Wheels Around the World

Do you have the courage to pursue your dreams? If you doubt your own abilities, perhaps you can take inspiration from the story of two Taiwanese women who made their wish come true. Like many other young people, Lin Chi-ying (Vicky) and Chiang Chiu-ping (Pinky) dreamed of traveling the world. What makes them special is that they actually did it; what’s more, they did it on bicycles. 

Cycling was their preferred method of transportation because “bikes bring us closer to nature, local people, and the way they live,” said Vicky. Beginning in July 1998, Vicky and Pinky spent 922 days cycling through 32 nations, in all five continents.  By the end of their epic journey in November 2001, they had experienced for themselves the vast beauty of Alaska, the bright lights of Europe, rural life in Turkey, and the breathtaking African wilderness. 
骑自行车是她们喜欢的一种交通方式,因为“自行车让我们更接近自然、当地的老百姓以及他们的生活方式,” 林姬莹说。从1998年7月开始,林姬莹和江秋萍花了922天,骑自行车穿过五大洲的32个国家。2001年11月当她们结束史诗般旅程时,她们已亲身体验了阿拉斯加的浩瀚之美、欧洲的璀璨灯光、土耳其的乡村生活和让人叹为观止的非洲旷野。

At 18, Vicky read the famous “cycling diary” of Hu Rong-hua. Always an active and outgoing girl, she was inspired to take a solo bike tour of southern Taiwan. Two years later, in 1991, while riding along the island’s east coast, she met a Japanese cyclist, who invited her to join him on a world cycling tour. 

In July 1998, they began their trip in Alaska. Vicky soon realized, however, that their travel philosophies were quite different.  Her partner seemed intent on testing his stamina, while she preferred admiring the fantastic scenery and meeting the locals. They parted after a month. Vicky cycled alone through the Rocky Mountains down to the western United States. By this time, her constant efforts to persuade her college friend, Pinky, to join her had succeeded. 

Although Pinky was more conservative than Vicky, she found that she, too, had an adventurous spirit. They met up in San Francisco, and headed north in summer, south in winter, like migratory birds chasing the sunshine.  

Once, in California, Vicky and Pinky were unable to find any cheap accommodation, so they camped in a park. They were woken up by armed police officers, who told them camping there was illegal. They found a more peaceful location, or so they thought: The next morning, they got a rude awakening from water sprinklers. 

In cities, they would wander through colleges and libraries, “in need of air-conditioning,” Pinky joked. Such facilities, in fact, “allow travelers to fill up on local information and take a break-physically and mentally.”  
在城市里,她们会逛当地的大学和图书馆,“在需要空调的时候,” 江秋萍开玩笑道。这些设施,事实上,“能让游客了解当地的资讯,并让身体和精神得到片刻轻松。”

Vicky and Pinky praise friends back in Taiwan who supported them financially, as well as the many people who assisted them along the way. They have fond memories of the wonderful hospitality of the people in a Turkish village, where Vicky and Pinky farmed, cooked, and danced with the locals.

Having experienced the warmth of the human spirit firsthand, they certainly agree with the words of novelist Paulo Coelho: “When you want something, all the universe conspires to help you achieve it.”