Book Review & Contest: How To Get To The North Pole (And Bike Around The World)

June 26th, 2012 55 comments

How To Get To The North Pole How do you cycle around the world? Here’s one view.

Just go. Any bike, any tent, anywhere. It’s true, the toughest step is always the first one! – Matt Bridgestock

That quote kicks off 24-pages of solid advice on cycling around the world. It’s one of 7 chapters in a new book for future explorers: How To Get To The North Pole … and other iconic adventures.

Author Tim Moss does a fine job of laying out the basics of cycling around the world, complete with statistics, anecdotes and inspiring quotes.

Essential questions such as Where do you sleep? and What do you drink? are all answered in a straight-to-the-point style. There’s an overview of the gear required, along with common challenges such as saddle sores, steep hills and accidents.

We particularly liked Tim’s summary of the first steps towards a round-the-world trip:

1. Get a bike, any bike, and start riding it everywhere you can.

2.Test yourself and see how far you can ride in a day. Aim high. You can always catch a train back.

3. Plan a trip. Fly overseas or start from your front door. Do it in a weekend or take a month off work. The details don’t matter, just give yourself a taste of life on the road.

4. If you are left hungry for more then you can start planning the big one. Work out a route you would like to follow, start accumulating the gear, apply for some visas if you want and set a date.

It really doesn’t need to be more complicated than that.

True planners will, of course, want more detail (such as what’s available in our Bike Touring Survival Guide and the Adventure Cycle-Touring Handbook) but this book has the basics down pat. We found it a fun and inspiring look at biking around the world.

Want to win a copy?

We have two copies to give away. There are two ways to enter:

1. Leave a comment and tell us what your ideal cycling route around the world would be.

2. Get onto Twitter and re-tweet this message:

Win a copy of How To Get To The North Pole (a book by @nextchallenge) from @travellingtwo http://travellingtwo.com/12569

You can enter until midnight (Central European Time) on Thursday, June 28th. Winners will be announced on Friday, June 29th.

Good luck!


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54 Responses to “Book Review & Contest: How To Get To The North Pole (And Bike Around The World)”

  1. Frosene Sacco says:

    My ideal route would have me to be all packed up and ready to go with my husband. we would open our front door, say good bye to our cat and house sitter one more time, and head to the east coast. We live in Seattle, so we’d choose one of the Adventure Cycling routes. Plans could change in the morning too! Being open to new possibilities as they unfold = ADVENTURE!!
    From the east coast, we would fly to the UK, take the Chunnel to France, cycle to Italy and Greece, our cultural heritages, and look up family and friends! From there, an open book. I’d like to also cycle in countries where cycling is a way of life, like the Netherlands and Denmark, as well as others that are more remote and undiscovered by bike. To inspire others to explore the world by bike is important to me. “Be the inpiration you want the world to embrace”. My own quote!
    Thank you so much!

  2. Kalilileth says:

    Pack the bike and ride from Galway to Cork. Boat from Cork to Roscoff. Follow Camino Santiago de Compostella to Santiago de Compostella. Then follow the coast to the Alhambra and on to Saintes Maries de la Mer. Follow the coast round Italy and through to Istanbul. Then Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan & north Pakistan, North India and Nepal. Through India to Bangladesh and round the coast of India, south Pakistan. Boat from Karachi to Yemen and Yemen to Djibouti and on to Egypt. Follow the Nile to Rwanda, through DRC, Congo and into Cameroon. Follow the coast to Sengal and into Mali. Inland to Djenna and Timbuktu. Then Mauritania, tip of Western Sahara and Morocco. Would love to follow coast through Algeria, but if that is not possible, get a boat to Spain and another to Tunisia. Into Libya to see archaeological sites Then North of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, East Turkey and Georgia. Follow the coast to Ukraine.Then Belarus, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, Belgium and Northern France. Then boat from France to England. Follow the coast in a clockwise direction as far as Cornwall and up to Wales. Boat from Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire and cycle back to Galway. This would be my perfect dream trip! With luck I would not need to use planes at any stage, (except possibly the stretch from Rwanda to Kinshasa). It would, however, still leave me with a potential trip to plan from Galway to Barbados to seek out relatives who came from there to Ireland and settled in Galway in the late 1800s… :)

