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How do we get ready ?
What it takes?
More than perseverance and determination, this life has led us to make extraordinary choices and to believe in the impossible that vibrates within us. It has led us to discover our inner lands, because in this life of adventure we have no choice but to walk hand in hand with our fears. Nayla was the first and youngest child to cross the Nullarbor Desert in Australia by bike and Fibie the first and youngest child to cross the Gobi Desert from Mongolia to China, the coldest desert in the world. We were so moved that these deserts let us pass. Obviously, these weeks of autonomy are as intense as they are sublime. Our preparation is essential.
First of all,
a physical preparation. Our bikes weigh up to 150 kg with several days of autonomy in food and water. We drank up to 8 litres of water per day each and carried up to 60 litres of water and 10 days of food.
This preparation is also mental. We are not Olympic athletes who push our bodies to the limit. We have no choice but to always have enough energy in case of problems, if we are disturbed during the night, if we have to cycle further at the end of the day for some reason. We need a mind of steel and to know that the only limit is our mind. I remember that day in Kyrgyzstan when we cycle up a pass at 4 km/hour. We didn’t know where the nearest river was and we were almost out of water. It was the end of the day, we were exhausted and we didn’t know if we would have to pedal for 1, 2 or 3 hours or even more! Or when we had to push our bikes for 2 days in the sand in Serbia. Or when we had to face a strong headwind for 17 days straight while we were in Australia, crossing the desert. We had to wake up at 4:30 am because by midday the wind was so strong that we couldn’t pedal. That’s when we learned that there is another way than fighting the wind, by accepting it and using its power to move forward, even if it’s slowly.
Of course, we are also prepared logistically. For example, we found an old Soviet map on which old wells were marked, in case of an emergency in the Gobi.
Our internal security is also a key. Living in a tent is an art. We have learned that there are only two energies, one is fear and the other is love. We cannot experience them at the same time, we are either in fear or in love. So it is up to us to choose what we want to send to the universe. We decided to trust people and never locked our bikes. We have never had anything stolen. Once, my front rack broke, I was propelled onto the front, while Fibie was on the tandem system. After the fall, I realised that just a few minutes ago we were on a winding downhill road with several trucks passing us, travelling at about 25 km/h. But at the time of the fall, we were on a cycle path riding at less than 10 km/hour. What would have happened if the incident had arisen just a few minutes earlier? I was shaking with fear at the thought. Then, I decided to see the event in another way. I realised that I had been protected, no one was hurt and I could instead be fully grateful.