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Couple toured from China to Cape Town

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Bicycle touring has become a popular way to explore remote and often overlooked areas of the globe. While many people fly over large swaths of rural land, tourers are able to traverse these regions with the eye of an explorer. It's an intimate way to travel that let's you earn every single mile and really get to know the locale . 

A couple from Australia got to know the land between western China and Cape Town, South Africa well as they rode on a nearly year-long trip, according to Traveller24.

From Asia to Africa 
Fran and Philip Johnson, who were married just before they set out on this 11,325-mile touring trip, completed their tour in 326 days. They started their trip in Kashgar, China, then rode to Turkey, through Egypt in the south and continued all the way to South Africa, passing through 17 countries along the way, Traveller24 reported. They chose this route to combine Philip's desire to traverse the Silk Road with Fran's to see Africa. 

"They rode 11,325 miles from China to South Africa."

The couple told the news source that during their trip, they got the chance to learn a lot. They learned about one another as newlyweds, as well as about the people and cultures in the regions they pedaled through.

When asked which countries they'd recommend to fellow cyclists, they didn't say China, Egypt or South Africa, but rather less populous countries with few tourists. They listed Uzbekistan as the top place because of its beautiful cities. They also pointed to Georgia, Ethiopia, Turkey and Namibia. 

Getting started on a major tour
Although the desert heat played a role, the couple said that the hardest part of the trip was starting their ride. 

"Overall though, the hardest part of this trip for us was deciding to start it," they told Traveller24. "This required quitting our jobs, storing our possessions and digging deeply into the savings pot."

They explained that they had a wonderful time and great experiences along the way. If you're on the fence about undertaking a touring trip, it may be time to just try it. It can be the hardest part. 

Start touring today.
Start touring today.

Here are a few tips for starting your first major touring trip: 

  • Make a budget – Touring can be a very inexpensive way to travel. If you're bring food with you and wild camping, your expenses might be small, but make sure you plan for them before you leave. Aspects of your trip such as ferry or rail travel can be expensive, as can repairs or emergency lodging. 
  • Plan a route – It's hard to start riding without knowing where you're going. Plan out a detailed route of exactly where you'll ride. Carry maps with you in case your gadgets aren't working. 
  • Invest in supplies – Even if you're trying to ride as a minimalist, you'll need to carry a few belongings like your tent, supplies, food and water. Invest in a sturdy set of panniers to carry everything you need with ease and comfort. 
  • Just go already – You're probably more ready to ride than you might think. If you've been thinking about it for a while, do what Fran and Phillip did and just start riding. 
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About Stephane Marchiori

Owner of Cyclocamping.com
Bike touring since 2003, including:
a 5-Year Bicycle Journey Around The World!

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