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18,000-mile Around-the-World Bike Tour Sets Off From Normandy

Published on: 2 May, 2022
Updated on: 4 May, 2022

Ready for the off Marcus (left) and Oli prepare to cycle the first of their 18,000 miles.

By Martin Giles

A round-the-world cycle tour began today (May 2) when Marcus Pillinger and Oli Lyon set off from Normandy, Oli’s home, to commence their 18,000-mile journey. They were accompanied for the first few miles by a band of supporters; family and friends.

See also: Around the World in 18,000 Miles – Two Guildford Cyclists Plan Epic Ride for Charity

The two young men, both aged 27, expect to take about twelve months to complete their circumnavigation. Both admitted to some nervousness but also excitement.

The first part of their route will take them to their first overnight stop near Dover before crossing to Calais, cycling southwards through France and then heading east through northern Italy and on to Turkey.

The intrepid duo with some of their family. From left to right: Henry (Oli’s brother), Conrad, Oli and Anne Lyon then David, Elizabeth and Marcus Pillinger.

Marcus’s mother Elizabeth said she was “reasonably worried” but had, nonetheless encouraged them: “It is a fantastic thing they are doing.” With her husband David, she hoped to catch up with the two in Istanbul and, after their weeks under canvas, “treat them to a bit of luxury”.

The 18,000-mile route.

Oli’s mother, Anne, agreed. She was more excited than worried and hoped that it would further open her artist son’s eyes to the world, especially the conditions that many of the world’s population endure. She also thought it very appropriate that the two adventurers, who had benefitted from private educations, had selected the “School in a Bag” charity to support.

Marcus makes a last-minute adjustment of equipment on his filly laden bike while Oli has a farewell cuddle with the family pet Pablo.

Those wishing to donate to the charity or support Marcus and Oli can donate here

Farewells and well-wishing over the two mounted their bikes at a little after 11am to form a small peloton of cycling supporters, escorted by two minivans, to cycle up through Wanborough and over the Hog’s Back to make towards Dorking.

Their departure was, inevitably in Surrey, somewhat disrupted by traffic, even on a bank holiday…

Communication allowing, Marcus and Oli have agreed to report their progress back so Dragon readers can, from the comfort of their homes, keep up.

The roof of one of the escort vehicles, decorated with flag bunting and the globe they will be travelling around.

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Responses to 18,000-mile Around-the-World Bike Tour Sets Off From Normandy

  1. David Pillinger Reply

    May 2, 2022 at 9:18 pm

    All the best to Marcus and Oli on this amazing trip. We’ll be following closely.

    David is Marcus’ father.

  2. Mike Aaronson Reply

    May 3, 2022 at 2:17 pm

    Thanks to Martin Giles for covering this. And good luck to the intrepid duo; look forward to seeing regular progress reports on this site.

  3. Stephen Jones Reply

    May 4, 2022 at 1:09 pm

    All the best, Marcus and Oli. It Was a pleasure seeing you off on Monday. Here’s to many tailwinds!

  4. Jane Hepburn Reply

    May 4, 2022 at 10:18 pm

    Great trip but I hope Marcus and Oli check they’ll be allowed through China. No traffic at all allowed through at the moment or for the foreseeable future because of Covid…
    I suggest they keep the Turkmenistan, Iran, Pakistan, India option in mind now that Russia is closed.

    Really hope they make it:))

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