So now as you read this it means I have completed my trip and safely made it home!
I will pick up where I left off but with a few excuses to start.
I had 1000 miles to go and 3 weeks to complete it, now feeling stronger than ever this didn’t feel like a hard task and I considered speeding up to get to New York early. However, I remember my friend Barry telling me he did this during his trip across America a long time ago and that it was a bad idea. It would be better for morale to continue as intended and go slowly.
In my head I was ready to finish, it felt like I have been waiting forever to get there and this was the final push. The motivation to cycle the distance was there but the enthusiasm to take in my surroundings subsided somewhat and I spent many days without taking a single photo. So I apologise in advance for the lack of imagery and detail in this post.
This is the route I took from St Louis to New York:
After a couple of nights wild camping I arrived at another big city, Indianapolis. It was here I had a warmshowers host for 2 nights.
After Indianapolis I cycled through the city if Columbus and towards Pittsburgh.
Before reaching Pittsburgh I was made aware of another cycling trail called the GAPCO, 2 trails linked as one to make the longest in the United states. The first is called The Great Allegheny Passage and the second Chesapeake and Ohio canal trail. After cycling on busy roads it was fantastic to be back on a path for 4 days.
A reminder of the upcoming election in a residents front garden.
Hitting the 15000 mile marker!
A still operating drive-in theatre …
The start of the GAP section of the trail
Stumbling across the wildlife, luckily I never encountered snakes when camping!
I was really impressed with the construction and effort put in for cyclists during this section of the ride, huge pedestrian bridges stretching hundreds of meters over highways made for pleasurable riding.
A long tunnel to cycle through, I love its name. BIG SAVAGE!
Then I joined up with the ‘CO’ section of the trail. The paths became smaller but much more exciting to ride.
The entire trail is from Pittsburgh to Washington and is some 500 miles long. I only did about 200 of those but was very pleased that during my ride across the country I got to sample the 2 longest bike paths it has.
Turning off in a north-easterly direction it was then almost a dead straight line to New York. I took busy dual carriage ways and a very uninspiring route, however it was fast and efficient so I was happy with that.
The first sign to New York!!
Before I knew it I was in Jersey city and only few miles from the finish. It wasn’t an overwhelming feeling but more that of relief. I had made it around the world without a single fall or accident.
One World trade tower, the pier was the finish line.
Mission complete!! New York in the background.
This actually wasn’t quite the end. I had a week left before my flight and I had a place to stay in Brooklyn another 10 miles of cycling away through the city.
Riding over the Manhattan bridge
I hit 16,000 miles at the end of the bridge. On my last day of cycling. Fantastic!!
My luck didn’t end here.
After I posted my last blog entry in St Louis, a subscriber of this blog by the name of Mimi contacted me offering me a place to stay. I remember she had posted this offer in the comments section of a post on the very first day I started this entire trip on 1st April 2015.
Incredibly Mimi quite literally gave me her entire apartment in Brooklyn whilst she moved out for a while, leaving me to do as I please. Upon arriving I couldn’t quite believe it. Hotels in this area are upwards of $100 dollars a night and I was here free of charge for an entire week until my flight. Unfortunately we never got to meet as she fell ill during my time here but I would like to thank her again for the unbelievable generosity. It was the perfect end to an incredible country.
I then had time to explore the tourist sites.
Flat iron building
Ground Zero memorial
River Hudson cruise
Statue of Liberty
Empire state building
One World trade building
New York was very expensive so I limited my time exploring to a couple of days. On my final night I went to a Flight of the Conchords concert which happened to be nearby. A treat to myself as a well done for finishing.
Packed bike and luggage for the final time.
Last beer before the flight home……
… the flight and train home took a further 9 hours and I pedaled from the train station the last remaining few miles home.
The final few metres ….
Hugging mum ..
.. brother …
Back with the parents at last!
So that is it! Finished …. my trip dreamed up in late 2009, set off in early 2015, completed mid 2016.
Below are some statistics, thank you’s and special mentions of people I rode with and where they are now.
You may like to know that since returning I have met up with all my old friends and work colleagues over several weekends and drinks. It is fantastic to be back and I have no regrets about my journey at all.
I have managed to find a new job as a nurse in a hospital back where I used to live near the beach and will start work within the next few weeks.
Firstly a huge thank you to everyone who subscribed and have read this blog, secondly to every single host from warmshowers and couchsurfing whose generosity was overwhelming and kind and made the journey so much more enjoyable. I hope I can return the favour in the future.
Total distance cycled: 16,010 miles / 25,765km
Countries visited: 23
Continents cycled: 4 (Europe, Asia, Australia, North America)
Punctures: 10 (4 Tajikistan, 1 Australia, 1 New Zealand, 4 USA)
Tyres replaced: 2 (Kazakstan, after 5000 miles and fed of carrying spares)
Chains replaced: 1 (Singapore, after 8000 miles)
Sickness: 2 (A kebab is Turkey / all of Tajikistan)
Injuries: 1 (week 1, left knee)
Fastest speed: 50.5mph / 81.3kph (Australia)
Lowest average speed for an entire days ride: 2.5mph / 4kph (Kyrgyzstan – 30 miles total)
Highest average speed for an entire days ride: 16.5mph / 26.5kph (USA)
Longest distance cycled in a day: 105 mikes / 170km (Thailand)
Favourite country: Uzbekistan
Best experiences: Pamir highway, Tajikistan
Favourite Scenery: Kyrgyzstan
Favourite cycling: Turkey & Australia
Most generous people: USA
Favourite food: Thailand / Malaysia
Would I cycle around the world again: No, but I would do another long distance tour in the future up to 6 months maximum.
