Hi, my name is Thomas Andersen. On the 2nd of October 2010 I left Denmark by bicycle. So far I have cycled more than 31000 km (19000 miles) through 25 countries on 5 continents.

I have cycled through Eastern Europe learning all about the local beer, I have been chased by dogs in Turkey. I have cycled through Syria before the war began. I have been a celebrity in Malaysia, and worked on a huge cattle station in Australia.

In late 2013 I flew to Ushuaia in southern Argentina and I'm now cycling north towards Canada. So far I have made it to Ecuador (it's very hot and humid here).

Read everything about the trip on http://www.cyclingtheglobe.com

I think I will be back in Denmark in a year from now.

It has been an amazing ride where the highlight has been meeting so many incredible and friendly people - and I have seen a few beautiful places on earth too.

I'm looking forward to share my experience here on the Reddit community. Will do my best to answer your questions.

Follow along on:

Blog/Webpage: http://www.cyclingtheglobe.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CyclingTheGlobe

Twitter: http://twitter.com/CyclingTheGlobe

Instagram: http://instagram.com/CyclingTheGlobe

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/thomasandersen

Proof: https://twitter.com/CyclingTheGlobe/status/541593639483617280

Best wishes from Ecuador, Thomas

EDIT: Thanks a lot for all the great questions! And not at least all the offers to stay up in the US and Canada. North American hospitality seems amazing. I will come back to you shortly. Thanks again, it was my pleassure.

Comments: 1532 • Responses: 90  • Date: 

dano670456 karma

Are you making through NYC? If you do, you can crash at my house for a night. I have a bike rack to store it.

http://i.imgur.com/NrEmsWY.png

CyclingTheGlobe382 karma

Hey there. I do indeed plan to make it to NYC - and looking much forward. I should arrive sometimes in late spring/early summer up there. Lets keep in touch, thanks!

Rakaith210 karma

[deleted]

CyclingTheGlobe438 karma

This is very true. The best roads for cycling was probably the first couple of days out of Denmark (but also rather boring cycling). In most countries people drive fast but are usually happy enough to give some space to a cyclist on the road. I think the worst attitude I met towards cyclists was the day I cycled into Sydney in Australia. A couple of people rolled down the window and yelled "F...ng cyclist".

adognameddusty39 karma

As s Sydney-sider, I'm sorry this happened to you :-/ but unfortunately, I'm not surprised. Motorists ran a group of cyclists down a couple of years ago! The attitude towards cyclists in the city is terrible. All the best for your future travels!

CyclingTheGlobe3 karma

Thanks a lot... and I should mention that I had a great time in Sydney. Apart from on the road :)

Zeeaaa2 karma

As an Australian who moved to France, I couldn't believe how respectful the French are to cyclists, and how much space they gave them when overtaking! I mean, it's great, but so different to home, where people will play games like honking as they drive past, or getting so close that they can slap them.

I had an English friend who was planning to do a cycling trip in Aus, and I felt the need to warn her of the treatment she might face.

CyclingTheGlobe6 karma

True.. yet there is so much good cycling in Australia. I only had this issue in Sydney. Darwin, Adelaide, Melbourne was all fine.

Pink_Fred169 karma

I've read that touring bikes tend to be geared and have geometry leaning towards mountain/hybrid style.

What type of bike would you recommend for a journey like this? Road, mountain, hybrid,??

What thickness of tires do you prefer? I would think that hybrid-sized tires would be optimal (a little thicker than road tires, but a lot skinnier than mountain tires, with tread a pattern somewhere in the middle)... I mean road tires are probably most efficient, but if you hit a rough patch, snow, or even a patch of sand.... you will probably wish you had something a little beefier...

Well, you're the traveler, lay it on me!

CyclingTheGlobe193 karma

Hi there! Good questions regarding the type of bike and tires. I have been using two bikes on my trip. First a Bianchi road bike with proper racing tires. I like this setup as I can go fast. I do get flat tires, but only once every 1000 km or so. Then I just put in a new tube. For my trip through Argentina, Chile, and Bolivia I knew I would be facing some dirt roads, so I parked my road bike with a friend and bought a mountain bike with front suspension. That biked worked great out there in the moutains. I was cycling with people who used hybrid style touring bikes. This might seem like a wise choice, but I noticed several times that they were never really happy about their setup; on the dirt road they would miss bigger tires and suspension, and on the sealed road they would miss being able to go faster.

inkabinka23162 karma

Hello. Very exciting. How do you pay for this? I assume there is a lot of camping involved.

CyclingTheGlobe239 karma

My daily budget is 20$. I saved up money enough for a year of cycling before I left home. When I came to Australia I worked there as well. And you are right, camping (mostly in nature where its completely free) is a great way to keep the costs down.

popeslopethe3rd138 karma

How does one cycle across the ocean?

