The distance covered during “Cycle The World” would be daunting for anyone. Twenty-nine thousand kilometres on a bike around the world for 6 months is an undertaking that goes well beyond normal imagination. Especially for someone, like Caroline Soubayroux, who cultivated her passion for riding as an adult, drawn in by her partner: David Ferguson.
“Sure, at the start just thinking about an adventure like 'Cycle The World' was a bit intimidating because I started cycling late. However, there's no denying that the idea was quite inviting. In the end, David convinced me so I just dove into it and let my enthusiasm take over”.
But as Caroline imagined, “Cycle The World” was no easy feat, even for David who envisioned the trip and had enormous experience in bikepacking. Then again, crossing four continents, jumping from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern Hemisphere, could only mean sudden changes in weather and climate.
Monsoon rain, strong headwinds, cold, snow, sweltering heat, heavy traffic and, not least, the difficulties created by the pandemic, put Caroline and David's resilience to the test, leaving them often feeling discouraged. Without embarrassment, they decided to lay bare their weaknesses and allow themselves to be filmed even at their lowest.
But there were also opposite feelings that prompted them to say that “ultracycling and bikepacking make you feel every emotion on the spectrum. You can cry with joy while looking at a spectacular view and keep pedalling until you reach somewhere even more beautiful”.
Even the final part of the challenge, in a place more familiar to them - Europe - was an adventure, but not due to the weather: after six months filled with drawbacks, they would both soon have to return to work. On 16 April, 2022, Caroline and David rode the last of the 29,000 km trip in London, accompanied by their friends for that final stretch. Then, on the 19th came their new first day of work following “Cycle The World”.
“I still can't believe it. I never imagined we'd make it. At times I thought I wouldn't be able to pedal even one more kilometre. I'd say to myself, “Caroline, you've done all you can. You have nothing to regret. But the time has come to stop”. But then I just kept going. In the end, despite the many difficulties encountered along the way, I finally made it to the place I never thought I would: London, safe and sound, with so many memories to carry in my heart, along with a different awareness of my physical and mental capabilities”.
Yes, the fundraising for Barts Charity, the Guinness World Record, and this unequalled act of love for cycling are important, but these words spoken by Caroline Soubayroux are probably the best way of wishing all a great International Women's Day, this 8 March
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