College Student Rides Bike for 48 Days across Europe to Get Home Amid the Pandemic
Last June 27, Kleon Papadimitriou, a 20-year-old Greek college student, reached Athens after weeks of biking.
Kleon was stranded in Scotland after flights were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as reported by CNN. He decided to cycle a 2,175-mile route instead.
Kleon, a third-year student at the University of Aberdeen, said it was in the last few days of March when he decided to look for a flight back to his home.
He had hoped to beat the rapidly spreading coronavirus. But by the time he started booking an airline ticket, flight cancellations had begun.
He booked three times but failed. While his friends had left earlier, Kleon stayed so he wouldn't miss any lessons, as reported by People.
"By the first of April I knew that I would spend at least the next month in quarantine in Aberdeen," he told CNN.
Kleon started thinking outside of the box. He remembered that he competed once in a biking race in 2019.
But he had only trained for a few weeks this year, making his friends and fellow students wonder if he could make it home by riding this bike.
He cycled through England, Netherlands, Austria, the east coast of Italy, and along the Rhine River in Germany.
But Kleon was determined. He prepared for the trip, buying a bicycle, canned sardines, peanut butter, bread, a sleeping bag, and a tent, among others.
Kleon's family, however, was worried he could not pull it off. "They thought it was just an idea that I would eventually let go of," Kleon said.
His father supported his decision, however. He tracked his son through an app. Kleon cycled 35 to 75 miles every day. He would set up camp in fields and forests.
He cycled through England, Netherlands, Austria, the east coast of Italy, and along the Rhine River in Germany. Along the way, he asked help from friends and family for a place to say for the night.
In a similar story, 47-year-old Juan Manuel Ballestero sailed for 85 days, arriving in Argentina on Father's Day.
As reported by People, Ballestero had a long solo journey for three months to see his family, including his now-90-year-old father.
He decided to sail to Argentina from Portugal after the COVID-19 pandemic stopped all international travel. Ballestero sailed across the Atlantic Ocean on his Ohlson 29 sailboat, named the Skua.
Meanwhile, in Texas, a group of students went out of their way to help seniors not feel lonely amid the pandemic. As reported by People, these students launched a care package project.
In the French city of Balma near Toulouse, a 32-year-old man named Elisha Nochomovitz ran 42.2 kilometers on a 23-foot long balcony to keep himself fit. He took to Facebook to share his accomplishment and encourage others to maintain an active lifestyle even in isolation.