A surge of round-the-world cyclists have emerged in the last few years as touring gear has improved and borders have become more fluid (for certain passport holders.) Two South African men cycled to Mecca, and a pair of American women traveled the Silk Road to support trans-boundary conservation efforts. But these adventures are not without perils.
Tragically, a young couple from the UK were killed last week while on their global journey. They had survived Iran and Turkey previously, but a truck in Thailand struck them down.
Just 34 years old, Peter Root and Mary Thompson had been cycling the world since July, 2011 when a pick-up truck moved into their lane in Thailand. They maintained a blog called Two on Four Wheels and a Vimeo account, where they chronicled the peaks and valleys of their bold adventure.
They had overcome frightful confrontations with scorpions in Iran, Tehran’s terrible pollution and the formidable desert, as well as eight solid days of headwind – all with heart and a sense of humor.
“The cycling world is reeling today as word spreads of a tragic collision that claimed the lives of a UK-based couple that was touring the world by bicycle together,” Portland Bicycle wrote yesterday.
Peter and Mary had also recently learned that the 2013 Filmed by Bike festival had selected their film Cycling Central Asia to be a part of the 11th annual event which will take place in Portland this April.
Festival Director Ayleen Crotty said that they will be producing a “short piece to honor the love Peter and Mary had for each other and the adventures they shared,” according to the blog.
“Greetings from Cambodia,” a recent email from the couple to Crotty read.
“Thanks for the great news! We’re over the moon that our film was chosen.”
Travel. See the world. But please be safe.