Two women, two bikes, seeing as much of the world as possible.

We set off in September 2015 and spent five months cycling around Europe. Roughly speaking, we went from Leicestershire to Bruges to Venice to Tirana to Rome to Barcelona to Lisbon to Bilbao and back again. There were a lot of places in between. We are really enjoying travelling by bike, seeing amazing scenery, fancy buildings and meeting friendly folk. Also love eating a range of bakery items as (totally essential) cycling fuel. Read about an average 36 hours on tour in Europe here.

We are now over a year into the trip and have cycled in twenty countries including the USA and Japan. It was getting a bit chilly in the Northern Hemisphere so we have recently hopped to New Zealand for some summer sun!

Frequently Asked Questions

We meet a lot of people out on our bikes & we get asked a lot of question. Mainly these ones…

What’s all this about?

Jo and Debs’ cycling trip is a self-funded, unsupported journey. They have no fixed end-point but hope to see as many awesome places and eat as much cake as possible before they get fed up of sitting on a bike seat.

As far as possible, Jo and Debs are aiming to use greener forms of transport like cycling and walking. If possible they will try to cross water with ships and not planes, and are a little sad that the North American leg of the trip started with a flight.

Most of the time they will be sleeping in an only-slightly-smelly tent, but always welcome a solid roof and walls if available!

Why brakesandcakes?

J: We found it really hard to think of a blog name but had the idea that it might be something to do with food, as one of my favourite things about cycling all day is that I can eat whatever I want. About 3 days before we left one of the girls in our cricket team suggested brakesandcakes – Debs had recently had a little crash, (needed to use her brakes), and we love cakes! It stuck.

Why are you riding bicycles?

J: Travelling by bicycle is the best – you go slow enough to see everywhere properly and meet lots of people, but fast enough to get around. You really get to know places.

Are you riding for a charity?

D: No, this trip is completely self-funded. It is not a world’s first, best or fastest bike ride, just one that is important to us, so we saved our pennies carefully for three years before leaving. There are a lot of charities that we really admire the work of, and some we make regular donations to because they are close to our hearts.  If you have some spare cash to donate, pick a charity that is meaningful to you and be sure to use giftaid if you are UK taxpayer.

Where are you going next?

J: We will be spending the next two months exploring New Zealand. In late January we will head to Malaysia and try to get home overland. Apart from the last little bit obviously. You can follow our journey at trackmytour.

How far do you ride each day?

J: This depends on a lot of things. Hills, weather, navigating towns/cities can all slow us down. Debs rides a bit slower than I would like in the morning, but has more energy left in the evening. In Europe we averaged 50 miles (80km) on cycling days. We expect this to be higher in North America as there will be less to stop at in some areas and navigation tends to be more straightforward.

Don’t you get tired?

D: Sometimes, but usually we just have a little rest or a snack. Cycling isn’t like walking or running, (no eccentric contractions sports science lovers) you don’t tend to get really achy the next day unless you properly beast it, and we are too busy looking at stuff to do that. We sleep really well though and sometimes in the evening get a little bit yawn-y while riding!

How heavy are your bikes?

J: Heavy! They are steel-framed, and the racks are sturdy. We carry all the things we need for camping, cooking, cold weather, filtering water etc. We are hoping that soon we can send some of the winter clothing ahead as we start to need it less. After a little time riding, you stop noticing the weight, but can be very wobbly when you ride without the panniers on. We got the bikes and kit weighed in Montana and they were 100lbs (about 45kg) each!

Got more questions? Ask us via the comments box below or email us at