#tda2013 Profile: Mike Vermeulen
Embarking on a 12,000 km bike trip across the world’s most challenging continent is an intimidating and self-questioning thought for many. Context however is everything. Meet Mike Vermeulen. This trip is not his first bicycle ride, nor his second, nor his 15th. In chatting with this well-seasoned world bicycle traveller, it would be safe to assume that this trip could be rounding out his 100,000th km by bike.
Seem farfetched? If starting in Amsterdam and cycling west until the far coast of Russia, nearly 13,000 km later seems unbelievable, then sure. Having cycled 4 of the world’s continents, this will be his 5th, taking him around the world and back again. Every 4 or 5 years, Mike takes off in a new direction, but not without exploring home first. Mikes #1 trip for anyone looking to cycle tour is simply to bike your own country first. Not only to reinforce your own culture, but to ease yourself in with something familiar. Not taking this lightly, Mike has cycled 50 US states and, if it wasn’t for the newest addition of Nunavut in Canada he would have cycled every province and territory in Canada as well. Another 8 months on the road in another corner of the globe brought him right the way round the outside and straight through the middle of Australia, another trip brought him 4,000 km through China, another 2,600 km through India another 10,000 km in Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia and now you see how the math adds up.
Having spent more than his share of time on his bicycle already, much of the TDA is no harsh shock to his system, and as a result, he does not seem to be phased by much of anything on tour. In chatting with Mike, it’s as if life is one big inside joke, which if you stop and chat for a minute, you might just get let in on the humour of it all. Whether it be first thing in the morning before the sun is up, slaving through the mid-day heat, or bumming around on a lazy rest day, the first words to leave his mouth are guaranteed to be “hey, you having fun?”, something which you can be sure, Mike is having plenty of.
You can follow Mike’s adventures through his very popular blog – http://www.bike2013.com/