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The Man Who Cycled The 7 Epics

December 18th, 2019 by Henry Gold

 

The North American Epic cycling expedition, at 14,540 km, is the longest organized bicycle tour on the planet, starting in Tuktoyaktuk on the Arctic Ocean and finishing in Panama City. Four days before the riders finished their epic ride, one of the participants stood in front of the group of fellow cyclists and asked: “How far is far?”

Chris Wille – First rider to complete the 7Epics

It was part of a friendly talk that described how he had arrived at this stage. How he never planned it. How in four days he would complete the 7Epics – seven transcontinental cycling tours covering six continents.

2014 Trans-Oceania (Medan to Sydney)

Several years ago, as TDA Global Cycling was expanding its stable of long distance tours across the planet, I asked myself a question – “Mountain climbers ultimate challenge was climbing the 7 summits, marathon runners like to brag about running on 7 continents, but what about cyclists?” Why not set up a concept that would capture the imagination of the ultimate cyclists? And so was born the concept of the 7Epics – 7 long cycling tours that would cross 6 continents.

2017 Bamboo Road (Shanghai – Singapore)

At that time, our company was already offering tours across Africa, Asia, South America and Europe so it was just a question of adding a couple of more trips before issuing the challenge.

>>Related Post: Rider Profile – Chris Wille

2016 Trans-Europa (St Petersburg – Lisbon)

When I was a child,” says the man in front of the attentive cyclists, “far was that hill in the distance. Eventually when I climbed that hill, it was not far at all”. As the years went by, the man continued, “far changed with each new experience; climbing hills and mountains on Vancouver Island, running marathons, than see if I could do a triathlon.”

2012 Silk Route (Shanghai – Istanbul)

The fellow speaking is Chris Wille and he is from Victoria, Canada. For 30 years he and his wife ran a very stressful business while encountering a variety of difficult personal and life challenges.

2008 Tour d’Afrique (Cairo – Cape Town)

In 2007 Chris decided that it was time again to see what is ‘far’ and signed up for the 2008 Tour d’Afrique. The event was a personal challenge but it also turned out to be a great way of learning about places of which, before the tour, he knew very little.

The experience also kick-started Chris’ interest in donating old bikes and he and his wife set up a Victoria chapter of Bikes for Humanity which has now donated several containers of bikes for Africa.

Bikes4Humanity, Victoria

When our company created the 7Epics, Chris was one of the people whose imagination was sparked, even though it may have seemed ‘far’. Chris, however, already knew from his own life experiences that ‘far’ is just a term, a word that depends on how you use it. He decided, knowing that life throws all kinds of challenges at you, it seemed a good idea to see how far he could go.

Related Post: TDA Super Alumni Profile – Chris Wille

2019 North American Epic (Tuktoyaktuk – Panama City)

And now I stand in front of you having cycled the 76,000 km total distance of the 7 Epics or almost twice the circumference of the planet at the equator.

2015 South American Epic (Cartagena – Ushuaia)

How far is far? Well, according to Chris, it all depends on you: How far do you really want to go?

4 comments for "The Man Who Cycled The 7 Epics"

December 19th, 2019 by Catharine

Chris, as I said to you in an Emai…incredible.
I look forward to seeing you on the Journey to the East.

December 23rd, 2019 by Tim Sole

A great achievement Chris. Well done.

December 23rd, 2019 by Jan Buyens

Hi Chris
I just finished the Andes Trail and read your blog and big congratulations because now I understand this performance GREAT and this will become my challenge as well now when I just retired on my 64 age. Do you think this is still possible to realize this dream ??

You are my expiration.

Cheers
Jan B
Essen
Belgium

December 25th, 2019 by Bernard Roch

Congratulations Chris. And 76 000 is “only” your riding on TDA’s 7 epics. Adding all your other ridings (like across Canada I remember) you must have rolled on 200 000 km of asphalt, dirt and other earthly surfaces ! And seen so many countries.
I wish you many other happy rides.
Bernard (from silk road 2012)

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