Cycle Touring Videos

Cycle Touring Videos


Welcome to our Cycle Touring Videos from our France to China cycle trip, Canada trip and other cycle trips. I hope you enjoy them. The photos and videos are shot on a GoPro Hero 2, a Lumix GF1 camera and an iphone SE.

Safe travels!

Kelly & Michael x

France to China by bike Cycle Touring Videos

  1. France
  2. Italy
  3. The first 5000km (France to Iran)
  4. Iran
  5. Turkmenistan & Uzbekistan
  6. Kyrgyzstan & Kazakhstan
  7. Kazakhstan & China
  8. A Day in the Life of a Cycle Tourist

Other Cycle Touring Videos

  1. Canada
  2. Snapshot Canada: every 100km across Canada
  3. Farewell Canada
  4. Cycling the USA
  5. Cycling Nicaragua

The Cycle Touring Videos

France to China by bike Cycle Touring Videos


This is where the journey began at Sty Foy ski station in the Alps! We were working a ski season in the French Alps, when Kelly was in a ski accident, and was no longer able to ski, run, walk, or do anything, except cook and eat. The doctor advised her, that cycling would be good rehab for the knee… and so, with that, the idea of cycling to China was born. With absolutely no experience, next to no planning, and several injuries, we headed off – feeling… confident! Lucky for us the first few days were all down hill, followed by the rest of the week conquering 2 mountains passes. Read more about our cycle trip through France.


When we made it to Italy, we knew that we would be able to make it the whole way to China – despite what others thought. This was the first country we cycle the whole way across. Read more about our cycle across Italy.

The first 5000km from France to China

Unfortunately, we lost all our original video footage from the first half of our trip. This happened at some point during the trip, but we didn’t realise until we got home, and by this time it was too late to do much about it. We did however manage to retrieve this video about the first 5000km cycling through FranceItalyCroatiaMontenegroAlbaniaMacedoniaGreeceTurkey and Iran. Click on the country name to read more about our cycle trip through those countries.



We didn’t know what to expect when cycling through Iran, but as soon as we crossed the border from Turkey, we were welcomed by friendly and extremely generous people. A day didn’t go by where we weren’t given gifts of fresh fruit, water, smiles and waves. One of the hottest, but also one of my favourite countries on the cycle trip.

Turkmenistan & Uzbekistan

We were only able to get a 5 day transit visa for Turkmenistan, which meant 5 days to cycle 600km across a very hot desert on a very bad road. Luckily, we made it to the border in time. After Turkmenistan was Uzbekistan. The most challenging country during our cycle trip. Bad roads, injured dogs, boring scenery, a killer headwind, but some amazing people. Read more about our adventures in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Kyrgyzstan & Kazakhstan

When we arrived into Kyrgyzstan we were greeted with smooth highways, beautiful scenery and lots of cows, oh and mountains. We made it to Bishkek, and then from there cycled into the last Stan of the trip, Kazakhstan. Read more about our adventures in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan & China

The last few days cycling in Kazakhstan were cold! We were looking forward to getting to China and exchanging our bikes for backpacks. The cycle into China was easy, however the bad pollution lead us to hitchhike to Urumqi. Once in Urumqi we sold the bikes, and made our way to Beijing as backpackers. Read more about our China experience.

A Day in the Life of a Cycle Tourist

Ever wonder what it’s like to be a cycling nomad? This video gives a glimpse into the life of a cycle tourist, while we cycled through the Kazakh desert, during our France to China cycle trip.

Other Cycle Touring Videos


The cycle journey started on 27th June 2016 in Vancouver, British Columbia. We then spent the next 3.5 months cycling 7000km across Canada to Halifax. The cycle trip took us through the Rocky Mountains, the Prairie lands, the lake lands of Ontario, French Canada and finally the Maritimes.

Click here to read about our cycle trip across Canada.

Snapshot Canada: every 100km across Canada 

We decided to take a photo every 100km that we cycled across Canada. The idea was to put the photos together as a slide show in the hope that it will give a perspective of how the Canadian landscape changes coast to coast. I think it definitely puts the prairies and also Ontario into perspective in terms of distance. The road quality also changes drastically. In total we cycled 7000km across the country.

Farewell Canada: Cycling Canada to the USA

After spending the winter in Halifax, we were ready to start the next leg of our cycle trip, cycling to the US! This video is about our last week in Canada, cycling from Halifax to the US border.

Cycling the USA

Michael and I, entered the USA in Maine, then headed down the coast to Boston. We spent about 3 weeks cycling in New England, before heading West to New York state. From there we had a ‘slight’ change in plan!

Cycling Nicaragua

We spent 6 weeks cycling around Nicaragua in Central America, during the wet season. Friendly people, awesome beaches and some surprisingly cycle-friendly paths and roads.


China: the transition from cyclist to backpacker

transition from cyclist to backpacker, The summit at Emei Shan National Park

It all happened so quickly!

One second we were cycle tourists, where the most important things in our lives were our bikes, our panniers, our camping stuff and food and water. The next second we were just backpackers. We no longer owned bikes and were throwing out our tattered panniers and old reused ziplock bags, something that once seemed so important to us. It was a strange feeling, like losing a limb. It all just felt so wrong and so surreal – the transition from cyclist to backpacker!

Rules are really just guidelines!

