Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Introduction: who are we, and what are we doing ?

It's finally about to happen - we're are leaving soon to travel the world - by bicycle - after two long years of saving and planning on the part of the two of us in cahoots on this dream-almost-realised cycle expedition...

Gaby, my intrepid partner-in-crime originally came to Australia from Germany on a one-year Working Holiday Visa a while back. Mischievous Cupid, however, intervened and now she's back, having agreed to join in on my (somewhat perilously foolhardy ?) plan to cycle the world... She's studied Business Admin, worked in Event Management, taught German & English, loves long candle-lit walks on the beach in the autumn, potatoes, and austere regularity [she's German]. Gaby's longest ride to date was about 35-odd km, and still she's thrown caution to the winds and tossed her lot in with me - Adventurous, huh ?

Me, David, aka Tall Dave. Well, ahem, I've worked way too many random jobs [Abseiling, Rock-Climbing, & Archery Instructor, Paddle-Steamer Cleaner, Wholesale Fabric Sample Cutter, and ESL English Teacher], spent a few years at both of the major local Art Schools - Sculpture Dahhhling - broken a few bones, and even studied a couple of random foreign languages as well. I've backpacked all over the world and had more than my fair share of dysentry tempered with Altitude Sickness. Nevertheless, as crazy as I might be, I'm certainly not foolish enough to do it on a tandem - I can guess who'd be doing rather most of the work...

So, anyway, it's high time for another blast of travel - so here goes, what?

The rough idea, in short, is cycle south down the Aussie East Coast from Cairns to Sydney. This is my idea of a comfortably local warm-up routine [while spares, support, & friends are still readily available], then fly to HoChiMinh City in southern Vietnam.

Once there on scary foreign tropical soil, and after a few days of "retail therapy" the plan is to go via Cambodia (Angkor what?) to Thailand for a few months work teaching English before heading through Laos and on to southern China... We'd like to work/study somewhere there in the "Middle Kingdom" for a few months, maybe twice, and then get on to Almaty in Kazakhstan, to study a bit more Russian, and prolly get in some further just-for-the-ca$h teaching.

2010 might see us crossing the Central Asian steppe and meandering off towards Europe.

I dare say we'll need to slow down a bit while there somewhere in Western Europe, and then <> I'd really like to get over to North-Eastern Canada for some Francophile fun in Quebec followed by - er - Route 66 ? and the last bit down to a bevy of waiting cold Mexican beers at a mate's place in Cuenavaca ? < / daydream >

Thanks to a whole load of pedantic penny-pinching web-shopping, we've very nearly almost got a couple of great fully-loaded touring bikes, purchased as disparate separate components from the States, HK, Germany, NZ, & the UK. The bikes are sturdy, (eminently repairable) steel, and use top-quality perfectly generic vanilla components almost throughout. I'll put up an Equipment & Reviews page, with links to the stores perhaps, in due course, as things have either proven themselves or died.

Preparations are coming along - vaccinations, ca$h-saving, equipment, and lingo study are already mostly in the bag. Despite there being a complete dearth of Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine, we both managed to secure the necessary three shots - though at $100 each however !!

And other than CouchSurfing, or cheapo hotels where necessary in Asia, we'll be camping out in a funky modular (Hilleberg Muddus) A-frame tent on comfy, lightweight, down-filled (Exped) mattresses rated to -38C...

Depending on who decides to join the party, there may well be a charity or three benefiting from our endeavours - currently we're talking with Amnesty Int'l, Greenpeace, and MSF... Beyond doing whatever we can to help out along the way, I'll be writing some Ready-to-Run downloadable ESL teaching material and Lesson Plans, written with an eye to promoting Social / Environmental Responsibility...

Any extra ideas certainly welcome and appreciated - In fact, any ideas/couch-space/ maps/ eqp't/ advice/ whatever readily accepted...

For more (prolly far-less-cycle-related) material, please visit our 'blogs at and

For an abundance of random pics, check out RTW by Bike at

You can reach either of us on our shared email... RTW by bike [ at ] gmail [ dot ] com (no spaces etc)


1 comment:

Leo Minucio said...

Good idea this trip!

You should have strong legs and ass to ride all around the world!! hahaha

Good luck!

Leo (Sao Paulo, Brazil)