Frequently Asked Questions
This might answer some of your questions about my cycling journey around the world…
Why? Why are you cycling around the world?
Travelling large distances overland on a bicycle is a very intense and amazing way of travelling: You get to see the whole span of our planet in a slow speed, you get very much out of all the beaten tourist areas, there is a lot of interaction with the local people, you experience all the fantastic nature and the amazing scenery on our beautiful planet. And as you bike, the landscape becomes part of you: Riding through the terrain makes you remember all the ups and downs. Literally.
What kinda bicycle you got?
My bicycle is a specifically made touring-bicycle, designed for the heavy baggage-load and poor road-conditions you’ll inevitably encounter around the world. It is basically a non-suspended bicycle, with a strong frame and strong rims, equipped with the necessary racks for mounting my gear, 3 x 9 speeds for all inclines, an upright seating position (you wanna look at the world!) and a leather saddle that takes shape after your butt (after 5000km, that is…)
How long do you bike? And how long time does it take?
A normal day of cycling is around 120 km with 20 km/h, depending on the wind, mountains, the road and my motivation. I bike roughly around 60% of the days, and the other 40% of the days are reserved for resting and seeing the regions, cities and nature that we ride through. The total journey is expected to take 4 years.
Where do you sleep?
When I am ”on the road”, I sleep in the wilderness, by simply putting up a tent. In isolated areas (i.e. deserts, mountains) it is easy to find a spot to camp for the night whereas more populated areas (farmlands or cities) might require a permission from a local farmer or landowner. The reason for camping is both economically and nature-inspired: It is free and you get to sleep and wake up in many beautiful, quiet, serene surroundings. When I stop in larger cities, I stay at cheap hostels/hotels or maybe with local people that will invite you in or whom you can contact through online travel communities.
You must be a great athlete!
Actually not. The idea of cycling around the world is not a record-attempt or a mere physical challenge. It is an adventure and a deep insight into world cultures and nature. That said, you will automatically get fit when you spend 6-8 hours on a bicycle, day after day.
Guess my legs, lungs and heart are very, very fit and I have only been sick 3 x 1 day in more than 2 years on the road (eating all sorts of local street food and going days on end without a shower)
But… cycling around this dangerous planet, you are not afraid?
The biggest danger of cycling around the world is traffic, as I spend many many hours on the road, sometimes with heavy traffic. Other than that, the ”dangers of the world” are highly exaggerated, in my opinion. Media often portrays a picture of an outrageous world full of hatred, war and catastrophes. Once you are in these ”dangerous” regions the people turn out to be friendly and helpful, with little interest in foolish international politics and inter-racial hate. They are more focused on getting to know you and asking you questions about your world and culture. Animals can pose some danger, but mainly the smaller ones: scorpions, spiders, snakes. Larger mammals will often leave you alone and you actually have to be lucky to see any. And oh yeah: Farm dogs are quite a nuisance. Stray dogs are fine, they will not attack you. But farm dogs are trained to guard and love to chase cyclists, some get quite aggressive.
What are you leaving behind?
Most things. Home, job, friends, family and most of my belongings. There are some sacrifices to be made when you depart on a 4 year around-the-world cycling journey. But the freedom of having yourself, your bike and the world in front of you, with no boss and no strict plan is worth it all.
4 years, no job. How do you finance this stunt?
I have never really owned any assets: No apartment, no car, always living in rented rooms in Copenhagen when I wasn’t out-of-the.country. After finishing my masters degree in engineering, I was stationed abroad for work in Holland, Germany and UK, constructing offshore wind farms, which paid well. With no mortgage to pay, it was easy to save up money.
But life on the road is also very cheap: I pass through many undeveloped countries, I sleep in my tent and eat local food. It is a very simple life that doesn’t require a fortune.
What you are doing is extreme, are you aiming for The Guinness World Records?
No, it is not extreme. Riding a bicycle around the world has been done by many other people before me. My cycle journey around-the-world is a journey into the Earths culture and nature, and not any sort of record attempt. These days, making the Guinness World Records you seriously need to do something out-of-this-world, as most things have been done. Try walking around the moon, maybe. But seriously, who cares?
But you cannot really bike around the world, what about the oceans!?
Absolute correct, you cannot ride a bicycle around the world, as The Atlantic and The Pacific Oceans are in the way. Actually, I am riding ”around, up and down throughout the world across the 6 continents”. I’ve answered this question so many times, so I summed up a little discussion on the subject.