Pre-Journey Jitters: The Most Formidable Foe.

Without fail, the worst part of any of my adventures is the pre-journey jitters. I become so stressed out, anxious, filled with self-doubt and downright scared of what I am about to embark upon.

This upcoming cross-Europe bicycle trip is no different as I am slowly turning into a nervous wreck, wondering if it will go as planned, if I will gather enough funds to cover my expenses, if I will raise enough funds for World Bicycle Relief, if I will manage to navigate the language barriers in countries where English and French are not readily spoken, if I am fit for it, if my bike and equipment are in top-notch condition and so much more that I hesitate to list here because it will merely exacerbate those fears.

On paper, this should be my easiest ride. On paper.

My first ride across Canada in mainly winter on a fixed-gear bike will forever be the most challenging as it was the first adventure in my life; the winter seasons were brutal and the bicycle with only one gear made matters even more challenging.

The second ride across Canada in 2020 was easy from a pedalling perspective as I was a now seasoned cyclist and I had a bike with plenty of gears but logistically it was tedious as the lockdown made finding accommodation difficult.

Most establishments had been forced to remain shut due to a lack of travellers and the few available ones were all booked, not merely because of the shortage of supply but due to increased activity as some provinces used that slowdown to repair some highways. Consequently, all the construction workers, who hailed from far, booked all the available rooms for months.

The trip around the USA in 2022, my most recent one, was comfortable to ride except in truly windy segments; since the country is populated, it was not a challenge to find accommodation and financially it was rather affordable. My only issues there were minor, mainly related to some motorists not in the mood to share the roads that I was legally allowed to ride on.

This North Cape, Norway to Tarifa, Spain, odyssey is a very popular journey worldwide and it has been accomplished by a number of riders. Europe is more bicycle friendly which means that I should be safe being on roadways with motor vehicle traffic and most countries have a high density which means that I will never feel in the middle of nowhere as there will always be a community within 100 km (62 miles) even in the Northern regions which are less populated.

So what is causing me so much angst?

I believe it is the fear of the unknown and financial stability. I have read countless journals of previous travellers to those parts and it does not seem bad at all but it appears that I only trust my own observations. Therefore, only when I start pedalling will I have a clear idea and good or bad, I will feel much better because I will be in control… so perhaps control is the issue. Once I am in contact with potential obstacles then I will be able to work on them!

The financial aspects always make me nervous because so many things can go wrong, and despite reading that in most countries I will be more than fine except the Northern ones, Norway, Finland, Sweden and Denmark, where accommodation and food can be quite costly.

As I write this, I realise that it is Northern Europe that is giving me pre-journey jitters, so putting them on paper just shed light on my fears and perhaps I can address them better now that I can identify them. So, thank goodness for me wanting to write this blog post for those who are not on social media or who are not fans of Instagram and Facebook, the platforms I am most active on!

That is quite an epiphany, upon reflection.

Once I ride past the four Northern European countries and get into Germany, heading all the way to Spain, I have enough family members, friends and fans to turn to should things go awry. I also know that their cities and towns are so close to each other that I do not have to pedal 100 km (62 miles) if I am not feeling up to it to reach the next community. The maps show that there are always reasonably sized communities every 50 km (31 miles) or so!

So I suppose that now I have figured out what is gnawing at me, I can focus on the part of the trip which is causing the most stress, North Cape, Norway to Copenhagen, Denmark, which according to my planning should take me 20 days, including rest and recovery ones.

It is also the weather there that is puzzling me. It will be summer, but in Northern Europe, which is close to the Arctic, it means 12°C (54°F) which can be warm or cold depending on humidity and wind and as I travel south things will warm up but again it will vary.

That means that packing for such weather whilst trying to be as nimble and light as possible, because all that weight slows down in the wind and on the climbs, is a challenge. However, I believe that I will just be crafty about it in a post that I will share in another article, not to clutter up this one.

Now that I know what is stressing me out, it is time to start stressing about how to stop stressing about what is stressing me out.

Stay tuned!

This is a post by JaBig, a Canadian DJ who is about to cycle across Europe from North Cape, Norway to Tarifa to raise funds for World Bicycle Relief, in addition to embarking on a dream adventure of a lifetime.

You can donate directly to World Bicycle Relief by clicking here or you can contribute towards his trip expenses by clicking here. His social media: Instagram and Facebook.

Back to Blogging

The more years go by the more a number of people are leaving social media which for adventurers are powerful platforms to share their expeditions and the charitable causes behind them.

However I understand that some people prefer the good old website where they can come to read the content and carry on with their everyday life.

This is why this travel blog is getting a new lease on life and I will be using it to document my summer 2023 European bicycle trip to raise funds for World Bicycle Relief.

Stay tuned 🙂

Ô Canada! I Have Made It!

My name is JaBig and 1 year, 2 months and 21 days ago, I decided to take a minute to ponder about life and get some fresh air and hopped onto my fixed gear bicycle and started pedalling.

17 763km later, I have cycled Canada coast to coast to coast exploring and experiencing this vast North American country and getting to meet thousands of Canadians which was the highlight of the whole trip of a lifetime.

This ride from Montréal to the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and finally to Tuktoyatuk on the Arctic Ocean is eligible for a Guinness World Record for the longest journey by bicycle in a single country as soon as it’s validated.

I would like to thank my family, my friends, my fans, the companies that supported me and the random act of kindness-type people that made this trip possible. I did all the pedalling (and falling) but you took care of the rest (logistics, mental support, finances, etc!).

For more: Montreal DJ ends epic 15-month-long bike tour in Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T. – CBC News


I am currently on my way to the Arctic Ocean on a fixed gear bicycle, a 4000-km journey from Vancouver in extreme Canadian Winter.

