From Peking to Paris, by bike!
Have you ever heard of the famous motor race that took place in the early 1900′s from Peking to Paris. This epic journey started in the year 1907, between Peking (now Beijing), then Qing China and Paris, France with a total distance of 9,317 miles or 14,994 km.
What sparked the original race was a quote published in the Paris newspaper Le Matin on 31 January 1907, reading: “What needs to be proved today is that as long as a man has a car, he can do anything and go anywhere. Is there anyone who will undertake to travel this summer from Peking to Paris by automobile?”
Starting from the French embassy in Peking in June 1907, the
winner was Prince Scipione Borghese. He arrived in Paris that August (1907).
But what about an even bigger challenge, without cars but instead by bike?
As crazy as it may sound, it actually isn’t. Cyclists have undertaken this challenge on several occasions. Before the
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summer Olympics in 2008, for example, The French Cycle Touring Federation organized a bicycle ride from Paris to Beijing – covering over 12,000 kilometers beginning in March and ending in August in front of the Great Wall in China.
And guess what? They aren’t the only ones. Many individual cyclists and groups have taken on a similar athletic challenge. In this way, they not only get to see the world, they do so without releasing
more carbon emissions than they must. The perfect combination of green travel and world experience all
rolled into one.