Not Long To Go
It was around this time last year that we both sat down over a beer or three and came up with the idea of cycling to Tokyo. It began with a fleeting idea, but as sobriety slipped away, visions of the open road became increasingly vivid and the pull of the road eastwards too great. Pouring over maps of the places we would transit through confirmed the tough yet rewarding road ahead and that this would be an experience too rich and life-changing to pass up.
A month or so later in 2018 and we had told too many people of our ambition. Since then we have seen ‘The Hairy Handlebars’ snowball into something neither of us could have envisaged. This has manifested itself in an amazing level of interest in both the challenge ahead and the charities we are supporting. We have attracted press interest on a local (https://www.hertfordshiremercury.co.uk/news/hertfordshire-news/two-friends-take-ultimate-challenge-2239997) and national level (https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/7572299/movember-foundation-cycle-6000miles-london-tokyo/) , and we are due to appear in Rugby World Magazine in February (keep your eyes peeled!).
While we have been eager to promote our adventure, we have always kept in mind the reasons we are doing this. In supporting The Movember Foundation and The Ian Williams Foundation, we genuinely feel as if we have the chance to make a positive change to the state of men’s health. It is highly likely that anyone reading this will have a friend or family member who suffers from prostate cancer, testicular cancer or mental health issues. Ultimately, we hope that by pushing ourselves on this journey we can encourage people to not only donate to the cause, but also talk openly about the issues that Movember are trying to alleviate. One man takes their own life EVERY.SINGLE. MINUTE. This quite simply is not OK and the only way this will be stopped is if men start talking about their problems. The old school definition of a man no longer qualifies- the sooner this is accepted, the sooner we can start breaking the cycle of male suicide.
With these motivations in mind, the last few months have seen us enter a fairly crucial planning stage of the trip. We are cycling completely unsupported for 6-7 months and as a result have had to ensure we are taking the right kit with us, all the while recognising that anything we take we have to lug 6000 miles. This has meant reading up on those with similar experience and heeding their advice.
*We will upload a blog piece with a full kit list closer to departure*
As well as kit, there have been numerous logistical obstacles to hurdle including visas, vaccinations, route planning, bike maintenance competency to name a few! The process has definitely been more than chucking a tent on the back of a bike and pedalling away (although that’s not to say that isn’t one way of doing it). At this stage it is pertinent for us to thank all of our sponsors who are helping us cover the costs of the trip, in particular our two main sponsors Robert Walters and Radleys. Without their support all of these metaphorical hurdles would seem much higher- to them we are truly grateful.
In two months’ time all the talking and planning will be over, and the time will come for us to take our first strokes of the pedal towards our goal- Tokyo and The Rugby World Cup. There is no denying that we are slightly daunted by the task ahead, but at the same time remain gripped by a genuine desire to see the world. We are excited to share our journey with everyone with regular Instagram updates, as well as blog and vlog entries of our trip. In the meantime please keep spreading the message about what we are doing- by making more people aware of the issues we are promoting we can help alleviate them. Here’s to ‘Growing Mo’s, Cycling for Bro’s’.
“Whoever invented the bicycle deserves the thanks of humanity” — Lord Charles Beresford, British MP