Into the Remote Places by Ian Hibell

Ian HibellAs an adventure cyclist myself, I love to read about the adventures of others, both for inspiration and for the caveats thrown up by some of the more outlandish and, in some cases, death-defying journeys people tackle. After reading Into the Remote Places by Ian Hibell, the journeys I have done to date pale into feeble insignificance compared with the following:

  • his full-length trek (south to north) of the American continent, crossing the Darien Gap in the process. The Darien gap had never been crossed by anyone on two wheels before. Why? Because it is a swathe of undeveloped swampland in Panama, Darién Gapmeasuring 100 x 31 miles, that is impenetrable as an overland route. It is the only gap in the Pan American Highway running the length of the continent. Hibell crossed it (along with two New Zealanders) with their loaded bikes.
  • he was the first to cycle from North Cape in Norway, to the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. This included nearly losing his life in the desert, being pelted with bottles in Nigeria, and facing up to the dangers (both human and animal) of some of the most remote places in the world.
  • he crossed South America from Peru to Brazil, risking his life by crossing the great Atrato Swamp, which is so impassable that not a single road has been built to cross from one side to the other. Animal tracks were the only guide.

This book is now out of print, and existing copies are now changing hands at more than 10 times its original cover price. If you can beg, borrow……or even buy a copy, it is well worth reading. Sadly, after decades of taking calculated risks on his expeditions, Ian met his end unexpectedly on August 23rd 2008, at the hands of a hit-and-run driver in Greece. The world lost a true adventurer.

Ian Hibell

Ian Hibell

About Frank Burns

My journeys around the world are less about riding a bicycle, and more about what happens when I get off the bicycle. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on April 22, 2013, in Book reviews and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. It was reprinted in 2010, currently listed as in stock for £22.95. Ian was related to John Cox, a fellow rider in our Thursday Club. I recall seeing Ian’s bike at a cycle show in London, with all the patina gained from his latest expedition. Not sure I was impressed as a callow youth.


  2. Very sad that he lost his life that way! I enjoyed another book about a couple who cycled around the world and sadly, she lost her life in a similar fashion….”Miles from Nowwhere” by Barbara Savage. A fascinating read.


  3. Not a minimalist packer like you Frank.


  4. Well I didn’t know that about John! The dark horse…….
    About Ian’s bike……I have to say the geometry looks very uncomfortable. It wouldn’t be my choice.


  5. Thanks Anita. I will look up Barbara’s book.


  6. You’re absolutely right, Heather…….but then he was on the road for years, not months at a time. He may be excused, I think.


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