For previous blog entries of our ride through NZ, Australia, South East Asia, China and Central Asia, click on the little arrows beside the dates in the Blog Archive below and use the scroll down menu.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Our world cycle

This page has been set up to allow friends, family and other interested parties to follow our progress on our forthcoming New Zealand to Glasgow bike ride. We fly out to Auckland on Oct 19th and estimate the 18,000mile + will take about 18 months.

Our planned route is as follows: New Zealand(North and South islands), Australia(Sydney to Darwin), Bali, Java, Sumatra, Malaysia, Thailand,Laos,Northern Vietnam, Southern China, Tajikstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran(North, along Caspian sea), Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Austria, Czech Rep, Germany, Netherlands, Glasgow.

Ben and I cycled from Glasgow to Luxembourg 8 years ago and if we’d been better prepared(my front pannier rack was made out of Ben’s Dad’s ironing board) we may have just carried on. However, it wasn’t to be and we ended up back in Glasgow(the friendly city.)

We plan to have enough money so as not to have to work during the trip. This way we can focus on finishing the ride rather than turning it into an extended holiday. We have lots of friends and friends of friends to visit throughout the trip but most of our contacts are in NZ. We’ll even spend Christmas and New Year there with some good pals. Can’t wait.

We hope to do about 80 miles cycling on a good day but our daily mileage may well drop significantly when we hit Australia in temperatures of 40 degrees plus. (Well, no-one said it would be easy.) Apart from the occasional luxury of a bed and bath at someone’s house, we’ll be wild camping. Having said that, every long-distance cycle tourer knows you need to treat yourself to a night in a hotel, a slap up meal and a thai massage every once in a while just to keep your spirits up! I’m leaving behind my work in Glasgow as a french teacher but Ben will certainly be taking his work as a bike mechanic with him. (We wouldn’t get far if the repairs were left up to me).

This is something both of us have always wanted to do and I know that later in life we'd both regret not having done it. We are lucky to have found in each other a kindred spirit who we can share this amazing experience with. Ben is a great travelling companion but I hope marital harmony won't be too sorely tested after several months in a tent together!

We’d like to use the trip as a way of raising money for 2 very worthwhile charities so please sponsor us. The first charity we’d like to help is El Shaddai. Based in Goa, El Shaddai help families to stay in their native state by providing them with water, education and income generating projects. They help abandoned street children by providing them with food, shelter and love and have already opened several shelters and community centres. However, more are needed and we hope to raise money for them so they can continue their good work.

Please help us raise money for el shaddai by donating from our justgiving page

The second charity we’d like to support is based much closer to home. Since 2006, the Unity centre has helped over 1200 asylum seeking families, providing practical support and solidarity. They have helped over 100 families return to safety in Glasgow after they have been detained by the Home Office. If someone is detained, they help contact their lawyer, friends and family, arrange for their belongings to be looked after and provide emotional support and encouragement. The centre is run entirely by volunteers and funded entirely by donations from supporters so any money we raise will go a long way to helping the continuation of the centre.

Please help us raise money for the Unity centre at our other just giving page:

We would like to say a big thankyou to our wonderful friends who clubbed together to give us a super, lightweight tent and a wad of money as well as Ben’s dad Paul, Ben´s Mum, Lynne and my family who contributed towards our flights to NZ. We are also very grateful to Robert Gelens who made this website for us. Thanks for your time and all your hard work Robert. A big thankyou also to Alexis Hall who not only prepared a fantastic press release for us but sent it to over 200 newspapers, magazines and radio stations. We must also thank Ben Lyons and Antoni Gobeo for their help in preparing our sponsorship letter. We’d also like to thank our pals from our mountain bike club, Rockhard Racing who have donated loads of equipment and bike parts(Thanks John, Bill, Craig etc). Anyway, wish us luck. See you all in 18 months!

You can also stay in touch with us through Margo Denholm's facebook page.

"Live your dreams, apart from the one about being eaten by a giant spider"