CyclingTheGlobe206 karma

hehe, I know I'm a bit lazy but I tend to take an airplane.

she_is_the_slaughter136 karma

Are you doing this for world peace? For the homeless? Are you running for women's rights? The environment?

CyclingTheGlobe126 karma

I did spend some time helping out in the slum areas of Manila http://www.cyclingtheglobe.com/2012/12/day-625-655-the-kids-of-baseco/, but mostly i'm doing this because it is my own dream.

letsgorightnowcunt105 karma

How are your nuts? Edit: please OP, I've never wanted to know about a dudes testicles more.

CyclingTheGlobe34 karma

Haha, my nuts are good thanks. In fact everything down there has adjusted nicely to life on the road :-)

aProfessionalPro94 karma

How is your hygiene?

Are you able to keep yourself relatively clean?

Also what do you do when you get sick? Do you just sit out a couple of days?

CyclingTheGlobe132 karma

These days I'm cycling in more populated parts of South America, and I stay most nights in hostels or hotels. If I'm in desolated places where I'm camping there is often 2-3 days between showers. I find this is acceptable. I think I have only been sick 3 times on the trip, all 3 times (in India, Indonesia and Peru) due to a stomach infection. Then there is nothing to do but to rest for 3 days and start slowly.

christurnbull69 karma

Do you think it would be easier to just go to one of the poles and cycle around it?

CyclingTheGlobe40 karma

Haha, good idea. I knew some people cycled to the South Pole last year. That sounds like a fascinating adventure to me (as I write this in a very hot and humid hostel room in Ecuador).

enjoi499563 karma

Congratulations on everything you accomplished so far. The trip is inspiring!

I am planning on cycling from Philadelphia to Miami in spring of '15. With the little experience I have, where do I start?

CyclingTheGlobe80 karma

Thanks a lot! Bicycle travelling is indeed very simple. You just need some kind of bike and perhaps a tent if you want to save a bit on accomodation. Why don't you make a couple of shorter weekend trips to see how everything works? There are many cycling blogs which has tons of information on cycle touring as well. Start here http://tomsbiketrip.com/ - hope to see you on the road, I will be up there in the Eastern US in the spring of 15 as well :-)

T-Rotzer52 karma

Hey man

Im just wondering about some of your everyday troubles.

How do you deal with bike problems, do you keep spare parts with you all the time?

Where do you primarily get your food? what does your usual meal look like?

Would you say that you have made one or more good friends on your journy?

Im amazed by such an adventure and hope youre going to see much more amazing things. Also stay safe!

CyclingTheGlobe64 karma

Thanks a lot! I do carry some spare parts for the bike. Obviously an extra tube or patches if I get a flat, but also extra gear and brake cables as they sometimes fail as well. I'm not a very good bike mechanic, so if I get a bigger problem I will have to visit a bike shop. Luckily they excist in almost every town around the world. Lately I have been cycling in the more densly populated areas of South America where there are plenty of restaurants along the road. A typical meal in Peru might look like this: https://www.flickr.com/photos/thomasandersen/15698881677 And oh yes, I have met many new friends on this trip. Both locals and other travellers and cyclists. Making new friends is the real highlight of a trip like this!

processthePROGRESS48 karma

Funniest story from your travels?

CyclingTheGlobe246 karma

When I arrived in Malaysia I only knew one guy. I met him for dinner one night, and he introduced me to his friends in the next city. That night we were 10 for dinner, and I wasn't allowed to pay for the food or for my hotel room. The next day things went crazy. My new friends had arranged for two police officers on motor bikes to escort me. Apart from the police, there were also several other bikes and cars that followed me the whole day. Amazingly enough the police stopped the traffic so on red lights I could just continue through. When we stopped in towns I was shaking hands with mayors and tourist directors, and even signing autographs and giving interviews. It was my 15 minutes, or actually 5 days of fame. Now I think I know how it is to be a VIP! After crossing the border to Singapore I was just a normal guy on a bike again...

GodOfTheSky35 karma

What has been the scariest moment so far?

CyclingTheGlobe76 karma

In northern Peru I cycled through some very dodgy towns - one day the police even followed me to make sure everything was OK. I met another cyclist going in the other direction and we exhanged contact info. A couple of days later he wrote me that he had been robbed at gunpoint and lost almost all his things. I made it through OK, but I was thinking it could have been me. Apart from that the stray dogs in Turkey and Syria were pretty scary as well.

carneconpapas29 karma

Can you post a photo of your legs and calf?

CyclingTheGlobe50 karma

Haha, I don't have any very good photos of my legs, but maybe you can check here https://www.flickr.com/photos/thomasandersen/13326806513/. By the way, when you do these kind of enduring trips your body (and legs) tend to become skinny rather than bulky. Huge muscles would simply be too heavy to carry around...

jbc11126 karma

Min første tanke var, at det måtte være en dansker!

