A CHARITY fundraiser who cycled more than 12,000km during an eight-month stint in the saddle hopes to write a book about his trip in an effort to inspire others.
Rob Brown, from Darlington, returned home from China earlier this month after his round-the-world ride raised more than £4,000 for the International Childcare Trust.
The 32-year-old had set off from Big Ben, in London, last July and made it all the way to Korla, in China’s Xinjiang Province.
Describing the experience as “life-changing”, the former joiner is now settling back into life at home with his partner, Julie Robinson.
As well as writing about his experience, Mr Brown is thinking about approaching schools with a view to talking to students about his adventure.
He said: “It has definitely changed my life. It has been interesting going from one place to the next and finding out how the UK is viewed in other countries.
“The Government has a red warning advising against going to Iran, but when I was there I met some of the most hospitable people you could imagine.”
Recalling a particular encounter with some locals in Iran, he added: “When I told them I was from England, I discovered they had the same impression of Britain as a lot of people have of Iran.
“I found that people are people wherever you go – there wasn’t any confrontation or any times when I felt uneasy.”
During his trip, Mr Brown liked to get on the road by 8am or 9am and ride until the afternoon.
His journey home, which took him from China to Heathrow, via Kazakhstan and Moscow, was complicated by excess baggage charges.
Having arrived home last week, he is still waiting to be reunited with the bulk of the possessions he took with him – indeed his bike was just about the only possession he was able to bring back with him straight away.
Settling back into everyday life has been straight-forward said Mr Brown.
He said: “What is taking the most getting used-to is having a wardrobe again after spending so much time in a tent.
“The trip has had an impact on my fitness. When I was away, I was eating a lot of chocolate for energy, so I need to get out of that habit.”
Mr Brown is still fundraising for the trust, which works with children in Africa. To sponsor him, visit justgiving.com/fromheretotherebybicycle