From July to September 2023, I am setting out on a solo unsupported journey, stretching 7,500 km (4,600 miles), from North Cape, Norway – the northernmost cyclable point in Europe – to Tarifa in Spain, the continent’s southernmost tip.
Having twice cycled across the length and breadth of Canada – first, in the chilly winter of 2016, on a fixed-gear bike, making an audacious bid to break a Guinness World Record; then again in 2020, amid a pandemic that gripped the world – as well as venturing through the UK, Netherlands, Belgium, and France in 2019, and finally journeying around the United States in 2022, during which I was able to raise $20,000 for World Bicycle Relief, I find myself yet again at the precipice of another grand, charitable adventure.
This journey across Europe (view route) is more than the thrill of the open road. It represents a crucial milestone in my lifelong mission of raising US$1 million for World Bicycle Relief, an organisation steadfastly dedicated to providing bicycles to rural children in Africa, thereby facilitating their access to education.
Over these three months, I aim to foster a participatory culture, where friends, fans and followers on social media can join me for a few kilometres or more, thereafter donating the equivalent distance to World Bicycle Relief in their currency. The aim is not just fundraising; it is about spreading awareness about how a bicycle can be both a literal and figurative vehicle of opportunity, starting with a simple commute to school for children in rural Africa.
I have long dreamt of this Western Europe journey, which is a rite of passage for long-distance bike touring enthusiasts. It is more than a bucket list ride; it is an opportunity to combine my passion for cycling with a deep desire to make a positive difference in the world.
With the added element of raising funds for World Bicycle Relief, the Summer of 2023 will undoubtedly be an experience of a lifetime, an honour that I am thrilled to share with all of you.