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Sempre in Giro

John Hathaway - Cyclist

Photo: John Hathaway and Vanessa Bridge riding along on the Champs-Élysées 1983

By 1986 John was getting itchy feet again and he planned another Round the World epic. This time aiming to climb the World’s highest roads en route. He left Vancouver on the last day of Expo and headed east to the Continental Divide and headed south from there. His 62nd birthday on January 13, 1987, found him clambering up the world’s highest road out of Lima, Peru. Unfortunately, in Argentina he was hit by a truck, damaging some vertebrae and was in hospital for some weeks. They have a very good cost saving scheme there. The medical care is free but patients’ families are expected to look after them. John always had fond memories of the Argentinian family that looked after him.

The damaged back left him a good deal more wizened than he had been. But he still managed to cock a leg over a saddle and cover some considerable distances. In 1990 he sold up everything here and headed back to England. But things didn’t work out for him there and before long he was on the road again. He started PBP ’91 having qualified in UK events. But his free wheel packed up on him and he was stranded very early in the event.

Passport Theft Sends Cyclist Through SL
By Jack Fenton
John Hathaway Salt Lake

If John Hathaway’s passport had not been stolen in Florida he might not have been in Salt Lake City this week.
The journey to get a replacment led the 68-year old Vancouver British Columbia resident to change the route of his latest bicycle tour, a 27000-mile odyssey started in upstate New York in October 1991.
If all goes as scheduled the one-man tour will end at his Canadian home next October.
By then, the man who retains a British accent 40 years after leaving the isles, figures he will have cycled more than 370.000 miles over 50 years.
Mr Hathaway said the challenge is prompting him to record a mileage total roughly equal to circling the Earth’s equator 15 times.
“I’ve seen the whole world from the seat of a bicycle” he said.
To learn about people Mr Hathaway said he parks the bike at a house or farm and asks permission to pitch his tent.
In Salt Lake City Mr Hathaway is staying with Carl Ehrman whose home is listed by the Legion of American Wheelmen as a hospitality house.
“I’ve seen the country, I’ve met the people” he said. The totals: Mr Hathaway has met 150 people and made 150 friends
Mr Hathaway scoffs at the dangers of bicycle travel “An accident can happen anywhere” he said relating the story of a friend who swapped his bike for a go-cart after being hit by a car, “He was killed in a carting accident”.
He’s been in accidents too Mr Hathaway said.
He broke a hip in 1972. And a 1987 collision in Argentina broke his back, compressed two disks and forced him to give up his job — making machine-shop drawings for engineers.
The Passport?
“That’s another story” he said. But Mr Hathaway will get a new one in Minneapolis when the trip continues.
John William Hathaway: January 13, 1925 – June 6, 1997.


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