Simon cycles across USA on sail and pedal challenge

22 April 2016

Teams Garmin Unicef

Clipper Race participant Simon Parker has pedalled off from Seattle, USA, as part of an epic sail and cycle journey from China to London.

Simon, who competed on board Garmin on the Mighty Pacific leg, is aiming to travel almost half way round the planet by sail and pedal power alone. He started sailing just six months ago and has never cycled more than 1,000 miles prior to this.

“Sailing across the Pacific was probably the hardest thing I’ve done in my life. The power of the sea and the magnitude of the storms we encountered was beyond what I imagined,” said Simon.

On the next stage of his challenge, a 4,000 mile solo bike ride from Seattle to New York, starting Friday 23 April, he adds: “Whilst I may not face the same storms on the bike, I know that this next stage of the journey is going to be absolutely gruelling, both physically and mentally. It is going to be an unforgettable experience in so many ways.”

The cycle ride, which he will complete unaided, will take Simon across 12 different states and take approximately seven weeks to complete. In an added layer to the challenge, Simon has to reach New York in time re-join the race to sail across the Atlantic Ocean to Derry Londonderry, Northern Ireland. In his final challenges, he will cycle race the yachts from Northern Ireland to Holland, then sail to London in a 36 hour sprint to the Clipper Race Finish at Tower Bridge on 30 July.

On what has motivated him to take on this challenge, Simon said: “People may think I’m crazy for attempting this, and maybe I am a little, but the more I thought about it, the more I saw it as an amazing opportunity for a unique travel challenge. I’ve got to spend the next two months doing something – so why not this?”

“The world is full of people who travel and compete in endurance challenges that seem to get harder and more epic all the time. I haven’t heard of this particular challenge ever being attempted before though. I want to use my experience to examine the human psyche and attempt to learn more about what drives us to constantly extend our limits, using myself as the subject.

“I will be encountering everything from snow to mountains and potential danger such as bears. I won’t have much kit apart from a tent and stove and I have a small budget, and am hoping people will help me along the way with accommodation, which will be an interesting social experiment in itself to explore.

“I am hoping that by Facebook, Twitter and media power, people might offer to show me some good American hospitality along the way. People are the greatest part of any journey and meeting as many locals along the way as possible will be what makes the experience for me. Support so far has been great and I’ve already been offered accommodation for 15 different nights,” Simon added.

Simon will be blogging about his experience here and live tweeting at @SimonWIParker. He will be raising awareness of the Clipper Race’s Official Charity Unicef, during his cycle, before joining the team in New York. More information can be found at his website: www.simonwparker.co.uk.

The states Simon will pass through are: Washington, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York.

Apply now