A 39-year-old man recently finished an 11-year bicycle journey covering more than 150,000 kilometers -- equivalent to circling the globe nearly four times!
Daisuke Nakanishi spent six years working for a construction firm in Osaka in order to save enough money to pursue this goal.
He left Japan for Anchorage, Alaska, the starting point of his journey, on July 23, 1998. During his subsequent bike trip through 130 countries, Nakanishi changed 82 tires, 15 chains and five pedals and fixed more than 300 tire punctures. “Only the frame is the same as when I left,” Nakanishi said.
He carried a tent, a sleeping bag, cooking utensils, clothes, books and maps; as well as spare parts and tools for repairs and other goods on his bike, a load totaling about 50 kilograms. The bike itself weighed 20 kilograms.
Nakanishi averaged between 100 and 150 kilometers a day on his bike.
He returned to Japan, on Oct. 1, 2009 and was awarded the fourth Grand Prix for his feat.
“I'm relieved to end this long journey, " Nakanishi said with a shy smile on his suntanned face. "Nonetheless, I’m at a bit of a loss now that my long-pursued dream has been accomplished.”
Nakanishi had a number of life-threatening experiences during his journey. On an August night in 2001 while in the Namibia Desert, two hyenas circled his tent. “I lay still for two hours clutching my kitchen knife,” he said.
Nakanishi got another kind of scare when he contracted Malaria in Equatorial Guinea.
In South Africa, Nakanishi approached a police station looking for a place to stay after he had no luck finding affordable accommodations. An officer said he could stay in one of the detention cells. Nakanishi agreed and even shared a meal with the detainees while there.
“It was comfortable because I was sure that both my bike and I were safe, and because I came out of the rain,” he said.
“The most valuable assets I gained through my journey are the many friends I made all over the world,” Nakanishi said.
Source: Yomiuri News, by K. Okumura, 2009-05-11
Nakanishi learnt a priceless lesson - the value of friends. I cannot imagine moving through life without friends!
More significant even than riches, knowledge, or fame are your friends! Our first friend should be our Saviour...do you know the Friend of Friends? You can!
And we thank God for all our friends who love, pray, and keep in contact with us even from afar as well as our friends here in Japan. Thank you for being a part of our family of friends.
Friends come and friends go,
but a true friend sticks by you like family
A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24
Jesus indeed is the best Friend of all! Nurture His companionship every day!