This German adventurer is tackling the ultimate round-the-world expedition

by Matt de Neef


German adventurer and ultraendurance athlete Jonas Deichmann is no stranger to obscenely hard expeditions. Among his many mind-boggling achievements are a ride from the north of Europe to the south of Africa in 72 days (roughly 250 km a day), and a ride from Alaska to Patagonia in 97 days (236 km average per day).

Now, Deichmann is in the early stages of his most ambitious challenge yet. He calls it “Triathlon 360 degree”, an attempt to circumnavigate the world “with a minimal CO2 footprint”.

What does the adventure involve? You might want to sit down for this.

Step one is an 850 km ride from Munich, Germany down to Croatia, over the Alps. He’ll then swim roughly 450 km down the Croatian coast towards Montenegro. From there he’ll jump back on the bike and ride more than 8,000 km across Europe and Asia until he reaches the Chinese coastline.

From the east of China he plans to sail across the Pacific Ocean to the west coast of the USA. He’ll then run the roughly 5,000 km across the country to New York. From there its back aboard another sailing boat to Lisbon, Portugal before riding the final 2,400 km or so back to Munich.

Deichmann estimates the journey will take him 10 months and that he’ll cover a total distance of 40,000 km.

“I’m beginning to miss the challenges on the bike, and I’ve always dreamed of circumnavigating the world without an aeroplane,” Deichmann said. “Beside the enormous distance, logistics will be a major challenge. There are currents at sea and only small time windows for crossing the Himalaya and oceans. I also still need to find a sailing boat across the oceans as I will be hitchhiking.”

As with previous adventures Deichmann won’t have a support vehicle with him. While swimming he’ll drag a “specially made raft” behind him and swim to shore at night to camp. He’ll also carry all his equipment while running and riding and camp along the route.

In preparation for his adventure Deichmann spent time training at -25ºC in a climate-controlled chamber owned by German rail company Deutsche Bahn. In training he also “circumnavigated Germany along the outer borders in triathlon”.

Deichmann began his journey on September 26. At the time of writing he is already into the Croatian swim leg having covered the initial 850 km ride in a little over four days. You can follow Deichmann’s progress in real time and read more about his incredible adventure at his website.


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