Chinese cyclist's marathon comes to premature stop

If it's year 12 it must be Somalia....or maybe not.

by Tom Henry   July 20, 2009  

road.cc news

A Chinese cyclist who has been riding around the world since 1997 has had to knock one country off his ‘visited’ list – because it’s too dangerous to cycle through.

Lee Yue Zhong’s 12-year trip came to a premature stop when he was deported from Somalia for not having the right documents.

He has visited 114 countries since setting off and arrived in the semi-autonomous Puntland region last week.

But he had no visa and Somali police arrested him before deporting him to neighbouring Djibouti.

The cyclist said he was disappointed with the decision.

He said he had travelled from Somaliland to the Puntland capital Garowe, where he was arrested.

"It took me two weeks from Hargeisa to here and it was part of my long trip to tour continents worldwide, but they really disappointed me," the AFP news agency quoted him as saying.

Local police commissioner Abdirahman Haji Abshir said Mr Zhong, who is in his mid-fifties, could not continue through Somalia "for security reasons".

Somalia has been without an effective central government since 1991 and has been riven by fighting between Islamist insurgents and government troops.

Somaliland has declared itself independent while Puntland has semi-autonomous status. Both areas run their own own affairs.