Anyways, a question.. Uhmmm... What made you start biking around the world?

CyclingTheGlobe39 karma

Haha, sjovt :-) I started doing shorter trips in Denmark and around Europe. When I realized that I really like bike touring a made a 2 months trip from south India to Delhi. After that I read Nicolai Bangsgaard's book and I decided to do my own trip. Go' jul :-)

ElijahDrew25 karma

[deleted]

CyclingTheGlobe40 karma

I would say it is easy to get a job at a cattle station in Australia. The best way is to just find some numbers in the phone book and start calling. They usually need people out there.

ColdPorridge25 karma

How many languages do you speak? How do you deal with so many rapidly changing languages in getting what you need?

CyclingTheGlobe61 karma

I do speak 5 languages which can be handy when travelling. On the other hand, with English you can get a very long way. Here in South America Spanish is very very usual for having interesting conversations with the locals. If I'm in a country for more than about a month I try to pick up at least some of the language. In some places (like in Arabic speaking countries) I certainly didn't get very far, but in other places I was able to have a very simple conversation after a month.

conmcnal21 karma

Are you going to write a book about it?

CyclingTheGlobe42 karma

It has crossed my mind. I'm writing a blog over at http://www.cyclingtheglobe.com/ but I often feels hard to do some good writing when you are on the road. I would like to sit down when I'm back home to write about the trip in a different way - perhaps as a book.

parasinus19 karma

Do you use Strava? If you do, the heatmap of your rides must look amazing.

CyclingTheGlobe17 karma

I don't use it as I lost my mobile phone a while ago. Once I get a new one I should check Strava out.

Termitator18 karma

Do you ever get laid, and how does it happen?

CyclingTheGlobe26 karma

Hehe, it did happen. For years of travelling without wouldn't seem worth it to me :-)

Techre18 karma

[deleted]

CyclingTheGlobe36 karma

I havn't really calculated the calories, but I know I need to eat a meal every two hours when I cycling. So usually I have breakfast, early lunch, late lunch, early dinner and late dinner :-) The best tire in my oppinion is Schwalbe, but I havn't managed to find them here in South America.

eathrin17 karma

Hi, Mr. Anderson. I plan in taking a similar journey from Ireland to Australia after graduating from university. This is all very helpful and inspirational. My question is how do you stay safe on the road when passing through countries with higher crime rates or war threat?

CyclingTheGlobe27 karma

What a wonderful plan, I'm sure you will have a great time on the bike. And quite a few Irish people doing cycling trips. For me the worst places crime wise has been in South America. I felt very safe myself all the way from Denmark to Australia. Of course you still want to pay attention, and in big cities all around there world there are areas where you don't want to walk alone after dark, but in general I wouldn't say crime will be a big issue on your ride. Happy cycling!

Knobull13 karma

Do you use those stationary exercise cycling machines when crossing the ocean on a plane or ship to pretend that you're cycling across the ocean?

CyclingTheGlobe14 karma

Haha, not really... I usually take a well deserved break :-)

BaLLiSToPHoBiC12 karma

I loved in Argentina for 8 years as a young one. By any chance did you pass through "Nueve de Julio"? That was my hometown growing up. Also i would kill for some mate and asado on a wooden plate sitting around a fire in Las Pampas.

CyclingTheGlobe10 karma

Oh, the asado and a glass of red wine after cycling through some very remote parts was absolutely amazing. Where in Argentina is 9 de Julio located? I don't think I passed...

BluePiccadilly12 karma

Hi, this is an awesome thing to do! Congratulations! But I have to ask, having done a little distance cycling (nothing on this scale though), how's your backside feeling? Ever have a day when you're like "I cannot physically do this today"?

Also, which tools and parts do you take with you? I presume in some of the countries you have issues getting parts if something goes wrong? Have you ever had any issues with security and theft? I can imagine in some places it could be a problem and could really cause some problems.

Thanks for sharing your journey!

CyclingTheGlobe27 karma

Very good questions there! After 4 years I think my whole body including the backside has adjusted to the cycling nicely. On a "normal" 6 hours/100 km cycling day I don't really have any issues which is a nice. If I do a very long day, or a very hard day in the mountains I start to feel it, but then its time for a break. I'm bringing along tubes, an extra tire, and break/gear cables. I find that I'm almost always able to get the parts I need, but often not in a very good quality. After a year in South America I'm looking forward to arrive in the States so I can visit a bike store with good quality brands again. I have been lucky myself as I have only lost a mobile phone (in Peru) on the whole trip. But yes, in some parts of South America you will have to be careful with your things. On the other hand in places like the Middle East and Asia I felt I could leave my bike unlocked almost everywhere. Happy cycling!

vwturbo10 karma

You're not gonna cycle through the darien gap are you? What happens when you hit Columbia?

