NO EXCUSES, JUST ADVENTURE. YOU VOTE, WE RIDE.
Update: 29th April 2017
We're in Germersheim, Germany and this weekend you can vote on the type of random tandem bike we sit on this coming Monday to ride 1000 miles. Please be kind!
The last time I visited the Spezi non-motorised transport show in Germsheim, Germany, I asked my Facebook friends to vote on the form of transport I should ride from Germany back to the UK.
The format was not only fun and a real success (I loved that journey on the ICE Trike) but it totally simplifies all the things that sometimes hold us back from doing a big adventure.
When you put yourself at the mercy of other people it becomes liberating. There's no use worrying, because the decision is made for you. The route was chosen on the morning the journey starts and it seemed sensible to ride it back to ICE Trike HQ in Falmouth, Cornwall.
And this is why I'm excited, because in April 2017 I'm heading back to the Spezi with my girlfriend Em (who hasn't done an endurance trip before) and we're going to repeat the vote, this time with different forms of recumbent tandem up for grabs.
After the show we'll sit on whichever mode of transport has been voted for, and go!
No excuses. No choices. Just a whole bunch of unknowns ahead. Awesome.
When we reach the end we'll fly or catch a train back to the UK, hopefully with another 1000 mile journey under our belts, the 13th of Expedition1000. So cool.
Why a Tandem?
Well, there are two of us for starters and as this will be our first journey together it is quite a cool social project. After all, tandem riding is all about trust, and I'm hoping that the laid back recumbent form says it all about the relationship Em and I have together.
I rode an upright tandem bike from Vancouver to Vegas with my friend Seb in 2011, and it makes for a great way to travel. Recumbent is a whole different kettle of fish, taking a bit more balance and core strength to stay upright and moving.
Just as important as the mechanics of the ride is communication. The onus is on the pilot to steer, avoid crashing and change gears and because of the extra weight and the added body behind, turning around isn't so easy. So it falls to the rear passenger (or The Stoker) to shout instructions and navigations, like "We're clear!" or "Slow down, we're about to be hit by a truck!"
TRANSPORT: we don't know yet!
One the last weekend of April we'll open up a vote on Facebook to determine the transportation for this journey. When the vote is in we'll saddle up and ride east towards the sun...rise!
We're working ahead of time with companies who will be present at the Spezi and so far two have agreed to be a part of this challenge. AZUB, who make the Twin recumbent tandem, and Varibike, whose twist is to add arm pedals for the rear rider.
Either way it's going to be cool!
WHAT WE'LL GET UP TO
Along the way we'll be creating all kinds of content. Em has just qualified as a massage therapist and has already started a quite genius project to get photos of her massaging people in epic and unusual places, and as a sufferer of Raynaud's Disease will be writing a few blogs about how to cope with poor circulation when travelling in the great outdoors.
And as usual, I'll be blogging and reviewing gear and wild camping, and looking for silly things that make us chuckle, as well as filming and editing daily 'Good Morning!' films to share on Facebook.
Once the journey begins on May 1st this map will track our progress across Europe. And we'll even have a picture of us our our tandem!
These are all brands who have either supportive some stage of this journey, or they make gear we're using. Before you think it, we're not getting money from all these (we wish!), but we're thankful that they exist and make gear that means we can enjoy this journey and share it to the best of our ability. Click each logo to find out more.