It’s the 15th February 2008; Mark Beaumont is pedalling through the Arc de Triomphe, Paris. He has finished. In a time of 194 days and 17 hours he has successfully circumnavigated the planet by bicycle, faster then anyone else before him. The world record is his and he can finally stop pedalling 100 miles a day. ‘The Man Who Cycled the World’ is the book which narrates his 18,297 miles around the world.
Mark began cycling in Paris and headed east riding through 20 countries across Europe to Istanbul. He then cycled across the Middle East, India, Asia, Oceania, and the USA before a quick sprint finish from Portugal back to Paris. It is a truly epic cycle and was not without its difficulties, from troubles with the Pakistani police to car crashes. The book is eloquent in describing the trip in an inspiring and candid way.
This was the first cycle touring book I had ever read, when I read it before my first bike tour. It fuelled me with a passion to go out and explore the world. Mark Beaumont is a great adventurer and a very likeable guy; immerse yourself whilst reading this book and you feel like you’re on an adventure with him. It is ideal for any adventurer, armchair or otherwise. However it will not only appeal to people interested in cycling or adventures as it is a great travel book and rich with descriptions of the many cultures he cycles through. This adds to the atmosphere of his trip and to the reading. I am yet to meet someone who has not been inspired by reading this book. Simply a masterpiece. 5/5
There is also a great BBC documentary which is available on YouTube telling the story of his trip in a more brief way.