A lifelong dream
Adventurer & Photographer 

Stephen Peel

To circumnavigate the world on a bicycle

Firstly, some people believe that to cycle around the world, each available mile of road or track should be ridden. Not so, and no person I am aware of has ever done that.

Each of the maps below, show world cyclist routes, and the first think you notice is how they use planes or boats to get from place to place, when there is actually a possibility of cycling much of what they have missed out. 

This is due to a number of reasons, such as war, too short a visa to allow for cycling, to harsh a landscape to pass safely through, and so on. And so its perfectly acceptable to skip those countries altogether, and they do. 

Each one of these maps below, shows countries completely bypassed. And when trying to work around this when coming up with how The Guinness World Record Rules should be written, they came up with a few simple but rigid rules, and here are some as follows:

  • The journey should be in one direction (East to West or West to East).
  • The minimum distance ridden should be 18,000 miles (29,000 km).
  • The total distance travelled by the bicycle and rider should exceed an Equator's length.
  • The clock does not stop for any waiting time for transit flights or ferries or for the duration of the transit.
  • Pass through 2 antipodal points on the Earth. Points exactly opposite each other.

Most do this supported when trying for a record, but for self-supported, look at it as follows:

  • Do it all yourself, under your own power.
  • Carry all your own gear (i.e. no domestiques)
  • No outside support (deliveries only to public addresses such a post offices, courier depots, shops, 'open' homes such as                  those in warmshowers.org,
  • No support vehicles of any kind meeting the rider along the way to provide supplies). 
  • 'Pure' unsupported rides also preclude any visits from friends or others along the way. 
  • Riders to be alone for the entire ride, with a minimum 5-bicycle-length distance from any other riders or support vehicles.

My own route and plans

I don't plan on breaking any records, and would not have a hope in hell anyway :) Well, I might qualify for the slowest circumnavigation, or the oldest person, unhealthiest, or maybe even nicest :). OK so I may be pushing it with that last one :). Actually, I might have to inquire about that :) 

My rules are as follows:

  • Have a bloody good time.
  • Not be in any rush.
  • I will cover at least the 18,000 miles through all the countries I want to travel through, and none that I don't.
  • Follow the sunshine whenever possible, as I really hate the cold, the wind, and the rain :).
  • Pass through those pesky antipodal points, likely to be in Spain and New Zealand.
  • Take as many photos and film as many videos as I can.
  • Smile as much as I can, and try try try to stay out of trouble :). This will be the hardest part :)

I am out to circumnavigate the world while enjoying places that I also want to see. I am also not stuck on any planned route. If I want to set off in another direction at any time, I will.

Stephen Peel

This is only a vague plan right now, and could change in a big way depending on when I set off and how I feel while I'm traveling. This is a once in a lifetime dream adventure for me, and I don't want to miss a thing, so I will be in no rush. 

Your own routes and maps and those of well known cyclists 

If you have already cycled the world, how about sending me an image of the route and I will post it here for others to see, as it will be a great help.. 
On July 23 2012, Juliana Buhring set out from Naples, Italy to make the first women’s world record for fastest circumnavigation by bicycle. On December 22, 2012, she re-entered Naples with a total time of 152 days including flight transfers and 144 actual days pedaled.
"I am just a 40 year old solo female cycling around the world since 2009, 30 countries and the continents of Africa, Middle East, Asia, Oceania, Europe to date to be exact" The black lines are traveled, and the red lines are wanting to travel.
"I am Tim Travis, an ordinary American who decided to live out my dreams.  I saved my money, quit my job, sold my possessions and set off to travel around the world by bicycle." The red lines are traveled, the blue lines are to be traveled.

Starting out with the idea initially of just cycling across the entire United States, Thomas started his journey in the city of San Francisco, on April 22, 1884.

Round the World by Bike

60 countries. 5 continents. 4 years. 46,000 miles

“The first great adventure of the 21st Century”
– Sir Ranulph Fiennes

Philipp and Valeska Schaudy cycled 87.020 km around the world - October 2006 until May 2012

Mark Beaumont beat the cycling around the world record in 2008, and has been on many adventures since. 

Laura and Tim Moss completed a 13,000 mile cycle around the world. This map is a really example of what "around the world" means to some but not considered cycling around the world by others. 

Javier Martinez: The World on a Bike
On August 12, the 45-year-old New Zealand resident embarked on a quest to circumnavigate the globe astride his trusty two-wheeler. He recently completed the trip in a history-making 123 days.
One incredible lady shows us how we can do anything we set our minds to. Solo on a 2 year adventure.
Kenta, a young man from Japan, whose been on the road for almost three years
1 family, 25 countries, 15,000 kilometersCycling Around the World for Asthma
Rick Creemers, The Cycling Dutchman goes on a world cycling trip.

A medical doctor takes 6 years out to cycle the world with the help of some funding and sponsorship

At age 62, a Baby Boomer, Darby set out to cycle around the world.

Heike Pirngruber is cycling solo and she has covered 45k km, 31 countries and in 40 months. pushbikegirl.com Click on the cyclists names on the left to go to their websites.