One Turlocker's quest to complete a bike ride around the world has taken her all the way to China in just a little over a year, she told the Journal Monday.
Erin Nelson, an 18-year-old Turlocker at the time of her Nov. 6, 2010 departure, said she has now biked 12,000 miles in the past year and two months.
During that time, she has visited “about” 21 countries, she said, trekking through England, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Greece, Macedonia, Turkey, Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, India, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. She's been to the Eiffel Tower, the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Roman Coliseum, Venice, the Taj Mahal, and New York City, where she addressed a Youth Bike Summit and crossed the Brooklyn Bridge.
Where she used to consider a 10-mile bike ride to Delhi a long ride, she now routinely bikes 50 miles a day, she said, as she works her way around the globe.
The journey has been harrowing in places, including confrontations with Grecian protestors, a broken wrist from a bad crash in Palestine, and an overzealous Hungarian border patrol, which stole her passport and made her spend a night in jail, she said. Those challenges come on top of constant bike breakdowns, inclement weather, and sometimes rowdy locals.
But through it all, Nelson said Turlock has remained close to her heart.
“When I'm biking there is a lot of reminiscing,” Nelson wrote. “I don't know no town like the old town, I've been through hundreds of small towns and big towns, but I still miss boring old Turlock.”
Nelson is still a long way from Turlock, with about eight months left in her 20,000 mile trip, which she hopes to complete nearly entirely on bike. But now more than halfway to her goal, Nelson has the end in sight.
“I know where I am going, so I keep going,” she wrote.
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