Current Location (this is updated manually so it might not be precisely current!):
Distance Traveled by Bicycle: 46,033 km / 28,604 miles
This is the distance that each brother has traveled by bicycle.
Mechanical Issues and Flat Tires
Total Number of Flat Tires: 105
Andrew began with some racing tires and had about 15 flats before replacing them with Schwalbe Marathon Extreme tires. These amazing tires withstood the punishment of varying terrain and he only had 4 flat tires before the first set wore out. They lasted for about 20,000 kilometers (12,430 miles) before replacement!
Randall’s experience was different. He had about 11 flats on the old racing tires that he began with. Then, over the course of about 15,000 kilometers he had around 45 flats on his Schwalbe Marathon Cross tires. These tires were are on the low end of Schwalbe’s lineup and only cost about half that of the Marathon Extremes. He has since upgraded to the Marathon Extreme tires and has had no flats (excepting one that was not the fault of the tire).
Both Andrew and Randall have had broken rims. Their brand new Mavic 719Disc mountain bike rims were not up to the task of touring. Randall’s broke on the Camino de Santiago at around 14,000 km; Andrew’s in Italy at around 20,000 km. Also, Randall had to rebuild his rear wheel in San Francisco because the spokes were breaking due to uneven tension.
The custom-made CURTLO bicycle frames have been performing flawlessly and the Rohloff internally-geared rear hubs have been up to snuff as well.
- USA: Marathon ride: 5000 miles in 3 months. Too much to tell here… go to the blog.
- France: The BEST country for cycle-touring (in the summer). Friendly drivers, plenty of quiet country lanes and the food, of course.
- UK: England: Okay. Bicycling in the Scottish Highlands: Priceless.
- Ireland: Rain and clouds: Randall liked them. Also, Irish people are amazing!
- Spain: The Camino de Santiago de Compostela was delightful.
- Portugal: One of our favorites. Longest home stay of entire trip: 1 month in Sintra with Martin & Cat of Cycling-Rentals.com and Cycling-Centuries.com.
- Morocco: Exotic. Arab hospitality is a must-experience.
- Italy: As good as France in most respects, but different (in a good way).
- Greece: Met some nice foreigners. Avoided terrible drivers.
- Turkey: With good food and fresh spring water everywhere, the incredible hospitality and generosity of the citizens and awesome landscapes we almost give Turkey the “Bicycle Touring Paradise” award. The only holdup is the drivers, who use their horns far too much and are not generally considerate of cyclists.
- Syria: Scary drivers, more incredible hospitality and generosity, and amazing prices. Unfortunately the Syrian people throw litter everywhere, especially on the roadside and in attractive places.
- Jordan: More clean, relatively cheap. Didn’t spend much time here.
- Israel: Excellent hospitality if you are connected, and we were! Highly developed economy and more expensive than the previous three countries. A very unique and welcoming country.
- Georgia: Even more amazing hospitality and generosity. Drivers are aggressive and not considerate to anyone. Lovely, unique landscapes; excellent food for very little money; must speak some Russian or Georgian here! Our livers have had to readjust to daily alcohol consumption. The Georgians are the Irish of this part of the world!
- Azerbaijan: Not our favorite country. Loud, immature males hanging out of car windows yelling at you is not ideal. The regime is still very communist.
- Kazakhstan: Mongolian-looking, formerly nomadic, hospitable people sparsely inhabit this vast land of deserts and steppes. The roads were sometimes awful but camping in the quiet desert, 100km from the nearest settlement, was peaceful. Waking up to camels and wild horses roaming around the tent was a priceless experience.
- Uzbekistan: More deserts, but has a rich heritage of the Silk Route cities of Bukhara and Samarkand. This country is run by an iron-fisted personality cult with a bad human rights record and high levels of corruption.
- Tajikistan: Similar regime to that of the previous country. One of the poorest countries in the world, but a huge amount of opium traffic from neighboring Afghanistan is boosting the economy. Amazing scenery on the Pamir Highway over the “Roof of the World” on the Pamir Plateau.
- Kyrgyzstan: Horses, booze and walnuts in this lovely country made up of high mountains.
- China: The first time around we passed through the ancient Silk Route city Kashgar in the western province of Xinjiang on our way to Pakistan. Excellent food and interesting, offbeat place.
- The Philippines…
- South Korea…
- Times Stolen from: 8 (USA: $100 dollars from Andrew’s wallet, France: Various small electronics from Andrew’s trailer, Italy: Randall’s laptop, Syria: Andrew’s tail light, Azerbaijan: Randall’s rear fender, Kazakhstan: Andrew’s Leatherman, Tajikistan: a SIM card, India: expensive headphones)
- Near-Death Experiences: 6 (USA, France, Portugal, India [actually inumerable], China andJapan: All involving traffic)
- Times Yogurt Spilled in Bar Bag: 4