A lifelong dream
Adventurer & Photographer 

Stephen Peel

To circumnavigate the world on a bicycle


How healthy do you need to be to cycle around the world?

Posted by Stephen Peel - Adventure Travel - Cycling Around the World on October 26, 2016 at 5:25 AM

How healthy do you need to be to cycle around the world

I don’t believe for a minute that you need to be a regular cyclist or athlete to do this, as long as you are not in a rush or on a record breaking attempt. I'm far from any of those and in fact, my health is pretty shit to say the least  :)

While stood on the hard-shoulder of the M6 motorway in Birmingham, I was overseeing a lane closure installation, while working at the time. I heard the rumble-strip that separates lane one from the hard-shoulder, rumble loudly. I turned to see what it was, and the front of an articulated lorry was the last thing I saw before being struck down. I was hit in my right shoulder and I spun like a top. Dazed but alive, I was extremely lucky in many ways. The lads I was working with at the time said they heard a thud and a yelp, and turned to see the lorry coming to a stop.

As a result, I suffer a permanently damaged lower spine, hip, elbow, neck, middle back and shoulder. I suffer nerve damage the length of my left side from neck to toe. I have suffered situational anxiety and PTSD as a result of the accident, which has left me with quite an unhealthy fear of being near heavy traffic as a pedestrian. 

I now have to take prescribed testosterone to help my bones and joints, and prescription only pain killers designed to help with nerve damage. Sitting on a bike, I find it to be less painful than walking or standing for any length of time, and as the nerve damage has caused me to trip when walking, I don't find I have that issue with both feet on the pedals.

How will I cope with being on the road with traffic every day for so long, and in so many dangerous places you ask? :)

To be honest, I don’t know. Being next to traffic on a bicycle for hours each day will be a massive test for me, and I feel a bit weird even writing about it. That said, I truly believe that by putting myself out on the roads day after day, I hope to overcome that problem, just as long as I don't get flattened again :)

I feel that if I stay home and not at least attempt to live my dream, my health will just worsen, along with my mood, and of course I will always regret not at least trying. But one of the biggest reasons for me doing this, is that I want to get well. 

So, do you have to be healthy to do this? Well it may turn out that my health only takes me so far, but we will see. I feel confident that I can do this, and don't forget, it's a life long dream, not just some crazy idea thought up last minute.

Follow my efforts. If I can do this in my poor health, you won’t be able to use your own bad knee or asthma as an excuse - I also have asthma by the way - :)  

Traffic Management

Please watch out for Traffic Management and all road workers. More Traffic Management workers are killed each year than people in the Fire Services. They are doing a job that protects you and the people working within the roadworks they are installing. Their work helps you to navigate safely and as quickly as possible. Its not nice being stuck in traffic, I know that, but don't take it out on the Traffic Management workers, and please help them get home to their families safely.


Categories: Safety and Health

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