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Europe by Tandem

From Castellon (Spain) to Northern Cape (Norway) by Tandem supporting the fight against cancer.

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Archive for the ‘AGAINST CANCER’ Category

Day 15. From Stockholm to Nymäshamn

Posted by admin On Julio - 23 - 2010

73 kilometers. 3 hours and 53 minutes.

IVAN: Last stage of our Scandinavian route. It seems like only yesterday when we arrived and kind Berger led us up to the highest Nordic peak in this huge peninsula; today was our last day cycling this peninsula. At this very moment, we are boarding a ferry to Central Europe. An adventure which has had everything an’ all is coming to an end; another adventure is making a start in Poland.

As to Stockholm’s surroundings, well, I could say just more of the same old same old: greenery up to the arrival at the port; regarding Stockholm, well, a gorgeous colossal city, with broad avenues and, watch out, a great swarm of cycle paths. I think an exclusive map of cycle paths will be useful as a guide. In fact, these paths were perfect in the beginning; but they seemed to have a life on their own and they took you where they felt like taking you; so, in the end, we chose the same old thing: Off we go!

Here goes a little video so that you can understand what I’m saying:

Having got this far, I think this is the perfect time to tell you what has struck me the most about Norway, Finland and Sweden.

1) Bottled water doesn’t exist. I mean it! Every restaurant we went to, we were served tap water in a jar, for free, instead of bottled water. What’s more, people in the North advised us to fill our canteens up with water from the rivers and streams we came across. This is of everyday occurrence in the Scandinavian peninsula. They have a lot of
water to spare. Well, it has to be seen to be believed!

2) People are extremely obliging and kind. Whenever you’re in trouble, they come to your assistance. Take Biguer and Ore Turi! We hold them up as examples but there were many more!

3) The love for the old stuff, especially for cars. I didn’t think they had such a number of old cars and that they were well cared for. They go for Amercian cars, but there’s everything from A to Z.

4) The language. No comments. Incredibly difficult. 14-letter words; 11 letters out of 14 are consonants and 2 letters have dieresis placed over the vowels and they take accute accents. Unpronounceable. I recall a Finnish guy we met at a place where we were staying who had a strong Finnish accent when speaking in English. We didn’t know if
we were speaking with a person or with Artoo-Detoo.

5) Absolutely safe countries. Wherever you go, you needn’t worry about the tandem bicycle; no matter the time, at lunchtime, in the afternoon and even at night. At some places, Paco slept on the street; unlocked. In fact, we only spotted two police cars in almost 2 weeks. Unbelievable if we take into account the fact that we spent almost the
whole day on the road.

6) The landscape. No comments.

Goodbye Sweden. Hello Poland.

Day 10: A tough decision

Posted by admin On Julio - 20 - 2010

0 kilometers. 0 hours.

A rest day

IVAN: Heavy rains and fierce gales first thing in the morning. No surprise there. Strong southerly winds and stream currents from the Atlantic Ocean unleash their fury on us day after day. But not today; they won’t catch us on the hop. Today we’ll ram a rest day down our throat. Our muscles and sinews, damaged due to tandem biking posture and to the weight we have to drag, will truly appreciate it.

Now, we have to work the problem of the route plan. The dreadful mistake in planning the route made us go back 90 kilometers. The original route plan led us to Stockholm along a coastal road which could be, in theory, cycled; but this road was downright dangerous (it was a highway with no shoulder!) and, as a result, we couldn’t take it. So as to make up for those 90 kilometers we had to go backwards, we will try to catch any means of transport that will help us get those 90 kilometers back. We don’t want to get closer to our destination but rather, we want to get to a strategic spot on the Swedish map that lets us arrive in Stockholm and not spin our wheels. Concerning the number of kilometers, no worries, they’ll end up being the same number and, hence, we’ll raise the same amount of money for our fight against cancer. The spirit of our challenge won’t be broken, and there’s no way our effort will be wasted.

We’re really looking forward to getting to more thickly populated areas! During the last stages, we’ve been cycling among sparsely inhabited areas; through woods…these routes are the ones that spoil things: we have to take last-minute decisions and suffer a series of mishaps ;-)  

February 4th, 2010. World Cancer Day.

Posted by admin On Febrero - 5 - 2010

In words of the AECC (Spanish Association Against Cancer – as per its abbreviation in Spanish): “40% of cancer cases could be avoided”.

We are not only talking about a piece of information, a statistic, a simple percentage, we are also talking about 40% of people and families affected by cancer, neighbors, friends, parents, siblings, colleagues, whose suffering could have been avoided.
And this bothers us, and it bothers us very much, even more so when we talk about one of the main causes of death in the world. Like we said in our first post: Cancer is an illness that makes no distinction between rich and poor. It gets less attention in the media and news pages than other more recent illnesses, despite the fact that cancer takes more lives than any of them […]. Its universal nature seems to have made us resign to it.

