Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Name : Mark Doherty
The plan : To cycle around the world using the bicycle as my main mode of transport.
Bicycle : Koga Signature
Date of departure: 19-11-08
Date of return : 27-4-10
Distance cycled : 23,680KMs
Number of continents visited : 3 (*see below)
Number of countries visited : 18 **
Number of punctures : Too many (approxmatily 100)
Number of deserts crossed : 6***
Favourite country : Iran
Favourite city : Las Vegas ****
Most shocking experience : Witnessing a Sky Burial, in which human corpses are fed to wild vultures
Any near death experiences? : That Kara Su river in Kyrgyzstan nearly had me. It truly nearly had me.
Example of 'It doesn't get any crazier than this' : Skiing down a glacier with one hand on the bicycle handlebars and one hand on the saddle and using the pedal as brakes by leaning the bike towards me.
Hardest day : Somewhere in Western China anyway. Probably the day that included a 33KM uphill in first gear and at the end of the day the altimeter showed a 2000M altitude increase.
Longest distance travelled in 1 day : 163 KMs when I had a great tailwind crossing the Karakum desert in Turkmenistan.
Shortest distance travelled in 1 day : 9 KMs. Just too hung over to continue after an unfortunate experience involving a 2 euro bottle of French wine.
How would you describe the past 17 months of Global Cycle Ride? : Best time of my life.
Longest stretch without a shower : 17 days
Best meal of the trip : Il Latino restaurant, Florence, Italy. If you are ever in Florence, visit this place with an empty tummy and leave it to the chef's recommendation of the evening.
Best country for food : I'm undecided between Greece and China.
Worst meal of the trip : Yak rectum with shite sauce in Tibetan truckstop
Worst country for food : Uzbekistan
* Europe, Asia, North America,
** Ireland, Wales, England, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, United States of America, Mexico, Belize.
*** Karakum desert in Turkmenistan, Kyzulkum desert in Uzbekistan, Taklamakan dersert in China, the Mojave and Sonaron deserts in United States and the Chihuahua desert in Mexico
****Las Vegas. Why does this city get continually slated by people? It is a one of a kind city in the world and I love it. If you know where to look you can get a 4 star casino hotel bed for less than the price of a hostel dorm in Dublin. You can get a 16oz T-Bone steak for the price of a sandwich and coffee from an O'Briens sandwich outlet and best of all: Don't pay for alcohol in Vegas. Every casino on the strip including the Bellagio will give you free drink as long as you are willing to spend a little time in front of a slot machine. My advice is sit in front of a 1c slot and tip the waitress $2 per drink. The bottom line. If you want to break even in Vegas- Don't gamble. To quote Robert De Niro from the movie Casino; "The house always wins". It is an extraordinary city that by very definition is the opposite to banal.