Our Sustainable Cycle Touring Adventures This Summer

You may have noticed us ranting and raving, liking, sharing and commenting on everything about cycling and cycle touring. It’s safe to say we’re pretty mad about it and the concept of carrying your life on your bike around the world to us is the ultimate adventure. We want to protect this beautiful planet so last year we decided to ditch flying and go with the most sustainable option; two legs and two wheels. After much daydreaming, nightdreaming, waffling and planning we’ve decided on two epic trips to quench our thirst this Summer and raise a whole bunch of money for charity (details further down!). So, here’s a little bit about our sustainable cycling adventures with all the whats, wheres, whys and hows. 

First of all, we’re not outdoor experts, nor are we cycling experts (we’re in training). Sarah did a one day charity cycling event and owns panniers (the bags you hang off the racks on a bicycle) so to me she is pretty clued up. And, although we do love the outdoors the longest we’ve spent in a tent has been at music festivals. 

What I’m trying to say is we are definitely cycle touring newbies

We’ll be learning how to fix bikes from scratch, we’ll start cycle training from scratch and we’ll be getting all our gear from scratch (besides Sarah’s panniers). Most importantly we’ll be doing all of this in the most sustainable, budget friendly means powered purely by a vegan diet.

Our Sustainable Cycle Touring Adventures This Summer
Our Sustainable Cycle Touring Adventures This Summer

Happy herbivores!

What exactly is cycle touring?

Bicycle touring is the act of riding a bicycle for days, weeks, months, or even years on end as you travel across entire cities, states, and countries under your own power – Bike Touring Pro

Although some people do stay in accommodation where is the fun in that, we’re going to be camping! We’ll be taking all of our cycling and camping gear throughout the journey strapped to our bikes. We’ll be picking up supplies and foraging for any foods we can get our hands all the while documenting our adventures

Our Sustainable Cycle Touring Adventures This Summer
Pin me!

Cycle Tour #1 The East Coast Adventure

Our first cycle tour is around the East Coast of England. When we say we’re budget travellers we mean it and after looking at train fares we decided on a cycle loop we could start right from our front door. We’ll be heading North from Cambridge towards Kings Lynn, then for 3 days we’ll be following the Norfolk coastline, crossing into Suffolk and then heading back inland towards Cambridge. Slowly. Included pit stops to pick up food it will be around 350 miles over the space of 5 days. 60 miles a day, ouch.

This journey will take us through beautiful nature reserves, protected wetlands and dense woodlands. We’ll be visiting traditional coastal communities and exploring the famous Norfolk Broads, we can’t wait. Really importantly we’ll be putting our cycling, camping and fitness skills to test for the first time. We’ve got around 2 weeks to prepare. Shit.

Our Sustainable Cycle Touring Adventures This Summer
Better get training!

Cycle Tour #2 Three Peaks Challenge by bike

However excited we are about our East Coast Adventure it’s all in preparation for our main goal of the summer – The Three Peaks Challenge… by bike. We’re going to be climbing the three tallest peaks in the UK (Snowdon, Wales (1085m), Scafell Pike, England (978m) and Ben Nevis, Scotland (1345m) and to make things even harder for ourselves we’re going to be cycling and camping our way in between. In total it’s going to be well over 500 miles of cycling and A LOT of hiking, we’re hoping to complete this all in 7 days…

To find out more about our route and training then click here!

Weather permitting this gruelling ordeal will be completed in the second week of September. If you have climbed one these peaks before you’ll know that the weather can be horrific at any time of year. In the middle of September we could potentially have heavy snow, heavy winds, heavy rains, heavy fog… basically it’s going to be really bloody hard. 

This adventure will require huge amounts of planning, endurance and stupidity determination. We need to bring the right equipment to make sure we don’t get lost of freeze on top of a mountain. We also need to keep our load light enough to cycle with it all for 9 hours a day.

From now until the tour we’re in serious training mode. Imagine the Rocky theme tune but with 2 bicycles and no pints of raw eggs. Keep your eyes on the blog and our social media pages for updates and lots of pictures of us really, really sweaty. 

