Curtains on the windows, a school, a church, a kindergarten, about 4000 inhabitants. It’s a tranquil place. Not unlike other towns in the region. But the apartment we are sitting right now is surprisingly different. Souvenirs from all over the world fill the shelves. They are witnesses of other cultures and places. Places, that seem as far away from this little town of Central Germany as the moon. And yet I am sure: All these little treasures, which do not define their value – like all true treasures – over their price, exactly belong here. Next to the shelf, on the white plastered wall, there is a mounted bicycle.
We are visiting Thomas Meixner.
The Worlds cyclist from Central Germany.
Since 1998 he rides his bicycle. Whether Asia, Africa, America, Europe or Australia – he has traveled almost all continents by bike. Hardly surprising that “Else”, the bicycle of his first tours around the globe, is not in the cellar, but hangs in the living room. The journeys around the world weld together. It was never about the hunt for kilometers, records or sporting achievements. The focus of the tours rather is the conscious experience of nature and exchange with the people of other countries and cultures. Of his experiences, Meixner reports in multimedia lectures and books, in which he does not shy away from dealing with current political issues. On a very personal level, the world cyclist also describes the dark side of his travels. Because life on the “long mile” is not always sunny sunshine. Be it the mistaken imprisonment in Mendocino County Jail in California or an armed attack in Ecuador, which Meixner barely survived … Such experiences are also part of this and yes, they leave their mark too. Nevertheless, the World cyclist always wants to get back on track. For him, as a former citizen of the German Democratic Republic, freedom is the most valuable asset.
In April 2018, the wheels will turn again. The goal this time: Central Asia. The tour will start almost in front of Meixner’s front door: From Wolfen. From there it goes via Turkey to the Caspian Sea and then along the old trade route to Xi’an. The city in western China is the eastern end of the traditional Silk Road and is also the final destination of the tour. An exact route, which is planned down to the last detail, does not exist. The regions are too remote to be able to forecast travel conditions or other circumstances. However, it is certain that Meixner will drive along the Pamir Mountains, as well as the Taklamakan Desert.
At the end of September, the world cyclist will return to Jeßnitz, the small town in Saxony – Anhalt. We are already curious what treasures and stories he will bring with.