We caught up with Vin before he heads off on his new venture The Hungry Bike Ride, to find out more about it. You can always keep up to date from Vin’s Facebook page
The idea started as a low-key, fun bit of training, dieting, and adventure all rolled into one. Everyone I mention this to pricks up their ears and asks more, so I’ve decided to share the adventure like when I rode around the world. I’ve even have a TV crew meeting me for part of the way!
My wife Helen helped with the idea’s genesis (she’s not a cyclist, she’s an outdoor education specialist): Chatting with her about possibly going on a ‘training camp’, but not wanting to miss the opportunity for an adventure, somehow another old idea about eating only wild foods came into play too. So, in March I’ll ride from home in Cornwall, follow the coast in the South West, then cut in-land and up through the Midlands, on north to the Lake Distract, and eventually into Scotland, all without consuming anything I can’t harvest from the hedgerows. I’ll be in no rush, and I’ll probably have to spend more time gathering food than riding. I’ll take lanes, cycle routes, cycle trails, and bridal ways whenever possible as they are more beautiful and give most opportunity to forage.
I’ll have basic bivvy equipment with me, but really very little else: A knife, string, elastic, books on wild food, camera, smart-phone and a tool-kit for the bike. I’m pretty good at making fire by friction, so I might not even take matches. I’m not trying to be tough or ‘survival’ about it really; I intend to enjoy it and I’m just setting up conditions for a challenging adventure where I’ll necessarily be acutely aware of my natural surroundings.
March is a very difficult month to attempt this. It’s a time of year is sometimes known as ‘the hungry gap’ because plants have started to grow but nothing is really ready to eat; no seeds or nuts, no mushrooms, not many leaves, very few roots. I’ll be eating small young leaves and buds of things like brambles and nettles, trying to find Pignuts and Burdock roots for some carbohydrates, and I’ll have to catch rabbit and pigeon for protein. Limpets and sea-weeds will also be in my diet for the first couple of days, and whenever I get near the coast again later in the trip.
Vin until very recently had the Guinness World Record of 163 days 6 hours 58 minutes for his unsupported round the world cycle. On this venture he will be using a PipeDream 400 down bag with Hunka bivvy bag and Airo 180 matto keep him in comfort.