Last week a few friends and I stopped at the Arctic Circle – even though I have been making my living as a photographer for many years now, I’m not immune to grabbing an occasional cheesy tourist photograph, and what better place then in front of the Arctic Circle sign.
While grabbing photos and playing games with the GPS and sunrise apps – another perfect spot for such things – I was surprised to see someone ride up on a bike! You see, we were a very long ways from anything, anywhere, so that has to be an interesting story. Over the years I have meet other travelers on bikes, motorcycles and automobiles who were traveling between the Southern end of South America, to the top of North America, or vise versa, and that is what I assumed he was doing. But no, this guy is planning on going much further.
Hi name is Rob Landaurer, and it turns out this Texan is going to effectively ride around the world. As he explained, his route will take him around the world in more of a North / South direction as he makes his way East, not the more common East / West route – I can’t imagine either route is very “common”. He is planning to travel from Prudhoe Bay to Ushuaia, Argentina, then will fly to the Southern end of Africa. After riding across Africa with a flight around some dangerous areas, he plans to fly from Morocco to Spain. From there, he intends to ride across Europe and finally across Russia! The entire trip is going to take a year and a half!
His bike was interesting. It had a teflon like belt instead of a chain like you see on some motorcycles to avoid wear and rust. The rear gears were entirely housed within a large hub to protect them from the elements. The front hub could be engaged in order to provide power to a usb connection on the goose neck of his handlebars, so that he could charge his phone on the downhills, or power a light.
If you are interested in learning more, check out his website Self Powered Travel. I see he is already in Beaver City, Yukon.
Rob is also doing this to raise money for World Bike Relief. All the money he raises will go straight to the worthwhile charity – none of it will go to cover the cost of this trip which he is funding out of pocket.
Good luck Rob, you are an inspiration!