The Economist has a lovely obit of Ian Hibbell, the man who cycled the equivalent of six times round the world.
In a career of hazards, from soldier ants to real soldiers to sleet that cut his face like steel, only motorists did him real damage. The drivers came too close, and passengers sometimes pelted him with bottles (in Nigeria), or with shovelfuls of gravel (in Brazil). In China in 2006 a van drove over his arm and hand. He recovered, but wondered whether his luck would last. It ran out on the road between Salonika and Athens this August, where he was knocked out of the way by a car that appeared to be chasing another.
At bad moments on his trips he had sometimes distracted himself by thinking of Devonian scenes: green fields, thatched cottages and daffodils. He would return to a nice house, a bit of garden, the job. But that thought could never hold him long. Although his body might long for the end of cycling—a flat seat, a straight back, unclenched hands—his mind was terrified of stopping. And in his mind, he never did.