It is the height of the cycling season in the Northern Hemisphere and we have plenty of ambassadors who are out there making the most of it!
From China to France, Tajikistan to Belgium...their blazing the Beeline trail and we have caught up with them to find out how they're getting on.
Frances is currently cycling from London to Mongolia. After six months on the road she is now in China.
'I write this on the morning I set off towards the Mongolian border, which in a way I have been doing every day for over six months now - except that this time I'm actually going to reach it in a day or two!
In the last 190 days I have covered over 10,000km from the UK to China and climbed ten times the height of Everest on my trusty bicycle, Penelope. In that time I've been through 18 countries, gasped my way over 460m high mountain roads in Tajikistan, gone a little bit crazy crossing Central Asia's deserts, spent more hours in police custody than I ever intended to in my lifetime, and eaten more porridge than you can quite visualise.
It's been a tough but rewarding ride. I hope never to forget the doors which have been opened to me by strangers I share no language with, and the generosity and care which I have been shown by one person after another, and I hope to bring some of that home with me and extend the hand of friendship to wayward cyclists I meet in the years ahead. I have seen the most extraordinary places and Silk Road sights I had only ever dreamed of, and I've had my eyes opened to the beauty that exists in the most remote corners of the world, though taking on a journey of this magnitude and geography as a solo woman of course comes with some additional challenges. Thankfully, navigation has not been too much of a challenge, and, aside from developing a sixth sense for which direction I'm going (I have inadvertently adopted my father's habit of pointing out things like "Oh look, an easterly wind..."), my trusty Beeline has done a sterling job of getting me all this way. I really didn't want to have to keep pulling out huge paper maps or looking at turn by turn directions on an old school GPS, as I wanted to keep my eyes on what's around me and the weird and wonderful sights I have been passing, and the Beeline is so perfect for that.
Right now I am in Xinjiang Province of north west China, on the fringes of the Gobi Desert which has been my goal for this whole journey. It's a wild place, and today I will pass the point on the earth that is the furthest from any part of the sea, which is quite a thought. Beyond this lies Mongolia, the least densely populated country in the world, and my finish line of Ulaanbaatar, which I hope to be at by the end of August.'
Will and Stef
Will and Stef have been cycling all over Europe for the last three months.
'Direction is a funny thing. When setting out just under three months ago, we couldn’t have imagined quite the towns, roads and people that we were going to encounter. After 83 nights on the road, we’ve done a little of everything. Whether sleeping on mountain tops, under bridges, or even inside an aircraft hangar, we’ve found that adventure is all in the approach and attitude to your journey.
We in no way to claim to be the most intrepid of riders taking on a continent this summer, but our 4500km tour has seen us tackle some of Europe’s highest roads and hottest temperatures. Despite the odd spill, puncture or storm, we’ve crossed 9 countries and tasted the salt of two different seas.
Setting our clocks by the sun in the sky and following the point of a compass, Beeline has been simply ideal for our adventure. Without much in the way of time pressure, when we simply wanted to see as much as possible, Beeline made sure that we never felt like we were conned out great view by a route that forced you onto the fastest and often, dullest road about.
From starry alpine skies to the shocking blues of the Cote d’Azur, our trip has had so many highlights, but the what’s resonated most is the immense kindness, generosity and warmth of the people we’ve met and talked to along the way. Extending a hand to help two rather ragged looking ramblers, there are truly wonderful people out there - spend enough time outside and you’ll cross a great many of them.
Sat for the moment in a cosy corner of western France, nestled among parched fields and parochial towns, we’ve just a short hack before we’ll have to try and settle into our old routine. We’re pretty sure we’ll still find a way to keep up adventuring day to day - from the chance happenings of the street to the serendipity of a choice at a crossroads, the next best ever experience is probably just a little bit up the road.'
Kim and his husband Wouter have had a fantastic trip cycling from Brussels to Frankfurt. Cycling pretty much the whole way along beautiful cycling paths, they stopped in Wellen, Maastricht, Achen, Duren, Koblenz and Mainz before arriving in the German city.
They stopped off in Belgian Grote Markts, crossed beautiful swathes of countryside with ugly WW2 history, and pedalled through pear, apple and cherry orchards. They passed beautifully romantic fairytale-like castles in villages as the flat ride gave them a good dose of natural and man-made beauty and sunshine during this glorious summer in Europe. We'll be sharing their route soon but, in the meantime, here's a teaser.
Kim on the first leg of the journey out of his home in Brussels: 'This journey cuts through the Flemish Brabant and the Limburg provinces of Flanders, departing from the capital city of Brussels. Through it, it cuts through some beautiful countryside which hide countless beautiful argricultural areas and beautiful historic houses and villas. In Leuven, the Grote Markt offers a view of one of the most ornate city halls, a smaller version of the one found in Brussels.
Tienen is the city of sugar, with one of the largest sugar refineries in the country found here, everything revolves around sugar including even a Sugar Rock Festival in the summertime! Sint Truiden's central square, featuring a unique monastery tower bellfry is a great place to catch some Belgian beers and fries before finishing up in Wellen, a small village with a quaint town centre which is reached only after going through the apple and pear orchards that give the region its name.'