Accepted Paper:

Bicycle travel as means for facing the elements in the inhospitable North  

Author:

Karri Kiiskinen (University of Turku)

Paper short abstract:

This paper deals with cycling as means for slow travel in inhospitable lands. Cycling is an embodied and multi-sensuous practice of travel with potential for revealing the inevitable border effects of states, culture(s) and culture/nature.

Paper long abstract:

This paper discusses cycling as a form of multi-sensuous slow travel. It is argued that the practices of cycling activate and give meaning to the lives of the mobile people especially when it comes to facing the human and natural environments which are not seen as common terrains for cyclists, or, are defined as suitable for certain kinds of cyclists. Cycling in itself is a diverse phenomenon affected by disciplining. We can ask how do the practices of cycling connect with ideas of modern border crossings and travel. Two cycling travelers could be observed cycling along borders of the Finnish North in 2015. The marathon cyclists who followed the Finnish-Swedish border for hundreds of kilometers without problems in crossing borders, and the asylum seekers using bicycles for crossing the external EU borders until it was made illegal. Cycling is here a strategy for border crossings but it can also be seen as a local heritage of borders. The materials for this paper consist of auto-ethnographic materials of cycling in the Finnish North and the media representations of cycling asylum seekers. It is asked how the human-bicycle relationship has potential to change people going through, not only passages in life, but territory, culture(s), states and nature. As a form of slow travel cycling here means also journeys to the self, also in the form of revealing the naturalized borders between nations, states and nature/culture.

Panel P069
Slow travelling: a precious heritage or a sustainable strategy for future mobilities? [ANTHROMOB & IUAES-Tourism]