The timing of this post is inspired by a man called Mark Beaumont, who in the last few days completed a Guinness World Record for cycling around the world in the fastest time ever. He cycled 18,032 miles in just 78 days, 14hrs & 40minutes, beating the previous record by over a month. To do this, each day he needed to be on his bike for 16 hours & cycle approximately 240 miles! Firstly… What?! This is absolutely beyond words incredible.
This story reminded me of other people who have cycled around the world, and how much their stories inspired me. People like one of my favourite writers, adventurers and travellers Alastair Humphries, who has written six books on the experience. At the age of 24, he started cycling through what ended up being 60 countries and 5 continents over the space of 4 years, racking up a massive 46,000 miles.
Another example is a seemingly regular guy at my old office called James Peach, who decided he wanted to cycle around the world a couple of years back, and ended up documenting the whole thing as he went along in a blog. Like the others above he raised large sums of money for charity, and completed what to most would seem an incredible and unbelievable achievement.
These are the types of stories that I love following, and the ones that I can spend the most time reading and enjoying. This is because the sense of journey and the unknown that these people experience, is the ultimate idea of travel and adventure. It invokes that feeling and romantic notion about travelling that’s so hard to put into words. That which makes the idea of embarking on an epic journey so appealing.
I’m not saying that cycling around the world is something I am planning on doing myself. Unless anything dramatic changes in my life, I don’t yet have the courage, time or ability to undertake such a feat. But I can happily sit and read these stories for hours, because often the experiences achieved by travelling across continents by bicycle are unlike any others. It’s why there are so many travel documentaries based on journeys from A to B. These people don’t get to fly in and skip the under developed or unappealing parts of a country, they have no choice but to travel right across all of it taking the rough with the smooth.
I wanted to write this post because it’s these adventures and journeys that make for the ultimate and most inspiring travel stories. Leaving everything behind with nothing but you, your bike, and whatever else you can take, using your own body to get you from A to B, not knowing where you’ll sleep, where you’ll eat, and what mental hardships you’ll endure, is in my opinion the ultimate travel challenge, adventure and journey.
What kind of travel stories’s inspire you the most?
Links to the more info on the people mentioned above are below:
Mark Beaumont – http://www.artemisworldcycle.com/
Alastair Humphries – http://www.alastairhumphreys.com/roundtheworldbybike/
James Peach – http://www.thelifecycle.org/about/