An English couple have found a comforting refuge in Cambridge during their meandering cycle around the world. Dan Burns and Jennie Burton started their self-made trip “The Slow Race” in April last year, riding simple touring bikes throughout Europe, Asia, Africa and Australasia.
“They’ve managed to survive fifteen months, apart from one popped tyre,” said Jennie, explaining the drive behind the trip as “the challenge of maybe not being able to do it”.
“We might fail, we might end up injured, but if we do it then it is quite an achievement,” she said.
“We weren’t professional cyclists by any means, we were commuters that did some weekend rides, we just liked cycling,” said Dan. “And we liked adventuring, and the two just came together,” added Jennie.
“When we first started looking at it we didn’t think we’d ever be able to do it. But anybody can jump on a bike and cycle longer than just a loop of their town. You don’t need to be fit and you don’t need to have a lot of money. Surprisingly it’s a very accessible type of trip.”
Throughout their “OE on wheels” the couple have enjoyed more than a year-long summer, and were surprised to realise how cold New Zealand is at this time of year. But Kiwi hospitality came as an even greater surprise.
“We underestimated how cold it would be already,” Jennie explained. “On our second night here camping in a tent a Kiwi couple got us into their RV and gave us wine and dinner. They wouldn’t let us sit out in the cold so we slept in their living room. New Zealand is a beautiful thing with great hospitality.”
Despite cycling what has been the “hilliest country” on their tour so far, it’s also been one of their favourites. “It was the end goal, so it was what we were most excited to get to.”
Spending a few days in Cambridge, which often referred to as a “very British” town, they were happy to have a sense of “home” during their stay.
“It’s like everything we’ve missed for the last 15 months is in this town, its lovely,” said Dan.
“It’s great having lots of cafes and vege markets, and even the trees have jumpers on!” Jennie laughed.
Now on their twentieth and final country, the pair plan to ride the Forgotten Highway, an S-shaped cycling trail meandering south, which will complete a total 1100km trip from Auckland to Wellington. To keep up with their travels visit www.theslowrace.com/blog.