Alastair’s quest for adventure began young. Aged 8, he completed the 26 mile Yorkshire 3 Peaks challenge and the National 3 Peaks in 24 hours aged 13. At 14 he cycled off-road across England. After leaving school Alastair taught for a year in South Africa.
Whilst at university (Edinburgh and Oxford) Alastair cycled from Pakistan to China, Land’s End to John O’Groats, Turkey to Italy, Mexico to Panama and across South America. He ran a charity project in the Philippines and the London marathon dressed as a rhino.
Since graduating Alastair has cycled round the world for 4 years, raced a yacht across the Atlantic Ocean, canoed 500 miles down the Yukon River and walked the length of the holy Kaveri river in India.
Alastair has also run the Marathon des Sables, (finishing as one of the ten fastest Brits despite breaking his foot during the race) and rowed to France with Major Phil Packer, a soldier paralysed in Iraq.
To fight off the wanderlust back home Alastair managed a sub-3-hour marathon, had a miserable time during the Original Mountain Marathon, the Devizes to Westminster 120-mile canoe marathon and another one during Tough Guy. Travelling round the 2006 football World Cup in a camper van was much more fun.
Alastair has published three books, with two more due by the end of 2009. (He has also written chapters for Lonely Planet’s ‘Flightless‘ anthology, the Adventure Cycling Handbook, Stanorama and The Traveller’s Handbook).
After spending a year teaching 10-year-old boys in a school’s Special Needs department, Alastair is now training for the Bob Graham Round and preparing for SOUTH, the first unsupported return journey to the South Pole and the longest unsupported polar journey in history.
Alastair pays the bills through public speaking, fulfilling a long ambition in 2008 by speaking to a full house at the Royal Geographical Society.
Visit Alastair’s website at www.alastairhumphreys.com
Moods of Future Joys
With just a bicycle and some savings scrimped and squirelled from a student loan, Alastair Humphreys set off to pedal around the world. With a true storyteller’s flair, Al takes us along to meet the challenges, the obstacles and the wonderful, often warm and generous, people on the way.
Thunder & Sunshine
Arriving in Cape Town with Rita (his bike), Alastair was a long, long way from his home in Yorkshire. He cycled the length of South and North America, the breadth of Asia and back across Europe, crossing the mountains and salt-flats of South America, canoeing the Five-Finger Rapids of the Yukon River and braving a Siberian Winter with the flimsiest tent.
10 Lessons from the Road
We tend to strive for what we know we can achieve. What’s the point of that? Alastair learnt a thing or two as he cycled around the world. He learnt that big achievements come from big dreams, that they often start with big talk, and they guarantee some really big scares along the way. He also learnt that you only learn how far you can go by going too far.