Many thanks are due to all the people who have helped us on our way. My Mother for buying me my first (and second, third and fourth!) proper bicycles, the CTC in my home town of York with whom I spent many a leg-wobbling Sunday during my teenage years, the writers of all the travel and bicycle adventure books I have read (most notably Dervla Murphy of Full Tilt  and Nick Crane of Journey to the Centre of the Earth  fame ) and Guy Kesteven for accompanying me on some early discoveries of how not to go cycle touring.

Of more practical value is Rob of Whiston Cycles, always good for a chat of a Saturday morning even if it takes him six weeks to get the spares you want! Also St. Johns Cycles of Bridgewater who have profited handsomely from this adventure, hopefully their bikes are as good as they claim. David Sidor and Lyndsey who bought our house for the asking price and were prepared to wait until we were ready to leave were a blessing, despite frequent visits which entailed us clearing most of the bikes out of the living room.

My employer Porpoise Viscometers Ltd deserves a special mention for supplying some of the cash in the form of my salary, plus sponsoring the trip with parcels of bike spares and giving me some work to keep me out of mischief in the evenings.

Alistair Morris, a long suffering doctor friend, gave us medical advice by email more times than I can remember. He suggested many helpful remedies which was especially useful when we were confronted with the Chinese pharmacies!

Many thanks to Juliette's sister Andrea who has supplied most of the wildlife identifications, it's always nice to know what things are.

Both our families have been very supportive of the trip and will be helping us in various ways during it. We will miss them while we are away but hope to meet some people en route.