about the foons on bikes


We are Jude and Astrid and we have a dream to cycle from our home in Melbourne to Scotland, starting in April 2013. We don’t know exactly how long it will take, what we will encounter or our exact route. We have a sense of adventure, some touring bikes and a willingness to experience the world and it’s people. And the world’s hills.

*             *              *            *

I wrote that back in 2013 before we left and I want to leave it as a reflection of us and our dream. We did indeed cycle to the UK but ended our trip in London, rather than Scotland as during our travels we were lucky enough to get jobs working for London Ambulance Service. So after 2.5 years on the road we settled in East London and lived and worked there for about 2.5 years. As of June 2018 we are back on the road heading first north to Iceland and then south through Europe for the summer and autumn. We have loose plans to cycle back to Melbourne but are not yet sure of our route, how long, or wether we will pedal the whole way..

Jude, July 2018.

38 thoughts on “about the foons on bikes

  1. Hi Astrid and Jude,

    You two are an inspiration. Your blogs are so interesting and descriptive and the photos are magical. What an adventure!!!!! All is well here. We met Christian and Dion (paramedics) who you worked with. Lovely guys. They visited Gav on Thursday night after a little pain in the heart region and took him for a drive to R.M.H. for a heart check up, but all is well. I picked him up after he discharged himself at 5am Friday morning. We went dancing on Saturday night and he didn’t do too badly. Eva, Cam and kids are good. Their house is probably going to be ready to move into around the end of July. Alex and Fiona got back from Wales at the start of June. They really love it over there and Alex would love to live there. Brendan’s off to Thailand in 3 weeks for a well deserved holiday. He’s been working so hard lately and such long days, but he really loves his job, which is great. Vari is enjoying Scotland except for the cool weather. Good luck with the next part of your journey. Think of you often and am so happy that you are living your dream and really living life. Love you both. Love from Vita and Gavin

    • Thanks so much Tante Vita and Uncle Gavin! The journey is really amazing and we are loving our new way of living. Hope your journey up to this region is just as great, we are currently at Normanton enjoying the tropical weather as I’m sure you will be soon. So happy to hear that Uncle Gavin is well, and that you are all having adventures. All our love, Astrid and Jude xx

      • Hi Astrid and Jude,

        Well finally I got around to catching up on your blog and wow! What an incredible journey you’ve been on and are still experiencing and so much to look forward to still. The way you describe everything makes me feel like I’m there with you (minus the heat, the sore backside and the dust). The photos are as good as any National Geographic photos that I’ve seen. They’re worth putting up in a frame. You’ve got to try to publish your experiences in a book when you finish your trip eventually.

        We’re all good at this end. Alex just acheived his 10,000 kms of bike riding for the year. He just loves it. He even took his bike to Wales and rode it over there. We caught up with Alex and Fiona for Fiona’s birthday at a winery in Gisborne. Eva and family moved into their new home in Barwon Heads and are very happy there. Brendan enjoyed his 3 week trip to Thailand and has settled back into work and is really enjoying it. Gav just bought a kayak, with foot pedals to go fishing in and is now waiting for a chance to use it. The weather hasn’t been that good. Summer, Taj and Holly are growing very fast and we caught up with them over the school holidays. I’m just loving life. Gav calls me “Sunday every day”. He’s just jealous. Well nice to chat with you again. Good night and enjoy it all. Love you both.

        Love from Vita and Gavin

        Date: Tue, 2 Jul 2013 01:05:18 +0000 To: vitapeters@hotmail.com

      • Hi Astrid and Jude,

        Just a quick message to wish you Astrid a very happy 35th birthday and a special hi to Jude. I’m sure that you both will enjoy the birthdday and do something special for it, though the whole trip is rather special. I’ve been reading your blogs and it reads like a great travel book. Very descriptive and amazing photos! I feel that I’m there with you when I’m reading it.

        We’re good at this end of the world. The family is all good. Gav and I are going to babysit the grandkids tomorrow night and then Holly will stay with us till Tuesday to have a play with her Nan. Holly turns 2 in a couple of weeks. Taj had his 7th birthday a few weeks ago.

        Well, write and let us know how you celebrated your special day. Love to you both. Keep enjoying your big adventure.

        Love from Vita and Gavin💕😊

        Date: Tue, 2 Jul 2013 01:05:18 +0000
        To: vitapeters@hotmail.com

  2. Hi Astrid and Jude

    Between April and July my wife and I cycled from Melbourne to Brisbane and we were about a month behind you. I originally found your blog while researching our route out of Victoria up the Bonang Highway. Your blog helped and we have been following your trip ever since.

