Hi, I am Johannes Bondzio, born 1986 in Münster, Germany. I’ve studied mathematics at the Free University of Berlin, Germany. At the end of my studies I decided to do a bicycle trip around the world.
Born in Germany’s “bicycle capital” Münster and grown up in the bicycle country per se, the Netherlands, bikes have been an important mean of transport since the very beginning of my life. I grew up in the north-european countryside, which is equipped with a rather poor infrastructure, so riding your bicycle was the preferred, if not the only way to cope with huge distances to friends, family and school.
This is me, happily celebrating my tenth birthday when I got my very first own trekking bike. During this period the bike was more an article of daily use than an actual lifestyle. This perception of a bike changed during my time at college. More and more often my friends and I took the bike to school instead of the packed school bus. We soon realized the huge gain in liberty and fun the bike gave to us. Since then no other mean of transport was able to give me a such degree of freedom, activity, speed and fresh air. Cycling is relaxing and makes you much more aware of your environment. It is an very communicative mean of transport for you don’t have any window glasses that prevent you from communicating with others. Being active, communication just flows. The fact that you have to make an effort to advance prevents also your perception of distance from getting distorted like it happens in motorized vehicles. And last but not least it is much more environmentally friendly.
Although slightly aware of all those advantages, I think the last push towards cycling must have been that married couple from Austria. Simon, an old friend of mine, and I met them during a hike on the Lofoten Island in Norway. This couple spend all their holidays on a bike touring Europe the last thirty years. Enthusiastically they told me about their trips and successfully convinced me of the advantages of cycling.
They ignited the spark. Back home I began forging my plans, then walked the talk. I began gathering equipment carefully with main focus on quality and soon I did my first small bike trips.
Being a passionate photographer as well, soon a plan for the time after my degree began arise. This was the hour of birth of my photographic project “What is a Surface”.