Jamie Bianchini invited more than 1,000 strangers to ride on the world’s first open-invitation, intercultural expedition around the world.
His eight-year, 80-country journey is shared in his book “A Bicycle Built for Two-Billion.”
Jacksonville locals can meet him and hear about his journey around the U.S. Thursday evening.
After a series of ill-fated events in his life, he says he hatched a crazy plan: go for a ride around the world on a tandem bicycle by himself, inviting everyone he met to join him.
Bianchini said, “The original inspiration that I had was to demonstrate that you can cross language, cultural and religious barriers just by getting out and celebrating the spirit of play.”
Bianchini experienced getting run over by a car, being robbed and hearing gun shots, but he says what amazed him the most was that people in every part of the world helped keep him safe.
“It was this constant flood of compassion by total strangers that really inspired me to take the expedition to the next level,” Bianchini said.
When asked if he ever wanted to quit throughout his journey, he said, of course he wanted to. He got lonely and wanted to come home, but something always kept him pedaling forward.
“A lot of it was this constant adventure of human connection and meeting new friends everywhere I went,” he said.
Bianchini says he rode his bike through rivers, villages and over mountains for tens of thousands of miles with new bike partners the whole way.
According to his website, he and his guest riders donated 100 bikes to impoverished Cape Town, dispersed hundreds of doses of life-saving Malaria medication in small African communities, started a school for AIDS orphans in Uganda and brought fresh water to a community suffering from sickness and death in Bolivia.
He will be in Jacksonville Thursday evening to share his new book and story at Lakeshore Bicycles starting at 6:30.
For more information about Bianchini and his world-wide adventure, visit the A Bicycle Built for Two Billion website.