To travel faster and farther on a daily basis, I am travelling light and so I won’t have my laptop to update this travel blog. This is also to protect the computer in the extremely cold temperatures.

The best way to follow my trip is via Instagram, a photo journal diary. Please click here on the image below to bookmark it and follow my adventures. Thanks!

TV Interview about JaBig’s Fixed Gear Bicycle Journey Across Canada

Here is an interview with Louise Uwacu, host of U&I Talkshow on Shaw TV Vancouver.

I spoke about my fixed gear journey across Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific coast.

As I get ready to cycle from the Pacific coast to the Arctic, this TV segment will tell you more about what it takes to spend on year on the road especially in Winter.

What’s Next?

As you read in the previously post, after over 10 months on the road, I have cycled from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Oceean, a 13 500 km fixed gear bicycle ride.

The Big Journey is a personal challenge and a Guinness World Records attempt to cycle all three Canadian coasts in fixed gear in a single journey.


This means that this epic trip is far from over as I still have to get to Tuktoyaktuk on the Arctic Ocean from Vancouver where I am based which is close to 4000 km in mostly unpopulated region with extreme cold that average -20 degrees Celsius.

I am up to the challenge but recognise that after Whitehorse, things will get VERY dangerous if I cannot find someone to drive some sort of Motorhome for me to stay in at night since human settlements are too far apart at distances that I cannot cover in a day ride due even if the snow-ridden roads or short days due to sunlight were not a big factor.

I learned one thing in this trip: to just get on the bike and go and everything will fall into place. So I am hoping for the best and I am doing my bit by stepping to the plate and pedalling.

Needless to say that I have had to upgrade my clothing and change tires as I will be cycling in extremely cold conditions and the snow will not help.

I won’t be updating my blog as I am leaving my laptop behind but do make sure to follow the trip on my @JaBig Instagram where I post daily updates as soon as I get to a Wifi connection as there is no cell coverage there for me to use my data plan.

Let me take this opportunity to wish you all Happy Holidays and Happy 2017! May the Almighty grant the wishes of your heart and I pray for Peace on Earth, an idealistic but possible notion…

Vancouver, At Long Last!

Exactly 10 months since I left Montréal to cycle across Canada, I have made it to Vancouver, British Columbia, the country’s West Coast where the Pacific Ocean is located.


It’s been a long and eventful 13 500 km journey and it surely did change my life for the best. I am so grateful for all the people that I have met on the way and I will never forget their kindness, hospitality, support and friendship.

What’s next?

I still have to cover some distance before I beat the Guinness World Records so in late December/searly January, I will get back on the bike and cycle North towards Whitehorse, Yukon. and if I am able to secure enough funds to get a team to come with me, I will make it all the way to Tuktoyaktuk in Northwest Territories.

Until then, it’s time to relax a little bit and sleep in because I have a lot of naps to catch up on!

Week 17 to Week 34

17 weeks have gone by without an update just mainly because a lot happened in the meanwhile and I could not keep up with updates.

But I managed to survive Eastern Québec’s Gaspésie with its mountains (not hills!) giving me a first taste of fixed gear climbing.



I got to experience The Laurentides, a Québec pride with more hills and climbing with gorgeous views

img_5062I rode into Montréal and after my short stay, I got a farewell that I will never forget…


I made it to Ottawa where my nephews welcomed me, which was touching.

fullsizerender-2I got some media coverage on CBC, a Canadian Radio/TV national channel


I visited friends in Gananoque and enjoyed a morning of boat rides.


I made it to Toronto, Canada’s most populated city and one of my favourite stops of The Big Journey so far (I am a big-city person).


After hitting the road a week or so later my bicycle and all belongings were stolen in Burlington, minutes after the photo below was taken.

This would change the course of my whole trip as I had to start from scratch. This is a story that I will tell in details one day but not anytime soon…

img_6160After three weeks, I was able to get back on the road with a new bike thanks to the generosity of friends and fans worldwide as well as companies that support my challenge.


My first ride with the new bike was to Niagara Falls


I turned 37 in August and returned to Toronto to celebrate with friends

I kept going and despite some saddle issues went all the way to Windsor close to Detroit.

fullsizerender-3So many people in Ontario came to ride along that I will be forever grateful! This is just a small example!

img_8003It started getting cooler despite the warm sun

img_7279I made new friends. After all I am a friendly person. I got a chance to tell them about my cross-country fixed gear bicycle challenge.

img_7442I rode into sunsets with a beautiful miss in Collingwood

img_7470-2I kept riding on and enjoying blue skies

img_7526I got to spend the night in styles of shelters that I have never experienced before but the sleep was as sweet as in a five-star hotel room.

img_7538But I also got to spend the night in lakeside cottages, a fine balance.

img_7582I got to cross paths in the middle of a forest with people on a big journey of their own.

img_7660I kept cycling North into Ontario’s least populated region and toward the part that connects East and West Canada

img_7715I ended the week in a little town called Espanola filled with the amazing people.

img_7766And for reasons that are a complete mystery to doctors, I found myself in an emergency room only to be discharged hours later feeling much better even though I really thought it was the end of me when I checked myself in.

img_7859I am writing this from a place where I have decided to take a few days to get back in top shape before hitting the road and cycling what may be the most difficult part of The Big Journey so far.


The good news is that I found time to update my blog so perhaps that what it had to take for me to get it done!



Latest Update

So much has happened that I have never had time to update my blog.

My bike and all belongings were stolen in Burlington, Ontario and the Police never recovered them but fortunately my friends and music fans around the world came through and raised enough money to get me back on the road.

I am now in Northern Ontario headed to Manitoba and will try to update the blog as I go along.

I post daily updates in photographs on my @JaBig Instagram account so please head there for more until this blog is up to date. Thank you!