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Heinz Stücke To Cycle Canada, Go Island Hopping

Posted January 19th, 2010

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.

picture1.BROMPTON 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.

list for visit

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.

Touring Bikes on Google Street View

Posted January 15th, 2010

Screenshot-1

Anyone else been lucky enough to have their loaded touring bikes captured when Google’s camera van came down the street? This is the home of one of the members of a cycling club we belong to. We were surprised when we looked up his house to see the bikes, already packed for this weekend’s trip!

Dutch Bicycle Photos We Love

Posted January 9th, 2010

We’re amassing quite a collection of bicycle photos from Holland.

Here are a few of our favourites. Top of the list is this shot Andrew got of a little girl, riding in a Bakfiets (literally ‘basket bicycle’) with her father, just around the corner from our home.

Dutch Bakfiets

On a day trip to Amsterdam, we spotted this bike, which lives up to its name.

Colourful

This is the kind of Christmas tree we plan to have one day!

Bicycle Christmas Tree in Amsterdam

Here’s a very typical Dutch bike, parked against someone’s home.

Cyclists going past our local fireworks shop on New Year’s Eve.

Fireworks on sale for New Year's Eve

One way to deter people from stealing your bicycle is to scratch your name into the frame!

Theft protection

Finishing A Tour… 34 Years Later

Posted January 6th, 2010

Frank (on the left)If one person shows how it’s never to late to complete your dreams, it must be Dutch cyclist Frank van Dijk. His 7,000km cross-America tour from Oregon to Virginia in 1976 was cut short in Kansas when an old lady crashed her Buick into Frank’s bike.

The impact threw Frank onto the hood. His head was smashed through the windshield. He went to hospital in a coma and suffered a broken arm.

Fast forward to 2010 and now Frank is ready to make a comeback tour. In August 2010 he will fly to America and complete the journey from all those decades ago by cycling from the original planned end point in Virginia, all the way back to where he and the Buick collided.

We hope to feature Frank more on this site, as his tour date draws closer. Until then, check out the video and Frank’s site, Tour de Frank.

World Bike Touring Fair in Rotterdam

Posted December 1st, 2009

Now this is why we moved to The Netherlands – they have conferences on bike touring!

As regular readers might guess, this one was organised by the fabulous Wereldfietser club and their great work meant that 650 people came through the doors last Saturday in Rotterdam to learn all about travelling by bicycle.

Here are some pictures that give a flavour of the day – mark your calendars for next year! (Photos courtesy of RobertJan).

It was very busy. The whole day looked like this. I can’t remember a moment of relative calm. What was there to see? Displays from bike tourists, workshops on things like how to get started and how to pack your bike for the plane, a book fair and a second-hand market.

Busy, busy, busy at the Wereldfietser fair

This bike got a lot of attention. The owner had it painted in Pakistan and the work cost about $80. It was absolutely gorgeous.

A great, painted bike from Pakistan

This was our table at the fair, where we talked about our trip and answered questions from people planning journeys.

Our table at the fair

And here we are looking a bit silly – Friedel is trying to grab a bite to eat (something not easily achieved when everyone wants to talk to you!) and Andrew manages to find time to smile for the camera. We talked to so many people our throats were raw by the end of the day.

Friedel with her mouth full and Andrew smiling

Our neighbours had also gone quite far on their bikes and brought huge maps to show off their trips.

Two bike touring informants

You could learn about cycling in Oman at the fair.

Cycling in Oman, anyone?

And even about traditional dress!

Learning about bike touring

It was really a wonderful day out. Do come next year if you’re in the area. Thanks to RobertJan for letting us use his pictures in this post.