When Caroline Soubayroux and David Ferguson dismount their bikes after completing their “Cycle The World” adventure, they seem like any other bike travellers who take a break to refuel before hitting the road again along the Adige River Cycle Path.
But those who have followed them day after day know that it’s not like that at all.
When their foot touches the ground outside the Wilier Triestina headquarters, they’ve just completed a 29,000 km bikepacking itinerary that began at the end of September, 2021, in Whitehorse, Canada, along the Alaska Highway.
29,000 kilometres travelling from North to South America, then Africa, Western Europe (Portugal, Spain and France), Australia and, for the last fragment of their adventure, from Calais (northern France) to Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria and Italy.
And though the final part of the journey was within arm’s reach, the road was no less forgiving for Caroline and David.
“In the Ardennes, my legs kept saying: “Caroline, we’re almost there. Please, slow down a little and enjoy the last part of your trip!” But I wasn’t about to listen to them. It was right then and there that we became truly aware of the looming deadline for completing the challenge, seeing that, in the real world, we had jobs to get back to on a specific date. At that point, we set strict goals for ourselves: for instance, there were times when we got to our hotel room around midnight, when the proprietors had already given up on seeing us.
So, having to urgently finish the challenge by a set date, facing the climbs of the Ardennes and venturing into the Alps, which culminated with our ascent to Reschen Pass at 1504 metres, took on a very different dimension compared to the final ‘chilled’ stretch we had envisaged”.
It was an adventure where sweat and determination carried them to the very end, and nothing was ever a breeze, except for the last one hundred kilometres, riding home with friends who led Caroline Soubayroux and David Ferguson back to the everyday life they share in London.
Nevertheless, it is hard to believe that, after 29,000 km of riding everywhere, Caroline and David’s eyes will ever see things the same way as before that first stroke of the pedal. Six months ago. In Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada.
THE BIKE OF THIS ARTICLE
JENA OLIVE GREEN; GLOSSY
Jena is a carbon gravel bike, designed to give you more freedom of choice when you go out for a ride. Jena was designed to satisfy any of your needs, whether it is performance on dirt roads and single track, or adventure, exploration, and bikepacking.
Jena is a light, reactive, and easy-to-handle bike with racing-comfort geometries, and able to adapt to the multiple uses required of a gravel bike.