When Jonas Deichmann rolls off the Brooklyn Bridge in New York on Wednesday (June 28), his path will not only lead to Manhattan. Through the urban canyons I ride my bike, out of the metropolis, over to New Jersey, Pennsylvania, the Midwest, later the Rocky Mountains and behind the desert finally Los Angeles and the Pacific. When he gets there after 3.5 weeks, the "German Forrest Gump" puts the bike down - and walks all the way back.
Once through the United States - Deichmann's American Dream. But not on Route 66 and not by car or motorcycle, but with pure muscle and willpower. "I ride until it gets dark, and then I lie down in my tent somewhere on the side of the road, then maybe make a campfire," says the 36-year-old extreme athlete, who has already crossed several continents by bike. The anticipation is huge: "I will experience more in the next four months than most people in ten years," he enthuses.
Deichmann is a cyclist by training and has set several records for crossing continents: in the Guinness Book of Records he stands for the fastest journey from Portugal to Vladivostok in Russia. According to his own statements, he needed 64 days to cover a distance of 16,000 kilometers. This was followed by tours from Alaska to Patagonia and from the North Cape in Norway to the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. The documentary about Deichmann entitled "The limit is just me" runs in Germany on Netflix.
Deichmann finally got more attention with his "Triathlon around the world", in which he cycled, ran and swam 120 times the distance of the Ironman in a tour around the world. Deichmann's adventure through the USA will be much shorter - but the logistics will still be a challenge for the solo traveler. Every gram less counts - that's why he sawed off the handle of his toothbrush in the past. Deichmann's tent weighs less than a kilo.
On the bike, the athlete and book author still transports his luggage in several attached bags. He will then pull a trailer behind him on the approximately 100-day running route. But there won't always be balanced nutrition for athletes, Deichmann has too much desire for food in US diners: "The American breakfast with pancakes and sausages and fried eggs - perfect. Then a few Snickers afterwards and I'm happy."
Deichmann calls the fact that he doesn't have a team with him a "huge difference". But that is part of the adventure during the double US crossing, where he wants to arrive back in New York at the beginning of November: "It gets particularly exciting when something goes wrong."
In this way, he comes into contact with people much more easily - and community is particularly important to Deichmann: When he ran through Mexico in 2021, more and more amateur athletes and the media joined him. Soon the man with the long beard and the red "Bubba Gump" cap was just called the "German Forrest Gump" - in reference to the episode of the film of the same name with Tom Hanks, in which the Gump aimlessly ran through the USA and became a national jogging movement triggered.
Deichmann would also be happy to be accompanied on his current tour - whether in Monument Valley in Arizona, Death Valley in California, the Rocky Mountains or in the Indian Summer of Pennsylvania. "I take a lot of energy from the special moments. When I run through Monument Valley at sunset, it doesn't give a damn if I've just run 50 kilometers. It's just awesome."