Eastcapades
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The People

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Can you pretend you have crossed the entire Himalaya’s from West to East

on a bike if you had to push it more than once?

In our respectively early 50’s and late 50’s, avid outdoors and ultra endurance athletes, the question remains in suspense on the eve of our departure from Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan.

Long cycle-touring explorations have been part of Frank’s life including remote areas like those we will encounter in Central Asia. It will be a return to an authenticity. For some parts, a pilgrimage. Sylvia has less experience with bike packing and Asia but enough to fall in love with a bike project in rugged terrains and isolated environments. One trip, two tales.

Cocooning in Vancouver BC, our adopted home city for the last 16 years, constantly looking to be surprised by the unexpected and outdoor beauty, we started to worry about the time passing by and the remaining abilities to explore deeper and further.

Once you’ve experienced the feeling of freedom that self sufficient bike touring and human contacts bring during a long journey, it is hard to keep it simply as a past souvenir.

Come see and share with us what the next weeks, months will bring while we explore, push and ride our loaded bikes.

Qu'est-ce que vous allez chercher là-bas ? - J'attends d'être là-bas pour le savoir.

Andre Gide

sylvia

Sylvia has been questioning the status quo since she was a young girl getting mud on her communion dress. She is used to going against the grain acknowledging and managing difficulties along the way. Not one to take the easy road, Sylvia discovered the pleasures of grand adventures when she met the other half of the team, Frank. She’s always been open and easy going when it comes to discovering new places. Some might say she didn’t really have a choice if she wanted to ever spend time with Frank. This being said, she is not to be underestimated. She will make sure the itinerary mapped out by Frank does not involve bushwhacking or Taliban country. On top of her innate perseverance, she also developed a stamina that most grannies can only dream of. Once you get her going there is no way of stopping her. A strong force of nature, she will take chances on people and will be a loyal protector to those she loves.

Being a mother of two and grandmother of two, she will put her talent as efficient cook to grand use during the adventures to come, always making sure the machine is supplied with efficient energy. Sylvia is therefore not only the locomotive, but also the stoker of the engine behind the upcoming adventure. Her daughter would say she kicks ass and say that this trip will make her even stronger.

By her kids and Alexa T.

Frank 

I have always thought of Frank as the Jedi master Yoda. Yes, older and compact enough to fit on my back, but never to be underestimated or trifled with, or, truffled, as it were.

Frank’s wisdom and willingness to share is as boundless as the adventures he has conquered. Having cycled the world many times over and lived so many lives, his knowledge and experience has made Frank a mentor and inspiration to most. Myself included.

He is more than a trainer. He is a teacher. Just ask him anything and you will no doubt get a scholarly seminar which may in fact leave you with more questions than answers. Not to mention the need for a translator. Frank speaks multiple languages, often, all at the same time. 

No doubt, Frank has done all the detailed research to ensure that he and Sylvia have packed all the right “gears”. I know he is inspired and focused to fill his heart, mind and multitude of cameras with endless “souvenirs”. But most importantly, this journey is special because it is shared. Not just with us through their punny and proud blog Eastcapades, but with his most precious life and riding partner, Sylvia (admittedly we were all hoping it was us).

I have had the pleasure of sharing many trails with Frank, a place he is most at home and in his element. As he and Sylvia embark on this great adventure it makes me happy to know they will be sharing that place together. No need searching for the diamond in the rough when it’s right beside you, cycling, pushing, snoring, shoving and cozying up in the confines of your tent for 365 days straight. May it never be “from far too hot”, nor “from far too cold” and most importantly, not too far from home.

By RJ S.