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Every person who joins a Brake the Cycle trip has a positive experience to share for the rest of their lives, meet the very best of our past peddlers and discover what happens during a cycling trip with us!

Jen Charon | Brake the CycleJen

What do you do? I'm the Co-founder of LOANHOOD, your fashion rental app.

Ride you joined: Lisbon to Seville, 2018

Where do you live? Hackney

My lasting memory from the BTC trip is...
The people I met. Our trip was just 10 days, way back in 2018, but we're still in touch and I would ride with them all again in a heartbeat. Not gonna lie, the toughest part of the trip was... Saddle sore.

For everyone wondering if they should join a BTC ride, I'd say... Do it. You'll meet like-minded people, go on great rides, eat, swim, laugh and make memories.

 

 

 

Ed

Work: Freelance Illustrator and Designer 
Ride you joined: LEJOG 2018
Where do you live? Portugal
Lasting memory of my BTC trip is...
So so many memories - like arriving at Findhorn in the most beautiful sunset after a tough 100-miler in time for my 30th birthday; or the exhilarating, endless downhill after a tough climb of Hardknot Pass in the Lake District; the impromptu talent show we put on in a shed somewhere in the middle of nowhere. But if I had to choose one, it would be the day we cycled through the Highlands. Cycling past Glencoe and feeling tiny its sheer presence, the white peaks contrasting with the stormy background to create the most LOTR-esque scene you've ever seen, knowing we had arrived there on pure pedal power - that moment made it all worth it and more. 

Not gonna lie, the hardest part was... probably the first few days climbing the tough Cornish hills, mostly due to my lack of training. It got easier from then on :) 

For everyone wondering if they should go on a BTC ride I'd say...
Forget about all your doubts - honestly, there isn't a chance in hell that you'll regret it. I had barely ever cycled up a hill before signing up to cycle from one end of the UK to the other. And the cycling isn't even the highlight, really. It's the people - the sense of community, the joy of spending entire days outside together, morning to night, rain or shine, swimming in rivers and setting up camp, listening to life stories, learning stories for life. I've been on a fair amount of travels and adventures - but doing LEJOG with BTC was probably the one I cherish the most. When you put in the effort, life rewards you. It was a milestone in our lives and we made many changes to our routines afterwards. Plus we're still really good friends with the rest of the crew and our Whatsapp group is still active three years later :) 

Kate

Job: Climate/energy policy researcher/consultant at the Carbon Trust in London 
Ride: Wild Atlantic Way 2019
Lives: London 

I chose to join a BTC ride because...
I'd never been to Ireland before and I thought it would be such an amazing way to see the west coast - an inexpensive, sometimes-challenging and low-carbon trip (I recommend taking the ferry over), for me it was a way to meet new friends interested in sustainability and cycling, and a guilt-free way of enjoying Irish delicacies, too! 

The thing that surprised me most on the trip / about BTC was...  How much more satisfying Guinness is after a day in the saddle!  

If I had 5 words to sum up my BTC experience I’d say... Great, green, Guinness-filled getaway.

Tom

Work: I work for a start-up, and probably run often enough to call it a part-time job
Rides you crewed: LEJOG 2018 (you can add the 2019 C2C if it looks better to have done more than one, I mean I did help out a lot on that trip!)
Lives: South London

The thing I love most about being part of Brake the Cycle crew is…
supporting and seeing people transform in their cycling confidence over the course of a tour

An unexpected outcome of crewing BTC rides has been… I didn’t expect to be nostalgic about the early wake up calls, dealing with issues on the road, or cooking a big meal after a long day’s riding, but it’s part of what makes the trips so unique.

For everyone wondering if they should join a BTC ride I'd say...
They are true adventures, and as soon as you finish one you’re already planning the next!

Hannah Bywaters

Hannah

Where do you work: Assistant Funeral Director at Arka Funerals

Rides you joined: Milan to Barcelona 2017, Lands End to John O Groats 2018 and Cork to Galway 2019

Lives: Brighton

One of my favourite things about Brake the Cycle is...
the people, wonderful companions who I'd never have met otherwise, who challenged me, taught me fab stuff, put up with me graciously and laughed with me.

A lasting memory from all the trips I've joined has to be...
the views, so many beautiful landscapes cycled past, photographed, enjoyed. This is one beautiful world, and seeing it by bike wins.