  3. David says:


    There are two ideal routes I want to do. The first one is called “Via de la Plata” that cross Spain from South to North and will link with “Santiago’s way”. This will be a preliminary test for the big one which is travel from Spain to China (Arriving in Beiging or Shanghai or Hong Kong, not sure yet) trying to find the less roads as possible (at least until it keep safe) and the more tracks. I would love to use the silk path at least on the Turkey and Iran areas although not sure how secure Iran is at the moment due to the political issues we face. Would like to share with somebody, but have not found yet…

  4. Alberto says:

    Having been in London for longer than originally expected, my ideal round the world trip would start from my doorstep. Cycle down to Newheaven (the route to Dover isn’t particularly nice!) and boat over to Dieppe. Cross France heading south east, load up on croissants to climb up the Pyrinees before getting into Italy. From there go around over to Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Bulgaria and then Turkey. Been dreaming about cycling in Iran so that would be great if there were not any issues by then. Pakistan and India would be next. Blangladesh, Myanmar, Northern Thailand, Malasya and Indonesia. Round the Northern coast of Australia and then New Zealand. Fly over to Chile and ride North, taking in as much as South America as possible. Then cross central America, the US and finally Canada. Travel West-East in Canada and then fly back to Ireland. From Dublin boat over to Liverpool, and cycle down to Portsmouth. Ferry over to France, head south, cross the Pyrinees and make my way down to my parents’ in Madrid.

  5. Dave Jackson says:

    I have foresworn flying because of global warming. Therefore my route would have to be by boat for the bits I can’t cycle. I would like to cycle to the coast from Cambridge UK, boat across to Denmark, on up through Norway and then get a boat across to Greenland, cycle across there and boat to Canada.

    At this point I would turn left to head down to the Southern tip of South Brazi. Hop across to Mauritania. Across Africa to Tanzania, boat to Australia, After Australia I would head up through Malaysia, Thailand, China and Mongolia. I would then head through Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Greece before the final leg through Italy and France before getting the boat back to the South Coast of England and cycling back up to Cambridge. I might chose to go via the Chanel tunnel as an alternative to the boat.

  6. Kamil says:

    Ideal route is just behind that hill and just behind that forest and it has no end at all. Thats my opinion

  7. h says:

    Leave home and head east until I got back. Ocean crossings via sailboat.

  8. Amalia says:

    Mi ciclo-viaje ideal es hacer la ruta 40 en Argentina que va desde La Quiaca en en Norte, hasta Ushuaia en el Sur recorriendo 5200km y pasando por muchos parques nacionales.
    Saludos desde Argentina!

  9. Eric says:

    We would like to include Iceland, then across the northern section to Alaska then across Canada to home. Perhaps not all at once but sections.

  10. ‘Ideal bike trip around the world’ – well I am currently on one. So it has to be my day to day life.

  11. karou says:

    My ideal route is anywhere I have never been before. It is seeing new things, or old things from a new perspective. It is feeling the earth under my tires, and really experiencing the world around me, and not just flying over it in a plane. It is going far and pushing myself to see if I can go even further. It is experiencing the terrain and the weather intimately. It is hard. It is wonderful.

  12. Hmmm…around the world…? I’m embarking on a North – South trip across New York State first…from the Southern Tier near Pennsylvania up to the Canadian Border and back!

    I’d love to cycle ’round the globe…working on the USA first! :-)

  13. jan says:

    My trip would not have an end. We would ride from the West to East Coast of the USA then pack up bikes (fortunately I already own folding Greenspeed Recumbents and also have Bromptons) fly to Germany and ride all over there then go to Denmark, Holland, and all over Europe until we saw all of it and have planned the next leg to as many other countries as we could ride!

