Thomas Andersen loves being out in the open air and letting his thoughts run free. As such, he was naturally drawn to the sport of cycling. When he later discovered a similar passion for traveling, the ambitious adventurer decided to set out on an incredible journey, traveling 50.000 km on a bike through 40 countries around the world. He is currently on his 1490th day of his adventure and so far, he’s run 20+ red lights, gone 10 days without showering and cycled through 44 °C weather.
1. Everyone has a first bike riding experience. When did you first learn how to ride and was it all smooth sailing?
In Denmark, all kids learn to ride bikes almost before they can walk. It is really a very integrated part of the culture of growing up. I remember when my dad took the support wheels off my first bike. I don’t think I broke any bones, so it must have been a rather successful ride.
2. I see you haven’t updated the stats on your website since July. Where are you on your journey now?
I just arrived in Lima, a huge city with 9 million inhabitants. Very different from a few days ago when I was riding through the vast deserts of southern Peru.
3. To date, what has been your favorite country you’ve been to while on your journey?
Every country is unique in it´s own way, but I would say that India is a little more unique than other countries. It was very much a love-hate relationship though; cycling through India can also be very challenging with the crazy traffic, noise levels, and amount of people everywhere.
4. As a cyclist, I’m sure you’ve had some nasty falls. Care to share one?
I have never fallen in the 4 years since I left home. On the other hand, I had some crashes back in the streets of my home in Copenhagen. There might be a lesson to be learned here. Your own home town is probably as dangerous and accidents just as likely to happen there as if you were on the other side of the globe in some exotic place.
5. Some people name their cars. Do you have a name for your bike?
My bike doesn’t really have name, but she is an elegant, and proud Italian. She will quickly let me know if she doesn’t get the attention she needs.
6. Now can you help pick a name for mine? Black mountain bike with shock absorbers. It’s a he.
I would call him Bruce.
7. What would you do for a Klondike bar?
I never tried one! Are they good?
8. If you had a tandem bike, who would be your honorary riding partner?
David Attenborough and have him narrate everything that happens.
9. Scenario: Your bike suddenly reveals to you that it’s actually a Transformer. It has the ability to morph into ___________.
A pedal beat.
10. Clapway focuses on the theme of adventure. In your own words, how do you define adventure?
Adventure is when you step out of your comfort zone and get to see the world in a new perspective. A real adventure will somehow change you. You don’t need to be superman, and the adventure certainly doesn’t have to be a 5 year project. I would encourage everyone to take your bike, bring a tent, and spend a night at a hill top close to your home. You will like it!
THOMAS ANDERSEN OFFERS SOME WORDS OF WISDOM:
1. According to your personal website, you’ve lasted 10 days without showering. What are some tips to keep fresh while on the road?
I was cycling with my Swedish cycling buddy into some very remote parts of the Andes mountains between Argentina and Chile. I think the only real tip here is that we didn’t meet any people for 10 days, so we only had to smell ourselves. Oh, and wet wipes can be handy as well.
2. What are some things you’ve learned as a cyclist and world traveler that you would like to share with us?
I have learned that the world is basically full of good people – something that is not obvious if you only learn about the world from the news channels. Get out there and experience it for yourself instead.
3. For those of us who don’t know how to ride a bike. What are the essential steps to learn?
You will want to get a bike that fits your body and that is made for the kind of cycling you have in mind. Start with very short rides and then slowly start to increase your distances. I started to ride to school, then I rode across town, across my country, across my continent and now around the world. There is really no limit to the feeling of freedom you can obtain on a bicycle.
To stay updated on Thomas’ journey, check out Cycling The Globe and follow him on Twitter @CyclingTheGlobe. Thanks so much Thomas! We’ll see to it that you get to try a Klondike bar.
Thomas and his bike in Bolivia