We didn’t wake up overnight and decide to do a cycle across Europe. We had a little help from some friends. I was dead set keen on doing this for a long time, although originally wanting to go by tandem. Tam was originally not excited at all, especially on the tandem idea. It went to rest for a while, until Tam one day thought cycling, on our own bikes, wouldn’t be such a bad way to travel (can’t escape on a tandem). There were many sources of inspiration that helped us both over the line.
This was the first cycle blog that came to light. Mitch`s friend Sarah from university set out on an epic 7,000km cycle journey from Hanoi to Istanbul in 2014 with her partner Em. They visited Laos, China, the ‘Stan’s, Armenia, Georgia and finally Turkey. Away from western civilization across the steppes of Asia.
The scale of their trip compared to what we are doing is very rough and rugged. We can’t really compare the difficulties of our travels to some of the daily issues these guys had to deal with. They made an epic video of their journey below;
I remember how enthusiastic Dan was before he started on this journey. Another kiwi and an avid surfer; previously Dan had gone on some awesome adventures by motorbike and 4WD. He used to despise cyclists as an obstacle on the side of the road, but when he moved to London, it became a necessary form of transport.
His inspiration was a rig that carried a surfboard on the side of a bike and so he built one himself. The plan was to travel the Bay of Biscay, across Spain and down through Portugal – catching a few waves along the way. Not quite the surf he was after, but a really candid adventure. Keeping in touch with him over the journey really helped me in identifying what kind of kit was essential, as well as a few musings about bikepacking and arguments over fat vs skinny tyre bikes.
James went to university with Tam. With Bryony they are doing a journey from Singapore to Amsterdam. It’s a bit rough at the moment, but so is some of the terrain they will be heading across. Also bike nuts, with apparently 13 bikes in the garage, their journey is currently underway in South-East Asia. So another bike touring couple to follow.
If ever there was a shining light of bike blogs. This one would be like looking too long into the sun while wearing convex glasses. Tara and Tyler of Arlington, Virginia have been cycle touring and blogging about it since 2008. They made a cookbook for cycle touring, which takes everything into consideration. Tam has studied this from cover to cover. Their website and posts are next level. When talking about a blizzard, snow starts to fall on your screen… Impressive.
Friedel and Andrew Grant are two Canadians who have written the mother of all cycling blogs. Their website is the holy tome of cycle touring. They have written pages on survival tips and are a deep knowledge source often cited.
Yet again, another Kiwi blog. The Monks Family (yes, family, with two young boys). They are currently near the end of their dual-tandem ride from Morocco to Scotland. We thought cycling with ourselves would be hard enough, try taking care of a couple of smaller people too! A real inspiration to what familiescan achieve with travel. They have featured in a few radio interviews and news articles back home – our parents sent us a link.