More DW Blogs DW.COM

Adventure Sports

with Stefan Nestler

“School up! River down!”

Despite my love for the mountains, I am also a river man. More precisely, a Rhine man. I was born in the Rhineland and grew up there, I live 30 meters as the crow flies from the river and work 100 meters from the Rhine. Day after day I ride the bike along the shore. I was exactly doing this when I came up with the idea of my next fundraising campaign for “School up!”.

Along with the climbers Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner and Ralf Dujmovits, I had launched “School up!” two years ago to rebuild the school of Thulosirubari, a mountain village about 70 km east of Kathmandu. The school had been destroyed by the devastating earthquake in Nepal in April 2015. Despite the heavy monsoon, the construction work has continued in recent months, the school building is increasingly taking shape (see the slideshow below). But we have not yet reached the goal and need more donations. That’s why I’ll start a week today a donation bike tour under the motto “School up! River down!”.

With the folding bike

I want to cycle down the river as far as possible within a given time window – a maximum of twelve days -, starting at the 2044-meter-high Oberalp Pass in Switzerland, near one of Rhine sources. I’ll do it by fair means, without an electric motor in the bike frame. Neither with a racing or touring bike nor with a mountain bike – but with a folding bike. The wheels are only 20 inches in size, so I have to pedal a lot. The exciting question is: How far will I get with my little bike on the more than 1,200-kilometer-long cycle route from the source to the mouth of the Rhine in Hoek van Holland?

Donation per driven kilometer

If you want to participate in the fundraising campaign, this is how it works: Before I start, you determine an amount for each kilometer that I will drive down the Rhine. Means: If you want to give for instance one cent per kilometer, it would be a total of ten euros at 1,000 kilometers. Those who prefer to contribute a fixed amount of money can, of course, do so. I am grateful for any euro for the school in Thulosirubari.

While I’m on the road, I will inform you via Twitter where I am and what I am experiencing – as I did during my campaign “Pilgrimage for Nepal” in November 2015. At the end I will tell you how far exactly my folding bike will have carried me. Then you should transfer your donation directly to the bank account of “School up!”:

Recipient: Nepalhilfe Beilngries e.V..
Bank: Volksbank Bayern Mitte eG/Germany
IBAN: DE05 7216 0818 0004 6227 07
Intended purpose: Gerlinde and Ralf School

So keep your fingers crossed!

P.S. Many thanks to the Austrian publishing house Esterbauer for the map material I use for planning my trip.


4. September 2017 | 13:35