FORMER Kinross residents Kelly Sheldrick (29) and Michael Cowgill (30) are on a world cycle trip.
Two years ago, the couple discovered cycle touring when they rode from France to China to raise awareness of the global sanitation crisis.
This time they plan to go even further and cycle across Canada, the US, Mexico and Central and South America before taking on the rest of the world by bike.
“After South America the plan is a bit more vague as it’s very hard to plan that far in advance when cycle touring,” Ms Sheldrick said.
“At the moment, we plan to fly to New Zealand where we may work for a bit before continuing to cycle, then back to Australia, cycling up the east coast to Darwin, then from Darwin to Indonesia and the rest of South-east Asia.
“We haven’t decided whether we will include Africa in the cycle tour yet; instead of New Zealand, we may head to Africa after South America.”
She said the pair decided to take this trip because they wanted to see the world but “not just the touristy spots”.
“We want to get off the beaten track, meet the people and experience the culture and we’ve discovered cycle touring is the best way to do this,” she said.
“You are more vulnerable to the world but also more open to experiencing the culture and meeting local people that you wouldn’t normally meet.
“We know it’s going to be a challenge and at times we’re going to hate it but a friendly face and a beautiful view on a bad day can make it all seem worthwhile in the end.”
And both enjoy pushing their limits. “Beating our personal best for cycling the most kilometres in a day or cycling over our highest mountain pass gives us an amazing feeling of accomplishment and it’s an addictive high,” Ms Sheldrick said.
The trip, which started on June 26, is an independent, self-funded tour, which the couple believes will take about five years.
Along the way, they will speak to different eco-businesses as part of their research to one day open an eco-hostel.
“We both have a passion for the environment and being eco-friendly and we both love travel and want to inspire others to travel environmentally responsibly and to be a positive part of their travel experience,” Ms Sheldrick said.
“Learning from different places around the world that have achieved a successful eco-business seems like a great opportunity for us. We can take the best from the places we visit and use that to create our dream place.”
You can follow their journey at www.cycletrekkers.com.
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