About this project
40,000km around the world...by bike.
That's right. The world. The whole globe. By bicycle.A journey full circle from London to London on two wheels. A photographic adventure and a universal story about the need for change, creativity & happiness...
in 2011 I pedalled out of London on the back of an old commuter bike with my camera, tent and a head full of dreams. It was the beginning of The Lifecycle and, four years, thirty countries and three huge continents later, I'd somehow cycled solo around the world!
Along the way I got lost without food or water and left for dead in the 50'c heats of the Kazakh desert, took a hit from a car and chased by men with crowbars through the streets of Malaysia and downed vodka and horsemeat with Russian truck drivers in the back of a midnight desert convoy. Now I'm sharing all the stories in two beautiful books full of adventure tales and photography & postcard collections from four years spent living on the road...
It was a journey full of vast landscapes, beautiful cultures and hard challenges of both body and mind, cycling alone across Europe, the deserts of Asia, The Himalayas, Australia and America. But, to publish these books I am going to need your support!
The Novel: A Thousand Dawns
Inspired by books such as Wild, A Thousand Dawns chronicles a ride across the earth and a journey into the depths of the mind. Weaving tales of childhood and the struggles of adolescence into the story of over a thousand days lived in the saddle. A book full of wonder, revelations, fears and acceptance: for who we are and what we can achieve.
The adventure raised thousands for charity, but I ran out of money countless times, slept in abandoned buildings, worked on fruit farms and in aboriginal communities to keep going and lost a bike to two car crashes. I battled against snow storms, over mountain passes and through jungle rivers, surviving in the wild, whatever food I could from yak's cheese to roasted rat or Chinese river snails... all just to keep on keeping on!
Thanks to the kindness of strangers, local families and the support of followers around the world, I managed to keep pedalling, headed always east, until I reached London again. Along the way, told through chapters in the book, tales formed of tents getting knifed open in the night, bribing cops on Croatian highways, battling against alpine snow storms and being chased by packs of dogs in the dark through Greece.
From struggles with depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and a troubled childhood to the excitement of getting on a bicycle day after day, sleeping wild, crossing strange landscapes and meeting even stranger characters, this is a story about overcoming demons on a journey into the unknown, not just by bike, but through life and, of course, a story of how I managed to cycle the world. Click here to read a sample except - The Kazakh Sands.
The Photobook: Lifecycle
Alongside the novel is a 100+ page photobook. The journey told through a collection of incredible landscapes and faces, from greek gypsy settlements to central asian burial grounds, the jungles of Old China to the storm strewn heights of the Grand Canyon: a beautiful selection from four years of photography, inspired by photobooks like Foster Huntington's Cinder Cone.
Among the photos will be short chapters and fun tales telling the stories behind the images and the journey I took in capturing them: a lighter, more wanderlust look at the world cycle.
The selection is a mixture of the cultures I encountered and the lifestyle of cycle touring and adventure travel - from unique camping spots to changes to the bike and other travellers I met along the way.
In London, before this all began, I'd lost my way. A journey that began as way of escape grew into a meaningful, emotional project based around creativity and charity. My dream ever since has been to share the story and the photography with others around the world: those in search of adventure or change or those who just love to dream and wonder, explore and ride free.
Now, hopefully with your help, I have a chance to create two amazing books. One for the readers. One for the gazers! Or both to complete the set!
New! Postcard Photo Sets
Every copy of a novel or photobook now comes with a free photographic postcard and bookmarks! For those looking for a lower cost tier, but still containing awesome imagery, two stand-alone postcard photo sets are now available too: a collection of 3 or 5 micro prints of images featured in the Lifecycle photobook...
And, finally, grab the whole lot! The complete collection with both books, the full 5-set postcard photos and a couple of adventure bookmarks!
Are these books for you?
These books aren't a day by day account of how many miles I rode, what calories I burnt or how fast I cycled. They are books about possibility, about life on the road, strange cultures, untrodden lands, the struggles of the mind and of adventures into the unknown. My aim is to inspire. To bring the world to your eyes and mind and who doesn't love a good old fashioned adventure story anyway, right!?
Where will your money go?
After four years on the road I've developed a humble lifestyle: my camera, laptop, a socket, a sleeping bag space and a little food are all I will really need over the coming months. Sadly though, two weeks after completing the adventure, my worldcycle bike was stolen! Sixty was with me for 25 of the 40 thousand kms and now she is gone.
I have already replaced the bike, but first I need to fix up a few components to make it tour-ready. Then I can get back on the road and find a base in England to write from. Writing the novel should take a few months followed by printing and postage in summer at the latest.
Any profits from this project will not be wasted, they will go towards my next adventure, getting me back on the road, perhaps this time with a pair of running shoes on my feet and a world record in my sights...
Risks and challenges
This is my first time self-publising. I am using Kickstarter rather than pitching to publishing companies to have complete creative control over the look and feel of the final prints. So, there are elements of the project that are new to me.
In my last Kickstarter project I offered dozens of different rewards from multiple countries and I overwhelmed myself a little. Unforeseen costs from a bike crash in Malaysia pushed the delivery delayed some of the gifts. So, for this project, I am keeping the rewards extremely simple: two books, two prices, a set of micro photos and one combo price for the lot!
The entire journey has been journaled and the structure already broken down and chapter out, but the novel is still to be written in full. I want to re-write the story from scratch so that it arcs properly in its narration, aiming to finish the writing process by spring and hoping to print in the early summer at the very latest. The pictures in this Kickstarter are mockups and the so the finished prints may chan
I have loads of determination and dedicate myself to any challenges I take on, proven through completing the world cycle itself! These books will be no different! Thank you all so much for supporting. I can't wait to share the story with you after all these years. Rob.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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