Around the world on a bicycle

Almost a year ago, when friends Tim Norman and Steve Carnes from San Diego, undertook a cycling trip from Vancouver, Canada to Tijuana, Mexico through the USA, they suddenly decided to extend their expedition around the world. “We fell in love with the idea of travelling on a bicycle. And we spontaneously set off quitting our jobs and selling everything,” says Norman. The duo have clocked over 13,000 Kms so far and plan to cover the balance distance over the next two years.

“We first learnt about cycling long distances through a charity called AIDS/LifeCycle in California, where members cycle 1,000 kms over seven days to raise money for HIV/AIDS. It inspired us a lot and we thought of undertaking something as daunting,” says Carnes, who has been cycling for two years now.

Norman who has been in the sport for 16 years, says that one needn’t be an experienced cyclist to make a trip like this. “You can always learn on the go. Bicycling is a wonderful mode of transport, as it’s good for health, the environment and allows you to connect deeply with nature and the people you come across,” he adds.

The friends on their maiden visit to India, passed through Madurai while heading to Thanjavur and further to Pondicherry.

“We were overwhelmed by the warmth and friendliness of the people we met apart from the rich natural and cultural diversity of the country. In Madurai, we loved the spicy food at a Chettinad restaurant. Pondicherry will be the end of our journey in India and from there, we will fly to Thailand to continue cycling through South East Asia towards Singapore,” says Carnes, who carries the message of peace in the ride. “We find a lot of division in the world today. We hope to show through our world ride that there are kind, generous and loving people everywhere.”

They use bicycles of the brand Specialized Diverge, that are designed for long tours on paved and gravel roads. “The machine doesn’t matter, it is the mind,” says Norman.

More about their expedition can be found on their blog