This is something I wrote a few months ago, after I started hosting and meeting people through Couchsurfing and Warmshowers in Coimbra. After 2 months playing the part of the "surfer", it got an even greater meaning:
[...] maybe the greatest life lesson has come from couchsurfing. We are often warned about how dangerous the world is and how wrong it is to trust a stranger. But we forget that we are strangers in the eyes of every traveller and that our behaviour can influence his/her opinion about our own town, our country or even the goodness of mankind. By defeating fear and prejudice towards other people, we are always rewarded with some good moments which remind us that, after all, "there is some good in this world, and it's worth fighting for". Stay human.Thanks to all the "strangers" that turned into friends!
63 nights in 43 different places.
44 nights hosted by someone, 17 nights in hostels/rooms, 2 nights on overnight trains.
18 borders crossed.
7 capitals: Ljubljana, Zagreb, Belgrade, Sofia, Athens, Tirana and Sarajevo.
2580 km by bike.
2500-3000 km by train or bus.
135 km on the longest biking day (November 18, from Parga to Sarande).
15 km/h: normal average on a hilly day for the first week, when I was out of shape.
18 km/h: normal average on a hilly day after 1 month.
8 km/h: reasonable speed on a 6-8% climb.
58 km/h: maximum speed.
33x16, 33x18, 33x20: most used gears (= 3,5-4,5 metres per pedal revolution).
10^5 - 10^6: order of magnitude for the number of pedal revolutions during the journey.
75 kg: my weight.
~ 18-20 kg: total weight of the bags.
~ 15 kg: weight of the bicycle.
Max temperature: 28°C, 4/11/2013 in Thessaly, Greece
Min temperature: -3°C, 29/11/2013 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (not biking though...)
0 other significant problems with the bicycle.
~ 850 € spent during the journey, of which:
230 € on accomodation
200 € on transportation
30-40 € on museum entrances and other tickets
20 € on the bicycle
almost all the rest on food/drinks (5-6 € per day)
Countries for number of visits in the blog: Italy (3000), Croatia (1100), USA (300), Greece, New Zealand, Brazil, Germany, France, Spain, Slovenia, Portugal...
0 kg lost while travelling.
100-120 g: average quantity of chocolate I ate everyday.
3 damn good tiramisù made.