Javier Martinez has racked up 48,000km / 30,000mi underneath his wheels over the last four years as he travels the globe by bike, from Indonesia to Europe and now Africa, documenting the social issues, landscapes and more as he goes. Here, he shares his photography of fellow riders, along with a video captured on his travels. He checked in with BikeRadar from Nigeria, where he said he’s temporarily stuck “as Cameroon closed its border to control the Ebola outbreak.”
Physically, the most challenging part of his trip thus far has been “cycling in Tibet, the Himalayas and the Pamir mountains, in central Asia, where the mountain passes are normally over 4,000m (13,000 ft),” Martinez told BikeRadar. “I have tried to cycle all the highest passes in the world, which counts 13 passes over 5,000m (16,400ft). I crossed central Asia in winter, where I found freezing nights at -40ºC outside my tent.”
“In Armenia, trying to cross one of the highest passes in the Caucas, I suffered four days without food and the only thing I could eat or drink was snow,” he said.
Other rough bouts have included coming down with malaria and typhoid fever in Ghana, and being assaulted in Ghana “as people thought I was a terrorist,” Martinez said.
“However, what I mostly found along the way was the warmth of the people, where they never hesitate to open their homes for me to sleep in their homes and share their food,” he said. “Whenever I needed help, someone was there to offer it.”
Three years in three minutes
“The most beautiful moments on this trip have always come along with the hardest, as overcoming a difficult time is the best reward, full of satisfaction,” he said. “After every challenge I get more excited for what is coming next, because that is what traveling is about.”
Martinez has a few sponsors like GoPro, Spiuk and Orbea that supply gear. And he is carefully rationing out his own saved money at no more than five euros a day, he said. He also sells his photography and takes donations.
To see more of Martinez’s photos, and to read of his adventures in English or in Spanish, visit his blog at www.bicicleting.com.
A second drivetrain underneath the platform lifts the kids’ vehicles up and down