February 13, 2013 – Joshua Slocum was the first man to sail solo around the world and did so in a three-year voyage. Wiley Post became the first person to fly around the world on his own in 1933 and did so in a mere seven days. Thomas Großerichter biked around the world in 105 days, 10 hours, and 33 minutes in 2012.
All of these men have more than one thing in common: they traveled around the world and did so with the help of machine and wind power. What sets Jason Lewis apart from them is that he traveled around the world using only his manpower–and that it took him 13 years to do it.
Lewis didn't break any speed records in his circumnavigation of the globe. In fact, he took the longest out of all of the people listed above– but he did become the first person to make the journey using only the power of his arms and his legs to get him around the world.
He began his journey in 1994 at the age of 26 when he and his friend Stevie Smith came up with the idea. They thought the trip would take two or three years, and instead it ended up taking four times longer!
Their journey began in London, England. They bicycled through Europe and then pedaled across the Atlantic Ocean using a specially-made covered pedal boat. Lewis and Smith took turns pedaling and sleeping and made it to Miami in 111 days.
While rollerblading through Central America Lewis was hit by a drunk driver in Colorado. Both of his legs were broken and he had to spend nine months in the hospital in intensive care. Once Lewis was released from the hospital he and Smith continued rollerblading up to San Francisco and then proceeded to Hawaii in their pedal boat.
There was a team of people helping Lewis and Smith with their journey. These people made sure that their pedal boat was brought to their next destination so that they did not have to transport it with them while they were rollerblading or biking.
Smith dropped out of the adventure in Hawaii and Lewis continued on the journey on his own, spending 73 days alone on the paddle boat en-route to Tarawa in the Kiribati Islands, located northeast of Papau New Guinea. A ocean white-tip shark repeatedly attacked the pedal boat's propeller, making that journey extra tense!
He was joined by a group of supporters in Australia while he biked across the country and then kayaked up to Singapore six months later. At one point a kayak tossed two of his four supporters into the waters of one of the world's busiest shipping lanes, but thankfully no one was injured.
Then Lewis and a friend biked from Singapore through Malaysia, Thailand, and Laos into southwest China. He suffered from malaria and altitude sickness while illegally hiking through east Tibet to the Himalayas and into Mumbai, India.
On the way from Mumbai to Africa their boat hit an unmarked sunken ship, which damaged their rudder. They also almost ran out of drinking water and almost ended on the island of Suqutra, which is one of the world's worst places for pirate attacks!
When they made it to Dijibouti in northeast Africa, Lewis set off biking through Ethiopia into northern Sudan. Lewis was detained by the Egyptian military because they thought he was a spy and he faced 40 years in prison! Cairo headquarters eventually granted him release and he was allowed to keep going. Lewis then kept biking north through Egypt and traveled through Jordan, Syria, and Turkey and used a kayak to cross over into the European side of Istanbul.
Once in Istanbul he continued biking through Bulgaria, Serbia, Austria, Germany, and Belgium. The final stretch of the voyage was in the pedal boat across the English Channel and up the River Thames to the exact point where he started his journey 13 years earlier.
A documentary movie of footage that Lewis took during his trip will be released in the near future, provided the film makers can raise enough money to complete the film.
How do you think Lewis felt when he was all alone at sea? What things would you do to keep your mind busy for those long, lonely days?
wicked -- by ethan on 2013-04-02 22:15:06
nice dont stop dreaming -- by mac on 2013-03-07 13:18:43
awesome -- by mason on 2013-03-06 22:36:09
coolio -- by elyssa on 2013-02-22 15:15:44
Amazing...I don't know if I could do that -- by Zane on 2013-02-20 08:25:17
Cool -- by Logan on 2013-02-14 10:56:05
cooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool. -- by Matt on 2013-02-14 02:55:20
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