CyclingTheGlobe5 karma

No, I don't think that is a place you want to try to cycle. Is there even a road? I will make it up to Cartagena and look for a ferry or boat from there to Panama.

jck3010 karma

Congratulations on your trip so far. Some day I would like to take 2-3 years off of life and travel to every country.

How did you get this idea to travel the world by bike? What inspired you to make this trip because it sounds really cool?

CyclingTheGlobe14 karma

Hi there! I always liked to ride my bike, and to travel as well. I then figured out it would be a smart idea to combine my two passions. I started with shorter trips in Europe and then my tours became bigger and bigger. I was reading a book my Alastair Humphreys about cycling around the world. After a read that book, my dream was born :-) It's great to see the world with your own eyes. I'm sure you will not regret.

gloriouspenguin10 karma

How often do you take a break from cycling, and if so for how long?

31000km for 4 years is an average of 21km per day which isn't a lot.

CyclingTheGlobe41 karma

That is very true. The 4 years also include 1 year of working in Australia. In the beginning I used to cycle fast and take few rest days. Here in South America I like to stay at least a week when I come to a city, and sometimes I take even longer break. In Arequipa in Peru I stayed a month and a half. After 4 years I sometimes get tired of moving to a new place everyday.

crypto498 karma

Any plans of cycling through India?

CyclingTheGlobe29 karma

I have already cycled through India and had an amazing time. In fact I would probably say that India is my favourite country on the whole trip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=191nSOnatrE

WSnipez6 karma

What phone plan do you have?

CyclingTheGlobe9 karma

I buy a local sim card in almost every country I visit.

waterphallus5 karma

Hey! I've been following you on your facebook and twitter for a while now, truely inspiring! What was the hardest part of your trip so far, mentally and physically?

CyclingTheGlobe11 karma

Great to see you here on Reddit! Without doubt the hardest part of the trip was to decide on a departure date and to leave. Saying goodbye to my friends and family was sad. Once the wheels got rolling everything has been much easier. Physically the hardest part of the trip has been fighting the crazy head winds in Patagonia and climbing to more than 4000 m in the Andes Mountains.

ruizinhoandre5 karma

do you ever had any day when you felt "what I'm I doing, I should just quit and go home".

Are you still motivated to continue your journey?

CyclingTheGlobe14 karma

Yes, there are days when it's raining, the road is boring, and there is not much adventure at all. I sometimes think that I just want the day to end and get to a place where I can relax, but I actually never really considered quitting the whole trip. Instead I keep making it longer and longer. In the beginning I only planned to cycle in Europe, Asia, and Australia. Now I'm here in the Americas as well and even considering Africa!

Plyngntrffc4 karma

How do you support yourself?

CyclingTheGlobe11 karma

I used to work as an engineer before I left home. When I got to Australia I got a job on a huge cattle station in the Outback. That was an adventure in itself. Finally I'm doing a little bit of freelance programming jobs on the road to help supporting the trip. My daily budget is 20$

magn17454 karma

Hello Thomas. I too am from Denmark and I just happen to have a brother who very much enjoys the adventures of biking as well. A couple of years back he rode his "Christiania" bike from Nordkapp to Gibraltar. Just thought this was a fun coincidence! Anyways my question is: What has been the most exciting thing about your journey so far?

Held og lykke med dine fremtidige eventyr!

CyclingTheGlobe8 karma

Wow, Nordkapp to Gibraltar on a cargo bike, that sounds like a true adventure as well :-) Oh, there has been so many amazing experiences, but I liked the day when I turned into a celebrity in Malaysia http://www.cyclingtheglobe.com/2011/05/day-213-port-dickson-melaka/ and also the amazing ride with my Swedish cycling buddy up to 4000 m in the Argentinian Andes http://www.cyclingtheglobe.com/2014/05/day-1301-el-penon-laguna-brava-reaching-new-heights/

Scotsman_Gone_Wild3 karma

Thanks for doing this ama for starters.

How's the chaffing? Can you crack walnuts between your thighs yet?

Who has been the most interesting person you have met on your travels so far?

CyclingTheGlobe11 karma

You are very welcome! My legs are good for cycling, but not much else (even running is hard for me haha). I think the most interesting person I met on my travels was Sylvain from France who is walking around the world. I met him in the Australian outback with a wagon carrying 50 l of water! He told me it would take 10 years to walk around the world! http://www.cyclingtheglobe.com/2011/08/day-275-hayes-creek-katherine/

thesploo3 karma

Amazing.

How awful were your saddle sores in the beginning?

