Lonely Planet Writer

Meet the man who cycled around the world on a London bike for charity

A man has completed an incredible around the world trip with a London Santander bike, all in an effort to raise £25,000 for a children’s charity.

London Bike
Chris travelled through seven cities and four continents in just three weeks. Image by Chris Astill-Smith
London Bike
Chris and friends in Las Vegas. Image by Chris Astill-Smith

Twenty-four-year old Chris Astill-Smith from Acton, London rented the bike at Westminster for the unique adventure that has seen him travelling across seven cities and four continents in just three weeks. The bike has travelled with him to each destination, often being packed in a case and flown to the next destination. As well as using the cycle itself to raise funds for charity, Chris used the trip as an opportunity to promote an upcoming Channel swim that he is doing this August for the charity Dreams Come True, taking pictures and videos along the way.

London Bike
Chris is New York city with the Naked Cowboy. Image by Chris Astill-Smith

In order to raise as much money as possible, Chris felt that he needed to set a big challenge for himself and do something that would capture people’s attention. “I’ve seen people doing amazing things for charity, really amazing things, and they didn’t raise the kind of money which they deserved to because their cause didn’t get enough exposure and grab people’s attention. I knew the bike video would be a great way to capture people’s attention, as it’s such an iconic piece of London. Everyone, including myself rides them on a daily basis,” Chris said.

Chris at the Colosseum in Rome.
Chris at the Colosseum in Rome. Image by Chris Astill-Smith

The planned Channel swim will cover 35 kilometres from England to France, and Chris has spent over one year training for the event. Choosing the right charity was important to Chris before undertaking the challenge. “I’ve been fortunate enough to have a lot of opportunities in my life, so I wanted to do something for people who have been less fortunate. Dreams Come True was the perfect choice for me, it helps people who really need it,” he said.

London Bike
Chris undertook the challenge to raise awareness for a charity swim he is doing later this year. Image by Chris Astill-Smith
London Bike
The goal is to raise £25,000 for Dreams Come True children’s charity. Image by Chris Astill-Smith

Chris’ bike journey brought him through cities such as Las Vegas, San Francisco, Rome, and Paris. “One of the highlights from the trip was travelling three hours from Delhi to the Taj Mahal with my friend. The bike is now safely back in the UK, the serial number is 40909 and Santander are going to check it over but it should be back in circulation soon!”. More information on Chris’ upcoming charity swim is available on his fundraising page.

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