Timeline of the Adventure So Far

Timeline of the Adventure So Far
In a nutshell, we've cycled over 4,400 miles (7,081 km) in England, Scotland, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia and Wales.

This post shares a super broad overview of our world cycling journey so far, including some of our test rides, and most importantly the very first ride which took place in March, 2020. So without further ado.

March 11, 2020

Steven didn't even know Karla at this point and set off from his home village in Essex to ride 46 miles into London. He was intending to reach Morocco to film a yoga retreat, ambitiously making it there in two weeks!

But then, he turned on the news.

We all remember what happened in March, 2020, and this also affected the trajectory of Steven’s journey. He arrived to London and soon after heard about lockdowns beginning in Europe. The tidal wave quickly shifted his plans for Morocco.

What followed were several months of pausing in England, but this time period was a true blessing in disguise. Steven was able to completely rebuild his bike, converting it from a touring system into a bikepacking setup. There are many more details to this story, but for now we’ll stick to the timeline.

January, 2021

As the first fateful months settled down, the new year began brightly with new energy.

Karla was in Ohio at that time and didn’t realize she was about to open the next brilliant chapter of her life by meeting Steven. We met through a beautiful friend and our shared passion for veganism and animal liberation. Once again, this is a story for a future setting around a campfire.

May, 2021

Karla travelled to England on a full moon night and met Steven for the first time, but we were already deep into our plans for cycling the world together. Steven had her bike waiting in the UK so she met not only him, but also my future bike friend. Here you can see our elated faces right after meeting at the airport, and the loving embrace with her Surly bicycle.

August, 2021

We took one of our first test rides around London for Animal Liberation’s animal rights march. Here we met many inspiring people and shared the story of our journey.

September, 2021

A 3-day test ride up to Thetford forest where we practiced wild camping from our bikes for the first time.

November, 2021

A 5-day test ride down into Kent to visit Friend Sanctuary and take portraits of the animals. We have a designated blog post about this journey here.

November - December, 2021

A 2-week test ride from England to Germany, making it all the way from Essex to Essen before boarding a train the rest of the way to Karla's family’s home where we hibernated for the heart of winter. This was an incredible and challenging journey, which you can read all about in both our written story and audio version here.

April 5 - April 22, 2022

After returning back to England in late February (mostly by train, except for 65 miles of the journey), we continued some winter projects and final preparations for our launch in early spring. Our intention was to cycle an entire lap of the UK, heading up the east coast of England into Scotland, circling up and around Scotland in a counter-clockwise fashion, before looping down the western and southern coasts of the UK.

We followed Cycle Route 1 quite often heading north, and also included sections through the North York Moors National Park.

This is a good place to mention our invitation to follow along on Strava. Our account is not public, but please do send us a message and let’s connect!
And we're off! Thank you to Lorraine & Mark, Steven's mum and stepdad for all your support!

April 23, 2022

We made it up to Edinburgh in time for Pedal on Parliament. Check out our Instagram page @revereroots for an introduction to this empowering event for cyclists and climate action.

End of April

We spent a week with Karla's parents around Pitlochry, taking a break from the bikes and hiking around many local sites, including a journey up to Loch Ness.

Thank you to Karla's parents for everything!
Thank you to Mark, Steven's stepdad, for bringing us supplies to Scotland. Another story for a future post!

May 1, 2022

Continuing on our UK chapter, venturing into the Cairngorms and feeling all the elements of off-road bikepacking. We loved being out with no signal, tuning only into the wild spirits of Nature, feeling every raw element and the music of rain.

These were some of our toughest days when we had to hike-a-bike and navigate steep ravines.

May 6, 2022

After leaving the Cairngorms we followed the River Dee all the way to Aberdeen, befriending this river and feeling rather sad when we met her mouth at the sea and said farewell. In Aberdeen we visited vegan cafe Bonobo, attended an herbalism workshop hosted by the city of Aberdeen and also visited a beautiful zero waste shop called Refillosophy. More on all these events in designated posts, including some of the very special people we met in Aberdeen!

