World Bicycle-Tour Video; Homecoming

Man on bike

World bicycle-tour video, homecoming, the last video of Garry’s World tour, using the Flickr photographs and videos he took while away touring.

After 12 months, 22 countries, and 22,154 miles, on a wet and windy November day, Garry cycles into the Fox Inn car park, ending his World tour!

385 days to the day Garry was waved off by family and friends on the adventure of a lifetime! Initially, Garry was only cycling to Australia, but after reaching there in five months. Garry decided to cycle home via the United States of America! It was while cycling across America that Garry changed his plans once again! And decided to make it into a World bicycle tour!

Now, back at the Fox Inn, he is once again greeted by family and friends! Who have a surprise party planned! Once off his a bike, a wet Garry walks into the pub. Where more friends greet him, and a pub, decorated floor to ceiling in flags of the World, in celebration of his achievement!

Spirit FM (Garry’s local radio station) was also at the party. They were presenting Garry with the Local Hero award he won, for his efforts in the saddle. Along with a cheque for the charity, Garry was riding for, Cancer research.

A big surprise for Garry, and totally unexpected! A great way to finish off his around the world bicycle ride!

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A once in a lifetime adventure? Garry’s hoping not, given half a chance he’d be off tomorrow!

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World Bicycle-Tour Video; China

Chinese pagoda

World bicycle-tour video, China, another Flickr/YouTube video, the final leg of Garry’s bicycle ride around the world in 2011/12.

After being stuck at the Kazak China border for two days, Garry can now start his ride across China. This is his second time in China, after deciding to turn his ride to Australia, into a World tour. And as before it was equally as confusing, with nobody understanding Garry and he definitely didn’t understand them! But that’s all part of the fun and adventure, and one reason for travelling!

Yurts in mountains
Yurts in the mountains of China

Back in China, Garry was immediately confronted with mountains and on his first day had a climb of over 2000 metres! And after a long day ended up camping at the top! Being as it was now October, temperatures at night were pretty cold. In fact, it was so cold Garry had to sleep in his thermals, and was only just about warm enough! Coming down the mountain in the morning, Garry had to keep stopping to warm up! He even put plastic bags over his gloves and shoes to try and stay warm!

Where To Finish

As Garry cycled along, he debated where he should finish his World ride. Should he cycle back to Kunming, where he started his first stint in China? But that would have meant having to fly to Beijing, then another flight home from there. Hong Kong and Shanghai were also on Garry’s radar, which would have kept Garry away from home for longer! But in the end, Garry decided that he had to go home at some point, and the easiest and nearest option was Beijing!

Garry was amazed at the amount of building going on! The skyline of every town and city would be filled with tower cranes building new high rise apartments!

Food
One of the many delicious meals Garry had in China

The food was just as amazing as before, and nothing gets wasted, or deboned for that matter! Chicken dishes involved everything claws, beak and all, and Garry found he had a real taste for chicken claws! Which were a delicacy in China!

Easy Cycling

Garry spent a lot of time cycling on motorways, mainly due to roads being closed or because there was no other route! There were plenty of toll booths that Garry would have to cycle past! Sometimes they would wave Garry through, or even take his photo! But generally, Garry would just put his head down and zip past on the hard shoulder! Eventually, his luck ran out, and the police stopped him! And took him away to the police station, where he was told to wait in a corridor! Garry sat there, wondering what his fate would be? Were the police going to give Garry a fine, lock him up, or something else! Maybe he should make a run for it. After all, he could see his bike just outside! It was a worrying wait, which seemed to last forever!

Eventually, the police came back and took Garry upstairs and into an office! They’re sitting behind a desk was a portly middle-aged man, who was obviously the boss. Garry was beckoned to sit down and offered a cup of tea! The man started talking to Garry in very broken English. He just seemed interested in what Garry was doing and why, and only briefly mentioned that he shouldn’t be cycling on the toll roads! After an hour or so, they let Garry go and pointed him to the road away from the toll road.

It’s A Bit Chilly

Temperatures were really starting to tumble now, and one day, Garry passed a thermometer saying it was -11! And that was during the day! It was so cold Garry’s front wheel started to freeze up and wouldn’t turn! Even a short stop at traffic lights would cause the wheel to freeze! Garry ended up carrying a flask of hot water, which he would pour over the hub to free it up! (it turned out there was a slight amount of water in his hub dynamo that was the cause!)

Trucks on icy road
A cold and slippery road

There was plenty of wild camping, which in these temperatures was extremely challenging, and Garry would have to put on every layer, to keep warm! Roads were also becoming slippery, with snow and ice, and Garry fell off a couple of times!

Garry reached Beijing in six weeks, after cycling 2800-miles from the Kazakhstan border. In Beijing, Garry had mixed feelings, yes it was great that he had cycled here, but this was the end of his world tour! All Garry had to do now was book his flight to England and ride the last few miles home.

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World Bicycle-Tour Video; Kazakhstan

Camels

World bicycle-tour video Kazkhastan another YouTube/Flickr video. After 28 long hours on the boat from Azerbaijan, Garry docks in Aktau, Kazakhstan. Thinking he would be able to get cycling the following day, Garry then found out that he needed to get a stamp in his passport, from the local police station! And it had to be done within five days of entering the country! Perhaps he wouldn’t be on the road tomorrow after all!

