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Travel, Singapore

Janice Heng
Tuesday, Jul 15, 2014

Travel, Singapore

From the Arctic to Asia on two wheels

The Straits Times | Janice Heng | Tuesday, Jul 15, 2014

Mr Rahim Resad will embark on a year-long cycling trip using limited resources, such as his tent.

Like many people, Mr Rahim Resad wants to see the world. But the 44-year-old wants to do it on two wheels.

This National Day, he will set off on a year-long solo cycling trip from Nordkapp in Norway, deep inside the Arctic Circle, and plans to reach home in time for Singapore's 50th birthday celebrations in August next year.

Cycling is a less detached way of travelling, said the former ultimate frisbee coach, who quit his full-time job in 2012 to plan for the trip.

"I'm exposed to the elements, I can stop whenever I want, and I interact more with people on my bicycle."

He is not sure exactly how long he will cycle for each day, but his planned route spans about 24,500km.

It runs through Scandinavia, into Central Europe and through the Balkans, and he hopes to reach Turkey by late November. Then the next leg will be through Iran and either Afghanistan or Pakistan, eventually hitting India and heading home via Indochina.

With just US$6,000 (S$7,446) for the trip, he is relying on a tent, a fishing rod, and the goodwill of friends and strangers.

The online community of "touring cyclists" may offer support. Groups in various countries are known to host fellow cyclists.

Mr Rahim, who is single, also has faith in the generosity of strangers.

Part of his training for this journey was a two-month cycling trip in Borneo last year, during which villagers provided food and shelter.

Still, that 4,800km trip had its potholes. He recalls having to stop, dizzy with heat exhaustion, until he was picked up by a passing truck. That adventure is chronicled in a new book, The Man Who Rode Around Borneo, which can be bought from his website www.fluidrider.com and hits bookstores later this month.

The book costs $27, including delivery, if bought online. Proceeds will go towards his trip.

And Mr Rahim hopes to turn his next trip into a documentary, filmed using his digital camera.


This article was first published on July 13, 2014.
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