The Tours: An Overview
It all started with a simple, ridiculous declaration: “I want to ride my bicycle around the world!” Those words set in motion a eight-year series of bicycle tours beginning in Lisbon, Portugal, on June 4th, 2015. That first summer, I rode across Portugal, Spain, and a sliver of Morocco before turning north, back into Spain, through France, and ending in Geneva, Switzerland. After a short vacation with my wife, Kendra, I returned to France and onward to London, where I caught a flight home.
The following summer, I returned to Geneva and rode across northern Italy to the Balkans, crossing Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey, and most of Georgia. I flew home from Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi.
In 2017, I flew back to Tbilisi and made my way to Baku, Azerbaijan. I took a short flight across the Caspian Sea to Atyrau, Kazakhstan, where I unboxed my bike and proceeded to ride across all of Kazakhstan and two-thirds of China, finishing in the city of Xi’an after cycling over 4400 miles in thirty-nine days. I went back to Xi’an in 2018 and continued to Shanghai and the East China Sea. My book, Lisbon to Shanghai in Four Summers, details my ride across Europe and Asia, as well as the intervening years of my real life in Colorado. For more details, click here: The Book.
Of course, the journey didn’t end in Shanghai. In 2019, after a delayed start due to family issues in Michigan, I rode from Perth to Sydney, Australia. By the end of that 2400-mile trek, it seemed my ambition to ride his bicycle around the world wasn’t so ridiculous after all.
And then 2020 happened. I was scheduled to ride from Anchorage to Fort Collins that summer, but the U.S.-Canadian border shut down, along with everything else. With every state and county on lockdown across the Pacific coast, I had to rethink my plans. I rented a car, loaded my bicycle, and drove to Moline, Illinois. After returning the rental car, I crossed the Mississippi River, on the Centennial Bridge, heading west in the hopes that something on the Pacific coast would ease restrictions. In mid-June, Sonoma County opened its doors to tourists.
After pedaling across the Great Plains, I pushed my bicycle over the Rocky Mountains, down Nevada’s Highway 50, dubbed the “Loneliest Highway in America,” before ascending and descending the Sierra Nevada Mountains. I dipped my toes into the Pacific Ocean at Bodega Bay, California, on June 26th, 2020, having ridden the wrong direction all summer, a fitting tribute to 2020.
The following year, the journey began in Davenport, Iowa, where I again crossed the Mississippi River on the Centennial Bridge, this time on my way to the Atlantic Ocean. After a short detour to visit family and friends in Michigan and Ohio, I ended in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, the closest I could get to Lisbon given border closures between the United States and Canada.
On December 22nd, 2022, I flew to Buenos Aires, Argentina, to fulfil a longtime ambition to ride across Argentina and Chile. I had to do the ride over the winter holidays because of the Andes mountain range, which were passable by road bike only during South America's summer months. I reached the Pacific Ocean on New Year's Day 2023, and then rode inland to Santiago, where I found yet another bicycle box and flew home.
That summer, after returning home from a long-awaited trip to Scotland with Kendra, I pedaled from my driveway north, to Calgary, Canada, with a flicker of hope that the following year I might fulfill my ambitions to make it to Anchorage. Time will tell...