The following morning Garry went to the police station. Only to find the person with the stamp was on a day off, and nobody else could do it! Garry returned to the police station the next day, and was in for a bit of a shock! When he learnt that his visa would expire in a few days and he would have to leave the country!

How What Why

Garry had obtained his Kazakhstan visa in London when he had returned home after being knocked off his bike in America! But was put on the spot at the Kazak embassy. When he was asked for the specific dates of his trip! Most visa’s give you a window of a few months, the Kazak visa was exact, and there was no leeway it had to be on the dates stated, and it would only be for thirty days!

Being put on the spot, Garry gave it his best shot, but was a little out! Luckily Garry had realised this and while he was in Baku waiting to get the boat to Kazakhstan went to the Kazak embassy for a visa extension. There he met a very helpful and friendly ambassador, who simply said how long do you want? Three months, six months, a year? How different that was to his experience in London!

But now in Kazakhstan, he was told, that he couldn’t continue one visa onto the next without leaving the country for 24 hours! This was a big problem for Garry! All the neighbouring countries also required visa’s, and apart from not being easy visa’s to obtain, their embassy’s where in Almaty, 2000-miles away!

Now What

There was no other option for Garry he would have to fly out of the country! And his nearest and cheapest destination was, Turkey, back to Istanbul! After eventually sorting it all out Garry could leave Aktau and get back to what he does the best cycling!

Garry was only on the road for seven days before reaching Atyrau, where he would have to catch his flight to Istanbul. In Atyrau, Garry found a nice western-style hotel and decided on leaving his bike there, while he flew back to Istanbul!

Home From Home

In Istanbul, it was like going home, everybody in the hotel knew him, and welcomed him back. Not surprising really after staying there three times in the past ten months! As did the people in the shops and restaurants nearby, who all asked where his bike was. Reminding Garry that his bike was over a thousand miles away in some Kazak hotel! He just hoped it was safe, and would still be there when he returned!

After four days Garry was able to return to Kazakhstan, but would his bike still be there? It was a long flight, not only did he have the worry of his bike still being there, but would they allow him back in the country! Thankfully all his worrying came to nothing, and he was allowed back into the country and soon reunited with his bicycle!

Back Cycling

Back in Kazakhstan and back on the road, it was hard going. Many of the roads had long gone, worn out by the masses of trucks, that would pass Garry in convoys of ten or more! In many places, it was impossible to see where the old road was! And was now like an eight-lane highway, on dirt with every vehicle trying to find the best way through! This made wild camping rather precarious! Usually, Garry would pull off the road and pitch his tent. Now because there was no main route through, Garry had to find an electricity pylon or something to camp next to. And hope he wouldn’t be hit by some truck in the night! He even camped in a graveyard one night to avoid being hit!

Wild camping became Garry’s go-to option, despite the worry of being run over! Hotels and guest houses were bizarre! After checking in, Garry would go out for a walk or something to eat. But upon returning to his room, he would quite often find somebody else in the room, that he would now have to share with!

Kazakhstan was a challenging and wild country, but what an experience! And after seven weeks Garry had reached the Kazak/China border, only to find it closed! Thankfully though it was closed because it was the weekend. After two days the border opened, and Garry was allowed to leave Kazakhstan and make his way to China, Garry’s final country on his world tour.

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World Bicycle-Tour Video; Asia

City skyline

World bicycle-tour video Asia another YouTube/Flickr video. AWhile cycling across the USA, Garry decided to turn his bike ride into an around the world bicycle ride. But after missing out Iran and Pakistan, on his journey to Australia, he still had a large chunk of the world to cycle!

After studying maps and the internet, when he was able to get it, Garry sorted out a route. Iran and Pakistan were still out of the question! But at least now it was summer, and the roads wouldn’t be blocked by snow, allowing Garry to take a route north of them!

His new route would see him fly back to Istanbul, from there he would cycle to Georgia and Azerbaijan. Then catch a ferry across the Caspian Sea to Kazakhstan and onto China, thus closing the circle, and cycling around the world.

He had planned to fly to Turkey from America. But after being knocked off his bike just outside of New York, decided to fly home and sort out the visa’s he required from home. Especially as Garry would have had to cycle to Washington, where the embassies were!

Back in the Saddle

After a couple of weeks at home in England, Garry had obtained the required visa’s. And also felt fit enough to get a flight to Turkey. After two nights in Istanbul, Garry set off for Georgia, but he wasn’t happy! He wasn’t feeling very safe and was on edge all the time! Fearing, he would be knocked off again! Thankfully, though after a week, Garry was feeling safe again, and started to enjoy himself once more!

Snow certainly wasn’t a problem, far from it, it was the temperature! On many days Garry would have to endure temperatures of 40 degrees plus! And whilst the sun wasn’t as intense as it had been in Australia, it was still hard going! Two weeks after leaving Istanbul Garry arrived in Baku, Azerbaijan, where he would catch a boat to Kazakstan.

 

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