Saddle up for adventure: the beginning of a planetary journey on two wheels
For ages, this idea had been nagging at the back of my mind: to set off on the roads of the globe, riding my two-wheeled mount to embrace adventure. But each time, fate seemed to be relentless, pushing back this daydream to an ever more distant tomorrow. Years have passed, yet this elusive dream has never stopped haunting me.
Last year, I had set myself a big challenge: to ride the length and breadth of France, to test my resistance to effort and measure my ability to endure days, even weeks, spent pedaling thousands of kilometers. Starting from Font-Romeu, I had fallen in love with the ambition of rallying the four corners of France, from the tip of Corsen in Brittany to the eastern and southern confines of the country, before coming back to the starting point, where it all began.
This journey had awakened in me a certainty: I was ready to brave even greater distances. After nearly 5,000 kilometers, the desire to return home had evaporated. On my mount, I tasted an intoxicating freedom and an unfettered happiness, pushing me to continue the adventure. Alas, the return was necessary to face the administrative hassles and to renew a lease expiring on June 30.
The summer stretched on, and my impatience grew. Unable to stay in place, I paced the mountains of Cerdanya and Capcir, falling asleep under a starry sky at the top of the peaks. My bicycle, faithful companion, accompanied me in my escapades, lightened of its panniers and bringing me back each evening to the fold. Already, a new horizon was emerging: a crossing of the Pyrenees to end the summer.
On August 30th, I left Font-Romeu for Argelès-sur-Mer, riding 130 km in one day. The next day, from Argelès, I set off on the road of the passes in the direction of Hendaye, braving 870 km and more than 22,000 meters of positive altitude difference. My bike, weighed down with 60 kg, allowed me to test my resistance to such differences in altitude.
After three weeks of effort, I had conquered 23 passes in the Pyrenees before reaching Hendaye. The return to Font-Romeu was done on a train, leaving behind me the summits and the challenges they represented.
The days of October were dwindling, while winter, like a sleeping giant, was slowly waking up. As for my mind, it was already wandering towards a new start on my bike, a daring trip around the world. Unfortunately, a major obstacle was in front of me: finances. My budget was barely enough to cover my rent and living expenses, so how could I find the resources to make my dream come true?
I had been toying with the idea of running on my fortieth birthday, January 12, but the closer I got to the deadline, the more insurmountable the undertaking seemed. So much so, that in December, I ended up giving up, dead in the soul.
However, far from giving up, I drew up a plan for the coming year: to create an online source of income that could, modestly but surely, accompany and support my aspiration for adventure. The idea was not so much to seek wealth, but to ensure a certain peace of mind, enabling me to devote myself fully to this long-dreamed-of journey.
As December drew to a close, I made a resolution: to give up working to save money and go for it, even if I had no money. So, I started to take inventory of the necessary equipment to face the four seasons and all weather conditions for several years.
Lacking the money for such purchases, I resigned myself to giving away some of my most prized possessions to cover expenses. From then on, nothing could stop me from leaving on January 12. Events followed in rapid succession: the sale of my personal possessions, the acquisition of equipment and the moving of my remaining belongings. In my heart, the moment of departure had finally arrived.
The fateful date of departure was approaching, and I wondered if my choice to travel the world by bike was madness or divine inspiration. Whatever the case, there was no turning back: in a few days, I had committed myself too much to the realization of this crazy dream. January 12, my fortieth birthday, sounded, and I was not yet ready. Some material was still missing, waiting for delivery.
I had a feeling that it was only a matter of days, but I still had doubts about leaving. Then, on January 18, everything changed. That morning, I had cleaned the small studio I was renting. At 2 p.m., with my heart pounding, I finally set out on my round-the-world bike trip, determined to face the unknown and embrace the adventure.