Arthur and Caroline cycling in the Andes – Salta, Argentina
Why this goal? How did it come up?
We knew we wanted to travel for a year after our graduation, but we’re willing to do something special. Traveling by bicycle appeared to be an excellent challenge!
When I first told my family about it, they smiled. I would never do that: too many issues to be solved: I’m not a handyman; how could a girl travel by bike for a year; how could we, as a couple, support the challenge; how could we choose the itinerary; avoid accidents, sicknesses, injuries…
But these doubts didn’t affect our resolution to go for it.
How did it go?
We cycled through Europe, India, South-East Asia, Latin America… There were tough times – but we did it! 12 months, 18 countries, 13 000 kms, 4 hours of cycling per day and many unforgettable adventures. We are so proud of it! We know that it will remain, for the rest of our life, one of the most beautiful experiences we’ll ever live.
Do you have some advice to share with the community?
If you are willing to go on a very long journey:
1/ Collect information. It is essential to start somewhere. We started reading blogs, forums to get advice on bicycle-touring: which equipment? Is it possible for a girl? Which countries are safer? Hundreds of hours reading blogs in order to start getting an idea of what it could look like.
2/ Think positive. Collecting information on the Internet can be quite scary: on forums or blogs, lots of travelers write about their bad moments, their accidents… While it is important to be aware of issues you could face during your trip, you shouldn’t focus on these. Think positive!
3/ Make it social. Once you tell your family/friends that you’ll go, you cannot abandon your project. Moreover, talking to others will make you think about your project, clarify and improve it thanks to their suggestions.
4/ Create a Facebook page and a blog: same as point 3, once we created a Facebook page, we could not back out, we had to do it. Hundreds of people had “liked” our project on FB, it was too late. It was a new source of motivation for us: our project had become public, we had to do it for others, and not only for ourselves.
Joy of accomplishment and warm welcome back to the two heroes in Lyon, France
What about the tools and gear required?
For such an adventure, having reliable equipment is crucial. As many cycle tourers, we bought Ortlieb panniers and a Brooks saddle, both proved to be very solid. We were also happy with our bikes (Decathlon Riverside 7) as we didn’t face major issues. Concerning multimedia equipment, I would recommend taking a very light computer or a tablet, and a small camera. Travel light; you will feel the difference when climbing the Andes 😉
My next goal is to create a blog on tour cycling. Indeed, we noticed during our journey that it was hard to gather information as there is no website that centralizes everything. We hope to develop this as soon as we can. And of course we will go touring whenever we can: Iran, Mongolia, and Colombia are on our wish list.
A word to inspire others?
“The world is a book and those who do not travel only read one page.” Saint Augustine
This post is part of our “They did it!” series. If you also have a goal story you want to share with the community, we would love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.