Milena Podolšak
Milena Podolšak with her bike at Gripsholms slott, Mariefred. Photo: Private

There are several reasons behind the initiative.
“I have started cycling on country roads in groups and feel that this is the best way to discover what it is like to cycle longer distances. Then I miss a meeting place for employees at the university in addition to my own department, and I would like to meet people from other faculties. I also think that informal meeting places need to be created from below, with the help of different activities and people,” she says.
It was in the university’s newsletter for employees that Milena Podolšak read about the voluntary activities that have been arranged by and for employees at the university during the pandemic and it gave her the idea to be able to contribute herself.

A great way to exchange experiences

“Bicycle excursions can be so much more than socializing and physical activity. They are especially aimed at our international colleagues, who also include me, I come from Serbia. Cycling is a great way to get to know Stockholm, meet new acquaintances and hopefully new friends, exchange experiences and get tips and advice on different things.”
Where will the cycle excursions go?
“The idea is to run two types of excursions, one a little easier and one a little harder. The easier ones mean a bit slower pace so that everyone, regardless of experience or equipment, can participate. These excursions will also function as guided tours in Stockholm. The distance is a maximum of 25 km, with several breaks and the opportunity to change plans if the participants feel tired or want to stop at a nice coffee place.”
“The longer and slightly tougher trips are for those employees who have already cycled longer distances or feel ready to start doing so. Some destinations that I plan are, for example, Tyresö, Nynäshamn and Sigtuna, and from some places we take the commuter train back.”
How accustomed should you be to cycling to be able to keep up?
“For the shorter distances, you need to be able to cycle 15–25 km. Because we cycle at a slower pace, it means that you do not need to be fit. If you can cycle further than to your local grocery store, you can keep up. These excursions take a maximum of four hours, with two long breaks and of course we can slow down if it becomes difficult for someone. The important thing is to cycle as a group. How fast you arrive is completely irrelevant.”

Good to have a comfortable bike

“When it comes to the longer and tougher distances, it is probably easier than it sounds. I myself am not a well-trained cyclist and I’m also getting back in shape after a few years break. Anyone who can cycle 20 km can also cycle 40 and maybe even 60 km, if they make sure to find the right pace and take proper breaks. But when it comes to longer cycling, you also need to think about the equipment. The bike should be comfortable and it is good to have cycling pants with padding. Another important thing when cycling outside the inner city is to be able to change or repair tires if there is a puncture. There I can help out, of course.”
What do you hope the cycle excursions can lead to?
“Newly discovered leisure activity and lots of laughter!”

The excursions takes place on Saturdays with start on 18 September. Read more, “Autumn cykling for staff at SU”:

For more information contact Milena Podolšak at:

Read the article about employees who arrange fitness activities for colleagues (Swedish): ”Vill du yoga, träna, promenera – här finns entusiasterna att ta rygg på”.