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Author`s name Michael Simpson

Cycling Round the World

It is not a big surprise for Europe to see a man doing a world tour by bicycle

Recently, we received a very unusual letter here in the Russian northern city of Severodvinsk: Former Severodvinsk resident Sergey Lyzhin sent an exclusive report about his bicycle world tour.

Lyzhin, who moved to the Estonian city of Tallinn back in the Soviet years, went around the world on a bicycle for the first time two years ago. Immediately after his first tour, he came to see his relatives in Severodvinsk and muster his strength before the next one.

His first world tour started in Russia. Then, Lyzhin crossed the ocean, America, another ocean and finally Europe. This time around, he is pedaling in the reverse direction. He started in Europe and is now planning to get back home via Siberia and European part of Russia, finishing in St. Petersburg at the end of May. Lyzhin has dedicated the tour to the 300th anniversary of Russia’s Northern Capital and to Russia's famous bicycle-sport activist, A. Baranov.

Lyzhin writes that "It was right for me to start this tour in Europe. The roads are wonderful, and I faced no problems with the authorities. It is not a big surprise in Europe to see a man doing a world tour by bicycle. The only important thing for them is that you register your visa in time. Europe is Europe!"

"It is interesting that, during my first world tour two years ago, I met much fewer Russians in Europe. I mean, not "New Russians," but average Russians. I met two Russian students in Poland who were hitchhiking. In Germany, I met a 40-year-old German-language teacher from the Russian city of Kotlas (in the Arkhangelsk region) who had been invited by a family of teachers. When I cycled through Parisian streets, I was extremely surprised to hear Russian dirty language. I saw four young guys who had come to Paris from Moscow Oblast. In fact, they were also surprised to see a man from Russia on a bicycle in France."

He has crossed France, Spain and, now, is cycling through America. He hopes to arrive in St. Petersburg on May 25. Journalists from the Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda told Lyzhin that his arrival has been included in the itinerary of St. Petersburg's 300th anniversary celebrations. But he says that the warmth of his native city, Severodvinsk, is more important to him than the orchestra that will meet him on his finish in St. Petersburg.

Picture: Sergey Lyzhin in Barcelona (Spain)

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