Cycling Around the World
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Chicago

Saturday, July 26, 2014

“What makes you keep going?” is a question I’m asked all too frequently, but my answer has now become automatic: my friends and followers. The trip has for a long time become more about the friends I’m making than the miles I’m riding, but this doesn’t take away from the fact I’m getting very close to being able to call myself a true “round the world” cyclist. The point of telling you this?  well this trip has been called “The Goodwill Tour” since I landed in Canada and without your help I could never have got this far, so thank you everyone who has helped (or is still helping) me continue my trip.

Guinness World Records has a set of rules which define what constitutes an around the world cycle. These include:

  • Cycling at least 18,000 miles in a given direction i.e. east or west.
  • Crossing every line of longitude around the world and two antipodal points (opposite points of the globe).
  • Travelling a total distance – including flights and boats – of at least as much as 24,900 miles, the earth’s circumference at the equator.

I’ve now been on the road for 20 months and when I started this venture, my daily mileage was approximately 100 miles (160 km) and I was easily able to accomplish this. The biggest challenge now has become continuing to try and cycle a ‘worthwhile’ daily mileage and I set myself the target of 60 miles (or 100 km) many months ago. What’s changed is this 60 miles is now taking me a full day (between 8 – 10 hours) and it’s becoming very exhausting to keep this up continuously for more than a few days, hence why I am taking much more rest time than I have done before.

What’s also changed is I cannot write my blog immediately when I stop for rest days, because I’m honestly just too tired. OK so that’s my excuse for why I’m so far behind, but I am going to change the way I keep up with the blog and this should help in the future.  Now lets get back to my trip…

Downtown Chicago

Chicago was for me the realisation of a dream, as I’d wanted to come here since my childhood. It’s a truly amazing city of which I took the time to explore, both on my bike and by taking one of the many heritage boat trips along the river, which is by far the best way to see Chicago’s wonderful architecture. It’s also well worthwhile having a knowledgeable guide to describe the buildings and give you their history and this for me was the highlight of my time spent here.

I stayed with fabulous Warmshower hosts Lee and Cindy, enjoying a relaxed and restful period while eating some great food, including making my own pizza which was a first for me. My happiness was even further amplified when taking these photographs, not only because the subject matter is one of my favourites, but because I was also able to enjoy a boat trip!

So here’s my tour of Chicago, hope you all enjoy the pictures (or you can simply skip to the bottom of this blog if it’s not your thing and continue reading).

Images of Chicago

Images of Chicago

Images of Chicago

Images of Chicago

Images of Chicago

Images of Chicago

Images of Chicago

Images of Chicago

Images of Chicago

Images of Chicago

Images of Chicago

Images of Chicago

Images of Chicago

Images of Chicago

Images of Chicago

Images of Chicago

Images of Chicago

Images of Chicago

I could easily have posted many more pictures as Chicago is such a photogenic city, but I have to stop somewhere. My blog is a record of what I have seen and experienced during my trip around the world and will be (along with my book) the only thing I leave behind, so I make no excuses for the amount of photos I use – after all isn’t a picture worth a thousand words?

Chicago came to an end and next up would be my ride across to Detroit, then through the tunnel to Windsor returning into Canada. I’m now in Toronto and will try and catch up with my travel tales as I take an extended break here, so more soon.  Stay tuned…

9 Comments
Saturday, July 26, 2014 at 10:52 am

You’re an inspiration. Keep pedalling, even your reduced 60 mpd is more than most of us could manage!

Nancy Liao
Saturday, July 26, 2014 at 11:54 am

Hi Derek, Welcome to Toronto!
It was great for us meeting with you last evening, and we were so happy to know that you have been to China particularly Chengdu our hometown. You are a tremendous inspiration, enjoy your trip in Canada and more in future.

    Saturday, July 26, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    It was lovely to meet you (and your beautiful daughter), thank you for helping to make it such a great evening.

Rachel Sugari
Sunday, July 27, 2014 at 12:32 am

You are truly inspirational. It was such a pleasure to meet you yesterday at Mike’s home. Hope to see more of your beautiful photos like the one taken in Vietnam that inspired me to paint it.

John Hoffman
Sunday, July 27, 2014 at 2:31 pm

Derek,
So glad you got to see Chicago. I go there every couple years for a convention (unfortunately its in February!) Looks like you had a stellar day to see the windy city. You could stay 2 weeks there and start to scratch all the things to see and do there though. It’s a WOW kinda city for sure. We enjoy the updates and wish you safe travels. At what point are you and “official world traveller?” Where is that point? Good luck.

John and Teresa,
Winnipeg

    Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    J & T, I have actually passed the Guinness criteria, so I could call myself an “oficial world traveler,” but I’d like to reach 24,000 miles actual cycling (almost there – approx 22,000 give or take) then I have well and truly passed the mark.

Gordon Grant
Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at 3:10 am

Hey, Derek, It’s so good to know you’re still kicking! Be happy, and know you have an inspirational effect wherever you go.
Gord Grant
Regina

    Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    Hey Gordon, hope you are well? I’m hoping it will be a while yet before I stop kicking! 🙂

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 1:50 am

Hi,Derek, So happy to see you are still riding strong. It was such a pleasure meeting you when you stopped
in Windsor. Your pictures are awesome. Keep up the riding. May God guide you as you continue your trek.
Ann Dwyer
Windsor

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