FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – It was easy to spot Furetema Sherpa on the street as he pedaled through downtown Fort Worth Tuesday.
His bicycle and small trailer towed behind were adorned with cloth flags from rear wheel to handlebars. The flags on Sherpa’s bicycle aren’t just for show. They’re a road map of where he’s been.
“I grew up in the Himalayas by Mount Everest,” Sherpa said. “There are so many untold stories; the frustrations, the mountain caps melting and the political instability that’s happening in Nepal.”
One weatherworn flag is from his home where he started pedaling peace eight years ago — Nepal.
“Sherpas are well known for climbing mountains. I didn’t choose that road. I thought maybe as a Sherpa they have already some fame, I thought maybe I could utilize that to transmit a message to the world that environment is key and peace goes hand-in-hand,” he said. “I am cycling for world peace.”
He’s pedaled through 71 countries over eight years, only occasionally returning home to his wife and two kids. He’s seen the Eiffel Tower, the twisty roads of Peru, the glass canyons of New York City, the poverty of Haiti, the chilly mountains of Argentina.
“All of my food, Cokes everything I had was frozen,” Sherpa recalled.
He’s traveled mostly on the charity and good will of others. Bicycles – six in all, three of which were stolen while the others wore out – have been donated.
The people of his home country collect money to help him travel by plane or ship across oceans.
Sherpa has amassed volumes of press clippings and photographs during his travels. Each page of the scrapbook is a different place, a different culture, a different person Furtemba Sherpa has told, “None of us are on a journey alone.”
“I definitely miss my family and definitely I want to be close to them,” Sherpa said. “But I’ve learned over time that traveling to places around the world and meeting people like yourself that they’re all my brothers and sisters. They’re all my family. If I see little children, I feel that. I’m doing this for my children and for children around the world.”