Monday, October 09, 2006
Around the World by Bike
Four years. 46,000 miles. A man and his bicycle.
Over a series of years, I followed Alastair Humphreys via his newsletters as he slowly pedaled his bicycle across five continents. I first stumbled over his site when he was in Ethiopia. His comments on being constantly asked for handouts inspired me to drop him an email, to which his response was "You don't know me, but I know you!" He'd stumbled over MariesWorldTour.com while researching his own trip.
I thought I was going at ground level by taking the bus. But Alastair was really going local.
He's written a book about the Africa part of his ride. And Alastair, never one to wait around for others to get it together, decided to publish it himself as the grim realities of the publishing world hit home. I'm impressed! It took me five years to get into the bookstores. He's just skipping that bit and viewing self-publishing as a new challenge.
To top it all off, Alastair is paying a carbon tax to offset the printing and delivery carbon contributions to our world (which makes more sense than hand-delivering each copy by bicycle). And of course he produced no carbon emissions by riding his bicycle, putting my ship and bus transport idea to shame. Think you're doing well by recycling and turning off the water while you brush your teeth? This guy is serious.
Alastair's book is called Moods of Future Joys. He has sample chapters on his site, and the actual book will be available in time for the holidays.
I wonder if someone really told him this:
"oh, not another travel book:
I already read that one about the guy with his fridge..."
Another six months and they would have said they already knew about Africa; it has dik-diks.