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Last Updated: Monday, 16 August, 2004, 14:39 GMT 15:39 UK
Embassy steps in to help cyclist
Edward Genochio
Edward Genochio: Determined despite setbacks
The British Embassy in Mongolia has stepped in to help a Devon man whose bicycle was stolen en route to China.

Edward Genochio, 27, from Exeter, has cycled about 16,000 km (10,000 miles) since leaving home his five months ago.

But he is now stranded in the Mongolian capital Ulan Bator after a horseback thief stole his custom-built bicycle.

Mr Genochio said he had been in contact with the embassy and that they had made a 'diplomatic' telephone call to the local police.

The freelance website designer said embassy staff in Ulan Bator had been in contact with the local police to see what, if any, progress is being made in investigating the theft.

Rude awakening

Mr Genochio said the UK's Mongolian Consular assistant told him it was being investigated and that he was taking a personal interest in it.

He said he had been to the central market in Ulan Bator to see whether his stolen machine was there, but that had been unsuccessful.

The cyclist added: "I do not hold out great hope of anything being found, but it is nice that they are at least taking the trouble to investigate."

Mr Genochio, who is now desperately trying to replace his equipment, said: "It was a rude awakening, to say the least.

"Before going to sleep on Saturday night I had locked my bicycle to my tent.

"The next thing I knew, I was woken up by the sounds of galloping hooves and ripping canvas.

Ulan Bator could be the end of the road for me
Edward Genochio

"This being Mongolia, rather than cutting the lock, the thief had tied the bike to his horse with a rope before charging off and tearing my tent in two."

He added: "For five months I have lived my whole life on my bicycle and in my tent.

"Suddenly to lose them both leaves me feeling completely hollowed out."

However, he is not about give up.

"I am desperately hoping a cycle manufacturer will take pity on me and ship out a bicycle to Mongolia so I can complete the final 2,000 miles of my journey to Shanghai.

"Otherwise Ulan Bator could be the end of the road for me, which would be incredibly frustrating after 12 months of preparation in England and five months on the saddle."

Mr Genochio has about 2,000 miles to go in his journey, which has taken him through France, Belgium, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Russia, Siberia and Mongolia.

Along the way he has encountered giant Siberian horseflies and motorcycle-mounted muggers who chased him while demanding money.

Luckily for him, the pair of would-be highway robbers crashed and fled.

Mr Genochio is due to cross the Great Wall of China and along the Yangtze River to Shanghai.

Anyone who is able to help provide Mr Genochio with a new bicycle or tent can contact him through his website.

On a slow bike to China
02 Mar 04  |  Magazine


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