The Route

Far from the easiest route, the Better Life Cycle follows quite a demanding path. Winding round to take in the some great sights each country offers.

The goal of the ride isn't to get to the end but to make the most of the journey... even if it means taking a 200km detour.

  • 14,000 miles / 24,000km
  • 30 countries / 3 continents
  • 1 great adventure

View the route on Google Earth

If you don't have it, download it!

From: Damascus, Syria
To: Aqaba, Jordan
Distance: 558km
From: Istanbul, Turkey
To: Kas, Turkey
Distance: 615km
From: Split, Croatia
To: Ohrid, Macedonia
Distance: 750km
From: Split, Croatia
To: Perast, Montenegro
Distance: 375km
From: Cortina, Italy
To: Ljubljana, Slovenia
Distance: 305km
From: London, UK
To: Canterbury, UK
Distance: 120km

The Riders

I have been lucky to be joined by some good friends on the ride, as well as meeting many others on the way.

The ride was billed as a ‘one man’ feat. The truth is that I couldn’t have got here without the help of so many people.

Ken McCallum, one of my best friends, has now joined the ride. We cycled together up until Ethiopia but are now taking on Africa from two angles.

Click on the photos to read the stories of the riders...

Kenny G

Kenny (Ken McCallum) has been involved in the Better Life Cycle since the early days of planning. He helped build this cracking little website and has been constant source of motivation.

Kenny left his job at Bird & Bird LLP in April 2010 to join me in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. We cycled together into Sub Saharan Africa before splitting in Gondar, Ethiopia. I plan to stay in Gondar to work further for Yenege Tesfa, whilst Kenny will continue his journey to help with orphanages further along the route.

Africa is a huge continent; with two people on the case we really hope to make a difference.

You can read Ken's blog here


Dan met Nadia (Nadia Oulaby) in Damascus and during the five month stay there, they became good friends, colleagues and frequent opponents in the capoeira roda. Nadia loves cycling, so she happily hopped on her bike to cycle from Damascus to Aqaba and beyond.

Highlights: Floating in the Dead Sea, falling in a stream during a capoeira demo in Dana, cycling along the Kings Highway, sneaking into Petra, reaching Aqaba after a 140km day, and camping all over Jordan.

Read more about it on the blog: Moving on...the moments that make it or the photos Flickr: Jordan, the Dead Sea & the Kings Highway & Petra: The Jewel of Jordan.


Vivi (Veronica Moretti) put her fears aside to cycle from her native Cortina d’Ampezzo in the Italian Dolomites to the Slovenian capital Ljubljana; crossing some serious mountains on the way.

Highlight: The sunset cycle on entering Slovenia. We found an unmarked cycle track that followed a beautiful valley and gave us a glorious welcome to the country.

Read more about our ride on the blog Bends, Bikers, Borders & Balls and see the photos on Flickr.

Vivi is now masterminding the success of Storm in a D Cup swimwear and has just completed a London to Paris cycle. Go girl!


Jimi (James Simpson) joined me for an epic cycle along the Turkish coast, from Izmir to Kas. We had several unexpected and truly arduous climbs but there is no doubt they were worth it.

Highlights: Stealth camping in Bodrum, seeing an octopus while snorkeling, not climbing the hill near Fetihye, cycling the road to Marmaris, and a magical final day in on our own boat in Kas.

Read more about it on the blog: Turkish Tales or the photos Flickr: Turkish Tales I & II .

Jimi is now back in London and progressing his blooming career as a Film Editor: www.EditJuice.com.


Andy (Andrew Bond) emailed after hearing my interview on the radio. We met in Croatia a week later and cycled all the way to Macedonia together.

Highlight: Cycling to the summit of Mount Lovcen. We didn’t need to go that way and from the top it barely seemed possible but the view and sense of achievement made the delirium on the way up all the more worth it.

Read more about our ride together on the blog: ‘Albania: Bread, Salt & Heart’ and see the photos on Flickr: Albania & Montenegro & the Black Mountain.

Andy is now teaching English in Vietnam.


Eve (Eve McIlvaney) is a cycling nut; as soon as she heard about my ride she was keen to join me. Not only that, she was a big help contacting sponors and fundraising too. We cycled the Croatian coast on some seriously hot and memorable days in September.

Read more about our ride on the blog: ‘Former Yugoslavia; Existing Wonder’ and see the photos on Flickr.

Eve has since cycled through northern India raising funds for Marie Curie and is now thinking of cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats. She probably cycling more than me!


The Azeri Princess (Rebecca Marsham) was on hand to see me safely out of London, on a glorious August day. Our winding route led us to a teary farewell in Canterbury.

Highlight: The unexpected hidden treasures & twee villages Kent; no idea there was such much beauty so close to home.

Read a little more about our ride on the blog: A flying start and the photos on Flickr.

Following her success with fundraising for the Better Life Cycle, Rebecca has just begun working for Cancer Research UK. Follow what she’s up to at: www.twitter.com/RebeccaEPM/