In late summer of 2004 two twenty-something English boys set off on a journey from their respective hometowns in England to Budapest, Hungary with no idea when or if they would return. With minimal preparation and the cheapest equipment available they set out to prove that the bicycle can be a viable and cost-effective transport option over long distances. In doing so they also experienced Europe on the cusp of change, crossing from one of the oldest EU countries right through to one of its newest members. Their voyage took them over the former demarcation lines of old Europe, potentially an insurmountable obstacle some 15 years prior, and showed them at a grass roots level what life is like for people in different regions of the new EU.


I'd like to say we were inspired by a friend, or we did it for charity, or that it was a bet.

But it wasn't.

I suppose the closest thing to inspiration came on a May night in 2003, while leaning over the bar at Tropicocos (a stance I had become accustomed to) and seeing a small newspaper article about a young man who had completed the first ever solo crossing of Siberia.

In the winter!

On a bike!!

It makes you step back and think; if that's possible, more or less anything is. Eoin (Owen, for the Irish - why do they make spelling so difficult?!) noticed what I was reading (or perhaps he showed it to me in the first place I don't remember now) and also seemed genuinely impressed and in awe of the achievement.

And so it began