3 September, 2021

Elkano: First Time Around The World

Five-hundred years ago, a Basque sailor named Juan Sebastián Elkano wrote a chapter in history that’s worth remembering.

Born in the town of Getaria in 1487, Elkano was the captain of the first circumnavigation of Earth in 1522 aboard the Victoria carrack. Along with a crew that included illustrious explorer and sailor Ferdinand Magellan, Elkano left Spain in 1519 with five ships in search of spices throughout the Indian Ocean via an unknown and unexplored route.

After many hardships and the death of Magellan, who was the original captain of the expedition, they managed to cross the Pacific for the first time and reach the Philippines under the command of Elkano.

To enter the sea, you need ambition or curiosity

From this moment on, Elkano went on to lead the expedition and managed to take the survivors of the journey to their destination: the Moluccas, in eastern Indonesia. Once there, he made the decision to return to the southern Indian Ocean, opening a new route and, in this way, confirmed that the planet was, indeed, round.

Five-hundred years ago, this adventure contributed to the beginning of the Modern Era, connecting lands and civilizations around the world.

This milestone had global relevance and was a turning point on a cultural, geographical and human level: it questioned the established order and drew new lines in every way. Elkano laid the foundation for a global reflection 500 years ago, introducing the world to new ways of thinking and understanding.

In a way, when we get on our bike, we channel Elkano’s sense of adventure. We become explorers, and the need to discover takes over.

The bike is an ideal medium for discovery, both indoors and outdoors. Not only does it take us to unexplored or remote places, but the bike forces the body to move. And when the body moves, the mind resets. When we’re on a bike, our ideas grow, and we travel further in every direction.

We can conclude that cycling is not the destination. It’s the means; to discover new places and rediscover ourselves.

And just as Elkano chartered new lines across the world by ship, the bike accompanies us everyday on new adventures within our environment, whether that’s outside or within. 

We must learn to explore from within, unlearn from ourselves