We reorganised our bags and made our way, via public bus, to the train station, to catch the 2 day train to Chengdu. The one place in China I’ve always wanted to visit. We didn’t have any problems with our bags during the entire cycle trip until we reached the train station at Urumqi. For those of you that don’t know, there was a terrorist attack at the train station in Urumqi about 2 years ago, so security there is quite high.

After going through several check points and security screenings we were asked to step aside and have our bags searched. This resulted in them removing our camping knives, my Swiss army knife, our bike multitools and our camp gas. They tried to explain to us in Chinese that these items could not be taken on the train and there was no check in luggage. I loudly protested in English, obviously drawing the attention of others and soon we had a crowd. Eventually we did come to an agreement. I got to keep the knives, they got to keep our camping gas. A fair, but rather strange agreement, which is just one example of the flexibility of laws and rules in China.

Emei Shan National Park
Emei Shan National Park

Riding the trains in China

We were in the economy sleeper, which had no door and slept 6 people. Unfortunately for us, (like in the whole of China) smoking was permitted, though admittedly only at the far end of the train. It didn’t take long for the smoke to whiff down the entire carriage.

After spending 7 months traveling and being ‘on show.’ Having limited privacy to people, whom think you are an ‘exotic species,’ you might think we would be used to all the attention by now, however, our patience had worn thin. We seemed to draw the attention of people wherever we went. We assumed this would stop after getting rid of the bikes, but we were wrong. It wasn’t long before we had people taking sneaky (or not so sneaky) photos and video of us. Not something you want when you’re trying to sleep. Overall people seemed quite friendly and attempted to make conversation with us. Though, all we really craved with some privacy and some normality.

The 2 days on the sleeper train dragged. We feasted on pot noodles (China knows how to do a really good pot noodle box) and snacks that we picked up from the supermarket before catching the train. A healthy assortment of packaged dry cakes, nuts and freeze wrapped foods – extremely healthy!

Chinese food
More Chinese food

Chengdu: the transition from cyclist to backpacker, complete!

Finally we made it to Chengdu! Stinking like cigarette smoke and feeling more drained than after a week of solid cycling. Chengdu was a paradise compared to the polluted city of Urumqi. It was a modern, pretty and unpolluted (in Chinese standards) city. There were lots of parks, Western and even vegetarian restaurants and it was very easy to navigate around without the bikes. This was just what we needed.

I can honestly say, I loved Chengdu. We visited the pandas, explore the ancient towns, the markets and of course the restaurants. We also decided to visit the nearby Emei Shan National Park – a Buddhist monastery mountain/ jungle national park, which was extremely touristic and quite expensive (as was everything related to tourism in China). Finally, we got to do some hiking! Though hiking up ancient stairs for hours on end isn’t quite the same as hiking on a mountain trail. It was still an awesome place, which I definitely recommend. We were feeling happy for the transition from cyclist to backpacker, though we still felt a bit ‘lost.’

From Emei Shan we visited Leshan and the giant Buddha, before jumping back on another 2 night sleeper train to Beijing – our final destination.

Baby pandas
Baby pandas

Our final destination: Beijing!

I was happy to finally arrive in Beijing. We made our way to our hotel, and I couldn’t help but reflect on my life since the last time I was in China. 5 years has passed and a lot had happened since then. I definitely couldn’t have predicted any of it, but that’s life. Wouldn’t it be boring if you knew where you’d be in 5 or 10 years?

By chance, my brother, Michael (yes, another Michael), just happened to be in Beijing for work at the same time as us. If you know my brother then it wouldn’t surprise you that he just randomly turned up a day early at our hotel, unannounced and with no money to pay for the cab. Luckily for him (and he does tend to be quite lucky) we just happened to be at the hotel when he arrived.

We had a great few days catching up, eating lots of food and exploring the sites of Beijing and the surroundings. Though, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t tired. Really I was just looking forward to getting home and back to a ‘normal’ life.

Great wall of China
Great wall of China

The small things in life

Even after a few weeks of living as normal backpackers, we were still adjusting to the simple things in life, such as having access to toilets, and for that matter, western toilets, as well as having access to water, shops, food, internet, beds. We were slowly making the transition from cyclist to backpacker. All the things that most people take for granted in everyday life. Even meeting people that spoke English seemed strange, and even stranger was seeing other Western tourists. It was hard to believe that just over a week ago we were cycling in the middle of the desert. That life already seemed a million miles away.

On top of tha was returning to a world of materialism. After living with the essentials for so long. The ‘luxury’ items just seemed so pointless. The other thing that got me was the amount of waste. Waste itself is a ‘luxury’ item and we had been living in conditions that meant we limited our waste. Nothing from food, to plastic bags, to clothes was wasted. We made everything last (though admittedly packaging from food was still waste – except for our recycled bowls that were actually chocolate spread containers). We didn’t do all this to save money, but rather because we didn’t know when we could get more of something, or replace the old one. So just made do with what we had. I guess the transition from cyclist to backpacker is not an easy one, especially when factoring in the culture shock and readjustments.

Even as I try and explain how surreal the entire transition was. I’m a bit lost for words. Unless you experience first hand the transition from cyclist to backpacker, I don’t think someone can truly understand. The transition isn’t over yet. Returning to ‘normality’ aka Australian life is the next. step.