A journal of new information received at CTC

Be Inspired by Alastair Humphrey!

Alastair HumphriesIf you need some motivation to set out on a low-budget, spontaneous cycle-tour this year, then Alastair Humphreys’ three books about his epic global cycle trip are a must. At just 24 years old, Alastair left England to cycle round the world. Completely alone with just his bike, a few maps and very limited supplies, he set out on a 46 000 mile journey which would take him across 5 continents, through 60 countries and take 4 years to complete. He has recorded his journey in three books. The first, Moods Of Future Joys, focuses on the journey from England to South Africa. Initially intending to ride towards Australia, just two weeks into his trip the September 11th attacks forced him to change his route. His new course saw him pedaling through the Middle East and Africa heading for Cape Town. In his second book, Thunder And Sunshine, Alastair crosses the Atlantic in a yacht race before getting back on his bike and cycling up South America to Alaska, across to Siberia and riding home through Asia and Europe.

Alastair’s mesmerising story is guaranteed to broaden your horizons, as a review in the Guardian explains

“…if a lad from Yorkshire can overcome international terrorism, dysentery, a crushing Siberian winter and a month without showering… then there’s not really any reason why we all can’t.”

His trip was not about racing or World Records, but really just to see if it was possible to ride out on your own, without support and not very much money, and see the world from the back of your bike. Turns out the hardest part was starting out in the first place, as he records in his third book, Ten Lessons from the Road:

“Why not ride as far as it is possible to ride, to keep going until I arrived back where I began? Why not ride all the way around the planet? The idea seemed absurd….was it possible? How far was it? How long would it take? What should I take with me?…There was only one way I would ever know.”

After reading books of adventures and expeditions to the highest, furthest and more remote places on Earth, Alastair realised that all he really needed to do was to begin.

“I awkwardly wheel my heavy, cumbersome bike out of the garage, wait for Dad to ask the neighbour to take a final photo of the family, hug everyone goodbye and then I am off. As easy as that. I have crossed my first border: from being a person dreaming of his big journey to somebody who is actually on his journey”

All of Alastair’s books are available to buy from his website www.alastairhumphreys.com. His blog is a fascinating read too – details of all his expeditions (not just cycling) with some motivation to organise your own adventures, big or small, thrown in. Alastair will be giving his talk Round the World by Bike at three venues this February/March in Andover, Dunkeld and Inverness. You can find details of all these talks here http://www.speakersfromtheedge.com/theatre-tour


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