At 71, on his seventh global bicycle ride

Armando Basile in Mangaluru.  

One may not believe Armando Basile is 71 when one sees him riding a road bicycle with heavy luggage on the rear and the front of the bike. But one has to believe it as the “youngster” is on his seventh ride around the globe.

Mr. Basile was found riding his road bike on National Highway 66 at Yekkur here on Monday while he was on his way from Kanniyakumari to New Delhi for his onward flight to Thailand. Born in Italy, Mr. Basile is a resident of Heitersheim, Germany, 40 km north of the frontier of Switzerland.

Mr. Basile began his present circuit on June 25 from his home town and rode to Geneva over the Alps; then to Croatia, to Albania, Greece, Turkey and Armenia. From Tiflis in Georgia, he took a flight to New Delhi and first visited a friend in Amritsar before riding on the East Coast, and reach Kerala. He is now riding on the West Coast to return to Delhi.

From Thailand, he would ride to Malaysia and Indonesia before taking a flight to the Philippines and then Australia. He will then fly to San Francisco and ride up to Chicago from where he would take the last flight back to Frankfurt in Germany before embarking on the last leg of the 300-km ride to his home town.

His tryst with bicycles began in 1982 when doctors advised him some sports to overcome backache and he chose cycling, Mr. Basile said. His wife, Giselle, and son, Dirk, accompanied him on bikes for rides across Europe, the U.S., Russia, Australia and many other countries. After his wife’s death in a bike accident in 2005, Mr. Basile is riding alone round the globe.

Throughout his rides, Mr. Basile has made many friends and revisits them during his subsequent rides. While he gets some sponsorship for the rides, the rest he manages with his pension. He stays in petrol stations in the night and on some occasions at airports too since he would have pre-booked air tickets for his onward journey.

Having covered over 12 lakh km through seven circuits and visited 80 countries, Mr. Basile intends to convey the health benefits of cycling to people. He interacts with curious people inquiring about his ride wherever possible.

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Printable version | Mar 4, 2021 2:52:36 AM |

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