We at Sigr first heard about Daniele's and Elena's epic plans to conquer the world by bike earlier in 2018. They are two normal people who met by chance and developed a shared love of cycling. They knew they wanted to travel, so what better way to do it than by bike. In 2014 they set off from Bologna in Italy and didn't look back.
After 25000 km and 25 countries they can truly claim to be biking nomads in the most real sense of the world.
Sigr has sponsored them with gear for their trip. They'll be testing out a selection of our cycle jerseys and cycling shorts for all round use. For the colder or windier climes some of our arm warmers and leg warmers will be coming in useful no doubt. For extra comfort with absolute minimal weight they'll be rocking our Norrsken pack jackets and neck warmers.
In June, this year they will be setting off again from Brighton in the U.K. then up to Iceland, Norway, Sweden (come and say hi if you get the chance :)), Finland, down through eastern Europe and the Italian Alps, then flying to Mexico for an extensive tour of Central and South America that will last at least 2 years.
We loved their enthusiasm and drive and as a result, curiosity got the better of us. We did a little interview with them and here are their answers in their own words.
After 18 months out of the saddle, it's on!
We are so excited to finally hit the road again after 18 months of waiting! We'll start from London on June 15th, the plan is to spend the first 30 days exploring Wales and Ireland to regain our physical shape, before hitting the great north, from Oslo to Tromso (and hopefully Svalbard!) and then down through Sweden and Finland. This will be the start of our next 2-years long challenge to cycle from the northernmost to the southernmost permanent human settlements, hoping to reach Ushuhaia around the end of 2020.
In the beginning
We started our nomadic bicycle life in 2014, since then we've explored Eastern Europe and Asia, 25,000km across 25 countries. We found ourselves out of money and with worn out gear at the end of 2016 so we stopped to work in China as English Teachers.
During our travels, we tried to investigate environmental issues and human rights abuses, while at the same time reporting about untouched nature and ancestral cultuaral expressions. Our aim is to learn as much as we can about the places we visit and share that information with the world.
I'll try to make a long story short; I (Daniele) was just out of a terrible professional experience in 2012 and decided to move to Amsteram searching for new opportunities, I had no interest for cycling at all then but, after a series of coincidences, I ended up living inside a vintage bike store. Me and the owner of this place became great friends, sharing a love for the great adventurers of the past and the present (Thor Eiredahl, Poppa Neutrino, Aleksander Doba, Louise Sutherland...), he made me fall in love with bikes and inspired me to chase my dreams.
I ended up living inside a vintage bike store.
I and Elena didn't want to live a life we'll regret, jumping from an unsatisfying job to the other, we decided to try our luck with bike touring, sold everything we owned and went for a first test ride from Italy to Kyrgyzstan. We quickly became addicted to this lifestyle, we realized we had found happiness. Now we can't see ourselves living a sedentary life anymore.
On the horizon
The goal for this upcoming part of the project is the Tierra del Fuego in Argentina, but we do not plan to stop then. We'll probably take another break (maybe a few months, maybe a bit more) and then there will be Africa awaiting us.
Why we love to travel by bike
Unlike non-human-powered vehicles (trains, planes, cars…), the bicycle puts travelers in close contact with the road, the landscape and the people.
Cycling gives you the perfect pace to get to experience what's in-between.
While normally tourist and travelers jump from one hilight to the other, traveling by bicycle you're totally immersed in the reality of a country, meeting people who rarely see foreigners; you spread your wealth more organically, contributing to small business and local economy, you're generally more welcomed since people are curious about you - there are just so many good things about traveling by bicycle, not even mentioning the good it does to your body and the feeling of achievement once you reach the top of that mountain. When you are cycling it is not the destination that matters but the trip itself.
For us the challenges are those involved in every kind of full time travelling, missing our people, making new friends and having to say goodbye to them just when we start really loving each other. Many rainy days in a row are really disheartening, in some rare occasions we didn't feel safe when wild camping, but the saddest part is seeing how humans are destroying the planet.
You can too
We often hear many people wishing to go on a long bike trip and almost always they are held back by the same concerns: "I'm not fit enough" is a common one, but you don't have to be, when we started we were really far from that, not sporty at all, but phisycal condition comes with time, just taking it easy the first week will get your body in the right mood to keep going. "I don't have the money" others say, but you don't really need much for a bicycle trip, we have more money now than when we started, you'll be surprised how many opportunities are out there. If you really want to start bike touring, do not question yourself too much, just go and see what happens.