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    Six years

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    86,209 km by bicycle

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    75 countries

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    Six Continents

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Featured Blog Post

CURVEBALLS

CURVEBALLS

Georgia is a country of curves – from its meeting with the Black Sea, a bitemark of coast, to the probing tongue that composes the border with Azerbaijan. From its looping script, to the roads that circulate packs of mountains, succeeding in switchbacks like the restive rivers they chaperon. But before my friend Oli and I take on these roads by bicycle, I encounter another sinuosity: that of the Georgian toast.

The toastmaster is Tim, a dark-browed, silver- topped Georgian rugby coach who claims us as friends in a cozy eating house of Tbilisi. He raises his tipple, a mind-bending moonshine known as cha-cha, we do the same as he casts off on yet another tortuous spiel invoking God, romantic love, his homeland and cha-cha itself. He has already made a lengthy toast to world peace and a succession of British prime ministers. ‘To Benjamin Disraeli!’ he’d proclaimed, before adding, dolefully, ‘the very best British prime minister.’ Oli made a ‘why not?’ face and slung the stuff down. I had decided not to drink, as I had a presentation to give to some university students, though I had a feeling this wasn’t an excuse that would sway Tim from cajoling me into his Glug-a-thon. Oli could see my dilemma and tried to help:’Erm… he can’t… He has to drive to his AA meeting.’ ‘No problem!’ cried Tim, of course that excuse would only work if Tim was neither an alcoholic nor a drink driver.

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Stephen Fabes

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Like most decisions of great consequence my plan to cycle the length of six of the earth’s continents was made in a pub, beer in one hand, mini-atlas in the other.

It took six years to complete the loop, crossing 75 countries and six continents. I visited remote medical projects and hospitals along the way. This blog is the story of that ride, a resource for adventure cyclists and a repository for my articles and musings – about a world made massive by my bicycle, and the thrill of adventuring through it.’

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An epic challenge
Bear Grylls, Adventurer
Extraordinary
Ranulph Fiennes

January 2010: I waved goodbye to my family and friends from outside St Thomas’ Hospital in London, where I worked as a medical doctor, and set off on my bicycle. My plan was to cycle the length the six continents. On that first day, I didn’t get far. I peddled off. I made a quiet U turn. I headed to the pub. And then I hunched over a pint, fraught with self-doubt, whilst my loved ones supposed I was pedaling towards France.

Hours passed. The world I’d pedaled into was too big. I was unfit and underprepared and feeling ungrateful for breezing away from a profession I loved, interesting friends and a comfortable life. Several curry houses knew me by my first name. I enjoyed a frappe.

Eventually, without coming up with a good excuse not to go, I set off into the night, and the dawning of the coldest European winter for thirty one years. 86,209 km (53,568 miles) later I emerged onto Westminster Bridge having cycled a distance equivalent to more than twice around the planet or 89 times the length of Great Britain.

 

 

High Times

Cycling The Six: High Times from Stephen Fabes on Vimeo.

A six year journey across six continents and seventy five countries by bicycle

Tough Times

Cycling The Six: Tough Times from Stephen Fabes on Vimeo.

The more testing bits from six years cycling around the globe

  • Home! More calf muscle than man. And there’s life after cycling.

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  • Dispatches from two crossings of Europe: from riding over the Alps mid-winter to cruising along the Danube

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  • Asia: wildly diverse, always perplexing, full of hospitality – from crossing Mongolia mid-winter to edging through the deserts of Afghanistan

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  • Blog posts from cycling Australia’s east coast with Claire, to hiking across the Pacific island of New Caledonia

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  • Blogs from US and Canada: bears, bacon doughnuts, big ass trees and a journey up the Haul Road to northern Alaska

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  • Blogs from South America: sublime Andean landscapes, 5000 metre passes, salt flats and jungles, and the Carretera Austral

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  • Blogs from Central America: Mexican deserts, beaches galore and sliding down volcanoes

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  • Blog posts from Africa: life-affirming, human, full of adventure

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  • It begins: a U turn to the pub, before riding into the coldest European winter for 31 years

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