For everyone wondering if they should join a BTC ride I'd say...
you'll love it, maybe not every minute at the time as of course there'll be challenges but for sure you'll look back with such joy.

 

Hannah Bywaters

Bex

Work: I'm a freelance marketing strategist working in the adventure tourism industry. Currently working with Spirit of the West Adventures, Backseat Bivy and Fresh Adventures Canada.
Ride you joined: LEJOG 2018
Where do you live? Originally from Worcestershire. Recently emigrated to British Columbia, Canada.

An absolute highlight from all the trips and rides I've joined has to be...
The depth and purpose behind BTC. The fact that each trip is also about highlighting a more sustainable way of living attracts a certain kind of person - which translates into meeting the most amazing folks on BTC rides. 

If I had 5 words to sum up my BTC I'd say...
Challenging, purposeful, kind, adventurous, memorable.

For everyone wondering if they should join a BTC ride I'd say.. 
I cannot recommend Brake the Cycle enough. Whether you want to challenge yourself on your bike, have some quiet time to reset, be inspired by sustainability projects or find a new community, BTC rides do all of that and more. 3 years after I completed LEJOG, our Whatsapp group is still going strong and we still have lively discussions about everything from making your own oat mylk to the ethics of travelling and whether or not to buy an electric vehicle. I am so glad I signed up to LEJOG - it was an awesome experience, which left me with amazing memories and a group of wonderful new friends.

 

Lydiana | Brake the Cycle TripLydiana

Where do you work? Yoga teacher based in East London. 
Ride(s) you joined: I've done a few retreats with Joe and Brake the Cycle! Dartmoor Dreaming, and two Yoga & Cycling Retreats, one in Norfolk and one in Kent.
Where you live: Leyton, London

I joined this BTC trip because.. I was invited to share the experience and teach yoga. Staying at beautiful centres based in permaculture principles is in line with yogic practices, so it seemed like a no brainer! 
 
The highlight of the trip/weekend was/is... The people!! It's guaranteed that you will meet wonderful people that join BTC trips, and potentially life long friendships. 
 
If I had 5 words to sum up my BTC experience I’d say.. You won't regret it. Enjoy!

 

 

Tom Newbury | Brake the Cycle TripTom

What do you do: Marketing
Ride you joined: Lands End - John O Groats 2018
Where do you live? Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire.

I chose to join a BTC ride because... So many reasons! This was our honeymoon, and it was unforgettably good. We chose it as a chance to get to know the land we live in, as a way to experience different ways of living in the places we stayed, and in a big way, for an adventure.

The highlight of the trip was... There were daily highlights! I think my favourite landscape was Glen Coe. It's exhilarating to ride through. The food was always great but I particularly enjoyed the jackfruit burgers after a long day to catch the sunset at Findhorn. My favourite climb was probably Cheddar Gorge - at the top we stayed in an amazing barn, perfect for warming up after a rainy blast over the tops! But overall, I think my biggest takeaway is the friendships and bond we have as a group, still regularly in contact now.

If I had 5 words to sum up my BTC experience I’d say: Ethical, Personal, Fun, Life-changing.

 

Rob Hughes | Brake the Cycle Trip

Rob

What do you do?
I set up and grow small businesses so that they are able to run themselves independently.

Ride(s) you crewed:
Lisbon/Seville, Berlin/Munich, Dartmoor. 
Lives: Brighton

The best thing about Brake the Cycle trips are... The laid back feel of the rides, although some parts are tough the experience, on the whole, is pressure-free and delightful.
 
My lasting memory from the trips I've been on are... the people I met and the unique places we visited and stayed. 
 
