At local time trials, I’ve raced quite a few times against Jon Schubert of High Wycombe CC. Earlier this year I was intrigued to hear him talking about an expedition to cycle 13,000 miles across Europe and Asia to raise money for charity and to have the experience of a lifetime. It sounds a great project from both a cycling touring perspective and also the wider hope to support good charities. I really like the sound of world bicycle relief and charity water, so it’s a good charity to support.
Before Jon sets off on this epic challenge, he kindly answered a few quick questions, which I’ll post here.
Q. What is cycling C2B?
A. Calais to beyond… Two best friends from the UK aim to push their bodies to the limits to raise funds and awareness for both World Bicycle Relief and Charity Water. The pair will attempt to pedal over 13,000 miles, through eight time zones and twenty three countries, as they make their way, unsupported and solely on two wheels, across the width of the Eurasian land mass from their start point in France, to their final destination in Singapore.
Q. What inspired you to try and cycle to the East coast of China?
A. In 2010 I undertook an incredible 1,300 mile cycle tour of the UK. Upon reaching the conclusion of the trip at Scotland’s most northerly point, I looked out across the sea to the Shetland Islands and Norway and wondered what if? What if I were to just keep going?
In search of a bigger and better challenge, my travelling partner, Imran and I concocted a plan to tackle the biggest land mass crossing physically possible. The width of Eurasia! The journey has been three years in planning but during this intermission, Imran undertook his greatest challenge to date. This entailed a 48 day solo cycle expedition along America’s famous “mother road”, better known as Route 66. Beginning in Chicago, the journey of discovery allowed him and his followers to chronologically unravel much of America’s early history and meet a selection of its residents as he traced the route for 3600 miles into the sweltering temperatures of the west and on to its conclusion in Los Angeles before finishing in San Francisco. This incredible journey helped him raise £5,000 for the Imran Khan Cancer Appeal and has amassed a large group of online followers for our coming expedition.
With a wealth of experience, a growing cohort of followers and our lives ready, we are fully prepared for the journey of a lifetime, that will not only enhance our own lives, but those of individuals in impoverished third world countries.
Q. What do you hope to achieve and experience over the next 6 months?
A. A major aim of the journey will be to raise awareness and funds for our chosen charities, but we have no doubt that the challenge we have set ourselves will test us to the limits of our physical and mental capabilities and ultimately shape us as people.
We are hugely excited by the prospect of experiencing and learning about the myriad of cultures, people and topography we will encounter as we travel. We hope to redefine the concepts of distance, the barriers it creates, the capacity of the human body and human spirit, enrich lives and ultimately inspire others to live their dreams.
Q. How did you prepare?
A. I was advised by an accomplished world traveller that there are two options available when trying to fund an extensive cycle touring trip. Either you give up work to whole heartedly spend your time and efforts pursuing sponsors to support your journey, or you spend the same time working and earning the money to finance your trip. I chose the latter of the two options. This has made life hard, as finding any spare time to prepare for the trip whilst holding down a full time job has been difficult to say the least. After resigning I have spent a very busy, invaluable, month accumulating any outstanding equipment, vaccinations, travel insurance, producing social media sites and the list goes on…
Although I have been riding a few time trials to keep fit this season, the demands placed on the body are very different from the repeated eight hour days in the saddle we aim to be comfortably repeating. We hope to develop the fitness for this though gradual overload and recovery throughout the first few weeks of the journey.
Q. Could you tell us a little about the charities you choose, and how people may donate?
A. Choosing an appropriate charity for this journey was not easy. World Bicycle Relief is an organization that provides bicycles and field mechanics who maintain these vehicles to some of the most impoverished parts of Africa, ultimately changing lives by providing people with access to health care, education and new job opportunities. For me, this charity managed to tick all of the boxes I was concerned about a charity fulfilling: I can see where even small amounts of money I am raising are going and be assured that it is having a hugely positive impact on people’s lives. As a teacher I am naturally inspired by the fact that the provision of bicycles indirectly improves children’s access and success in education. As avid cyclists who are relying on bicycles to carry us around the world, we couldn’t think of a more relevant charity to help share our love and passion for this life changing mode of transport.
Imran has chosen to support Charity Water through this journey, a charity which also does a great deal of invaluable work in parts of the third world. You can read more about our charities and donate if you wish by clicking on the links from our home page www.cycling-c2b.org
Q. Will you miss racing up and down dual carriageways whilst cycling through Russian and Iranian mountains?
A. Cycling is a label that covers a broad array of activities made possible with the aid of a bicycle. Cycle touring has always been my true passion and only through this do I make the most of the fitness it develops, consequently entering races. I achieved far more than I could have dreamed of last season, particularly with my 294 mile 12 hour TT and 4th place in the BBAR, so I have no burning goals remaining unaccomplished, leaving me ready for a well-earned sabbatical from this side of this sport.
Q. Any sponsors you would like to mention?
We have been very privileged to have acquired the support of KeepGo, a company who provide their customers with local and global data SIM cards, smartphones and internet devices for global travel, helping people avoid expensive 3G roaming fees and enabling them to enjoy unlimited internet everywhere.
Keepgo will enable us to regularly upload YouTube videos from our trip, keep us in touch with our social media following and enable others to experience our great adventure vicariously.