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A bicycle made for 'I do': The British newlyweds on record-breaking two-year honeymoon tandem ride from New Zealand to LondonKat and Steve Turner plan to beat previous tandem journey record of 38,143kmsShe had to learn how to ride a bike before selling possessions and leaving homeThe couple have been attacked by dogs, cooked in rat-infested kitchens and fed giant lizards outside their tentThey have already battled through Arctic temperatures, searing heat, torrential rain – and have only completed a quarter of the trip
19:43 GMT, 24 December 2012
A honeymoon is the perfect chance for the newlywed couple to spend time with each other, away from the stresses of everyday life.
But Kat and Steve Turner, have taken that idea and run with it – or ridden with it.
Rather than taking time out for some post-wedding luxuriating on a beach or at a spa hotel, the couple decided to spend two years in a record-breaking attempt to travel the world on a tandem bicycle, sleeping in a tiny two-man tent.
Incredibly, Kat, 31, had never even ridden a bike more than a few yards before they decided to take on the challenge, which they began in May this year.
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A bicycle made for two: Kat and Steve Turner are attempting to break the world record for the longest tandem ride ever
Odyssey: Over two years, the couple plan to cycle from New Zealand back to their home in Forest Hill, London
The honeymoon represents an
extraordinary and testing celebration of their wedding vows, which they
made in August 2011 just eight months before they set off for
Christchurch in New Zealand.
intrepid couple gave up well-paid jobs as a teacher and caseworker for
the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman before leaving their
chickens and cat at their home in Forest Hill, south east London, with
friends who will spend the next two years house-sitting.
months and almost 9,000km later they arrived in Darwin, on the northern
tip of Australia, having braved arctic temperatures, snow, heavy rain
and high winds, followed by searing heat and the mechanical challenges
of pushing Hooch, their heavily-laden tandem, to the limit.
Epic ride: The couple's journey from New Zealand to London via three continents will last well into 2014
Caseworker Kat said: 'The
first four months of this trip were so hard. We cycled through gallons
of rain and waves of gales.
'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.'
But completing Australasia represents
less than a quarter of the monumental trip and the pair are now in
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, as part of the start of the marathon Asian leg
of their journey, which will take them through Indonesia, Thailand,
Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and into China.
Home sweet home: The tiny tent the pair call home on their epic trek. They are raising money for development charity Practical Action
Hardened: The pair traded comfortable lives in London for intense physical activity and spartan conditions
Once through China, they plan to go
into Pakistan, Iran, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia and into Turkey, when
the European leg of the adventure will start. The couple hope to return
to the UK in early 2014, having beaten the previous world record of
38,143kms set by Phil and Louise Shambrook 15 years ago.
are completing the trip to raise money for British international
development charity Practical Action, which uses technology to help
solve the problems of people living in poverty in the developing world.
Steve, 33, who taught at South
Park Primary School in Ilford said: '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
The couple get some practice in the UK before setting off on their global odyssey
'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.
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
To find out more about their trip, click here.
Tandem: Steve and 'Hooch' in Malaysia. They will now travel through Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and China
Still smiling: Kat had barely any experience cycling before they took on the challenge
New friends: The couple have described the people they have met on their journey so far as 'amazing'
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