Welcome to our first check in. Both of us wanted to get a little way into our cycling expedition before introducing ourselves.
I’m ‘Sat Nav’ Sam Stephens and and my big footed, expedition partner here is Sarah ‘Thumper’ Jones.
(To those of you we met singing around the campfire at this years Big Shake Out- hello there!)
We’re now two months into our attempt to cycle around the World, which we’ve named ‘2010 Till When?’.
After being warned on the ferry over to France, by a seasoned cycle tourist, that the first two months are usually the toughest, we are pleased as punch to report that neither of us have booked a one-way ticket home!
Now, the nature of 2010 Till When? is to see what the real World away from media hype and tourist traps beholds. Here’s a basic summary.
1) We aren’t attempting to break any World Records.
2) We want to cycle for as long as we are physically capable of doing.
3) We want to live as cheaply as possible so that our life savings last a veeeeeery looooong time. We are averaging 2-3€ per day at the moment, and that is for both of us (believe me, you have to LOVE rice to do it this cheap!).
4) We’ve been (and plan on) wild camping every night along the way, except for when chance meetings have taken us into people’s homes for the evening.
The bottom line of this expedition is that we just get out there, meet people, experience their cultures and grab life by the goolies until we’re happy with what we’ve learnt!
I’m currently writing this in Spain- our sixth country since leaving the UK (we were both Cheshire based)- after pretty much circumnavigating France and popping over to explore Belgium, Switzerland and Andorra. But where next? Well, we’ve planned a rough route through Spain and are heading South to Morocco for our first winter out of the U.K.
If you’d like to see if we get there, you can track us via our website: 2010 Till When?. There you’ll also find loads of snaps and little vids of our route so far and see the ups and downs of life on the road.
We don’t want to write too much in these updates as Alpkit always have lots of other cool events and expeditions to check out and, as always with the internet, short is sweet.
So, here are some expedition highlights so far:
(our video channel can be found on Youtube )
*Meeting curious cyclists of all ages eager to learn about what we’re doing
*Foraging for food and learning from the locals what’s edible and what’s deadly
*Sarah being forced to learn how to true a wheel and actually succeeding.
(I don’t think anyone can fix a split wheel rim though)
*The first glimpse of snow capped mountains in Switzerland and a cold dunk in the beautiful Lac Leman
*Spending a rare rest day camped under a motorway bridge next to a river.
*Conquering the road up to Alpe d’Huez. The one the Tour de France riders race up in 30-40 minutes.
(With our heavy laden steeds it took us 3 hours and 15 minutes!)
*Saying Hi to Alpkit in one of our videos actually stood in the Alps
*Reaching the Pont d’Arc out of the busy holiday season
*Spending our coldest night yet, camping at 1500m above sea level near Mont Louis and being grateful that our PipeDream 400s and Airo 180s kept us toasty and warm.
*Crossing into Spain and being invited to a BBQ on the 1st November.
It’s been a great adventure so far and hopefully by next time we write, we’ll have caught some fish using some of the various methods that are suggested in the S.A.S Survival guide. Until then,
It’s all about the journey.
Sammy and Sarah
(2010 Till When? - Kept warm by Alpkit)