Pælesidning (danish, translates to pole sitting in english) is a competition in Denmark where contestants must sit on a pole for a given amount of time (days). In 2015 my friends Kenneth and Caspar brought this competition to my attention with a  small note that „I might be crazy enough to win this” … and the idea stuck to my mind. Yeah, it is just one of those silly crazy things that fits with my madness 😀 Since GBTE was just one year away, I saw this competition as a great way to promote my trip and the prize money would be great for the tour’s  budget.

I know of 3 pole sitting competitions that take place on different dates in august, but all of them have slightly different rules. There is one even in Odense, where I currently live, but my calendar in August was a bit crowded and I could not sign up for that. But I could try to go to the one in Mommark Marina because it was earlier in August. Also I liked the idea of the fact that there were only 4 contestants in this competition, so you shall pass an interview to get „a seat”. Long story short: I applied and was accepted! Hurra!

On Aug 4 2016 we were there: 4 people on 4 poles… Very exciting!


Well, to tell you the truth, there is a bit of a feeling like you are at the zoo 🙂 You are just sitting there and people come to see you sitting on a pole 😀 But it was very fun and everybody at the marina was so very nice. We were like a small family there 🙂

Ok, so the rules are simple: contestants must stay on the pole for 72 hours, only allowed 2 breaks of 15 minutes each, for every 24 hours. Food and water was brought to us from land, but no other exchanges were allowed. You have to bring along everything else you might need during those 72 hours. Paramedics and lifeguards are present at all time.

As I told you, I thought the competition would be a great way to advertise my geocaching bicycle tour, so, of course I made a geocaching event for the pole sitting competition! I tried to make events for every day, but it was not allowed by the reviewer since I could not be precisely on the event coordinates… 5 m away does not count…(yeah…whatever). So instead, I made one single event, and made it last through all 3 days. There was a logbook sitting in a locked ammo case on the dock, just in front of me. People came by, waved hello and logged my event 😀 It was fun!

 

 

The competition goes one for 3 nights, and boy, the nights are the worse. I mean, during the day it’s fun, people are around, things are happening, but in the night it’s just boring. I was pole on #2. During the first night the girl on pole #1  went for her break but never returned. So for the next 30 hours we were only 3 contestants left. On the second night, just when reaching the 36 hours marker, the girl that was on pole #3 also quit. She was feeling sick and struggled to hold on until this time. You see, there was a „tip jar” for visitors to leave tips for us during the time there. At the end of the show, the tips were to be shared between those participants that stayed in the contest at least for 36 hours.

 

We were only 2 left in the competition, and it was the last night! Did I tell you just how boring nights are? I had books with me to read, I had my phone and powerbanks to keep me occupied… but… During the night there was not enough light for me to read, and, I forgot to mention the most unexpected factor: mobile signal on the pole was awful! Almost no mobile data whatsoever… So you must understand that I had a hard time finding things to do to keep me awake…. I have no idea how it happened, but I fell asleep for a second and splash! I found myself in the water!

Actually, I woke up as I was falling and, although I don’t know how to swim… my only thought was „Shit, I lost the competition!

So, yes, I lost my chance to the 20.000 DKK prize (or at least half of that if both of us finished). It would have been such a nice input to my trip’s budget. But it just wasn’t gonna be!

Although I lost, the whole experience of the contest was awesome. Everybody at the marina was nice and kind and very supportive. Almost everybody said things like „oh, I was sure you were going to win„ … Yes, so was I 🙁

You must imagine I was pretty upset (quite clear in the picture), but that’s life…. I really enjoyed the time there, and all the support I had on social media and all my friends cheering for me… it was quite humbling.

Once again I must say a big Thank You!

Thank you all for being there for me, even for a short moment through a single ”like” on a picture. I know, most likely GBTE will not get the same kind of intense social media reactions, because it’s such a long event (unlike a 3 day contest), but I can still hope, right? I still am optimistic that you will be by my side during my bicycle tour through Europe. This is not a competition, but I need your support even more than last summer. So don’t forget to follow my trip, like the facebook page and drop a like on my posts, if you see something you like.

As for the contest… I may have lost, but I gained wonderful memories… and 1000 DKK (my share from the tips)… Good start for the GBTE piggy bank. 🙂