Driving along “The Loneliest Highway In America” as determined by LIFE magazine back in the 80’s, Nancy and I came across a couple of characters riding their bicycles down the road. Out of curiosity, and my need to fill this space on the interwebs, we stopped and asked if we could ask a question. I know. That’s already a question, haha. Fortunately, they were not flip, but all-around nice. I caught a rough yet stereo, recording with my phone, which you can listen to in its entire 10 minutes here…
BT: What are your guy’s names?
Mike: I’m Mike and this is Helen. We started 13 months ago today. 23,000 kilometers on the clock so far. We started in Scotland, Glasgow, went to the Netherlands, then Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Eastern Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Turkey. Georgia. So. Central Asia.
Helen: But then I got altitude sick, even though it wasn’t very high, but we didn’t have time for me to acclimatize. So it’s sort of going through central Asia. We flew to Beijing, cheapest flight we could get, to Siham Chung. So we kind of doubled back on ourselves a bit. And then, down to Vietnam, Saigon into Cambodia to Bangkok all the way down the coast of Thailand and Malaysia and Singapore. We just turned around again and went back to Kuala Lumpar to get our flight to Australia. Then flew to the west coast of America and we’ve cycled from San Diego.
BT: So you got married?
Mike: Yes, two weeks ago in Yosemite Valley in Cooks meadow.
BT: How did you… did you find a justice of the peace?
Mike: My friends a minister, she actually lives in Kentucky, so she flew out to meet us there. And then we had a couple of friends come over. Parents each. Yeah.
BT: You had it all planned out?
Mike: Yeah, we actually started planning it before we left. There was a bit of a gamble, but we figured if we could make it a year on the road and not kill each other, we could go ahead.
BT: Oh, that’s so awesome. Congratulations! Have you guys had many mechanical issues?
Mike: Yeah, but it’s mostly been ok. I mean a couple of things. We’ve been replaced like new drive train, new cassettes. Obviously lots of new chains, but Helen is still on her first set of brake pads.
BT: Brakes. They only slow you down.
Mike: Yeah, just tough. I think I’m on my fourth set of tires
Helen: I think I’m on my second set of tires. But nothing major. Everything’s built to last.
BT: Meeting any nice people?
Overwhelmingly! We were quite concerned that we weren’t going to have enough water as we headed across the 50 here. And just didn’t quite make it as far as we wanted to yesterday. So this guy stopped this morning and was like, hey, guys, need some water? I’ve just been rafting in Utah, and have gallons of water in my van. So amazing timing. Um, but yeah, we have a story per day. China was amazing for that because they just want to give you food and take you home and take care of you.
BT: You guys blogging or anything like that?
Helen: A bit of writing and videoing as much as we can. I haven’t updated since the wedding, so I need to do that soon. Because we’re going east, it’s evereast.co.uk. We’re doing it for a charity, called MIND, they do mental health advocacy and awareness. They do a lot of lobbying the government for approved mental health services and they do awareness campaigns to just try and reduce the stigma within companies. They kind of go into offices and HR departments and stuff. So very, very nice. Very nice.
BT: Well great. Great. Thank you so much for stopping. Bye!