Catalan cyclist 'Tonipedales' fullfils childhood dream with bike trip around the world, literally
It is the day before his birthday when Antoni Rodríguez arrives at a hotel in a city in Uganda. The Catalan cyclist is looking for a place to sleep for free. “Can I sleep in the backyard of your hotel?” Rodríguez asks the owner, who nods doubtfully…
After a decent night’s sleep on the Ugandan grass, the owner of the hotel approaches Rodríguez’s tent. “Come over to the breakfast room”, he says,“we want to celebrate your birthday”. Rodríguez, who doubted whether he was genuinely welcome at the hotel, cannot believe his ears. “Cycling through Africa, the continent of solidarity, has surprised me nearly every day”.
Nearly a year ago, Antoni Rodríguez made the radical decision to quit his job: tired of doing the same work every day. The Catalan cyclist took the risk of seeing his daughter, wife, family and friends significantly less, in order to fulfil a dream. He chose to get rid of a completely structured life and embrace the fear of uncertainty instead. Rodríguez went on a bike packing trip around the world. Literally.
‘South America is my next continent’
“Every year was the same”, Rodríguez, who used to live in Barcelona, says as he looks back on his working life in Catalonia. “I was tired of waiting for the holidays from work”.
“Meanwhile, I’d had a dream since I was in high school of doing a solo bike ride without any time limit. I am now 55 years old, and realising my dream 40 years later”.
Rodríguez is not planning to stop his bike packing trip in the near future. “This slow travel bike trip is like living the dream for me, and I hope to have the fitness and health to continue this dream for a long time”, he says. “After I feel like I have played out Africa, I will travel to South America”.
To Catalans who have a similar dream, Tonipedales can only recommend taking the risk or risk losing the chance. “Maybe it is a cliché, but life is so short, and therefore there is no time for doubt. Try it. If you feel deep inside you that this bike packing trip around the world is your dream, then do not try to escape from it. Follow your heart, fulfil your dreams”.
Read the full story about Tonipedales in Nafent Magazine vol. 3, now available in our webshop.