The expedition stretches between Bristol and Beijing, 23,000km of adventures, challenges and rich experiences. I set off from Bristol on 1st January 2020 and plan to reach Beijing by Christmas 2020.
Along the way I will be joined by young CanLivers, sharing the joys and challenges of adventure and showing what is possible in the face of incredibly difficult circumstances. The back seat will also be open to anyone who I meet along the way, whether they want to join for a mile, a day or a week, to find out how they have overcome challenges. I also look forward to sharing the journey with close friends and family, forging lasting memories.
I’ve split the expedition into five legs:
The first leg, 1,900km, departed from Bristol Grammar School, where John and I went to school, past the Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre, where I had chemotherapy, into Wales. We then rode up the west side of the UK to Gretna Green in Scotland, across to Durham and down through the centre of England to Cambridge where John was a top university cyclist, and across to Oxford (where I had radiotherapy). From there we rode to London and out to Dover for the crossing to France to begin the European part of the expedition.
The second leg, 5,200km, started in mid-February, and takes us from the port of Dover in England across to continental Europe. There, in the midst of a bracing European winter, we will make our way south, across Italy and down the Dalmatian coast, ending the first leg in Istanbul at the Hagia Sophia.
The third leg, 5,500km, takes us from Istanbul, along the Black Sea coast (in hope of some better weather!) into mountainous Georgia and Armenia. We then intend to head through Iran and Turkmenistan, until we reach Bukhara in Uzbekistan, an ancient city steeped in history as an intellectual and trading centre along the Silk Roads.
The fourth leg, 6,100km, will take us through the heart of Central Asia. Whilst initially riding across the steppe to Almaty, Kazakhstan’s former capital, we will then immerse ourselves in the breathtaking – very literally – mountains of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikstan, cresting the 4655m Akbaytal pass of the Pamir highway before entering Pakistan down the Karakoram highway. From here we will ride across India, before arriving in Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu.
The fifth and final leg, 5,700km, will take us across the north of India, before the long home straight to Beijing, passing through Xi’an, the home of the terracotta army. We will then finish in the Forbidden City in the centre of Beijing.
You can read more about each leg below.