We travel in the saddle: the bike saddle, or the horsey kind. Here's some information about our mounts.
Our horses in Central Asia, 2021
Tian, Chai and Fidel are our three Kyrgyz stallions who joined us to ride 1600km across the mountains, rivers and mythical steppes of Kyrgyzstan. Stallions get a bad rep in Europe for being difficult to handle, but our boys quickly picked up the rules, and their bond is strong. Each horse has his own personality, strengths, weaknesses and quirks. We believe in treating horses with respect and fairness. We do our best to make the journey safe, reassuring, and fun for them. Quentin's horse Fidel is trustworthy, steady, and brave. Ashley's horse Tian is emotional, endurant and intelligent. And our pack horse Chai is loving, trusting and willing.
After the trek, our horses found a home with Hélène Guillierm, a French woman living outside Bishkek for more than 20 years. If you want to meet Tian, Fidel and Chai, and go on your own adventure with them, Hélène can help you make that happen. More info here. In 2024, Hélène invites us to come get our equine children and bring them home to France -- and we're doing just that! Keep up with the project here and on Instagram.
Our bikes. With us from France to Uzbekistan
Our bicycles are reliable and sturdy, though not the fastest on the road. They are ready to tackle mountain peaks, desert sands, paved pistes, gravel tracks, and even a few goat paths. Each part and mechanism was deliberately chosen to be easy to repair or replace. During our equine expeditions, we stash them safely with friends.
Quentin is rolling on the quintessential traveler's bike, an American made Trek 520, and Ashley is on a rebuilt Sunn Symp - perfect for road & gravel biking. Both bicycles have more gears than we know what to do with, which will certainly help for the mountainous terrain to come. The bikes allow us to fully experience the freedom, slowness, and silence while we discover every fragment of the landscapes we traverse.
Our horses during our 2 month trek in Albania, 2019
We were lucky enough to share the road across Albania with our horses Johnny, Griva and Düldül. We bought them from the same breeder in the south of the country, in Konispol, at the Greek border. The first few weeks were tough; they didn't really trust us, and they weren't really sure what this journey was about.
We believe in treating horses with fairness and respect and use these methods of horsemanship, all while keeping security our number one priority. A deep trust is developed and experienced between horse and rider during travel. While the countryside around us changed, each other’s company was our only constant. Soon we found our rhythm as a herd. We shared difficult moments and lots of laughter with them as we made our way 750km across the country. They now live with our dear friend Catherine in Valbona Valley. In 2020 we visited them, and found them fat and happy, and plan to continue visiting them whenever possible.