Preparing For A Big Bike Tour

Andrew cruising the roads of Portugal“How did you do it?” must be the most commonly asked question about our bike tour.

When you’re firmly entrenched in the routine of working life, it’s hard to see a way to give it all up for a life on the road. Yet, once you’ve quit your job, sold your house and started pedaling towards a new adventure, everything falls into place so quickly that you can’t quite believe you didn’t do it years ago.

Here’s the timeline that led up to our bike trip around the world:

May 2000 – We move to London. We get jobs and start saving straight away. We don’t know what we’re saving for, but we love to travel and the idea of a big trip is in the back of our minds. Every time we have some extra money in our bank account we stash it away in various savings accounts to fund our dreams. Read more about how we saved for our trip.

May 2005 – After 5 years of working in the UK, we are a little bored with our jobs. We have no particular ties to London. We fancy a change. We decide to make our big trip within the next year. We put our house up for sale.

Our Russian friendsSeptember 2005 – We sell our flat and clear out a lot of things. We move into rented accommodation. We make up various stories to explain to friends and colleagues why we’ve sold our house without buying another.

December 2005 – Now we know we will go travelling, but how? We search the internet for ways to go around the world and come up with the idea of cycling. We have bikes but we don’t use them for anything other than short commutes. Nevertheless, we decide we can do this. We start reading up and buying gear.

January 2006 – We make a day trip on our bikes and decide cycling is fun. We continue with our crazy plan.

March 2006 – After a lot of research, we order our custom-built bikes. Other supplies are starting to pile up in our flat.

June 2006 – We hand in our notice at work. It’s very, very hard and unnerving. Both of us come home feeling ill and literally shaking from the uncertainty of it all. Now that our plans our public, we begin selling everything we own to friends and giving a lot away to charity shops. We also start our website.

August 2006 – We take our bikes out for a test run with loaded bags and a tent. It’s a disaster. We only have to go 70km but we get lost and arrive at our destination late, completely famished and exhausted. That night our tent is attacked by hundreds of slugs. Throughout this month, we feel very stressed by our impending departure and all the things we have to do.

September 2006 – Departure Day! We still have to check out of our flat. We’ve been out at parties. We oversleep. The flat isn’t clean. The inspector doesn’t show up. Finally, several hours late, we begin the ride to a friend’s house. We are off!

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