Cycling The Six
Like most decisions of great consequence, Stephen settled on a plan to cycle the length of six of the earth’s continents in a pub, beer in one hand, mini-atlas in the other.
For six years, from 2010 to 2016, the Stephen pedalled across 75 different countries, clocking up a distance of 86,209 km (53,568 miles) by bicycle. From the baked deserts of Syria and Afghanistan to an outstandingly untoasty Mongolia mid-winter, Stephen dodged landslides and leaping camel spiders, was detained on suspicion of espionage in China, towed a rollerblader across Uzbekistan, contracted dengue fever (and the urge to tell everyone about it), survived blizzards, tropical storms and volcanic eruptions, marvelled at his own spiralling dishevelment, began a relationship with Ol’ Patchy – a personable inner tube, and survived both a run-in with a gunman and the marauding hoards of school children armed to the milk-teeth with snowballs in Kent.
Along the way Stephen slept in the homes of people in more than fifty countries as well as countless churches, mosques, hospitals, schools, police and fire stations, temples and army barracks. He shared the fusty air and mosquitoes of a barn with a cheesed-off buffalo. Having been welcomed warmly in every country, he’s convinced that goodwill is global.
Stephen raised more than twenty thousand pounds for medical humanitarian Merlin, and also spent time among marginalised people with health problems – nomads, refugees, drug addicts, street children, patients with infectious and deforming disease, the disabled, sex workers, ex-prisoners, slum dwellers, the mentally ill and victims of violence. His interest lies in how marginalisation and health collide, subject of an upcoming book, part travelogue, part investigation.
“An epic challenge and one that will touch many lives” Bear Grylls
“A hugely ambitious and inspirational journey” Sir Chris Hoy
“Dr Fabes’ colossal and emotive journey reminds us to be bold in our dreams” Ranulph Fiennes
Originally from Oxford, Stephen trained at Liverpool University and qualified as a doctor in 2005. He went on to work at the renowned teaching hospitals of Guys and St Thomas’ in central London, specialising in Acute Medicine and working on the medical wards, the kidney transplant unit, the Intensive Care Unit and in the Emergency Department. He has some training in Wilderness Medicine, is a Member of the Royal College of Physicians and has been a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.
Stephen now works part time as a locum doctor in London hospitals so that he can devote the rest of his time to writing. He hasn’t yet enrolled in spinning classes. ‘Walk across Madagascar’ has made it onto his to-do list, but six years of cycling means he’s a balding thirty five year old man, broke and living with his mum. One step at a time.
Prior to a six year bout of wanderlust, Stephen’s innate thirst for adventure has taken him to the 5610 metre summit of the active volcano Damavand in Iran, to Wales to summit every mountain over 3000 feet in 24 hours, to New Caledonia to hike across the island, and as a 19-year-old to South America to cycle the length of Chile with his 17-year-old brother.
Stephen also moonlights as a DJ, spinning hiphop, funk, soul, drum and bass and breaks in the clubs of Liverpool for seven years, resident in the city’s premier venue The Magnet, and judging DMC DJ contests under the pseudonym Sketchy Bwoy!