Today we bring you a guest post from two brothers, Alex and Greg, who are currently on a world tour riding two Montague folding bikes. They’ve been riding since May 2011, and have crossed 22 countries, cycled 9000 miles and carried their Montague folding bikes on trains, buses, planes, and cars. They even towed one of the bikes behind a motorbike for 3000 miles across Laos and Vietnam!
It all started in Paris where we were looking for a way to travel a long time around the world, for cheap. By foot ? Too long. Hitchhiking ? Too dependant. What about cycling ? Well… We never really cycled before, so we needed a bike we could fold in case we wanted to hitchhike or catch a bus. We quickly stopped our choice on Montague and the X50. The folding system seemed indestructable, the 26 inch tires are the standard size around the globe… and it looked terrific. After adding all the necessary accessories to turn them into true touring bikes, and upgrading a few components, we were all set up.
For the two first months we crossed Europe from France to Ukrania. We cycled about half of it. We hitchhiked for the other half. Two guys, two bikes and two 70l backpacks. That is quite a lot of volume when you intend to fit them into someone’s car, but thanks to the Montague folding design, we always made it work! We even managed to hitchhike in a tiny Fiat Punto, and the owner was already carrying another bike in his trunk. 3 guys, 3 bikes!
Then came Russia with the Trans-Siberian Railway. There we traveled by train and kept our bikes hidden beneath the bunks. We then crossed Mongolia and China with a mix of trains and cycling. Every time we would arrive in a train station in the middle of nowhere, those bikes gave us a total freedom. We just had to open the bags, unfold, and go. No need to bargain with taxi drivers or walk downtown to look for an accommodation.
After 3 months in China we went to Laos, which is the big « south east asia chapter » of our trip. We stayed nearly a year visiting all the countries there. Alex got lazy and bought a motorbike for a few months. We tied the X50 to the motorbike with bungee cords. A lot of them snapped and it was highly dangerous, but we had so much fun traveling like that through probably the worst roads we could find.
We were back on two bikes when we went south through Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. We cycled on the Java island and then caught a large boat for a 5 day trip to Papua New Guinea. This renowned dangerous country was the best part of our trip, so different than what we had ever seen. The cycling part was quite an adventure there. Sealed roads are rare, road signs nonexistent, and river crossings are everywhere. We had no choice but to take 2 boats and a small plane to reach the capital city of Port Moresby.
From there we flew to Australia. We lived there for 2 years in the desert. We didn’t cycle much during this time as we just stayed there for work. It was a crazy experience in itself, but not one we wish on anybody.
Three months ago we restarted the trip and flew to New Zealand. It was winter there so we added some extra stuff to the bikes : 4 season tents, bigger sleeping bags, and 2 bags on the front fork. We cycled for 2 months. We went all around the country : 2500 miles, freezing temperatures, millions of sheep and very friendly locals.
We planned to continue to Chile by boat (hitchiking), but having no experience sailing, we found nothing. So we decided to fly to San Francisco and visit a good friend we met 3 years ago in Laos. Then the worst happened when one of our bikes was stolen while we were trying to understand a baseball game. The police never traced it and we had to extend our stay in the city. We spoke with Montague bikes to see if they could help us out because buying a new bike and all the equipment needed was not an option. They quickly answered and few days later Fedex was delivering a Paratrooper Pro. Here we are, ready to hit the road again and take those bikes south, to Central and South America.
You can find even more photos on their website at www.deuxsingesenhiver.com.