But, why don’t we turn this around and look at it with positivity? The statistics speak for themselves: of the 26 million new cancer cases and 17 million deaths calculated for the year 2030, 40% can be avoided.

But how can we achieve this? According to the UICC (International Union Against Cancer as per its abbreviation in Spanish), illnesses such as lung, skin, cervix and colorectal cancers, are potentially avoidable simply by taking into practice a series of pieces of advice such as not smoking, avoiding second hand smoke, limiting alcohol consumption, avoiding an excessive exposure to ultraviolet rays and keeping the right weight through a balanced diet and the practice of physical exercise on a regular basis.

Therefore, CANCER PREVENTION was the slogan everyone shouted with energy yesterday February 4th, 2010, and of course, all of us at Europe by  Tandem raise our voices as one more. CANCER PREVENTION is a message aimed at raising awareness and  “educating” mainly young people, who are our future, so that they adopt a healthy lifestyle and can avoid having more possibilities of suffering from this illness.

We strongly recommend a visit to the 2010 World Cancer Day Website. And, of course, follow their advice!

For parents

1. Teach children starting from a very early age to eat a varied diet
2. Include in their diet fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, cereal, legumes, pasta, rice, dairy and, why not? Every once in a while, pastry or a sweet treat!
3. Get them out of the house so they can play in the park or on the street and sign them up to sports activities.
5. Present the food in an attractive manner.

For children:

1. If you get hungry… a piece of fruit or a bit of dairy will be your allies.

2. Participate in the preparation of food, even if you don’t believe it…it’s a lot of fun!

3. Play, run, jump, get up from the sofa!

4. Go out to play at the park or out to the street with your friends.
5. Ask your parents to take you camping. Everyone to the countryside!
The fight is yielding results and there are more and more people every time who manage to face this illness and defeat it. Prevention and early diagnosis are fundamental, for that reason, because of this day we encourage you to spread this information so this message can reach at least as many people as those affected by the illness.
On February 4th, World Cancer Day, is an event coordinated by the UICC (International Union Against Cancer), in cooperation with the WHO (World Health Organization) and with different cancer associations in many countries.

Hello tandemeros!

Following our goal to support the fight against cancer, we want to begin a section of informative diffusion regarding this disease and share with you those projects, web pages, blogs, organisations, professionals … that work daily for this cause. In this struggle, informationis a priority, and that is why sharing it is our duty.

We would like to communicate the existence of the Cancer World Declaration, promoted by the International Union Against Cancer (UICC). If you wish to know more about this declaration, you can unload the explicative document from the UICC web page and, if you want sign in support of the fight against cancer. You can sign as an individual or as an organisation. Europa en Tandem has already signed ;)

Acting as a small directory, there are diverse organisations that dedicate its efforts to this fight against cancer. They work together for the same cause but are usually organised geographically. Therefore, we will find local, regional, state, communitarian and even world organisations. Here are a few links of some of these organisations we find relevant.

Spanish Association Against Cancer (AECC). It fights cancer in all the modalities known at present or that will be known in the future. Its line of action include informing and raising awareness about the need to prevent, of improving the life quality of the patients and their families, of promoting research, and of protecting and diffusingthe patients´ rights.

EUROPEAN CANCER ORGANISATION (ECCO). The European Cancer Organisation aims at defending the right all cancer patients in Europehave of getting the best care and assistance possible. It tries to promote the interaction between all the organisations involved in cancer research, treatment and health care at a European level.

EUROPEAN CANCER LEAGUES (ECL) The ECL is a non-profit organisation and an alliance of national and regional cancer leagues.  It tries to promote a healthy life style for all the European citizens, improve the access to programs working against cancer, guarantee a better access to the diagnosis, treatment and support and protect the establishment and application of national programs against cancer.

American Cancer Society (ACS).With departments all over the U.S. an more than 3.400 local offices, the American Cancer Society is committed to fighting cancer through research, education, patient care, promotion, and rehabilitation programs.

UICC (International Union Against Cancer) It is a non-governmental organisation dedicated to the global control of cancer. It connects organisations, professionals and volunteers that work together to eliminate cancer, the biggest death-risk disease for future generations.  Its mission is networking, mobilising and providing support to the organisations and individuals with the necessary knowledge and abilities for an effective fight.

We hope you find this information useful.

Greetings to everyone from the tandem!

What is cancer?

Posted by admin On Diciembre - 23 - 2009

Hello everyone!
We would like to share with you this video the Spanish Association Against Cancer (AECC)uploaded to its YouTube channel, which, very graphically and instructively, explains what is this disease we are all fighting against; us, on top of a tandem bicycle ;)

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