We want to let you all know just a little bit about our travel background and cycling experience, because you might wonder if we have what it takes to actually take on such an enormous and courageous goal as riding a bike around the world. Some people are just not cut out to be nomadic and could not cope with the hardships of leaving their wonderful friends and family behind, leaving the comfort and stability of a life of conformity, giving up the security of their job, giving themselves up to chance, and setting out to do something that in their minds they know they have big chance of failing… but do it anyway.
We both have a sickness that can only be cured by movin on down the road, staying at home working 9-5 just wont cut it. For us, this is the chance of a lifetime, its something we have to do, there is no way around it!
“only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” – T.S. Elliot
I have always enjoyed rambling around.. Ever since i was a wee small kid i used to roam the streets and lanes around my old house looking for the “exotic” in and around my neighborhood. Fortunately most people knew where that little blond wanderer belonged so i always got returned home by some concerned soul. Nowadays i’m all on my own and there ain’t nothin’ but my guardian angels to keep an eye on me.. So far so good!
After finishing high school i went into university for a number of years but eventually it became clear that to me that my true passion was with discovering our global habitat. Up till that moment i spent most of my holidays thumbing my way around Europe, hiking in the mountains and enjoy meeting new folks.. I wanted to get out and experience all that in big chunks! For a period of about 5 years i have been up and down the road.. Living and working in Greece, Tadjikistan, US, big roadtrips through the Balkans, Middle East, Pakistan, South East Asia, Ethiopia.. The years i spent abroad taught me a lot about the beautiful ‘n fragile little planet we’re living on and made me learn a lot about my own strenghts and weaknesses (for example, i know that i can drink a lot of cheap beer but cheap vodka is a bad idea.. just to name something)
I feel there’s a bad ass nomad inside of me that wants to be heard.. Although i love being in my hometown Amsterdam with good friends and family around, there’s something over the hill i gotta go and see (as Hank Williams put it) I ain’t want to see it from no plane, car or train.. I want to go in snailpace.. Taking in the sceneries, smells, sounds ‘n shouts.. Last summer when my buddy and I went down to Barcelona by bike we already had the oppurtunity to taste a bit of what it feels like and i was just longing for more and more and more and more..
The Lord truely made me a ramblin’ man…………….
I grew up in a forest in Canada learning about nature and camping as soon as I could walk. As a youth I always dreamed of the excitement of seeing new countries, packed my bag at age 19 and left home for a life of travel. First after traveling across Canada, I needed something more and spent almost all my cash on a flight to Coasta Rica. There, unlike most tourists, I had very little money to last me for 5 weeks so this meant not eating out or staying in hotels, hostels, or budget accommodation. Mostly I was living off bananas, bread, and cheap veggies from the local markets, and camping for free on the beaches. Certainly a good first step into a life nomadic.
Returning home I was flat broke, and made my way up to northern Canada to stay with a friend and look for some work. After saving enough cash I blew most of it on a flight with a friend to Australia, where I lived for a year working for food and accommodation on organic farms, got odd jobs picking fruit, bought a cheap car to live in and drove it around the whole continent. But I still don’t care to get a drivers licence.
After my fun in ‘the land down under’ I traveled to central america where I lived and traveled around Belize, Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico. After a year there and having many great stories to tell, I hitchhiked from southern Mexico, through the U.S , to Vancouver Island Canada, then hitched again across Canada to Toronto.
Now in Europe I’ve been traveling through many countries for the last 3 years by hitchhiking, dumpsterdiving, camping, meeting good people, and working odd jobs.
Shaun took his first long distance bike trip 3 years ago. It was definitely a learning experience for him. He bought an old bike for 50euro in Hamburg Germany, put some baskets on it for his backpack and food, wore his guitar on his back and headed 500km for Amsterdam on a sunny October afternoon. The bike was not a good size for him and half way through the trip his knees were hurting so bad he could barely walk when he got off the bike. The temperatures at night got down to freezing and sleeping in a hammock with a sleeping bag for only + 7 degrees he was shivering himself awake each morning before sunrise and would start riding his bike just to warm up. He didn’t give up and in the end through rain and shine, Shaun made it to Holland with very sore knees which made him a bit discouraged about his cycling future. But he loved this mode of travel so much he decided to test his body again, on a trip 2200km , from Amsterdam to Barcelona, this time with his buddy Maarten and a proper bike that was the right size. These bad ass travel bums finished the trip in just 21 days, taking only 2 rest days and cycling an average of over 100km a day. Their longest day was cycling for 21hrs straight, the longest distance they covered in a day was 140km, the highest temperatures they cycled in was 35 degrees in the shade, and the highest mountain pass they cycled over was 1200m.