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“But Duncan, why would you want to ride a bike around the world?”

Duncan Covey is a 25 year old endurance cyclist and adventurer from the South West of the UK. On April 6th 2024, he began a 40,000km, year long journey around the world by bike, leaving behind the predictable routine of the 9-5 in an attempt to explore and tell the stories of the world beyond his back yard.

Duncan is one week in to his adventure around the globe, currently cycling through Europe. We are supporting you from Vermont, Duncan!! -Team Bivo

By Dundan Covey, Endurance Cyclist

Following a quick few years at University filled with lots of cycling and running exploits alongside occasionally pretending to be a student, I soon found myself as a full-time adult with a full-time job in London, UK. I’ve been here for two years and, although there’s plenty on offer in the bright lights, I find myself looking further afield to more fulfilling experiences, emotions and growth that only a massive adventure could offer. 

Just like many working folk with cycling as a side hobby, I spend a lot of time daydreaming about adventures on my bike. Or even adventures off my bike. Just anything that’s not at work…  Although I managed to fit in a lot of crazy riding in between my full time job, I was becoming increasingly worried that I was on a fast track to blinking, opening my eyes and finding that I’d become old and boring. 

However, seeing others on awe inspiring adventures proved to me that, clearly, there was another option. I don’t have to only be a spectator to others’ adventures. I realized that, in my mid twenties, I have the most freedom that I’ll probably ever have. So, mixed with a big dose of optimism and a sprinkling of naivety, I handed in my notice and made it happen.

It was time to “go big or go home” in my attempt to scratch the itch big time. My plan: ride a bike over 40,000km traversing four continents, all while wild camping, documenting and sharing life on the road. 

Preparation & Logistics

In the Spring of 2023, I decided that it was time to make this dream happen. This gave me a year to make plans: route, kit, finances, brand partners, visas and immunizations to name a few of the tasks ahead of varying degrees of excitement. I’d leave in the spring of 2024, aiming to ride into summer weather and chase it around the globe across Europe, Asia, Oceania and North America. With all of the above now in place, it’s go time. 

Excitements and Challenges 

I’m particularly drawn to the extreme environments I’ll journey through as I make my way East; the scorching temperatures in the deserts and high mountains of Central Asia, the foothills of the Himalayas in the monsoon season and the desolate vastness of Australia’s Nullarbor plain. I’m excited to be living out of a tent, seeing each sunrise and sunset and meeting wonderfully kind strangers along the way. I’m a little more apprehensive to tackle the inevitable bureaucratic nightmares that come with attempting to ride a bike around the world. However, this is part and parcel of this type of adventure so I’ll attempt to approach such negotiations with unerring positivity and see how far I can get with some over enthusiastic miming and the infallible “smile and wave” technique. Oh, also the mosquitos… but there’s no smiling, waving or reasoning with those evil little bastards. 

What Will I Get Out of It?

There’s been a lot of chat that I must be doing this to “run away from real life,” that I’m on “a quest to find myself” or that I’m simply not sure what I’d like to do with my life. I’d disagree with all of the above and suggest that adventure can be the real life, the place where you feel most like yourself and ultimately be the thing that you pursue as a career. For me, this year-long ride is the beginning of what I hope to be the next step in my life. While I crave adventure and long days on the bike, I feel that the niche for me to fill is one of storytelling that goes hand in hand with farflung travel. With photos, videos and many, many stories to write and share as I progress, I’m already excited to think of what these might be! 

If this sounds like your thing, you can follow along for daily updates from the road over on Instagram @duncancoveyuk or stick around here for a future update!

2 Responses

Dave Parsons

Dave Parsons

April 15, 2024

Been following you on Insta then Strava. I’m the guy thinking about riding “all the way” to Pescara next year!
So many questions for you about kit, and experience of this kind of thing. I know you are on a Reilly Gradient, what type of tyres are you running? I know some of the cycle paths in France Switzerland and Italy become gravel, so I guess the Gradient copes with these well? But when you get further east there will be properly unmade roads, will you beef up the tyres and wheels at all?
I’ve been amazed at the distance and pace you manage every day so far. I’ve never done two days of hard rides back to back, so this is something else that is worrying me about my ride. I will have 2000km to do, want to do it in under 3 weeks but NOT feel I have to go 150+ kms every day. But I have time to get my body used to this, even at 59 years of age! More questions later probably. Good luck and well done so far!

Kerry OConnell

Kerry OConnell

April 15, 2024

You are absolutely right 45 years will go by in the blink of an eye. No matter what happens you will cherish this time the rest of your life. Have Fun Be Safe !

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