I’m now back home in the UK. As promised, here is one final update to give a summary of the whole trip.
The Trip in Numbers:
- Total Distance: 20,752 miles (33,397km)
- Started: 3rd May 2015, San Francisco
- Finished: 21st January 2016, Christchurch
- Number of Countries: 19
- Number of Continents: 4
- Max Distance Covered in One Day: 152 miles (245km)
- Average Daily Distance (on full days of cycling): 103 miles (166km)
- Max Altitude: 3309m (10857 ft), Wolf Creek Pass, Colorado
- Max Temperature: 46C (115 F), Port Augusta, Australia
- Max Volume of Fluids Consumed in One Day: 18 litres (32 pints)
There have been so many stories from the last 9 months. Many of them haven’t made the blog due to space.
I’ve cycled in nearly every type of weather you could imagine: from snow in Colorado:
…to torrential rain in China:
… and the heat of the Australian summer:
I’ve seen some amazing landscapes: the Gobi Desert in China:
…and the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley in the USA:
….the steppe of Kazakhstan:
….and beautiful coastline in New Zealand:
I’ve slept in some interesting places: whether it was in a ditch in Kazakhstan:
…or in a PortaKabin in China:
…or camping in the Australian outback:
I’ve also cycled on some varied roads: whether it was the amazing bridges and roads in China:
….dirt roads in Cambodia:
….or dicing with death on the roads in Russia:
I’ve also had the occasional mechanical: mostly just punctures (I would guess I had about 15 punctures across the whole trip):
…but also the occasional broken spoke:
…and, most seriously of all, a rear hub that fell apart (which happened in Siberia):
I’ve had a few encounters with the police (mainly in China): there was the time they insisted on escorting me off a road that I (technically) wasn’t meant to be cycling on:
…. or the time that four officers jumped out of a police car to quiz me on what I was doing in their town:
There have also been a few encounters of the animal kind: mostly just animals seen at the side of the road, including snakes, monkeys and kangaroos:
….but I also got chased by dogs on multiple occasions in Kentucky:
…. and I also had an animal stomping around outside my tent when I was camping in the States (I’m still not sure what that animal was). And there were also the stories of wolves that I heard when I was cycling through Kazakhstan, although thankfully I never saw any of them.
Above all, I met some great people on the trip. I was amazed at how welcoming people were to a complete stranger. In the America, people assumed that I was down to my last cent, given that I was travelling by bike. I was invited to stay at a stranger’s house when I had only spoken to them for two minutes:
I even got invited to a graduation party when I happened to be staying in a small town in rural Colorado:
In West Virginia, I got offered food by the Salvation Army (which I couldn’t accept -perhaps my beard was particularly scraggly at that point). In Kazakhstan, I was invited to stay with people that I had only been talking to for a minute. And lots of friends of friends invited me to stay, even though I looked like a drowned rat when I turned up on their doorstep. I also met lots of people through Warm Showers and really appreciated the hospitality.
I’m now back home in the UK. Although I do miss being on the road, it has been good to have a break from cycling. I’m also enjoying some of the things that I missed on the road: whether that is meeting up with friends or more mundane things like having a washing machine and having more than one pair of underpants in my possession.
Finally, if anyone reading this is thinking of doing a similar trip, I’d really encourage you to go. I had an amazing time and am really thankful for the opportunity to take some time off and to go exploring for a while (and thankful to have made it back home safely). The experience you get from travelling by bike really is unlike any other.