Earlier this year, TWC contributor Emily Conrad-Pickles rode from London to Cape Town, to raise money for World Bicycle Relief. The charity use bicycles to change the lives of impoverished individuals – allowing children to get to school and adults to travel for work.
Emily has been back home for a couple of months now – here she looks back on the journey and answers some of the FAQ’s of the last few months…
It turns out that 19,000km on a bicycle is a really long way. And it was much, much harder than I imagined it would ever be. In previous articles, I’ve recounted tales from the journey I took from London to Cape Town by bicycle with my partner James over the past year and now, we have finished, I’m taking a look back on our journey and what it’s like to be back home in London.
Eat, sleep, ride, repeat really became our lives
“You did what?” is a pretty regular question I get asked. I usually reply, somewhat flippantly, “well, I cycled from London to Cape Town”. It’s been just over three months since we finished and I still don’t think it’s actually sunk in exactly what we have achieved. I guess it’s because cycling all day, almost every day, for nearly a year, it just becomes normal – it became a new way of life and after a few weeks we forgot what was like to be in an office. Eat, sleep, ride, repeat really became our lives.
It’s been a year of extreme highs and lows but it was quite simply an incredible experience to travel across the world at a pace that was slow enough for us to appreciate every landscape and to try to understand the people who lead very different lives to us.
There are so many tales and stories to tell that it’s impossible to know where to start so I thought I’d answer some of the most frequent questions that we’ve been asked since we returned home. One thing is for sure however, that travelling by bicycle is extraordinary and something that every cycling enthusiast should try to experience at some point in their lives (even if just for a day or two).