It always amazes me when people dedicate their time towards an endeavor such as cycling the world. The logistics of taking off work, setting up the perfect rig, and studying the ridiculous amount of logistics on top of the money factor somewhat turns me off of the idea. However, when I think about the cultural experience, traversing so many beautiful landscapes on your own terms, I think about how amazing the experience would be. Those same thoughts and ideas have been lingering in Markis Stintz’s head since he left New Zealand in 2009, and that is why he is pulling the trigger on riding around the world starting this week.
Markus is a German born adventurer that was living in New Zealand for some time, once he left in 2009 he had the idea of cycling around the world. After riding a lot in Scotland, Markus decided that he would finally make that thought a reality – single speeding the world starting this September. Markus has always enjoyed riding bicycles long distances, whether it is on pavement or dirt. He endured his first bike trip in 2006 where he carried everything on his back which he said was “quite possibly the toughest journey I have ever done.”
After a number or long endurance rides, Markus ditched his road bike for a mountain bike. He finally picked up some bikepacking bags and took on the Highland Trail Race (HTR) in 2014 on a single speed. Since then he has done the HTR again in 2015 and developed his own route that starts and finished in his home town of Edinburg called the Capital Trail. After he developed the route he hosted a race this June with great success. 75 people attended, and he also participated in the ride.
With his experience of route finding for 3 months developing the Capital Trail, it seems like Markus is well prepared for his next journey around the world. Especially with an attitude like this, “I have a job, I love my job, but I don’t like it enough to trade it in for something I like more.”
The RouteWhile Markus has a general idea of his route, he really does not want to stick to a specific plan for the most part. One plan he does have is the type of riding he will be doing… “I plan on riding off road as much as I can,” he added that, “the bit on New Zealand will mainly be on gravel,” as he is familiar with the terrain and curious to explore such a diverse country that he passed when he was living there. He plans on riding around 100 miles a day, give or take, and focusing on getting from A to B in a certain amount of time. He will be starting in his current home town of Edinburg and will travel through France and Spain before flying to New York. From there he will head over to Route 66, and ride that to LA. He mentioned leaving LA sometime in December, and flying to New Zealand. From New Zealand he anticipates he will then head to Australia, and then Asia, and maybe Russia before returning to Europe. When it is all said and done, he plans on finishing in around 300 days.
Markus is not looking to set any records, “I don’t think putting or setting a record will add anything to the journey, I think it will just limit it.” He wants to take the path less traveled, and because of this he will be heading out on a Surly Ogre rather then a road bike like most people who cycle the world do. While he does plan on taking roads, it just may not be the quickest point from A to B, but rather a path where he can experience a rich cultural presence, sit down with new friends and have a beer or two.
Rounding out his gear will be some Schwalbe Marathon Mondial tires, which he said will be swapped out when planning a more rugged route or as needed. He will be rocking Apidura bIkepacking bags along with some SpoK Werks accessories, and a whole list of supporters that are helping him out, including friend Charlie the Bike Monger.
In the end Markus is going on a trip of a lifetime, something that has been on his list for some time. It is a “trip about meeting people, [the] trip is about going back to the place…where I had memories,” he says. An attitude like that is sure to give Markus a helping hand at something not so easy. We wish Markus the best of luck on his journey around the world on a single speed.