No frills Lee
Last month our cycle advisors Matt Hockin and Chris Richards were running the Better By Bike road show at Bristol Farmers Market when they met a very interesting chap. Matt explains what happened:
We saw an unassuming man wheeling along his bike, with laden with luggage. He had a fairly old mountain bike with old plastic milk cartons for water bottles and pannier bags of strapped-on holdalls. I made eye contact with him and ushered him over to our stall. He lent up his bike against our trike and gave us a large beaming smile.
We asked where he had cycled from and he replied; "China". Chris and I got very excited and began interrogating him to find out more details. "When did you leave?", I asked the late-fifty something cyclist, who was dressed in jeans and big chunky boots. "1997," he said. Chris and I had found our hero so we threw lots more questions at him.
I guess after cycling for 14 years, travelling through 129 countries and having cycled over 200,000 miles, he had developed a good script and method for dealing with the over excited public. His name was Lee Yue Zhong. Lee handed us an old photo album containing photos of his travels with stickers explaining the locations and the people he had met. They ranged from the White House in Washington, USA to small huts in remote African villages where Lee would show up and be welcomed by the locals.
Lee initially left China in 1997 intending to see some of the world over a two-year period. He returned to his home in China briefly but realised he preferred being on his bike. Some 14 years later he still is, although not the same bike - he's already worn out four previous bikes! I asked him when he was planning on stopping and going home but he said he doesn't think he will."
Apart from being in awe of this incredible guy, we were struck by the simplicity of his set up. Although it's nice to have a fancy bike and wear all the gear, Lee is evidence that you really don't need much kit to get on your bike!"