    I have a friend called Rajiv who is currently cycling from Singapore north and has just crossed into Burma. I thought you might be interested to read his blog as it has lots of useful and current info about Malaysia, Thailand, Laos and soon Burma and onwards. I’m sure you could contact him if you have questions about routes, visas, cycling etc. Tell him I sent you 🙂

    Rajiv’s blog is http://nat.pedscapades.com/blog/

    Now that I am back to work, it’s great to read your adventures and I’m already planning our next cycle tour.



  3. I’m currently cycling as well! My friend just met you in Thailand, hopefully we will met up in the Stand or Eastern Europe!
    May the winds be always in your favor.

  4. Hi Astrid and Jude, Sorry we missed you on our return to LP via Nong Khiew. We just spent one night in Xam Neua, then backtracked on highway #6 to Phou Lao and the junction with highway #1 where we headed West. We thought we might run into you on #6, but you must not have made it that far by the time we swung West. It will have been a tough slog for you up to Xam Neua, but also very beautiful and lots of remote villages to see along the way. It was a pleasure meeting with you. Best wishes on your amazing journey! Regards, Kevin (Canada).

  5. Jude, you are such an amazing young woman! It looks like you and Astrid are having the times of your lives. I found Astrid’s blog about Vietnam fascinating and I enjoyed the pics. I spent a week in Hanoi and motorcycled from there up to the border of China so I enjoyed revisiting some of the views… Are you two going to Myanmar? I will be there for the month of July. Would love to connect with you guys!
    Thanks for the great blog and see you on Facebook.

  6. Hey guys, love the blog! Can’t believe the distances you’ve been doing in the heat, so impressive! We’re also cycling, from the UK east to Melbourne. We’re currently on a detour through South Korea and Japan before heading to Vietnam. Not sure if our paths will cross if you’re off to China soon but in the meantime you should definitely join the Long Distance Cycling Database. It’s something I curate and records single bike journeys over 10,000km: http://www.thenextchallenge.org/ldcj. Safe journey!

  7. Mind expanding, that Lijiang/lugo bit!
    There’s an old Tibetan saying, if I rember correctly, “If you are lucky enough to be in the mountains, you are lucky enough!” with which the old Wallies-on-Wheels entirely agree.
    You two are SOOO lucky, (and brave, and patient, and…) , we are with you all the way…
    Scott and. Liz
    Nova scotia

  8. Good morning Astrid, good morning Jude,
    I was wondering if evrything was allright. We haven’t heard from you for almost 6 weeks. Your stories are so interesting that I almost took a plane to join you. I’m glad to see that I was not the only one to hate Vietnam. But, China and the rest of South-east Asia really made up for it.
    So, if you are heading towards Istambul, I would recommand you to stay with the warmshower Kerem Kocam. He has a really nice place and he is very friendly.
    tailwind to you both.

  9. Hi Astrid and Jude, will be in Europe in July, missed you in Greece,but we can
    meet elsewhere. What are your plans for mid to late July?

  10. Hey Jude and Astrid

    We’re in Ipsala (Turkey) and have run in to a German couple you met at Marko’s in Croatia. Just wanted to pick your brains about The Pamirs if that’s ok. We’re debating whether to cycle them because we have 700 x 35c tyres and not sure if we can make it on them. Your thoughts?!



    • I Beccy, we met cyclists who had done them on similar, even someone we cycled with I think. If you go through the Wakhan it will be tough, but it was tough for us too. Most of the actual Pamir highway is paved, except for the top of the passes. I would say do it if you like mountains, don’t mind some rough roads and the occasional pushing of the bike. It’s beautiful up there.
      Hope that helps

  11. Hi again girls.
    We’ll be in Santiago on Saturday!! Finally. Nursing Sandra’s feet. How are Heidi’s feet?
    I’m entertaining myself while she rests by reading your blog.. and LOVING IT. What a fab adventure. .. i am in awe.
    Keep in touch… would love to hear how you go in London. Might be hard adjusting to civilian life but I am sure you will be off in spare time cycling over England .I have an intrepid rockclimber friend in Wales if you need a contact (Cathy was in Adelaide for schooling years back. .. she also canoes ).
    Ali and Sandra

  12. Hey Jude and Astrid, What an amazing ans inspiring cycle your your having !! Are you still planning to finish in Glasgow, Scotland,? I am from Glasow,I met you both in China 2 years ago while cycling the silk route, and i would love to cycle with you both ( i might even bring a few cyclist friends as well, do you know roughly when you’ll be in Scotland? All the best Gary

