Tracking progress courtesy of ZeroSixZero, bespoke adventure mapping with a merry twist.
This journey began on 26th July 2019, after I was fortunate enough to spend four days with a global family of community leaders at the Facebook Headquarters in Menlo Park, California, which I’m really lucky to be a part of thanks to my work with SayYesMore and the YesTribe.
While everyone else headed home by plane and car and train, my escape was made on an AZUB recumbent bicycle, heading east, armed with a pair of legs which are in desperate need of a workout.
There’s a clock on this one. On the 1st September I’m leading a small group adventure down the Lower Mississippi River, starting in Memphis, Tennessee, which gives me 34 days to ride a touch over 2000 miles from the west coast to the Mississippi. Along the way I’ll use Facebook to find great people to meet, share a coffee or perhaps even spend the night with, and in more remote areas I’ll find two trees to sling a hammock between, before riding on the next morning.
All going well this will become the 15th journey of Expedition1000, a lifetime goal to undertake twenty five journeys of 1000 miles or more, each using a different form of non motorised transport. Bit by bit I’m now filling in the gaps between previous journeys, slowly linking up twenty five different paths to form a line around our little planet.
All going to plan, we’ll head south east from the San Francisco Bay Area towards Bakersfield, California. Once over the tail end of the Sierras I’ll jink north to Las Vegas then continue eastwards through Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas before finishing up in Memphis
In 2011 I rode a tandem bike with a friend between Vancouver and Las Vegas, and later that year I paddled the full length of the Mississippi River and a little bit more. A year later I swam 1001 miles along the Missouri River from Chamberlain in South Dakota to St Louis, and I’m hoping that the ride this coming August will cross paths with each of these previous three routes.
I choose these journeys for soul food, as a reminder that we live in a world full of good, kind people and majestic nature worth preserving. I travel slow to keep things cheap, but also because a little challenge never did us any harm. In these adventures I’ve found the greatest riches in life and I’ve learned so much from a long ride, pedal, paddle, skate or plod - far more than I ever did at school.
If you happen to live along the way, somewhere between San Francisco and the Mississippi, I’d love to meet up and share some stories.
Who knows which way the wind will blow, but I’m really looking forward to making my way east later this summer.
In 2017, at the Germersheim’s Spezi bike show in Germersheim, Germany, Emms and I were at the mercy of our Facebook friends, who voted between three different types of tandem bicycle for us to ride off towards the sunrise.
One of those bikes was made by Azub, who are based in the Czech Republic. On that occasion another bike won the vote, but I stayed in touch with Honza, Azub’s marketing boss who has completed some pretty amazing long distance journeys of his own.
When the opportunity for this summer’s journey appeared I wrote to Honza and he reckoned that Azub could help, so they’re loaning me a specially built super speedy recumbent bike, a Max700, for the journey ahead. Come the end of the journey one of my duties is to sell it on, so if you’re interested drop me a line!
In May 2019 I met up with Honza in Vienna, Austria to test drive my new steed, here’s what happened.