Imagine traveling around the world on bicycles! That is what two British cyclists are doing. They traveled through Marion County last Wednesday after spending the night in a camper on Brad and Amy Pagenkopf’s farm north of Lincolnville.
Matt Andrews, 26, and his friend Anthony “Ant” King, 27, of London, England, are taking a bicycle trip around the world in honor of Matt’s friend, Tony Young, who died at the age of 41 in June 2010, four or five months after being diagnosed with a brain tumor.
Before his fatal illness, Young, an avid cyclist, had planned to ride from London to his homeland in New Zealand and then around the world. Andrews recruited King to join him in fulfilling Young’s dream and in raising money for brain tumor research.
Outfitted with a portable stove, a tent, and a few personal essentials, they left London on Sept. 2 and traveled 1,500 miles through France and Spain before flying to New York City on Oct. 5.
Since then, they have traveled another 1,500 miles across America. They appreciate the fact of no language barrier here.
Their visa runs out Dec. 31. They are hoping to reach San Francisco by Dec. 12, spend a week in California, and then fly to New Zealand to meet with Young’s family.
From there they will travel across Australia, Asia, and Europe, eventually arriving back in London. They said they had 16,000 more miles to go.
Andrews is carrying Young’s ashes in a small cylindrical case and is scattering his ashes here and there along the way.
King said people have been helpful all along the route, contributing food, coffee, lodging, and money.
“It’s been really good, actually,” King said. “We’ve really enjoyed it.”
They have raised $10,000 so far for Brain Tumour UK. Their blogs and route map can be found on the Web at http://www.travellingyoung.co.uk.