    • Hi Gary! Yes, we totally remember you! Actually we changed our plan. We got jobs in London and so it made sense for us to cycle there – from our old home to our new home. We finished last August. Sorry, still catching up. Right now we live in London. We are still planning to come to Glasgow though and when we do we will let you know to meet up for that drink. Hope you are great! Any more bike trips?
      All the best
      Jude and Astrid

  13. Hi! Foons on bikes.
    Have recently been reading your blog as it is helping my partner and I a lot with our planned trip similar to your SE Asia stint. However finding out info ie. tackling border crossings on road bikes is proving to be a bit of a mission so would love to pick your brains about which ones you did and if you have any good tips or info you’d be happy to share. Thanks!

  14. Hello,
    we just read your blog about cycling Xinjiang and it has a lot of useful information in it. Thanks a lot. We are currently in Kashgar and want to cycle to Dunhang. Police was already bothering us a little bit on the way here, but we still would like to try.
    We were just wondering if you cycled everything or did you take bus or train for some part? Was it worth the hassle with the police? Have you been followed by police a lot?

    Greetings from Kashgar
    Andi and Mimi

    • No worries! Glad we could help. We cycled the whole way from Dunhuang to Kashgar and only had police problems really for the last 10 days. It gets much better once you leave Xinjiang. We weren’t so much followed but whenever we stopped they’d find us and check our passports. I can’t remember much or any harassment in Gansu. Dunhuang is amazing! We did take some transport earlier in our trip but only to make visa renewal deadlines…Enjoy China, it was seriously one of our favourite places! I’m dreaming of the food now…
      Jude and Astrid

  15. Hi Jude and Astrid the buildings in Budapest are beautiful thank you for the great photos.all good wishes for a wonderful Xmas from Gwen.

  16. An inspiring story and a great blog.
    Funny that your photos of Boorooloola to Mataranka in the Northern Territory mirrored those that we (three retired blokes and one nearly retired girl) took on the same trip in 2017. Right down to kissing the bitumen!
    Well done.

  17. Hello Jude and Astrid. If I knew a way of contacting you that wasn’t so public I’d use it, however here it is.
    I want to thank you 2 ladies from the bottom of my heart for the inspiration you give.
    About a year ago I decided I’d like a challenge and adventure so with my husband we set off from near Cairns to ride to Broome. A mere lazy cycle for you 2. (We are in our 60’s and I’ve only been a very casual cyclist). I tried finding out about riding the Savannah Way and came upon your blog. I don’t know if your ears have been burning or whatever it is that burns when people think about you but you were often on our minds as we rode towards Roper Bar. You gave a great blog about your journey and it was incredibly helpful to us. It really prepared us for the tough stretches of corrugations and bull dust we were to encounter. It prepared us to carry LOTS of water, gave us an idea of how much time to allow, helped us plan our itinerary and hinted that other grey nomads would be supportive of us when they encountered us, which to a very humbling and heart warming extent they indeed were. (Not just older travellers but all ages and backgrounds). Like you we met other cyclists who were inspiring, (check out The Swag Family”). I expected to get a much sorer bum after reading about your sore bums along the unsealed sections so that too was a delight when the pain I kept waiting for didn’t arrive. Unfortunately the north of Australia had a pathetic dry season so the Butterfly Falls I was so looking forward to turned out to be a mere pond but that section was awesome. We had a ball and really wouldn’t have been as ready for it if it hadn’t been for your excellent blog. We feel ripped off because no dingo ran into a tree staring at us, nor did a kangaroo hop into our bikes and the Roper Bar store has shut so no ice cream. (I believe it shut due to previous cyclists eating them out of ice cream).
    We absolutely loved our adventure and will do another sometime.
    Again, thanks and may you continue to have wonderful adventures.
    Liz and Brad.

  18. Awesome adventure ! Really impressed with your courage to go across the world on bikes.
    Too bad about Ethiopia but, as you said, much behaviour is the sad impact of previous aid issues

  19. Hi Jude and Astrid, I have enjoyed your trip to and back from London. Wondering if you could let me know how much your trip cost to and from London. Also wondering how the covid has influenced your trip back home, was it difficult to move between countries, was it hard to find accommodation etc). Me and my partner are thinking of cycling to Australia (probably via Asia) but we are not sure how much money we need for the trip. Thank you very much, we hope you are enjoying being back home.

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