Heinz Stücke (born 11 January 1940) is a long-distance itinerant cyclist from Hövelhof, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany — noted for setting the world record for bicycle touring in 1995.[1]

Heinz Stücke
Stücke poses with his three-speed bicycle for a photo while selling his wares in Paris. (9 July 1999)
Born (1940-01-11) 11 January 1940 (age 83)
Hövelhof, North Rhine-Westphalia
Occupation(s)Cyclist, photographer, writer
Known forCycling for most of his life through nearly every country in the world.

In a global journey spanning more than 50 years, Stücke has travelled over six hundred thousand kilometres by bicycle.[2]

Global bicycle tour Edit

In November 1962, the 22-year-old Stücke quit his job as a tool and die maker, and rode out of his hometown on a three-speed bicycle, with a plan to see the world.[1][3] He says that his extraordinary desire to travel was partly motivated by his aversion to returning to factory work.[3]

In the early 1980s, after two decades on the road, Stücke decided to attempt to visit every country in the world. He believed he had accomplished his goal when he reached Seychelles in 1996,[3] but to him it felt anticlimactic. He had spent too little time in some countries, and there was still much to experience; so he continued on.[4] Between 1962 and 2010, he cycled more than 609,000 kilometres (378,000 mi), and visited 195 countries and 78 territories.[5] From 1995 through 1999, the Guinness Book of Records described him as having travelled more widely by bicycle than anyone in history.[1][6]

During his travels, he has encountered many hazards and suffered numerous injuries:

  • In the Atacama Desert of Chile he was hit by a truck.[3]
  • In Haiti he was chased by an angry mob.[3]
  • In Egypt he was beaten unconscious by soldiers.[3]
  • In Cameroon he was detained by the military for "slandering the state".[3]
  • In Alaska he got into a car accident, ending up in a freezing river.[7]
  • In the United States he was abandoned by an automobile driver who stole all of his supplies after offering him a ride.[1]
  • In Indonesia, 1974, he suffered a serious bout of dysentery.
  • In Zambia, 1980, he was shot in the big toe when surrounded by four of Nkomos "Freedom Fighters".[4]
  • In Mozambique, 1995, he was attacked by bees while bathing in a river.[3]
  • In Siberia, 1997, his bicycle was stolen for the fifth time, along with his luggage (all of which was recovered).[8]
  • In England, 2006, his bicycle—the same machine he rode from Hövelhof in 1962—was stolen again, this time from his campsite in Portsmouth. (The bicycle was recovered the following day in a local park.)[6][8]
Stücke's touring cycle loaded with luggage

Although he has ridden the same steel-framed bicycle on most of his journeys,[4] in 2002 he rode across Canada with a partner on a Hase Pino tandem recumbent bicycle, which Hase Spezialräder built and sponsored.[9]

Recording the journey Edit

Stücke poses with some of his photographs and other memorabilia.

Since 1962, Stücke has taken more than 100,000 photographs. He funds his expeditions with licensing revenue from his photo catalogue; donations; and sales of his travel writing, postcards, and booklets that feature his photographs, writing, and illustrations.[3][9]

In 1995, around the time he set the world record for bicycle touring, Stücke self-published a memoir: Mit dem Fahrrad um die Welt ("Cycling Around the World").[10] In 2015, Dutch travel writer Eric van den Berg published a biography commemorating Stücke's career of global bicycle touring—a career that by then had continued for more than 50 years.[2] The book, Home Is Elsewhere: 50 Years Around the World by Bike, also features Stücke's photographs.[11]

Spanish filmmaker Albert Albacete's[12] documentary film The Man Who Wanted to See It All[13] explores Stücke's life, motivations, philosophy, and legacy; there also are plans to build a museum devoted to Stücke in his hometown of Hövelhof.[14]

References Edit

  1. ^ a b c d Cowell, Alan (10 May 2006). "After 335,000 Miles, a Robbery Splits Man and Bike". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
  2. ^ a b "'Home Is Elsewhere': Traveller's tales with Heinz Stücke". Sportive.com. Sports Gaming. 8 December 2015. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Ratliff, Evan (1 June 2004). "Let Us Now Praise Crazy Mofos: Heinz Stücke: Pedaling the Planet". Outside. Santa Fe: Mariah Media Network. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  4. ^ a b c Stücke, Heinz. "Around the World by Bicycle". China Cycling Travelogues. Bike China Adventures, Inc. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
  5. ^ "UN Masters". TheBestTravelled.com. Archived from the original on 4 May 2019. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  6. ^ a b "World's most travelled bike found". BBC News. 9 May 2006. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
  7. ^ Stücke, Heinz (1 June 2010). "An unfortunate accident". heinzstucke.com. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
  8. ^ a b Seaton, Matt (21 May 2004). "Heinz Stucke rides through life". Taipei Times. Taipei: The Liberty Times Group. p. 18. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
  9. ^ a b Atkielski, Anthony (29 July 2009). "Heinz Stücke, World Traveller". Anthony's Home Page. Anthony Atkielski. Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
  10. ^ Stücke, Heinz (1995). Mit dem Fahrrad um die Welt [Cycling Around the World]. Hövelhof. OCLC 723710974.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  11. ^ van den Berg, Eric (2015). Home Is Elsewhere: 50 Years Around the World by Bike. Brompton Bicycle. ISBN 9780993452406.
  12. ^ cf. Artesanos (2011)
  13. ^ The Man Who Wanted to See It All
  14. ^ Albacete, Albert (director) (December 2015). The Man Who Wanted to See It All (Motion-picture trailer) (in German and English). Albacete, Albert. Event occurs at 2:50. Retrieved 21 February 2016 – via Vimeo. A museum will be built here in Hövelhof in his honour. I really appreciate this and I support it.

External links Edit