  14. gustavo says:

    my ideal is off road patagonia by chile. My favorite place it´s a little town called Futaleufu – Sta Lucia – Coyhaique.uoy can see a lot river, when you can fish all the time, there aren´t many village and you need calculate your meal for along trip. The second trip Osorno to Bariloche, beautifull landscape with some volcanos.



  15. James says:

    Just the idea that the road outside my front door could lead me around the globe and back to the same spot, AMAZING!
    Forgeting about visa’s, border crossings and political restrictions – off-road (yeah, I’m a mountainbiker) would be my route of choice!

  16. Ben Byers says:

    A one month ride on the side roads and mountain tracks of the Bolivian Andes, dipping into northern Argentina and Peru. An untouched part of the world, where small towns of traditionally-dressed natives still thrive at 4000m, and where the vistas are as breathtaking as the climbs are steep. That’s the current dream.

  17. Mason says:

    As the road would have it, I would love to go “there and back again.” As far as my mind could stretch and as long as my years allow. The route? Well, anywhere new, that’s good enough for me.

  18. Mirel says:

    Anywhere… with my soul mate. We’d struggle together, pounding up punishing ascents, we’d marvel at the depth of field only visible from the vistas at the very top, we’d feel the wind in our hair as we freewheel all the way down. We’d camp out under a blanket of stars, and huddle together, alone in the wilderness, searching for comets. We’d wash in streams and eat from tins. We’d see road signs in languages we don’t understand, we’d wave to peasants on their carts and to children in villages. You and me, spinning our way around the world – pioneers, explorers, travellers, but above all companions, forever indebted to each other and to the inventor of the wheel.

  19. Kalilileth says:

    It wasn’t clear which place to post so I did both :) Had a serious health scare a few years ago, so every day on the bike is a day I wasn’t entitled to! Would so love to see the Roma festival in Saintes Maries de la Mer and have promised that as soon as I am well enough I will head there to give thanks to Sara la Kali. So I will think of you when I get there, and also at the Alhambra, Aya Sophia & Mud Mosque in Djenna :)
    2 seconds ago

  20. Mark says:

    That’s a tall order! It would definitely be a meander. From the West Coast, a train trip to Portland, then east along the TransAm, for its history. On to Ireland for a loop that would have to include the Wicklow Mountains. Ferry across to Scotland to waste way to much time in the Hebrides and Highlands (with some more ferry rides thrown in). Then a meander through France, riding some of the canal paths and eating our way toward Italy. Croatia, eastern Europe, north to Scandinavia and over to Netherlands (I said it would be a meander). I’d fancy getting back into more of the old Soviet bloc before skipping a bit (it’s my tour) for Australia and New Zealand. A big ramble through South America would lead to the road home through Central America and Mexico. Then, I guess I’d just have to write the book!

  21. Kameliya Miletova says:

    It would start from Vienna, through Bratislava to Budapest… that is my dream part one. Then the trip would keep on the Danube River. In one moment I would like to go somewhere in a deep nature and on the next moment to go to the big city and to meet lots of native people… I imagine my trip like a big adventure full of different emotions.

  22. Rufus Acosta says:

    My route would head south from my starting point in California, and I would continue south all the way to the tip of South America. Then a flight to South Africa and start heading north staying to the east of the continent. Then upon reaching Cairo, I’d boat to Turkey and round the Black sea (eather side) and make a beeline to St. Petersburg. A flight to Alsaka and straight on down to home.

