Before Angus became the first person to circumnavigate the planet under his own steam — a two-year, self-propelled journey that included a trek across Siberia and weathering two Atlantic hurricanes — few people had even considered such a notion. And that's not the 45-year-old's only feat. He also traveled the entire length of the Amazon by boat and rowed from Scotland to Syria. But he earns a spot here based on the circumnavigation alone. "It was sort of the climax of bringing all my skills together," says Angus. "Afterward I felt like I knew the planet — like I'd seen the slow changes and transformations as I went." Here's how it went down.
1. Vancouver, B.C., to Siberia, Sept. 2004–March 2005
After leaving British Columbia on bike and navigating the ice-choked Bering Strait, Angus trekked, snow-biked, and skied over 4,000 miles in Siberia. "We couldn't do it in summer, because it's all marshes and bogs, and impassable," explains Angus. So he did it in winter, battling –40-degree temps.
2. Russia to Europe, July–Oct. 2005
In Europe, Angus was joined by his fiancé, Julie, and the two covered the continent by bike. "It was sort of a honeymoon period between Siberia and the Atlantic."
3. The Atlantic, Part I, Sept. 2005–Jan. 2006
Angus and Julie set off in a specially designed boat — and were immediately beset by a once-a-century hurricane. "If we could have pushed a magic button and gone home," says Angus, "we would have."
4. The Atlantic, Part II, Feb. 2006
Another hurricane and three storms push them so far off course they scrap their plan to land in Florida and head for Costa Rica.
5. Texas, April 2006
After cycling through Central America and Mexico, Angus enters the U.S. through Texas. "Right away we see a sign that says liquor and guns cheap," he remembers. "But the meals were huge, which is great after a long day of cycling!"
6. Vancouver, B.C., May 2006
It was smooth sailing for Angus and Julie once they hit the western U.S. He says, "It was paved road all the way to Vancouver."