2 Finnish men who cycled 15,000km from Helsinki to S’pore say their family jewels are fine, thank you – Mothership.SG

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Remember Alvari Poikola and Valtteri Heinila (Alvis and Vallu), the two guys from Finland who cycled 15,000km across 21 countries for 245 days to get to Singapore?

Their sacks are apparently all well and good.

Better know as Curious Pedals, the duo’s arrival in Singapore after eight months of pedalling away was met not just with their supporters’ jubilation and jokes about them crossing the “Finnish line”, but also genuine concern over the state of the more intimate parts of their male anatomies.

via concerned Instagrammers

Purely for the sake of scientific research, we reached out to Alvis and Vallu to ask about the health of their swimmers.

In response to comments saying that long-distance cycling causes impotency, they were pretty much nonchalant about the whole affair.

“Oh boy… Good that we were impotent to start with… :D”

They continued, “No research has found impotency linked with cycling, but infertility yes. We have both tested our swimmers before embarking on this journey and are well educated about the male infertility crises going on. You guys should write about it!”

They then proceeded to enlighten us about their past research into the rising infertility crisis amongst men.

They wrote:

“There is a 50% decline in sperm count of Western males in the past 40 years.

Men reading this will likely have 50% less swimmers than their grandfathers.”

Alvis and Vallu’s research revealed that above and beyond lifestyle factors, a man’s reproductive health is likely to be determined by the level of exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) during the foetal stages of development.

finnish cyclist male fertility Photo via Curious Pedals

The more you know.

For those with low sperm quality or sperm count, Curious Pedals said fret not, because “swimmers renew every 64ish days”.

They reaffirmed that men still possess the majority of stakes over their own reproductive health.

finnish cyclist male fertility Photo via Curious Pedals

All in all, our family jewels seem well intact. We appreciate your audience’s interest,” the pair concluded.

The cyclists were also eager to open up about other aspects of their 15,000km adventure in a Q&A.

Read on to find out more about the history of their bromance, budgeting on the road and their best experiences from Helsinki to Singapore.

Q&A

How would you describe the friendship between the both of you?

We met in uni six years ago. We were roommates who were both studying business.

Maybe “siblings” is a good word to describe our relationship.

We are very close. We love each other but we also love to argue occasionally.

How much did the entire trip cost?

It’s hard to put a number on it.

We wouldn’t like to include our bikes in the expenditure since we’ll use them for years to come.

On the road, we pretty much stuck to a daily budget of 20 euros (S$26), spending around 5,000 euros each for the eight months.

How long did it take you to plan the trip?

The idea first came to us in the summer of 2021.

Planning it took us just a few days.

To give you an idea of how last-minute it was, Alvis bought his panniers the day before we left.

We decided on our first day’s route the morning of our departure and we only had a rough estimate of where we wanted to go during our journey to Singapore.

245 days is a long time. Did you have to leave your day jobs?

We left our day jobs and put our studies on hold for this trip.

Alvis worked for an micro-mobility company called Tier. He was their Operations Manager in Helsinki.

I worked for Slush, the world’s leading startup event. I was the Head of Partnerships.

You’ve made many new memories along the way. What was the most unforgettable event for you?

Wow, that’s a tough one.

I’d say the most memorable morning was in Cappadocia, Turkey.

The region is famous for its hot air balloon rides that take off in the dozens each morning.

As a ride like that would have broken our budgets, we figured: “Why not hike to the top of the highest mountain instead?”

The climb was only a few hundred meters. We started at 3am in the morning.

When we reached the peak of the mountain, the sky was still lit with stars, and that was when the hot air balloon extravaganza begin.

finnish cyclists turkey Photo via Curious Pedals

In the valley below, balloons lit up like huge lanterns in the darkness.

As dawn broke, they floated up and begin to surround us, flying over our camping spot on the mountain. We listened to music as we danced and waved at the people in the tiny baskets.

It felt out of this world.

Was there a time when you guys fought or got annoyed with each other?

Anybody who spent lockdown with a roommate or significant other should be able to fathom what it is like to spend 24/7 with the same person and share a tiny tent for eight months.

Of course we would exchanged the occasional toxic comment, though it typically stemmed from one of us being unhappy by something totally unrelated to the other.

Our fights were never big. We usually resolved our shortcomings quite quickly.

Were there were some things you two discovered about each other that you wouldn’t have known without going on the trip?

Friendships grow when you share deep experiences together.

I can say that we have had a rollercoaster of eight months together. We have seen each other’s highs and lows and that has brought us even closer together.

We were roommates before so nothing significant was revealed but of course we got to see the world from the other’s point of view a bit more clearly.

On a macro level we are very similar, but we often dug into the differences between our morals and values.

What advice would you give others who wish to embark on similar adventures?

Look for excuses to bring up your upcoming adventure in conversations with people.

When you go and start telling people about it, your ego is at stake and you become more committed to it.

The barrier is lower than you might expect. You need very little experience, very little planning and you don’t need to be in fantastic shape. Just go and you will discover!

What’s next for you guys? Are you any other cycling trips in the works?

We crave more adventures for sure, but cycling has become a bit normalised for us and doesn’t provide us with the sense of challenge that we might need.

At the moment, we are kicking off the trip’s documentary production process with the 3.5TB of videos that we have.

Stay tuned!

Top images via Curious Pedals

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