(Oli) In Autumn 2016 I was involved in a series of seminars at Battersea Arts Centre & met Julian Sayarer. I went home and told Ruth about this lovely guy who's 'about my shape and size, and oh he cycled around the world.' One way or another Ruth eventually said 'well, why don't we... '
Seed sown… even if Ruth wasn't completely serious at the time.
Over the next few months the idea kept resurfacing. We started to daydream about what kind of trip it could be. We wanted it to be flexible but not outright wanderlust. We wanted an adventure but we also wanted a project. We like people, we like listening to and telling stories, and we like food. Could we create an around the world cookbook to document the year? As a form it felt full of potential: in our experience, sharing a meal is one of the best ways to connect with people whilst travelling. Portraits of people paired with their story and cookery, all the way round? We felt there was something in it...
(Ruth) I had got to know kindness.org whilst making some films for them at Jungle Creations. Their CEO, Jaclyn Lindsey, had become a friend and secret inspiration of mine. We shared our idea with her and she immediately made it feel possible. We knew there was a crossover between kindness.org’s work and our ambitions so we started to talk about how we could collaborate.
Whilst planning for plans that inevitably change, we’re setting out next year with the intention of listening to people’s stories, sharing food and learning about how kindness manifests across the world. In partnership with kindness.org, we’ll be documenting our experience as we go - building up material for a book as well as our calf muscles.
We're writing this before we leave and already there are already a lot of people who we'd like to thank. Champions of the 'anyone can' attitude to bikes & life: Julian Sayarer, Blanca Fernández, Rebecca Lowe and Jay Bosworth. (Oli) All the people & teams I've worked with over the last decade, (Ruth) Henry Hitchcox and the Jungle Creations Team; you're all people who dream up brilliant ideas & then make them happen.
As always, our family and friends have been amazingly supportive. Here's hoping we do you proud.