It’s no secret that I always love a good cycling adventure. Hopping on our bikes and going for a ride is one of those simple pleasure that most of us can relate to. But for some people, riding their bike is not only a way to see the world, but perhaps deliver an important message along the way.
That pretty much sums up Furtemba Sherpa’s approach to his cycling journey. Furtemba, who is the great grandson of Tenzing Norgay, set off to cycle the world back in 2003, with the aim of promoting world peace and environmental protection. Two very lofty causes to be sure.
Since he hit the road seven years ago, Furtemba has peddled through 46 countries, with a plan to visit many more before he is through. The 33-year old hopes to reach 150 nations by 2020, his projected end date for this world cycling expedition. Currently, he is riding through South America, and appears to have just left Argentina for Chile, crossing through a high mountain pass in the process.
Furtemba calls himself a “citizen of the world”, and takes his expedition very seriously. He says that the world needs peace now more than ever, and being a devout practitioner of Buddhism, he feels it is important that he delivers a message of peace through his journey. He also recognizes that global warming is the biggest threat to the environment, causing sea levels to rise, glaciers to melt, extreme shifts in weather patterns, and the extinction of species. Both the need for world peace and a change in our approach to the environment have spurred on his expedition.
On his website, Furtemba lists the countries he’s visited so far. Although the list seems a bit out of date at this point, he has officially peddled through: Nepal, India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Philippines, Indonesia, New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Australia, South Korea, Japan , Hong Kong, Macau , China , Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Holland, Belgium, France, Italy, London, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Åland Islands, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland. A pretty impressive list of you ask me.
Good luck to Furtemba on the rest of his journey. Just ten more years and 104 countries to go!
Thanks to Louis-Philippe Loncke for sharing this story with me.
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