A 25-year-old Campbell River resident is heading to Southeast Asia on a 10,000 km bicycle journey to promote sustainable living.
Riding a bamboo-frame bicycle which he built himself, Derek Howlett plans to travel from Hong Kong to Mumbai this spring.
By camping and couch surfing, Howlett said he hopes to spend no more than $15 a month on accommodations.
In addition, he will continue eating the raw, vegan diet which he currently follows and promotes.
“The purpose of this trip is to raise as much awareness around healthy living and living sustainably,” Howlett explains on his website unrealliving.com.
“The plan for this trip is to maintain a 100 per cent raw vegan diet, eating as much local and organic fruits and vegetables as possible.”
Howlett, a London, Ontario native, is currently riding around Campbell River with his bamboo bike and trailer, collecting donations of bottles and cans to fundraise for his trip.
“The bottle drive is my main source of funding,” Howlett said. “I’m picking up bottles on my bike so fundraising is also my training.”
Howlett is currently biking 20-30 km a day, hauling a bamboo trailer to and from the local bottle depot.
So far, his bicycle, which he built at a weekend workshop in New York, is serving him well.
“I finished it in London and made a bunch of modifications to it in Campbell River,” he explained. To date, the unique bicycle has cost Howlett $2,650 (including airfare to and the workshop in New York).
He will spend the next few months training for his trip, as well as researching travel routes and destinations.
Howlett expects to face some challenges on his unique trip, not the least of which will be the numerous border crossings he faces on his route.
Through his website and social media including facebook and twitter, Howlett plans to keep followers updated on his progress.
To date, he has raised about $500 towards his trip. Find out more at www.unrealliving.com/bike-tour-project.