences and great memories.
What was the tipping point in your career?
Setting the first world record. After that I got my first sponsors and speeches. From there my business evolved and I made my passion into a profession.
Key takeaways you want to share from ‘Cape to Cape’ Challenge?
Africa is a very difficult place to cycle. Every day it surprises you with unexpected instances, although cycling was actually the easy part. The climate is extreme, road conditions often horrible, appropriate food and spare parts mostly not available. But it’s the hard moments that makes the best memories and uncertainty is an expected part of every great adventure.
How do you survive in remote places?
You need to plan ahead and take nature very seriously. Have enough food, water etc. with you and calculate your time. And never underestimate weather changes in the wilderness. If you have a plan, the wild is often less dangerous than cities.
What tricks you use to reduce weight when touring?
Every gram more will slow me down and increases the risk of mechanical failure. With that in mind I go through ever part and make a choice if my trip is possible without it. In a second step I further reduce the weight of the remaining parts for example by cutting my toothbrush into half and taking very small bottles for everything.
An act of kindness you remember from your road trips?
When I was crossing the Sahara desert I was out of food and water. I stopped at an illegal gold mining camp and they shared their food with me and gave me shelter. They were so poor that they only had dry bread and a few biscuits but still shared everything with me and wanted nothing in return.
Of all the challenges, which one you would rate the most difficult?
Cape to Cape because of logistics and infrastructure in Africa.
Your personal favourite cycling equipment?
An aero bar. I never go for a long distance ride without it. Aerodynamics has a positive side effect but the main reason is comfort and being able to spend more hours in the saddle each day.
Post Covid-19 recovery, will your Journey’s be the same?
It will take a very long time until the world is back to normal. I have cycled in over 100 countries and know many borders are closed. Then it is also possible that people will be more suspicious towards strangers and I may not enjoy the hospitality I received in most countries the past few years. I hope this both will normalize eventually but for now it is simply very difficult to plan expeditions.
What is your next Challenge?
Triathlon 360 degree: the first ever around the world Triathlon from Munich to Munich. During the journey I will cover the distance of 120 times Ironman and sail the Pacific and Atlantic. As all my journeys, I will do this unsupported and without CO2 footprint.
What inspires you the most?
The pursuit of adventure. I like the challenge of pushing myself to the limit and see if I can physically and mentally do it. But this comes second to the adventure, getting out of my comfort zone and exploring wild and exotic places.
One motivation quote you always live by?
Pain is temporary, great memories last forever.
If you receive a lucrative job offer will you change your path?
No, I already have my dream job.
P.S. Join him for a Digital campfire talk and Q&A Session with komoot this Thursday, 23rd April 2020.
He will talk about Cape to Cape adventure and his upcoming Triathlon 360 degree.
You can register for free using this link: Life as a Pro-adventurer: A Webinar with Jonas Deichmann
Pictures by Jonas Deichmann, Pasi Sauna-aho and David Saintyves
Ways to connect with Jonas Deichmann:
Author: Vijay Malhotra, Mumbai