Born in Denmark, Johnny Stausholm (60) now calls the stunning town of Aalgaard in Norway home.
Johnny has had a unique journey to becoming a cyclist, using riding a bike to help him manage pain after a serious car accident in 2001 left him with chronic pain.
He went on to conquer a 3400km bike packing trip and also lined up for the hardest race in the world, the Race Across America.
Find out more about this amazing individual behind the camera and why he now lives by the motto “Never Give Up – Keep On Rolling”…
Tell us about your recent ride collection.
Several of the routes I filmed in Norway are parts of “Brevet routes” (200, 300, 400 and 600 km routes) that I have cycled over the last 11 years. The majority of these trips enchant me because of the beautiful surroundings, so I am often out cycling on parts of these long Brevets.
Some of the routes are demanding, while others are relatively easy. What they all have in common is that they take place in beautiful surroundings that make you want to cycle the route more than just once.
My hope is therefore that FulGaz members who cycle these routes are also left with the feeling of a good experience, despite the fact that it is virtual. Maybe someone will even come here to Norway to ride them live? Then they should be more than happy to contact me and I will join them and show them further fantastic routes and surroundings.
What’s your cycling goal?
My biggest wish is to be able to find both sponsors and team members to be able to participate once again in the Race Across America and this time succeed in riding the entire route from Oceanside in California in the west to Annapolis in Maryland in the east.
How did you start filming rides for FulGaz?
On FulGaz’s website, I saw that you could submit films from your own trips. I really wanted to share my cycling experiences with other riders so bought myself a GoPro10 camera.
In 2024, I hope to have the opportunity to go to Jotunheimen in Norway and film the wonderful routes there with high mountains, valleys and deep fjords.
How did you become a keen cyclist?
In 2001, I was involved in a traffic accident that gave me significant neck injuries, so I had to drop out of working life where I worked as an engineer.
I lived for several years with very, very strong painkillers. In 2008, I borrowed my youngest son’s bike, a completely normal bike that was a little too small for me, and cycled around a small lake here in Aalgaard, a trip of approximately 14 km.
I had to bring my pain meds with me on the rides and felt pretty wrecked afterwards. In 2009, I managed on my own to cut out the regular strong medication through cycling and I bought a cheap cyclo-cross, to start participating in races. I was still living with chronic pain, however, I managed to master it by focusing on the moment, the beautiful surroundings, sounds and smells as a way to challenge and develop myself both as a person and a cyclist.
9 years later, in 2017, after many operations and still living with chronic pain, I stood at the starting line as a solo participant in what many call the world’s hardest bicycle race: Race Across America!
In the last couple of years, I have given lectures about my experiences as an injured person and as a cyclist with a focus on coping.
My motto is “Never Give Up – Keep On Rolling”. This applies both on the bike and in life.
Favourite cycling memory?
I have two favourite cycling memories. In 2012 I rode from Aalgaard in Norway to Peja in Kosovo with my friend Ibrahim Shabi. We rode to Peja to visit his family.
We rode through Norway, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia (again), Montenegro, Albania and Kosovo, the entire trip was just over 3400 km in 24 days of which 21 days were on the bike.
My other favourite memory was from 2017 when I participated in Race Across America with starting number #576.
Me and the team, unfortunately, only made it a few kilometres past the checkpoint in Tuba City. It was not due to my ailments after the traffic accident, but problems with my stomach that arose only a few hours after the start. I had big problems getting food in and I often threw up. I only covered approximately 1100 km in just over 2.5 days, so the distance was significantly hampered by my stomach problems.