Adventurer James Ketchell reveals the kit he relied on to pedal around the world. Nine pieces of essential cycling gear from the man who has completed the ‘ultimate triathlon’…
In 2014 James Ketchell completed a 214-day, 18,000-mile cycle around the globe. In doing so, the 31-year-old Briton became the first and only person to have rowed across the Atlantic Ocean, climbed Mount Everest and cycled around the world.
1. Trek Cyclocross
You don’t need the most expensive bike in the world to cycle around the world. I did it on a £300 second-hand Trek Cyclocross. I put new wheels in and rebuilt some other things, but essentially it was second-hand and I thought that was really cool.
2. iPhone 4s
My most important piece of kit and lifeline to the outside world was my unlocked iPhone 4s. I dropped it, the screen cracked, it got soaking wet, but it kept on working. Because the phone was unlocked, I was able to buy SIM cards in every country I visited, saving me thousands in data roaming costs.
3. Garmin 810
I wasn’t terribly impressed by the Garmin Edge 810’s navigation – preferring to use Google maps on my iPhone – but its battery life was good and I have yet to find anything better for measuring speed and logging miles.
4. Exposure Revo Mk1
My front light, which was made by British company USE Exposure, was worth its weight in gold. As long as I was moving forward it showed the way, producing 800 lumens at 10mph, which is as bright as a car headlight. This allowed me to cycle through the night several times, including one 220-mile journey from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore.
5. Nemo Gogo Elite
If you’re claustrophobic, look away now. If you’re not, I thoroughly recommend Nemo Equipment’s Gogo Elite minimalist shelter. It’s a bit weird the first time you get in it – largely because it’s a bit like lying in a blow-up coffin – but it doesn’t need any poles, packs down to the size of a melon and weighs just over 600 grams.
6. Bontrager Affinity RL
If you’re going to sit on a saddle for 18,000 miles, you need it to be comfortable and Bontrager’s Affinity RL is just that.
7. Leatherman Wave
I’m old-fashioned, so I used sand paper, glue and patches to repair the 100 punctures I suffered during my trip, and my Leatherman Wave multi-tool to fix every other issue. Among other things, the Wave has a screwdriver, pliers and an extremely sharp blade.
8. GoPro Hero2
I took two cameras on my trip. I used a Nikon Coolpix P7700 for taking pictures and recording video blogs. And I used a GoPro Hero 2 to get some awesome action and cutaway shots. I’d put it on my helmet and film how mental cycling down a dirt road or through the streets of an Indian city can be.
9. Berghaus baselayer
You don’t traditionally associate Berghaus with cycling, but its base layers are excellent and the Gore-tex jacket worked really well during my trip.
James Ketchell is a serial adventurer, motivational speaker and Scouting ambassador. See jamesketchell.net