Remote Working Whilst Bikepacking Across Europe – How One Finnish Company Got On Their Bike To Reach The Outdooractive Summer Conference in Germany
Pirjo Räsänen, Outdooractive reseller for the Finnish market, commutes 2100 kilometers by bike from Lithuania to Immenstadt in Germany for Outdooractive Summer Conference
Attending international conferences and events may be common enough, but for the Finland reseller for Outdooractive’s digital tourism platform, the usual transport options did not appeal. Instead, they chose to bikepack their way to the event in southern Bavaria, Germany – working as they traveled.
On May 7, Pirjo Rasonen, the CEO of Ellare Oy, Outdooractive’s sales partner for the Finnish market, set off by bike to arrive in Immenstadt by June 29 for the annual Outdooractive Summer Conference. In numbers the bike trip involved 5 countries, 35 days, 2100 kilometers, 3500 meters of altitude and 15 working days “on the road”.
Pirjo and Ellare Oy has helped Finnish destinations develop nature and activity tourism for over 20 years, and has particular expertise in developing bicycling tourism. The experienced bike packer took the summer conference as an opportunity to combine her passion for biking and exploring Europe, her role as Outdooractive representative in Finland, and her role as a champion of bicycling tourism and took her laptop with her in her bike bags to work from the road.
“The hardest part was finding good Internet on the road. I wrote contracts on the road but also led webinars. You do need a fast and stable Internet for that.”
True to the motto “Eat your own dogfood,” Pirjo planned the entire trip with Outdooractive. Outdooractive is Europe’s largest outdoor activity and tourism digital platform, used by millions of consumers to find their perfect adventure and trusted by thousands of tourism destinations to help them guide their guests and manage their destinations.
When planning the route for her epic trip, Pirjo primarily used premium content from destination and other ‘official’ partners that is available in the Outdooractive platform. “This way, I could always be sure that the trails were good to ride. What the community sees as a ‘good’ cycling route is sometimes also good but already very subjective. As Outdooractive is used by so many destinations, then I was able to trust completely in their ‘official’ content”.
For Pirjo, this cycling trip was a way to relax from her everyday work, to use the app she works for on a daily basis and to draw a conclusion: “The navigation function in the Outdooractive app is really the best thing when you cycle through the most diverse countries in the world. Both in the countryside and in the city.”
Alongside the stunning scenery – “I stayed in what must be the most beautiful campsite along the Danube” – what really stood out for Pirjo during her trip was the kindness and hospitality she received from the locals along her route. “The most difficult part of the trip, I think, was in Poland. There was a section of the route that was affected by recent flooding and had turned into a “mutavelli” (Finnish for mud-pit). It was difficult to cycle, I was falling down, and both my bike and I were completely mired in mud. I managed to get to a backyard and asked the residents for water. Despite the language barrier, they could see what I needed. The resident handed me their garden hose and I was able to clean myself and the bike down in their garden!”
Pirjo added, “Meeting and interacting with local people and other bike travelers was a highlight of the trip.”There is hardly a more sustainable way of traveling than by bike. Values for which Outdooractive stands and which Pirjo represents absolutely through her 35 – day bicycle journey from own muscle power.
Moreover, – since she has not yet had enough – she has just added a few more weeks and right now is cycling back home to Finland. But this return trip is a pure “recreational vacation”- the laptop remains closed.
A map of Pirjo’s epic trip can be viewed online at