Big goals, bigger adventures: Meet komoot ambassador Jonas Deichmann

Jonas Deichmann is a world record-breaking ultra cyclist with a seriously adventurous spirit – just what we look for in a komoot ambassador. That’s why we’re pleased to welcome him on board our official ambassador program.

He has no fewer than three continental crossings under his belt, all completed on his trusty bike.  His latest big ride took him from Cape North, Norway, to Cape Town, South Africa, an 11,184-mile (18,000-kilometer) journey which he completed in 73 days (that’s a month faster than the previous record-holder). When he’s not crossing continents by leg-power, he gives motivational speeches based on the techniques he’s learned on the bike. 

Jonas is obviously an interesting guy. We got him in the hot seat to answer some random questions about himself.

Describe yourself in three words

Adventurous, ambitious, curious.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve eaten on a ride?

Insects in Southeast Asia. Cockroaches are not my thing but locusts are a delicious snack for the road.

What’s the weirdest wardrobe malfunction you’ve seen or experienced?

Children in Africa who played football with one shoe. They were too poor to have a complete pair of shoes each, so instead they used one shoe, worn on their strong “kicking” foot.

What motivates you to get outside and explore?

I always want to discover something new and get out of my comfort zone. This is sometimes hard, but it makes me feel alive. I find inside life boring.

Disc or rim brakes?

Disc brakes

Tell us about your most epic ride yet.

My last expedition “Cape to Cape”. I travelled 18,000 kilometres from Nordkapp in Norway to Cape Town, South Africa in a new record time of 73 days. I started with a friend but he had to give up a third of the distance into our ride. I continued alone from Egypt. The Africa crossing was the most difficult thing I have ever done. Nothing went to plan. I had food poisoning, experienced riots, dangerous situations with animals and humans, and extreme conditions. But the hospitality of many people and the African landscapes were indescribable. The hard moments are the best memories anyway.

Looking forward, what plans do you have for the year?

After having completed all the major continental crossings on my bike in record time I need a new challenge. So this year I want to complete the first ‘round the world triathlon’ – starting and ending in Munich. I will cover 120 times the Ironman distance and cross the Pacific and Atlantic by sailboat. I plan to be on the road for about 10-11 months.

Most unusual piece of kit?

Half a toothbrush. During record rides every gram counts.

What has been the biggest cycling game-changer for you?

Riding long-distance is 95% mental. You have to firmly believe that you’ll be successful. During my first world record ride through Eurasia I saw what my body can do and now I know that much more is possible. That gives me self-confidence and with every successful expedition I get stronger.

Why do you recommend komoot?

The route planning works very well and I will be looking at small, beautiful trails. There are also great route suggestions on komoot. When I’m in a new city and I don’t know my way around, komoot helps me to find interesting routes. I also find the social element very good. I upload many of my Tours into the app and friends and followers can see my Tours.

In the current climate with limitations on getting outside, how are you using komoot to keep your adventure-fire stoked?

I am currently staying with my family in Switzerland. I plan new routes with komoot for jogging and cycling in the region and discover new corners again and again. I also like running in the forest without a fixed destination, simply following any trail that looks good. When it’s time to turn back I just let komoot lead me home.

Want to listen to Jonas speaking live? Catch his talk in our komoot Campfire series of online events. We’ll be talking to him about his past adventures and the expeditions he has planned for the future at 18:00 CEST on 23 April. Sign up here.

Images © Pasi Sauna-aho