CyclingTheGlobe5 karma

Not too bad because I used to cycle quite a lot even before this trip. But yes, this is one part of cycling touring that can give some problems. Unfortunately I have no magic solution.

ugotopia1233 karma

How was it cycling across the oceans?

Shitty jokes aside, where do you get the motivation to begin a journey as monumental as this?

I'm honestly saying this is the first I've heard of you and your trip, and I wish you the absolute best.

CyclingTheGlobe9 karma

Haha. You are right, the biggest challenge in a journey like this is to commit to it and begin. Once you are rolling the whole trip builds momentum and everything seems to be falling into place nicely. It was hard to quit the job and say goodbye to family and friends, but I knew this was something I really wanted to do. I have not regretted.

7S7K3 karma

How much stuff do you carry with you - can't be a full wardrobe, huh? :) 73 from Scandinavia :)

CyclingTheGlobe5 karma

Hei! I am indeed trying to travel as light as possible. Usually my bags are around 12 kg + some water and food. Now that I'm near the equator I carry very little clothes. On the other hand I like to travel with my small netbook computer and DSLR camera. My full lists of things I carry can be seen here http://www.cyclingtheglobe.com/equipment/ 73 :-)

BlizzCo3 karma

What has been the lowest point you've endured on your trip. One that maybe almost made you stop cycling? Dont you miss your family?

CyclingTheGlobe11 karma

There is one low point on the trip that really got me thinking if I wanted to continue, and that was when my mom got very sick. Thankfully she is better now. I miss my family but we manage to stay in contact over Skype.

scandinaviafalls3 karma

whats your bike? any mechanical problems? unforseen issues on the road?

CyclingTheGlobe4 karma

Now I'm using a Bianchi road bike which is good for making fast progress but you can't bring a lot of luggage. My bike has served me very well, but I did have a few issues to solve along the way. I had to buy a new back wheel in Australia as the rim was cracking, and then there has been the usual new chain, chain ring, break and gear cables, break pads etc. For six months in the mountains of Argentina and Chile I was using a mountain bike instead. This was a different experience as we could go into very desolated dirt roads in the mountains. Now I'm hopeing the roads will be more or less in food condition all the way to Canada.

Killermonkeyink3 karma

Do you plan on going though Idaho?

CyclingTheGlobe3 karma

I don't think I will make it to Idaho on this trip. In the US I plan to stay in Mexico and the southern states, and then make it up the east coast towards NY and Canada. Next time!

ameytgr73 karma

What about cycling on islands?

CyclingTheGlobe4 karma

In general I tend to stay on the the main land, but I did visit some islands on the trip. Indonesia is made up entirely of islands but you can travel between them on ferries. Also New Zealand is an island I guess, but I went there by plane.

SHORTYSPIZZABUS3 karma

What kind of seat do you have on that bike?!

CyclingTheGlobe3 karma

I have a standard racing bike seat on my bike. You get used to it after a while :-)

down_vote_city__3 karma

This may be a dumb question but do you feel it's a necessity to learn a 2nd (or 3rd) language to undertake a project like this?

CyclingTheGlobe6 karma

I think it's a good question! My first language is Danish, but I doubt that would take me very far :-) With English you can travel around the world. Sometimes you will not be able to talk to the locals, but you will be able to get by - i.e. ordering food and finding a place to sleep. When I spend long time in a place, like here in South America where I have been a year, I like to try to learn the language. It is just very rewarding to be able to have longer conversations with the local people.

Tite_Reddit_Name3 karma

Hi, very inspiring! I have a friend who is getting ready to cycle around the world from Bangkok to California in the Spring.

Do you travel much with other cyclists/friends or majority alone?

CyclingTheGlobe6 karma

Here in South America I teamed up with a few other guys for parts of the trip. I both like going solo and being 2 or 3 (more than that I wouldn't like on a bike tour). When I cycled with my friends we could do things like going on very desolated dirt into the mountains where I would not have liked to go alone. It is also very nice to share the days experiences over a camp fire in the nights. But in general I don't like travelling alone at all. It is so much easier to meet the locals, and you notice things around you much better.

Happy cycling trip to your friend!

Ulanyouknow3 karma

Hi

Are you do this journey alone? (seems like yes)

I want to grab my backpack and go somewhere this summer but the idea of going alone may be the thing that will put me down. Any advice?

:)

CyclingTheGlobe5 karma

Yes, in general this is a solo adventure, but, you meet so many people out here that I never feel alone! I used to cycle with a guy I met from Sweden and another one from Denmark, but now we have split up again. I don't mind being alone at all, but as I said, if you want to meet people backpacking and staying in hostels is a very very easy way to do it! Happy travels!!

mayecontreras3 karma

Are you coming to Mexico? If you pass thru Tijuana let me know!

