Exam error made cyclist set foot on the road to cycle 8,000 km – 08/28/2022

Lisandro Almeida has always had a very busy life, starting with her professional career. Biologist with a master’s degree in Oceanography, the São Paulo native from Osasco moved to Fernando de Noronha (PE) in 1994, at the age of 24. There, he trained as a diving instructor and went on to work on scientific expeditions to the most remote islands in Brazil, such as Atol das Rocas, Trindade, Abrolhos and the São Pedro and São Paulo Archipelago, of which he was one of the first inhabitants.

In college, Lisandro used his bike to and from campus every day, and his relationship with cycling grew closer. But since moving to the island, cycling long distances had become impractical. With about 10 km from end to end, the pedal in Noronha is limited.

The bicycle was “propped up” in his life until he moved to Biarritz, France, where he lives half the year. “In Europe there is a consolidated structure for the use of bicycles, which is very motivating,” he said.

In 2018, the biologist tore a ligament playing soccer and the physical therapist recommended cycling to help with recovery. Lisandro and the bike were once again inseparable.

Lisandro and Yin Yang bike in Roquetas del Mar, Spain - Personal archive - Personal archive

Reunited with his bike, Lisandro traveled the world; in the photo, a selfie in Spain

Image: Personal archive

wrong diagnosis

The following year, a battery of routine tests revealed a liver abnormality. The doctor ordered more tests to recheck the values ​​that did not match healthy parameters.

Until he had the results, Lisandro was left with the flea behind his ear.

I was 47 years old and there was no shortage of examples of young people dying around me. I thought maybe I could be next.

Afraid of the worst, he decided to try to fulfill the ambitious dreams he had traced as a child. Some he had already conquered, such as getting to know the Brazilian oceanic islands and going to Antarctica. He needed to do a half Ironman (the most famous triathlon event), cross several countries by bicycle and climb the highest mountains on the planet.

Lisandro Almeida in Portugal - Personal Archive - Personal Archive

In Portugal, Lisandro got lost, caught wind, but reached his destination

Image: Personal Archive

healthy after all

When the test results came back, it was a surprise. The first exam had been corrupted, and he was healthy. But the desire to travel remained.

What happened was an error, which could have been the lab’s or mine. But that situation gave me a light to enjoy life more.

He left the 26 km² of Noronha to explore the planet, mainly by bike.

In 2020, he cycled part of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela from Biarritz, covering a total of 2,000 km.

In the same year, he decided to dive with some of the animals he had not yet encountered in the seas: blue whales, hammerhead sharks and orcas. He then sailed to the Galapagos and took advantage of the experience to climb four volcanoes in Ecuador, including Cotopaxi. One more goal crossed off the list.

Lisandro Almeida in Portugal - Personal archive - Personal archive

His tour of Europe included a stretch of the way to Santiago de Compostela

Image: Personal archive

Lisandro Almeida at Cotopaxi - Personal archive - Personal archive

In South America, an adventure on the Cotopaxi volcano in Ecuador

Image: Personal archive

Then he set off across the Pyrenees, cycling from Barcelona, ​​Spain, to Biarritz. It was more than 1,000 km through the mountain range.

In 2021, without ever having practiced triathlon, he prepared to run the dreamed “half Ironman”. He swam 1.9 km, cycled 90 km and ran 21 km in a French event, completing yet another plan.

From the seas to the mountains

Currently, Lisandro celebrates his 50 years of life with the project Dos Mares aos Montanhas (@dosmaresasmontanhas), an audacious bike trip through some European countries.

From France, he left for Italy, Slovenia, Croatia and Greece. The route also has a maritime backdrop, as it begins in front of the Atlantic Ocean and passes through the Mediterranean and Adriatic seas. The trip is still ongoing, and Lisandro is expected to cycle around 8,000 kilometers in total.

The journey would initially take 40 days, but it doubled in length when Lisandro met Dona Rosalina, a 74-year-old lady, in Spain. Her story was almost unbelievable: Nearly 40 years ago, she had found an award-winning bottle cap in a soda promotion and won a round the world in 80 days.

I decided that I would also travel 80 days, to honor Jules Verne’s classic and Dona Rosalina’s trip. He went by balloon, she went by plane and I went by bicycle.

Lisandro Almeida in the Pyrenees - Personal archive - Personal archive

Lisandro Almeida and his tour of Europe in 8 thousand km; pictured in the Pyrenees

Image: Personal archive

Exams OK, but the glasses…

For the cyclist, it is important to know your limits and understand that at 50 the body feels more tired and takes longer to recover. “Of course I cover less asphalt today than I would when I was younger, but I’m not in a hurry.”

There was only one occasion when age played a trick on him. “From the age of 45 I started to wear glasses, but I don’t use them for cycling. I had to change a tire at one point during the trip and I couldn’t read the indication of the correct pressure in the tube. In a week, the tire punctured five times. I went to fix it using the glasses, I realized that the maximum pressure was different. From then on, it didn’t puncture anymore”.

Despite having found friends at times, he likes to travel solo. “We are connected all the time and being alone is a luxury. You know yourself, you value yourself and you become your own good companion.”

In the photo, Lisandro poses at the Pula Arena, an amphitheater in Istria, Croatia - Personal archive - Personal archive

In the photo, Lisandro poses at the Pula Arena, an amphitheater in Istria, Croatia.

Image: Personal archive

Lost

Lisandro uses different apps to guide his route, but he has already come across closed gates, impassable ravines and even a bridge being moved.

“Once I ended up falling on a highway and I couldn’t get out anymore. There were buses and trucks passing by me at high speed, it was scary. To make matters worse, the tire blew. “.

state of mind

To fund his adventures, Lisandro leads a simple lifestyle. At home, he got used to living with the basics and has a routine of few perks. On the road, he looks for cost-effective lodging and food options, such as campsites, inns and homemade restaurants.

He also spent part of his savings on the trip, his grand celebration of half a century of life.

We can always run after money, but age and health are precious items. I want to show everyone that ability is not about age, it’s about choices and a state of mind.

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