Our Sustainable Cycle Touring Adventures This Summer
Our Sustainable Cycle Touring Adventures This Summer

Why the hell are you doing that?

We were looking for an epic sustainable adventure in the UK so this was perfect. We want to prove that you can have incredible expeditions and push yourself without spending a ton of money, eating meat and negatively impacting the world. 

One of the foundations of this website and our lifestyle is sustainability – we try to consider this for all of our decision making. We’re lucky to live in a beautiful world and we want to keep it that way, so over the years we’ve had a dilemma which finally came to a crux. We love travelling, we want to explore the world but flying has a hugely damaging impact on the environment. We could no longer use our passion for exploration as an excuse for all these carbon chugging flights. For this reason after our flight to Portugal last year we decided to keep our feet on the ground and ditch flying altogether. We’re going overland baby!

In now way was this going to stop our thirst for discovery so we thought to ourselves

“what would be the ultimate adventure in the UK that would have the lowest carbon footprint”
This is where the idea was born.

It’s all going to an incredible cause!

We want to put our blood, sweat and tears to good use so we’ll be raising as much money as we can for charity. All of your generosity will be helping Friends of the Earth, an inspiring non-profit charity that is doing all within their means to keep this world a beautiful place. They do particularly amazing work tackling climate change and plastic pollution and are worldwide pioneers in wildlife conservation.

100% of your donation goes directly to the charity so please take a look at our Go Fund Me page and help us support a fantastic cause. You can help us by making donations and sharing our story to your friends and family. Together we can make a big difference. By pushing our limits we hope this challenge will create awareness for sustainability, veganism and make a whole bunch of money for charity!

Our Sustainable Cycle Touring Adventures This Summer
Give us all of de monies!

Aren’t you going to need loads of gear for this?

As we mentioned we are newbies to the cycle touring game so we will need quite a lot of gear. We’ll be getting as much equipment as possible second hand (or through generous donations anybody:). By locally sourcing the items through the likes of Ebay, Gumtree and charity shops we’ll be saving a whole bunch of packaging, postage and costs, plus, it’s a great way to meet other cycle tourers and get tips from them. 

That’s going to be hard as a vegan, right?

It’s going to be hard no matter what but we’re dead keen to smash this myth that you need animal products to take on crazy adventures. To us the easiest step towards sustainable living is veganism, something we want to promote to the world. That definitely doesn’t mean a diet of nuts and leaves, at Veggie Vagabonds just ‘eating’ isn’t an option, we eat well, and will do during the challenge. Sarah, the vegan culinary queen has a whole bunch of tricks up her sleeves to keep us royally fed and energy filled, cruelty free.

Our Sustainable Cycle Touring Adventures This Summer
I hope you’re sharing those!

You must be doing some kind of training, right?

Hell yes. We’ve been completing day tours and increasing the mileage over the last three weeks. We started with a nice easy 25 mile cycle around the local Cambridgeshire villages. The following week we upped it to a 45 mile cycle from Cambridge to Ely at a faster pace. This week we finished our longest cycle to date; a 70 mile loop from Cambridge to Bury St. Edmunds and it was hard. Really hard. Regardless of the distance or speed, we always make sure to have a real tasty vegan lunch half way

Next week we have another 70 mile loop planned at a faster pace and the following week we’re going on a test run. We’ll be completing a 70 mile distance with all of our gear, camping for the night and making our way back. Just like the real thing, just 5 days and 350 miles shorter…

After the East Coast Adventure our training will really step up a notch, it’s gunna get crazy but we’ll tell you more about that at the time. 

Our Sustainable Cycle Touring Adventures This Summer
We do love a bargain!

Let’s do it together

As we mentioned, we’re going to be doing and learning everything from scratch. We’ll be documenting all of our steps along the way so if you’re waiting for the right time to start planning your tour, now’s perfect.

