The most people, who know me, almost never talk about me with my "official" name MICHAEL OEFELE, but with my nickname "OEFI".
Since my bicycle tour to Nepal, which I started at the 2nd of August 2002 (see the extra link) I`m called "Mike on Bike". My destination to travel through foreign countries with my bicycle began at the age of 16 years, than I cycled alone to the lake "Balaton" in Hungary and back. Since that time I decided to make my further holiday tours lonely - just with my bicycle. In this way I explored 50 Countries of Europe, Asia and America like: France (Atlantic coast), Italy (Toscana), the Benelux states, Polen (Masures), the Balcans (i.e. Ex-Jugoslavia), Turkey (Aegaeis, turk. Riviera), Iran (Caspian Sea, Persian Gulf), Pakistan, India, Nepal, Canada, USA, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, , El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brasil.
At all these tours I stood the night either in my sleeping bag or at the habitating families, which had been always friendly to me. Maybe this direct contact with foreign languages, habits and people is the reason for my decision for this slow and many times uncomfortable way of travelling. Even if the weather (landslide, earthquake, flood), the offices (visa problems), technical problems with the bike (most time I`d been lucky) or criminals (especially one case in Iran) made the life difficult for me or almost finished it, I didn`t give up and made it in some way!
This fighting-mentality started at the 04.01.1976, the day of my birth, in order of not dieing after my birth. With my mother having been 46 (!) years old there had been some complications: After a lack of oxygen for ten hours the Doctors in the hospital of Hoechstaedt at the Danube river didn`t give me any chance to survive. But I`d made it. But the price for my life was the missing reaction of my left arm and leg for the first year. So I see my clear mind and healthy body (click the "athletic photos") as a present of god and try to make the best with it! Because of this I made my general qualification for university entrance in 1995. After my civil service in 1996 I started my studies of sports and economics at the university of Bayreuth which I finished in 2002 with my first exam. After that I started my 13 months lasting bicycle tour to Nepal (click "Nepal by bike"), my longest bike tour up to now. From this I could catch the spirit for my complete time as a trainee teacher at the Gymnasiums in Erlangen and Munich.
After my second Exam in Feb. 2006 I decided to make one more break - for not less than four years. In this time I´d been cycling through Scandinavia, where I reached the North Cape for the Midnight Sun and crossed the Atlantic Ocean by a banana boat in order to reach Panama, from where I´d been heading to Canada (British Columbia) along the Pacific coast line. Back to the USA I´ve made a “Glory Loop” on the Colorado Plateau to watch those famous National Parks like “Zion”, Bryce”, Arches”, the “Monument Valley” and of course the Grand Canyon.
After that I reached South America by plane, where I´d been crossing the Andes mountains on quite miserably roads for several times to reach the “Sacred Valley of the Incas” and Machu Picchu in Peru. On my way through the jungle in Bolivia in order to reach La Paz I got stuck in the mud almost like some lorries. On the Altiplano I´d been climbing onto the “Huayna Potosi”, that was the first mountain higher than 6000m/18000ft for me.
Crossing the biggest salt dessert “Salar de Uyuni” I continued my way to Patagonia by a kind of zick-zack-course between Chile and Argentina. In the time of the disastrous earthquake in Conceptión I´d been climbing up to the crater of the highly active volcano “Villarica” in the night, what was not very reasonably and even forbidden, but the best I ever did in my life!
Due to the winter season I took a bus to cross Argentina to the province “Santa Fe”, where I´d been heading to Uruguay and further on to Brasil and then back to Argentina to visit last, but not least the “Iguazu” waterfalls, that was the most beautiful place in that world, I´ve ever joined.
Back in Germany since August 2010 I´d been working as a teacher for sports and economics in the high school in Weilheim (Bavaria). In this time I enjoyed my certain income and the opportunity to visit my friends again and to have time for keeping my house in order and to restaurate my old barn.
Having been in “Good, old Germany” for six years I felt the risk to relax to much in this safe way of living and to get used to all those nerving habits in my society. In order of not becoming stuck in the middle of my life I used the governments guaranty to be employed again on the one side and the fact that I don´t have to care for anybody. For this I´ll cycle over all continents by my 24 years old “Bock”, with that I stood all my bike adventures (exceptionally the very first journey).
The aim is, to fulfill my dream watching all those wonderful places in the world by my own “man-power”.
I want to say many thanks for the great support by my friends Robert Martin, how always gives me good advices in case of multimedia problems and Lars Schaefer, that upgrade my homepage with actual pictures and blogs, so that everybody can follow me on my tour that I´ll start in September 2016!
Michael Öfele (Mike on Bike)