"Why go on a journey of 20,000 km … when 10,000 km would be enough by flying over the ocean? Why spend 12 months on the road when only 12 hours would be necessary in the air? Why so many efforts, when I could just sit and wait? Efficiency, speed, and very little effort - these are some really trendy values nowadays. By seeking and obtaining everything, immediately and easily, we lose both the taste of things and the appetite for life. In my opinion, we are missing the best of it. Cycling, on the contrary, is getting back to what traveling really means. Cycling is also about holding your own destiny with a firm grip rather than letting it wander; while you sit in the saddle, you are the only captain on board and you can choose to go wherever you want. You are free."
Frederic Linget has been cycling since he was two years old. That's why it was only natural for the 33-year-old Frenchman to opt out of booking a flight home to France from Thailand (his home of the last ten years) in favor of an alternate mode of transportation, his bicycle.
In just under a year, Linget cycled from Bangkok to his hometown, Châteaudun, in an effort to become carbon neutral and raise awareness about global warming. By cycling home he was able to avoid the 1.6 tons of carbon attributed to a 12 hour flight, and was able to raise money towards offsetting the 400 tons of carbon emitted in his lifetime. As an additional part of his pledge to become a better citizen of the planet, Linget gave up flying (his last flight was in June of 2008) and formed a project to promote the idea of a greenhouse gas-free year by cycling instead of driving.
Linget left Thailand on June 29, 2008, with 53 kilograms of gear and over 20,000 kilometers of road ahead of him for Adventures Bicicletes, "a two-wheeled miracle combining discoveries around the world, respect of others, and protection of the environment."
INTRAVEL: What inspired you to go on this journey and how did you plan for it?
I was living in Asia for the last ten years -- in Vietnam and then in Thailand -- working as an expatriate. After ten years I thought that it was time to go home. I didn't want to go back by plane because it's too fast of a way to travel, and it is not environmentally friendly. So I thought that I would find something more in line with my aspirations. I thought traveling by bicycle would be much nicer and it would be a way to discover all the people of the different countries I'd be staying in, including my home country.
It took me basically about a year to prepare because I was working as well. It took me a lot of time to prepare my website, work out all the visa requirements, study the route, and get all the permits, like for Tibet- that was quite an ordeal. And then I left about a year ago.