November 23, 2020 4 min read
This guest blog post was written by Céline and Xavier Pasche. They travel around the world by bicycle with their daughters. Here is part of these story.
Riding a bicycle as a way to explore the world
Riding a bicycle can mean so many different things to different people.
It can be the joy of riding for the first time, when your child just overcame the challenges.
It can be the delight of using the balance bike for the little one who find a new way of being more independent.
It can be the pride of following Dad for a cycling trip.
It can be the freedom of playing with friends .
It can be the sportive challenge that pushes you to go further, harder and longer.
It can be the new way of playing with a bike : mountain biking, trial biking, or BMX.
It can be a means of transportation that takes you every day to school or work.
It can be the pleasure of being outside.
It can be anything you want it to be...
For us, riding a bicycle is a way of being. Not because we are crazy cyclists who sleep with their bikes, no, because it gives us the means to achieve our dreams. For us cycling is a way to explore the world.
Since 2010 we are nomads on bikes. Imaging bringing everything you need with you, like a snail that can go anywhere. Now you can know that our life is very simple.
Have you ever imagined crossing the Gobi Desert in Mongolia, reaching passes above 16 000 ft elevation, diving in the wilderness, camping in remote places of the world in Siberia, going from jungle to rice paddies, and discovering the cultures of the world ?
This is our life. Not as an individual or as a couple, but as a family of four. Our two daughters were born along the way. Nayla (2013) has the power of the Himalayas, and had her first bike in New Zealand. Fibie (2017) is linked to the yin energy of Japan and made her first steps in Mongolia.
10 years on the roads: in 2020 we already cycled 46 000 miles, on 4 continents. I could never have imagined it that special day when we hit the road... Sometimes I wonder if it is not the journey that chose us. We feel deeply guided on the path, each time all the pieces of the puzzle are placed in a surprising synchronicity.
Every day is a beginning. Every day, the universe of possibilities is ahead of us. Immersed in nature, each gesture unfolds at a different rhythm. Sleeping in tents, our life is made of simplicity. Our home becomes the foot of one of those big protective trees, the river brings us running water, the land reveals its mysteries.
Yet, being nomads we need a spirit of steel and endless adaptability. We must open our hearts to know that the only limits are those of our minds. We must repeat the same routines, set up the tent every day and at the same time plunge every second into the unknown. We must face our deepest fears and walk hand in hand with them. We have to experience disappointment hundreds of times, bounce back from the unexpected thousands of times to finally understand that we cannot have any expectations whatsoever. We need a mind that frees itself from all doubts and at the same time live a true humility in front of the power of nature and the sumptuous differences that create our humanity.
"I can't stand those mosquitoes anymore! It's a nightmare!" Xavier is devastated. This time, I feel he is close to breaking up. We suffer tirelessly from the bites of these bloodthirsty beings. Facing us are 135 miles of unpaved road. We are at the door of the Denali Highway, at the start of one of the challenges of our journey in Alaska. On this dirt road, there is no cellular reception and sporadic traffic, we will be alone in the arctic tundra. In this wild and rugged region, the weather conditions are extreme, and the land is exposed to the harshest of winters. Yet exceptional wildlife thrives there. In the foothills of the Alaska Range, the first pass takes us into a steep final section. Suddenly, the panorama opens up, a breathtaking landscape. The peaks of three mountain ranges above 13 000 ft rise in the sky, glacial tongues extend al the way to the valleys. The dimensions are enormous!
As always, we dive into the unknown. We don't know where we will sleep tonight or what will happen in the next ten minutes. Every day, we are led to trust life and to follow our intuitions. We are led to open our hearts. This way of being unable us to create our life every single day. And this is how we feel fully alive. There is no word to express this life force that takes us every day a little further.
Nayla is 7 years old and since her birth she is a nomad. 22 000 miles exploring the world. And Fibie has already been in 11 different countries. Now, for the next thousands miles both of them will be cycling on Prevelo!
You can follow this amazing nomadic family's adventures on their blog at http://ylia.ch/