Alastair Humphreys

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Alastair Humphreys is an English adventurer, author and motivational speaker. Over a four-year period he bicycled 46,000 miles (74,000 km) around the world.[1] He was a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year in 2012.[2] He is responsible for the rise of the idea of the microadventure – short, local, accessible adventures.


Humphreys was educated at Shrewsbury School, then studied Zoology at Edinburgh and Oxford. He began his first expedition in August 2001 from his Yorkshire home. Passing south through Europe and Africa, he crossed to South America by sea from Cape Town and proceeded up the west coast of the Americas, crossed from Alaska to Magadan in Russia, Japan then westward across China and Central Asia to return to Europe. His journey included raising funds and awareness for a charity called Hope and Homes for Children.

Humphreys arrived home in November 2005, having ridden over 46,000 miles (74,000 km) in four years and three months. He has written several books about his experiences, titled Moods of Future Joys, Ten Lessons from the Road, Thunder and Sunshine and a series of three children's books called The Boy Who Biked the World. Humphreys also wrote a book about walking across India called There Are Other Rivers.

Humphreys currently works as a motivational speaker and occasional adventure author. The President of the Royal Geographical Society said, "With the possible exception of Sir David Attenborough, that was the best lecture, and the longest applause that I have heard in the past 15 years."[This quote needs a citation]

In 2008, Humphreys competed in the Marathon des Sables, a 150 miles (240 km) run across the Sahara desert. He broke his foot during the race but still completing the event. He narrowly missed being in the top-100 finishers.[3]

In February 2009, Humphreys rowed across the English Channel with Major Phil Packer to raise £1 million for Help for Heroes. In spring 2009, Humphreys walked across India, and in 2010 he walked and packrafted across Iceland.

His 2011 "Year of Microadventure" earned him the National Geographic accolade of "Adventurer of the Year".[2] Humphreys pioneered the concept and coined the term "microadventure" which has since gained him a global following. "#microadventure" is now used as a popular hashtag on social media sites.[4]

In 2012 he joined Marin Medak, Simon Osborne and Steve Bowens to row unsupported across the Atlantic Ocean. The team successfully finished their journey in Barbados after 45 days and 15 hours at sea. He also walked across the Empty Quarter desert with Leon McCarron[5][6] and undertook an expedition in Greenland.[7]

In 2013, Humphreys released his first documentary film, Into the Empty Quarter, documenting his walk through the Empty Quarter desert with Leon McCarron[8] The film premiered at the Royal Geographical Society, London, in November 2013. In 2020, Humphreys appeared on the podcast Trees A Crowd.[9]


  • Alastair Humphreys, 2007. Moods of Future Joys: Around the World by Bike – Part 1. Eye Books. ISBN 978-1-903070-56-7.
  • Alastair Humphreys, 2008. Thunder and Sunshine: Around the World by Bike – Part 2. Eye Books. ISBN 978-1-903070-54-3
  • Alastair Humphreys, 2009. Ten Lessons From The Road. Eye Books.
  • Alastair Humphreys, 2011. The Boy Who Biked the World. Eye Books.
  • Alastair Humphreys, 2011. There Are Other Rivers. Self Published.
  • Alastair Humphreys, 2014. Microadventures. Harper Collins.
  • Alastair Humphreys, 2016. Grand Adventures. Harper Collins.
  • Alastair Humphreys, 2019. Around the World by Bike. Blink Publishing.[10] (an audiobook compilation of Moods of Future Joys and Thunder and Sunshine)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Topham, Gwyn (10 November 2005). "Round-the-world cyclist returns after four years". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Adventurers of the Year 2012 – The Adventurer: Alastair Humphreys". National Geographic. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  3. ^ General position 104 "Competitor's informations". MARATHON DES SABLES. Archived from the original on 15 December 2014. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  4. ^ Microadventure Archived 19 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine, Tagboard
  5. ^ "Into The Empty Quarter". Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  6. ^ "Alastair Humphreys And Leon McCarron Announces Expedition Through The Empty Quarter". 26 October 2012. Retrieved 14 June 2013.[better source needed]
  7. ^ Humphreys, Alastair. "An Expedition in Greenland". Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  8. ^ "Into The Empty Quarter". Alastair Humphreys. 20 August 2013. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  9. ^ "Alastqir Humphreys on Trees a Crowd". 27 May 2020.
  10. ^ "Alastair Humphreys: Around the World by Bike". Retrieved 21 November 2020.

External links[edit]