Throughout my years of life, a small thought of cycling around the world floated quietly in and out of my mind. With other things in life shouting much louder for my attention, it would have been easy to miss such a whisper.
My motivation for this trip didn’t include the actual conquest of cycling around the world solo.
My goal was only to experience the world. Hence why I had no plan, no route and no schedule.
I didn’t know what I would experience but I wanted the space and freedom to experience it.
On departing, I had no idea I would have a website. World Bike Girl was not in existence then. The first blog I ever read was my own one when I published it. I remember when first blogging and receiving messages from horrified friends back home for unfortunate typos.
The fact I was managing to pedal through so many countries came more of a surprise to me than to anyone else. During the day I loved life but at nights I was scared. I`m not a brave person. Every noise I heard was a bad man coming to kill me or a wild animal coming to eat me through the walls of my tent.
I was cycling through my 10th country, Turkey, when a street dog crossed my path and joined the journey of World Bike Girl. Through our time together I experienced for the first time an animal’s power of pure, unconditional and absolute love.
One dog. A street dog. A soul that no one had ever cared enough about to be her family.
I named her Lucy and she taught me more about life and love and living than anyone else had in my entire lifetime. And without her ever speaking a word. All she did was love.
During Lucy’s quarantine for her new life in the UK, we travelled Turkey. Educating children, students and anyone else that crossed our path raising awareness and the value of street dogs. And most of all enjoying life and having fun.
Lucy died unexpectedly in my arms on the 26th March 2015 in Hatay, Turkey. A shock to me and to everyone following our journey.
To experience the world.
I could choose to continue cycling around the world right now, this very moment. Or I could choose to continue in a year’s time. At the end of my tour I will have covered the exact same distance but the positive contribution I’ve made to the world I live in will be different.
The next year of my tour I dedicate to Lucy’s Legacy. My beautiful girl didn’t have a voice but she sure had a story to share with the world. The first words of ‘Lucy’s Book’ are written. Promoting the value of street animals and changing attitudes through education was a big part of our adventure. I would like Lucy’s Legacy to also include a children’s book to follow on from this.
The final chapters are still to take place by what we now do. Let’s make sure the final part of Lucy`s existence is worthy of the street dog we all loved. Let her not have suffered all those years for nothing. You were part of our journey in Turkey now I invite you to be part of our journey to make the world a better place, for street animals still alive and still suffering.
No matter who you are, where you are or when you happened to join our journey, I look forward to your ideas and input for Lucy’s Legacy. Contact me anyway you wish.
I will continue pedalling around the world but Lucy’s Legacy will be in existence when I do.
As always, thank you.
Ishbel, creator of World Bike Girl, has spent her life on bicycles, from road racing, to velodrome sprinting to cycling the world. She has pedalled across 20 countries solo and promotes commuting by bicycle. Much to the dismay of her friends, she is an avid wearer of socks and sandals.