Global bicycle travelers embark on self-propelled ocean voyages

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What happens to global bicycle travelers when they've completed their journeys? In the case of two from the British Isles, they take to the sea.

Scotsman Mark Beaumont and Englishman Alistair Humphreys are separately embarking on trans-Atlantic rowboat journeys this month. Both are dyed in the wool adventurers and already have completed endurance expeditions off the bicycle.


The six-member Atlantic Odyssey rowing team, above, which includes Beaumont, embarked from Tarfaya, Morocco, Monday afternoon. They're seeking to set a world record for the 3,000-mile east-west crossing and become the first crew to break the 30-day barrier.

Their boat is the “Sara G”, a 33-foot vessel with 3 sculling positions on the deck that allow 3 to row while 3 rest. They clocked 4.17 knot speeds on Monday and finished 100 miles in their first day on the ocean.

The vessel is provisioned for 60 days at sea. It's equipped with a desalination system for fresh water and solar panels. They hope to make landfall in Barbados.

Crew member Beaumont first set a world record in 2008 by bicycling around the world in 194 days. His global adventure was the subject of a BBC documentary and Beaumont wrote a book recently released in the US, “The Man who Cycled the World.”

Beaumont followed up his global travels with a record-breaking
Pan-American expedition from Alaska to Argentina, hiking to the summit
of the highest peaks in North and South America along the way. This past summer, he was part of a rowing expedition to the North Pole.


Meanwhile, Humphreys is preparing to leave from the Canary Islands soon on a four-man rowing craft also bound for Barbados.

The Slovenian-British ocean rowing expedition is called the Tusmobil TransAtlantik. Their crossing will be 2,500 miles in the 28-foot rowboat that has two small cabins.

In his global bicycle tour, Humphreys didn't set out to break any world records. His bicycle travels lasted four years, ending in 2005. He's published three books about his experiences: “Moods of Future Joys,” “Ten Lessons from the Road,” and “Thunder and Sunshine” and makes a living as a motivational speaker.

In addition to bicycling around the world and rowing, he has raced a yacht across the Atlantic, canoed down the Yukon River, and completed an unsupported trip across Iceland by foot and packraft.

We certainly wish them luck in these extreme adventures off the bike.

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