Frequently Asked Questions

We meet a lot of people out on our bikes & we get asked a lot of questions. 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.

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. In most other places it was about 100km per day. In Europe there’s a lot of navigating, and a lot of bakeries.

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. When we weighed the bikes at the Adventure Cycling Association in Missoula, Montana they were 45kg each.

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


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