What next?: For the next few years I am going to enjoy the UK and do smaller holidays on my motorbike. Eventually in the future I will connect the dots and cycle from Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan across china, Vietnam and Cambodia to Bangkok in Thailand. I would like to do this within the next 10 years I think.
Ross Mantle, who I cycled with across Europe. Since we parted ways in Istanbul Turkey, Ross has continued to cycle more massive distances. He did a trip around in northern Europe through France, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark into Sweden and Norway and back again. He then flew to Florida, USA and cycled its length to the Keys in the south and back up. Then he flew to Sicily and cycled back up through Italy over the alps into France and back home to Jersey. Most recently he has cycled the length of the UK from bottom to top. Seriously impressive for a 65-year-old gentleman. Proof that you’re never too old! An inspiration.
Endi, who Ross and I met in Austria but cycled with from Romania to Istanbul. Since we parted ways he went home and worked for a while. He then set off on a another journey from his home in northern spain to Singapore. At break neck speed he crossed Europe again, into iran and central asia and across China. He is now somewhere in eastern China and I’m eagerly awaiting his next Facebook update.
Barry Warner, my main cycling buddy/pal/partner for the trip. We arranged to cycle together from Istanbul to China together. It pretty much went all to plan and I had the greatest time cycling through central asia with him. Memories I will never forget. We parted ways in Bangkok but managed to meet a further 3 times on our way down to Singapore. Barry managed to reach his goal of visiting New Zealand and also had a long stop over in Australia before going home in April earlier this year. This is however not the end of Barry’s adventures. Now back at work he is saving to cycle next year and travel from Alaska down through north and central america all the way to Argentina. A truly monumental journey.
Kyla & Didier who Barry and I met in central Uzbekistan and cycled through the deserts with towards Tajikistan. I’ll never forget that sandstorm we got caught in, one the most memorable experiences I had. Kyla and Didier cycled across the Pamir highway and up to Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan before flying to India and cycling into Nepal/Tibet, Myanmar/Burma and into Thailand. Then they flew to Argentina and planned to cycle north. Kyla had work commitments but Didier is still on the road in Peru I believe smashing out the miles in breathtaking scenery.
Sarah and Scott, we met in Istanbul, Turkey but actually cycled together in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Encountering some of the most brutal and beautiful scenery and terrain of the entire trip. Sarah and Scott were brave enough to enter China in the winter when Barry and I flew to Thailand. They quickly made their way to Chengdu where they stopped and got jobs as teachers to save for the next part of their world trip. They write a fantastic and interesting blog
They regularly update this even now that they have stopped and will be picking up again when they start cycling towards south-east asia at the end of this year. I highly recommend subscribing to this or visiting their Facebook page. A massive thank you to them for making the Central Asian experience so enjoyable. Thank you also for arranging for me to stay with your families in Australia. I had a fantastic time with them!
Bertrand, my French brother who I got the pleasure of cycling with in Kyrgyzstan. He also entered China and then continued on to Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia before finishing his trip in Kuala Lumpur having started all the way in France. Betrand was a whizz on his laptop and created many incredible videos using his gopro camera. His website and videos can be found at
Phil, who I cycled the length of New Zealand with. Phil continued onto Australia for a further 2 weeks before flying home to England. Having caught the touring bug he has continued cycling around the UK. First he did a tour of the south England. He was even hosted by my parents for 2 nights. He is now currently doing a charity cycle ride around 18 Ryder Cup golf courses in England and Scotland.
You can see what he is up to here: http://www.puttandpedal2016.blogspot.co.uk/
I hope in the future we can tour again as we travelled well together.
and finally ..
Bradley and Vannessa, who I cycled with across Australia with. Without them both my trip across the continent would never had been as good as it was. Australia is a harsh landscape to cross. But the humour and fantastic company they both provided made it such an incredible experience and for that I feel extremely lucky to have met them. Vanessa returned to the fruit farm where she met Bradley. She continues to work there as she tries to find a Australian husband to extend her Visa! Bradley returned home to England after a few weeks from us separating. He has found a job teaching in China and starts any time soon. I wish him all the best out there.
Other mentions go to Sam and Vito who we cycled with for 2 days in Kazakstan, they both cycled through Uzbekistan in Kyrgyzstan and China all the way to their finish of Hong Kong.
There were also a large handful of other riders who I got to cycle with, sometimes for a couple of hours or a whole day. My thanks to all of you too!
I thought I may get post travelling blues but a month after arriving home I am yet to feel them. I am delighted to be back and feel the possibilities for travel in the future are limitless. This may be the longest trip I ever do but there is plenty more adventures to be had in the pipeline.
A final thank you to you all for reading my blog. It means a lot to me when people say they have enjoyed it.
I bid you all farewell and wish you all the best in the future.
Great stuff, awesome blog. One to treasure. And for sure the dots will be connected…..
This is just amazing! i hope we can meet, either on a bike or sipping a beer – Too bad we couldn’t meet but i am happy my place was yours for a week. Come back any time.
Loved reading your adventures Rich, looking forward to a catch up soon! Lots of Love, Mike & Cathy
Just finished reading your journal, Richard! Awesome!