When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race.
— H.G. Wells
The bicycle is the perfect transducer to match man’s metabolic energy to the impedance of locomotion. Equipped with this tool, man outstrips the efficiency of not only all machines but all other animals as well.
— Ivan Illich
Although I have a range of personal reasons and objectives for undertaking this journey, there is also a broader environmental purpose to riding a bicycle around the world. As we face the formidable problems of environmental degradation and global warming, my hope is that this journey can be an example of the human powered vehicle as a viable alternative transport with unparalleled benefits.
More efficient than any other method of transportation, including walking, cycling allows us to move with greater speed without consuming significant amounts of space, energy, or time. Unlike automobiles, which require fossil fuel, my transport is fuelled by food — a renewable energy resource.
The social and environmental benefits of cycling is significant. From contributing to the reduction of urban congestion, traffic accidents, noise and air pollution, to a means of poverty alleviation, job creation, education, sustainable development, and environmental protection in impoverished countries.
Then there are the physical benefits:
‘The World Health Organization has estimated that 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity, such as walking and cycling, throughout a week shows positive health effects in terms of morbidity and mortality. 30 minutes of walking or cycling per day could reduce coronary heart and cardiovascular diseases by 20-30%, colon cancer by 30% and overall premature mortality by almost one third. Walking and cycling can also be an enjoyable way to do shopping, go to work and to spend leisure time, contributing to lower levels of stress and better quality of urban life.’ UNECE
This journey, besides all else, is a mission to celebrate and embrace sustainable transportation and to encourage others to do the same. To show that you don’t need to be any more athletic to cycle across continents than to ride to work or the supermarket. My journey uses no fuel (other than calories) and emits no greenhouse gasses. I hope that my example will inspire others to think more seriously about sustainable living.