CyclingTheGlobe9 karma

Hola! I am indeed planning on cycling through Mexico. I should be there around March or April. Would be cool to catch up, lets keep in touch!

theoriginalauthor2 karma

You mentioned you earn money by programming. How do you secure your computer from the elements and have the electricity to operate it? Congratulations on your successes!

CyclingTheGlobe10 karma

Thanks a lot. My Samsung netbook certainly has a few cracks and scratches, but still working after 3 years. I do camp a lot, but once I'm in a city I like to stay in a hostel or cheap hotel room. That is where I can do my work.

LeaveMeBe4202 karma

How is your butt doing ?

CyclingTheGlobe2 karma

After 4 years it has adjusted very well :-)

Godfatha12 karma

How did you get into cycling? And any advice for a beginner?

CyclingTheGlobe7 karma

I'm from Denmark, and there every kid is put on a bike when they are 4 or 5 :-) Biking is a lovely activity, so you should certainly give it a go. Start by getting a bicycle that fits to your body - this is important is it can otherwise be unfomfortable. Start by doing short rides and slowly increase the distances. I'm sure you will like it :-)

kleancut2 karma

How many flats have you had your entire trip?

CyclingTheGlobe3 karma

I didn't count, but on average I would say I have a flat every 1000 km. Not too bad, and easy to fix :)

weirdprodigy2 karma

What was your most memorable experience so far?

CyclingTheGlobe3 karma

I liked packing the bike with 20 days worth of food and cycle into some very remote parts of the Andes mountains in Argentina. The views were amazing http://www.cyclingtheglobe.com/2014/05/day-1301-el-penon-laguna-brava-reaching-new-heights/

guruofsnot2 karma

can you talk a little bit about your equipment? What bike are you riding? Panniers or trailer? What tires are you using? Mechanical failures?

Thanks for sharing your experience!

CyclingTheGlobe3 karma

I'm riding a Bianchi road bike with two panniers. I try to go very light which is easy enough now that I'm in very warm climates near the equator. Right now I'm using a local tire brand which are OK, but I would prefer Schwalbe - they are just almost impossible to find here in South America. My bike has been holding up very well. I did have to change my back wheel in Australia as the rim had cracked, but apart from that only small things like changing the chain and getting new cables for the gears and breaks. Here is my equipment list http://www.cyclingtheglobe.com/equipment/

Juubis2 karma

Hi! I've got some questions! :) How did you prepare for the trip? Did you plan ahead? Have you read the writings of other around-the-world cyclists?

CyclingTheGlobe3 karma

Hi there! Yes, I did some planning before the trip, but these days I really don't know much about the countries I'm going to visit before I get there. Then I will talk to the locals and to other cyclists about the best routes to ride. For me planning most things on the go works very well. And yes, I have read Alastair Humphreys books about his cycling trip, and I like them very much.

candonoharm2 karma

What are your thoughts on recumbent bikes for touring?

CyclingTheGlobe3 karma

I think they look cool, but perhaps somewhat impractical for cycle touring? I guess they would be hard to get spare parts for? This is just my thoughts, I have no experience...

Harshaznintent1 karma

So at this point in your life you are cycling, but what were you doing before?

If you are cycling all the time how do you get your income?

What made you want to basically commit this much time to just cycling?

Would you do it again?

CyclingTheGlobe1 karma

Before I started the trip I was a telecommunication engineer. I'm still able to do a bit of programming work on the road, but mostly I saved up the money before I left. Once I got to Australia I also got a job on a remote cattle station. That was a true adventure in itself. I had done trips on my bicycle before this one, but I wanted to see the world anyway and thought the bike would do a good way to do it. I didn't imagine it would take 4 years though. I probably wouldn't cycle around the world agian, but maybe by sailboat or motorbike? :-)

androidwkim1 karma

How big are your legs now? Also, do you ever get bored of the same daily lifrstyle? Or is the thrill of going to a new area still coming to you?

CyclingTheGlobe1 karma

When you do a long endurance trip like this, you (and your legs) tend to become skinny rather than bulky. Too much muscle is simply too heavy to carry around. And yes, even on an adventure like this some days are certainly more interesting than others. I don't mind too much though. Even on the boring days I feel like I'm getting closer to my goal, and this is my dream after all. You are also right that after cycling through a country for months it is a thrill to be crossing a border - then everything is suddenly new again!

CHUBS221981 karma

What are your plans in life going forward? More cycling, back to work, etc.?

CyclingTheGlobe2 karma

I think it would be very difficult to go back to a 9-5 engineering office job once I finish the trip. Instead I think I will try to do more freelance work, perhaps while writing a book and doing presentations about the adventure. I guess still have a year or more to figure this out :-)

DEDson1 karma

What are your sleeping arrangements like? Lots of hotels and hostels? Do you camp outside ever?

