IT took 20 years, but eventually Skipton man Trevor Lund has put pen to paper and charted his epic, solo, 16,000-mile cycle ride through the Americas.

Trevor Lund, who was living in Shipley at the time of his ride, before moving to Guiseley and latterly, Skipton, said it had taken this long to have belief in himself that he could put a book together from the copies of notes, photographs and diary logs he made along the way.

In fact it was after completing another cycle journey – a brutal winter crossing of the USA by bike five years ago - that he realised his twin sister, pregnant at the time of his 16000-mile journey, knew little about his adventure.

“My motivation was to finish it for her; to give her an insight into the rigours I went through to complete that particular ride,” he said.

The book is a very honest and personal account of Trevor’s journey, undertaken at the tender age of 31 - he celebrated his 32nd birthday alone in Ecuador - and is about so much more than cycling.

Trevor, who now works as an Ilkley Grammar School teaching assistant, said: “Ever since I cycled down the west coast of Canada and the United States as a means of saving the bus fare on a round-the-world trip, I dreamed of cycling the whole length of that landmass, from the southern tip of South America all the way up to the Arctic Ocean.

“Returning home to a job I didn’t enjoy, that dream burned at my mind until, as a mature student in ecology at the University of Bradford, 1999, I was given the opportunity to take a year out and decided now was my time.

“This was at a time of huge advances in communication technology but I chose to journey without a mobile phone or any other means of communicating with the outside world – something we might struggle to comprehend these days.

“If I got into trouble, if I got injured, if I became lost, it was up to me to sort myself out.

“Within nine days of the start of my journey I found myself alone, close to the bottom of the world and with many thousands of miles of the unknown still ahead.”

His book, North to Alaska, tells how the desire to fulfil a burning 10-year dream helped him overcome illness, injury, exhaustion, loneliness and so much more.

It details how, a normal guy from a working-class family – among many other adventures, found himself singing to bears to keep them at bay, running out of water crossing the driest desert in the world, having a volcano rain ash down on him and finding himself hiding out from bandits most nights while pedalling through Mexico.

Trevor appeared on local TV, radio and in local (and some national) papers back in 1999/2000.

He told reporters then that he intended to write a book but a lack of confidence in his own abilities halted him on many occasions.

A chance meeting with an editor at a press-day was the turning point. After handing her his manuscript, a glowing endorsement of his work up to that point soon followed and he began writing again.

A few statistics from the ride: Total distance cycled - 16,276 miles.

Distance cycled on unsurfaced roads - approximately 3,000 miles.

Greatest distance cycled in one day - 138 miles.

Greatest distance cycled in one week - 630 miles.

Average weekly distance - 367.5 miles.

Longest climb - approximately 64 miles.

Longest descent - approximately 55 miles.

Number of punctures - around 120.

Number of tyres - 14.

Number of bear sightings - 23.

Average weekly spend - £62.91.

In the 20 years since returning from Alaska, cycling and travel has remained his passions.

He has enjoyed several cycle tours across Europe with friends, as well as completing his brutal winter crossing on the USA by bike.

He regularly cycles into the Yorkshire Dales, from Skipton.

Trevor also does some freelance work for overseas expedition company, Outlook Expeditions.

He also does Duke of Edinburgh training and assessment for Lupine Adventure and is doing some freelance guiding work for cycle tour company Peak Tours.

The book, covering almost 300 pages and a number of photographs and maps, can be found on Amazon and is available in both paperback and Ebook (Kindle) formats.