Cyclist’s attraction after thief thwarts sixth round-the-world strive

After losing his father to leukaemia in 2018, after which slipping into despair, Josh made plans to complete a mission he had failed five times before – to cycle around the arena.

But this week, whilst preventing to rest in London throughout the first leg of his try, his bike changed into stolen.

The loss, Josh says, turned into “devastating” – but he has now not given up hope of persevering with his journey.

“I first tried to cycle around the arena in 2016,” he tells the BBC. “This changed into virtually my adventure to happiness, that is what I usually called it.”

In 2015, after splitting from his lengthy-term lady friend, Josh was suffering badly with depression and tried to take his personal life.

“I crashed my vehicle at approximately 70mph at the dual carriageway close to my domestic in Scotland,” he says. “I became really lucky to continue to exist.

 

“After that I concept: ‘I’m going to do something about this.’

“I went to peer Sir Chris Hoy talking in Edinburgh and simply felt stimulated to head on a motorbike.

“At that point, I wasn’t a bicycle owner. I was more than one stone overweight, I changed into ingesting alcohol four times every week – but cycling became my manner of looking to get glad once more.”

Despite touring more than 10,000 miles thru 14 international locations on his closing journey – Josh, now 26, by no means reached his goal.

“I assume it is fear that receives the better of me,” he explains. “If I finish I recognize how big it’ll be and I suppose that is what holds me again.”

Even although he did not entire his previous journeys, Josh believes traveling on his motorcycle saved him – describing the journeys as “existence-changing”.

But after his father’s loss of life ultimate 12 months, Josh started over again to battle with life in Edinburgh.

He determined to strive the trip one more time.

“It’s got me out of a dark location as soon as earlier than so I became to it again.”

“I commenced in Edinburgh multiple weeks in the past after which stopped when I got to London for a relaxation earlier than heading to France,” says Josh.

“I turned into staying at a hostel on Borough High Street. Usually I could have the motorbike inside with me but once I arrived they said I wasn’t allowed.”

Josh was staying for 2 nights. His motorcycle becomes locked to a rack out of doors the hostel – but through the second one day, it had been stolen.

“To assume it is gone is devastating,” he says. “It’s nearly like I’ve been grieving for it.

“When I first was given on the motorbike in 2016, I became in any such horrific area and collectively we went on that journey.

“We’ve accomplished over 15,000 miles collectively. It’s almost like a human, the way I observe that motorcycle, the affection I have for it, what it method to me.”

Josh, but, is last stoic.

“The more I reflect on consideration on it, if someone’s stealing a bike then they’re likely no longer in a very good place in their lifestyles.

“Maybe they need is greater than me.”

While a setback like this might have previously ended Josh’s try, this time he is refusing to surrender.

He has appealed for the motorcycle’s go back, but knows his possibilities of seeing it again are “low”.

Josh’s cognizance now, he says, is “trying to get on another bike and hold”.

He has started raising money for a brand new bicycle, and even as it may not have the equal sentimental price – it might allow him to finish a journey that has been four years inside the making.

“I’m going to do it this time,” he says. “It’s now not up for debate – I’m getting it completed.”

Ashley Stephens

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