A hit-and-run driver in Greece sadly took the life of an extraordinary cyclist who has inspired many to pedal their way into a bit of adventure (including Riding the Spine). A true loss to the cycling community.

He took a two year sabbatical from his job in 1963, and didn’t return for ten years. Through a 40 year stint of cycling touring, he covered an average of about 6,000 miles each year, the distance from the earth to the moon. He was the very first to ride the Americas – a journey from Cape Horn to Alaska. He died at the age of 74.

A few years ago, I encountered the Youtube video of his trek across the Darien Gap and wanted to learn more. I read about a book he authored, “Into the Remote Places,” describing some of his legendary travels, but found that very few copies existed, and the ones that do run at about 100 dollars.

He innovated cycling gear like front racks to accommodate his travels off the beaten path. Crossing mangrove swamps, the Sahara Desert, and mountain ranges, he showed the world what bicycles are truly capable of.

You will be missed.

Pedal power

— A cyclist can travel 1,037km (644 miles) on the energy equivalent of one litre of petrol

— Regular cycling can make you as fit as someone who is ten years younger

— A cyclist consumes 1/50th of the oxygen of a car making the same journey

— A twice daily half-hour commute will, over a year, consume the energy equivalent of 24lb of fat

— In 1949, 34 per cent of all mechanised journeys were made by bicycle. Fifty years later that figure had fallen to 2 per cent

— The rate of serious heart disease for civil servants who cycle 20 miles or more a week is 50 per cent lower than for their sedentary colleagues

Source: Somerset County Council
Story Pulled from the Times Online