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Dealing with the doomsayers

Dealing with the doomsayers
Good friends and family, as we all know, can be worth their weight in gold in times of need.

Break a leg or suffer from some terrible illness and they are there to nurse you, need a few dollars to get you through a financial rough patch and they are there with a loan, suffer a relationship breakdown or one of life’s inevitable lows and they are there with some comforting words.

But plan to set out on a long distance cycling adventure or - as is the case with the e-Bike Cycle Tourists - to set a new world long distance e-bike record and the abovementioned good friends and family can show a totally different side to their personality.

In the place of words of encouragement about plans to complete the longest e-bike journey ever officially undertaken, we have on occasions discovered either silence, derision or in a couple of instances prophecies of impending doom and gloom.

But why? Surely those closest to you should be the first to understand the big picture and as a result be capable of comprehending the enormity of what it means to achieve something special.  But not so, it seems. Rather than spend a potentially life changing and amazing 12 months cycle touring through Europe, the UK and Scandinavia, it would seem that in the eyes of some we are about to ride our e-bikes off the edge of the world and will never be heard from again.

“There are a lot of bad things happening in the world, you could be captured by terrorists and held to ransom,” we were told. “What if something terrible happens, how will you cope,” we have been asked. “Why don’t you just take a normal holiday,” it was suggested. “That is crazy,” we were lectured. “Aren’t you too old for this,” we were told. “I can’t think of anything worse, camping for a year,” a friend scoffed, etc, etc, etc.

As the departure date to start our ride from London in late April fast approaches, the pleas to reconsider our plans and to do “something more sensible” - even if it has not been said in so many words - have come in thick and fast.

But while clearly we cannot promise that nothing bad will happen, because life as we all know is not risk-free, the odds of us suffering a catastrophic mishap are minimal, to say the least.

More to the point are the amazing adventures that are just around the corner; the opportunity to spend up to 12 months doing what we both love – cycling together; the opportunity for Gary to earn a living writing about cycle touring from the road while achieving something special; the opportunity to meet people and to make new friends; to keep fit while travelling and to forge a foothold in the burgeoning e-bike world ... does it get any better than that?

Sure, we have told concerned family and friends that we may have a problem or two during our cycle tour, but in saying that we have also pointed out that we may also have problems of a different type if we stay at home and do nothing.

Basically we have accepted the fact that it is only natural for family and friends to worry about their loved ones, but haven’t let that fact deter us in any way.

We are all, after all, individuals who have different goals and aspirations … wouldn’t life be boring if we were all the same!

With that being said we are due to set out from London on April 23 from the e-bikeshop.co.uk’s premises in Farnham in Surrey for Portsmouth where we will catch a ferry to Roscoff in Brittany in France.

From there it is on to the Loire Valley for the ride across France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Holland, England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales – and that is just for the first six months. The second six months, who knows!

If we find the edge of the world we will let you know what it looks like.


Gary Corbett is an award-winning Australian journalist who has written for a wide range of newspapers, periodicals and travel magazines for the past 30-plus years.

After years of writing about other people’s travel adventures, in the mid-2000s he  booked a personal holiday with a difference – a one week guided cycling tour in the Loire Valley in France – and was instantly hooked on those “how good is this” moments that only cycle touring can provide.

In ensuing years he has gone on to cycle well in excess of 30,000 kilometres completing guided, self-guided, bike and barge and solo long distance tours in Europe, Australia, Asia and South America.

Gary now writes exclusively about cycle touring and travelling in general and as such the attempt to set a new electric bike world long distance record along with his wife, Rachel, is his latest “fact finding” cycling adventure – however this time it will be on an e-bike.

His future goal is to see more of the world from the seat of his trusty Trek 520 touring bicycle, and now that he has discovered the world of e-biking, his new Haibike xDuro Trekking RX e-bike. There is, after all, always another country to be explored, new cultures to be experienced and more cycle tours to be completed.


Before this epic journey Gary (a.k.a. The Cycle Tourist) contributed many excellent cycle touring articles to the Cycle Tours Global blog - you can read them at cycletoursglobal.com/Gary-Corbett.

To find out even more about the expedition please visit http://ebikecycletourists.com.

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By: Gary Corbett
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