My goal is to rediscover the value of the journey itself, following an ancient trade route which has lured explorers for millenia.
News is a fantastic business - exciting, unpredictable and immensely fun.
But working in telly can also be extremely intense and fast-paced.
After a particularly stressful edit, walking home from work jittering with what a journo mate termed “the news comedown” I decided I needed to escape for a bit.
I needed an adventure that took me as far as possible from the frenetic news world but still ignited my curiosity and a little bit of fear.
I’ve climbed a mountain in Antarctica, swum in the frigid waters of the subantarctic islands, explored the cursed ruins of Nan Madol. But a place I’d never been and knew practically nothing about were the mountainous roads of Central Asia traversed by explorer and writer Marco Polo in medieval times.
And I wanted the adventure to be tough, because it’s more satisfying that way.
So, what better mode of transport for a champion of Type 2 fun like myself than a bike, laden with all I need to survive for two months in one of the most remote corners of the world.
My brother Jack (wisely or unwisely) decided to join, and together we’ll cycle almost 2000 kilometres along the Silk Road, an ancient route that encapsulates the spirit of discovery. Perfect.
As with any adventure, the level of unknown is high. Any of the following might befall us and scupper our intended distance for each day - good or bad weather, worthwhile detours, illness and injury, new friends, mechanical problems – and while we have a skeleton plan, we are ready (and enthusiastic!) about changing it at short notice.
Starting Destination: Samarkand, Uzbekistan
Estimated Start Date: August 5 2019
Destination: Dushanbe, Tajikistan
Estimated Arrival Date: August 11 2019
Destination: Obigarm, Tajikistan
Estimated Arrival Date: August 14 2019
Destination: Tavildara, Tajikistan
Estimated Arrival Date: August 17 2019
Destination: Khalaikum, Tajikistan
Estimated Arrival Date: August 19 2019
Destination: Jamarj-Vanj, Tajikistan
Estimated Arrival Date: August 21 2019
Destination: Dekh, Tajikistan
Estimated Arrival Date: August 23 2019
Destination: Khorugh, Tajikistan
Estimated Arrival Date: August 26 2019
Destination: Mardz, Tajikistan
Estimated Arrival Date: August 29 2019
Destination: Sary-Tash, Kyrgyzstan
Estimated Arrival Date: September 4 2019
Destination: Osh, Kyrgyzstan
Estimated Arrival Date: September 7 2019
Destination: Naryn, Kyrgyzstan
Estimated Arrival Date: September 13 2019
Destination: Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Estimated Arrival Date: September 18 2019