Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Pablo Garcia Explores World Cultures By Bicycle

35 year old Argentinian, Pablo Garcia, made a life changing decision in 1999 when he gave up everything he was doing to pick up a bicycle and trot the globe.

His mission, one he set in Brazil before pulling out of there, was to explore world cultures and traditions and pen them in the form of a book. As it is, he was a cycling enthusiast, who refused to use buses in his college days to travel the city by bike. So, the new mission set well with a growing obsession.

Since then, Pablo has covered more than 65 countries on his bicycle. His website documents the adventures and mileages. If you were to visit it right now, it would tell you that he's currently somewhere between Hanoi and Cat Ba in Vietnam. The distance he has covered, which is regularly updated, stands at 78,398 km (48,714.3 mi).

The simplicity in his travels is fresh. Pablo apparently rides a modest, 50 pound, 27 geared bike with Shimano Deore components. It has a gel seat and front suspension. On it, he carries 121 pounds worth of supplies including his tent, mattress, tools, clothes, a diary, a laptop, extra batteries, sandals, and cameras. He also carries safely a pile of brochures to introduce his "project" to people he meets.

The videos Pablo places onto Youtube are well made, and give a glimpse of the places and faces of his travels. Better still are his elaborate diary entries of the feelings and opinions of local people.

For instance, he writes here about Raifed, an Iraqi he met in Bahrain, who told him why American arrogance and show of power made his country a jungle. Or of Francesco, an ex-mafia cum political sciences student in Italy who exchanged his knowledge about the origins of the mob. Here he writes about the conflicts in Sudan, here about seeing the Swayambhunath temple in Nepal, and here about his dissatisfaction with the touring experience in Athens, Greece.

If you have something to tell Pablo and want him to come visit your hometown, you can even write a him a proposal!

How I wish I could ride around the world too.

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