We are Hugo Timm, designer and cycling enthusiast, and Carol Sachs, photographer and potential traffic hazard.
We are soon leaving our adopted city of London for an open-ended cycle tour, starting from the US West Coast and onto Asia on a tandem — the solution to our equal love of travel but disparate cycling skills.
Our plan is to depart next July, with no end in sight (truly meaning as long as our wallets allow and our bottoms endure).
Our ever-changing planned route currently starts in Oregon, from where we'll cycle the West Coast to San Francisco. From there we'll fly to Japan for a few weeks of riding, and then onwards to China, where the transcontinental overlanding starts. We'll head South to Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand for the Winter, before heading Northwest to Central Asia via China again. We'll try and reach the Stans in Summer, as we'd love to explore the mountains of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan before crossing the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan and Georgia. From there, we take on Turkey, Greece and the rest of Europe.
That said, we do want to leave room for serendipity and also not be terribly ashamed to take a bus or train here and there, when logistically or emotionally essential. This means the route will naturally change, like us, along the way.
Even though cycle traveling is difficult, slow and sometimes dangerous, it is also self reliant, unexpensive, clean and healthy. We love traveling overland because it makes obvious the connections and differences between places. Languages, architecture and landscapes morph into one another, giving us a better understanding of places as we pedal along. When cycling we travel slowly enough to be both in movement and rooted in the land around us.
However, on a bicycle we are vulnerable to the elements. We know we'll have to climb steep hills, face strong winds, and camp in the rain. We'll undoubtedly deal with it in the way of the braveless, because that's what we are — we are not athletes or explorers, we're just curious people who want to travel, inspired by others that did this before us.
is a Brazilian photographer, with a long list of clients including The New York Times and Condé Nast Traveler. For Carol, this trip is work and she'll continue her photography commissions throughout the journey. Her duties as tandem stoker include navigation and on-board entertainment.
Hugo Timm, also Brazilian, is a graphic designer graduated at the Royal College of Art, and founder of studio Julia
. Hugo works mostly within the arts, culture, and editorial fields. As tandem pilot, his main responsibility is to not crash into things.