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 Eastbound cycle tour, hopefully making it to South East Asia via China on a tandem — the solution to our equal love of travel but disparate cycling skills.
Our plan is to depart next May, with no end in sight (truly meaning as long as our wallets allow and our bottoms endure).
Our ever-changing planned route currently goes through France, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Turkey, heading North to Georgia and Azerbaijan, from where we would ferry to Kazakhstan. This can be a direct route to China, but we're also keen on exploring Kyrgyzstan, some of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, so will likely detour here, before finally entering China, then Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
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 &emdash; 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.
We like the idea of being able to dismantle the tandem for transport, which makes boarding trains, buses and airplanes possible. A coupled frame opens up route options that wouldn't be available with a regular frame.
The parts on the bike follow a simple logic: if they are consummables (tyres, chain, brake pads, etc) they should be unfussy, affordable, and easily accessible; if they are components they must be reliable and dependable.
Our camping equipment is unashamedly biased towards comfort. We prefer carrying a few extra grams during the day and enjoying a toasty night in the tent. That said, volume is limited on a tandem, so we appreciate gear that can be packed small.
To cope with luggage for two, the tandem will be equipped with a mixture of rack panniers and bikepacking bags.