A lot of people that we speak to seem to understand why cycling around the world is a great plan. However, there are also quite a few who don’t and so here are a few explanations.
Because it’s quicker than walking.
We wanted to find a way of travelling that would allow us to move gently through the environment, slowly enough to enjoy the scenery and meet people along the way. Cycling or walking seemed like the two best options. There are people who walk around the world. But they are mad. Think of the blisters! Obviously, we have deep respect for these nutters but the lack of a free-wheeling option meant it wasn’t for us.
Because the bicycle is amazing.
What a machine. Simple to make and cheap to run, this neat little piece of engineering has helped to alleviate poverty, increase access to healthcare, empower women and young people, reinvent city centres, further education, improve fitness, cut down carbon emissions and, given the right hill, can create the sensation of almost being able to fly. We want to pay homage to the bicycle. We will be travelling to cycle-friendly cities, visiting cycling schemes and charities, giving talks along our route, and just generally raving about how awesome bikes are to anyone who will listen. We will also be raising money for World Bicycle Relief UK, a non-profit organisation which provides bikes and bike mechanic training to people in developing countries.
Because people are amazing.
The globe becomes more connected every day, as new inventions and innovations allow us to become increasingly aware of different people, lands and situations. We want to celebrate these human interactions, and to connect with as many people as possible on the trip through things like couch-surfing, social media and word of mouth. We will also be using a Polaroid camera to photograph people we meet along the way and on the photo we will ask them to write one thing they would change to make the world a better place.
“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.”
Because we want to feel closer to life.
A climber once said “People think I climb to feel closer to death but really I climb to feel closer to life.” In the clutter of the everyday it can be hard to find space to think and remember what the important things are. We want to take ourselves out of the routine, to try something different and in so doing, feel closer to life.
“Even in this day and age, with our sophisticated technology and developed culture, it must still be important, just occasionally, to find a wild place, where the land and the animals that move through it speak loudest, and the sun and the moon dictate the rhythm of our lives. Only through this can we remember our proper place in the order of things.”
From ‘Call of the Wild’ by Guy Grieve
Because we cannot imagine anything more exciting than going to sleep under the stars with the ache of the road in our legs, the memories of strange voices curled up in our ears, the world’s spices (and occasional beer) warming our bellies and the earth’s landscapes painted on the backs of our eyelids.