  23. Jeffrey Lin says:

    My Idea of a bicycle trip is going from the California through the Pacific Coast, then to Vancouver Canada. From here I would take a rest maybe someone might invite me in a Outdoor Cabin that they own in the middle of nowhere. From there, I would bicycle through Kamploop, British Comlumbia through Jasper, Alberta, down into the National parks, see the Rocky Mountains before crossing back into the US with my Passport. When I am back in the US, I will visit Glacier National Park, Yellowstone and some Native American Sites along the way such as Mesa Verde in Colorado where I Will do a cycling around the Cliff Palace Sites, Spruce Tree House and the Square Tree House for a couple days plus of Camping.

    I will finally finish up the rest of the tour by visiting the four corners and some uncharted territory. Grand Canyon will the last place I will visit on the way home right by the North Rim of the Park.

  24. Alejandra Ruiz says:

    My ideal bike trip around the world would be a life time journey including all the continents and a nice pedal-powered boat to cross the oceans.

  25. Paul Steckler says:

    I’d like to do a world tour that includes out-of-the-way islands. I’d include the Canary Islands, the Falklands, Diego Garcia, Madagascar, Tasmania, the Channel Islands, and Prince Edward Island. Maybe throw in Papua New Guinea and Bali.

    I’ve already cycled on PEI and Tasmania, so I’ve already notched part of my tour. But I would love to cycle those islands again!

  26. Our ideal route would start in Europe and then through Turkey to Iran, India, China & Japan..
    With the current political situation we’re afraid it will stay a dream for many years to come..
    So meanwhile we’re going to Europe :)

  27. Megan Tasker says:

    My ideal bike trip around the ‘world’ (or part of it to start) would be to start from Anchorage, Alaska and travel through the Yukon (perhaps catch the Dawson folk fest), head south through BC, take a little detour for some surfing action in Tofino (aka heaven on earth), continue south along the coast, all the way down into Mexico, through central America, skipping the Darien gap and catch a sail boat from Panama that will take me to Cartagena and then I’ll bike south, south, south all the way to Ushuaia and then take a break and think about the next move… perhaps head back up?

  28. Ralph says:

    Top cycle would be bilboa to odessa with a ferry from marseille to sardinia with a spin around sardinia. After there, another ferry to naples and then a cross-Italy cylce to Bari with another boat trip to Dubrovnik. From here a run through the Balkans and up to Romania and then straight on into Ukraine

  29. My ideal back trip would be to set out from my front door and limit my journey to within a five miles square of my home. Everyday I’d ride and get to know the area and the people. Living in London how well do we know even our neighbor. My trip would be an opportunity to do just that. I would find parks to camp in, be moved on by police and encounter joys and frustrations and get to change habits, my own and others in my journey to the “familiar”. My journey is as much about a journey as a destination. Thank you.

  30. kev sullivan says:

    When I finally finish work my ideal trip is to take my bike to Gibraltar and follow the spring north at a very slow enjoyable pace to north cape.

  31. Ben Lincoln says:

    I would love to cycle with a great friend leaving and meeting up again as we went. It would be awesome to go for years and plod along happily, meeting people along the way. Will start with Europe and a great friend at the end of my working season though 😀

  32. Raymond (Ray of Sunshine) says:

    I want this book so bad I joined twitter just for you! :^{D also want to take a jaunt around Prince Edward Island,Canada cycling over 450 kms of Bicycle Trails and camping along the way. My ride is a Dahon Speed TR with Panniers and a Burley Travoy Trailer. Had to retire the mountain bicycle for the Dahon as years of heavy labour no longer allow me the option to ride bent over and forward, lucky the Dahon is a vertical ride. Cheers if I win I’ll send you a BONUS photo of me and my ride. SWEET. (:-}

  33. Simon Norton says:

    My ideal cycling route around the world would be with the wind behind me and the motorists respectfully giving me a wide berth. That would be ideal.

