Expat to break Guiness cycling record in China

Updated: 2014-06-24 07:27

By Matt Hodges (China Daily)

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Expat to break Guiness cycling record in China
'Kingdom of Bicycles' rises again
Expat to break Guiness cycling record in China
A bike for Beijing
Simoes, who resembles a fiery but frazzled Super Mario gaming character after so much time on the road, claims to have put 395,000 km on his chronometer. This puts him about 5,000 km shy of Stucke's achievement. The additional 200,000 km that Simoes spent on planes, trains and automobiles was "collateral damage."

With four saddle bags, a tent, a large Brazilian flag and scores of photo albums, Simoes was holed up at the Latina Brazilian BBQ restaurant in Shanghai's Xujiahui locality last week to catch the early games of the 2014 World Cup.

The printed photographs, with their faded colors and frayed edges, point to how the world has changed since Simoes started his journey in 2000. Even his bike, a 24-gear Schwinn, is now made in Taiwan. When he started out, the factory was still in the United States. But globalization has since changed the industrial landscape.

"Everything was even more different when Stucke set his record. It was before the Internet," he says. "It was much easier back then. He could make money just by selling a single photograph to the BBC."

Norway has the toughest terrain for bikers and Liverpool is his favorite city because of the Beatles, he says of his tours and mentions a wild three-month love affair with a British woman.

He says he fled Cairo in three hours after seeing another cyclist die in a hit-and-run incident and describes the city as the "scariest place on Earth."

Simoes has documents and police records to back up pretty much every story he tells.

Stucke was also reportedly beaten unconscious by soldiers in Egypt, attacked by bees in Mozambique, and hit by a truck in Chile, Simoes says.

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