James’ solo cycle adventure is a world away from fitting tyres in Sidmouth

James Taylor is riding his bike around the world.

James Taylor is riding his bike around the world. - Credit: Archant

35-year-old pedals 10,500 miles - and counting - across globe

A Sidmouth tyre fitter is cycling solo around the globe to raise money for charity - after riding across Europe and deciding he wasn’t ready to come home.

James Taylor, 35, has been pedalling for 138 days and more than 10,500 miles and spoke to the Herald from China.

He had originally intended to ride the length of the River Danube across Europe, but, after reaching Georgia, was ‘far from ready to come home’ and decided to pursue his dream to cycle the world.

James, who works for Sidmouth Tyre and Exhaust Ltd, has turned the trip into a charity challenge to raise money for Children with Cancer UK - a cause his dad has supported over the years.

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The Lyme Regis resident said: “I started this trip in my usual fashion, fully unprepared. I felt it was more important just to go rather than spending months and years planning and acquiring things that I will probably never use.

“Once you are on the road all of that doubt and indecision will fade into the ether and will be replaced by incredible experiences, chance meetings, unexpected opportunities, stunning scenery, weird and wonderful cuisine and a real sense of freedom.”

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James is cycling without assistance, despite the challenge of riding at least 100 miles a day.

Now in Wuhan, China, he said the next part of the journey would be the 700-mile ride to the east coast of the country, and then on through Korea and Japan.

James expects to have clocked up more than 18,000 miles before he returns to the UK.

He said his toughest challenge was the conditions crossing the Pamir highway in Tajikistan, which forced him to push his body to the ‘absolute limit’. James had to ride across a river in temperatures of -5C and battle fierce winds as he headed up a mountain at an altitude of more than 4,500m.

Describing what happened next, James said: “I was hit by a sand storm and was forced to endure what felt like a million needles pricking my skin wherever it was exposed. My coat was being pushed down my throat by the force of the wind in what I was sure was an attempt to suffocate me, halting my progress and conquest of this spectacular mountain range.

“It’s at times like these that you definitely question yourself and the meaning of it all. I camped that night feeling miserable, in pain, and after a real struggle to erect my tent in those conditions I finally collapsed into the tent to get some rest. I had pushed my body to its absolute limit and could achieve no more.”

James aims to cross the Pacific Ocean and conquer South and North America. He estimates he will be back on British shores in spring next year.

James added: “I want to achieve the challenge I have set in front of me and remember it as an incredible part of my life - but not for it to become my life.”

Visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/james101981

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