We’re going to be looking at all the information needed for ANYONE to start adventuring. From cycle touring equipment and bike set-up, bike maintenance and tools for the journey, navigating and camping tips and vegan food for energy – it’s all going to be covered. We’re also going to list ALL of our costs for the preparation, equipment and the tour itself, so you’ll know exactly how much a similar tour would cost you. 

Basically, if you’re just starting out or you’ve always had a desire to embark on a bike tour, your just like us. Let’s take the baby steps together.

Our Sustainable Cycle Touring Adventures This Summer
Let’s do this together

Most importantly

Most importantly we’re doing this for a reason, we’ve got points to prove and messages to spread. Plus, we know you guys are generous and we want to raise a hella-lotta money for charity. To keep up to date with our training, join us on our educational journey and to see how much money we can raise

Sign up and follow us on social media to track our progress

Spread the word and join in on the adventure

Click Here to Visit Our Go Fund Me Page

If you like what you're seeing then sign up to our newsletter and keep up to date with our adventures, sustainable travel, ethical eating and green living!

44 Responses

  • I’m really excited about your idea. It would not be for me, as cycling is not necessarily my favorite activity, but I do not have to ride. I wish you good luck, good weather and above all fun!
    Susanne

  • You two are an inspiration! We went on a 5-day cycling trip in the Netherlands several years ago and absolutely loved it (I recommend the country as a cycling destination…it’s flat and extremely bike friendly, as you probably know). We are now traveling on our sailboat. Sustainable, but slow! I’m looking for more vegetarian/vegan ways to cook on board, so I’ll be back for some recipe ideas!

    • Hey Michelle, next year we’re planning a cycling trip which will take us through the Netherlands which I’m really looking forward to! Where are you travelling on your boat? I’d love to do a boat trip in the future 🙂

  • How interesting. You’ll be doing what I have wanted to do (minus the veggie thing ;)) for many many years now…. but could never find a partner to do it with. It is not too late (I hope). Maybe next year? Good luck and enjoy your travels.
    p.s. don’t forget to stop once in a while and look around

  • Great article! Never been to much of a cyclist myself but I would definitely love to try it out. And the fact that you are putting so much thought and preparation into making it a sustainable adventure shows that you really care, keep it up!

  • It’s a shame that I haven’t learnt how to ride a bike. But kudos for the wonderful work that you’re doing! I am learning more about travelling sustainably every day and your website is a great resource. The scenery along the routes looks gorgeously sun-soaked…happy biking!

  • First off, I want to say that this is an impressive challenge and goal. One that I know will be rewarding. I know you are doing it for sustainable, responsible travel, but I imagine it will also be amazing to be able to say “I did this!” Both trips you have scheduled will be interesting (60 miles/day for 5 days? Yikes!) but I think I am most interested to see your completion of the three peaks tour! And I wrongly assumed you would be staying in accommodations and not camping so carrying all of your gear strapped to your bikes is even more impressive!

    • You’re definitely right, we can’t leave UK until next year so we’re trying to make the most of it. We wanted to think of the craziest thing we could do and this seemed pretty fitting!

  • I love travel posts. It’s a nice break from all the money talk. I am also a solo traveler and a rider also. Photos are always appreciated so keep them coming! very nice sharing. Keep traveling, Keep posting.

  • You are really doing great Noble job I appreciate you. I m wonder to invite you my country too as I m also working in the social sector especially for the development of education.

  • Good luck with this guys, it’s something I admire you for. My wife and I have been thinking of travelling South Korea by bike, retracing a historical route that Simon Winchester walked.

    You made me panic a little when you said you were going to do the Three Peak challenge by bike. I’ve done this on foot, and for a moment I thought you’d be biking up Nevis–which admittedly I’ve never seen anyone do. I’ve heard of people sailing between the peaks running the distance between coast and land to get to the top. Never though had I thought of cycling them and this sounds like an amazing adventure. I must say, I’m slightly envious.

    • Hey Chris, I have friends that cycled across S. Korea and they said it was an absolutely incredible. One day maybe the whole journey on bike! Ha, I don’t think our current bikes would appreciate the journey so much! Where are your next travel plans?

