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London couple in two-year honeymoon tandem world record attempt (+ video)

Steve and Kay Turner set off from New Zealand in May on trip back to London of more than 38,000km

A London couple who got married last year are taking an extended honeymoon with a difference – they’re spending two years cycling back home from New Zealand with the aim of setting a new record for the longest ever tandem ride.

Kat Turner, aged 31, and husband Steve, 33, are currently pedalling their way through Malaysia in their attempt to beat the existing record of 38,143 kilometres, set between 1994 and 1997 by British couple Louise and Phil Shambrook, who are now based in New Zealand.

The couple gave up their jobs – Kat as a caseworker for the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman and Steve as a schoolteacher – before embarking on their journey of a lifetime in May this year, and have also left behind their chickens and cats at their home in Forest Hill, South London, which is being looked after by friends while they are away.

Besides looking to set that new tandem record, they are also aiming to raise money for the charity Practical Action, which seeks to harness technology to alleviate the plight of people in the developing world living in poverty.

According to Mail Online, Kat had minimal experience of riding a bike before getting in the saddle for her honeymoon-with-a-difference, and with the start of the trip coinciding with the onset of the Southern Hemisphere winter, the couple have had to contend with ice and snow, in contrast to the searing temperatures they have subsequently experienced further north.

“The first four months of this trip were so hard. We cycled through gallons of rain and waves of gales,” she revealed.

“My feet felt like they were constantly soaked and at times I wanted to give up so much, so that I could enjoy a beer and good company with friends or the warmth of a fire or a Sunday roast at mum’s or a belly-aching laugh with my brother or a family knees-up in Plymouth.

“And dare I say it, even working in a dry office felt appealing at times.”

The couple, who spent Christmas in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, celebrated the festive season by posting a video online that focuses on the Australian leg of their journey.

The Oz Experience... from Tandem Turners on Vimeo.

After Malaysia, their planned itinerary will take them through countries including Thailand, Vietnam, China, Pakistan, Iran and Turkey, before heading through Europe and back into the UK in early 2014.

They are getting by on a budget of £20 a day, sometimes sleeping in a two-man tent, other times under a roof thanks to the generosity of family, friends - in some cases friends of friends - and even total strangers who have heard about their travels.

“We have found the first months very hard and we haven't had the energy or the contacts to do very much other than cycle, which isn’t exactly a traditional way of enjoying a honeymoon,” said Steve, who has worked in Australia and spent a year riding around the country when he was aged 19.

“At first, we were also not sure whether we could do what we were planning to do but now that we have completed six months and the Australian Outback we feel much more confident that we can do this.

“If we do, it will be the most amazing achievement. The world record is just something we added in as a fun extra.

“It shouldn’t take away from the more important things on our trip, which is how we cope with all the adventures and challenges we have on the way. We will see people living in poverty and struggling to survive, which will make us even more determined to raise money for Practical Action.”

You can find out more information about the couple’s trip, including a comprehensive travel journal which has full details of their journey to date and the people and places they have encountered, on their Tandem Turners website.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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SideBurn | 11 years ago

Brilliant; I know a couple who rode from Lands End to John o Groats on their honeymoon; I cannot say I was too jealous! Beats the hell out of my one night in Brighton (long story. But; a link to Mail on line? Really?

Simon_MacMichael replied to SideBurn | 11 years ago
SideBurn wrote:

But; a link to Mail on line? Really?

Site policy is to provide a link to original story whenever one is available, even if it is the Mail... users can of course choose not to click on it  3

(The Daily Mail... we read it so you don't have to)

SideBurn replied to Simon_MacMichael | 11 years ago
Simon_MacMichael wrote:
SideBurn wrote:

But; a link to Mail on line? Really?

(The Daily Mail... we read it so you don't have to)

My hero  16

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