Farewell River Dee; from the wild Cairngorms to the urban sea port, you guided us, gave us water and honored us with your beauty.

May 7 - May 19, 2022

Over the next two weeks we journeyed up to Findhorn where we visited the famous Ecovillage Findhorn and spent two nights in their community, meeting many beautiful souls and learning about their history, practices and vision. We are excited to share the beautiful story of how we came to the village through a synchronous meeting with Christopher, pictured below.

Thank you Christopher for introducing us to EcoVillage Findhorn!

From there we continued through Inverness and then intended to reach John O’ Groats, a well-known post in the northeast corner of the UK. However at some point heading north we realized reaching this destination no longer felt aligned and we were ready to veer west and south. Our furthest northern point was around the town of Altnahara. From here we veered into a remote area, but some serious tire issues turned us around again, and we altered course with help from a handful of friendly people.

Once again we ventured off the roads and followed a backpacking trail frequented by travelers going to and from Cape Wrath. This part of the journey is full of more stories, including storms, ticks, moments of rage and bike tumbles. For now, getting back to the timeline…

May 20 - 22, 2022

We arrived to Ullapool just in time for Steven’s birthday! Staying at a campground for a few days gave us plenty of time to rest, recover and celebrate. A crowd of holidayers sang Happy Birthday with us and we delighted in vegan pizza, even here in the Highlands.

We met two fellow vegan bike tourers, Cordelia & Kirsty who joined us for vegan pizza!

May 23 - June 12, 2022

From Ullapool our route followed the North Coast 500 route, for the most part. We tried to go off road but the trail literally disappeared and so we turned around. We have a lot to share about this section, but we eventually decided to cross over into the Isle of Skye and continue our way in a southern direction toward Fort William.

Some of our best cycling days happened in early June, following many days of majestic vistas and intense weather. From Fort William we generally followed Cycle Route 78 down through Oban and crossed with a couple of ferries to meet up with Route 7. We loved this section for its many fun up and down hills and minimal traffic!

Here we followed the route into Glasgow, and that’s when everything changed.

June 12 - 14, 2022

We celebrated Karla's birthday in Glasgow with visits to two amazing vegan restaurants and a local museum. Somewhere along the way she picked something up, and by the time we started cycling out of town that evening to find a wild campsite, she began to feel stomach pain. Long story short, we barely made it to a hotel 3 miles away before she became violently sick, and this was the beginning of the end of our UK lap for now.

After two nights in the hotel we decided to head back to Steven’s family home and recover. The following weeks proved immensely helpful as we also implemented many of the lessons we’d learned from our 2.5 months bike touring across the UK.

July 24 - August 8, 2022

Our lap of the UK continued with a mini journey down through London and a special gathering in Brighton with Steven’s mum and stepdad. From there we made our way to Folkestone and bid farewell to England for now. We were the very first cyclists since 2020 to cross the English Channel tunnel with the official cyclist transportation scheme. It was an easy and smooth process!

Our route took us from Calais up through Belgium, The Netherlands and western Germany where we once again greeted Karla's family’s home for another beautiful visit and several weeks of work and additional preparations, in north central Germany.

October 4 - November 9, 2022

We departed Einbeck, Germany for our ride to Croatia, heading through Germany to Austria via Salzburg, then through the Alps into northern Italy along the Adriatic Sea. From there we crossed a short section of Slovenia and made it to Croatia! A couple days of riding in we stopped at an alternative living site called EIA where we volunteered for two weeks.

May 7 - May 16, 2023

After a winter and spring hibernation we set out for a "warm-up" ride with renewed focus and purpose. This summer we are visiting veganic farms whilst making a documentary, so we began with a 400 mile lo0p to test out our revised gear and warm up for the summer. The route t00k us from England over to Holland and down the coast, through Belgium to northern France and back to England. Lots of sea, dunes and urban surprises!

Written by Karla Sanders @karlasandersart | Photos by Steven Tiller @steventiller