  34. Begin in my hometown of Harrisonburg, VA; move north up through the Shenandoah National Park to Front Royal, VA, navigate to Purcellville, VA and follow the WO&D Trail to Wash DC., catch a plane to Glasgow and travel south through the UK; take ferry to Calais to Reims to Metz to Strasbourg to Liechtenstein to Innsbrook to Salzburg to Graz to Vienna to Budapest through Romania and Bulgaria to Istanbul; to Ankara to Akaray to Tarsus, East to Adana and Cayhan; follow the west coast of the Mediterranean via Lebanon to Israel (see much of Israel); catch a plan home. That’s all for me, I do not want to see anymore. It would be time to get home.

  35. Pat Evans says:

    My route would start by riding across Canada from Vancouver to Halifax, turn right, go to Florida, turn right, go To LA, and then pick a direction from there.

  36. Antony says:

    Southern Hemisphere Explorer

    The best trips start at the front door, but don’t necessarily end there, if they ever end at all. For me Australia circumnavigate (include tassie) then New zealand end to end both islands, then on to South America (chile, argentina and uraguay) across to the Falkland Islands, and across to southern Africa (Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya) over to Madagascar, then across to Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Solomons and island hop back to Wollongong. ? Antarctica, I know I can visit but to bicycle, that would be an adventure to write about.

  37. Pat Evans says:

    My trip would be to start in Vancouver, BC, head to Halifax, NS, turn right, go to Florida, turn right and head to LA. From here I would make a choice on which direction to go, and keep on going.

  38. Judy says:

    I’ve already been across the USA twice. Ireland – France – Germany – Austria – Slovenia – Italy – Turkey – Israel – Jordan – Egypt – Kenya – South Africa – Madagascar – India – Bhutan – Thailand – Laos – Viet Nam – Cambodia – Indonesia – Australia – French Polynesia – Chile – Argentina – Peru – Costa Rica – Cuba – Mexico.

  39. Peter says:

    Plan too far ahead and life becomes complicated. Make sure the bike’s fettled, the passport’s valid, you’ve access to cash, and set off. Ferry across the North Sea, up the Rhine, then over to the Donau-Radweg and the Black Sea. After that?? Listen to people you meet and follow your nose. Have a good time.

  40. Mezza says:

    Turning right from my front door and heading East all of the way with a smile and wind on my face and taking my time to listen to people and see new sights. Would love to travel through Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, China, Japan and Canada. Amazing things to see, clashes of new versus old, beautiful versus brash etc.

    Before the ‘big’ ride I have a number of smaller ones where I hope to bring some change to childrens lives.

  41. Ramazan Kılınç says:

    The route that I’m planning to do in a few years is like this: Start at home like it’s a normal work day. Go to Georgia through Black Sea coast, after Georgia it’s Azerbaijan. Then get a boat to Turkmenistan and cycle from west border to east border. Then Uzbekistan to visit Samarkand and Bukhara. The next destination is Mount Everest and get there through Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Nepal. Again India until Myanmar and then Thailand to visit a friend. And then Laos, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Eastern China, South Korea, Japan and Asia part will be finished. To spend some more time in Japan and the get to South America. After visiting Macchu Picchu in Peru, doing a S-America tour as Peru, Chili, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Brasil.. And the last part of the tour: Europe.. Portugal, Spain, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Macedonia, Greece and back home; Turkey.. I don’t how long it will take, but the time doesn’t matter :)

  42. My ideal trip around the world right now: dreaming about having time to do it! For the moment, 2 weeks cycling holidays and listening and looking at pictures the guests of our bbtamdem took during their cycling holidays.
    We already had several guests who used the guide “onbegrensd fietsen”.

  43. John Broadbent says:

    I have only travelled around the UK. The idea of a world travell is a misty dream to be accomplished when I have the courage to unshackle myself from circumstance amd commitment. I would travel To Europe, then through Jordan, Qatar and Pakistan. I would then like to experience the whole of India then Malaysia, Thailand and up through China. I would like to cycle the Road of Bones through to the Russian coast before travelling thruogh Canada and back Home. At least the book may inspire me and I love to read travel stories from the road….Thanks

  44. Carl says:

    Like Tim says just getting out and going is the best way to get out and go. For me I have started just like this. I recently did some short overnights. What I discovered that there was a whole “World” right in my local area that I never experienced before because I always drove right by it at 70 miles per hour in a car. My trip around the “World” would be just to get out there with an open mind, open heart and let world show me where to go. Sure there are countries I would like to see but my efforts will be to appreciate what rolls in front of me at 12 miles per hour and savor all the little moments as they come.

