Jimmy Ashby has been doing cycle touring since the age of 14 and after four years of self supported long distance tours, Jimmy is preparing for his biggest ever challenge, an around the globe ride. In completing the ride, Jimmy will become the youngest person in the world to hold this epic achievement.
Jimmy’s parents are bike riders and when they were riding in Bike SA’s Grand Slam rides, Jimmy decided he wanted to join in. Digging out his mum’s classic cherry red tourer and slamming the seat down to the lowest setting, Jimmy took on his first ride and kicked off a long love for cycling touring. Through the Grand Slam rides he was able to build up kilometers in a safe environment, often with support from riders around him. Eventually he rode his first tour, 500 km around Kangaroo island with his dad (at the age of 14!). By the time he’d done this, he was too quick for his old man! Three years of solo cycling touring ensued as Jimmy rode Tasmania, New Zealand and several multi state Australian mainland rides.
Jimmy’s ambitious plan will see him cover over 29,000 unsupported kilometers and he must pass two antipodal points (two points opposite each other on the globe). His journey will be predominantly on bitumen, aside from unsealed passes in central Asia.
Jimmy will follow the Euro Velo along much of his journey through Europe. This designated cycle route sees regular traffic and the locals are accustomed to cycle tourists, as are the Americans along the Trans American cycle route that Jimmy will be following, through the Rocky Mountains and Yellowstone National Park. In other parts of the world (Istanbul and Beijing for example) roads are less cycle friendly and rules less stringent. As he travels, Jimmy will cover a broad range of terrain, passing through deserts in the US, Iran, Turkey, and Turkmenistan, tackling mountain passes in the Rockies and Tjikistan and everything in between. As this will be his first big overseas trip Jimmy only has his research to go by! This has included online research as well as conversations with other cycle tourers; including Tom Davies, who holds the distinction of being the youngest cyclest to have gone round the world.
Equipment for circumnavigation by bicycle
This is a cycling magazine after all! So let’s talk bikes. Jimmy had planned on riding his chromoly steel touring bike, fitted out with 32mm Gator Skin tyres. (As pictured below) but he will now be riding a custom bike as his frame just failed from fatigue! It’s worth mentioning that this was his second touring bike after he rode the first one until that frame failed too.
Due to the need to keep weight down Jimmy will not have the relative luxury of a tent, choosing to use a bivvy instead (a temporary shelter familiar to soldiers). It’s more discrete than a tent and light weight. Jimmy will also carry; a satphone provided by TR Telecom, 3 litres of water, food, clothing and other basics. All in, this makes for a total weight of 26kg, bike included.
Riding for a cause
After seeing the impact of Motor Neuron Disease on people close to him, Jimmy has chosen to use his round the world tour as a platform to raise funds for Motor Neuron Disease., aiming to raise $1 per km.
Following Jimmy’s journey
You can follow along Jimmy’s journey starting with his website:
On his site you will also find links for Facebook, or Strava, where you can follow his daily journey and feel really inadequate by comparing your kilometers.