We had some amazing help and support to get us around the World and as well as all the wonderful people we met on the way we had the support from our fantastic sponsors- a special mention to Hope Tech who helped us much needed parts in some particularly tricky situations.
We are immensely proud to be representing HUUB , the premium endurance sport and wetsuit brand with roots in triathlon but with an impressive range of cycling apparel of their own. They have an ethos of continuous improvement and deliverance of speed in all their products and their innovative designs are guaranteed to give us the gear we need to cycle around the World. They are a local business, based in Derby and we were proud to wear their “Thunderbirds 2” kit around the World.
Wow! It took a bit of doing as they are such an amazing company the number of requests they get is massive, but we are delighted to say that Alpkit are supporting us with camping kit!
They are a truly awesome outdoor brand and supply pretty much everything you need to get outside, including their own bike brand “Sonder” (they just don’t quite make a coupled tandem… yet…) Their ethos of #goniceplacesdogoodthings is just such a great way to inspire people to get outside and have fun- just like we would like to too and they are also highly ethical as a B Corp company in terms of sustainability and have a repair service as well as doing loads to support community projects around the UK. But as well as all this, their kit is just great- intelligently designed, made by real people, rigorously tested and the quality and durability speaks for itself with their Alpine Bond where they guarantee to look after their products and us! We used their camping kit around the World and it made for many a comfortable nights sleep.
We have been using Exustar clothing and equipment for a number of years and when it was suggested that SPD sandals would be the way forward in the hotter and wetter climates of our trip we knew their products would be ones for the job! “Performance in motion,” says it all and we were kitted out with some rather fantastic SPD sandals as well as some light as a feather helmets, more traditional cycling shoes, sunglasses and windproofs. The sandals in particular are highly recommended for warm climates and monsoons!
When I spotted the Erro panniers online I knew they were just the sort of thing we needed to get our gear 18,000 miles around the World! Cycle Touring Life is actually based in Canada but have experience cycle touring and bike packing all over the World! They are exclusive distributors of WOHO XTouring bike packing gear and not only sell loads of other products from saddles to sleeping bags but have the expertise to help anyone gear up and go! Just see their Bicycle Touring 101 article.
Between Cycle Touring Life and Woho they saved the day when our panniers were damaged in a motorcycle collision in Malaysia. They shipped out a prototype set of panniers, not even available for sale yet, to Singapore in record time to enable us to continue our trip.
We were even more delighted to meet Cycle Touring Life founder Dominic in Halifax and shared a wonderful meal and many stories from the road over a few beers.
We have invaluable support from the Tandem Experience and Tandem Shop, the UK’s premier tandem shop who have an absolute wealth of experience with all things tandem! Not only did they supply our custom made, coupled, Co-Motion tandem for the ride but helped sourcing parts and spares for the trip- you wouldn’t believe how many brake pads we will get through and who else would know how many miles a tandem back wheel lasts!
Their sister company Bicycles by Design supplies hand built bespoke steel and made to measure frames for solo bikes and they have over 100years experience in the industry- this is not your average biker shop!
Co-motion cycles is a World-renowned leader in tandem bicycle building and at time of writing the only manufacturer in the UK where we can get the essential “couplings” to allow the bike to split into two for travelling. Their support has been invaluable in getting the custom made machine we need and we will be riding a bespoke version of their ultimate adventure tandem; the Java.
They are an American company based in Oregon, but the steel for the frame has been handmade in the UK before shipped for assembly in the US. The fantastic people at the Tandem Shop have then built the bike at their shop in Telford- a mecca for all thing tandem. So the tandem went around the World before we did!
18,000 miles is a long time to sit on a saddle… so we knew we needed the best! Having been hand crafting saddles since 1866 Brooks England certainly has the experience in making durable and comfortable saddles that are also stylist and versatile. Many people are initially horrified that we do all of our long distance ride on what appear to be hard bits of leather but what they fail to understand is the design and processing that goes into making each and every saddle means they form around your anatomy, creating and inverse of your shape and the best custom fit you could ask for! And the saddles latest the ride, Stevie eventually succumbed to saddle sore, but this was more due to his weight lost than any fault of the saddles and Laura made it all the way with her derriere intact!
Schwalbe were always going to be the obvious choice for tires on our trip and we were delighted when they offered to support us with spare tires, tube and rim tape. We rode with aerothan inner tubes for the first part of the ride which were wonderfully lightweight and marathon Mondial tyres which impressed us massively with their durability- we went over 13,000 miles without a puncture.
We were delighted to be invited on the “Inside Derby” Podcast by James and had a great chat about our plans. James is also the founder of Aristotle Financial Planning and had very kindly provided sponsorship towards our trip. Got to the media page to find the links to our podcast with him!
We are grateful Sarah Smith Cardiology and Etwall Vets who are not only supporting us on our journey. We will undoubtedly be cheered on by staff, clients and maybe patients alike along the way.
Epic Ride Weather is a snazzy little app that gives you a personalised weather forecast for your ride based on your route (from Ride With GPS, strava etc) and time of your ride. It factors in wind direction, “feels like” temperatures and the likelihood of getting soaked making it a really useful planning tool when out all day. This was an invaluable tool in predicting the conditions on a daily basis for our ride and the features just got better and better as the ride went on.
We’ve been using a few different apps/sites to plan our route but the one that has performed the best for long distance, great features and ease of use has been Ride With GPS and their premium subscription gives us the tools we need to navigate around the planet! All our (potential) routes are in this collection, but as we have the app on our phones we can (and do) reserve the right to make changes on the road!
See our fully trip here!:
Where would a couple of thirsty cyclists be without a bit of refreshment? Our local micropub, the Hole in the Wall supplies us with the wonderful beer of Derby Brewing Co. which we got through a fair few pints of at our leaving do and then had a wonderful welcome home with all our friends in the pub when we finally got back to the UK.
Another local business we are really pleased to work with is Village Biltong. Biltong makes for the ultimate power protein snack and is a great way of fuelling and recovery. It is handmade using local Derbyshire beef only a couple of miles up the road from us but helped power us around the World!
Its a great ingredient to add to camp stove noodles too!