For everyone wondering if they should join a BTC ride, I'd say... do it for an unforgettable experience and a change from the norm.
Phil Moore | Brake the Cycle Trip

Phil

Where do you work? I’m a starter farmer in west Wales working with my partner running an off-grid ecological smallholding growing veg for our sauerkraut business. 
Ride you joined: End to End 2015 [Land’s end to John O’Groats]
Where do you live? West Wales. 
My lasting memory of the BTC trip is... 
Camaraderie and community. The sense of achievement having completed such a massive ride and seeing the UK from the seat of my saddle was such a joy. Oh, and an unseasonably dry and warm April which made for great riding. 
Not gonna lie, a low point in the trip was... 
Frosted undercrackers left out overnight. That is, my cycling shorts which I had washed and left out to dry were frozen come morning time. Not fun riding a long day without padded shorts. 
For everyone wondering if they should join on a BTC ride, I'd say... 
Do it! BTC rides aren’t just about the destination — they’re all about the journey. The one on the road and the one you undertake with yourself. Cycling is such a great way to feel and sense the world around you. Bigger rides are also a chance to catch up with yourself and pedal out all the worries and anxieties that may have been troubling you. It’s also a great way to connect and commune with other humans.

James Ballantyne | Brake the Cycle

James Ballantyne

Work: I work in government trying to sort out climate change.
Ride(s) you crewed: Milan - Barcelona 2017; Lisbon - Seville 2017; Lands End - John O'Groats 2018, Yoga & Cycling 2018, Cork - Galway 2019
Where do you live? South East London

The thing I love most about being part of Brake the Cycle crew is... The amazing people who come on the rides. Have made some lifelong friends. 
An absolute highlight from all the trips I crewed has to be.. Impossible to choose between the home-made sauna, the carousel of fancy dress, the view from the top of the Alps, the distillery diversions, or the super-secret special BTC breakfast snacks.
For everyone wondering if they should join a BTC ride I'd say.. Whether you're a super-keen lycra-clad veteran cyclist, or someone who's just got themselves a bike and wants to go somewhere nice on it, go for it!  There's no friendlier, more interesting bunch of people I've had the pleasure to spend time with - sharing great views, restorative dinners and endless good vibes. 

Josie

What you do / Where you work : Design Engineer, London

Ride(s) you joined: Coast to Coast 2019

Where you live: Uxbridge, West London

The thing that surprised me most on the trip was how supportive and close-knit everyone became in such a short space of time.

A standout memory from the Coast to Coast 2019 has to be...
eating a can of rice pudding in the rain, nothing has ever tasted that good!

If I had 5 words to sum up my Brake the Cycle experience I’d say...
breath-taking views, optimistic, delicious food!

 

David Pope

David

What you do: I'm a semi-retired circus skills performer
Ride you joined: 2018 LeJog
I joined this BTC trip to to raise money for a friend's cancer charity and for the challenge. 
The best thing about joining the BTC ride was making new friends. We're still in touch .
If I had 5 words to sum up my BTC experience I’d say: Life affirming and great fun

 

Francesca

Work: (Very) junior doctor
Rides you joined: Coast to Coast, Yoga and Cycling 
Lives: Hull, East Yorkshire
A highlight of the BTC trips I've joined has been: 
Cycling all the way up Hartside on my own, only to find Joe and the team cheering me on when I arrived at the top! 
If I had 5 words to sum up the Brake the Cycle experience, I’d say:
Community, incredible food, great memories
For everyone wondering if they should go on a BTC ride, I'd say: 
Do it! Whatever you're worried about - they've got it sorted. No one is ever left behind, everyone is super friendly, and you will have a blast!

 

 

 

 

 

George

What you do / Where you work: Retired Trade Union and political activist (but still active!)

Ride you joined: Lisbon - Seville

Where you live: Bradford

I chose to join a BTC ride because I... loved the commitment to adventure, eco-friendly stays and great routes

Not gonna lie, a low point in the trip was... trudging up a hill to camp, after a long day in the saddle.

My lasting memory of the BTC trip is... loving the camaraderie, the sense of achievement and the lovely food!

 

 


  

Bertille | Brake the CycleBertille

What do you do? I'm Diversity & Inclusion Manager for ITV
Ride you joined: Lands End John O Groats 2018
Where do you live? Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire
 
I chose to join a BTC ride because... this trip was our honeymoon so we were keen to have some support for the ride but really we pick BTC because of the ethos of the company. We are very interested in alternative ways of living and the trips were very focused on community living and sharing knowledge which was amazing.
The highlight of the trip was the links and bonds we created with each other in such a short time. I'm a big fan of empty space so Scotland was pretty stunning for me but also arriving at Findhorn after cycling a 100miles, nature had saved the most gorgeous sunset for us.
If I had 5 words to sum up my BTC experience I’d say...
Community, Fun, Alternative, Sustainable, Loving.