This is it. This is the moment I have wondered about for 18 years. I've finally sat on my bike long enough to surely say that I have cycled the world. So many pedal strokes, so many sights, so much exhilaration, so many aches in places I didn't know I had. The other day I just stopped after a short ride around the outskirts of Los Angeles, California. It was a grey day, nice and mild for cycling with not much of a breeze. The riverside bike path that I was on was smooth, othe
1. Albania Entering from the south western corner at the coastal border with Montenegro, Niamh and I pedalled inland through dried earth, drained by olives and grapes. We passed a house ablaze with more whipping flames then I'd ever seen, but then came the mind altering sounds of the fire engines from a distance. As we looked towards them knowing that we could do nothing, we saw Lake Schroder for the first time. This would be the base for a boat trip called the Komani Ferry,
In this series of blog posts, I will record and share some stories of a rather long bicycle ride of 40,100 kilometres through 60 countries. This post is a shortish introduction detailing some facts and figures and how I have structured the large task of compiling so many stories. Some of the accounts you can read in this series are of things that were meant to be a little bit of fun but turned out to be shockingly bad. Some are sad stories that turned out to be funny (in hind
It has been a full year since we headed out on the Central Asian section of our ride around the world and we still haven't finished our gear list blog posts. Ah, well...better late than never. We ditched a lot of things once we arrived in easy Southeast Asia but were extremely fully loaded when we rode out of Uzbekistan and across China. Below is a complete list of all the clothes that I (Niamh) packed for this 6 month section. Matthew has no interest in writing a blog post a
We are now half way through our ride around the world. Since leaving our teaching jobs at Tashkent International School, we have cycled over 12,000 kilometres through 11 countries. Uzbekistan: Kyrgyzstan: Kazakhstan: China: Laos: Cambodia: Vietnam: Thailand: Myanmar: Malaysia: Indonesia: Not the entire 12 months have been spent actually on our bicycles, it is just not that simple. Over a month was spent in certain cities waiting and resting, normally for visas or extensions.
A commonly used adage is "The less one has to give, the more generous they are’". This may presume that material possessions are a gauge of how much one has. Or that giving is a sign of ones kindness. I prefer to think that generosity in the form of helping strangers does not require any form of wealth other than human spirit in the heart.
Along our way, we have been touched by the kindness of strangers. It fills me with hope for the future and, in the short term, a warm gl
We started our ride around the world in June 2017 in Uzbekistan, where we were living, and pedalled east through Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and China before heading into south east Asia. We both have a strong tendency towards over packing and were carrying a lot more gear than the majority of other tourers we met. We definitely carried waayy too much stuff on this section but I don't regret any of it. It was comforting to know that we had absolutely anything we could need in our
This is not a geeky review of bicycles. This is a basic summary of how they have performed after 10's of thousands of kilometres. I think this style is best as it is what I spent days looking for in preparation for our Round The World ride.
When reading this, please consider that the pros and cons of our two bicycles are based on our fully loaded touring lifestyle. Both bikes usually get the TLC of a full service every 5000km or so. They are, however, maintained well. All m
As we pedal along each day we often listen to podcasts. Firstly, I must say that they are great for long distance touring (see other post- Entertainment on long rides), as long as the road conditions permit, of course. I like to use my time wisely, given that some recent research found that we have about 4500 days in our lives to do something meaningful for our souls, deducting time from our life expectancy for sleep, slumber, work and commuting. This trip is certainly someth
Most of the time bicycle touring is exciting and fun with plenty to see, hear and experience along the way. But sometimes you find yourself on a long, flat, straight road where hours can feel like days. One of the ways that we entertain ourselves and make the time go faster on days like this is listening to podcasts and audiobooks. I don't recommend this on roads that need your full attention but I find it perfectly safe on roads where you have your own space and little traff