A FORMER army officer has returned home after a 14-month bike ride which took him on a 22,500-mile solo journey around the world.

Geordie Stewart, from Thruxton, set off on the epic trip in August of last year and is now back home having crossed 24 countries, in four continents, over a span of 430 days.

The 30-year-old, who spent five years in the Light Dragoons, cycled across Europe, into Asia, through the Australian Outback to Auckland, New Zealand, before crossing the USA and returning to the UK.

He spent over 200 nights wild camping during his journey and spent the rest staying with friends and locals.

Highlights included nights with truck drivers in Kazakhstan, cowboys in the USA and ranch workers in the Australian Outback.

He said: “One’s vulnerability when alone on a bike enables conversation and led to some unique encounters.

“The whole experience gave me continued faith in the kindness and selflessness of individuals from all backgrounds across the globe.”

Geordie saved up money for the trip whilst in the army, eventually getting by on a budget of less than £10 a day.

His gear for the trip included a wolf alarm, ski goggles, studded tyres and down jackets to survive a Siberian winter, where temperatures plummeted to -40C.

He then spent 1,000 miles travelling across China’s controversial Xinjiang province. There, he was stopped up to 10 times per day for passport checks, while also having his phone and passport confiscated, photos deleted, constant facial recognitions scans and being forced to camp under motorway bridges.

Geordie added: “Politically and socially, I found the experience in Xinjiang extremely tasking.

“What I experienced is nothing compared to what is happening to others, but it gave me perspective about the values and freedom we hold in the UK.”

The final hurdle of Geordie’s trip saw him cycle the 70 miles from Newhaven, in East Sussex, back up to London alongside a small group before being welcomed home by family and friends.

His mammoth ride comes seven years after he became the youngest Briton to conquer the seven summits - the highest mountain on each of the continents - at the age of 22.

It means he is now the first and only person to have successfully climbed the seven summits and cycled solo around the world.

Last year Geordie also wrote a book, ‘In Search of Sisu’, charting his journey on and off the mountains while undertaking the seven summits challenge.