  45. Maxime says:

    My ideal route (for now) would see me leave from my front door in Ottawa (Canada) and ride South-West to Mexico and then to Panama. After jumping to Colombia, I would ride in the Andes and the pacific coast to Peru and then bike down to the Amazon bassin where I’d put my bike on a boat and relax in a hammock until I reach the Atlantic. From there, its South again to Argentina and accross the Andes to southern Chile. From there, I’d ride to Santiago where I would take a cheap flight to the Atlantic coast of Europe (Spain?). From Western Europe, I’d find quiet roads to Turkey and Georgia. At this juncture, I would either go North to Moscow or another city to take the Transiberian to either Mongolia or Beijing or take the Stan’s road toward Xinjiang and Northern China. Now in Mongolia or Northern China I would ride south, make a stop to see the inlaws, and then head to Chengdu and Kunming. I would cross into Laos and ride to Bangkok making a detour via Cambodia. From there, I would either cycle through Malaysia and Indonesia or take the plane to New Zealand. From there, I would fly back to the West Coast of North America and ride home. Now.. I need to save a bit more and ensure that my wife and son are also up to it!

  46. Jordan says:

    Doing it now! I am cycling through Europe from Morocco to Turkey. I would change being able to get a visa for Iran though and cycle to India instead of flying and eventually making my way all the way to Southeast Asia occasionally taking boats :).

  47. Harrison Law says:

    My ideal route? Starting from my home in Anchorage, Alaska: Head down the west coast of the Americas to Ushuaia Argentina, catch a flight (or boat?) to Capetown South Africa, ride up the eastern coast of Africa through Kenya, Ethiopia, & Sudan, to Egypt; then on to Turkey, Georgia, Russia, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia, then finally on to eastern Russia, where I hope we’ll be able to catch a flight home to Alaska. My girlfriend & I have already done several short tours in Europe & Alaska, and she’s completely onboard! We have another year or so of saving before we can leave, as we’ll probably be gone for ~2.5 years.

  48. richard says:

    simple, If I win a copy of the book,I’d just Read it throughout and sell every material item I own and just take off. and let the road out side my front door take on the journey. even with out the book ………it’s just a matter of time….. ride safe!

  49. Richard says:

    East with a pretty lady to follow.

  50. Kyle says:

    Starting in Sydney, I’d cruise down around the south and across the nullabour to Perth, fly across to cape town, head up to Tanzania, cross Sudan into Egypt. Then fly from there to lisbon, cycle through Europe (stopping in for the tour de France) head east to Istanbul and keep going, Iran, central Asia, take on the Pamir highway, then through Tibet. Will have to go through southeast Asia down to Singapore. From there fly to LA and head down through the Americas along the spine of the Andes. Tango the night away in BA before the trip across the Pacific back to sunny Sydney. Wow!

  51. MGROARK says:

    My best trip would be next year to take a trip from my hometown of Chicago to the World Cup 2014 in Rio de Janerio

  52. Alan Shea says:

    Well, I like “h”s response. I would put the book away untill winter, when I could sit beside our new TULIKIVI fireplace, put my new socks on and read the book. Hope you have a great trip with my new nephew, Love Alan and Carol and Maggie.

  53. shane b says:

    Touch ’em all….each continent & significant land mass, each ocean, each major mountain range (w/ visual of the highest peaks), each low point, and great natural phenomenon.

  54. Tony Slattery says:

    Just to have the freedoom of the road is enough no particular route. I follow the wind by Louise Sutherland
    a great inspiration.

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