CyclingTheGlobe3 karma

I do carry a tent and I'm using it a lot. In some places they have absolutely no official camp grounds, but I like to wild camp out in nature. Here in South America my budget (20$ a day) will support a simple hotel/hostel room for the night, so when I'm in a town I like to stay inside.

jperl19921 karma

What was your absolute favorite food that you ate along the trip? Did you ever get homesick? How did you stay communicated with your loved ones? How have they reacted to this?

Also: If you make it to Boston, let me know!!!

CyclingTheGlobe2 karma

After a long and hard ride in the mountains, I just loved getting into a small town in Argentina where we could make a BBQ and have some of their amazing meat and a glass of red wine.

And yes, I do miss my friends and family back home. We try to stay in contact on Skype which I think works very well. There is a price to be payed for being away for so long, but with all the amazing experiences I'm willing to pay that price, at least for now.

Would be great to catch up in Boston. Lets keep in touch!

turkeyGob1 karma

Did it ever cross your mind to row the Atlantic to South America?

CyclingTheGlobe3 karma

I think the though has crossed my mind, but it seems to me that there is a lot of nothingness out there :-) What I like about cycling is that you meet so many interesting people along the way. I think I would miss that doing a very long rowing trip on an ocean. On the other hand it has always been my dream to sail across the Atlantic or the Pacific.

magicalecologist1 karma

Hey, very cool, I would love to do something like this myself one day. What prompted you to do this?

CyclingTheGlobe3 karma

I have always loved to cycle and also to travel. At some point I thought it would be a good idea to combine my two passions. I started with short trips in Denmark, then 3 weeks across Europe. After a 2 months bike trip in India I was reading a book about a guy who cycled around the world. The dream was born...

TonyTonyTanuki1 karma

Did you train specifically to do this or have you always been a cyclist. And if the first, how long did you train for, before you left?

CyclingTheGlobe4 karma

I have always been a cyclist, so I didn't really do any specific training for this. If you are planning a bike trip for a couple of weeks it would be wise to do some basic training. In this case where the trip lasts for years, I just started by doing shorter distances and rode myself into shape slowly.

spudtechnology1 karma

Do you like bacon or potatoes more...?

CyclingTheGlobe1 karma

Haha, I'm not the biggest fan of either. I liked the asado (bbq) steaks and red wine in Argentina :-)

TK12061 karma

What will you be doing when you are done with this trip. Are you going back to a traditional job? What were you doing before this trip? Do you plan to go back to it/want to go back to it?

CyclingTheGlobe2 karma

Good question! I used to be an telecommunication engineer before I started cycling, but I think it would be very difficult to go back to a 9-5 office job. Not that I really want to... instead I might look for some freelance type of work that would include some travelling. Or something alltogether different. I guess I still have a year to think about this question :-)

warlock19921 karma

How many times had you have a puncture? What is your top reason to have a puncture? rusted nails or wear and tear?

CyclingTheGlobe3 karma

I didn't count my punctures, but on average I would say one every 1000 km. The reason is almost always a small piece of thin metal wire that has made it into the tire.

RafZlatarov1 karma

Hello Mr. Andersen, having travelled through so many countries on a bike I imagine you've stumbled across some amazing scenery. Which country had the most beatiful nature landscape you came across?

CyclingTheGlobe2 karma

Hi Raf! I think Argentina with the Andes Mountains, the glaciers, the desolation, and the colors, is one of the most spectacular places I have seen. I teamed up with a friend from Sweden and we cycled into the mountains with 20 days of food on the bikes. The views were amazing http://www.cyclingtheglobe.com/2014/05/day-1301-el-penon-laguna-brava-reaching-new-heights/

ohmahgoshjosh1 karma

Hi! Since I'm guessing that you're still in Ecuador I'm curious if you have or plan on biking through the Yungas Road/Death Road in Bolivia? If not, what has been the most dangerous place that you have biked?

Best of luck!

CyclingTheGlobe3 karma

Hi there! I am indeed still in Ecuador, but I'm heading north to Colombia and I was already in Bolivia. I heard about the death road in La Paz where you could sign up for a tour. But then again, I spend all my days on the bike, so when I was in La Paz I didn't really feel like signing up for a bike excursion :-) The worst road I have cycled was this stretch of dirt road in Argentina http://www.cyclingtheglobe.com/2014/06/day-1316-tinogasta-belen-rough-roads/

RinSki1 karma

Hello Thomas! My question is quite simple. What is your motivation for this?

CyclingTheGlobe4 karma

Well, first of all I love to ride the bicycle. It has something to do with the freedom of movement, being out in the open air, and having the opportunity to let the thoughts run free. Then I love to meet people and get to see how they live their lifes all over the world. When I began the trip I thought I would only cycle from Denmark to Australia, but I liked this lifestyle so much that I'm now continuing in the Americas.

