A PhD student who cycled around the world for nine months has published a book about his adventure.
Tom Bruce, aged 26, set off from the UK in March 2011 with the intention of biking to Orlando, Florida, by Christmas.
Tom, who lives in Hunters Bar and studies at Sheffield University, spent months building a custom bike for the 14,000 mile mission – which he admits he didn’t know whether he would be able to complete.
“I’ve always wanted to travel and I’ve done a lot of cycling in the past,” said Tom.
“At first I thought about just doing Europe, but the more I thought, the more I wondered if it would be achievable to go all the way around the world.”
After reading books by others who had accomplished similar feats, Tom spent several months building the bike and getting as much training in as possible.
He said: “When I set off I didn’t know how far I would be able to get. I only had one visa and I didn’t know how difficult it would be.”
Tom’s route took him through France, Switzerland and Germany, to the Danube River, which he followed across Europe to the Black Sea.
He then cycled through Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan to the Caspian Sea, which he crossed on a ferry to Kazakhstan.
After riding through the Karakalpakstan desert to Uzbekista, he cycled through Tajikistan, Kyrgyzsta and China.
He then flew across the Pacific to America, where he rode from San Francisco to Florida – eventually flying home on December 16, 2011.
“It was a bit of an anti-climax when I finished, but there was definitely a feeling of satisfaction,” he said.
“I knew I had to make it to Florida because my flight was booked and my girlfriend told me I had to be home for Christmas.”
n ‘Every Inch of the Way’ is now available in hard copy or on kindle by visiting tombrucecycling.com/book.