How it all really began was with one simple question. Sitting up straight and serious on the couch one day Colm asked “do you want to see the world by bike?” He thought laughing would follow, but instead a face that instantly lit up with excitement stared back with the answer we were both not ready for. “Yes”!.
We saved hard for nearly two years, gave up alcohol for six months, stopped going out for dinners, no new clothes, no holidays, it was really tough at times but we new at the end of it it would be worth it, so we strictly stuck with the plan! After selling a car, old bikes and other belongings we bought two Trek touring bikes, a tent and all other essential equipment necessary. We handed our notice into work and a short time later on the 20th of July 2020 we were on the ferry from Dublin to Cherbourg.
We cycled our way down the west coast of France, following the Velodyssee (eurovelo route) then out towards Bordeaux and through the vineyards which were beautiful, then over the killer Pyrenees mountains with breath-taking view, into Irun in Spain, this took us just over a month.
We stayed in campsites and wild camped which was a big achievement to us considering neither of us were cyclists before!! All this done by peddle power alone, no trains, buses, taxis or any other accommodation other than our trusty tent. We would stop in lidl or aldi, to stock up with food for the day ahead, we had our own pocket rocket stove for cooking in the evenings.
Going through France we got lost most days, we cycled and camped through four thunderstorms which was scary to say the least! We had even decided to get a hotel room for one night to shelter us, only to find out Samantha booked it 400km away.. it was back on the bikes and powering on through for us! In the end we were delighted we didn’t get that room after because we really wanted to do it all in a tent.
We cycled through heatwaves of 37 degrees, ran out of water which was the closest we ever got to passing out, (that was cycling through Gascogne Regional Natural Park) and another time ran out of food (no shop opens on Sundays)…
Colm Larkin / Samantha Paton (European Cycling)
Engaged couple travelling around the world mainly by bike 🌍🚴🚴
Currently in Greece 🇬🇷
We are so grateful we got this opportunity to travel together cycling laughing, crying and making memories and hope to inspire others along the way 😊🌏❤