AdonisChrist1 karma

1 pair of cycling shorts? How is that enough? Do you wash daily? Why hasn't your equipment list been updated since 2011?

Are you even still on the Bianchi?

CyclingTheGlobe2 karma

Most days I manage to wash daily, but sometimes not... I'm still on my trusty Bianchi road bike but some of the other equipment I have changed. I should update the list but well, so many things to do between all the cycling :-)

swiftrandomness941 karma

What kind of build are you riding?

Come across any unexpected problems?

What's the best tent to sleep in that is lightweight, fast to set up, and keeps you quit warm in your opinion?

Anyone try and mug you?

Hows your butt? (seriously)

EDIT: Budget? Food/water transportation? How do you use excrete wastes in public?

CyclingTheGlobe2 karma

Nice list of questions there! I'm riding a Bianchi road bike. Good for going fast as long as the road is in good shape. I liked my MSR Hubba tent very much. Only just over a kg, self supporting, and in a green color which is good for hiding. Unfortunately that tent gave up after the crazy winds in Patagonia. Now I have a more heavy local one. I did loose my mobile phone in Peru, but apart from that I have been very lucky. After 4 years I think my butt has got used to riding the bike for 6-8 hours a day. No big problems anymore. The daily budget is 20$ which I think is enough for every country in the world. And finally, I can almost always find a toilet in a gas station or restaurant, but I do carry toilet paper as well just in case. Thanks for the questions!

NefariousNumbat1 karma

After your journey is over, do you plan on going back to Denmark or is there another place you'd rather settle?

CyclingTheGlobe2 karma

For now my plan is to go back to Denmark as I have my family (my parrents and sisters) there. On the other hand I think I'm pretty open to where I end up settling. I used to study in Switzerland and Spain, and I like these two countries very much as well.

malcs851 karma

Hi, awesome to see someone who is able to follow their passion to this degree! I would love to make a long cycle journey someday- and have followed past world cycle record attempts such as Mike Hall and Mark Beaumont's. What is your opinion of this "race" style, and how do you personally deal with issues like loneliness? What will you do when it is all over?

CyclingTheGlobe4 karma

My trip is certainly not a race (31000 km over 4 years is not very impressive, hihi), but I do see the fascination in trying to beat such a record. Not sure I would go for it myself though. I really never feel lonely on the road. There is always locals and other travellers to talk to, and when on the bike itself I found it rather nice to be alone to go at my own speed. I did a large part of the cycling in South America together with two friends. It was a great experience as well to be able to share the ride with another guy, but in general I don't mind to travel solo.

benjamingjw1 karma

Congratulations on your adventure, I truly envy you! What made you do this trip?

CyclingTheGlobe3 karma

Thank you! I have always loved to bike, and also to travel. At some point I thought it would be smart to combine my two passions. I started with shorter trips in Denmark, then I cycled 3 weeks across the Balkan countries. After another 2 months bike trip across India I was reading a book about a guy who cycled around the world. I then decided to start planing this very long adventure.

Imadethistoimpress1 karma

Do you listen to your music while you bike, and also what kind of songs are on your mp3?

CyclingTheGlobe1 karma

I do like to listen to music, but my MP3 player always runs out of battery. I like rock, pop, and blues music, and I try to find some local music as well. Sometime I listen to podcasts and audio books as well.

Scottrix1 karma

Sounds fun, how are you able to fund your adventure?

CyclingTheGlobe5 karma

Cycle touring is a cheap way to travel. My daily budget is 20$. Here in South America that will get you a simple hotel room and 3 cheap restaurant meals a day. I also like to camp a lot to keep the costs down. I saved up some money before I left home. Once I got to Australia my money had almost run out, so I got some jobs there as well. Finally I'm able to do a bit of freelance programming jobs on the road to help with the costs.

Cypressive0 karma

Hey! It's really cool what you do, I am jealous. I am curios to know how people you meet during your journey react it? Like do they think you are a complete retard or do they support the idea?

Wishing you all the best!

CyclingTheGlobe4 karma

Thanks a lot! In general I would say people react in a very positive way when I meet them on the road. If they think I'm a retard they don't often tell me haha. In many places in Asia and South America people can't understand why one would do such a trip alone. I think family/groups of friends are more important here than in the more individualistic west.

dtrainescobar-6 karma

The last person who did this, and was doing it for charity died. Once you too are hit and killed, who will you leave your legacy to?

CyclingTheGlobe1 karma

It is true that there is some risk being out on the road every day. But then again, people also sadly die cycling to and from work back in Copenhagen. Car drivers are lost every day in accidents as well. I try to look for smaller road with less traffic. They are much nicer to cycle on anyway.