When I started planning a world bike ride, deciding upon the actual route was probably the most daunting task, as I effectively have to say no to more amazing places than I actually chose.
My starting point in the planning process was to look at other peoples’ journeys to try to work out the amount of distance that I could realistically cover in 12 months. Having looked at other peoples’ adventures, it seemed that there are two differing schools of thought when it comes to deciding on a route – the ‘purists’ whose aim is to cover the whole world, visiting as many countries as possible or the ‘cherry pickers’ who are more concerned with accessing ‘destination’ rides and may use alternative transport methods to get to the start of each route.
As the world is such a huge space, and my time was limited, I was of the mind to just ‘cherry pick’ 5 or 6 amazing destination rides. After a lot of thought as to the reasons why I was undertaking this ride, I decided that with this approach I would miss out on what I call the ‘monotonous days’ aspect of any long cycle. I am not a masochist, but days when there is not really anything to see and the scenery is best described as uninspiring are, I think, integral parts of any long distance cycle. These days, for me, are what cycling was about as they added to the anticipation and enjoyment when I finally arrived at the place that I had sometimes cycled for the last 10 days to reach.
With this in mind, I decided that each continent that I covered would where possible be solely by pedal power. Though as I wrote this I needed to remind myself that there was often a huge difference between the romantic notions of the cycle that existed in my head and the reality on the ground as another juggernaut flew past leaving me cursing in its wake, or when I was in Malaysia cycling past millions of Palm Oil trees for the 9th day in a row.
I prefered to keep with the romantic notions and so with this decision made it was time to look at a cycle route that I could cover in the time frame that I had available. I decided that I wanted to enjoy my cycle and not just to race through each country in pursuit of covering as much of the world as possible in the 12 months that I had. I set myself a schedule of covering between 100 and 120 km per day with 3 days in the saddle and then having 1 day off to really see and enjoy the places that I was travelling through.
This schedule gave me enough flexibility to be able to stop when needed but to keep moving forwards at a good pace. This schedule meant that I had the potential to cover around 25,000 km but at the outset I thought that the reality would be somewhere nearer to 15,000km given that I planned to get off the bike now and again to really enjoy the places that I was cycling through. The thought of cycling 15,000km seemed to me to be a very, very long way but all the adventures that I had along the way are what inspireed me to set out on this journey.
The map below is a final route that I took as I left my wife behind and set out from my home in Ho Chi Minh City on the 4th of July 2016. This route saw me traverse 4 continents, 23 countries as I eventually finished my ride in Europe 12 months later. (Click HERE or on map above to see interactive version of map)
My final route changed many times along the way from my original plan, and if you have read through the Getting Fit section of this website you will see just how the best laid plans have a habit of changing.When I set out on this journey, I really only had two main goals – firstly, that I managed to complete the cycle without the need to use my medical insurance policy, and secondly, that when I read my blog back, once the journey is over, my memories will match the excitement that I felt as I finally set out to cycle the world on the 4th of July 2016.
Please click on each of the maps below, or use the tabs at the top of the page, to see interactive maps and a more detailed overview of the route that I plan to cycle through each continent :
Thank you for taking the time to scroll down this far to finish reading this page. The blue route line is often not the actual route that I cycled, more a representation. For the actual GPS tracks that I rode each day please click the Actual GPS tab at the top of this page or follow the links below:
To see all of my GPS tracks through Austria – CLICK HERE
To see all of my GPS tracks through Slovakia – CLICK HERE
To see all of my GPS tracks through Hungary – CLICK HERE
To see all of my GPS tracks through Romania – CLICK HERE
To see all of my GPS tracks through Bulgaria – CLICK HERE
To see all of my GPS tracks through U.A.E. – CLICK HERE
To see all of my GPS tracks through Oman – CLICK HERE
To see all of my GPS tracks through Chile – CLICK HERE
To see all of my GPS tracks through Argentina – CLICK HERE
To see all of my GPS tracks through Bolivia – CLICK HERE
To see all of my GPS tracks through New Zealand – CLICK HERE
To see all of my GPS tracks through Indonesia – CLICK HERE
To see all of my GPS tracks through Singapore – CLICK HERE
To see all of my GPS tracks through Malaysia – CLICK HERE
To see all of my GPS tracks through Thailand – CLICK HERE
To see all of my GPS tracks through Cambodia – CLICK HERE
To see all of my GPS tracks through Vietnam – CLICK HERE
If you have any questions, or want any further information about the routing that I took, then please get in touch by leaving a comment below or via email by clicking here – click here to email me direct!