  • I’m not at all asking why you are doing this. I rather ask – also myself – why the rest of us are NOT doing it. I try to live a eco-friendly, sustainable lifestyle – not having a car, using public transport, doing some hardcore recycling etc. Unfortunately, I’m messing my ‘foot-print’ up by flying like I don’t know how often per year.
    Thanks for making me feel a bit bad, I deserve it…

    • Flying is a very difficult one. As travel bloggers it makes things a whole lot more complicated not flying, especially for short trips. Definitely good work for the sustainable steps you’re already taking, best to take things bit by bit!

  • Your idea of cycle touring is fantastic! I had been hiking for several days at the Austrian Alps but never had been cycling for a few days…that must be a great adventure!
    Good luck guys and have fun 🙂

  • Amazed by how passionate you are at biking. On top or that, you are vegan and you had solutions to every questions asked about you.

  • What a great way you are making a difference in the world! I am also vegan and am looking to expand my lifestyle beyond what I eat to also being more sustainable. Now all I need is a bicycle!

  • This sounds like a wonderful adventure – well done to you both for such dedication, it’s not something most people would undertake! Good luck with all the cycling,it sounds tough but if it was easy it wouldn’t be so impressive!
    I love the sound of the initial east coast challenge to ease yourself in, great plan! Wave on your way through Ely! (My hometown!)

  • Wow! The last time I rode a bike was… 10? 15? years ago? haha… You guys have all my respect for doing such a sustainable cycle touring! Perhaps I should try to bike again. Especially since we have a beautiful bike trail right behind our house now! 😀

  • I don;t think I could do it, but I’m impressed with your goal. I am interested to see how the biking adventures go. I am a novice biker (well, more of a it’s-been-how-long–since-I’ve-been-on-a-bike? biker) so interested in that aspect. I imagine that biking and hiking is going to give you a better opportunity to learn about the places you visit because you’ll see them at a slower pace. Pack well. I know about unpredictable weather on mountain peaks (since we live in the Rocky Mountains).

    • We’d really love to do some hiking in the Rockies! It’s definitely on our future list 🙂 Thanks for the luck, all of our training is going well but you’re right a lot of it will come down to packing the right gear and making sure it’s light enough for the bikes…

  • You guys rock! I love how you are combining all these good, important, sustainable activities and still have so much fun. You really prove that living a conscious, healthy, sustainable life is not for frustrated old hippies munching on dry salad leaves (got the picture?!). Keep on cycling – and keep us informed! 🚲🚲🚲

  • Wow, this is really ambitious! I salute your determination! This is definitely not the lifestyle for me haha, but I totally respect you for doing it. I look forward to reading about how your journey(s) go!

  • Love this and can’t wait to follow along with your journey! I’d love to do something like this one day in the not-so-distant-future and I look forward to seeing what works for you and learning from your mistakes 😉 Also looking forward to reading those yummy veggie friendly recipes you guys always have up your sleeve for big adventures. Enjoy it!

    • Hey Erica! We have got a lot of recipes up our sleeves for on-the-road snacks coming soon 😉 Ha, yes, there will be a lot of mistakes to learn from but that’s all part of the game. Where would you want to cycle?

  • This is so amazing! I wish I could push myself to do all of the above !!! I don’t really eat meat anymore, hello vegan, but I also don’t like biking riding a ton to do it everyday! I do wish though I lived closer to things that I could bike and not drive! Someday maybe

    • Ha, yes it definitely helps having things close together. At the moment we’re living in Cambridge so everything is super close, it would actually be better for our training if everything was further apart and then we’d be cycling more! Where are you based?

  • I hope you guys realize that you are awesome human beings for advocating for clean travel, sustainable living, and a healthy lifestyle. You are literally idols of communities and I commend you for that. I hope for your success and safety throughout the roads you’ll be cycling through. And I hope more people know about this wonderful action of your for our planet.

  • This is a great cycling tour adventure. cycling is the great way to lose weight and regular benefits of health. I always ride the bicycle in the morning and evening period. thanks for sharing this helpful and informative post.

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