To China and back - on a bike!

PUBLISHED: 12:19 07 September 2006 | UPDATED: 14:49 12 May 2010

Taking a Break

Taking a Break

AN adventurer who refuses to fly returned home on Tuesday after cycling 26,000 miles to China and back. Edward Genochio, 29, of The Green, Therfield, is the first person to cycle the journey solo. He said the two-and-a-half-year challenge was an incredib

Edward on the road to Xinjiang in China

AN adventurer who refuses to fly returned home on Tuesday after cycling 26,000 miles to China and back.

Edward Genochio, 29, of The Green, Therfield, is the first person to cycle the journey solo.

He said the two-and-a-half-year challenge was an "incredible" journey.

"The solo cyclist's lot can be a lonely, boring one," he said.

Home sweet home

"But every time I found my spirits flagging I would meet someone or see something that reminded me why I set off in the first place."

Edward, who is a writer and freelance website designer, decided to do the challenge after he stopped flying seven years ago.

"I stopped flying for environmental reasons - no-one likes to have an airport near them.

"I didn't enjoy the sensation of flying and I felt I lost a sense of the scale of the world. But on a bike everything changes so gradually.

"Not everyone has time to ride a bicycle to China, but I hope my journey at least proves that cycling can be a reasonable way of getting about."

Edward's journey took him through 25 countries including France, Croatia, Switzerland, Russia, Thailand and across the Gobi desert and the scorching Taklamakan desert in western China.

But along the way things did not always run to plan.

He battled against motorcycle-mounted Siberian muggers and to and from Shanghai he had his bicycle and tent stolen by a Mongolian horsemen.

However, supporters sent him a new bike and tent.

He said: "I had an amazing response and didn't realise that so many people around the world were following the journey.

"It is the thousand small acts of kindness by complete strangers that stick in my mind," he said.

During his travels Edward raised money for charities which he came across such as the Lotus Children's Home in Mongolia.

He said: "I saw some of the work it did and thought it deserved financial help."

In the future Edward said he would like to visit Bekistan and Iran - two countries which he did not visit because of difficulties with visas.

He also plans to write a book about his trip, But Isn't There a Bus?, and hopes to have it published next year.

"It's taken some time to get used to staying in one place because I was on the move for over two years," he added.

- For more details on Edward's journey visit the website at www.2wheels.org.uk

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