Cyclist Thomas Andersen, OZ1AA/K9DXX, completed his 6 week ride up the US East Coast on August 29 and now is in the Canadian Maritimes, the 38th country he has visited beginning his “Cycling the Globe” adventure in Copenhagen 5 years ago. Andersen already has put more than 26,000 miles on his bicycle — more than the distance around the equator. Along the way, he has been availing himself of ham radio hospitality. On the US leg, which he began in Key West, Florida, he often stayed with fellow radio amateurs and made many new US friends on his trip.
“From the southernmost point in Key West, Florida to the easternmost point in Lubec, Maine — what an incredible ride through the US!” Andersen posted on his Facebook page. “A heartfelt thank you to all who helped along the way. The hospitality has been unlike anything else I experienced on this trip.”
While visiting West Quoddy Head Light in Lubec, Maine, over the weekend, Andersen told ARRL that he plans to finish up his North American visit in Newfoundland, Canada, which was still some 1000 miles away at that point. After crossing the border from Maine into New Brunswick, he stopped over at the home of Andy McLellan, VE9DX, near St John. Once he reaches Newfoundland, Andersen will catch a flight back to Denmark for a 3-month break to visit with his family “and to earn some money.” Right after Christmas he’ll complete his round-the-world journey in Africa, along a route he has not yet determined but, he said, “probably somewhere in West Africa.” His idea is eventually to head through Morocco and then to Spain on his way home to Denmark.
While in Eastern Maine, Andersen, who enjoys CW DX contesting, got together with a couple of contesting notables — Pat Sonnier, W5WMU, and Scott Redd, K0DQ — at Sonnier’s second home and the site of W1WMU. Andersen stayed with the Sonniers before heading off into the Maritimes. He said Maine reminded him somewhat of Scandinavia.
In Florida, and later in Connecticut, he was a guest of another top-tier contester, Dan Street, K1TO. He also visited with other well-known contesters, including Doug Grant, K1DG, and Randy Thompson, K5ZD. Earlier in August, Andersen visited the New England Division Convention in Boxboro, Massachusetts, over the August 21-23 weekend, stopping to say hello at the ARRL booth. As for his favorite stops, he said he enjoyed Savannah, Georgia, and Charleston, South Carolina, the best.
Andersen told ARRL that he typically can cover 60 miles in a day, but he’s done as much as 100 miles. The last leg of his US trip — from Hancock to Lubec, Maine — covered some 80 miles.
While he does carry a VHF/UHF FM handheld, Andersen said he really has not used it that much. He said he “definitely” wants to have some sort of HF radio with him as he travels through Africa.