“When you’re born Dutch, you learn cycling from a young age, and will most certainly develop a common love for it,” says Tristan Bogaard (@tristanbogaard), a 22-year-old photographer making a 7,500-mile (12,000-kilometer) trip across 12 countries in Europe by bike. Tristan caught the cycling bug after making a two-wheeled journey across the US from New York to Los Angeles with his brother, but on returning to the Netherlands he realized there are many beautiful journeys closer to home.
His route will pass through the Amalfi Coast in Italy and the forests of Norway, ending in Bergen. Cycling for about four hours a day, Tristan stops to take photos and fuel up on fruits, nuts and water. “Riding a bicycle is the perfect way to see the world — it’s faster than walking, carries your luggage and is able to stop and go where cars and other vehicles can’t.”
Ahead of each stop, Tristan connects with local Instagrammers, and uses the Warm Showers network to find places to stay within the cycling community. “Whenever I find an Instagrammer that has photos I like — and have put their place of living in their description box — I make a screenshot and save it. Throughout the journey I’ll send them a message when I’m getting closer to their location, to ask if they’re up for a coffee or even an InstaMeet.”
Tristan says he has made incredible friends through Instagram. “If it wasn’t for Instagram, this might very well never have happened,” he says. “The roads are sometimes long and boring, but always end in greater company than you’d expected there to be.”