Heinz Stücke, the world’s longest travelling cyclist, will ride through northern Canada in 2010 and then set off for many of the world’s islands.
The news on Heinz’s progress comes from Japanese bike tourist Daisuke Nakanishi (on the road from 1998-2009 and for 151,849km), who hosted Heinz for a few days in Japan earlier this month. Heinz’s bicycle of choice for this trip was a Brompton folding bike.
Since leaving his home country of Germany in 1960, Heinz has clocked up a massive 592,000km on his bicycle. Heinz recently turned 70 and continues to turn the pedals on his bicycle. He will spend a few months in Europe before boarding a ship for Canada later this year.
A hand-drawn map of the world highlights the places he hopes to visit afterwards. Many are islands and each location falls into one of two categories: necessary for the Guinness Book Record for visiting every country in the world or countries recognised by The Travelers’ Century Club.
Heinz has published a short version of his story, called The Man Who Wanted To See It All. From that article, here is Heinz’s explanation of how he ended up on a never-ending journey.
“Although I never intended to travel for so long, I came to the conclusion that going into an area for a short time was simply not enough. It would be very unfair to the people who lived there. You might praise or condemn a country solely on the basis of one encounter, either pleasant or unpleasant. So I decided on a minimum of two to six months per country depending on its size. I felt this period of time would permit me to get a more realistic impression of the place. But in slowing down, time just passed by and there was always another country around the corner. I was hardly ever homesick or tired of travelling, although I have to admit that sometimes I longed for domestic comforts.” – Heinz Stücke
Many thanks to Daisuke for providing the photos and update on Heinz’s travels.