Hi, I’m Jon!
What kind of person attempts to cycle around the world on a bike designed for commuters in London?!
Well, I’m pretty normal really, I think. A little bit mad, yes, but mainly just normal.
Anyway, a bit about me. My name is Jon Tringham, I was brought up in North Cumbria near the Lake District, but moved to London in Summer 2004 to study Human Geography at university. After graduating I worked in London for a year before setting off on an attempt to cycle around the world at the end of July 2008.
But why the decision to cycle around the world?!
I’ve always liked traveling and exploring, and my favourite activity (when not travelling) used to be going to my local bookshop in my hometown of Carlisle, getting a drink in the cafe and reading travel biographies cover to cover before putting them back on the shelf (sorry!). To me they are the perfect stories: of real places and real people doing real things in the real world, and more importantly, an adventure I could immerse myself in. I was fortunate one day to pick up Anne Mustoe’s book “A Bike Ride“. I read it straight through over many mugs of hot chocolate, and was so enthralled I then made a rare purchase. From that moment on, probably sometime in 2004ish, I’ve dreamed of cycling around the world, but always had some commitment I had to fulfill, or not enough money, or both.
Then in July 2007, I realised that all my long term commitments were ending in exactly a year with nothing following, and at the same time I was starting to get tired of living in London and the UK in general. I also found Alastair Humphreys book “Moods of Future Joys“, which gave me the final inspiration and confidence I needed to do a budget trip. The time seemed perfect to attempt the trip.
But why do it on a Brompton folding bike? Aren’t they slow, poor on hills and delicate?
Simple, I had planned to do it on a “normal” bike, but that got stolen in London shortly before I was due to do the London Bikeathon. I did the Bikeathon on my Brompton, and found it was actually excellent at long distances and hills, and it has never gone wrong. It also has a unique novelty value – how many people would see a normal laden touring bike and not give it a second glance? Believe me, when you’re on a Brompton towing a trailer with a Union Flag flying off the back, people notice you and stop for a chat!