When I originally set out on this journey from the Eiffel Tower in Paris, way back in July 2013, I did so with a list of seven targets. These challenges were intended to help structure my journey, to give me a framework so that I stuck to my task. Here are those seven targets, along with my current progress towards achieving them:
Challenge 1: Circumnavigate the planet. COMPLETED
This challenge has been successfully completed! I made it all of the way around when I returned to Europe in the summer of 2016. Since then I’ve been going around again, and hopefully by the time I return to Paris in the summer of 2020 I will have made two full circumnavigations!
Challenge 2: Do so using only my bicycle (or perhaps bicycles) overland and boats on water (No planes, no buses, no trains, no cars). COMPLETED
This task has also now been completed! I had to restart the attempt in Mori, Western China in October 2014. On 8th February 2018 we returned to Mori, completing a continuous circumnavigation entirely by bicycle and boats!
Challenge 3: Pass through antipodal points. COMPLETED
In December 2019 I cycled a switchback in the Peruvian Andes that was exactly on the opposite side of the world from a road I pedalled on through the Cambodian countryside way back in 2015. The coordinates of the two are: 13.64682, 106.90624 and -13.64682, -73.09376.
Challenge 4: Visit all the inhabited continents.
Europe, Asia, Australia, North and South America have all been well and truly visited and thoroughly cycled through. A proper ride through Africa is not going to happen on this trip, there just isn’t time, but I might well pop over to Morocco to tag the final continent and call it good. We hope to return to our bikes to ride through Africa properly one day in the future. Antarctica is, and always has been, extremely unikely.
Challenge 5: Cycle at least 100,000 kilometres. COMPLETED
On the 8th of December 2019 I cycled the 100,000th kilometre of my journey on an Andean descent west of Cusco, Peru.
Challenge 6: Cycle in 100 countries (UN member states).
This is the one challenge that isn’t going to happen, but I’ll be pretty close, hopefully at least 80 by the end. It might seem like it would be easy to find another 20 countries, but with almost all of Europe ticked off already, it isn’t. Actually the simplest way would require a pretty extensive trip through Africa, something which we’d like to do one day, but not on this trip. You can’t win them all.
1. France. 2. Belgium. 3. Luxembourg. 4. Germany. 5. Netherlands. 6. Denmark. 7. Sweden. 8. Norway. 9. Finland. 10. Russia. 11. Estonia. 12. Latvia. 13. Lithuania. 14. Poland. 15. Belarus.16. Czech Republic. 17. Austria. 18. Liechtenstein. 19. Switzerland. 20. Slovakia. 21. Hungary. 22. Ukraine. 23. Moldova. 24. Romania. 25. Bulgaria. 26. Turkey. 27. Georgia. 28. Azerbaijan. 29. Armenia. 30. Iran. 31. Turkmenistan. 32. Uzbekistan. 33. Tajikistan. 34. Kyrgyzstan. 35. Kazakhstan. 36. Mongolia. 37. China. 38. Laos. 39. Thailand. 40. Vietnam. 41. Cambodia. 42. Malaysia. 43. Singapore. 44. Indonesia. 45. Australia. 46. Vanuatu. 47. Fiji. 48. United States of America. 49. Canada. 50. United Kingdom. 51. Ireland. 52. Italy. 53. San Marino. 54. Slovenia. 55. Croatia. 56. Bosnia and Herzegovnia. 57. Montenegro. 58. Albania. 59. Macedonia. 60. Serbia. 61. Greece. 62. South Korea. 63. Japan. 64. Mexico. 65. Guatemala. 66. Belize. 67. El Salvador. 68. Honduras. 69. Nicaragua. 70. Costa Rica. 71. Panama. 72. Colombia. 73. Ecuador. 74. Peru. 75. Bolivia. 76. Chile.
Challenge 7: Return with more money than I start with.
Well, I don’t want to give away the exact details of my bank balance, but thanks to relatively good sales of No Wrong Turns and Into the Sunrise I’ve got a chance.
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